Here are WRGUW's first PhD graduates with some of their advisers. pictured (top) Richard John, Sam Mitrani, Joshua Salzmann, John Reda, Rick Fried (bottom) Elizabeth Collins, Sarah Rose, Leon Fink, and Susan Levine.

The Department of History is pleased to invite applications for its Ph.D. concentration in the History of Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World (WRGUW). Taking advantage at once of an uncommon gathering of scholars with overlapping interests and the unmatched resources of the city of Chicago in addressing these issues, WRGUW (pronounced "argue"!) offers students a foundation in labor, immigration, and business history; race and African-American history; and/or gender, women's and gay and lesbian history in relation to the social and political foundations of city life. In addressing these themes we intend at once to connect the issues of our own day to their historical antecedents and to widen our appreciation of human possibility by exploring both paths taken and those not taken. As a matter of practice, it is worth noting that many of our students have adopted projects of social or cultural history 'with the state left in'that is, they are trying to re-unite the 'political' with other strands of historical imagination.

Framed initially around a modern U.S. history core, the program nevertheless encourages in all students a trans-national perspective on its core themes. To this end, among a minimum of four graduate seminars linked annually to the concentration, at least one treats a topic in comparative or international scope. Of three required minor fields for concentrators, moreover, two address non-U.S. or trans-national topics. In addition to their department-based course requirements, WRGUW concentrators entering with a BA must satisfactorily complete four WRGUW-related courses, while those entering with an MA must complete three such designated courses.

Among participating faculty and students alike, we are committed to building a supportive but critical community of colleagues. "Expanding the Circle," a regular lunch-time series of speakers on related topics, helps to stimulate discussion across the department. The regular "Wednesday Brown-Bag" offers a forum for new work by departmental faculty and graduate students. At a more convivial level, "First Fridays" gathers WRGUW students, faculty, and friends in informal conversation.

WRGUW Rules and Regs

Matriculation and good standing in WRGUW is a fairly simple and flexible process. Students entering with a BA must complete 4 WRGUW-themed colloquia (usually identified with a H592 label) in addition to other departmental requirements; those entering with an MA must complete 3 such courses. In addition, we strongly recommend that at least one of three required minor fields encompass a trans-national theme. When a student is taking a research seminar; s/he should enroll in only one other course that semester; otherwise the normal, anticipated course load is three graduate (500-level) courses per semester. Other than that, we take for granted the student's active participation in the life of the department!

For more information about the WRGUW graduate concentration and fellowships, please contact:

Professor Leon Fink
Director WRGUW
Department of History (m/c 198)
913 University Hall
601 South Morgan Street
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607


WRGUW Application Process

Students applying to the WRGUW concentration must follow departmental application procedures and must specify that they are applying to WRGUW.

Note January 1 deadline,
and please include a writing sample

Participating History Department Faculty

Cynthia Blair: African-American, Gender & Sexuality
Christopher Boyer: Modern Mexico, Environmental
Jennifer Brier: Gay & Lesbian, Medical, Modern US
Bruce Calder: U.S.-Latin American Relations; Race & Caribbean History
Corey Capers: Race, Public Sphere, Reform, Cultural Theory.
John D'Emilio: Gay & Lesbian, Sexuality, Civil Rights
Perry Duis: Urban History, Chicago
Leon Fink, Labor and Immigration, History of Occupations
Rick Fried: Post-WWII American Politics, McCarthyism
Kirk Hoppe: Africa, Medicine; Globalization & Economic Development
Robert Johnston: Progressive Era, Middle-Class, History of Medicine
Susan Levine: Gender & Public Policy; Consumer Culture
Mark Liechty: Consumerism/Tourism in Asia, Cultural Theory
Deirdre McCloskey: History of Economic Thought
Michael Perman: U.S. Race Relations, Disfranchisement, Citizenship
Barbara Ransby: African-American & Women's History, Civil Rights
James Searing: Slavery in the Atlantic World; Colonialism in Africa
Kevin M. Schultz : U.S. Intellectual, Cultural and Religious History
Daniel Scott Smith: Comparative Demographic & Family History
Javier Villa-Flores: Colonial Mexico
Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska: Modern Britain, Consumerism

WRGUW Graduate Colloquia Offerings

History of the Civil Rights Movement
Gender and the State;Comparative Feminism; Cities and the History of Medicine
U.S. Women's History
History of the Body
Caribbean Labor Systems -- Slavery to Free Labor
U.S. Labor; Immigration History and Global Labor; Work and Occupational Politics
Race and Working-Class History; Race - An Intellectual History
Slavery in the Atlantic World; Labor; Race, and Citizenship in Urban Africa
Citizenship and Suffrage in U.S. & European History
Sexuality, Power, and Politics; Sexuality, the City, and Social Change
Business, Technology, and the State
Food and Famine in History
American Indians in the Twentieth Century
Cultural Theory for Historians
Science, Race, and Sexuality
Social Movements of the 1960s

Back to Top