Welcome to the University of Oregon History Department. We are a group of approximately thirty scholars and teachers with a passion for understanding the past in all its dimensions. Our distinguished and innovative faculty offers courses and conducts research on the history of classical antiquity, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, colonial North America and the United States, and the world as a whole.
Undergraduate history majors learn about the variety of human experience over time and, in so doing, acquire analytical and writing skills that prepare them for success in numerous areas of work and study. History graduate students become immersed in the latest scholarship and develop research projects that contribute in significant ways to an understanding of the past. They play a vital role in the department’s teaching mission as well.
We invite you to browse our website and read about recent activities from the department. Please feel free to contact us for more information.
In memory of Louise Carroll Wade (1928-2016)
On February 17, our friend and colleague, professor emerita Louise Carroll Wade, passed away, just a few days before eighty-eighth birthday.
Louise grew up in Toledo, Ohio. She held a B.A. from Wellesley College and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. She had been married to Richard Wade, an eminent urban historian at the University of Chicago. After their divorce, she came west to Eugene, driving here in 1975 in a bright gold VW Beetle that announced her presence for some years thereafter.
At the University of Oregon, Professor Wade taught a wide variety of courses in American history, notably in the fields of labor, social and urban history. As a teacher of both undergraduates and graduate students she was known for her careful preparation, infectious enthusiasm in the classroom, and concern for her students’ success. Before her arrival at the University of Oregon, she had published Graham Taylor: Pioneer for Social Justice 1851-1938 (University of Chicago Press, 1964). In 1987, Chicago’s Pride: The Stockyards, Packingtown, and Environs in the Nineteenth Century appeared. A meticulous study of living and working conditions, it challenged long-standing stereotypes about this iconic Chicago setting. She soon followed the book with an influential article that counterpoised her research on Packingtown and the Stockyards with the Upton Sinclair’s portrait in The Jungle and suggested that Sinclair’s novel worked better as fiction and propaganda than as reliable history. Despite the range of her teaching, urban history was her primary scholarly concern. Although Chicago had been the focus of much of her research, her definition of the field was wide enough to encompass Eugene, and she had done substantial research on this city’s history. She complemented her book projects with many articles and book reviews.
Soon after her retirement, Louise Wade endowed the Benjamin H. Carroll and Louise L. Carroll Visiting Professorship in Urbanization, named in honor of her parents. Rotating among the History, Political Science and Geography Departments, it has brought eminent senior and promising junior scholars of cities to campus to teach undergraduates and graduate students alike and to deliver public lectures on topics in urban studies. The Carroll Professorship has been a valued institution on campus since it was instituted in 2000.
Louise Wade’s scholarship, teaching and service to the University of Oregon and the profession reflected her character. Louise was forthright and direct but always good humored and gracious. She will be sorely missed, and her contributions to the Department and the University will remind us always of a valued colleague and dear friend.
Professor Emeritus, Department of History
University of Oregon