Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The History Club has been very active lately. On Halloween Friday, the History Club visited a third grade class at West Mastin Lake Elementary School in Huntsville. President Veronica Ferreira brought goodie bags full of healthy treats, and member Craig Noneman talked to students about how Halloween started, how Irish immigrants brought Halloween with them to the New World, how trick-or-treating came about, why people make Jack-o-lanterns, and how Americans began the practice of carving pumpkins. Students then asked a lot of questions.
The History Club also held a successful fundraiser on November 4, Election Day, selling baked goods in Morton Hall and making $120.00. The Club will use the money to organize additional service activities at West Mastin Lake Elementary, one for Presidents' Day in February and for Women's History Month in March.
Great work, History Club!
Pictured here are Craig, Veronica, and Veronica's son Timothy, a member of the third grade class at West Mastin Lake Elementary.
Rusty Hughes, a UAHuntsville History Alum, was recently featured in the Huntsville Times, which described a mock election activity that he organized with all 780 students at Riverton Middle School to help them learn about the electoral college.
According to the article, "Each classroom in the building represents a state, from the largest homeroom designated as California, which has the most electors at 55. Principal Todd Markham's office represents Montana, with its three electoral votes. The students will vote Tuesday by homeroom, or state, and the votes will be tallied to see who wins the election."
Hughes' eighth grade students also hosted a debate with ten students researching Barack Obama's positions and another ten researching those of John McCain.
Hughes teaches seventh grade civics and geography and eighth grade world history.
It is so exciting to see our alums engaging so creatively in the classroom and in their schools! Good work, Rusty!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Molly Johnson's book, Training Socialist Citizens: Sports and the State in East Germany is out! The press is Brill Academic Publisher of Leiden, The Netherlands. Here is the summary from the back of the dust jacket:
"Offering a counterbalance to previous scholarship on elite Olympics sports and doping scandals, this study analyzes how the East German government used participatory sports programs, sports festivals, and sports spectatorship to transform its population into new socialist citizens. It illuminates the power of the East German dictatorship over its population, the ways that citizens participated in, accommodated to, and resisted state goals, and the government's ultimate failure to create eager socialist citizens. It also highlights the orchestration of participation in modern dictatorships, the role of mass participatory sports as both a valuable political tool and a popular leisure activity, and elements of continuity and change in twentieth-century German history."
Congratulations, Molly, we are proud of you!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
On Friday, October 24, UAHuntsville's Tau Omega chapter of the national Phi Alpha Theta history honorary inducted ten new members. Pictured here see Christina Barnett, Ruth Behling, Charity Ethridge, Jamie Farrell, Samatha Hillgartner, Svetlana Jovanov, Jonathon Moore, and Craig Noneman. Robin Flachbart and Lewis Martin were also inducted, but were unable to attend.
Many current PAT members also attended the induction. See here the full group, which includes the new inductees, Faculty Advisor Dr. Molly Johnson, and members Jennifer Staton, Joseph Richardson, Elisabeth Spalding, Charles Westbrook, Sarah Fisher, Dawn Suiter, Jennifer Coe, and Greg Hughes.
Many thanks to UAHuntsville alum, PAT member, and current instructor Barbara Wright for letting us use her home for the ceremony. Thanks also to PAT President Elisabeth Spalding for her help coordinating induction, to Secretary Sarah Fisher, Treasurer Dawn Suiter, and department administrative assistant Bev Gentry for helping set up, and to other PAT members who helped with clean-up.
Congratulations new inductees!
Friday, October 24, 2008
On Friday, October 17, the department celebrated the career of Dr. Lee E. Williams, who retired in June 2008 after 36 years as a historian at UAHuntsville. At a dinner in the Great Hall of Dr. Gerberding’s Castle on the Elk River in Rogersville, 34 colleagues and friends gathered to honor Dr. Williams, who specialized in African-American history, also served as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Dr. Johanna Shields, who herself taught her last class last year, presented a moving tribute to Lee, recalling their years together on the fourth floor of Roberts Hall (then known as the Humanities Building) in the 1970s. Other colleagues in the 1970s, Drs. John White and Philip Boucher, were unable to attend but sent tributes read at the dinner. The department also presented a framed photograph of Roberts Hall, a plaque designed by Dr. Gerberding featuring a white-board marker, and a Western Civ textbook signed by all members of the department.
