History of the Americas

History of the Americas

Graduate Program

History of the Americas


Western Michigan University offers exceptional opportunities for graduate study of the Americas. Our faculty includes experts on Native Americans of New France/Canada, African American, cultural, diplomatic, and religious history and much more. Articles by our thirteen full-time History Department faculty have appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic, Civil War History, the Journal of American Studies, the New England Quarterly, and many others. Our professors include past or present officers of national associations in environmental history, legal history, and sports history. WMU historians serve on journal editorial boards, as consultants to the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in leadership positions with major associations (like the Michigan Humanities Council). We are grant winners, with NEH and Fulbright awards, and four Teaching American History grant projects led by our faculty members. In addition, seven historians tenured in other departments give us strength in the history of science, local and regional history, and ethnohistory.

Graduate students at WMU benefit from a lot of ‘extras’ that offer hands-on experience. Graduates can work towards a certificate in ethnohistory while completing their M.A. or Ph.D. Public history students have interned at federal agencies such as the National Park Service as well as local and regional institutions. They’ve researched and designed historical markers for St. Joseph, Michigan, created museum installations, and documented historic sites to preserve our built environment for future generations to understand and enjoy. Students choose from a wide range of course offerings covering the colonial to modern eras, with topical courses on everything from women’s history to the history of memory and commemoration. We offer enriching opportunities for graduates to meet and interact with visiting lecturers from around the globe. It pays off: WMU has placed over 90 percent of our Ph.D. students in full-time tenure-track posts or full-time museum and conservation positions.

WMU Faculty in the Americas
Amos Beyan, African American; Atlantic Slave Trade
Linda Borish, 19th-Century; Social and Cultural; Sport; Gender; Material Culture
José António Brandão, North American First Nations; Canada; Comparative Colonial
Janet L.Coryell, Women's History; Antebellum U.S.; Biography; Editing
James Cousins, history of education, early America
Fred Dobney, 20th-Century United States, Technology
Sally Hadden, American Legal, Social and Cultural History; Colonial & Revolutionary Era; Southern History
Lynne HeasleyEnvironmental History, Cultural Geography; Great Lakes
Mitch Kachun, African American, Memory and Commemoration
Edwin Martini, 20th-Century United States, Political, Diplomatic, Cultural
John Saillant  Colonial America, American Revolution and the Constitution; American religion
Wilson Warren, History Education; 20th-Century United States; U.S. Labor

Questions? Contact:

Dr. James Palmitessa, Director of Graduate Studies
4355 Friedmann Hall
(269) 387-4640



Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax