The Department of History exemplifies Dickinson in the way it covers the world beyond our shores; students may study the regional histories of Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, or they may explore the diversity of American history.  Further, our courses explore a wide variety of approaches that include the history of gender, empires, the environment, medicine, migration, religion, and diplomacy and war in national, comparative, and global contexts.

History majors work closely with the faculty to develop research skills, regularly making use of the rich resources of Dickinsons Archives & Special Collections, the nearby U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center and the Cumberland County Historical Society.  Our newest course to make extensive use of such resources is History 205, Public History, which teaches students about the ways history can be put to work in the world and made relevant and useful in the public sphere.

Contact Info


Emily PawleyAssociate Professor of History

Department Coordinator

Madeline BrownAcademic Department Coordinator






219B, Denny Hall Mailing Address

Department Features

Student Outcomes

Where Our Students Go From Here


  • United Way of the Midlands
  • JET Program
  • Cushman & Wakefield
  • Temple University
  • Archaeological Testing and Consulting
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Peace Corps
  • The Fulbright Program
  • USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Hudson Legal Group
  • SITE Program Lombardia
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • The Democracy Collaborative
  • National Consumer Law Center

Graduate Schools:

  • Yale Law
  • New York University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Connecticut
  • Columbia University
  • University of Massachusetts
  • George Washington University
  • George Mason University
  • University of Virginia
  • Harvard University
  • Fordham University
  • Georgetown University Law
  • Tufts University
  • USC
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • City University London
Where Students Have Interned
  • Breakthrough Collaborative
  • Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Organization
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • National Postal Museum
  • Port Jefferson Historical Society
  • U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
  • U.S. Army War College - Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute
  • Dickinson College House Divided project
  • Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections
  • U.S Army Heritage & Education Center
  • Art Institute of Chicago

Student Perspective

Dickinson's history department is filled with dedicated faculty members who are eager to share their expertise and help students hone their skills as historians. The department has been crucial to my academic development, as faculty members encourage students to think critically about problems both past and present, often while engaging with the mountains of primary sources available in the college archives. On top of that, the House Divided Project, Dickinson's Civil War era studies center, offers incredible resources for students. 

—Cooper Wingert ’20

History News

See, Learn and Engage the World With Alumni Global Adventures

See, Learn and Engage the World With Alumni Global Adventures

Alumni Global Adventures are extraordinary opportunities to learn from Dickinson experts as you explore exciting destinations. Here are the trips we're planning for 2023.

Amy Beach ’94

Amy Beach ’94

“A liberal-arts education prepares you for life as a mature and productive person in an ever-changing world,” says Amy Beach ’94, commanding officer for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Student Snapshot: Kaileigh McNellis

Student Snapshot: Kaileigh McNellis '23 

Meet Kaileigh McNellis ’23, a history major, musician and student leader who’s active on campus and in the local community.

Students Help Bring Carlisle and Cumberland County Climate Action Plans to Fruition

Students Help Bring Carlisle and Cumberland County Climate Action Plans to Fruition

Working through the Center for Sustainability Education, Dickinson student researchers examine and diagnose local greenhouse gas emissions and their effects.

History Major Jobs & Graduate School Acceptances 2022

History Major Jobs & Graduate School Acceptances 2022

Graduating seniors earn acceptances to the University of Denver Publishing Institute, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and other graduate schools.

Student Snapshot: Samuel Lavine

Student Snapshot: Samuel Lavine '22

Samuel Lavine ’22 is a history major, Baird Sustainability Fellow and Center for Sustainability Education intern who will enter the master’s program at the Columbia Climate School next fall.

The Mecca Uprising

Newest Faculty Book Publication

Professor David Commins' new book, The Mecca Uprising:  An Insider's Account of Salafism and Insurrection in Saudi Arabia, has just been published (December 2020).  The book has two parts:  translation of a memoir by a man who belonged to the group that launched the 1979 uprising in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and an introduction to the historical, political and religious contexts surrounding the uprising. Congratulations, Professor Commins! 


Alumni Spotlight

July 2021:

Congratulations to Dickinson history alum Matthew Guarigilia 12, whose first book -- exploring how race, immigration, and imperialism built and shaped the modern police department in New York the U.S., and the world -- is now under contract with Duke University Press. Great news, Matthew!