Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


‌History Department Professor Timothy Gilfoyle Receives Loyola’s 2018 Faculty Member of the Year Award

Prof. Gilfoyle Named Loyola’s 2018 Faculty Member of the Year

The History Department is proud to share that, at this year’s Faculty Convocation, our own Dr. Timothy Gilfoyle was named Loyola’s 2018 Faculty Member of the Year. With this award, Professor Gilfoyle joins the ranks of previous History Department Faculty Members of the Year, including Doctors Anthony Cardoza (2007), Theodore Karamanski (2003), Joseph A. Gagliano (1996), William R. Trimble (1979), and Paul S. Lietz (1973). “As a member of the History Department,” said Dr. Gilfoyle in his remarks, “I have had the chance of working with some of the best historians in literally the world.  I’m blessed to be in a department whose members have written more than 50 books during the past 20 years. More importantly, many of them are among my closest friends.”

Dr. Gilfoyle (Ph.D. (1987), B.A. (1979), Columbia University) is a professor and former chair of the History Department, where he teaches a number of perennially popular courses in American urban and social history. His research has focused on the development and evolution of various nineteenth-century urban underworld subcultures and informal economies.

After being named the 2018 Faculty Member of the Year, Dr. Gilfoyle caught up with Media Assistant Alex Gradwohl about his teaching philosophy, favorite classes, and well-known Midnight Bike Rides.

Congratulations on being named the 2018 Faculty Member of theYear! How would you describe yourself as a faculty member and teacher? 

A faculty member has responsibilities to three communities: fellow scholars, Loyola colleagues, and students.  As a professional historian for more than 30 years, opportunities to serve on editorial boards, national fellowship committees, nonprofit historical societies, scholarly organizations and other institutions related to public history and the humanities have enabled me to make contributions to the larger academic community and the general public.  

Senior faculty have an obligation to mentor their younger peers by reading and editing their manuscripts, observe and advise them in the classroom, relieve them of service duties, and help them negotiate the delicate and confusing balance between professional and personal responsibilities.  Older faculty mentored me in the same way when I arrived at Loyola; now it’s my turn.

Students, however, deserve the greatest attention and responsibility. I have multiple goals as a historian: to provide students with an intellectual framework with which they can better understand the world in which they live, to comprehend the confusion that surrounds them, to immerse them in complexity of the past, to foster empathy in worlds foreign to them by the passage of time. “Without a vivid link to the past,” Jason Epstein once wrote, “the present is chaos and the future unreadable.”   

But this is easier said than done.  The best history pedagogy integrates and intersects research, teaching and public engagement.  During my 29 years at Loyola, I have regularly incorporated my own research, writing, and publication experiences with students both in and out of the classroom. Writing history honed my skills not only as an author but equally as a teacher, and ultimately to the benefit of my students.  These experiences and my growth as a published and professional historian inevitably informed and improved my skills in the classroom.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? What are your favorite subjects to cover with your students?

The rewards of teaching are rarely immediate, especially if teachers are pushing their students to read more than they are accustomed, or encouraging them to think in new ways about old subjects.  Over the years I have found the positive feedback I receive in student evaluations to be the most enjoyable part, especially when a student recognizes what was the purpose of the class and that all the work was worthwhile.

I was trained as an urban historian, but my favorite class is the American survey, either in the form of HIST 103: American Pluralism or HIST 211/212: U.S. History before and after the Civil War.  In these classes, I enjoy teaching the most important and controversial subjects in American history. So many topics are possible that it is impossible to teach all of them, so I focus on what I consider to be the “hit parade” of American history, with many subjects relevant to the contemporary world in which we live.

At Loyola, you’re well known for your semi-annual Midnight Bike Ride and frequent tours with your classes. How did you get started with the Midnight Bike Ride? Do you have any favorite memories from the Ride over the years?

The first Midnight Bike Ride I offered was in September 1989, approximately two-and-a-half months after I moved to Chicago from New York City. My undergraduate advisor and dissertation supervisor at Columbia University, Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, offered such a bike ride with his urban history classes, in which I participated when I was in college.  As a graduate student and later as a professor at Sarah Lawrence and Barnard Colleges, I worked with him on organizing and mapping out the nighttime rides. The events were among the highlights of my years living in New York.  So when I landed in Chicago, I knew the city shared many of the same historical themes as New York: similar immigration patterns, contentious race relations, tall buildings, historically-important architecture, world-renowned cultural institutions, etc. I just needed to learn new “facts” about those different themes, which I did shortly after arriving because it forced me to learn about my new home quickly.

My favorite Bike Ride stop no longer exists: The A. Finkl & Sons steel mill in the Lincoln Park neighborhood along the Chicago River and Cortland Street.  The main mill operated along a roughly 28-acre lot along the eastern portion of the river for more than 112 years before being demolished in 2014.  At that time, it was the oldest and last steel mill in Chicago. My friend Joe Curci worked at Finkl and always arranged a tour of the mill for the Midnight Riders.  It has been hard to find a replacement for Finkl on the Midnight Bike Ride.

History Department Welcomes Dr. Gema Santamaría


The Loyola Department of History is delighted to welcome Dr. Gema Santamaría to the department as Assistant Professor of Latin American History! Dr. Santamaría joins us from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) where she was Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program at the International Studies Department. She specializes in 20th and 21st century state building across Latin America with regard to crime, violence, and justice. Dr. Santamaría recently sat down for an interview with Media Assistant Alicia Zeimet to tell us more about herself and why she is excited to be at Loyola.


What is your major area of research?

My research deals with the history of violence, crime, and state formation in Latin America, a region considered to be the most violent in the world today. As a historian, I am interested in understanding how Latin America’s past has contributed to shaping the region’s contemporary challenges of insecurity, violence, and the rule of law. Far from seeing violence as an inherent characteristic of these countries, I understand violence as the result of different political, cultural, and economic factors that were neither inescapable nor irreversible but that have, nonetheless, deeply affected the ways in which violence was and continues to be weaved into these countries’ social and political fabrics. Violence itself is a changing and dynamic phenomenon, which its various manifestations – be it forced disappearances, gangs, vigilante killings, or state-sponsored assassinations – to this day play an integral part in giving shape to the region’s political and economic development.

I have carried out research on gangs, drug-related violence, and vigilante justice. My book manuscript traces the uncharted history of lynching in post-revolutionary Mexico. Based on the analysis of an array of primary sources and periodical materials, the book examines the reasons behind the occurrence of lynching during a period otherwise considered to be one of greater political stability and social pacification. In light of the persistency of lynching in Mexico and several other Latin American countries, my book explores deeper cultural and political dynamics that help explain the continuity of lynching and other forms of vigilante violence across the region.  

What is your professional background?

I hold a PhD in Sociology and Historical Studies from the New School for Social Research as well as a Masters in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining Loyola, I worked as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Program at the International Studies Department of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM), one of Mexico’s leading private universities. I have been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD as well as at the Kellogg Institute for International Scholars of the University of Notre Dame. My research has been supported and made possible thanks to several fellowships, including a Fulbright-García Robles fellowship, a Matías Romero Fellowship (at UT Austin), a Women in the Humanities Fellowship (granted by the Mexican Academy of Sciences), and a Charles A. Hale Fellowship (awarded by the Latin American Studies Association).

Can you tell me a little more about your expertise in policy making?

One of the main reasons that drove me to specialize on issues of violence, crime, and justice was precisely to be able to contribute thinking about ways in which these challenges can be better addressed today in the Latin American region. From 2011-2013, I had the opportunity to serve as the main advisor of the 2014 UNDP Regional Report on Citizen Security in Latin America. The report aimed at providing specific recommendations to policy makers regarding the creation of more integral and sustainable responses to crime and violence from the viewpoint of the human security approach. Over the last five years, I have authored various specialized reports and policy-oriented papers for the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center, and the Berghof Foundation. Most recently, I participated in the academic coordination of the project ‘Co-Constructing Human Security in Mexico: A Methodology and Action Plan from the Communities to the State.’ The project, which involved scholars from ITAM and from the London School of Economics, resulted in a series of proposals to address communities’ insecurity challenges in ways that do not reproduce violence. I am also a member of the recently created U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Task Force launched by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD as well as of the North American Research Initiative (NARI) sponsored by the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies of American University.  

What classes are you teaching this semester as well as next?

I am teaching Introduction to Latin American History (HIST 210) and will be teaching Violence, Drugs, and Crime in Latin America the next semester.

Why are you excited to be at Loyola?

There are a number of reasons why it feels good to be here. I am excited to be part of a Department with such a number of distinguished scholars, who excel not only in their research but also in their teaching and service to the university.  I am also pleased to be able to teach students that are driven by a thirst for knowledge but also by an interest to change their social and political reality. Being part of Loyola University means being part of a community that believes in the transformative power of education as well as on the centrality that issues of social justice have for our thinking and praxis. I look forward to contributing to enlarge the school’s mission as well as to strengthen the presence of Latin American and Latino studies across the different departments of our university.  


Loyola History Department Wins Career Diversity Grant


The Career Diversity Fellows at the June orientation in Washington, D.C. Image credit: Emily Swafford.

The Loyola University Chicago History Department is the proud recipient of a Career Diversity Implementation Grant (CDIG) from the American Historical Association (AHA). With the support provided by the grant, a Career Diversity fellow and faculty team will work together over the next two years to design and implement programmatic and cultural changes intended to better prepare Loyola history PhD students for a wide array of careers within and outside the academy. The department has strong pedagogical and public history training programs in place already, and the CDIG grant will allow the Career Diversity team to expand these efforts to include preparation for an even broader array of career options.

The Career Diversity Implementation Grants are part of an ongoing effort by the AHA to enhance career pathways discussions and professional training in history doctoral programs. What is now known as the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative began in 2011 as a series of conversations about career diversity for historians with PhDs. These led to the establishment of two-year career diversity pilot programs in history PhD granting-departments at four schools across the United States: the University of New Mexico, UCLA, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago. The AHA also awarded grants to faculty in thirty-six university history departments, including the Loyola University Chicago History Department, to support faculty attendance at a series of Career Diversity Faculty Institutes. The implementation grant phase, which runs from 2018 to 2020, is the next step in this nationwide effort to change how history departments prepare their doctoral students for careers after graduation. The AHA awarded implementation grants to twenty schools, including Loyola, and the participating institutions will work with each other and the AHA over the next two years to share and discuss ideas, research, and next steps. The fellows selected are pictured above. Grants awarded by the AHA as part of the Career Diversity for Historians initiative are supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Leading the effort at Loyola are Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor of History, and Career Diversity Fellow Hope Shannon, a PhD candidate in the joint United States history and public history doctoral program. Also involved are Dr. Kyle Roberts and Fr. Steve Schloesser, S.J, who worked with Dr. Mooney-Melvin to secure the grant. Over the next two years, they’ll work to fully incorporate career diversity at every level of the history department’s doctoral program. The AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative emphasizes the importance of preparing PhD students for all possible career paths—from academia to working in the public sector and beyond—and the changes made to Loyola’s history PhD program will reflect that goal.

For more about the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative, click here.

For more about the Career Diversity Implementation Grants, click here

2017-2018 History Department Highlights

The 2017-2018 has been a busy and exciting year for History Department faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates both inside and outside of the classroom! From conducting research and publishing papers or books to presenting at conferences and working in the field, staff and students can take pride in their remarkable range of achievements.

We congratulate all students and faculty for their amazing work this year and extend special felicitations to those graduate students and undergraduate seniors moving on to the next phase in their journey! Additionally, we commend the numerous History Department members who presented at and facilitated sessions for conferences across the country, including the Newberry Library Graduate Student Conference, the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History, the American Association for State and Local History, and more. Please join us in celebrating the following achievements and awards for History Department undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in the 2017-2018 academic year.

Undergraduate Students

This year's Paul S. Lietz Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship, the History Department's highest honor, was awarded to graduating senior major Thomas George.

Recipients of the 2017-2018 History Department Undergraduate Essay Contest included

  • Olivia Raymond, winning first prize for her paper "Casting Censor: Cinematic Responses to Lynching in the Twentieth Century," written for HIST 397 History Honors Tutorial (Fall 2017) with Professor Alice Weinreb
  • Maxim Belovol, taking second prize for his work "How the Lavender Scare Made 'Gay' White," also written for HIST 397 History Honors Tutorial (Fall 2017) with Professor Alice Weinreb
  • Garrett Gutierrez, third prize, for his exploration of "The Lords of Lincoln Park: The Puerto Rican Struggle in Postwar Chicago, 1950-1970," written for HIST 385 Chicago in America (Fall 2017) with Professor Timothy Gilfoyle

Garrett Gutierrez was also this year's winner of the Susan Ramonat Award for Scholarly Excellence for his paper "Mission Memory: Analyzing the Public Memory of Mission San Juan Capistrano." This fall, he has accepted a spot in the History PhD program at NYU.

Graduating senior and 2017 Ramonat Scholar Amanda Malmstrom has been awarded the prestigious Cole fellowship, a one-year, residential fellowship at the Thomas Cole National Historic site.

Fellow 2017 Ramonat Scholar Matthew Petersen has been accepted into the Meddeas program to teach English as a second language in Spain after graduation.

This year's Weekend of Excellence featured lots of participants from the History Department! The event profiled History Major Matthew Henderson and History minor Jessica Talwar was awarded second place in the Loyola University Libraries Undergraduate Research Paper Award. History major Robert Baurley was also a Loyola Experience Engagement Key Recipient.

In April, Phi Alpha Theta inducted a new class of incoming officers, including:

  • Norman Frazier, President
  • Matthew Lewis, Vice President
  • Amela Kalezic, Secretary
  • Meghan Olson, Treasurer

History major and graduating senior Hunter Hayes was accepted into the University of Iowa medical school. Of his time with the Loyola History Department, Hunter says: "Studying history at Loyola has challenged me to become better at researching, composing, and analyzing complex arguments about various cultural groups and events throughout time. I plan on using my education in the humanities to better understand and subsequently serve diverse communities as a physician.”

Graduate Students

PhD student Janette (Jenny) Clay was the recipient of the 2018 McCluggage Award for her research paper "Peace Bodies: Women at the Seneca Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice," written for HIST 561 Women's and Gender History (Fall 2017) under the direction of Professor Alice Weinreb. The McCluggage Award recognizes the best research paper by a graduate student in each calendar year.

PhD candidate Hope Shannon co-edited the Winter 2018 edition of AASLH's History News and was a recipient of the NCPH Graduate Student Travel Award. She has also been awarded a Career Diversity Fellowship to assist the department in creating and implementing professional development initiatives to prepare students for success in multiple career paths inside and beyond the academy.

PhD student Ina Cox has been named the inaugural Home Grown Curatorial Fellow for the DuSable Museum for African American History! Funded by the Ford and Walton Family Foundations, the fellowship is designed to diversify the leadership of museums. She'll be partnering with a fellow at the National Museum of Mexican American Art to create a series of workshops for young people in addition to working with DuSable collections.

Michael Lamble (former MA in Medieval History) has accepted a scholarship at the Museology Graduate Program, University of Washington, Seattle.

Graduate Amelia Serafine has accepted the job at San Antonio College. She has an appointment as a tenure track professor starting this Fall 2018.

Public History masters student Becky Ramsey has been named the new Collections Manager at Kenilworth Historical Society, where she previously worked as a Collections Intern and Collections Assistant.

Nathan Jeremie-Brink (who recently defended his dissertation!) is the recipient of the 2017-2018 Louisville Institute Fellowship.

Graduate students Ina Cox, Nathan Ellstrand, Kristin Jacobsen, Stephen Petrie, and Ella Wagner received a grant from Loyola's Student Innovation Fund for their Immigration Advocacy History Project.

Public History masters student Lisa Hartman received the Loyola Research Experience for Master’s Programs Fellowship for her work on “Race: Are We So Different?” exhibition at Chicago History Museum (Spring, 2018).

The Chrysler Village History Project, a collaborative effort involving graduate students Chelsea Denault and Kelly Schmidt, as well as alumnae Maggie McCalin and Rachel Boyle, was awarded the 

AASLH Award of Merit and received an honorable mention for the MHA Alice Smith Prize in Public History.

PhD candidate Ruby Oram submitted a successful application to National Register of Historic Places for Lucy Flower Technical High School.

Graduating this month, Karen Sieber has accepted a position as Curator and Director of Education and Outreach for the Galena Jo-Daviess County Historical Society and Museum.

Also graduating this spring with a masters in Public History, Stephen Petrie has accepted a position as Education Coordinator for the Fort Wayne History Center.


Professor Alice Weinreb was selected as one of the two recipients of the 2018 Sujack Family Award for Excellence in Faculty Research. This award recognizes Dr. Weinreb's "distinctive contributions made to research during 2017." She was also awarded the 

Ernst Fraenkel Prize by the Winer Library, London UK for her book Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany(Oxford University Press, 2017)

Professor Aidan Forth, as one of the four finalists for the 2018 Sujack Family Award, has been designated a Master Researcher. This designation recognizes Aidan's research contributions in 2017, including most especially the publication of his monograph Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain's Empire of Camps, 1876-1903 (California 2017).

Dr. Ben Johnson was a recipient of the Autry Public History Prize  from the Western History Association for his project “Refusing to Forget.” The prize recognizes the most significant public history project for work that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or serves as a model of professional public history practice in the history of the North American West. Dr. Johnson was also awarded a Lloyd Lewis Fellowship at the Newberry Library and was given an honorable mention in the competition for the Presidents' Book Prize from the Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era for his recently published book Escaping the Dark, Gray City: Fear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation (Yale, 2017).

Dr. John Donoghue received the Michael J. Connell Foundation Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, as well as the  The Barbara S. Mosbacher Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University.

Professors Patricia Mooney-Melvin and Kyle Roberts participated in the 2017-2018 Career Diversity for Historians Faculty Institute, hosted by the American Historical Association. They also submitted a successful application for the AHA's 2018-2020 Career Diversity Implementation Grant.

Dr. Roberts was also awarded the 2018 Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History by the New York Academy of History for his book Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (Chicago, 2016) and named as a Fellow of the New York Academy of History.

Dr. Elena Valussi received a prestigious 2017-2020 Grant from the Taiwanese Chiang Ching Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange for her work “Mapping Religious Diversity in Modern Sichuan," as well as a 2017-2018 Research Fellowship from the University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany 2017. She was also elected a Board Member for the Society for the Study of Chinese Religions.

Professor Elizabeth Tandy Shermer was named a Visiting Research, Faculty of History at Cambridge and a Visiting College Research Associate at Wolfson College, Cambridge. She also received an Academic Writing Residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center as well as the Italy Travel Assistance Award from the Rockefeller Foundation & the Institute of International Education.

Hope Shannon Serves as Guest Editor of History News

Hope Shannon AASLH

Hope Shannon, a PhD student in the Public History and US History program, recently served as guest co-editor of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) newsletter, History News. This Winter 2018 issue focused on emerging museum professionals. In the interview below, Hope Shannon reflects on her experience. Read the publication here!


Q: How did you become involved in editing History News?

A: I was the chair of AASLH's Emerging History Professionals (EHP) Affinity Community from 2015-2017, which is how I met Hannah Hethmon and Bob Beatty. Hannah worked for AASLH at the time (she left for a Fulbright overseas in 2017) and one of her duties was to serve as the AASLH staff liaison to our affinity community. As a result, I and others involved in the EHP group worked closely with Hannah on matters pertaining to emerging and early career professionals. In early 2017, Bob Beatty, then AASLH's Chief of Engagement and History News editor, had the idea to hand an issue of History News over to EHPs. Soon after, Bob asked me and Hannah if we would co-guest edit this special issue and the ball rolled forward from there.

Q: How did you make decisions about what to include as content?

A: We wanted content that touched on matters of particular interest to emerging and early career professionals. The articles we included present EHP perspectives on a broad array of issues in public history and museums. One of the pieces addresses problems with labor practices across public history and adjacent fields and another explores how academic-public partnerships can better prepare history PhD candidates for public-facing work. Three additional articles present case studies about topics of critical importance to our field and of particular interest to early career professionals. Hannah and I also both contributed content related to our respective areas of interest and expertise and invited resume and cover letter experts to craft this issue's technical leaflet. This content isn't of interest solely to early-career people-- it's intended for people at any stage of their career-- but what we hope the issue does is highlight things that early-career people are particularly passionate about and draw attention to their unique perspectives about ongoing debates.

Q: In what ways was your editorial position a learning experience for you?

A: It was a learning experience in several ways. First, it was a good exercise in project management. The path from Bob's initial concept to final publication and distribution involved many individual steps and deadlines across the better part of a year. There were a lot of moving pieces involving more than a dozen people. Frequent check-ins with Hannah, guidance from Bob, and attention to detail and to the needs of contributors helped us stay on target throughout the process. It was also the largest publication I've been involved with on the production side. I've worked on the production of smaller organizational newsletters before, but nothing on the scale of History News, and so it was instructive to see what went into bringing something of that size and reach together.

Q: What was most rewarding about this process?

A: One of the most rewarding things was working with and being inspired by such a hard-working and creative group of people. And then, of course, seeing the finished product at the end was kind of surreal. We hoped it would provoke discussion about some of the field's most pressing and enduring issues, and, though it was only released a short time ago, it seems to have done that to some extent. I'm looking forward to talking about it with people at the National Council on Public History annual meeting in April and then again at AASLH's own annual conference in September to get a better sense of its broader impact.

Loyola Alumnus and Graduate Student Create New Digital Exhibit

Loyola Alumnus and Graduate Student Create New Digital Exhibit

‌Kyle Mathers, a graduate of the Loyola Public History M.A. Program, recently completed a new digital exhibit, Kenilworth Centennial Structures, for the Kenilworth Historical Society, located in a suburb of Chicago situated on the North Shore. This exhibit is accessible online and will appear as an interactive feature on a tablet in the Kenilworth Historical Society's galleries starting February 11. Kyle worked with current Loyola Public History and U.S. History graduate student Kelly Schmidt to construct the site using the Omeka online exhibit platform.

Kyle writes of his experience:

"This exhibit offers an introduction to Kenilworth’s rich architectural history. Kenilworth Centennial Structures is a digital exhibition covering all the buildings in the village of Kenilworth that are over 100 years old. The site also includes buildings that would be 100 years old had they not been razed. I wanted to use this exhibit to preserve the memory of Kenilworth’s lost buildings. Many houses designed by noted architects and important buildings from the village’s early history have been torn down. Including those structures on this site will hopefully help raise awareness of the ongoing preservation efforts in the village. The idea to include razed structures stemmed from my historic preservation studies at Loyola. While the physical structure had been demolished and replaced this exhibit can preserve the memory and impact of those lost buildings.

Prior to this digital site the museum had a static exhibit in their main gallery. It was comprised of photos and small labels containing basic information about each home and did not include razed buildings or civic structures. The display was outdated, difficult to update as houses turned 100, and took up a lot of space in the museum’s only gallery. This new exhibit solves all the previous display’s issues. Given the digital nature of the exhibit it is easy to update and highly accessible. The physical display in the museum is much smaller and easily moved around the museum to accommodate changing exhibitions.

Currently the site only contains basic information about each building, but I would like to add more detail and descriptions to significant buildings and homes and possibly expand the site to include information about some of Kenilworth’s most influential architects.

I started this project when I was the curator at the Kenilworth Historical Society. When I moved on to the First Division Museum I still wanted to finish this exhibit. I stayed on as a consultant and designed and built the physical display and uploaded the content to the Omeka site. The project has had its ups and downs, but I have greatly enjoyed working on it. The exhibit is officially open on Sunday February 11th."

The Centennial Structures project emphasizes the collaborative nature of public history practice. Kyle and Kelly learned how to use Omeka in their Public History New Media class at Loyola. Using this knowledge, Kyle developed the concept for the Centennial Structures site and approached Kelly to execute his vision for the site layout. They chose to use the Neatline plugin for Omeka to create an interactive map for visitors to explore. Kyle contributed the content and design plan and Kelly modified the site's coding to function according to Kyle's design. "I really enjoyed being a part of this project because it helped me advance skills I had gained in my Public History and Digital Humanities Courses at Loyola," Kelly says. "It was a great asset to my professional development to learn how to design an interactive exhibit using Neatline."

Preserving the Story of Immigrant Advocates

The Immigration Advocacy History Project at Loyola University Chicago is seeking people willing to be interviewed about their work standing up for immigrants.

The project (https://immigrationadvocacyhistoryproject.wordpress.com/about-the-project/) is designed to document both past and current immigration advocacy at Loyola and in the surrounding areas and to illuminate contemporary activism by understanding its roots, as well as to give participants a chance to have their work and stories documented. It received a grant from the Student Innovation Fund, part of Loyola’s Plan 2020 to enhance student success, social justice, and partnerships with the Rogers Park/Edgewater communities.

Interviews will be archived under secure conditions at the Loyola University Archives for future research use. They also will be used to produce an exhibit and special programs in Fall 2018. Interviews will be conducted by graduate students, including project leaders Ina Cox, Nathan Ellstrand, Kristin Jacobsen, Stephen Petrie, and Ella Wagner.

Interviewees will be asked about various aspects of their experience as activists and advocates, including how they became involved, the nature and extent of their work, its importance in their own lives, and its impact on their communities. Immigrant advocates who are interested in being interviewed can contact justhistoryloyola@gmail.com.

The project is sponsored by Historians for a Just Society, which is part of the History Graduate Student Association at Loyola University Chicago.

Summer 2018 Course Registration is now OPEN!

Summer 2018 Course Promotion

It's time to sign up for Summer 2018 courses with the History Department! This year, we're offering a number of interesting classes, available at multiple Loyola campuses, as well as online. Registration is officially open, so head over to the Loyola Summer Courses page and scroll down to the "History" dropdown to learn more. 

The Department is excited to offer an online graduate-level course with Dr. Aidan Forth entitled "Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Displacement: A Global and American History." This class examines the vast expansion of settler societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and considers the lingering conflicts and inequalities that have resulted.  With an historical, comparative and transnational perspective, we travel from America to Australia, and from Israel to Manchuria to examine settler colonialism as a distinct though widespread form of violence and domination.  How did settlers build the modern world?  And at what cost to the environment and to indigenous communities in their way? This graduate-level course is also a great opportunity for teachers and instructors to refresh their teaching materials and learn how to challenge their students to think more deeply about human migration and movement. Check out this flyer for more information!

We're also happy to announce that the following 100- and 200-level courses are to be offered: 

Students may also choose to do a History Internship for credit. Internships allow students to earn three course credits while gaining valuable professional experience in public and private institutions engaged in history-related projects. Internship possibilities include historical associations and societies; oral history projects; museums and halls of fame; entrepreneurial history firms; genealogical services; preservation agencies; and archives and libraries. Interns work for a minimum of five hours per week in an internship position jointly agreed upon by the student and the internship director. Interns are also required to attend seminar meetings, keep a weekly journal, and write a paper related to the internship experience. Want to learn more about the History Internship? Check out these stories of graduate and undergraduate-level history interns, or reach out to Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin for more details. 

