Portrait image of Benjamin Scharff
Benjamin Scharff

Chair, Thomas B. Hagen Department of History; Associate Professor

Contact Information

OFFICE: Preston 118
PHONE: 814-824-2326

Dr. Scharff is currently working on publishing his dissertation entitled “Busy Mischievous Fellows": Imperial Agency in Pennsylvania During the Seven Years’ War, which examines the interaction of Pennsylvanians and British agents of authority in the colony in the mid-eighteenth century.  His teaching and research interests include colonial America, the early British Empire, and historic Native American communities. He also works closely on public history projects with students and local organizations, including the Fort LeBoeuf Historical Society, the Robert H. Jackson Center, the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Flagship Niagara League among others. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Flagship Niagara League and is the President of the Pennsylvania Historical Association. Dr. Scharff also runs an experiential learning opportunity aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara and serves as the advisor for the department’s Phi Alpha Theta national honor’s society.

About Dr. Scharff
    • Ph.D., History, West Virginia University, 2014
    • M.A., History, Slippery Rock University, 2006
    • B.A., History, Wake Forest University, 2003
    • Colonial and Revolutionary America, Native America, the Early Republic, British Empire, and public history, experiential learning
    • HIS 101: US History to 1865
    • HIS 145: European History to the Renaissance
    • HIS 146: European History since the Renaissance
    • HIS 200: Waves of the Past, Leaders for the Future
    • HIS 211: Colonial America
    • HIS 212: Revolutionary America
    • HIS 213: Early Republican America
    • HIS 215: American Indian History
    • HIS 235: Introduction to Public History and Museum Studies
    • HIS 301: Historical Methods and Historiography
    • HIS 480: Senior Seminar in History
    • US History I
    • Western Civilization II
    • Colonial America
    • Revolutionary America
    • Early Republican America
    • Native North America
    • British Empire
    • Introduction to Museum Studies
    • Historic Preservation
    • Colonial America, public history
    • Student Research [Performance/Exhibition] Opportunities
    • Phi Alpha Theta regional and national conferences
    • Public history project partnerships
    • Pennsylvania Historical Association—President
    • Flagship Niagara League—Trustee
    • National Council of Public History—Member
    • "Busy Mischievous Fellows:” Imperial Agency in Pennsylvania During the Seven Years’ War, under contract.
    • Review of “Mary Jemison’s Environment’s: Capture, Adoption, Immersion,” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies.
    • Plenary session of the PHA annual conference, “A Shared Heritage: A Collaborative Community Approach to Celebrating Erie County’s African American History.”
    • “A Tale of Tails: Erie County and the Fur Trade,” Blasco Library.
    • “To Pursue Happiness in Their Own Way: The Indian Removal Act and the Failure of the American Promise,” Blasco Library.
    • Contributing Historian, Gospel Hill Cemetery Field Survey, December 21, 2022, Erie, Pennsylvania.  Conducted as part of the Pennsylvania African American Cemetery Survey coordinated by Dr. Steven Burg in coordination with the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office's Baseline Survey Project, 2020-2024.
    • Diversity and Inclusion Grant
    • Erie Arts and Cultures Grant
    • AIM Champion Award
    • Instructor of the Year, West Virginia University
    • PA Museums Special Achievement Award