Our strong Modern History faculty adopt a diverse range of methodological and theoretical approaches as they explore developments of all regions of the globe in the last several centuries.
The study of European history since the era of the French Revolution addresses concerns that reverberate throughout the modern world, including the rise of industrial capitalism that restructured the global economy through markets and imperialism, the institution of the nation-state with its potential for totalitarianism and racism, and the reconstruction of gender relations that emerged along with the nuclear family system.
The University of Minnesota has long been at the forefront of modern US history, pioneering advances in social, cultural and quantitative approaches. The Minnesota Population Center, under the direction of Professor Steven Ruggles, provides training and employment for many of our students, and Minnesota has become the premier training ground for quantitative methods in US history. Minnesota is also a leader in the field of migration, housing one of the preeminent archives dedicated to the field of Immigration History, the Immigration History Research Center and Archives, under the direction of Professor Erika Lee. Other faculty members bring considerable expertise in Native American and indigenous history, African American studies, gender and women’s history, and legal history.
We also have a strong program in the histories of the modern Middle East, Latin America, Africa, South Asia and East Asia.