Announcing the New History Major

New History Major

Staring in Fall 2018, the History Department is proud to launch a new and improved version of the History Major, featuring reduced core requirements, new 200-level courses, and customized concentration options! 

Why Change the History Major Requirements?

Even while history remains a popular subject, recent years have seen a decline in enrollment in all humanities courses, including history. One big reason for this decline is in response to the recession of 2008, which led many to believe that students who wanted high-paying jobs would be better off focusing on “more marketable” topics. History departments all over the country have been grappling with the effects of this misrepresentation.

At Loyola, we decided to take a close look at our program and ask ourselves if the structure of the major and our current course offerings adequately meet the needs of today’s students. We noticed that the major requirements were relatively basic but still, somehow, quite rigid. It didn't advance the strengths of our department and it didn’t give you a sense of identity and choice. Worse, it simply reinforced the deadly assumption that History is just names and dates, geared only towards those who seek to teach.

History can do better. The History Department is composed of excellent teachers and award-winning scholars. Students get a lot out of the classes we offer, including skills that are marketable to nearly any career path: persuasive speaking, effective writing, critical thinking, and the ability to construct compelling arguments. But we weren’t doing a very good job giving you the opportunity to explore their specific interests. We weren’t giving you the chance to discover for yourself that the question is not what can you do with a history degree; it's what can't you do. 

We approached the problem by looking at what our majors say they like/dislike about the program and our current strengths as a department, as well as best practices from other Loyola departments and peer institutions.

The New History Major

Our goal was to re-tool the major to allow you more freedom of choice while preserving rigor; a structure that allows interested students to pursue relevant concentrations while delivering a proper grounding in historical skills and methods.

The new major consists of three main changes, all of which will make it easier for current and future students to put together a plan of study that best serves their personal interests and professional aspirations:

  1. We have reduced the core requirements from 4 to 2, making it easier to switch to the History Major.
  2. We have introduced several new 200-level lecture courses including: Barbarians; Crusades; Medieval Inquisition; Tudors & Stuarts: Blood, Sex, and Treason; Pirates and Slavery; and The History of Sexuality in the U.S. These courses will serve as middle step between introductory 100-level courses and the more rigorous, research-based 300-level seminars.
  3. We have made the major more flexible and have introduced optional concentrations. These concentrations are a great way to focus your path through the History major, build a sense of community, and make connections. If you choose to pursue a concentration, you’ll also be paired with a faculty advisor who will help support your chosen path.

These changes will help bring out what is most valuable about a history major: a set of versatile real-world skills applicable to any industry. A degree in history can open many doors. The New History Major will better lead you to those opportunities.




Historians in the Field: Ramblers at the AHA Conference

Earlier this month, the American Historical Association (AHA) held their annual meeting for 2018 in Washington, DC. As with past years, many Loyola History Department students and faculty attended the gathering to present their work, meet with peers, and learn about developments in the field.

The AHA Conference is an amazing opportunity for historians to connect and collaborate with their peers from institutions around the country. “The sheer volume of historians in close vicinity makes for some great elevator, lobby and public transit conversations. I love overhearing people talk about history in every direction,” says Loyola PhD student Karen Sieber. At the conference, Loyola historians worked with old friends and new colleagues to troubleshoot issues in their own work and explore new avenues for collaboration. “I got to learn about other digital projects and how they attacked similar metadata problems I've experienced in different ways," Karen continues. Professor Aidan Forth is also optimistic about collaborative work coming out of conference conversations: “Moving on from the conference we are all hoping to put together an edited volume that explores histories of state surveillance and detention in the Anglo-American world.”

The conference also proved to be a fruitful experience for new attendees.  “As a first-time attendee, I was interested in getting exposure to the wider historical field, meeting other scholars with similar research interests, and creating networks with future potential employers. I really enjoyed my time at the conference and considered it overall productive," says PhD student Sean Jacobson.

A number of Loyola faculty members and students presented their own work as part of conference panels and learning sessions. In the very first conference time slot on Thursday, January 4th, Dr. Kyle Roberts presented a paper which built on work done with Loyola graduate students in the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project. Also on the first day of the conference, Dr. Michelle Nickerson sat on a panel exploring Teaching Conservatism in the Age of Trump, which was later featured in Inside Higher Ed. Professor Aidan Forth presented on “Empire’s Double Edge: Coercion and Care in British Imperial Camps, 1876–1903.” The panel, he describes, “brought together histories of refugee relief and punitive incarceration directed at populations conceived as both victims and villains, ‘a risk’ and ‘at risk.’”

Current PhD student Emily Davis presented as part of a panel on “Negotiating Catholicism and Anti-Catholicism in the 19th-Century United States.” She got involved with the AHA conference through a call for papers from the American Catholic Historical Association. Karen Sieber presented The Well-Read President, a digital timeline project examining Theodore Roosevelt’s Reading Habits, as part of the Digital Projects Lightning Round. “It's something I could talk about for an hour, condensed into a 3-minute lightning round, which is always a challenge,” she explains.

In addition to presenting their own work, Ramblers enjoying attending a number of other sessions at the conference. “While the sheer number of panels spread across three hotels was a bit overwhelming, I enjoyed the ones I was able to attend,” says Sean Jacobson. “My favorite panel was ‘Reconsidering American Response(s) to the Holocaust,’ because it related most to my own research interests and gave me opportunity to connect with archivists at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.” Dr. Forth particularly enjoyed panels focusing on history in post-'Brexit' Britain. He says that he hopes to incorporate what he learned at the conference into his classrooms.

The conference also held ample learning opportunities for attendees outside of traditional panel sessions. Loyola Professor Dr. John Pincince presided over the Conference on Asian History/Society for Advancing History of South Asia (CAH/SAHSA) Luncheon, while Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin and Dr. Roberts attended the AHA’s Career Diversity Institute, which met at this year’s conference to highlight history pedagogy and career diversity. 

Career workshops were also a great opportunity for conference attendees to learn more about the field.  “Learning about the tricks and vocabulary of applying to federal government jobs helps me have a better perspective on my career path as I progress through the program here at Loyola,” says Sean Jacobson. Conference attendees also attended tours that took them outside the walls of the Convention Center. “As a public historian, I always take advantage of at least one tour offered at AHA,” says Karen Sieber. “My AHA moment (pun questionable) was sitting in on a planning meeting at the Smithsonian after a curator's tour.”

We hope to see even more Ramblers at the January 2019 AHA conference here in Chicago! Stay updated and learn more about opportunities to get involved here.

Student Spotlight: Internships

Experiential learning is at the core of the Loyola History Department’s educational experience. Undergraduate and graduate students put skills learned in Loyola classrooms to work with hands-on projects and internships throughout their time in the program. In Chicago and beyond, Loyola students participate in exciting internships that help build competencies and connections valuable for further education and future employment. Here, students Chelsea Denault, Sarah Eden, Andrew Haberman, and Kate Johnson share details from their internship experiences.


Chelsea Denault, PhD Candidate, Public History and United States History

  chelsea denault

Internship: Nantucket Historical Association Public Programs Intern, 2013

What types of responsibilities did your internship entail? At the NHA, my main responsibility was coming up with future program ideas, thinking about plans for implementation, and determining potential community partners. Once a week, I was also responsible for running a mobile artifact cart - called the ArtifACK Cart (ACK is the airport code for the island) - which was my favorite thing! The purpose of the ArtifACK Cart was to engage with kids about whales and whale anatomy, which complemented the museum's main narrative discussing Nantucket's importance in the whaling industry during the 18th and 19th centuries. I was also responsible for managing some of our ongoing art programs at other historic
sites and working with the entire Public Programs team on some of our bigger programs, like a full in-museum production of Orson Welles' Moby Dick Rehearsed. It was a great combination of creative office work, engaging with the public, and providing support to the Programs Team.

What did you learn from the experience? I learned a lot about planning a project from beginning to end, thinking through the steps and stakeholders along the way. It really got me thinking not just about the idea behind a public program, but also the why and the how. A project might sound interesting, but if it doesn't support the institution's mission (the why) and it takes too many resources (the how), it might not be worth your time or the institution's time. I also learned a lot about myself and my professional goals through this internship. I realized working at the NHA that I was most passionate about community-based or collaborative project, which was not a major priority for the museum. So my experience really helped me understand the importance of looking closely at an institution’s mission and values. At the same time, the internship also taught me a valuable sense of realism: you can dream big on a program or project, but you really need to understand what your museums needs and expects first!

How did your work at Loyola help prepare you for your internship? The Museums course really gave me the skills and the inspiration to approach my internship, We discussed many examples of innovative or off-the-wall programs and exhibits that taught me to think outside the box, which was really valuable for this position. And because we actually planned multiple exhibits in that class, it also taught me the methodical, day-to-day details of how you plan  and execute a project. Most of all, for this experience and my other internships since then, my course work at Loyola has firmly centered the importance of audience - thinking about your audience, who they are, what their expectations are, what they might know, and how best to reach them in a meaningful or effective way.


Sarah Eden, Class of 2020

sarah eden

Internship: Pritzker Military Museum & Library, Spring 2016.

What types of responsibilities did your internship entail? I was a transcriber, so I listened to recorded testimonies from military veterans about their experience in the military as well as conducted my own interview with a military veteran. As I listened to these primary sources, I typed what I heard and posted the completed transcript onto an online database which houses hundreds of other testimonies from veterans. My responsibilities included listening to about 6 testimonies from military veterans and transcribing the content through a specific computer program. Additionally, towards the end of my internship, I had the privilege of interviewing a relative of mine. I came up with relevant questions to ask as well as conducted the interview myself.

What did you learn from the experience? I definitely learned effective listening skills that help sharpen my ability to pick up small yet important details when listening to lectures, videos, or any other recorded audio. Moreover, conducting an interview with a veteran definitely increased my respect and admiration for any person who enlists in the military and experiences war. My experience at the Pritzker really allowed me to realize that military history is my passion and is something I wish to pursue. I also polished up my typing skills.

How has your work at Loyola related to your internship? I completed this internship before my freshman year at Loyola; however, upon growing as a student at Loyola University Chicago, I can definitely say my experience helped me cultivate effective examination skills, critical thinking ability, and the dedication to pursue what I love most.


Andrew Haberman, Class of 2017

andrew haberman

Internship: Glessner House Museum Collections Specialist, August-December 2017 (Ongoing)

What types of responsibilities did your internship entail? As a Collections Specialist, I have a few main responsibilities.  The day-to-day work varies, since the museum has a wide variety of objects, but the general nature of my job is to assign recently acquired object an ID number, photograph them, and enter them into the museum database.  Upon completion of a major project, I usually write an article for the Glessner House website to share my work.

What did you learn from the experience? The most important thing that I have learned from the internship is how my history background can be used in the workforce.  Being a history major is much more than memorizing facts, and my critical analysis and writing skills are invaluable to my job at the museum.  Working at the Glessner House has allowed me to put these skills to the test, and it has also allowed me to see the connection between the past and the present.

How did your work at Loyola help prepare you for your internship? As stated above, the development of critical thinking skills and writing has had the largest impact on my job.  In carefully documenting many different types of objects, clarity is of the utmost importance.  I also used my research skills for writing the articles for the website.  I would not have had any of these skills if it weren't for the numerous projects and papers I have been assigned at Loyola that challenged me to think outside the box about history.


Kate Johnson, MA Candidate, Public History

kate johnson

Internship: Frances Willard House Museum, Prohibition Trust Intern, Summer 2017

What types of responsibilities did your internship entail? In my position I worked with the director managing museum finances, working with donor and museum membership communications, giving tours, event planning, and researching and drafting a special architectural program.

What did you learn from the experience? The internship really helped me fill in some gaps in my experience in the financial side of museum work, as well as gain insight into the kinds of decisions directors face.  Interning at a small museum meant that I got exposure to just about every aspect of museum work that I was interested in (and some that I was not), as well as the particular challenges small institutions face.  

How did your work at Loyola help prepare you for your internship? Loyola's Public History courses all emphasize project management skills, which was helpful in my internship as I was juggling multiple projects.

Refusing to Forget wins Autry Public History Prize

Ben Johnson story

Benjamin Johnson is an Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. His primary areas of research and teaching include environmental history, North American borders, and Latino history. This week, Refusing to Forget, an organization founded by Dr. Johnson, was awarded the Western History Association’s 2017 Autry Public History Prize. Dr. Johnson talked to Public Media Assistant Meagan McChesney about the important work of this organization.  

Q: Congratulations on the Autry Public History Prize! Can you tell our readers what “Refusing to Forget” is and how it came about?

A:  Thanks!  “Refusing to Forget” is an organization that I and four other scholars of the U.S-Mexico border and Mexican American history founded in 2013.  We had all written and taught about different aspects of 1910s racial violence targeted at Latinos.  My first book, Revolution in Texas:  How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans (2003), traced the ways that organized racial violence condoned by the state had led to the segregation and disfranchisement of most ethnic Mexicans in a large part of southern Texas where they had remained landowners, elected officials, and voters into the twentieth century.  My colleagues and I were frustrated that all of the academic work on this subject, including our own, wasn’t seeping out into the general public, despite all of the attention being paid to the border and Latinos in American politics and culture.  We thought that the centennial of the worse mass killings might provide a chance to rectify this.

