David Goldstein, Urban Fellow with the National Park Service, speaks at the 2016 History Forum.

David Goldstein, Urban Fellow with the National Park Service, speaks at the 2016 History Forum.

Past History Forums


The Big 500 Year Old Lie: Behind the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs

Dr. Matthew Restall, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Anthropology, and Director of Latin American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University
Link to recording 

Everything that you know about the Aztec Empire and its destruction about spanish conquestidors is likely wrong. Ever since the world-changing event its history has been built upon a great deception. What is the big lie? How could it survive so long? What really happened in Mexico exactly 5 centuries ago? To find out, join Matthew Restall at Duquesne University's History Forum. 


The Race to the Moon: New Perspectives for the 50th Anniversary

Dr. Bill Barry, NASA's 6th Chief Historian presented on "The Race to the Moon."
October 16, 2019
Photo Album

Prepare for some surprises because there really was a race to the moon in the 1960's--- and it was a lot closer than you think. With a perspective of 50 years, and the insight coming from classified Soviet and U.S. archival materials, we now know more about this story, challenging the popular narritive.  Hear more the the NASA's Chief Historian, Bill Barry, At Duquesne University's annual History Forum. 


The Times and Spaces of 1968

Dr. Julian Bourg, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Core at Boston College, presented "The Times and Spaces of 1968."
October 24, 2018
Photo Album

In 1968, the world was on fire. Youth protests, civil unrest, and government repression spread around the globe. For the History Department's 52nd annual History Forum lecture, Boston College Associate Professor of History Dr. Julian Bourg lectured on "The Times and Spaces of 1968" and the ways in which the legacies of the Sixties continue to shape our politics and culture today. The lecture took place on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 in Duquesne's Africa Room. 


America and the Road to War 1914-1917

Dr. Michael Neiberg, Chair of the War Studies and Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA presented "America and the Road to War 1914-1917."
October 23, 2017
Photo Album

On Monday, October 23, 2017, the Department of History held its 51st Annual History Forum. This year, the event was held at Duquesne University's Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom, Power Center, Fifth Floor. Dr. Michael Neiberg, Chair of the War Studies and Professor of History at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA will present "America and the Road to War 1914-1917."

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into the First World War. Pittsburgh native and critically acclaimed author Michael Neiberg will trace the long and torturous path to American involvement, showing how the public debates over this "War to End All Wars" centered on issues such as morality, economics, and the very nature of American identity.


"Preserving the City: Seen and Unseen" 

November 5, 2016

  • Keynote Lecture: "Mapping Untold Stories of the Urban Landscape in Philadelphia and Detroit: 100 Years of National Park Service"
    Helen Mahan and David Goldstein, Urban Fellows, National Park Service (NPS)
  • Roundtable Discussion: Susan Rademacher (Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy), Albert Tannier (Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation), Mahan, and Goldstein
Photo Album

On Saturday, November 5, 2016, the Department of History held its 50th Annual History Forum. This year, the event was held at the Blakey Center in Pittsburgh's historic Hill District. Helen Mahan and David Goldstein, both urban fellows for the National Park Service, presented "Mapping Untold Stories of the Urban Landscape in Philadelphia and Detroit: 100 Years of National Park Service."

In addition, a roundtable discussion addressed issues of urban history and preservation in Pittsburgh and beyond. Panelists included Mahan, Goldstein, Susan Rademacher, parks curator for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and Albert Tannier, historical collections director for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.


"Medicare at 50: The Public and Private Roots of America's Best Known Health Insurance Program"

Dr. Christy Ford Chapin, Assistant Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
October 21, 2015

Photo Album

The 2015 History Forum was about the U.S. healthcare system's mixture of governmental and market authority. Chapin addressed how the insurance company model positioned corporations at the center of the health care system and shaped the development of public programs such as Medicare. Even though this model created cost and quality of care problems, its legacy lives on in the Affordable Care Act.


"The American Civil War: Conflicting Views of Faith and Freedom"

Ms. Barbara Franco, President and Executive Director, Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum
October 9, 2014
Photo Album

The 2014 History Forum talk was about the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum's exhibit and its focus on issues of faith and freedom in the 19th century. Ms. Franco explored how the religious foment, innovation and change wrought by the Second Great Awakening influenced thinking about moral issues of war and slavery, and how Americans of all faiths who met at Gettysburg grappled not only with life and death but with divergent ideas of faith and freedom that would shape the nation's future. By addressing religious beliefs, she suggests new ways for historians and the public understand and interpret Civil War history.


