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United States

The U.S. History field at the University of Michigan is characterized by its breadth and variety. Faculty within the U.S. field investigate a range of time periods and topics, and approach their research from a number of different perspectives.  

Chronologically, field members work anywhere from the 17th to the 21st centuries, with particular strengths in the colonial/revolutionary/early national periods and in the twentieth century.

Topically, US historians at Michigan explore everything from archival to business/economic to labor to social to Western/borderlands history. The field is especially well represented in the areas of African American, Atlantic, gender/sexuality, intellectual/cultural, Native American, political, popular culture, race/ethnicity, and urban history, as well as the history of medicine and of religion.

Methodologically, members of the field pursue approaches that include, and often combine, textual interpretation, quantitative analysis, intensive archival research, micro-history, comparative analysis, ethno-history, and oral history. Field members also look beyond the borders of the United States, with many involved in transregional and/or global investigations that examine the American story in relation to Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Atlantic world.

Enhancing the strengths of the field, US historians have close connections with the Program in American Culture, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Women’s Studies Program (indeed, many faculty are jointly appointed with one of these departments). The US field at Michigan thus offers students the opportunity to explore almost any topic in which they might be interested with the confidence that there will be faculty able to help guide them in their work.

Click here for a listing of faculty and graduate students currently associated with this program area.