Dept. of History 360 McMicken Hall
Isaac Campos is currently serving in his second year as the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies as well as a member on the Executive Committee of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society (ADHS), which is his field of research expertise. In 2016-17, Isaac participated in a roundtable at the annual American Historical Association meeting in Denver and appeared in the TV program “America: Facts vs. Fiction” on AHC to discuss the history of drugs in American society. Over the last year he has lectured widely on his research, offering invited talks in Utrecht, the Netherlands and the University of Warwick in the UK.
Stanley Corkin, Niehoff Professor of English and History, was awarded the 2017 George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Work, an annual award given by the UC Graduate school to honor scholarly achievement. This distinction is a fitting tribute to Stan, who has spent his thirty-year career working across disciplinary and departmental boundaries and establishing himself as an innovator in the field of American Studies and in particular the interconnecting study of American literature, history, and film. Stan’s most recent work is a major study of the popular television series The Wire: Connecting the Wire: Race, Space, and Postindustrial Baltimore (University of Texas Press, 2017).
Elizabeth Frierson spent summer 2017 researching the history of pharmacology and pharmacists at the Wellcome Institute in London, thanks to support from the Von Rosenstiel Fund. She is comparing the development of new professional identities and public health roles of pharmacists and pharmacologists in the Middle East and Europe in the 19th century. She has continued to work full time while undergoing treatment for primary CNS lymphoma, immensely grateful to have 21st-century pharmacists on the case.
Erika Gasser is on sabbatical this semester, reading up on two possible new projects. In March 2018, she will travel to the University of Central Oklahoma to give the keynote address at a Phi Beta Kappa conference and in April she will travel to Sacramento to speak at a teacher education program planned to coincide with the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians.
Sigrun Haude, the department’s newly appointed Director of Graduate Studies, is currently completing her book manuscript, The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648): Experience and Management of a Disaster. Over the last year she has been presenting her research at universities across the US and Europe. In November of 2017, she hosted a special international symposium devoted to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation held at the Cincinnati Art Museum. “The Reformation in Historical, Literary, Religious, and Legal Perspective” featured a public concert as well as public lectures by renowned Reformation historians from around the world.
Ethan Katz’s The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France(Harvard, 2015) continues to win accolades across the historical field, including The Ohio Academy of HistoryJunior Faculty award, honorable mention for the Wylie Prize, given biennially for the best book in French cultural studies; the American Library in Paris Book Award, given each year for “the most distinguished book in English about France or the Franco-American encounter;” the J. Russell Major Prize for French history, awarded annually by the American Historical Association for the best work in English on any aspect of French History; the David H. Pinkney Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies; and the JDC-Herbert Katzki Award for Writing Based on Archival Material from the Jewish Book Council. Ethan spent 2016-17 in Jerusalem, where he conducted research for a new book entitled Freeing the Empire: The Jewish Uprising That Helped the Allies Win the War.
Man Bun Kwan
Man Bun Kwan published Patriots' Game: Yongli Chemical Industries 1917-1953 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2017) and is working on the history of chemical fertilizers in modern China.
Brianna Leavitt-Alcantara has just published her first book: Alone at the Altar: Single Women and Devotion in Guatemala, 1670-1870 (Stanford University Press, 2018).
Maura O’Connor is currently researching a new book entitled “Risking the World: The London Stock Exchange and the British Financial Empire, 1798-1902.” In tracking the sources for this project, she has travelled far and wide, including to the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA and the London Metropolitan Archives in the UK. As part of her ongoing research on global financial history, Maura is also drafting an article, “Gold Fever and the Gold Standard: Digging and Speculating in California and South Africa,” which she will be submitting soon to History Workshop Journal.
In Fall 2017, Department Head Christopher Phillips was named as the inaugural John and Dorothy Hermanies Professor of American History. Meant to honor a scholar of distinction in the field of US history, this endowed professorship was made possible by a generous gift from the Hermanies family.
Chris’ book, The Rivers Ran Backward: The Civil War and the Remaking of the American Middle Border (Oxford University Press, 2016) has won numerous prizes, including The Ohio Academy of History Distinguished Book Award, the Tom Watson Brown Book Award given by the Watson-Brown Foundation, the Society for Civil War Historians and the Jon Gjerde Prize of the Midwest History Association. In addition, the book was selected as a Civil War Monitor Best Book of 2016 and was a finalist for the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Non-Fiction. Chris was also elected in 2016 to the Fellows of the UC Graduate School.