So we met to work up some plans to secure a museum exhibit and the erection of some historical markers. We were referred to the Bullock Museum of Texas History, the state’s most prominent historical museum.  Somewhat to our surprise given the sensitive politics of this – we’re talking about episodes in which Anglo-American vigilantes and the Texas Rangers and some local law enforcement officers grotesquely killed hundreds, possibly thousands – they were delighted to have the chance to develop an exhibit and enthusiastically backed it.  Some of our marker applications were approved, and we have also developed a 7th grade history lesson, with others in gestation.  And these efforts, especially the exhibit and markers, have generated a tremendous amount of press coverage.

Q: As the Western History Association’s website indicates, this prize is awarded annually to a public history project that “contribute[s] to a broader reflection and appreciation of the past or serve[s] as a model of professional public history practice.” How does Refusing to Forget accomplish this?

A:  Honestly, we made it up as we went along.  None of the five of us had any formal training as a public historian, though one of us had worked as a consultant for an exhibit about migrant workers and some of us had written for non-academic audiences in op-eds and the like.  A key early step was partnering with people who had museum expertise, which is why the Bullock and its staff members were so important.  They worked with us in developing the concepts of the exhibit, especially nestling this violence in a longer history that also featured cross-racial cooperation and harmony, and in presenting historical developments through images and artifacts as well as words.  Something that I think also worked well was our use of a website and facebook page to attract and audience and provide them with reports not only about our projects, but also more broadly about the themes of violence, race, and historical memory that have become so prominent since the white supremacist rallies and violence in Charlottesville, Virgina this past summer.

Q: In talking about your work with Refusing to Forget, you have discussed the importance of telling the “hard truths” about the past. Why is this so important and how do you accomplish this in your classes at Loyola?

A:  I try to take to heart the Czech writer Milan Kundera’s famous statement that “the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” It is no accident that oppressive regimes, whether in the Jim Crow South, contemporary China, or Donald Trump’s America, go to great lengths to control the history conveyed in books and classrooms, suppressing unflattering chapters. 

Honest and inclusive accounts of the past, in contrast, are indispensable tools for democratic societies.  When we recover and remember the lives taken by racist violence, whether in a classroom or a public commemoration, we model the empathy needed to hold together an enormous and polyglot country.  When we explain how people in high places – government, the press, the judiciary – looked the other way and even endorsed horrific actions, we remind ourselves of the dangers of demagogues in high places today.  In 2017 we have returned to a point where some of our leaders profit from depicting Mexicans as criminals and invaders, stoking the fears of a heavily armed citizenry. Scholars of mass political violence should feel a great responsibility to bear witness to the past, in their writings and classrooms, lest its worse chapters be repeated.

Q: Refusing to Forget has already achieved several of its goals this year. What’s next for you and the organization?

A:  We’d like to secure and unveil a few more historical markers, as we just recently did outside of Brownsville, Texas.  Some more curricula would help get these stories into middle and high-school classrooms.  A traveling version of the Bullock Exhibit would expose these stories to more of the general public.  That will cost something like $60,000 to develop, so we’ve begun fundraising to that end.  We’re going to have a conference to study and commemorate the centennial of the 1919 legislative hearings that exposed some of the worse of the crimes.  I hope that that event will emphasize the lives and legacies of those who stood up for multiracial democracy, thereby telling more hopeful stories about past travails.  Finally, we’ve begun conversations with scholars and public historians focused on other events to see what we might accomplish by coordinating our efforts and learning from one another.

Elliot Lefkovitz on Teaching the Holocaust at Loyola

Elliot Lefkovitz Q&A

Pictured (from left to right): Patti Ray (Hillel Director Emerita, Loyola University Chicago), Elliot Lefkovitz, John Coath (WWII vet and liberator of Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria), Steen Metz (Danish child survivor of Theresienstadt concentration camp in former Czechoslovakia), Paul Voelker (Director, Information Commons). Photo taken at "Opening the Gates of Hell," Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz is a highly accomplished Jewish educator and education consultant. In addition to his 40 years of teaching at Loyola, Dr. Lefkovitz has taught at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership and served as the Director of Education at Am Yisrael Congregation for close to 30 years before retiring from that position. Dr. Lefkovitz has also organized several notable events relating to the Holocaust, many of which involved survivors. Here, Dr. Lefkovitz talks with Public Media Assistant Meagan McChesney about one of such events, the upcoming November 7 “Holocaust Rescuers: Overcoming Evil,” and reflects on his experience teaching at Loyola.

Q: This year marks your 40th year of teaching in the Department of History at Loyola. Reflecting on the beginning of your time here, what was it like to come to this longtime Catholic Jesuit school as a Jewish instructor back in 1977?

A: At the time I came to Loyola, I was the Education Director of Am Yisrael Congregation in Northfield Illinois. As Education Director, I was the principal of the synagogue's school in which children from the age of kindergarten through 10th grade were enrolled. Our synagogue did not have a school building so we met at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, perhaps a quarter mile from the synagogue, on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and on Sunday mornings. Therefore, I was quite comfortable with being in a Catholic institution albeit as a Jewish educator. I had friendly relationships with several priests, and the synagogue rabbi was on friendly terms with the head of Loyola Academy. Any problems that arose, we found solutions for through collaborative efforts. After a time at Loyola, the then Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois and the University collaborated productively in making three Holocaust related films: "Opening the Gates of Hell: American G.I.s and the liberation of the German Concentration Camps", "The Double Crossing: the Story of the St. Louis" and "Kristallnacht: Night of the Broken Glass". Each film contained the testimony of a number of Chicago area survivors and liberators. I greatly appreciated the University's involvement in the making of these films.

Q: For many years, you have been teaching the class on the Holocaust and Twentieth Century Genocide. What was it like to teach the Holocaust in 1977, a mere 30 years after 1945? How has the class changed as we have moved farther away from the time period at hand?

A: Actually, I did not begin to teach the Holocaust class until the mid 1980's. Both the university and the History Department accepted the proposal to teach it for which I am most grateful. Up until that time, I taught the introductory history courses. When I began to teach the course on the Holocaust, I had to delve into the history of antisemitism, which meant dealing with the Church's historical teaching of contempt for Jews and Judaism. I wondered how Christian anti-Judaism and antisemitism would be accepted by students. Happily, I encountered no problems in this regard. As time went on, and the world witnessed more and more genocides, I decided that I had to find a way to cover those as well. The ideal solution would have been to have a semester course on the Holocaust and another semester course on genocide in general. Due to the emotional and psychological demands of teaching about the crime of genocide, I could not teach about it for two semesters. Therefore, I divided the semester course into two halves; the first covers such topics as the definition of genocide, genocidal commonalities especially causes and results, moral and theological questions arising from genocide (the issue of forgiveness as raised in "The Sunflower" and the question, "Why does God Allow the Innocent to Suffer?"), genocidal famines and locations in the contemporary world where there is a genocidal potential. There are two sessions during the first half of the semester devoted to the Armenian genocide and another two to Stalin's genocides. The second half of the course is devoted to the Holocaust-the crime itself; the perpetrators and collaborators; the victims (including Jewish resistance and Nazi victims other than Jews); the bystanders; and finally the rescuers. 

Q: In addition to teaching such an important course, you have also spearheaded the organization of several events relating to the Holocaust, including the upcoming November 7 event “Holocaust Rescuers: Overcoming Evil.” Why are events like this so important? How do such events fit within and contribute to the larger sphere of the memory of the Holocaust in Chicago?

A: With the invaluable help of Patti Ray, Director Emerita of Loyola Hillel, and Dr. Paul Voelker, Director of Klarcheck Information Commons, I have organized not only events relating to Holocaust anniversaries but in connection with other genocides as well. All of these events have been anniversary related. Thus, we held events commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 70th anniversary of the genocide against Hungarian Jewry and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The  first two events featured Kristallnacht and Hungarian Jewish survivors. For the third event, a 91 year old G.I. liberator of Mauthausen spoke. He had recently lost his youngest daughter in a tragic accident in downtown Chicago, but felt that he had an obligation to relate his experiences.

Insofar as other genocides are concerned, we commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the 40th anniversary of the Cambodian genocide and the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. For these programs, we hosted a survivor of the Rwandan genocide left for dead in a pool of blood, the daughter of a Cambodian genocide survivor born in a refugee camp in Thailand and a local descendant of Armenian genocide survivors and a human rights activist  At the Cambodian event, a young musician sang traditional Cambodian songs played on a traditional Cambodian instrument as part of an effort to resurrect  traditional Cambodian culture that the Khmer Rouge had sought to destroy. A key importance of these events is that Loyola students had the opportunity for most of them to hear from survivors. There is nothing that can replace the power and authority of survivor voices in bearing witness to the memory of genocides. These voices help to fulfill the moral obligation we all have in actualizing the virtue of remembrance. This is especially true when it comes to remembering epochal events of human wrong-doing. In addition, in the words of Elie Wiesel, "Whoever hears the testimony of a witness becomes a witness."

The event on November 7 will focus on Holocaust rescuers. It will feature the testimony of Ida Kersz who was saved by Polish rescuers. Ida was a child at the time, the most vulnerable of Nazi victims. There will also be a brief discussion of Germans who rescued Jews during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Although only a small fraction of the populations under Nazi rule had "the courage to care", it is of the utmost importance to recall the deeds of the rescuers especially in the times in which we find ourselves. The rescuers demonstrate that it is possible to take action on behalf of their fellow human beings in need and in peril even in the darkest of times. They can inspire us to do no less.

These programs have been archived and can be viewed online here. 

Q: As you look back at what you have most wanted to communicate through your classes and events, are there any particular points that you have found indispensable to impart to your students and/or audience?

A: This question would require quite a lengthy response but, in brief:

  • To provide a recognition of how extensive genocide has been both in the past and in the contemporary world as well as an awareness of the unique characteristics of each genocide. Nevertheless there are genocidal commonalities and some general causes and effects of genocide. 
  • To show how genocide denial seeks to murder the victims a second time by erasing their memories.
  • To describe the psychological mechanisms that can turn ordinary human beings into genocidal perpetrators thereby providing a reminder that civilization is often but "a thin veneer" and that democracy and the rule of law are fragile and must be safeguarded at all times.
  • To illustrate how a sense of humiliation and victimization combined with a pernicious and destructive ideology can lead to scapegoating and dehumanization of one's supposed enemies turning them into "the other."
  • To explore why it is often so difficult to bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice.
  • To stimulate an awareness of the indescribable suffering of the victims of genocide and the losses they endured.
  • To promote cognizance of potential genocidal situations in today's world. Along with this comes the need to examine individual stories of survival "one by one by one" because each is unique. What binds all of them, however, is the determined will to survive demonstrated by survivors, their resilience in doing so and their courage in renewing their lives after all the devastating losses they experienced.
  • To demonstrate that there are many forms that resistance to genocidal acts can take. For German concentration camp inmates, living one more day was an act of resistance.
  • To give examples of the truth of the observation that all that it takes for evil to succeed is that most people choose to be bystanders. Bystanders include as well self-interested nations lacking in political will to halt or prevent genocides. The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has coined the word "upstander" and seeks to teach students who visit that they must not only remember the past, they must transform the future by engaging in acts, however modest, that will make this a better world, a world less prone to stand by while innocent human beings are murdered.
  • To encourage students to reject despair and cynicism by teaching about the "Righteous Among the Nations" and exploring the roots of altruistic behavior.  Those recognized by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial and research institute, are given a medal which says, "Whoever saves one life saves the whole world." Conversely whoever destroys one life destroys the whole world.
  • To discuss ways in which future genocides might be prevented, which international organizations are involved in this effort and which individual actions might be taken in order to do so.
  • To offer students the opportunity to reflect on key issues in short assignments, some in-class, such as the appeal of conspiracy theories as seen in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and the dilemmas of resistance in the Nazi ghettos.
  • Finally, to give students choices for a course project including an interview with a survivor, visits to the Illinois Holocaust Museum or the "Killing Fields Exhibit" at the Cambodian Association of Illinois, an artistic rendering of of genocide, a discussion of the book and exhibit, "Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race", an analysis and commentary on selected films dealing with a genocide or a paper on a post-World War II genocide. The individual course project has proved quite meaningful and worthwhile for a number of students.

Q: You have accomplished and contributed so much to the Loyola community over the past 40 years. Can you share with us a bit about your plans for the future?

A: I hope to continue to help organize programs at Loyola in collaboration with Patti Ray and Dr. Paul Voelker that will feature survivor witnesses. Again and again, I have heard from Loyola students that hearing survivor testimony has been an unforgettable experience for them. In addition, I will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the local Holocaust museum. Not long after the founding of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois in 1981, I began recording survivor oral histories and have continued to do so. About a year and half ago, I thought that this undertaking had reached an end, but then I was approached by Holocaust Community Services of Chicago's Jewish Federation and asked to record the testimony of local survivors from the Former Soviet Union. Their stories had not been videotaped due to the language barrier. With the invaluable assistance of a translator, herself a child survivor from Kiev whose grandmother was murdered at Babi Yar, we have thus far recorded close to 30 interviews. One survivor spoke for many when she said, "I want my words to be like flowers on my family's graves." Most are stories of survival in Belarus and Ukraine. DVD copies of these interviews are given to survivors' families, and one copy is placed in the archives of the local museum. These will eventually be digitized and send to the Washington museum. There are still at least 20 interviews yet to be recorded, and conducting these interviews figures prominently in my immediate plans. In addition, I have an adjunct faculty appointment at Spertus Institute where I teach in the Distance Learning program and have several online courses. 

