History and Classics

Passionate faculty. Incredible students. 

These are essential ingredients for the best history and classics departments — just like ours. Our faculty members know their way around the world, from the Americas and Europe to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They’re also experts in their fields, specializing in everything from the Harlem Renaissance and the Reformation, slavery and samurais, women and gender in antiquity​, and much more.

Both inside and outside of the classroom, our students are dedicated to the study of the events and cultures​​​ that have shaped our world, from the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era to the decolonization and rise of nationalism in 20th-century Africa. They have gone on to become educators, lawyers, CEOs, community organizers, diplomats, and peacemakers.

Away from the classroom, internships and our history club bring history lessons to life. Our annual Maymester course, which has taken students to Germany, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, and Japan in the past several years, offers the opportunity for students to be fully immersed in the materials they study. So, whether you want to learn about the world from our lecture halls or experience it firsthand, we want you to take your journey with us.

What’s New In Our Department?

  • Dr. Karen Holland and Dr. Osama Siddiqui are across the pond leading the Spring 2024 Civ in London program. Follow along with their travels with their students at the Civ in London Blog.
  • The Department of History and Classics has received a generous gift from the family of Andrea Traietti ’21, allowing us to offer mini research grants to our students for Honors Thesis Research ​and other Special Projects.
  • We are pleased to announce Dr. Sharon Ann Murphy, professor of history, as the new department chair for the History and Classics Department (2021).

Recent Faculty Accomplishments

  • Dr. Adrian Weimer was recently awarded an extremely competitive John Carter Brown Library Fellowship to work on her most recent project, “Deer Island: ‘Praying Indians,’ Law, and Betrayal in Wartime New England, 1665-1685.”
    Dr. Weimer also recently won the Colonial Society of Massachusetts’ 2024 John Winthrop Prize for her most recent book, “A Constitutional Culture: New England and the Struggle against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire.”
  • Dr. Jessica Blum-Sorensen and Dr. Francesca Silano were both awarded 2024 Arts and Sciences Summer Scholars grants to support their current projects–Dr. Blum-Sorensen for “Burning Down the House: Ambition and the Family in Imperial Rome,” and Dr. Silano for “The Battle for Russia’s Souls: Patriarch Tikhon, The Russian Orthodox Church, and the Early Soviet State (1865-1925).”
  • Dr. Jeff Johnson recently received the Herbert W. Blakely Endowed Award from the Center for Western Studies for his paper, “‘Tyranny Breeds Tyrannicide’: Soup & Anarchy in 1916 Chicago” (2023).
  • Dr. Alyssa Lopez was awarded a 6-Month Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.
  • Dr. Osama Siddiqui received an American Council of Learned Societies Awards 2023 Project Development Grant for his project “A Science of Society: Indian Economic Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire.”
  • Dr. Jeff Johnson received a Silas Palmer Fellowship at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University. His latest essay, “‘Raise a Little Hell’: The South Dakota Radical Tradition,” appeared in Old Trails and New Roads in South Dakota History (Center for Western Studies, 2023).
  • Dr. Guolin Yi won the 2022 Research Award at the Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States (ACPSS) conference for his 2020 book “The Media and Sino-American Rapprochement, 1963-1972”.
  • Dr. Raymond Sickinger was awarded the 2021 Service to Education Award by the Providence College National Alumni Association.
  • Dr. Robin Greene was awarded the 2020-21 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award, presented annually to the Providence College faculty member “who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students’ academic and personal growth.”

Recent Faculty Publications

  • Dr. Adrian Weimer’s chapter “Political Reform and Devotional Culture in Early New England” will be published in Understanding and Teaching Religion in US History this June.
  • Dr. Margaret Manchester’s most recent book Western Corporations and Covert Operations in the early Cold War: Re-examining the Vogeler/Sanders Case was published in May 2024. The book examines the Vogeler/Sanders espionage case that ruptured ties between the US and UK and Hungary in 1949, and analyses this as an example of Western covert operations in the early Cold War. 
  • Dr. Colin Jaundrill has a chapter titled “Technology, Military Reform, and Warfare in the Tokugawa-Meiji Transition” published in The New Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 2: Early Modern Japan in Asia and the World, c. 1580–1877 (January 2024).
  • Dr. Francesca Silano has an article titled “‘I am a Sincere Believer’: Rethinking Religiosity and Identity in the Early Soviet Union” published in the most recent edition of the Slavic Review (2023), 714-736.
  • Dr. Jessica Blum-Sorensen’s new book Epic Ambition: Hercules and the Politics of Emulation in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica was published in December 2023. Focusing especially on Hercules, the book explores how Valerius’ characters—and, by extension, their Roman audience—misinterpret exemplars of past achievement, or apply them to sad effect in changed circumstances. 
  • Dr. Robin Greene’s chapter “Myth, Marvels, and De mirabilibus auscultationibus” is featured in Historiography and Mythography in the Aristotelian Mirabilia. Routledge, Nov. 2023.
  • Dr. Constance M. Rousseau has published an article entitled “Pope Innocent III’s Justice and Pastoral Care Concerning Extramarital Sexual Activity,” Mediaeval Studies 84 (2023), 273-316.
  • Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi had her chapter “The Genocide of the Romani People in Europe” published in the Cambridge World History of Genocide, Volume 3 in summer 2023.
  • Dr. Jeff Johnson’s latest essay “‘Raise a Little Hell’: The South Dakota Radical Tradition” appeared in Old Trails and New Roads in South Dakota History (Center for Western Studies, 2023).
  • Dr. Sharon Ann Murphy recently published her newest book Banking on Slavery: Financing Southern Expansion in the Antebellum United States, which explores how deeply nineteenth-century American banks were entwined with the institution of slavery (2023).
  • Dr. Adrian Weimer recently published her second book A Constitutional Culture: New England and the Struggle against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire on the resistance movements of the 1660s, when puritan colonists creatively worked to protect local institutions from the demands of the newly restored Stuart monarchy (2023).
  • Dr. Alyssa Lopez’s article “The Dangers and Pleasures of Moviegoing: Black Girls in Harlem’s Movie Theaters before World War II” was published in the summer 2022 edition of the Journal of African American History.
  • Dr. Steven Smith had an article entitled “Politics in the Margins: Elkanah Watson, DeWitt Clinton, and the History of the Erie Canal in the Early American Republic” published in the summer 2022 edition of the New York History Journal.
  • Dr. Alex Orquiza published his book Taste of Control: Food and the Filipino Colonial Mentality under American Rule (2020). The book tells what happened when American colonizers began to influence what Filipinos ate, how they cooked, and how they perceived their national cuisine, discussing how changing the food of the Philippines was part of a war on culture led by Americans as they attempted to shape the islands into a reflection of their home country.

Check out our Faculty page to learn more about what we’ve been doing.