David Stradling, currently Associate Dean for Humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences, has just been appointed as the department’s first Zane L. Miller Professor of American Urban History. In addition to teaching and pursuing ongoing research projects in urban and environmental history, David has been working this year on a special history of UC to be published in conjunction with the university’s bicentennial in 2019.
Willard Sunderland was appointed as the department’s newest Henry R. Winkler Professor of Modern History in 2016. In 2016-17, he was also the recipient of a research fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct work on a new book focusing on the history of the Russian Empire in the 18th century. Willard currently serves as co-editor of the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.
Tracy Teslow has been active presenting papers on her continuing research on the history of race and racial science in American politics and culture, offering lectures this past summer at the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Study of Biology in São Paulo, Brazil and this November at Nazan University in Nagoya, Japan. In addition, she spent a week in August at the archives at Vassar College in New York looking at anthropologist Ruth Benedict’s papers for an essay on Benedict’s use of history to make anti-racist arguments.
Jeffrey Zalar has been named by the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. as the lead American scholar for the Institute’s new digital humanities and publishing project in the History of Knowledge, 1500-2000.
The German History Intersections project is a transatlantic initiative that will begin by examining three broad themes – German identity; migration; and knowledge and education – over as many as five centuries. The initial product will be a dynamic, open-access website consisting of three modules, each of which will include primary source documents (in German and English), high-resolution images, historic audio and video clips, and a variety of additional resources, including podcasts and online interviews.
Dr. Charles ‘Fritz' Casey-Leininger retired in April 2017 after five years as the Department of History's Director of Public History. Like all the proceeding years, this last year was busy, filled with outreach activities and much time spent closely sponsoring student public history projects, including a major Ohio Humanities-funded initiative focused on the history of the first school desegregation suit in the north after the 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision (for details, see the story opposite).
You might think Fritz would look forward to a break after all of this, but true to his generous nature — and just to make sure everyone knew he planned to stay busy in retirement! — Fritz also used his last year at UC to launch a new communications initiative in urban history called UC History in the City.
As a new outreach effort, UC History in the City will work to publicize and energize the long-standing work of History faculty members and graduate students across all three UC campuses to bring urban history to the general public as well as their efforts to bring history to life for twenty-first century city residents.
Two such recent outreach efforts include UC Blue Ash Associate Professor Rob Gioielli’s exhibit “Rethinking Porkopolis,” and PhD student Anne Delano Steinert’s “Schools for the City” project, both of which were on display at city venues such as the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and the Clifton Cultural Arts Center in 2016. Learn more about Gioielli’s exhibit at goo.gl/pXFkGJ. Learn more about Steinert’s project at goo.gl/3c2k45.
Both of these projects relied on connecting the energies of UC History faculty and students with the curiosity and knowledge of the city public, and Fritz’s goal in establishing UC History in the City is to keep this synergy going.
Vivid proof of the good things that come from outreach of this sort was Fritz’s work in the spring term of 2017 to facilitate a panel, exhibit, and short documentary on racism and civil rights, focusing on an oftforgotten fight against school segregation in Hillsboro, Ohio, known as the case of the Hillsboro “Marching Mothers.” Learn more about this story at goo.gl/Pu4SmU.
Working with UC students and members of the Hillsboro community, Fritz helped draw attention to the effects of racism in education and the struggle for civil rights by African-American families in Hillsboro over the 1950s-1970s period. At the heart of the project was the idea of letting students and the public learn from people who experienced these struggles at the time, capturing the power of the eye-witness. As Fritz notes, “When you bring people who were on the front lines into the class, it brings it home. My students loved it. Here were real, live, flesh-and-blood people who went through hell to fight for their children, and also their children, now adults who then went through their own struggles to help change things for the next generation.”
The culmination of the focus on this difficult but important chapter in Hillboro’s history then came in October of 2017 with the induction of the Marching Mothers into the Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s Hall of Fame in a special ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.
Fritz’s last gift to the department, the new UC History in the City initiative, will provide a valuable framework for showcasing this kind of outreach work in the future.