Faculty Spotlight: Q&A with Dr. Alice Weinreb

Alice Weinreb is an Associate Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches courses in twentieth-century Europe, the history and politics of food in Europe, the Holocaust, and European environmental history. Dr. Weinreb’s much anticipated book, Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth Century Germany, was published by Oxford University Press this year. Public Media Assistant Meagan McChesney asked her a few questions about the recent release of her book and the courses she is teaching at Loyola this year. Congratulations, Dr. Weinreb! 

Q: Congratulations on the publication of your book! In the book, you examine the ways in which Germany’s experiences in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War were shaped by the modern food system. How did your interest in food as an historical subject come about?

A: Before becoming a German historian, I was trained in Anthropology and Gender Studies, two disciplines that, in different ways, are very interested in food both as a material and theoretical object of study. Anthropologists have long realized that ways of producing and consuming food are universally central components of human society. Everybody everywhere cares about what they eat and how they eat it! And scholars of gender are sensitive to the ways in which food practices are central to expressions of power. Coming from this background, the fact that historians have been relatively uninterested in food shocked me. Within the field of history, food has often been considered trivial, either conceptualized as a straight-forward aspect of people’s everyday lives, or dismissed as “popular” or women’s history, rather than seen as a central component of the “big” issues of serious history. Thus, one of the things that inspired me to unpack the relationship between our food system and global military conflicts (the World Wars and the Cold War) was my desire to show that these “big” questions are, in fact, not understandable without addressing food supply.

Q: This spring, you are teaching a course on Food, Hunger, & Power in the Modern World. What do you hope your students will take away from this course?

A: This is one of my favorite classes, and I am constantly tweaking it to make it speak both to student interests and to current events. For example, as the United States’ food system has been grown increasingly unstable and as welfare programs are coming under attack, I have focused much more of our course on US food policy. Very few people, and especially very few politicians, know the history of farm subsidies or of food stamps. Yet without knowing this history, attempts to improve our current food catastrophes are pretty much doomed to failure. More generally, the main take-away of this course is to think more holistically about the food system. We all tend to separate “food” concerns from “hunger” concerns. Thus, we post photos on Instagram of a delicious meal, buy a new brand of fair-trade chocolate, or celebrate the opening of a new Starbucks in our neighborhood – and then, in a totally different register, feel pity for famine-stricken families in parts of Africa, or bemoan the fact that one out of three children in Chicago is food-insecure.  My course encourages students to think about the ways in which the modern food system is profoundly transnational; this means that food abundance and food lack, both locally and across the globe, are not opposites but intertwined, even mutually constitutive. 

Q: Throughout the book, you reinforce the fact that during these wars and particularly for the German people, food and identity were (and are) inextricably tied. How is this discussed in the book and how will questions of identity tie into the course you are teaching this spring?

A: Food is a fascinating way of thinking about identity – after all, as the cliché reminds us, we are what we eat. My book traces the complicated and constantly changing ways in which food shaped German identity. For example, I look at the ways in which food was central to the Nazi construction of the Aryan racial identity (expressed in the slogan “blood and soil”.) But I also look at the ways in which, for example, German communists attempted to revolutionize gender roles by developing a new, scientific, food system. In essence, I show that food is never just a thing; it is always a component of individual and collective identity. This comes through in my course as well; what people eat matters not only because of food’s cost or caloric or vitamin content, but because a person’s diet impacts his or her sense of self. This can be wonderful and empowering, or humiliating and destructive. 

Q: Both writing and teaching about war, hunger, and power come with particular sets of challenges. What are some of those challenges and how have you addressed them in your book and throughout your teaching career?

A: This is a huge question. Probably one of the things that I struggle with in my research as well as in the classroom is negotiating empathy. On the one hand, one of my personal goals as a teacher and a historian is to encourage a sense of empathy; in our current political and economic climate, we are discouraged from experiencing or expressing empathy. It is difficult and disturbing to really think about what it might be like to be hungry, or to consider the pressures of not knowing how one will feed one’s child. However, at the same time, empathy can be a knee-jerk and fairly superficial reaction to another’s suffering: that person’s situation is absolutely horrible, but all I can do is hope for the best, or donate a few dollars . . . As a historian, I hope that learning about the past encourages us to see empathy as empowering – in other words, that feeling empathy for others includes recognizing our own responsibility and our own power to enact change. 

Faculty Spotlight: Q&A with Dr. Aidan Forth

Aidan Forth Feature

Aidan Forth is an assistant professor of history at Loyola, where he teaches courses on modern British history, imperialism, and transnational urban history. Dr. Forth recently returned from a semester abroad as a visiting professor with the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. His first book, Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain’s Empire of Camps, 1876-1903, was published this fall. Public Media Assistant Meagan McChesney asked him a few questions about his experience in Prague, the recent release of his book, and the courses he is teaching at Loyola this year. Congratulations, Dr. Forth!

Q: Congratulations on the publication of your first book! In the book, you examine the world’s first “concentration camps.” How did your interest in this important topic develop?

A: Camps have long fascinated me as emblems of the twentieth century and of everything that went wrong—violence, prejudice, and even genocide—in the two world wars. When I learned the first “concentration camps” were erected not in Nazi Germany but in the British Empire during the South African War (1899-1902), I realized there was a hidden history of camps that could tell us much about ourselves.  That a regime as racist and violent as Hitler’s Third Reich would concentrate racial minorities and other social “undesirables” in barbed-wire pens is hardly surprising. That a liberal democracy like Britain, which valued (or claimed to value) human rights, individual freedom, and the rule of law, first “invented” the concentration camp is an advent that demands more explanation. In the concentration camps of the British Empire we are confronted with the dark side of liberalism: we see what happens when a liberal and imperial power confronts populations deemed dangerous, “uncivilized,” and supposedly unworthy of exercising freedom. We are also provided with the opening chapter of a larger, global narrative of mass incarceration that encompasses the “concentration camps” of the United States and other liberal democracies, from the Japanese “internment” camps of WWII to Guantanamo Bay, which Amnesty International recently deemed the “Gulag of our times.”  Moreover, the attitudes and anxieties that governed British colonial camps live on today in the detention of refugees and migrants in vast barbed-wire enclosures across the global south and on the frontiers of Europe and America.

Q: You recently returned from teaching a summer course entitled “Concentration Camps: Mass Confinement from the Age of Empires to the European Migrant Crisis” at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. How did the content of this course align with your interests?

A: Teaching and research are always interconnected.  My class on concentration camps broadens the scope of my own research, but has also helped me carve out my own scholarly contribution, as an historian of Britain, in a field dominated by histories of totalitarian violence.  The class examines British concentration camps in the South African War as well as earlier iterations of forced encampment in colonial India, before charting the evolving form and function of concentration camps over the course of the twentieth century, from Nazi Konzentrationslager to the Soviet Gulag  and beyond: “camps de regroupement” in Algeria, “strategic hamlets” in Vietnam, and “new villages” in Malaya all feature in class, as do native reservations, slave plantations, leper colonies, and Australia’s controversial offshore detention facilities on Nauru and Christmas Island. Students compare and contrast camps in their diverse and evolving iterations while tracing their changing form and function over time.  Memoirs, diaries, and the accounts of humanitarian reformers offer insight into the lived experience of inmates, from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to unnamed children in Namibia. So too did a site visit to the Terezin concentration camp north of Prague and the town of Lidice, which was liquidated by the Nazis.  Further, the course considers the politics of naming and the continuing power of the “camp,” as both a symbol and a warning, in the world today. Was Pope Francis right to describe a refugee facility in Greece as a “concentration camp”? Was Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s own use of the term “concentration camp” to describe his “tent city” in the Arizona desert appropriate? Like my book, the goal of the course is to tell a global history via the microcosm of the camp and to approach an infamous institution from new and provocative angles. Teaching abroad was a fabulous, stimulating and rewarding experience and I’d highly recommend Loyola students to explore USAC many exciting exchange opportunities, both in Prague and all across the world!

Q: What courses are you teaching at Loyola this year? What do you hope your students will take away from each of those courses? 

A: I’m currently teaching History 102: Western Ideas and Institutions since the 17th century and History 325: Great Britain since 1760.  In their own ways, both courses grapple with a central paradox of the modern age: humanity, in the twentieth century, conducted total war, genocide, and nuclear holocaust, but at the very same time, it made remarkable strides in building mass democracies and embracing open, pluralistic societies. Apart from the basic skills that all good history fosters—critical reading, writing, and analytical thinking—my courses are about people. Why do we suffer, and why do we inflict suffering? To this end, I’ll be teaching a new version of the course I taught in Prague—History 300E Concentration Camps: A Global History of Mass Confinement—and I hope to see some new and familiar faces in the classroom! 

Q: Both writing and teaching difficult histories come with their own challenges. How did you address those challenges throughout both experiences?

A: History demands both critical analysis and human empathy. Striking a balance between the two is especially difficult—and especially important—with a subject as politically charged as concentration camps.  The Holocaust, in particular, pushes social science to its limits: how can we remain analytically detached in the face of an event that many consider sacrosanct?  Historiographical disputes can seem hollow when faced with six million corpses. In such cases, reverence must accompany rational explanation. The same is true for British concentration camps during the South African War, which were by no means as violent as their Nazi counterparts, but which have lived on in public memory, often in troubling ways. As I found out during my time in South Africa, camps are a hot-button entrée into discussions about race, colonialism, and post-apartheid reconciliation; they require special sensitivity. In the classroom, meanwhile, my course on camps often tackles disturbing material.  Alain Resnais’s graphic Holocaust film Night and Fog, in particular, prompts raw emotions. I’ve also had Loyola students personally describe the trauma their families have faced moving through refugee facilities, transit camps, and migrant detention centers. Ultimately, however, knowledge is power, and my overarching goal is to prompt action and understanding.  Both my writing and teaching examine the conspicuous differences and essential similarities between camps in a wide variety of contexts—and both emphasize that camps, in many guises, continue to populate the world today. By spotlighting contemporary injustices and their historical genealogies, I want my students to feel empowered to address them.

Loyola Faculty on the Politics of Memory

Loyola Faculty on the Politics of Memory

Image of Camp Douglas, courtesy Chicago History Museum

How do we remember problematic history? Three Loyola professors have recently explored this timely question and its profound effects on sites and memorials throughout America.

With WBEZ, Professor Ted Karamanski discusses public memory of Camp Douglas, one of the largest POW camps for the Union Army during the Civil War, located in the heart of Bronzeville. “If we try to memorialize Camp Douglas in such a way that we don’t share the story, share the authority in creating the site with the people in the community, then you’re asking for trouble,” Karamanski explains. 

Professor Ben Johnson's Refusing to Forget Project explores state-sanctioned violence and civil right legacies on the Texas border. It highlights the consequences of violent policing in the border region and celebrates forgotten heroes who stood up for equality. 

And in the Columbia Chronicle, Professor Tony Cardoza discusses Chicago monuments to Italo Balbo, Air Marshall of Benito Mussolini's Aeronautica, including his involvement with a campaign to change the name of a downtown street named after Balbo.


Professor Stabler named Undergraduate Program Director

Stabler UPD Announcement

Loyola History majors and minors will benefit from the expertise, dedication, energy, and leadership that Dr. Stabler brings to her new role as Undergraduate Program Director beginning this July. In addition to courses in the Core Curriculum, she teaches courses on medieval Europe, including: Heresy and the Inquisition, the Crusades, Medieval Queens, and the Premodern City in Europe. She previously taught at Purdue University Calumet. 

Professor Stabler is the author of The Beguines of Medieval Paris: Gender, Patronage, and Spiritual Authority (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), which explores the intersections between gender, spirituality, political power, and urban life in medieval Paris. She is currently working on a new book, tentatively titled “Men, Women, and Religious Networks in Medieval France.”

A very warm welcome to Professor Stabler in her new role!

Mooney-Melvin Returns as Graduate Program Director

GPD Transition

Graduate Program Director Professor Patricia Mooney-Melvin

The History Department of Loyola University Chicago is excited to welcome Professor Patricia Mooney-Melvin back to her role as Graduate Program Director. Mooney-Melvin returns full-time to the Department after serving as Associate Dean and Interim Dean in the Graduate School, where she spearheaded efforts on student career pathways, diversity in the Academy, and student financial education.

On behalf of our graduate students and faculty, we extend our gratitude to outgoing Graduate Program Director Professor Michelle Nickerson. As Professor Mooney-Melvin noted: “Our graduate programs are stronger thanks to her careful stewardship.” Thank you, Professor Nickerson.

New Digital Site Explores British Reaction to Call for American Independence


Kate Johnson, Marie Pellissier, and Kelly Schmidt created Explore Common Sense to discover how the British reacted to Tom Paine's call for American Independence.

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense inspired American colonists toward revolution, but what did the British think of his words?

Kate Johnson, Marie Pellissier, and Kelly Schmidt, graduate students at Loyola University Chicago, set out to find an answer to this question this past spring. The answer surprised them and inspired them to create a digital critical edition of Common Sense that explores a re-printing of Thomas Paine’s iconic pamphlet produced by printer J. Almon in London in 1776. Unlike American editions, Almon censored portions of the text in this British version by simply leaving blank spaces in the typesetting where the objectionable words had been. Historians have spent much time studying the impact of Common Sense on the American consciousness in the days leading up to revolution. However, the thoughts and reactions of British readers have received less attention. Explore Common Sense (explorecommonsense.org) offers insights into what readers across the pond thought of this provocative tract.