Once again, best wishes to Lee!
Andy Dunar, Department Chair
Monday, October 20, 2008
On Saturday, October 18, 2008, Phi Alpha Theta member and history major Joseph Richardson gave Phi Alpha Theta members a tour of Maple Hill Cemetery in downtown Huntsville; it is Huntsville's oldest and largest cemetery, founded around 1822.
Joseph explained the history of the cemetery to us and then focused our tour on the oldest parts of the cemetery, visiting the graves of several Alabama governors, senators, and other prominent figures in the history of Huntsville. We also paid close attention to the final resting spots of many "ordinary" people, learning what we could about life and death in nineteenth-century Huntsville from their gravestones. At the end of the tour, we visited the special Catholic and Jewish sections of the old cemetery, as well as "Potter's Field," where the indigent were buried.
A highlight of the tour was visiting the gravestone of Dr. Frances C. Roberts, the founder of the UAHuntsville History Department. Roberts Hall, where the history department presently resides, carries her name.
Pictured here see Joseph hard at work giving us a tour, and also German exchange student Simon Rebiger and history majors Charles Westbrook, Elisabeth Spalding, and Joseph Richardson at Dr. Roberts' grave.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Are you interested in the opportunity to do independent research under the direction of a history professor during Summer 2009?
If you are interested, please contact a member of the UAH History Department by Monday November 10 to discuss your ideas and to consider possibilities. Prelimininary proposals, prepared by you and a faculty mentor, will be due to the department by November 17. The final deadline for faculty mentors to submit proposals to the Faculty Senate Finance and Resources Committeee is December 1.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
--Molly Johnson, instructor of "Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin: Legacies of the Third Reich" (Spring 2008)
Friday, September 05, 2008
Sarah Fisher, Secretary
Monday, September 01, 2008
Congratulations to Veronica Ferreira on the Completion of her Research Experience for Undergraduates Project
Friday, August 15, 2008
history majors, traveled to Germany with Dr. Molly Johnson as part of
a class on "Legacies of the Third Reich." The class was coordinated
through UAHuntsville's "Global Studies" program. Students studied how
the Nazis used aesthetics and space to represent and build power, as
well as how three German cities, Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin, deal
with the legacies of Nazism today through debates and memorials.
Students started their travels in Munich, where they explored
prominent sites associated with the Nazis' rise to power; they also
visited the nearby Dachau concentration camp. A highlight was the
chance to meet with Franz Mueller, a surviving member of the "White
Rose" student resistance group. The group then traveled to Nuremberg,
where students visited the Nazi Party Rally Grounds made famous by
Leni Riefenstahl. The class concluded in Berlin, where students
explored Nazi architecture, including the Olympic Stadium, the
Tempelhof Airport, and the Air Ministry, visited myriad memorials, and
had a surprise meeting with John Berry, a former German who left
Berlin on a "children's transport" in the late 1930s.
In addition to historical sites, students also enjoyed open air
markets, fresh bread, art museums, public transportation, and even the
chance to hear the Dalai Lama speak at the Brandenburg Gate.
For information on future trips led by history faculty and other
UAHuntsville figures, visit Global Studies
Friday, June 06, 2008
Professor Lee Williams, II, whose lectures featured a familiar booming voice that has echoed through the corridors of Roberts Hall for more than 35 years, has decided to retire. Professor Williams came to UAHuntsville in 1972. Professor Frances Roberts, the founder of the History Department, interviewed Lee Williams, who was on his way to Mississippi State University to complete work on his Ph.D. He accepted the position, and later took a leave of absence to complete his Ph.D. He has been here ever since.
Professor Williams leaves behind a fine record of achievement. His book on twentieth century race riots has recently been reissued by the University of Mississippi Press. He is a frequent book reviewer and contributor to encyclopedias dealing with African American issues. As director of the UAHuntsville Office of Multicultural Affairs, he has assisted countless students, and has brought African American speakers and performers to campus. He, along with his History Department colleague Jack Ellis and three other UAHuntsville faculty members, organized a semester-long collaboration with Alabama A&M University in 2001 to commemorate the civil rights movement. It was a stunning success, bringing to campus central figures in the civil rights movement in Alabama and the nation. Among the featured speakers were Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch and several civil rights pioneers, including U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Diane Nash, Fred Gray, J.L. Chestnut, and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.
