Past Events


A Cherokee Celebration and Commemoration: President James Ralph Scales and the Cherokee Heritage of Wake Forest University was held on Friday, 13 November 2015. This symposium honors the rich legacy of President James Ralph Scales, a member of the Cherokee Nation and a champion of Wake Forest University’s commitment to civil rights and inclusivity. More information about the symposium can be found here.



Professor Raisur Rahmangave a public talk as part of the ZSR Library Lecture Series, “Bombay Muslims: Diversity and Cosmopolitanism in Colonial India,” on Wednesday, November 11, 2015.




Doyle Flyer

The Civil War was fought not only on the battlefields of America but also in the European court of public opinion. Don Doyle, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, will explain how agents from the Union and Confederacy struggled to control the war’s narrative as they sought crucial assistance from Britain and France. The story of public diplomacy in Europe reveals the importance of “soft power” in winning the war and highlights how a war over union and secession became understood as a global referendum on slavery, liberty, and the future of democracy itself. This event was held on Thursday, November 5, 2015.

Clonts Lecture, Thursday, April 16, at 5:30 in ZSR 404.

One of America’s leading historians, Professor Kenneth Pomeranz of the University of Chicago, will deliver the PomeranzClonts Lecture on Thursday, April 16, at 5:30 p.m. in ZSR Auditorium (404). Dr. Pomeranz, past president of the American Historical Association, will address the topic “China, Europe, and the Making of Modern Economies,” the subject of his award-winning book, The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy.  Here Pomeranz explores how the relatively backward European countries of the 17th and 18th centuries outdistanced the wealthier and more advanced economies such as China’s in the 19th century. This transformation created the modern world economy, but another transformation appears to be on the horizon with China on the verge of becoming the world’s largest economy.

The Clonts Lecture is offered every other year honoring former WFU History professor Forrest W. Clonts, and is sponsored by his family.

Idlewild Conference Poster (1)

“The Idlewild Conference: A Day Long Series of Conversations on Race, Gender, Religion, and Capitalism in the U.S. South.” Sessions will include Beyond the Promised Land: Migration, Southern Spaces, and Black Studies; From Atlanta to Africa: The New Black South and the Globalized Gospel of Success; and The Neo-blues: Black Bodies and Southern Legacies. Invited guests include Keri Day from Brite Divinity School; K. Merinda Simmons from the University of Alabama; Houston A. Baker from Vanderbilt University;Tommy Curry from Texas A&M University; and William D. Hart from UNC-Greensboro.  This event will be held in Annenberg Forum in Carswell Hall from 9:00 to 5:00 on Friday, February 27, 2015.  It is free and open to the public.


Arthur Allen“The Fantastic Laboratory: A Forgotten Disease, A Forgotten Vaccine, and Two Brave Scientists Who Manipulated the Nazis.” This lecture by Arthur Allen deals with typhus, a gruesome lice-born disease that menaced soldiers and citizens alike during World II.  Two Polish scientists, one a Christian, one a Jew, managed to survive the Nazi occupation of Poland by supplying their valuable knowledge of a complex typhus vaccine to German troops while smuggling effective doses to Jews–even under the noses of concentration camp guards.  Arthur Allen, a science writer, former foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, and current editor of Politico Pro e-health, shares this forgetten story of science, conscience, and heroic risk-taking during wartime from his recent book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl. This event will be held on Monday, February 23, at 4:00 in ZSR Auditorium (Room 404).  It is free and open to the public.

Christianity-Democratization-header “Twenty-Five Years Later: Nathan Hatch’s The Democratization of American Christianity.” To mark the 25th anniversary of Nathan’s Hatch’s seminal book, The Democratization of American Christianity, Wake Forest University will host a half-day symposium February 6, 2015 sponsored by the School of Divinity, the Departments of History and Religion, the Humanities Institute, and the Office of the Provost. Seven highly respected scholars of American religious history will offer reflections on the influence of Dr. Hatch’s seminal study and critically assess the work, including challenges since its publication. An award-winning publication, The Democratization of American Christianity has been described as one of the three most significant books on American Christianity written in the last century. This event will be held in Farrell Hall, Broyhill Auditorium, on February 6, 2015, from 12:00-4:30.  It is free and open to the public. For more information, see the symposium website.

“The Civil Wars of Japan’s Meiji Restoration & National Reconciliation: Global Historical Perspectives.”Japan Conference Poster This is the first of three international conferences in advance of the 150-year anniversary in 2018 of Japan’s modern revolution, the Meiji Restoration. It will be held at Reynolda House on January 30 from 9:15 to 4:30 and on January 31 from 8:45 to 2:30. This conference has been funded by the Wake Forest History Department, Department of East Asian Languages and Culture, Provost for Global Affairs, Provost’s Fund for Vibrant Campus, Dean’s Office, and Humanities Institute. Additional support comes from the Asian-Pacific Studies Institute (Duke), Carolina Asia Center (UNC Chapel Hill), Northeast Asia Council-Association for Asian Studies, Japan-United States Friendship Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Japan Foundation. This event is free and open to the public.

