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From the Director

By Helmut Puff

I very much love the prospect of directing for several years what, to my mind, is one of the premier historical institutes of its kind in the country. The Eisenberg, entering its second decade, is an excellent example of what makes History at U-M exceptional—a vibrant forum for ideas on the past and a motor of change in the present. Whether it is rethinking pedagogy, making a case for public history at a major research university, or supporting diversity initiatives, EIHS has made its contributions felt in many discussions over the years. To keep pushing boundaries of historical thought, urging historians to reflect on their practices, and making connections between the people who are the true force behind reimagining the future of history—this is how I approach my mission these coming years.

What would you like the institute to do? Take a minute and write to the director. Come and visit us in Haven Hall. This is what the EIHS is all about. We are an advocate of the past in and for the present.      

Helmut Puff is Elizabeth L. Eisenstein Collegiate Professor of History and Germanic Languages and director of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. He can be reached at