Students remember Professor Williams fondly, and he in turn enjoyed working with them. “I enjoy the students and participating in the process of helping young people find out what they’re all about,” he remarked on the occasion of his 35th anniversary of teaching at UAHuntsville. “It brings such satisfaction to hear kind remarks from former students who enjoyed my class. It makes me feel good.”
With the retirements of Dr. Williams and Dr. Boucher, the last two members of the team that played UAH’s only intercollegiate football games have now left the university. For a brief time in the 1970s, UAH had a club football team that included faculty and students. Although the documentary record is full of holes, it is said that they played other colleges. Here is the team photograph from 1974-1975. Dr. Williams is the first in the back row left; second from the left is Philip Boucher; Clyde Riley of Chemistry is on the front row left.
Lee Williams will be greatly missed by his colleagues in the History Department. With his retirement, and with Drs. Johanna Shields and Philip Boucher teaching their last classes in the recently concluded academic year, the department loses its connection to the 1970s. We will miss hearing about those years, and we will miss Dr. Williams’s shrewd analyses of Alabama politics. The faculty wishes him a wonderful retirement!
--Andy Dunar, Chair
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Entitled “Citizens and Strangers: The Politics of Race in Missouri from Slavery to the Era of Jim Crow,” John’s dissertation examines the ways in which the state’s culture of white supremacy affected the political calculus of white Missourians and the ability of black men and women to use formal political institutions to advance their individual and collective interests between (roughly) 1860 and 1920. It argues that African Americans’ ability to transform formal political participation into effective political empowerment during the first half century after enfranchisement was determined more by where and how they intersected with local and statewide partisan politics than by white racism or their numbers alone. In particular, John’s dissertation emphasizes the importance of industrialization, class conflict, and black urbanization in destabilizing wartime partisan coalitions in the Border South and creating space for limited alliances across the color-line that prevented white Democrats from uniting around a policy of statewide, legal black disfranchisement at the turn of the century.
This fall, John will join the faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park as a faculty research associate and assistant editor with the Freedmen and Southern Society Project. Founded in 1976, the project has produced five volumes of edited documents detailing the transition from slavery to freedom in the United States between 1861 and 1867. As an assistant editor, John will participate in the creation of the sixth installment in the series, Violence, Law, and Justice. His work will involve everything from proofreading, document transcription, checking annotations, indexing, and coauthoring the introduction. In his spare time—if he has any—he also hopes to teach classes in U.S. and African-American history.
At UAH, John was president and vice-president of Phi Alpha Theta, a recipient of the John Hendricks scholarship and the Colonial Dames Essay Award, and a proud member of the Society for Ancient Languages.
Congratulations John! Go Hawkeyes!
Friday, May 09, 2008
The Athens News Courier has a recent article on Chris Paysinger, the Department's Outstanding Graduate Student in History.
- Meet the Neighbor: Everything old is new for local history scholar Chris Paysinger
Thursday, April 24, 2008
On April 17, 2008, the History Department -- together with the Political Science Department, the Art and Art History Department, and the Women's Studies Program (through the Art department)-- participated in the 12th annual Liberal Arts Tournament Day on the UAH campus.
350 high school students from 11 area high schools traveled to UAH, and 150 of these students -- from Johnson High School, Catholic High School, the Randolph School, Ardmore High School, Madison County High School, and the Covenent Christian Academy -- participated in the History competition (pictured). Three of these student groups came with the UAH History alums who are presently their teachers, Brad Lewis of Ardmore, Jeff Murphy of Randolph, and Ann Lawson of Catholic (pictured).
The winner of the U.S. History competition was David Grzybowski of the Randolph School, and the winner of the World History competition was Andrew Jones from Catholic High School.
