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 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 natural sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, including joint programs with the Schools of Medicine and Law as well as Carnegie Mellon University.

Working closely with department chairs and program directors as well as the Dietrich School’s Graduate Council, Dean Hoock offers leadership on graduate recruitment, admissions, retention, and degree completion, student funding and support services, academic policy, curricula, program development and assessment, and data transparency and data-informed decision making. 

He has created new opportunities to connect directly with students via regular newsletters, open fora, themed lunches, and a monthly office hour 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, strengthen the professional development and career preparation of graduate students – including as PI of an $1.5M A.W. Mellon Foundation grant, Humanities Engage – and the tracking of alumni career outcomes. He shepherds initiatives to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our graduate student population and in graduate education, 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, shepherds the school's transition to robust holistic admissions processes, secured additional support for women in STEM, and has overseen improved mentoring for bridge students. To support graduate student success holistically, Hoock leads on initiatives to enhance a culture of excellence in graduate mentoring and support graduate student mental wellness.

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; and represents the School on shared governance bodies such as University Research Council, Data Governance Committee, and IRB Review Committee.

Professional Biography

A first-generation graduate student, 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 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; transl. in preparation: 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: 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 multiple 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 Library of Congress, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Konstanz. 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, among others, 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.