Department of History



History Department Profile

The Department of History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies offers a range of courses designed to familiarize students with the past and foster their ability to think clearly and critically, to write effectively, and to read intelligently. Departmental courses cover the breadth of the human experience across the entire North American continent as well as the region’s interaction with the rest of the world -- a complex subject matter that can be retraced in a wealth of archival sources, intricate literature and diverse teaching styles. Students begin by taking introductory survey courses, then sign up for classes helping them to narrow down their specific interest. Courses focus on the history of United States, Canada, the Atlantic World, and the region’s interaction with Africa, the Middle East, Australia and the Pacific Rim. Subjects include but are not limited to politics, diplomacy, minorities, women, economics, intellectual ideas, and law.

The Department offers courses of study leading to the B.A. and the M. A. in North American Studies as well as the Ph.D. degree in history. Our courses are open to students of North American Studies as well as to students of history (Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut). Moreover, students of related fields such as English, political science, international relations, area studies, law and related fields can likewise participate in individual courses after consultation with the instructor. All courses require students to have a Blackboard account.


Freie Universität Berlin
John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies
Department of History
Lansstraße 7-9
14195 Berlin

Front Office
Cyntia Kossmann Room 215)
Telephone +49 30 838 52474


Department Chair
Prof. Jessica Gienow-Hecht

Office Hours

Students or journalists wishing to contact Prof. Gienow-Hecht via email please write first to Cyntia Kossmann at

Prof. Dr. Jessica Gienow-Hecht: Tuesdays: 12 pm - 1pm. 

If you require a letter of recommendation please get in touch 8 weeks BEFORE the deadline. 

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Jobs: Mondays: 5 pm - 6 pm.

Prof. Dr. Sönke Kunkel: Mondays: 5 pm - 6 pm. 

No appointment required -- you can simply stop by during office hours. If you'd like to register your BA/MA thesis: If you simply need a signature on the form, you can leave the form in the office of the History Department and pick it up a week later. You will have to hand it in at the Prüfungsbüro yourself.

Prof. em. Dr. Knud Krakau: appointment via email with description only.

Office hours: (room 215): Mondays 9am - 5 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays 9 a.m - 1 p.m.



Conferences & Calls for Proposals

Jobs & Opportunities