Learn about HAPS faculty

Historical and Political Studies Faculty


Historical & Political Studies faculty bring expertise, passion, and pedagogic creativity to all their teaching activities. Faculty members provide students one-on-one attention in the development of effective research and writing practices.  Department faculty create connections between traditional classroom learning and the world beyond campus by making extensive use of the culturally rich Philadelphia area and by regularly leading international Global Field Studies. During 2012 and 2013 department faculty traveled with our students to Spain, Italy, England, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Ukraine, Serbia, Kosovo, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, China, and South Korea. Belgium, Sierra Leone, Estonia, Latvia, and Russia are among the nations joining this list in 2014.  For all this and more, several department faculty members have received University-wide teaching awards: Bill Jacobsen won the Adjunct Faculty Award in 2014, Geoffrey Haywood won Professor of the Year in 2013, and the Adjunct Faculty Award was awarded to Christopher Cerski in 2012 and to Vance Kincade in 2010.

Advising & Mentoring

Personal attention in the Department of Historical and Political Studies means many things. Students get to know their academic advisers (who are full-time department faculty members) and other department professors and meet with them regularly—to choose courses, to explore study abroad options, to discuss internship and other professional development opportunities, and to get advice about applying to graduate school and presenting research at conferences.


Historical & Political Studies faculty members are engaged and widely-respected scholars pursing ambitious research agendas that enrich the department’s academic environment. For example, Professor Samer Abboud recently published the book Rethinking Hizballah, won an Arab Transformation Fellowship, became a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and has made regular appearances discussing the Syrian conflict on Huffington Post Live and “Radio Times” on WHYY, Philadelphia’s premier public radio station. Professor Jennifer Riggan recently published scholarly articles in American Ethnologist and Africa Today and completed a prestigious two-year National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation fellowship. Professor Hilary Parsons Dick contributed a scholarly article to the edited collection A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism and gave several invited talks, including at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. And Professor Amy Widestrom’s just-completed book Democracy Displaced: Economic Segregation in America will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press later in 2014.


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Historical & Political Studies 
Easton Hall, Room 231

Dr. Peter Siskind, Dept. Chair