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Creating a History of Success

freebergThe UT History Department continues on a path of remarkable success, thanks to our highly productive faculty.

In the past year our faculty’s work has appeared in the profession’s top academic journals and been published by the most distinguished scholarly presses. We have published four books and placed several more under contract. Our research continues to be supported by prestigious fellowships, and the work of our faculty and graduate students has been recognized with a number of dissertation, article, and book awards.

This lively intellectual community is growing. Within the past two years we have hired five outstanding new faculty who have brought to the department a record of past accomplishment and exciting research agendas. Their expertise is already enriching our curriculum and contributing to our efforts to guide our students to a deeper understanding of all that has happened before them. We want our students to know history, but as importantly, to learn to think historically—developing analytical and communication skills that will enrich their lives, make them more effective citizens, and serve them well in whatever profession they choose to pursue after graduation.

Beyond the classroom, we share our research with other experts in our fields at national and international conferences, but also with the public in venues such as the History Channel, C-Span, and PBS. We are committed to bringing the benefits of our research to Tennesseans, and speak often to local audiences of alumni, senior citizens, and civic organizations.

We are also engaged in various partnerships to improve history education in the state’s secondary schools. Our goal is to support the region’s many excellent teachers and enrich their students’ curriculum. To this end, for more than a decade we have been teaming up with the East Tennessee Historical Society to provide enrichment opportunities for area teachers, including tour annual History Teachers Workshop, and National History Day, a program that brings hundreds of area history students to the UT campus for a day each spring to share their historical research on the year’s theme.

This year, in collaboration with Knox County Schools (Tennessee), we established “UT Bridge to AP U.S. History”—a program to help prepare students in inner-city and rural high schools for the Advanced Placement U.S. History exam. Faculty visit schools to lecture and lead student discussions and students are invited to visit campus to attend a history class, tour campus, and spend time with student recruitment staff. In the end, we hope this program will encourage more, and more diverse, students to become UT history majors.

ERNEST FREEBERG
Professor and Department Head

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