Dr. Timothy M. Roberts

Department Chair

email | vita

Read Dr. Roberts's China blog at www.robertsinchina.WORDPRESS.com

Fulbright Award Winner -- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow


Dr. Timothy Roberts joined the Department in the Fall of 2008 as a historian of nineteenth-century American history. He received his D.Phil. in 1998 from the University of Oxford. From 2002 until 2008 he was an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, where he served as the Coordinator for the U.S. History program. He regularly offers Western's courses on American Legal History [History 303], American Military History [History 304], and the Civil War Era [History 352], as well as the first half of the U.S. survey [History 105]. He also teaches graduate seminars on nineteenth-century U.S. history and public history. He has developed new courses on "America in the World" and on the history of modern slavery and abolition. In 2012 he led the first WIU study abroad group to Turkey. Roberts co-founded an anti-human trafficking group on the WIU campus, Western Against Slavery, and was the faculty advisor for WIU's chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society from fall 2012 to spring 2013 and from fall 2014 to spring 2017.

Dr. Roberts has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright Lecture Award to teach at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He previously was awarded two Andrew Mellon Foundation Research Fellowships, two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)/American Library Association (ALA) grants, and the Joan Nordell Visiting Fellowship from Harvard University's Houghton Library. He has been selected to participate in two NEH Summer Institutes, and in 2006 won the Ralph D. Gray Best Article Prize from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. In 2015 he won WIU's Provost Award for Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus.

Prof. Roberts's research focuses on nineteenth-century U.S. and Atlantic history. His first book, Distant Revolutions: 1848 and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism , was published by the University of Virginia Press in July 2009. In 2012 he co-edited American Exceptionalism, 4 Volume collection (London: Chatto & Pickering, 2012) a collection of annotated documents on the history of American exceptionalism. He has published articles and book reviews in the American Historical Review, the Journal of American History, Diplomatic History, and the Journal of the Early Republic, Patterns of Prejudice, and the Journal of the Historical Society. He has also written for the History News Network, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Diplomat . His newest book, "The Infernal War": The Civil War Letters of William and Jane Standard, was published by Kent State University Press in 2018.