We recently caught up with Kate, Marie, and Kelly and asked them some questions about the project:

There are a range of iconic publications from the period of the American Revolution. Why did you choose Common Sense to create a digital edition around?

Kate: The simple answer is because that is the document we had access to. We were fortunate in that Loyola University Archives and Special Collections had recently acquired a copy of the first British edition of the iconic pamphlet, and when we had the chance to work with scans of the document in an American Revolution class with Dr. Kyle Roberts, we knew we had a fantastic opportunity on our hands.  While Common Sense has been established as being a very influential piece in the patriot movement in America, analyzing the British edition gives us a chance to explore its influence from a different perspective.

Common Sense was published almost 250 years ago. What does it have to say to us today?

Kate: A lot! Both in terms of what it can tell us about people and events in the past, but also in ideas and concepts that we can continue to ponder and grapple with today. Political discontent and the power of words in shaping public opinion are as relevant today as they were in 1776.  The Revolutionary period in American history continues to be an important source for shaping our national identity, and this British edition in particular gives us an opportunity to better appreciate how both American Colonists and British subjects perceived and understood the striking political changes that were unfolding around them.  There is much that we can still learn from this document, and Explore Common Sense provides an avenue for us to engage with the text as it was grappled with by its first readers: through dialogue with each other about its message and meaning.

What can we learn about Common Sense from a digital site that we can't by just looking at a physical copy?

Kelly: Exploring Common Sense digitally opens several opportunities to view the text in a new light. What prompted our decision to make a digital critical edition in the first place was the uniqueness of the version we had available to us--the first British edition. The London printer, J. Almon, concerned about being charged for seditious libel for publishing Paine's pamphlet, removed portions of the text that might get him in trouble with the Crown, but left glaring gaps where those phrases used to be. To someone looking at the physical copy without reference to the American edition, it is not necessarily evident what Almon removed and why. Creating a digital edition allowed us to highlight the redacted portions of the text so that when a user hovers a mouse over the highlighted portion, the missing words appear. Annotations that appear when a user clicks on the text provide further contextualization about why these lines were removed. Additionally, for scholars wishing to analyze the text more closely, tags and search functions enables visitors to the site to measure the frequency with which certain topics or themes within the text come up.

Was this your first collaborative digital project? What was it like as historians to work together on a project instead of individually?

Marie: Working on digital projects, I've learned that it's almost impossible to do digital humanities work completely solo. As an undergrad, I worked on a "solo" project, but even that wasn't completely by myself--I was using a platform created by the media services department at my university and constantly consulting with the developers of that platform, since I didn't have any coding skills.

Working on Explore Common Sense has been a fantastic experience because each of us brings different strengths to the table. We're all learning from each other, and each of us has made invaluable contributions to the site. We've also had to make sure that we're really clear about project goals and expectations, so that we're all on the same page with what's happening. I think that collaboration like this is one of the most fun things about digital humanities projects! As historians, it's easy sometimes to get caught up in individual projects or to disappear into the archives, but digital projects like this one bring us together to work towards an end product that we hope will reach beyond the pages of a journal, into classrooms in universities and high schools.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about creating their own digital project?

Marie: Two things: First, have a solid sense of what you want your project to do, or the purpose you want it to serve. This is really important when it comes to developing the nuts and bolts of your project, and not letting yourself get sidetracked by all the cool bells and whistles! It's ok to have big, grand goals, but prioritize them, and make sure you have your first priorities done before you worry about anything extra. 

Secondly, find a team! Ask around for people who are interested in the same thing who might want to jump on board. Look for people who have skills that you don't, or who will be able to contribute a unique perspective on your material. And, don't be afraid to ask people who aren't necessarily in the same location as you--a lot can be accomplished via email and teleconference! I've learned so much from the people I've collaborated with, and that collaboration has been one of the most valuable things I've taken away from this project. 

Kelly: People often opt for a digital public history project over a more physical version because it allows for more widespread accessibility and (sometimes) less cost. However, digital projects have a tendency to "live with you" longer than, for instance, a physical exhibit or edited volume might. Because the internet is constantly evolving, the site requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance long after the development of the project has come to a close. Additionally, what might be saved in supply costs is made up for in the amount of time needed to develop, implement, troubleshoot, monitor, and provide upkeep for the project long term. This is especially the case in a site that is not static in that it encourages user contributions or has intentions to be an evolving, growing site, such as ours. Project team members need to be dedicated to monitoring and responding to user contributions, as well as adding new material to the site. Before considering initiating such a project, consider: do I have the time and technical skills to devote to this? Or do I have the resources to invest in using a more advanced program or developer? Is there an advantage to be gained in the project's digital format, or will it work well in another form?

You can explore the digital British edition of Common Sense at explorecommonsense.org.

PhD Candidate Jérémie-Brink Awarded Louisville Institute Fellowship


PhD Candidate Nathan Jérémie-Brink

Loyola History Department PhD Candidate Nathan Jérémie-Brink has been awarded a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year.  This competitive writing fellowship is given to PhD candidates whose research contributes to the study of North American Christianity.

Nathan’s dissertation examines the distribution of African American antislavery texts from the 1770s to 1850.  This research rediscovers the people and practices that developed alternative black distribution networks integral to abolition. Antislavery print moved through diverse actions–individual and communal, formal and informal, legal and illegal.  Religious organizations and civic institutions moved various forms of media. Pastors subscribed to and served as agents for antislavery newspapers that informed their preaching and activism. Readers copied print materials into handwritten letters or journals they shared among family and friends. Texts were smuggled, mailed in violation of censorship laws, or read aloud to people lacking or prohibited from literacy. Not only did these strategies move print, but these texts and the participants in these exchanges developed social networks for black empowerment and agitated for the abolition of slavery.

Supervised by Dr. Kyle Roberts, Nathan’s dissertation committee also includes Drs. John Donoghue, Tim Gilfoyle, and Jeffrey Glover (Department of English).  His archival research and writing has enjoyed generous fellowship support from the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Historical Society, a Lapidus Award from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), and the Schmitt Foundation.  He is also currently a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence at the Newberry Library.  Nathan is grateful for consultation with Dr. Jessica Horowitz, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, and additional support through the Graduate School’s Research Incentive Award for Graduate Students (RIAGS) program.

Graduate Students Collaborate with Digital Paxton Project


Graduate students Kate Johnson, Marie Pellissier, and Kelly Schmidt partnered with PhD student Will Fenton of Fordham University to create pedagogical tools to that expand engagement with his site Digital Paxton: A Digital Archive and Critical Edition of the Paxton Pamphlet War. Their work was recently published on the site. We asked Kate, Marie, and Kelly how they got involved with the project, what they learned about digital projects, and how they have evolved as public history practitioners.

How did you come to work on this project?

MP: We’re in Dr. Roberts' "The Revolution Will be Digitized" (HIST 361) course this semester. It's an undergraduate course, and as grad students the three of us got together and decided that we wanted to go deeper into the digital projects that Dr. Roberts had assigned. We were thinking of ways to do that, and we came up with two: contributing to the Paxton Papers site and putting together a digital critical edition of Common Sense.

KS: Fordham University English Ph.D. student Will Fenton spoke about his Digital Critical Edition of the papers produced during the Paxton Pamphlet wars in our course. As part of the class, we transcribed some of the handwritten letters of the "Friendly Association" papers. Kate, Marie, and I enjoyed the process so much that we offered to write a set of guidelines to help future transcribers participate in the process.

MP: Working on the Frederick Douglass project came out of wanting to help Will Fenton set up a system to crowdsource transcriptions from people. Dr. Roberts suggested that we help with the Frederick Douglass event and that we take a survey of the people who attended, in hopes of understanding what people struggled with and what worked so we could apply that to our transcription project with Digital Paxton. 

What was working on the Frederick Douglass Transcribe-a-thon like?

KJ: What a fantastic event! It was a privilege to be part of such a special project, and to see so many students engaging with and appreciating historical work.  We developed and administered surveys to the participants of the event, and I really enjoyed going through their answers and seeing what elements of the project and event they connected with most.

KS: It was inspiring to take part in the Frederick Douglass Transcribe-a-thon and see how it made participants feel they were contributing to something meaningful. Making this set of papers more accessible at a particularly poignant moment in our political history was a subtle form of activism that felt even more powerful given the large turnout to the event. The video broadcasting and digital platforms enabled us to sense that we were part of an event taking place across the country.

What do you think are some of the benefits to working on digital projects like this, in regards to engaging students and different publics?

KJ: Digital projects like the Paxton Project allow for such a wider and more diverse audience to have access to the incredible materials that archives, universities, and museums hold.   Not only that, but these kinds of projects also allow students, scholars, and the interested public to engage in dialogue about these materials, and offer new perspectives and insights.

MP: I think digital projects have a lot of benefits, particularly when working with students. They offer an immediate result in the way other projects don't; if you transcribe something in FromThePage for the Paxton Papers, you can see right away what your transcription looks like, and it doesn't take long for it to get up on the Paxton Papers site. Digital projects have a lot of potential for engagement, particularly when they're related to topical issues. And it's easy to sell digital projects to students as skills that they will use in the future.  

KS: Our surveys from the Transcribe-a-thon emphasized several lessons about engaging diverse publics in an event such as this one. We noted that setting was key in making participants feel like this history, and their contributions to its documentation and dissemination, were important. Through speeches, song, and food, the Transcribe-a-thon organizers were able to effectively emphasize the mission, purpose, and relevance of the project.

What are some of the challenges to digital projects, again in regards to engaging students and different publics?

KJ: With a wider audience and more diverse perspectives, you also have a greater variance in prior knowledge and understanding.  It can be tricky to bridge that gap between meeting people where they are at in terms of understanding the subject, and still allowing for more complex analysis.

MP: I think one of the biggest challenges is assessing your audience and their needs. Particularly with students, we assume that because they're our age, they are also digital natives and comfortable with whatever technology we hand to them, but that's not always the case. And the audience for the Douglass project--and for Paxton--isn't just students, so that's a whole other set of audience expectations to take into account. Sometimes, too, it's hard to articulate why a particular project should be digital. The timeliness and relevance to modern social issues made the Frederick Douglass event easy to pitch, but I've found that other things, like our Common Sense project, are harder to pitch to non-historians as being important. 

KS: Our observations of the event and our survey results also pointed to some concerns regarding the ethics of inclusion. Problems of accessibility, such as limited access to laptops and unclear directions on when and how to start transcribing, hindered some participants’ ability to actively engage in the process of transcribing. Additionally, the structure of the transcription platform controlled participants’ ability to find a page not yet transcribed, as well as the ease with which they could complete transcriptions. We learned through this that it is important to clearly outline directions both verbally and on paper, and make sure users have the equipment needed and the knowledge to navigate it at the beginning of the event.

How has this project shaped you as a public historian? What did you learn about public history practice and yourselves as practitioners?

KJ: I think this project really helped me gain a clearer appreciation for the skills and perspectives public historians bring to the table.  There's a lot of fantastic work happening in the academic sphere, but it takes more than simply posting it on the web to share it with the public.

MP: I think this project has helped me think about audience. With the Frederick Douglass project, we were able to collect feedback from our participants and get a sense of how we could have made it better; it was a chance to implement audience feedback into the project we did with Will Fenton and the Paxton Papers. I think this was really important; even though we weren't able to put together another transcribe-a-thon, which was one of our original goals, we learned a lot about how to make one both successful and relevant. 

How would you like to see the project move forward?

KJ: I think the Paxton project has a lot of potential for classrooms.  It's a fantastic way to get students interacting with and thinking about primary sources. 

MP: I think it would be great to do another transcribe-a-thon with Will Fenton and the Paxton Papers!

KS: It would be great to see people start using our guidelines to assist the Paxton Project in transcribing its documents. I would love to see Will host a crowdsourcing event, or to have educators use our transcription guidelines as a pedagogical tool in their classrooms. We’ve shared the results of our survey with Will Fenton as well as the organizers of the Frederick Douglass Transcribe-a-Thon. We hope that the patterns they reveal will result in even more effective and fulfilling crowdsourced transcription events in the future.

History professor's "Midnight Bike Ride" brings the past to life


Loyola student Reed Redmond (flannel shirt) and others stop under the iconic Wrigley Field sign during a "midnight bike ride" tour highlighting historic sites in Chicago. The annual tour is led by Loyola History Professor Timothy Gilfoyle who has conducted the event, which is open to his students and extended to faculty, staff, and friends, since 1989. (Photo: Natalie Battaglia)

‌‌By Gabrielle Barnes | Student Reporter

History Professor Timothy Gilfoyle doesn’t limit his lessons to within the walls of the classroom. In his 29 years at Loyola, Gilfoyle has consistently hosted his Midnight Bike Ride to teach students about history in a fun, participative way.

“There is a lot of history all around us that most residents are largely ignorant about,” said Gilfoyle.  “The midnight bike ride is a vehicle that allows me to teach not just urban history or the history of Chicago but also U.S. history.”

Beginning at Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus and extending as far as Chinatown, participating students stop at numerous historical sites along the ride. Gilfoyle typically takes his students to visit locations such as the Bloomingdale Trail, Carl Sandburg’s home, the Finkl Steel Mill, the site of the Haymarket Incident, and more.

This year’s Midnight Bike Ride began on Thursday, April 20, around 9 p.m., and students returned to campus around 7 a.m. the following morning after stopping for breakfast and watching the sunrise.

