History

Stories Untold

By Mitchell Leonard

Associate Professor Mai Na Lee’s journey to the University of Minnesota began nearly 8000 miles away. To escape turmoil and war in Laos in the late 1970s, her family traveled on foot to Thailand with a group of more than 400 people, led by Lee’s father. The journey, which eventually brought Lee to the United States, has shaped the way she sees the world and how she envisions the future for her students and community. 

historical cinema from a different lens

By Mitchell Leonard

As an eighth grader, John Moret moved with his family to a small town. His reaction to the change took the form of escaping into the world of movies, leading him to make countless trips to the local video rental store, always discovering something new to watch. This love for cinema, honed at an early age, shaped his approach to academic study and, ultimately, directed his career path.

The first to listen

By Mitchell Leonard

Paula Cuellar was born in El Salvador in 1980—just as the country was descending into a brutal civil war. Her father was a social activist and her uncle worked as Monsenor Oscar Arnulfo Romero's lawyer on the Socorro Juridico Cristiano, a nongovernmental organization that advocated for human rights. When Cuellar was three years old, turmoil struck, organizations like Socorro Juridico Cristiano were overthrown, and Cuellar's family fled the country. They escaped to Mexico, leaving middle-class comforts behind.

finding global connections in central europe

By Mitchell Leonard

Senior Michaela Bunke credits Professor J.B. Shank’s course on European intellectual history with inspiring her unexpected passion for history. This class changed the trajectory of her college career by opening her eyes to the compelling and vast field of study. It wasn’t long before Bunke had declared a major in history. She was especially interested in European history, thanks in part to that class and in part to several trips she had taken to a small town in the Czech Republic in high school to lead English camps for Czech students.

learning from love canal: who is responsible?

By Mitchell Leonard

The Love Canal disaster, brought to national attention in 1976, is one of the most prominent environmental disputes in US history, involving a plethora of national and state conflicts and developing a complex legacy that has since been enshrined in public policy. History major Henry Carras, who is also pursuing a major in political science, recognizes parallels between what happened in Love Canal, New York and the current water crisis unfolding in Flint, Michigan. With the support of the Hedley Donovan Scholarship, which provided major funding for his research, he dove deep into the history of the Love Canal debacle and discovered a nuanced story filled with many opinions on who is to blame for the environmental disaster.

 

community engagement from a global perspective

By Mitchell Leonard

When Tyler Boesch transferred to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities as a sophomore, he had towering goals in his sights. He was looking for opportunities to make positive change in the Twin Cities community and he also knew that studying history would lead him on his journey. With a double major in history and global studies, Tyler has been able to to connect his studies of other countries and times to engagement with his local community today.

states of incarceration

By Hannah Sabroski

Challenging dialogue and thought-provoking assignments are the hallmarks of the curriculum in the Department of History. More than just traditional lectures, notes, and quizzes, coursework in history seeks to broaden the viewpoints of students so they can become aware of the histories that have shaped people across the globe. Students who participated in Professor Kevin Murphy’s fall semester class, Public History: Public Memory and Mass Incarceration, had a unique opportunity to contribute their voices to the national dialogue on incarceration.

historical knowledge in studetn involvment

By Hannah Sabroski 

When she decided to come to the University of Minnesota, senior Alyssa Martin knew she wanted to study creative writing with an English major. But then, as so often happens to college students, a new love turned her head.

“I immediately loved history, just like I loved English,” Alyssa says. “It amazed me how much you can immerse yourself in a discipline like history and dig deeper and learn about people’s motivations, asking questions like why were they thinking that way and what justified ideologies at the time.”

revealing historical insights through julia child

By Hannah Sabroski

Julia Child is known as the famous chef from the 20th century who entertained and informed viewers through her successful cookbooks and television show, The French Chef. She introduced America to a new form of cooking and made classic French cuisine accessible to broad audiences across the western hemisphere.

Minnesota histroy day mentors inspiring youth

By Hannah Sabroski

Anyone who has ever studied history at the collegiate level knows one of the most commonly asked questions is, without a doubt, “Do you want to teach history?” This question can be a daunting one to address. However, if you were to ask a History Day mentor this question, they could give you a confident, honest answer because of their incredible engagement through History Day in Minnesota schools.

re-imagining Hennepin history museum

By Hannah Sabroski

When Cedar Imboden Phillips stepped into her new role as the Hennepin History Museum’s director in 2014, it was a dream in the making for the University of Minnesota graduate. Though her career had taken her to a variety of different jobs prior to the offer, she decided to stay here in Minneapolis. Between event planning, budgeting, and curating new exhibits, Phillips and her staff work tirelessly, bringing to life the stories of an older Minneapolis that most people are unaware of.