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

Dickinson’s House Divided Project Earns National Park Service Recognition

Dickinson’s House Divided Project Earns National Park Service Recognition

The National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom has accepted the House Divided Project as one of its newest listings.

Student Snapshot: Daniel Levine ’24

Student Snapshot: Daniel Levine ’24

While studying abroad through Dickinson’s Oxford program, Daniel Levine ’24 co-led his Oxford lacrosse team to victory against rivaling Cambridge.

Dickinson Faculty Selects History Professor for Distinguished Teaching Award

Dickinson Faculty Selects History Professor for Distinguished Teaching Award

Dickinson’s faculty has named Emily Pawley, associate professor of history and Walter E. Beach ’56 Chair in Sustainability Studies, as the 2023 recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Graduate Story: Anne Helmreich ’85, Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Graduate Story: Anne Helmreich ’85, Smithsonian Archives of American Art

With 35 years of experience in higher education and arts administration under her belt, the former history major oversees works from more than 200 years of the nation’s artists and art communities.

Summer Success: Dickinson

Summer Success: Dickinson's Knowledge for Freedom Program Accepting Rising High School Seniors

The Knowledge for Freedom Program aims to provide opportunity for low-income and first-generation college-bound students.

Dickinson to Host Timely Lecture on Importance of African American History

Dickinson to Host Timely Lecture on Importance of African American History

Rutgers University president and prominent historian Jonathan Holloway will deliver Dickinson’s annual J. Howard Wert Lecture.

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

September 2023:

Congratulations to Dickinson history alum Cooper Wingert ’20, whose article, “Fugitive Slave Renditions and the Proslavery Crisis of Confidence in Federalism, 1850-1860,” was published in the June 2023 issue of the prestigiousJournal of American History.  Kudos, Cooper!