Center for Historical Studies

The Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies


The center was established in 1999 to create a flourishing environment for the study of history at the University of Maryland. In 2006, the center was renamed the Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, to honor the generous endowment of two Maryland alumni who took a special interest in history.
The center brings together faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff within the university as well as scholars and teachers throughout the state of Maryland and the larger region to discuss important historical issues, both old and new, from ancient times to the present, and pertinent to all areas of the world, from the United States and Europe to Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Through such discussions, the center hopes to increase an appreciation of the importance of historical knowledge in the education of citizens, to underline the significance of universities in producing and disseminating new ways of exploring the world, and to generate excitement about the processes of intellectual inquiry, exchange and debate.
Every year the center runs a seminar series on its annual theme. It sponsors scholarly conferences and works-in-progress seminars with faculty members and it also awards research grants.
For more information,  please call 301.405.4299, or email

Karin Rosemblatt



The Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies

at the University of Maryland

presents the following Fall 2020 Events

 Please register to attend!


Friday, October 16, at 4 pm EST via Zoom


A panel discussion on Slavery Reparations.

With Verene Shepherd (University of West Indies), Marcia Chatelain (Georgetown University) and Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

Part of the Miller Center Series on “Distance”

Panelists address how different constituencies have confronted their perceived distance from slavery and what that implies for efforts to acknowledge and/or repair that past. Participants analyze reparations efforts in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas, and how universities can and should recognize their own involvement.



Monday, October 19 at 4 pm EST via Zoom


A celebration of Ting Zhang's new book Circulating the Code: Print Media and Legal Knowledge in Qing China.

With Ting Zhang (University of Maryland) and Cynthia Brokaw (Brown University)

Exploring the circulation of legal knowledge in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Zhang’s book suggests that commercial legal imprints undermined the imperial state’s monopoly on legal knowledge and helped form a new legal culture that included the free flow of information, the rise of nonofficial legal experts, a large law-savvy population, and a high litigation rate.



Friday, October 30 at noon EST via Zoom


The Archive Question.

Rosie Bsheer (Harvard University) and Ulrike Freitag (Freie Universität Berlin). Moderated by Peter Wien (University of Maryland)

Part of the Miller Center Series on “Truth in History”

In her recently published book Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia Bsheer explores the increasing secularization of the postwar Saudi state following the 1991 Gulf War and how it manifested in assembling a national archive and reordering urban space in Riyadh and Mecca.




Friday, November 6 at noon EST via Zoom


A celebration of Christopher Bonner's new book

Remaking the Republic
Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship

With Christopher Bonner (University of Maryland), Samantha Seeley (Richmond University) and Quincy Mills (University of Maryland)

Bonner’s book suggests that by claiming that they were citizens, Black Americans stood at the center of creating the very meaning of American citizenship. Free African Americans used newspapers, public gatherings, and conventions to make arguments about who could be a citizen, the protections citizenship entailed, and the obligations it imposed.




Friday, December 4 at 3:30 pm EST via Zoom


Feel Normal.

Tung-Hui Hu (University of Michigan)

Part of the Miller Center Series on “Distance”

Tung-Hui Hu takes up newer forms of relationality online. Social scientists have argued that digital algorithms distort the way that social and public life are constituted, creating echo chambers of people who like or believe the same things, rather than authentic communities. But must ‘community’ be morally superior to solitude, disconnection, or even asocial behavior? This talk analyzes what Christine Ross has called the often-messy “contemporary downfalls of being-together.”