Friday, July 23, 2010

Successful UAHuntsville Public History Summer Institute

The UAHuntsville Department of History and the History Channel recently hosted a public history institute for fifteen tenth-graders from Huntsville High School from June 14-18, 2010. The high school students, with help from four UAHuntsville history students, learned about history and historical methods by working on a history website, participating in an archaeological dig at the remains of a plantation house on Redstone Arsenal, taking a military staff ride at Chickamauga Battlefield, touring the Special Collections at the Huntsville Public Library, and learning about antebellum life at the Weeden House in downtown Huntsville. These activities allowed students to interact with history and learn skills that are often used to recreate the past. The students, mentors, and teachers who participated in the first annual summer institute enjoyed a fun and educational week . . . despite the hot weather!

Kudos to Dr. John Kvach for his leadership and coordination of the institute, as well as to all of the UAH students who helped make the week a success: Charity Ethridge, Michael Henriksen, John Milling, Whitney Reid, Joshua Riddle, Ben Tyler, and Emily Hampton.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New History Course for Fall 2010: "Making of Modern Science: The Scientific Revolution to the Twentieth Century"

The history department has added a new class to the fall 2010 schedule: HY 399-06, "Making of Modern Science: The Scientific Revolution to the Twentieth Century."
Dr. Randall Dills, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, will teach the course on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:50 pm.

Here is the course description:

"The course covers the history of modern science from 1500 to the 20th century. We will consider the nature of science, its practices and practitioners and sites of study in relationship to society over a broad spectrum of history. We will examine scientists at work in a number of sites, from voyages of discovery and the laboratory to museums and the cosmos as we challenge the received stories about the “Heroes” of modern science. How should one view the work and careers of Galileo, Newton, Darwin and others? Every step of the way, we will situate scientists and their theories within the society and culture of the time, including Romanticism, Imperialism, and the Cold War. We will study the conflicts between those who viewed science as autonomous and independent of outside influences and those who viewed it as an instrument of social and economic progress. Ultimately, as scientists sought to “de-mystify” the world by identifying the laws upon which the natural world is built, we will understand that the modern state and the expansion of European ideals is linked with the rise in the authority of scientists who claimed to know, understand and interpret it. Readings will include selections from the leading historians of science and the primary sources of participants and observers."

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Dills at

Spread the word about this exciting new class!

Congratulations to Spring 2010 UAHuntsville History Graduates!

The faculty of the UAH History Department are pleased to congratulate our recent graduates, who received their degrees on May 15, 2010.

The following students graduated with BA degrees in History: Christina Barnett, Charity Ethrdige, Veronica Ferreira, Sarah Fisher, Christopher Helson, Matthew Menarchek, Jonathan Neely, Gustavo Ortiz, Bradley Trent Pepper, George Preussel, Whitney Reid, Casey Smith, Elisabeth Spalding, Ben Tyler, Chris Weed, and Charles Westbrook.

Earning MA degrees in History were Stephanie Allen, Thomas Bockborn, and Jennifer Masters Frisby.

Pictured here are Sarah Fisher and Veronica Ferreira and Sarah Fisher, Ben Tyler, and Whitney Reid.

Congratulations to you all!

History Department Hires Dr. Randall Dills as Visiting Assistant Professor for History of Science and Technology

The history department is pleased to welcome Dr. Randall Dills as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2010-2011 academic year. He will teach world history survey courses and two upper-level courses in the History of Science and Technology.

Randy has a PhD in History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His teaching interests include Russian and East European history, the histories of science, technology and medicine, environmental history, and world history. At UAH, he plans to teach courses on the history of modern science and the history of science in the Soviet Union. His dissertation explored the intersections of environment, society and culture along the banks of the River Neva, in the Russian imperial capital of St. Petersburg. Interdisciplinary in nature, his work explored the patterns of river use in the 19th century by following the engineers responsible for making the city livable despite the poor environmental conditions and the sometimes disastrous flooding that plagued the city. He conducted extensive research for the project in archives and libraries in St. Petersburg as a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in 2005-06.

Welcome, Randy!

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