USAO history professor earns awards for journalistic efforts

A headshot of Dr. James Finck alongside the black text "Historically Speaking: current events through a historical lens, Dr. James Finck USAO History Professor"
Dr. James Finck’s Historically Speaking op-ed column syndicated in nearly 1,000 publications

Dr. James Finck, professor of history at the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma, has been recognized in recent years for his journalistic writing through both state and national organizations.

Finck began “Historically Speaking,” a column where he discusses pertinent current events alongside examples of similar issues from the past in the beginning of 2019, and since then the column has grown to include subscribers from almost 1,000 newspapers in 15 states. The column can also be found on the web at

“I started writing Historically Speaking because I got tired of hearing the media claim they have never seen this before when talking about politics,” said Finck. “As bad as thing are today, there is nothing that we have not seen before in some way. With all the doom and gloom, I think it helps to remind readers that we have seen hard times before as a nation and have endured.”

In 2021 and 2022, the Oklahoma Society for Professional Journalists awarded Finck second place in personal columns for “Historically Speaking.” This year, the organization awarded him third place for his book review of Mike Pence’s “So Help Me God.” He also received honorable mention from the National Newspaper Association for his review of Sandy Tolan’s “The Lemon Tree.” Both reviews were written for the Southwest Ledger.

A member of the USAO faculty since 2011, Finck teaches all periods of American history, but his specialties are the Civil War and political history. He is the author of “Divided Loyalties: Kentucky's Struggle with Armed Neutrality During the Civil War” and “Images of America: Chickasha,” which were both published in 2012. In 2022, he appeared in the PBS documentary “The Battle of Honey Springs.”

For more information, contact Finck at 405-574-1229 or