Department of History Newsletter
moments in history
Department of History
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Moments in history
History has its eyes on you
Publishing & Presenting
Spring turns to summer, which comes on with a vengeance. Classes are finished, graduates are disseminated around the globe with unique skills acquired from the study of history. Faculty are off to conduct research. Books are finished, new projects begun. New classes are in preparation based in cutting edge pedagogy. And soon, it all begins again! Have a productive summer everyone.
Photo illustration by John T. Consoli; photos by John T. Consoli/University of Maryland and Sabrina Alcorn Baron unless otherwise noted. Copyright Department of History, 2019.
Department of History Newsletter
AIP $1 million Endowment
Department of History/American Institute of Physics Partnership
The American Institute of Physics' $1 million gift to the College of Arts and Humanities will establish an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and support the appointee’s humanistic and scientific research and scholarship.
See full story in Maryland Today, April 25, 2019 here. Photo illustration by John T. Consoli; photos by Sabrina Alcorn Baron.
The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has pledged $1 million to the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) to work to discover the history of scientific discovery while illuminating complex societal issues that scientists and scholars in the humanities both face.
The gift establishes an endowed professorship in the history of natural sciences and supports research and scholarship through a partnership with AIP’s Center for History of Physics. Collaborations with AIP staff and member societies will encourage deeper insight into the nature and origin of the physical sciences and their impact on society.
"Bringing the sciences and humanities together is important for telling not only the compelling history of discovery, but also inspiring the next generation of scholars in both fields," said Michael Moloney, chief executive officer of AIP, based in Greater College Park’s Discovery District. "This partnership will help us cultivate a diverse and inclusive community."
The ARHU faculty appointment is an opportunity to apply interdisciplinary approaches to complex global issues, like the renewed debate on nuclear energy, said Peter Wien, professor and interim chair of the History Department.
"Both humanists and scientists are rooted in the concerns and debates of contemporary culture," Wien said. "A scientist might measure the impact of nuclear contamination or devise new methods for storing nuclear waste, whereas a historian might critically engage with the history of how nuclear energy was developed or trace how popular opinion about certain kinds of energy have changed over time. When students learn to put these two approaches in conversation with each other, they gain a deeper understanding of the problems that all of humanity is facing today."
“Universities nationwide, including Maryland, are exploring new ways to integrate arts and humanities disciplines with the sciences; the AIP gift supports efforts by the College of Arts and Humanities to increase interdisciplinary learning opportunities,” said Bonnie Thornton Dill, ARHU dean as well as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s committee on the integration of STEM, Humanities and Arts. “History helps us understand the processes and people that have shaped science. AIP's generosity will provide extraordinary learning opportunities for students, preparing them with the diverse competencies and knowledge that employers today seek.”
In addition to collaborating with AIP on conferences and public lectures, the new History professor will have access to AIP’s Niels Bohr Library and Archives, as well as the recently acquired Wenner Collection of 4,000 rare books, manuscripts, and publications documenting important discoveries in physics and physical sciences over the past five hundred years. “There are many stories in the history of science that have not been told,” said Moloney. “In collaboration with UMD, one challenge is to use these collections to tell the story of discovery in a way that we hope will inspire the next generation of scientists and historians and especially contribute to our goal of greater inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in our field.”
AIP/History of Natural Sciences Professorship
The AIP endowment helps to fund a professorship in the History of Natural Sciences. To fill this position, the UMD HIstory Department has hired Melinda Baldwin. Baldwin holds the PhD in History from Princeton University. Her work focuses on the cultural and intellectual history of science since 1800, especially the area of scientific communication. She has held a postdoctoral position at York University and has been a teaching fellow at Harvard University. Baldwin is currently an editor at Physics Today. In 2015, she published a monograph titled Making "Nature": The History of a Scientific Journal with the University of Chicago Press. Baldwin will join the History Department in the fall.
About The American Institute of Physics (AIP)
The American Institute of Physics is a nonprofit federation of professional societies that serves the broad physical science community through programs in news, advocacy, student programs, careers, awards, outreach, statistics, history and more. AIP publishes Physics Today, the most closely followed magazine in the physical sciences, and it owns AIP Publishing, a nonprofit scholarly publisher that serves the physical sciences community through scholarly publishing activities. Read more about AIP here.
History has its eyes on you
Celebrating the retirements of Miles Bradbury, Robert Friedel, and Whit Ridgway
Headline Goes Here
Department of History Newsletter
Barkley Brown honored as faculty mentor
Elsa Barkley Brown is being honored as a faculty mentor in the Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar Program. One of Elsa's students, Paula Molina Acosta, a rising senior in the College of Arts and Humanities, has been chosen as a 2019-2020 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. Paula named Elsa as the faculty mentor who has had the greatest impact on her academic achievement. The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program honors the University of Maryland’s most successful seniors and their designated University faculty mentors. The Merrill Presidential Scholars Program builds a community of scholars, faculty members, and K-12 teachers who recognize and celebrate the importance of teaching and mentoring the next generation of teachers and scholars.
