Friday, October 30, 2009

Alumnus Susanna Leberman publishes book of love letters

Susanna Leberman, who received both her BA and MA degrees from the department, recently edited a booklet of letters showing the life of Mabel Hughes, a local school teacher. Susanna found the letters while working at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. The letters are from two of Mabel's beaus, who were "wooing her by mail." The letters, which include several from a sailor in the merchant marine, reveal amazing passion and show the literacy of a bygone era. Susanna added a narrative that puts the letters in the context of life in Huntsville in the early decades of the 20th Century and selected photos. Mabel's story became part of a recent theater production at Merrimack Hall; Susanna was a historical consultant for the play. You can buy the book at the main branch of the library in the archives on the third floor.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ancestry.Com Grant for "Real People, Real History" Public History Project

The department congratulations professor John Kvach on receiving an "Ancestry Institution" award to support the "Real People, Real History" public history project on the Civil War in Madison County, funded in part by the History Channel. For more on this project, see the below blog entry .

The grant will give all 250+ local high school students as well as the UAH students involved in the project full access to This award will allow students to explore census, land, legal, local, military and personal records and newspapers. The award is worth $155.40 per person for the year and there will be about 265 people associated with the project, bringing the value of the award in terms of services provided to $41,075.

Congratulations to Dr. Kvach and his public school and library colleagues. We look forward to seeing the end result of this exciting endeavor!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fieldnotes from History Alum and Fulbright Scholar Jennifer Staton

The history department was very proud of Jennifer Staton, class of 2009, who won a highly-competitive Fulbright fellowship to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Germany for academic year 2009-2010.

Since early September, Jennifer has been teaching at the Grundschule Klein Hehlen (a primary school), in the city of Celle, helping with the English classes of grades

In an email to the UAH history department, Jennifer reports that, “It's so much fun, even though I don't believe I'll ever be able to fully understand Kinderdeutsch. The children seem to look forward to my visits to their class, and I'm instantly recognized by them when I'm out in the courtyard (and then some; I must get "I saw you yesterdaaaay!" at least once a day, since they see me walking in the afternoons). It makes me feel like I must be doing something right while TA-ing, since they are fairly proficient at learning the lessons. The teachers are also friendly and obliging, and the headmistress, Frau Katrin Doehrmann, has especially made me feel welcome to the school (she also teaches four of the English classes I assist). Everyone has helped me so much.”

Jennifer, reflecting on her time at UAH, stated that, "Being a part of the Fulbright program is definitely a life-changing experience, but I look back on the application process at UAH and still thank everyone involved in this grant. This includes the History Department. . . . Even though I'll change in many ways because of this grant, I won't forget the great experience I had as a history undergrad at UAH."

Pictured here see a photograph of the town of Celle featuring the bicycles everybody rides; a picture of the Grundschule Klein Hehlen; and a picture of Jennifer enjoying herself in her free time in Germany.

We wish Jennifer continued success during her year in Germany!

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