About Dean Holger Hoock

Dean Holger Hoock

Holger Hoock is a passionate and effective advocate for graduate students and graduate education across the disciplines as well as an internationally recognized historian of Britain and the British Empire.

Associate Dean Role

As Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Holger Hoock provides oversight of Ph.D., MS, MA, and MFA programs and degrees in 30 departments and in interdisciplinary programs across the mathematical, physical, and life sciences, the social sciences, as well as arts and humanities, including joint programs with the Schools of Computing and Information, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Public Health as well as Carnegie Mellon University.

Collaborating closely with department chairs and program directors, the Dietrich School’s Graduate Council of faculty and student representatives, student leaders, and other stakeholders, Dean Hoock offers leadership on graduate recruitment, admissions, retention, and degree completion, student funding and support services, academic policy, program development and assessment, and data transparency and data-informed decision making. 

He has created new opportunities to connect directly with students via newsletters, open fora, themed lunches, and office /Zoom hours to learn first-hand about the graduate student experience at Pitt.

Hoock leads efforts to promote the value of graduate education for diverse career paths, strengthening the professional development and career preparation of graduate and especially doctoral students – including as PI of an $1.5M Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, Humanities Engage. He shepherds initiatives to enhance access, equity, diversity and inclusive excellence and to sustain a climate of integrity and respect. Hoock has helped establish gender-inclusive application processes, stimulated a productive conversation about the use of the GRE (now no longer considered by the vast majority of our graduate programs), shepherds the school's transition to robust holistic admissions processes, and has overseen enhanced support and mentoring for women in STEM and for bridge program students. To support graduate student success holistically, Hoock leads initiatives to enhance a culture of excellence in graduate mentoring, support graduate student mental health, and prevent sexual misconduct at the University of Pittsburgh. 

As Associate Dean for Research, Hoock leads faculty development in grant writing and preparing funding proposals for grants, contracts, and philanthropic gifts; oversees support for faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity across the Humanities and Social Sciences; collaborates with the Offices of the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research on limited institutional submissions; and represents the Dietrich School on shared governance bodies.

Professional Biography

The first in his family to complete 4-year College and pursue graduate education, Hoock (b. 1972) studied history, political science, and law at the Universities of Freiburg, Germany, and Cambridge, U.K., and earned his doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford, U.K. (2001). He subsequently taught at the Universities of Cambridge and Liverpool, where he also founded an interdisciplinary research center for Eighteenth-Century Studies across multiple departments and national museums. In 2010, he moved to the J. Carroll Amundson Chair in British History at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds an affiliated faculty appointment in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and is affiliated with the programs in Cultural Studies and European Studies.

Hoock’s award-winning publications include three monographs: Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth (New York, 2017; e-book, audio 2017; pbk. 2018; trsl.: Chinese, Spanish); Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750–1850 (London, 2010); The King’s Artists: The Royal Academy of Arts and the Politics of British Culture, 1760–1840 (Oxford, 2003; pbk. 2005). From 2014 to 2017, Hoock edited the interdisciplinary Journal of British Studies (CUP). He serves on numerous editorial boards and has consulted for museums, galleries, and TV. An elected Fellow of the UK's Royal Historical Society, Hoock has held numerous international fellowships, including at the Kluge Center of the U.S. Library of Congress, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Freiburg i.Br., Germany, and is the recipient of the UK’s Philip-Leverhulme-Prize for internationally recognized young researchers (2006). His books have been profiled in the New York Times, New Yorker, NPR, WSJ, Economist, Boston Globe, International Business Times, the UK's Guardian, Financial Times, Telegraph, and Spectator, as well as in Vanity Fair and Lenny Letter. In 2019, Scars of Independence featured as the named source of a Jeopardy! clue.