Cornell Historical Society

Information about Cornell Historical Society

We are an undergraduate organization, founded in 2010, devoted to fostering a community of historically-minded people on campus and connecting this community to the school. We encourage all those interested in History to join, regardless of experience, background or major!  Whether you have only a vague and undefined "interest" in the field of History or instead expect to become the next Jared Diamond or Edward Gibbon, we nevertheless sincerely encourage you to join our community of friends and peers.

We meet to discuss life, happenings on campus and, of course, history. In addition to these informal meetings, we offer and participate in history-related events, such as dinners with professors or museum tours, over the course of the semester and engage with the faculty of the History Department and other humanities departments. Joining CHS is a great way to participate in the historical community at Cornell in a setting different from the classroom, meet professors and others interested in history, and in general have a good time.

CHS provides a History Peer Advising Program for those interested in learning further about the history major and department. If you are an incoming freshman, sophomore, or transfer student looking to connect with upperclassmen in the department, this is a wonderful resource to make your exploration into the history community more informed. We are always looking for advisors as well, so if you want to help welcome the next generation of history-minded Cornellians into our community, shoot us an e-mail!

In addition, CHS publishes an academic historical journal in the Spring called Ezra's Archives. Participation in the journal publication process is completely optional, but it is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience in editing and publishing. The skills learned here are completely different from those learned in a classroom setting and look great on a resume. Participation in the journal publication process is also guaranteed to improve the quality of your own writing.

Above all, CHS is a great way to meet people and get settled into Cornell! Please contact us at for general questions regarding CHS, the History Advising Program, or the journal Ezra's Archives.

CHS Officers

Basia Van Buren, President/Co-Editors-in-Chief of Ezra's Archives.

Sherell Farmer, Co-Vice President/Co-Speaker Series Coordinator. Sherell is a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations pursuing minors in History, Law & Society and Inequality Studies. She focuses on the history of social justice movements in the United States, namely the Civil Rights & Women Rights movements. She is interested in learning how the movements of the past connect to and influence our understandings of justice and activism today. In addition to her work with the Cornell Historical Society, she serves as the Internal Affairs Chair for the Undergraduate Labor Institute, is a brother in Alpha Phi Omega, and involved with Black Students United. Besides her passion for history, Sherell is known to have dance sessions in the library during prelim season when she should instead, be studying.

Karl Mobed, Co-Vice President/Co-Speaker Series Coordinator.

Wesley Kang, Treasurer.

Alex Siegenthaler, Social Chair. Alex is a sophomore History and Chemistry double major who has yet to hone in on a historical focus. What led him to history was a fascination with how narratives are shaped and how groups build their present identities through readings of the past. Alongside Cornell Historical society, he is involved in a professional chemistry fraternity, a choral group, and serves as chorister for a social fraternity. Off-campus, his greatest joy is napping, followed by skiing.

William Biederman, Co-History Advising Program Director.

Zhiyuan Zhou, Co-History Advising Program Director.

Julie Cotton, Co-Editors-in Chief of Ezra's Archives.  Julie is a senior Policy Analysis & Management student with minors in Law & Society and Inequality Studies. She is interested in the history of social inequality and popular culture in 20th century America. In addition to her work with Ezra's Archives, Julie is also a writing tutor with the Knight Writing Institute, a Student Ambassador for the College of Human Ecology, and a research assistant. Off campus, Julie enjoys movie nights with friends and attempting to learn how to bake.