Meet Our Faculty

The UIS Department of History faculty consists solely of tenured and tenure-track faculty, ensuring a quality educational experience. Many of our faculty members are award-winning teacher-scholars,  known across the country and around the world for their expertise. Among the departments at UIS, the Department of History boasts the largest number of University Scholar Award recipients, the University of Illinois system’s highest award for scholarship.


Core Faculty

Heather BaileyHeather Bailey

Professor of History
Ph.D. Modern European History
University of Minnesota (2001)

Phone: (217) 206-7189
Office: UHB 3061

Teaching Concentration: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European History, Imperial Russian and Soviet History.

Kristi Barnwell

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D. Modern Middle East History
University of Texas (2011)

Phone: (217) 206-7420
Office: UHB 3073

Teaching Concentration: Modern Middle East (20th century); the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf; Arab nationalism and identity, and gender.


The science of history is the first of sciences,

Perhaps today it is the best of sciences.

The man who knows history does not err,

He does not make brainless statements.

That which is remembered in the world is history,

That which is useful is history.

–A. Kirmani, Kulliyat-i Asar

David Bertaina

Professor of History
Ph.D. Semitic Languages and Literatures
Catholic University of America

Phone: (217) 206-8412
Office: UHB 3059

Teaching Concentration: Late Antiquity, Qur’an to Crusade, Christian-Muslim Encounters, Islamic Civilization, Eastern Christianity, Early Christianity, Judaism-Christianity-Islam, World Religions, and Historical Methods.


Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar, University of Cordoba, Spain, 2021

Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching, 2014

University Scholar Award, 2014


Quotation: “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity.”

–Marcus Tullius Cicero

Michael Burlingame

Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair
in Lincoln Studies
Ph.D. History
Johns Hopkins University

Phone: (217) 206-6779
Office: UHB 3050

Teaching Concentration: Abraham Lincoln; Civil War and Reconstruction


Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize, 1996

The Lincoln Prize, Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, 2010

PROSE Award for Best Book in U.S. History and Biography/Autobiography, Association of American Publishers, 2010

Cecilia Stiles Cornell Cecilia Stiles Cornell

Associate Professor of History; Associate Vice-Chancellor of Graduate Education
Ph.D. History
Vanderbilt University

Phone: (217) 206-7430
Office: UHB 3055

Teaching Concentration: 20th-century U.S. history, U.S. foreign relations, and policy history.


Pearson Faculty Award, 2000

Devin Hunter

Associate Professor of History  Devin Hunter
Ph.D. Public History
Loyola University

Phone: (217) 206-7432
Office: UHB 3056

Teaching Concentration: Public History, Urban History, Twentieth Century United States History

Holly Kent 

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D. History
Lehigh University

Phone: (217) 206-8497
Office: UHB 3064

Teaching Concentration: U.S. women’s history; nineteenth-century U.S. history; fashion history; the history of slavery and abolitionism in U.S.; women’s activism in the U.S.; the family in the U.S.; oral history

Awards: Pearson Faculty Award, 2018

Elizabeth KosmetatouDr. Kosmetatou

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D. Classics
University of Cincinnati

Phone: (217) 206-7428
Office: UHB 3052

Teaching Concentration: Greek (Classical and Hellenistic) and Roman History & Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Ancient Religion, Epigraphy, Numismatics, and Political Psychology.


University Scholar Award, 2015

Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award, 2011


“If you take away the truth out of History, what is left is merely an unprofitable tale.”

–Polybios, I.14 (2nd century BC Greek Historian)

Kenneth Owen

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D. Modern History
Oxford University ken owen

Phone: (217) 206-7439
Office: UHB 3058

Teaching Concentration: Colonial, Revolutionary and Early National America.

Graham A. Peck

Professor Graham Peck

Wepner Distinguished Professor of Lincoln Studies
Ph.D. American History
Northwestern University

Phone: (217) 206-8683
Office: UHB 3062

Teaching concentration: United States History to 1877, United States History from 1877, Illinois History, Historical Methods


Finalist, Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History,  Lincoln Prize, 2018

Illinois State Historical Society Russell P.  Strange Memorial Book of the Year Award,  2018

Illinois State Historical Society Superior Achievement Award, 2015

Abraham Lincoln Institute Hay-Nicolay Scholars Prize, 2003

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award, 1997


Abraham Lincoln is my nam[e]

And with my pen I wrote the same

I wrote in both hast[e] and speed

and left it here for fools to read.

— Abraham Lincoln’s Copybook Verses, circa 1824

Peter Shapinsky
Peter Shapinsky, University Scholar

Professor of History
Ph.D. History
University of Michigan

Phone: (217) 206-6595
Office: UHB 3057

Teaching Concentration: Premodern and Modern East Asian history (China, Japan, Korea); “From Vikings to Hackers: A Pirate’s World History,” “Pacific War: World War II in Asia,”  “Samurai in history and romance;” Historian’s Craft.


University Scholar, 2016


“‘But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually–their paths were laid that way….But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten.’…’I wonder what sort of a tale we’ve fallen into?’ ‘I wonder,’ said Frodo. ‘But I don’t know. And that’s the way of a real tale. Take any one that you’re fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is…but the people in it don’t know. And you don’t want them to.'”

–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Emeriti Faculty

Cullom Davis
Emeritus Professor of History

Robert K. McGregor Robert K. McGregor
Emeritus Professor of History
Ph.D. American History – Environmental Issues

Teaching Concentration: Early American History, Environmental History, and History of England.


University Scholar Award, 2003

Larry Shiner Larry Shiner
Emeritus Professor
Ph.D. Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy
Université de Strasbourg


Teaching Concentration: Modern European History, Art History, the Enlightenment, Greek Philosophy, Cultural History.

William H. SilesSilesBill_000
Emeritus Professor of American History
University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Teaching Concentration: Public history; American Westward Expansion; and American Religious, Urban, and Agricultural History.

In Memoriam

Deborah Kuhn McGregor Deborah Kuhn McGregor
Emerita Associate Professor, History, Women’s Studies, and African-American Studies
Ph.D. History
Binghamton University

Teaching Concentration: United States history—especially 19th-century history—but also United States women’s history, history of the family, history of childhood, oral history.