Faculty Profile

Matthew Pinsker

Associate Professor of History, Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History (2002)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 218


Pinsker teaches courses in U.S. political, legal and diplomatic history. His research focuses on the career of Abraham Lincoln, partisanship in the Civil War era, American constitutionalism, the Underground Railroad and the history of U.S. campaigns and elections.


  • B.A., Harvard University, 1990
  • D.Phil., University of Oxford, 1995

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

HIST 117 American Hist 1607 to 1877
This course covers colonial, revolutionary, and national America through Reconstruction. Include attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

HIST 204 Intro Historical Methodology
Local archives and libraries serve as laboratories for this project-oriented seminar that introduces beginning majors to the nature of history as a discipline, historical research techniques, varied forms of historical evidence and the ways in which historians interpret them, and the conventions of historical writing. Prerequisite: one previous course in history.

HIST 211 US Elections
This upper-level survey course will examine how American campaigns and elections have evolved since the colonial era. Students will learn about revolutionary changes in voting eligibility, major shifts in campaigning practices, including fundraising and advertising, and will study certain pivotal elections and their consequences for American democracy. Course assignments will include exams, multi-media blog posts and traditional research papers.