Program Directors

Professor Bryan McCann
Department Chair

As Chair, Bryan McCann is the elected academic and administrative leader of the faculty, staff, and students who comprise the History Department. He manages all faculty matters, including recruitment and hiring, development, mentoring, and evaluation. He directs the day-to-day operations of the department as well as short-term and long-term planning. He is responsible for managing the departmental budget and maintaining faculty and staff personnel records. He presides over departmental meetings, appoints departmental committees, conducts annual performance reviews of staff, and prepares rank and tenure dossiers. He serves as the department’s principle public spokesperson and he provides the essential communication link between the department and other administrative offices within the university. Above all, Professor McCann leads the History faculty in maintaining and enhancing the department’s long-standing record of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Professor Bryan McCann is a social and cultural historian of modern Brazil in the context of Latin America and the world. He received his Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 1999. He has been at Georgetown  since 2002. He teaches courses on Colonial and Modern Latin America, particularly Brazil.  His research interests are eclectic and he has published works on a wide range of topics in modern Brazilian history. A prize-winning author, his books investigate the history of urbanization and the local politics of favela (shanty towns), the history of Brazilian radio and popular music, and the transformation of Brazil since the 1980s. He has been Chair of the Department since 2016.

Professor Tommaso Astarita
Director, Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

Professor Astarita coordinates all academic advising and administration necessary to support the department’s undergraduate program. He oversees course planning and scheduling; works with the Registrar’s Office on course demand issues; and serves as liaison between the department and the College Deans on matters related to undergraduate education. He advises majors and minors in areas such as degree requirements, study abroad, and transfer credits from other institutions. He organizes and presides over the annual History Tropaia award ceremony and he manages enrollment in the History Honors Program. He works with the Chair and the DDS on Teaching Assistant assignments and he organizes collegial visitations of tenure-line, adjunct, and visiting faculty. He participates in important College events such as the Majors Fair, Parents’ Weekend, and the Georgetown Admission Ambassador Program (GAAP) Open House Weekends.

Professor Astarita was born and raised in Naples, Italy. He came to the United States in 1983 to pursue a Ph.D. in History at Johns Hopkins University, which he completed in 1988. He has been at Georgetown since 1989. His research focuses on the social and economic history of early modern Italy, especially the Italian South. He teaches courses on the Renaissance, Italian history, Iberian history, European historiography, music and theater in early modern Europe, the development of individuality in European culture, the city of Rome, and European society and culture in the eighteenth century. He has served several terms as the Director of Undergraduate Studies since 1995 and most recently has been in this position since 2004.

Professor Meredith McKittrick
Director, Masters Program 

Professor McKittrick oversees the department’s two Masters’ programs. As Chair of the Masters’ Program Committee, she supervises the Masters’ admissions process and provides academic leadership for Masters’ program curriculum. She serves as the initial faculty contact for prospective students and primary faculty adviser for enrolled students, ensuring that Masters students remain informed of departmental academic expectations and all degree requirements.

Meredith McKittrick's received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1995 and she has been at Georgetown since 1996. Her research focuses on the social, political, and environmental history of southwestern Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her country expertise is Namibia, although her current research crosses borders into southern Angola, northern Botswana, and southwestern Zambia. She teaches a variety of African history courses, including resistance and rebellion, gender and generation, environmental history, and comparative US-South African history; she's also taught global history and agricultural history. She has been Director of Masters’ Programs since 2014.

Professor Jordan Sand
Director, Doctoral Studies (DDS)

As DDS, Professor Sand oversees the History Ph.D. program. He serves as the primary faculty contact for prospective students, advises new doctoral students, and advocates on behalf of continuing students. He acts as liaison between the department and the Graduate School in matters related to the Ph.D. program, and serves as Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC), overseeing GSC decisions related to graduate recruitment, admissions, and funding. He consults with the Chair and the Director of Undergraduate Studies on Teaching Assistant appointments, schedules graduate courses for the department, ensures the doctoral program portion of the departmental website is up to date, and provides timely communications with doctoral students regarding fellowships, research, and employment opportunities.

Professor Jordan Sand holds a doctorate in history from Columbia University and a Masters degree in architecture history from the University of Tokyo. His research and writing have focused on architecture, urbanism, material culture and the history of everyday life in Japan and in Asia. He is the author of House and Home in Modern Japan (Harvard, 2004), Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects (University of California Press, 2013) and Teikoku Nihon no seikatsu kūkan (Iwanami shoten, 2015). He has taught courses and seminars at the University of Michigan, the University of Tokyo, and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. Between 2009 and 2012, he served as Chair of Georgetown's East Asian Department.