"Without the Paraphernalia of Projector, Reel, and Screen: Maps and the Practice and Presentation of History in the 21st Century"

Dr. Robert K. Nelson, Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond
October 23, 2013
Photo Album

Dr. Robert K. Nelson, Director, Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond, directed and developed a number of digital humanities projects, including "Mining the Dispatch," "Redlining Richmond," and the History Engine. He's currently working on two projects. One uses a text-mining technique called topic modeling to analyze nationalism in Civil War newspapers. The other is a multi-year, collaborative project to develop an extensive digital atlas of American history.


"Hanging Bankrupts: The Early History of Credit, Crime, and Capitalism"

Dr. Julie Hardwick, University of Texas--Austin
September 20, 2012
Photo Album

Dr. Hardwick-author of Family Business: Litigation and the Political Economies of Daily Life in Early Modern France-explores how bankruptcy in France in the late 1500s became a capital
crime, a felony punishable by death. With these legislative actions, governments sought to manage the novelty of the rapid expansion of credit. The security of the rights of creditors was essential to the transformation of the economy we know today as capitalism, but the changes inherent in that development were also sources of great anxiety about the potential destabilization expanded credit posed to communities. Legal investigations into possible cases of bankruptcy revealed how men's and women's expanded use of credit presented commercial opportunity, financial peril and possibly legal jeopardy for spouses, families, and communities.


"Awaiting the Sirens' Call: American Encounters with Disaster Planning from Hiroshima to 9/11"

Dr. David F. Krugler, University of Wisconsin--Platteville
September 15, 2011
Photo Album

Dr. David F. Krugler, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin--Platteville and an instructor in the Master of American History and Government degree program at Ashland University in Ohio, received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1997. A historian of the modern United States, his research interests include Cold War propaganda, civil defense and continuity of government, and race relations. Krugler is the author of The Voice of America and the Domestic Propaganda Battles, 1945-1953 (University of Missouri Press, 2000) and This Is Only a Test: How Washington, D.C., Prepared for Nuclear War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Currently, he is finishing a book entitled, The Long 1919: African Americans' Fight Against Mob Violence after World War I. He is the past recipient of research grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the White House Historical Association. In Spring 2011, he was a fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2010 (Fall)

"Belfast Boys: Uniting a Divided City During World War I"

Dr. Richard Grayson, University of London
October 21, 2010

Dr. Richard Grayson is an expert in history and politics of the twentieth century with a particular interest in Ireland and the First World War. He is the author of Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War (Continuum 2009); Liberals, International Relations and Appeasement: the Liberal Party, 1919-39 (London: Frank Cass, 2001); and Austen Chamberlain and the Commitment to Europe: British Foreign Policy, 1924-29 (London: Frank Cass, 1997). Professor Grayson is also the co-editor of the journal Irish Political Studies and is developing a number of other projects related to Britain, Ireland and the First World War. Professor Richard Grayson teaches at Goldsmiths College at the University of London.

2010 (Spring)

"Honey, I'm Going to See a Magistrate: Rethinking Women and Political Action in the 19th-Century South"

Dr. Laura Edwards, Duke University
March 18, 2010

Dr. Laura Edwards, author of The People and Their Peace: Legal Culture and the Transformation of Inequality in the Post-Revolutionary South (University of North Carolina Press, 2009). She is the recipient of the 2009 American Historical Association's prize for the best book on law and society.


"The Confederate Battle Flag: The History and Meanings of a Controversial Symbol"

Dr. John M. Coski, Museum of the Confederacy
March 19, 2009

Dr. John M. Coski is a historian and Director of Library and Research at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. His most recent book is The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem (Harvard University Press, 2005). He is also the co-editor and principal writer for The Museum of the Confederacy Magazine and The Museum of the Confederacy Newsletter.


"The First Enron: The Death of Ivar Kreuger and Origins of White-Collar Crime"

Dr. Christopher McKenna, Saïd School of Business, Oxford University
March 4, 2008

Dr. Christopher McKenna is Professor of Business History at the Saïd School of Business, Oxford University, and author of The World's Newest Profession.


"The Civil Rights Movement: Personal Reflections from the Front Lines"

Dr. Paul Von Blum, University of California--Los Angeles
February 22, 2007

Dr. Paul Von Blum, Senior Lecturer in African American Studies, Communication Studies, and Art History at the University of California--Los Angeles, and author of Resistance, Dignity, and Pride: African American Artists in Los Angeles.


"Lessons of the Iraq War"

Dr. Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University
March 16, 2006

Dr. Andrew J. Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University, and author of American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U.S. Diplomacy and The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced By War.