Special thanks are due to History Department Senior Staff Assistant Bev Gentry for all of her work preparing the event, as well as History Department Student Assistant Matthew McDaniels.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
At the Honors Convocation on April 8, 2008 five of our history majors received honors and awards. Emily Espenan won the "Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement" award for the history department; Chris Paysinger won the "Outstanding Graduate Achievement" award for the history department; Dillon Lee won the "National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Alabama History" award; and Jennifer Staton won the "Colonel Walter Aston Chapter of the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century History" award. In addition, history major Veronica Ferreira won the "Outstandung Undergraduate Achievement" award for the Women's Studies program.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Dr. Dunar is currently mulling over whether to drop using overhead projector slides (not "vu-graphs"!) in the classroom for what he calls "new-fangled" teaching technology. Meanwhile, he keeps muttering in the coffeeroom, "Williams, Gerberding--eat my dust."
John's specialty is the Nineteenth-Century South and he is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His dissertation, entitled Up, Up Ye Men of Capital: J. D. B. De Bow and the Antebellum Origins of the New South, shows how influential figures in the Old South promoted economic development and modernization. The work not only offers an intellectual biography of De Bow, the prominent Southern editor and journalist, but also provides a collective biography of the subscribers to his journal from across the region. John's work transcends some historiographical patterns which traditionally argue that the South opposed modernization. In contrast, he shows how De Bow's readers, while mostly slave-owners, called for internal improvements, economic diversification, urbanization, and cultural sophistication.
John taught several years at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland, and at UAH will teach courses on the US in the Nineteenth-Century, including the Old South and Civil War and Reconstruction. He also wants to teach the history of Alabama.
In addition, John has a passion for world history and public history. He has a master's degree in public history from West Virginia University and has worked as a public historian for the National Park Service, the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, and West Virginia's Humanities Council and State Park System. John dreams of teaching a public history course on heritage tourism. Once again, welcome John!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Her dissertation, entitled Street Vendors, Marketers, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Puebla, examines the lives of market women in Puebla, Mexico. She analyzes their backgrounds and values, and shows how they organized to defend their dignity and enhance their income. Blending labor, gender, and business history, Sandra not only uses traditional evidence, but also oral history interviews and records of police spies.
Sandra loves teaching! At Rutgers, she has taught Latin American Revolutions and Social History of Latin America. Among her ideas for courses in Latin American history at UAH, she suggested introductory surveys, labor and gender history, revolutions and counter-revolutions, the region during the Cold War, as well as media and history. Sandra is expert at teaching with technology (she confesses that she loves gadgets).
Sandra was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico. In 1998, she completed a BA in International Relations at the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla. From 1998-1999 she worked as a Spanish language assistant at Union College, NY. In 2000 she finished an MA in History at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Including among the 100+ Conference participants are several current and former UAH historians. Dr. Severn and Dr. Christine Sears are both presenting papers, as is Carrie Barske, part-time instructor at UAH and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts. UAH alum Thomas Reidy, now pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, is also presenting. Dr. Ernest Limbo, visiting assistant professor of history, is chairing a panel, and UAH alum Michele Kinney, now pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Texas-Arlington is chairing a panel for which Dr. Philip Boucher is providing commentary. Click here to see the conference program.
We are pleased to welcome historians from all over the United States and from Europe to Huntsville!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, North African corsairs seized captives at sea and forcibly employed them in urban centers such as Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis, until they died or were redeemed. Contemporary Westerners—and later historians—saw this as a barbarian, backward practice that impeded modern free trade. However, North African privateers operated within a set of long-standing customs and systems long recognized, and practiced, by Western countries. As Western countries moved from constrained trade and monopolies to free trade over the long nineteenth century, they continued to license their own privateers and to buy the prize ships and cargoes taken by North African corsairs while simultaneously denouncing the barbaric depredations of the corsairs.
With this research grant, Christine will continue looking at corsairs’ practices and Western reactions to them. Further, she will begin looking more directly at privateering and piracy in the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds in order to put North African corsairs and reactions to them in a broader historical context.
Highlights included the Moche Temple of the Moon, the adobe city of Chan Chan, the museum for the Lord of Sipan, the art and architecture of Cuzco, the Inca Sacred Valley and mountaintop city of Machu Picchu, and the Nazca lines and Chauchilla Cemetery.