The ride takes place throughout the night to avoid the hectic Chicago traffic during the morning and evening rush hours. Gilfoyle believes that seeing parts of the city devoid of the typical crowds allows students to have a different perspective. Even though, as Gilfoyle said, “History is all around us,” many students don’t take the time to explore the historical aspects of the city.

Senior creative writing major Reed Redmond decided to participate in the overnight ride after hearing a lot about it from his classmates. Redmond had a hard time deciding which site was his favorite, but he really enjoyed learning about the churches around Chicago because they opened his eyes to a different aspect of a bustling city.

This bike ride showed me how much I'm missing when I go from one place to another without exploring what's in between,” he said, “I also learned that my professor is in much better shape than I am.”  

Some of the historical sites in the 2017 ride included Wrigley Field, Goose Island Brewery, Hull House, and Berger Park.

“My favorite historical site that we visited was Goose Island Brewery. We got to tour the brewery at 1 a.m., and it was a very interesting experience,” said freshman Maggie White, who is majoring in history and secondary education. “On the ride, I discovered hidden places that I never knew existed and saw the sun rise for the first time.” White said the long distance of the bike ride was the most challenging part of the evening.

Although the bike ride is demanding, as participants can attest, Gilfoyle wholeheartedly believes it’s worth sacrificing an evening to delve into history in a way that’s different than simply reading a textbook.

“Without a vivid link to the past, the present is chaos and the future is unreadable,” Gilfoyle said. “The bike ride is a way that I can explain history, make connections, and enlighten students as to how the physical world around them has an impact on their contemporary life.”


Senior Highlight: Alexa Lindsley

Alexa Lindsley, '17, is this year's winner of the Lietz Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship. She is also the President of Phi Alpha Theta. Public Media Assistant Marie Pellissier sat down with Alexa and asked her about her time at Loyola. 

MP: What drew you to studying history at Loyola? 

AL: Ever since I was in middle school, history has been my favorite subject. Particularly since my mother was born and raised in Italy, I have always had a special interest in Italian studies, specifically ancient Rome. However, as I entered college, my friends questioned the practicality of a history major and I was advised to make it a minor. With history as a minor, I was very excited to be enrolled in history courses. I will never forget my first history class. The first class of my undergraduate career, which was history 101 at 8:15 am, was with Father McManamon. Combined with Father McManamon’s engaging teaching style and the interesting course material, the class quickly became my favorite of the semester. The passion and excitement I felt when I walked into class made me realize that history was destined to be my major. For my Univ 101 project, I interviewed Father McManamon, which after speaking with him, I decided to go with my instinct and change my major to history. It was one of the greatest decisions I made at Loyola, and has allowed me to engage in a field of study I am extremely passionate about. The department as a whole has wonderful professors, and I have gained considerable knowledge and wisdom from them over the years.

MP: How has studying history impacted your time at Loyola?


AL: Over the course of my undergraduate years, I have met some of my closest friends and greatest mentors as a history major. My involvement with Phi Alpha Theta, Loyola’s history honor society, brought me closer to other history students and formed a great sense of community. History, in general, is such an amazing subject that most people do not realize its impact and importance in different disciplines. The knowledge I have gained in my history courses has allowed me to make many insights in other classes. By studying history, one can begin to see events through a new perspective such as realizing implicit biases, different sides of the stories and truths to situations. Studying history is of the utmost importance to explain the past, and to quote George Santayana ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’


MP: What's your favorite memory of the history department? Who or what class has had the most impact on you? 

AL: I have had so many wonderful classes and memories through my years at Loyola, that it is difficult to choose a specific memory.  Some of my favorite courses and memories at Loyola were Renaissance with Father McManamon, Pompeii and Herculaneum with Doctor Dossey, and History of Chicago with Doctor Gorn. Each one of these courses taught me many valuable lessons, and each professor’s unique teaching style is something I hope to emulate one day. Specifically, some of my favorite memories were the class debates in Renaissance, discussions in Pompeii and when Doctor Gorn would tell our class stories. Other favorite memories of the history department included walking through the department, discussing Phi Alpha Theta matters with Doctor Searcy, and seeing all of my past professors and catching up. The history department has always been such a welcoming place, filled with great people and friendly faces.   

MP: What are your post-graduate plans? 
AL: In the fall, I will be attending graduate school at Loyola for my Masters in Higher Education. I plan to work with undergrad students helping them navigate their college careers. In the future, I hope to pursue my PhD in history and realize my dream of becoming a history professor like my many mentors at Loyola. I owe so many of my accomplishments to their great leadership and guidance. I hope one day be able to provide my students with the same level of excellence and continue their legacy.

History Department Award Winners

The History Department congratulates its students on an outstanding year! 

Undergraduate Awards:  

Paul S. Leitz Award for Outstanding History Scholarship: Alexa Lindsley

Undergraduate Essay Contest

First Place: Noah Beissel, "Locke, Racialized Chattel Slavery, and the Problem of Mercantile Freedom: Identifying the Source of Locke’s Contradictory Involvements with Atlantic Slavery”

Second Place: Margaret Miller, “Museum Wars: Politicizing the American Past under Ronald Reagan”

Third Place: Sarah Carrillo, “Dueling Identities: Religiosity and Theater in Early Modern Clerkenwell”

History Blogging Contest

First Place: Matthew Racchini, "Ramonat Reflections

Second Place: Bianca Barcenas, "Mapping Catholics with the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project

Graduate Awards 

McCluggage Award: 

Marie Pellissier, “Crossing Many Borders: Joseph Brant, John Norton, and the Iroquois in Upper Canada, 1783-1810”


Kelly Schmidt, “’Without Slaves and Without Assassins:’ Transnational Jesuits and the Challenge of Race and Slavery in Antebellum Cincinnati”. 

Congratulations to all of our award winners! 

Dr. Elena Valussi Joins International Research Project


Dr. Elena Valussi will be joining the "Fate, Freedom and Prognostication" project at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 2017-18. Dr. Valussi teaches courses at Loyola in modern East Asian and Chinese history. She has written on Chinese gender, religious and intellectual history. She is also a fellow with the "Critical Concepts and Methods for the Study of Religion in Modern China at the University of Groningen. Public Media Assistant Marie Pellissier asked her a few questions about this project and her upcoming time in Germany. Congratulations, Dr. Valussi!

MP: What specifically are you going to be working on while you're with the project? How does this fit with the project's larger goals?

EV: My project will deal with the phenomenon of spirit writing in late imperial China (approximately 1700-1900); spirit writing part of a larger context of ‘divine revelations’, which have a long history in Chinese religions. Specifically, it is a popular religious practice that connects a person, or more often a community, gathered around an altar, to a specific divinity, in an effort to respond to personal requests, to seek future positive outcomes, and for general moral guidance. The divinity responds by dictating scriptures through the body of a medium, who writes these responses on a sand tray.  Responses may consist of a few phrases, but are often longer scriptures which are transcribed, printed, and then distributed to the individuals and/or the whole community. Traditionally, money was gathered to carve woodblocks for printing the words of the divinity. Nowadays, where the practice still exists in Taiwan and southern China, the responses are generally edited on a computer screen, printed out, and distributed immediately, free of charge. The printing and dissemination of the scriptures is also a religious practice, which provides merit, and therefore the possibility of spiritual advancement, to the people responsible for it. This form of communication between the earthly and divine worlds speaks to fundamental issues of religious culture like prognostication, eschatology, and soteriology, and also connects with questions of textual authorship, formation and transmission, thus is sits at the core of religious studies research. My research connects in a fundamental way to the larger project on ‘Fate, Freedom and Prognostication’ because, like that project, it too seeks to 'uncover the historical foundations of prognostication, with their impact on our immediate present and our way of coping with the future' by looking at practices through which communities seek answers about their present and future. It also seeks to understand 'different views on fate and strategies of coping with destiny in Chinese modernity', in comparison to Western modernity.

MP: What drew you to this topic/this research project? How does it align with your interests?

EV: I have been interested in this religious practice since my Ph.D. thesis, which used, as primary materials, texts resulting from spirit writing sessions. I have attempted to understand the social and religious context of this textual production,  the background and goals of the communities gathering around these altars ever since, and I have become part of a group of scholars who have attempted to reveal the centrality of spirit writing to the development of religious culture in the late imperial period, its ubiquitousness and multifariousness. A number of religious canons, received by spirit writing during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, have recently been discovered in archives and are being studied, and they provide a very different perspective on late imperial religious culture, which had been described as in serious decline. It is now clear that late imperial religious culture in China was vibrant, innovative, and diffused, as well as strongly localized. Thus the study of spirit writing is not only important per se, to understand a specific expression of religious belief and practice, but also a means to uncover a religious culture that had been obscured by the absence of sources, and by a narrative of decline.

MP: What are you most looking forward to with regards to this project and your upcoming time in Germany?

EV: At Erlangen, I look forward to collaborating and communicating with a really diverse group of scholars from different backgrounds: scholars of China from different eras and disciplines, and scholars of Medieval Europe, all coming from different parts of Europe and of the world for shorter or longer stays. The center holds weekly talks and presentations by its members, organizes conferences, workshops and lectures, so I will be exposed to a variety of perspectives and ideas which will definitely inform my own research and methodology. I will also be able to share my own research and receive valuable feedback.  While I am already involved with international research projects, while in Erlangen, I also look forward to deepening my connections to other European institutions and scholars, hopefully the basis for future collaborations.

Congratulations, Dr. Valussi! 


History Students at Weekend of Excellence 2017

The Weekend of Excellence is upon us and the work of History students and mentors will be on display tomorrow (Saturday). I've gone through the program and pulled out posters and presentations by members of our community. I hope you'll all find some time to support their fine work!

Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium

Amanda Malmstrom, "Labor of Love: Women, Art, and The Catholic Worker Newspaper," poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, Mundelein Auditorium

Matthew Petersen, "'Blessed are the Peacemakers': Vietnam War Resistance at Chicago's Catholic Universities," poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Hans Sandoval, “Refugee Children Reaching for Opportunity through Education: A Look into the Realities, Accomplishments, and Challenges Faced by the Chicago Refugee Children Population,” poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Hiba Sheikh, “Women in the Workplace: A Comparative Analysis of Italian and Chinese Women,” poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

James Egan, “Baghdad College in 1967,” poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Frieda Rule, “Peter Maurin Farm: The Agronomic University Across Three Decades,” poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Gunner Peto, “Gay Space and Identity Formation in Chicago,” poster presentation, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Janan Badier, “A Comparative Analysis of Egypt’s 2012 and 2014 Constitutions,” 12:50-1:50 pm, Mundelein 303 

Gabrielle Kramer, "The Delegitimizing of the Last York King," paper presentation, 12:50-1:50 pm, Mundelein 404

Michael Malucha, “The Camden 28’s Two Words – A Digital History Project,” 12:50-1:50 pm, Mundelein 404

Alanna Kilkenny, “The Linguistic Culture of Loyola Women’s Rugby,” poster presentation, 2:00-3:30 pm

Carolina Luna, “Embracing Culture in 20th Century Hispanic Catholicism,” poster presentation, 2:00-3:30 pm

Gabrielle Kramer, “The Volkischer Beobachter: Western Culture and Propaganda in Nazi Germany,” poster presentation, 2:00-3:30 pm

Graduate School Interdisciplinary Research Symposium

9:00 to 10:15 am: Amelia Serafine: "You Have Nothing to Lose: Feminists and Fat Liberation in the 1970s" (Quinlan 312)

10:45 to 11:45 am: Dan Snow: "Books, Beads, and Crosses: The Jesuits and the Nineteenth Century Catholic Literary World" (poster) - Quinlan Life Sciences, Third Floor Atrium
The day ends with the Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium Awards in Galvin Auditorium, 3:45-4:30 pm, and the Graduate School Awards Reception in Palm Court, 4-7 pm.

Faculty Development Seminar April 25

On Tuesday, April 25, at 3:30 pm in Dumbach 119, Dr. Kenneth Pomeranz will present "How Did China Get So Big? Redefining the Realm and its Subjects, c. 1750-1900." 

It is now well-known that the Manchu rulers of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) sharply altered their predecessors’ understandings of what it meant to rule “all under heaven”; meanwhile Qing conquests doubled the empire’s land area.  Initially, much of the Chinese elite saw much of this new territory as mere buffer zones, to be occupied only insofar as this kept hostile nomads from doing so.   A central reason for this skepticism was that many of the newly-acquired lands were ill-suited to agriculture, the “fundamental occupation” of “civilized” life.

By roughly 1850, however, Han literati came to see many frontier regions as properly “Chinese” territory. More gradually, they also came to see certain previously despised groups of people – including such common frontier figures as miners and loggers -- as potential “good subjects.” These transformations – influenced both by changes in official discourse and changes in who was actually migrating – set  the stage for further changes later: ones which re-imagined China’s far west as resource-rich territories which had to be held and “developed,” even when the Chinese state was hard-pressed on other fronts.  A still further shift occurred in the 20th century, in which the people involved in exploiting these remote territories, not only ceased to be denigrated as dangerous “drifters,” but came to be seen as part of the vanguard of the nation. The lecture begins with a description of the intellectual changes described above, but focuses primarily on how they turned into policies on the ground, and how the implications of these shifts differed sharply between the northwestern (Xijniang) and southwestern (Yunnan, and to a lesser extent Tibet)

Kenneth Pomeranz is a University Professor of History and in the College at the University of Chicago; he previously taught at the University of California, Irvine. His work focuses mostly on China, though he is also very interested in comparative and world history. Most of his research is in social, economic, and environmental history, though he has also worked on state formation, imperialism, religion, gender, and other topics. His publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), which won the John K. Fairbank Prize from the AHA, and shared the World History Association book prize; The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853–1937 (1993), which also won the Fairbank Prize; The World that Trade Created (with Steven Topik, first edition 1999, 3rd edition 2012), and a collection of his essays, recently published in France. He has also edited or co-edited five books, and was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Global History. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other sources. His current projects include a history of Chinese political economy from the seventeenth century to the present, and a book called Why Is China So Big? which tries to explain, from various perspectives, how and why contemporary China's huge land mass and population have wound up forming a single political unit.

