Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Flashback! Phi Alpha Theta at UAH Hosts Alabama Regional Meeting

Throwback Thursday is a time to post fondly about past events, perhaps with a nicely faded photo with no need of filter. Here at the Department of History, everyday is worthy of taking a throwback to the past. It's kind of our thing. So, let's go back to April and take a look at the 2015 Phi Alpha Theta Alabama Regional Meeting, hosted by UAH's Phi Alpha Theta chapter, Tau Omega.

UAH History Students outside Morton Hall
(photobomb courtesy of Dr. Gandila)
After James Xiques and John O'Brien - alumni of the department - won awards for best papers at the 2013 and 2014 Alabama regional meetings, respectively, it seemed fitting for UAH to host the 2015 meeting. Under the leadership of former faculty adviser, Dr. Evan Ragland, the conference got under way. With several students and faculty in attendance from different colleges in Alabama, and even some from Georgia, the meeting was a success. Students mingled over coffee and breakfast in the morning, had a delightful lunch outside of Morton Hall, and also attended a lecture by the department's Dr. John Kvach, who spoke on the Civil War and promoted the Public History Program at UAH. And, most importantly, there were the presentation sessions, including some moderated by UAH history faculty, among them Dr. Andrei Gandila, Dr. Molly Johnson, Dr. Nicole Pacino, Dr. Thomas Reidy, and Dr. Ragland.

Students' presentations focused on several different subjects, areas, and times, ranging from the ancient world to the twentieth-century in the United States. Such variation was welcome, and this was not lost on presenters from UAH. Presentations from the department's undergraduate students included:
  • Rachel Byrd, "Too Much Coffee, Too Little Bread: the Revolution of a Hangry People"
  • Ashley Coates, "Prudery and Prostitution: Sexual Conservatism in Roman Religion"
  • Matthew Johnson, "We Light a Fire: Credulity and Consequence"
  • Aaron McNully, "An Unintentional Institution: An Analysis of the Impact of Gregory the Great's Ecclesiology on the Consolidation of Western Papal Power in the Early Middle Ages"
  • Daniel Munn, "Propaganda and Public Works in the Augustan Age"
  • Nicole Westrope, "Did Philosophy Exist Outside of Europe?"
Graduate student presentations included:
  • Lorraine Anderson, "The Midwife's Tale: How Laurel Thatcher Ulrich Unveiled the Previously Unknown World of Post-Revolutionary War Women in Rural America"
  • Whitney Andrews, "Racism, Manhood, and Femininity in the Alabama Suffrage Debate: 1915-1920"
  • Kelly Fisk Hamlin, " 'This is Rocket City, U.S.A., Let Freedom Begin Here:' The Civil Rights Movement in Huntsville, Alabama"
  • Joshua Riddle, "The Criteria of William Gilbert's Experimental Method"
When we're not researching and writing, we're eating.
As well as presenting, UAH students won awards. Matthew Johnson and Daniel Munn won presentation awards among all students presenting, and Ashley Coates, Kelly Fisk Hamlin, and Joshua Riddle won internal paper prizes.

The conference was a success and a boon to all involved. We were so pleased to see so many history students attend, especially the department's own. We are especially proud of their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments.


Students Conduct Archaeology on Redstone Arsenal

History students enrolled in the Cultural Resource Management/History 320 course this semester have the unique opportunity to participate in archaeological work on Redstone Arsenal. Surprisingly, the Arsenal consists of 972 archaeological sites across its 38,000 acres. Students learn about a wide range of archaeological specialities, such as lithic technologies (stone tools), prehistoric ceramics, battlefield archaeology, geomorphology, and cave archaeology. The students are currently excavating an antebellum homestead close to Gate 9. 

To read more about the course and the students' insights, visit Redstone Rocket UAH Archaeology.

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