History Research Overview

Innovative and multi-faceted research is central to the academic mission of the Department of History. Exhibiting a variety of collaborative and individual research models, our department’s many scholars are actively engaged in exploring the histories of an extensive array of national and geographic areas from medieval times to the present.

Overall, the Department's impressive breadth in research activity is captured by the following themes: Conflict and Society; International, Transnational and Global History; Public and Digital History; Environmental, Health and Technology; Business and Economy; Politics, Law and Governance; and Culture and Society, Social History, and Gender. Interdisciplinary research is also emphasized, including fields as diverse as the histories of medicine, of law and criminality, of constitutional and political structures, of gender construction and popular art forms.

Western’s historians are among the most productive in Canada, and have regularly published award-winning books, articles, and “new media” presentations. Another important indicator of the productivity and reputation of our scholars is the continuing growth in external research funding received.

The department’s research culture is enhanced by a lively array of workshops and speakers' series. Western faculty members and guest scholars share their research with colleagues at our monthly departmental colloquium. Several endowed lectures series, such as the Joanne Goodman Lectures which focuses on the history of the North Atlantic Triangle (Canada, Britain, and the United States), and the J.J. Talman Lecture Series highlighting Ontario’s history, annually feature scholars of international and national renown. A series of conferences on law and governance, and collaborative projects in Digital History and the internet are just two examples of research initiatives at Western with international linkages.

Research excellence is also fostered at the graduate and undergraduate student level. Our students regularly attend and showcase their research at conferences, as well as organize and host an annual history conference at Western which attracts student researchers from other Canadian and American universities. With a graduate program of over eighty MA, Public History MA, and PhD students, Western’s History Department closely integrates research and teaching.