UW-Madison Department of History: George Mosse Remembers
Mosse (b.1918 d.1999) taught European history at Madison from 1955 to 1989, and made enormous contributions to scholarship on Judaism, nationalism, and sexuality. The current Humanities building - as well as endowed programs in history and LGBTQ studies - bear testament to his legacy at UW-Madison.
Speaking to Smail, Mosse described American history at Madison as “American history as seen from South Dakota” and attributed the esteem garnered by historians within this field to the novelty of this vantage point.
He described “ups and downs” in the department’s reputation and remarked on its recent “revival,” which he attributed to the experimental work of colleagues such as Gerda Lerner. Mosse concluded by boasting of the renewal of Wisconsin’s reputation as a “screwball” department and his efforts to ”keep that flag flying.”
Will the current Department of History retain its “screwball” image? Only history will tell!