“The United States, Japan, and the Asian Development Bank.”
1-29 Orr Lecture PosterThis lecture by Ambassador Richard M. Orr will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2015, from 4:30-6:30 in Greene Hall, Room 162. Ambassador Orr has served as the US Executive Director to the Asian Development Bank since 2010, and became Dean of the ADB Board in 2013. Ambassador Orr holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Tokyo. He previously taught at Temple University-Japan, and published the award-winning monograph, The Emergence of Japan’s Foreign Aid Power (Columbia University Press, 1990). He subsequently worked as Vice President for Motorola in Tokyo and Brussels, and later served as President of Boeing Japan. At his talk, Ambassador Orr will discuss the governance and global role of the ADB as well as US objectives related to this important international institution. This talk is free and open to the public.


Mar. 28, 2011: Dr. Christopher Bayly’s Clonts Lecture, to be held at 6 pm on Monday March 28th in the Annenburg Forum of Carswell Hall. The title is: “The British Empire c.1800-1950: Between Reform and Repression”. Flyer. Video.

Mar.3-5, 2011: The 37th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies will take place from March 3 through March 5 on the campus of Wake Forest University.  For more information, please see.

March 2011: Peter H. Reill, Professor and Director of The UCLA Center for the Seventeenth- & Eighteenth-Century Studies and William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, will speak in March. Historian of Modern Europe, Germany, and philosophy of history, Professor Reill has authored and edited several volumes, including The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism and Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany, and Representations of Nature. This event is co-sponsored by the History Department. Time and location: TBA.

February 9, 2011: History Works! Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 3:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Benson 410. Students learned about the advantages of a history major and the many career paths that history majors can pursue. Flyer.

February 3, 2011: Annenberg Forum, “Prospects for Peace in the Middle East: A Syrian Perspective ” Dr. Imad Moustapha, Syrian Ambassador to the United States, February 3, 2011, 6:00 pm, Carswell Hall Room 111. Flyer.

January 6-9th, 2011: History Department was featured on Historians TV at the annual American Historical Association Conference in Boston.

November 5, 2010: Anthony Parent, Professor at Wake Forest History Department, delivered the inaugural lecture of a three-day conference titled “Southern Silences: Trauma and American Indian and African American Resilience. His talk, titled “Where Harriet Jacobs Lived,” took place at 1:00 pm in Reynolda House.

October 29, 2010: The Fall induction ceremony for Phi Alpha Theta took place in the Mag Room at 5:00 pm.

October 25, 2010: Laurent M. DuBois, Professor of History at Duke University, spoke at 6:00 pm in DeTamble auditorium, as part of the year’s lecture series titled Place, Space, and Meaning.

October 21-22, 2010: The History Department co-sponsored a two-day conference, “Dominant Discourses, Guarded Voices: Religion and Society in Spain and its Empire, 14th-16th Centuries.” The conference featured plenary lectures from María Mercedes Carrión (Emory), David Nirenberg (Chicago), and Cynthia Robinson (Cornell). For more information and the schedule, see

October 21, 2010: David Nirenberg, Professor of History at the University of Chicago, delivered the keynote address titled “The Unbearable Judaism of Medieval Spain” on Thursday, October 21 at 5:45 pm in the Scales Fine Arts Center 102 .

October 7, 2010: Matthew Gallagher, class of 2005 history major, spoke at 5:00 pm in DeTamble auditorium on his wartime experiences in Iraq during 2007-2008 while serving in the United States Army. Prior to his talk, Gallagher was available at the campus bookstore to sign copies of his recently published memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War (Da Capo Press, 2010).

October 7, 2010: Legal scholar Professor Elisabeth Oliver of Louisiana State University spoke at 4:30 pm in Tribble Hall A209. This event was hosted by the Wake Forest Medieval Studies Group.

September 27, 2010: All History Majors/Minors, Faculty, Staff, and prospective History Majors/Minors were invited to the History Department picnic held at the Tribble Hall Courtyard (outside area between Tribble & Benson) during 4:00-5:30 pm. This event was sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta.

September 22, 2010: Kathleen DuVal, Associate Professor of History at UNC, Chapel-Hill, spoke on “Independence Lost: The Gulf Coast and the Coming of the American Revolution” at 6:00 pm in DeTamble auditorium. Students were invited to join Professor DuVal for an informal discussion and coffee in the history lounge before her talk, at 4:45.