Cameron book wins award
Department of History Newsletter
Sarah Cameron's book, The Hungry Steppe, is the winner of the Joseph Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies. This prize is awarded annually by the Association for the Study of Nationalities for an outstanding book in any discipline published in the previous calendar year on Russia, Eastern Europe or
Eurasia (including the Balkans, Central Europe, the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkey, Afghanistan, and China) in which substantial attention is paid to questions of ethnicity and/or nationalism. Congratulations Sarah!
Department of History
Read more about the Fulbright Scholar Program here.
Kosicki to mentor Fulbright scholar
Piotr Kosicki has been chosen to mentor a Visiting Fulbright Scholar that the History Department will host beginning in Fall 2019. The scholar, from Slovenia, is Maja Lukanc (University of Ljubljana). She is a specialist in modern Polish and Yugoslav history, currently writing about American foreign policy toward these two countries in the 1940s and 1950s. Piotr hopes she will have the opportunity to give at least one talk in order to share her research with the department.
New Staff Senator
Lisa Klein, Director of Finance for the History Department, since 2015, has been elected as a Staff Senator in the University Senate. She has been very active in in the Department, as well as in the College of the Arts and Humanities, where she served as co-chair of the College’s staff council. She said she decided to run for senate so she could continue the work of representing her colleagues on a larger level.
“What I care about is that staff have a voice on campus,” Klein said. “There are a lot of avenues for faculty and students to address concerns on campus, and multiple different ways to do that, but not a lot for staff. As I view it, the staff are the bedrock, the foundation of how faculty and students can be successful.”
Read The Diamondback story about new Senators for 2019-2020 here.
Rick Bell published an essay in the May 29, 2019 issue of LEO Weekly. Titled "Fact or Fantasy? How ‘Hamilton’ Remixes American History," the essay continues Rick's examinations of the intersection of Colonial American History and Broadway musical. Read the essay here.
Antoine Borrut's new essay on itinerant kingship, caliphal mobility, and the construction of space in early Islam just came out: “Pouvoir mobile et construction de l'espace dans les premiers siècles de l’islam,” in S. Destephen, J. Barbier et F. Chausson (dir.), Le gouvernement en déplacement: Pouvoir et mobilité de l'Antiquité à nos jours (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2019), 243-67.
David Freund published an essay called "Money Matters," which appeared May 21, 2019 in "The Metropole," the official blog of The Urban History Association. David discusses a new book chapter, "State Building for a Free Market" published in Shaped by the State: Toward a New Political History of the Twentieth Century, Brent Cebul, Lily Geismer, and Mason B. Williams, eds. (Univeristy of Chicago Press, 2019). His new book project is also discussed in the essay. Read the full essay here.
Robert Friedel contributed to a story published in Huffpost: impact May 16, 2019. By XiaoShi Lim, the essay is titled "How Postwar Ads Got Us Hooked On ‘Disposable’ Single-Use Plastic." It discusses how brands encouraged a throwaway culture that’s now drowning the world in trash. Read the complete story here.
Sonya Michel published an essay in the April 23, 2019 edition of The American Interest: 202 Vision titled "The Child Care Primary." Sonya considers how a candidate field full of females for 2020 elections could restart a vital national debate. Read the full essay here.
PEOPLE WHO SEE IT ONSTAGE CAN THEN GO FIND A HISTORY BOOK TO LEARN MORE; KIDS CAN JUST GO ASK THEIR TEACHERS. SHOULDN'T PROFESSIONAL HISTORIANS LIKE ME BE SATISFIED WITH THAT?
Warren’s proposal has already generated lively debate on the Left as well as the Right, with some surprising convergence.
Image is Mother and Child by Julius Gari Melchers. Art Institute of Chicago.
Sonya Michel published an article in the April 23, 2019 issue of The American Interest Featured in 2020 Vision, the article is titled "The Child Care Primary." It discusses how a presidential candidate field full of women might revive a vital national debate on childcare. Read the article here.
Sabrina Baron presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America April 2019 held in Washington, DC. Part of the SAA Horizons session titled Shakespeare and a Living Wage, the panel was organized by Amanda Bailey, chair of the UMD English Department and also featured a paper by Maggie Ray (PhD, English, UMD). Sabrina's paper was titled "Shakespeare, Bacon, and the Contingent."
For the second consecutive year, Sabrina was a book in the Human Library as part of the UMD Maryland Day celebration. This was the 21st year for the event where families, friends, and students can explore fearless ideas. The Human Library features books on topics of current social issues. Each book can be checked out by readers who want to learn more about its subject.
Sabrina also gave a talk in the popular Profs & Pints series, organized by Peter Schmidt, at the Bier Baron Tavern in Washington, DC. Her talk was titled "The Real Game of Thrones" and attempted to shed light on actual historical events and persons that inspired George R. R. Martin.
