About the Center
Center activities are enabled by a generous endowment from Northwestern alum and member of the university's board of trustees Nick CHABRAJA and his wife Eleanor.
Each academic year CCHS hosts:
- five to seven public lunch lectures featuring distinguished and emerging scholars
- four jointly organized major public lectures: NU Library/CCHS lecture on the History of the Book, a lecture in collaboration with the Holocaust Educational Foundation (HEF), a distinguished speaker lecture with the Center for African American History (CAAH), and the Gray Boyce memorial Lecture in Medieval History (in collaboration with the History Department)
- two public conferences (graduate student one-day conferences with an invited eminent historian as a keynote speaker)
- global exchanges for graduate students, usually involving participation in a conference organized by the host institution, at locations outside the USA and at the Evanston campus, jointly sponsored with foreign institutions of higher learning
- other events, such as an ongoing History Department faculty work-in-progress workshop; annual receptions celebrating new books published by NU historians; public lectures by eminent and emerging historians; public panel discussions on the role of history today; and lectures
especiallydesigned to help graduate students deal with professional challenges.
Have a look at our upcoming events. A number of our speakers have been interviewed and their edited interviews can be viewed online on the Center YouTube channel, while our podcasts feature last year's Director, postdoctoral Fellows, and two guest speakers.
The Center community is now strengthened by two Chabraja Postdoctoral Fellows competitively selected from among recent NU History PhDs. The Chabraja Fellows teach courses in the History Department and participate in CCHS activities. In 2018-19 the first Chabraja Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Service was established, allowing a young historian to engage in public history at a non-profit Chicago-area institution.
The CHS has much to offer graduate students in History. Each year the Center selects three T.H. Breen Graduate Fellows. The fellowships are named after the Center's founding director, eminent colonial American historian, Timothy Hall Breen. Two of the Breen Fellows organize one-day faculty and graduate student conferences on a significant historical topic pertinent to their research, with an eminent keynote speaker from outside NU, while the third is in charge of social media/online initiatives of the Center. The Quinn Fellow joins Center associates under joint CCHS and Doris G. Quinn Foundation auspices.
An innovative program of global exchanges (international doctoral workshops) was initiated by the Center in 2008-2009 with events in Ireland and Germany, while in 2015 a graduate student exchange was started with the School of History at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and with the History Department of the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
In association with Chicago and Evanston institutions, the Center sponsors graduate summer research projects (see Graduate Fellowships).
For undergraduates (both History majors and across the university) the CCHS Leopold Fellowship program offers the opportunity and means to work closely with primary historical materials under the guidance of faculty, doing actual archival faculty research and learning how to transform raw data into historical interpretation. The first group of ten undergraduate Leopold Fellows started work in 2008-2009. This has proved to be a very popular program among undergraduates.
In 2018 the Center initiated a new undergraduate course development grant for senior History faculty to create new classes aimed at non-History majors. The first course was taught by Professor Scott Sowerby on "Pirates, Guns and Empire" in the Spring 2019 quarter, while in 2020 Professor Dyan Elliott presciently offered a Winter Quarter course on "The Black Death and Other Pandemics."
SOCIAL MEDIA: To keep up with all of the Chabraja Center's activities, be sure to like our page on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter @ We post information about our events and activities.
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