Antoine Borrut on March 29, offered some concluding remarks and moderated the general discussion of the Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Studies Workshop entitled “Resourcing Archives: New Research on Old Data—Reception and Formation in Late Antique Syria-Palestine” (co-organized by Konstantina Karterouli, Gideon Avni, and Alan Walmsley).
He organized a workshop entitled “Problematic Pasts: Revisionism in Current Spanish Scholarship” on April 24 at UMD.
Rick Bell presented four talks in May, June, and July from his popular series considering how the musical Hamilton relates to historical events. The talks have taken him to venues in Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Kentucky.
Rick also delivered a talk on June 5 titled "The African/American Revolution" at Locust Grove Plantation in Louisville, KY. The trip to Louisville also included a talk on Hamilton and an interview about the musical on WHAS television's Great Day Live show. See the interview here.
Rick has also begun a series of talks on the Declaration of Independence. One talk was presented to the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, DC. Another talk in the series on July 1 titled "America's Birth Certificate" was part of the popular Profs & Pints program, also in DC.
On May 31 Rick gave the Keynote Address for the Microhistories of the Civil War Era Conference held at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies located on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA. The talk was titled "A Microhistory on the Move." One of Rick's graduate students also presented at the conference.
Read the conference program here.
Visit Rick's website here.
Holly Brewer presented a paper, “Suffer’d under his Tiranie”: Colonial Governance, feudal law, and the Iberian influence on Slavery in early America & the British empire" to the Early Modern Empires Workshop at Yale University, New Haven, CT, on April 2019.
Holly also gave a Plenary Lecture for Rethinking the Origins of Slavery and Racism in Early America, the 2019 Porter Fortune Symposium at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS in March 2019.
Also in March 2019 Holly gave a Plenary Lecture titled “’Sheathed in Your Own Bowels’”: Monarchy & Slavery Across the British Empire after the Restoration,” at a conference on Contextualizing Justice: John Locke and the Debates over Absolutism and Slavery in England’s Empire as part of an interdisciplinary forum on Empires and Atlantics at the University of Chicago,
David Freund was featured in the May 16, 2019 episode of the Money on the Left segment of Buzzspot podcast. David was talking about "Colored Property & State Debt." Listen to the podcast here.
Saverio Giovacchini and Professor Luka Arsenjuk (Film Studies, UMD) ) discussed the hidden politics of the film Avengers: Endgame with UMD undergraduates as part of the Let's Go to the Movies series.
This series is meant to honor the memory of Lt. Richard Collins III who was murdered on our campus in May 2017.
The documentary evidence that I was encountering showed me that government policy was creating debt instruments .... So public policy was creating wealth....those policies explicitly channeled that new wealth primarily to white people, especially to white men, people of color and single women were usually denied...
"Suffrage was not just a victory for American women; it was a victory for all Americans.
Piotr Kosicki spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center's National History Center in Washington, DC on May 6. His topic was "Catholics on the Barricades: Poland, France and Revolution, 1891-1956."
Robyn Muncy served as a consultant to NARA for its new exhibit, "Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote." The exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1920. At the opening, Robyn received a well-deserved shout-out for her contributions to what has turned out to be a spectacular exhibit.
"Rightfully Hers" will be on view at NARA 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC until January 3, 2021. Go see it, and bring your family, friends, and STUDENTS! See more information on the exhibit here.
Julie Taddeo was a guest on China Global Television Network on May 6 discussing how the royal family generates income for Britain.
Rosemblatt book reviewed
Richter class profiled
Karin Rosemblatt's prize-winning book, The Science and Politics in Mexico an the United States, 1910-1950 (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) was reviewed by New Books Network in May 2019. Read the review here.
Daniel Richter's course, "Cities of Real and Imagined Disaster," was profiled in Maryland Today on May 1, 2019. This is a course for the post-9/11 era. It considers disasters from the 1906 fire in San Francisco to 2017's Hurricane Harvey, with some fantasy thrown in, to explore how societies deal with unexpected disasters. Students in the course also view films like Godzilla and the original King Kong. Richter's course also addresses disasters with "contested meaning" such as the Holocaust and the atomic bombing of Japan. Read more here.
Department of History
Roger Bailey, graduate student in the UMD Department of History presented a paper at the Microhistories of the Civil War Era conference held at the Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech on June 1, 2019. The paper was titled "'Intercourse of the Most Friendly Nature': Levi D. Slamm and William Walker's Invasion of Mexico, 1853-1854." Roger's advisor, Rick Bell also spoke at the conference.
Lauran Michlak, a doctoral candidate in the UMD Department of History (Advisor: Holly Brewer), reviewed a podcast, "In Our Time: The Gordon Riots" for the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies website. The review appeared in the Criticks Reviews section of the site. Read the review here
Melissa Kravetz who earned her PhD from UMD History has a new book available from University of Toronto Press. The book is titled Women Doctors in Weimar and Nazi Germany: Maternalism, Eugenics, and Professional Identity. Kravetz is currently Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Longwood University in Farmville, VA. Read more about the book here.
Photos courtesy of Robyn Muncy
Undergraduate Honors Showcase May 15, 2019
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