Ruby Oram Presents Successful National Register Nomination


Lucy Flower Technical High School for Girls

On February 24, PhD student Ruby Oram presented her National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Lucy Flower Technical High School for Girls to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The school is located in the Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago and was built in 1927. It functioned as the city’s only all-girl public school from 1927-1978 and the second vocational school for women in the nation. It was also racially-integrated from its founding: civil rights activist Ida B. Wells sent her daughters there. As a “technical” school for girls, Flower Tech provided very gender-specific job training in fields like dressmaking, millinery, nursing, beauty culture, and institutional cookery, as well as required home economics coursework for future wives and mothers. Today, the building serves as Al Raby High School. 
Following her presentation, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency unanimously approved Oram's nomination. Her success makes the Lucy Flower Technical High School for Girls one of the only National Register​ locations in the state associated with women’s history specifically. "Women's history is largely invisible in Chicago's built environment because sites associated with the lives and accomplishments of women have not been deemed “historically significant” in the past," Oram explained. "Nominating Flower Tech to the National Register of Historic Places felt like an important project to me for this reason. The school was the product of activism by female settlement house workers, club women, and educators who advocated for the vocational schooling of girls...My hope was to preserve, in some small way, the histories of these women and girls in the city's landscape."
Congratulations Ruby!

One Night Only: Carry A. Nation, The Famous and Original Bar Room Smasher!

Carry Nation event

Carry A Nation grabbed a drink out of a man’s hand and announced to the crowd, “Anyone who thinks this is fit to drink can come outside and suck it out of the street!” at which point she proceeded to leave the tavern and pour the beer into the gutter. That was the introduction many got to Carry A Nation when she was the scourge of tavern owners in the early 20th century. She’s back in Chicago on April 10 to admonish the students of Loyola University as she did 115 years ago.

What would famed barroom smasher, temperance advocate and anti-tobacco and drugs crusader Carry A Nation have to say about our society today? Learn more about this significant woman who made so many headlines and shaped social discourse in her time; even for those that did not agree with her.

"Sit down and Shut Up!” was often shouted at Carry Nation in her time and is today as well when she appears to modern audiences in churches, taverns and on the street. Carry takes on all comers. She argues and shames the drunkards and sympathizes with and offers to save the innocent victims of Demon Rum.

Well known Chicago performer Ellie Carlson of Ellie Presents recently brought Carry A Nation back for modern audiences. This first-person interpretation is titled The Famous & Original Barroom Smasher: Carry A Nation.Ellie appears as Carry during the early 1900s when she was busy traveling the US and the British Isles in support of her causes: abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and drugs; and rescue for fallen men, women and children who were victims of addiction and the ruin it visited upon their lives.

For upcoming appearances please visit Ellie’s schedule on her website, www.elliepresents.com.

Ellie’s Carry has appeared in universities, churches, libraries and even taverns. In July of 2016 she visited Carry’s home town of Medicine Lodge Kansas to huge crowds and much fanfare. Like the original Carry A Nation she is welcomed into bars because, despite her best efforts, she increases business wherever she appears. In the early twentieth century, tavern owners put up signs “All Nations Welcome Except Carry.” When Carry smashes a bar today and threatens to pour the whiskey into the street and set it on fire, patrons order up.

For more information on Carry and the other seven characters that Ellie portrays please visit www.elliepresents.com or phone 312.771.2400.

Students Contribute to Crowdsourced Database

Undergraduate students in Dr. Michelle Nickerson's "Rebels and Reformers" class recently contributed entries to the Biographical Database of Militant Suffragists, 1913-1920. This is a crowdsourced database that is part of Women and Social Movements in the United States, an online resource from Binghamton University for scholars of US History and women's history. Looking forward to the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment in 2020, the editors are compiling a database of women's suffrage activists, including biographical sketches of Black Woman Suffragists and supporters of the National Woman’s Party and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Dr. Nickerson's students had an exciting opportunity to participate in this project! For more information about the project, or to participate in the crowdsourcing effort, please email Tom Dublin at Binghamton University. 

Some examples of her student's entries:  

Alice Asbury Abbot, by Helen Brown 

Frances Pepper, by Matthew Petersen

Public History Students' Project wins Multiple Awards

NCPH Award Story

Congratulations to graduate students Rachel Boyle, Chelsea Denault, and Kelly Schmidt, and alumnae Maggie McClain on winning the multiple awards for the Chrysler Village History Project.  The Project has won the National Council on Public History Student Project Award, Honorable Mention for the Alice Smith Prize in Public History from the Midwestern History Association, and an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH).

The Chrysler Village History Project is a collaborative project that brought together Loyola public history graduate students and various community stakeholders to preserve and share the dynamic and diverse histories of the Chrysler Village neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side through a community festival, a community-driven mural contest, an oral history project, and a content-rich website. “This has been an incredible project,” said Chelsea Denault, “especially in that it allowed my colleagues and me to apply such a variety of our public history skills gained in the classroom to make a real, tangible impact in a community.” Growing out of a National Register Historic District nomination in Dr. Ted Karamanski’s 2013 Management of Historic Resources class and benefitting from additional inspiration and support from in Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin's 2014 Public History Methods and Theory class and Dr. Chris Manning's Oral History Methods class in 2015, the Chrysler Village History Project is excellent example of how class projects at Loyola can evolve and grow into independent, large-scale, meaningful public history practice in the community. “The Chrysler Village History Project involved the coalescence of so many passionate and hardworking students and community members,” said Rachel Boyle. “I think this award speaks to how how the Loyola University Chicago Public History program really brings together and supports public historians eager to take on innovative student-driven projects.” The Chrysler Village History Project also benefitted from collaboration with Public History Lab, a graduate student-run organization that provides a forum and support for public history projects outside of coursework.

The success of the project also speaks to the emphasis the History Department’s graduate program places on community outreach and the drive students feel to apply their skills towards real problems. “This award is an honor,” says Maggie McClain, “but I believe the process of collaboratively working with my colleagues and the community is the grander reward. Working on the project, talking with community members and seeing how neighborhoods like Chrysler Village fit into the city of Chicago, proved to be one of the best learning experiences I had during my time at Loyola.”

This fall, the Chrysler Village History Project transitioned into a new phase and faces tough questions about the long-term responsibilities public historians have to the communities they work with. In an effort to answer those questions, Rachel Boyle and Kelly Schmidt participated in a roundtable at the 2017 NCPH Annual Meeting in Indianapolis on April 22

Read NCPH's official press release and a detailed description of all the 2017 award winners to learn more about this exciting project.

New 300-level Classes for Fall 2017!

The schedule for 300-Level Fall 2017 classes is here! While every class offered by the History Department is interesting and engaging, a handful of our Fall courses are especially notable.

This is the last time Elliot Lefkovitz’s class “Holocaust and 20th Century Genocide” will be offered. Students who are interested in history of violence, world history, history of war, and modern politics should seriously consider enrolling!

The Department also welcomes graduate students Kai Parker and Ashley Finigan and recent grad Emily Lord Fransee from the University of Chicago as instructors this year! Parker will teach Introduction to African-American History, while Fransee and Finigan will teach two brand-new “Topics” courses, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa and Topics in American History: Movements Soundtracks. Finally, students looking to learn new skills should think about enrolling in Dr. Elizabeth Hopwood’s Digital History course “The History of Food,” which is also cross-listed with the Center for Digital Humanities and Textual Studies.  

For more information on these courses and others, refer to the table below and keep an eye out on the Department’s social media feeds. We hope to see YOU in a History class next year!


SubjectCourse TitleInstructorTime
HIST 300B  Heresy and Inquisition Stabler  T TH 10:00-11:15
HIST 300C  Modern Balkans: History, Fiction, & Film Hajdarpasic  MW 2:45-4:00
HIST 300D  American Icons Gorn  T TH 1:00-2:15
HIST 300D  Movements Soundtracks Finigan  MW 2:45-4:00
HIST 300D  Italians in Chicago Candeloro  T TH 11:30-12:45
HIST 300E  Gender and Sexuality in Modern Africa Lord Fransee  T TH 2:30-3:45
HIST 308B  Pompeii and Herculaneum Dossey  MWF 9:20-10:10
HIST 310  Early Middle Ages, 600-1150 Gross-Diaz  T TH 11:30-12:45
 HIST 318A  Early Modern England, 1485-1760 Bucholz  MWF 2:45-3:35
 HIST 323  19th Century German Culture & Politics Dennis  T TH 10:00-11:15
 HIST 325  Great Britain Since 1760 Forth  MWF 11:30-12:20
 HIST 328  Russia Pre-1917:Empire Building Khodarkovsky  T TH 10:00-11:15
 HIST 334B  Holocaust & 20th Century Genocide Lefkovitz  T TH 2:30-3:45
 HIST 337  Soviet Union: Rise & Fall Suszko  T TH 1:00-2:15
 HIST 340B  Introduction to Islamic History Searcy  T TH 11:30-12:45
 HIST 341B  Arab-Israeli Conflict Ghazzal  MWF 11:30-12:20
 HIST 346B  Reform & Revolution in China, 1800-1949 Allee  T TH 1:00-2:15
 HIST 369  20th Century Popular Culture Fraterrigo  MWF 10:25-11:15
 HIST 375  Digital History: History of Food Hopwood  T TH 2:30-3:45
 HIST 378  Latina/o History Johnson  T TH Time TBD
 HIST 380  Introduction to African-American History Parker  T TH 11:30-12:45
 HIST 385  The History of Chicago Gilfoyle  W 2:45-5:15

Medieval Studies Movie Night


On Monday, April 3, join the Medieval Studies program in Crown Auditorium from 6-8:30 pm for a medieval movie night! 

The film "The Sorceress" (Le Moine et La Sorcière) takes its inspiration from a 13th century account of Stephen of Bourbon, a Dominican monk, of a rather unusual healing cult in France. Medieval witchcraft, healing practices, offical and "folk" religion, aristocratic oppression and female empowerment are all themes in the film. Dog lovers in particular will love it. 

This event is free and open to everyone. However, please RSVP to Dr. Gross-Diaz (tgross@luc.edu) by Friday, March 31.  

English Atlantic Writing Group to Meet Wednesday, April 26


On Wednesday, April 26, the English Atlantic Writing Group will meet to discuss Bryan Rindfleisch's work, “’Possessed of the most Extensive Trade, Connexions, and Influence’: George Galphin and the Power of Intimacy in Early America.” Dr. Rindfleisch teaches at Marquette University and received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at The Red Lion Pub (2446 N. Lincoln Ave.). Please contact Peter Kotowski (pkotowski@luc.edu) for copies of the papers or with any questions. 

Created in 2013, the English Atlantic Writing Group is one of the History Department's Areas of Excellence. The Group welcomes papers from graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars across the country on the Atlantic World broadly speaking, including the literature, history, and culture of the French, Dutch, and Spanish Atlantic, as well as work on early modern England, colonial or nineteenth-century North America, and the Caribbean. Upcoming meetings, information about past meetings, and other information about the the group can be found at http://luc.edu/history/areasofexcellence/englishatlanticwritinggroup/.

Join Fellow History Students and Faculty for a Special Theater Event!


On Wednesday, March 1, join fellow history students and faculty for a musical exploration of early 20th century America through the lives of Emma Goldman, Charlie Chaplin, and Teddy Roosevelt. Come listen to the immigrants, dreamers, leaders, and fighters that built our nation; the voices of the past still sing heartily today. History discussion after the show. 

The show will take place in the Underground Theater, Mundelein Building, at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, March 1st. For tickets, visit the Fine and Performing Arts website and use discount code HIS10TIN. 

Prof. Chris Manning Teaches First Online Summer Graduate Course


This summer, Dr. Chris Manning will teach the History Department's first-ever online graduate course, History 410: African-American Chicago. Spanning from the Migration of the Talented Tenth to neighborhood activism of the 1990s, this course will explore the history of African American in the city of Chicago through weekly readings of scholarly monographs and some scholarly articles. We will meet every week at the appointed time through video conferencing on-line.   Topics of the course will include the earliest migration of African Americans to Chicago after the Civil War, the first Great Migration, the Chicago Renaissance, the development of the Blues, the Great Depression, the Second Great Migration, the Chicago Freedom Movement, deindustrialization, the Harold Washington era, and 1980s housing activism.

Dr. Manning spoke more about the course and his goals:

Given the current political climate, nationally and locally, why is this class important now?  

We are in a time in which the circumstances of disadvantaged groups are shallowly evaluated on characterological lines. While character does make a difference in one's outcomes in life, as  portrayals of various individuals' lives in the class will illustrate, larger macro structures are incredibly significant in setting the opportunities available in life. For us then to better understand the circumstances of modern day Chicago the structural/historical forces that brought us here must be made clear.

How will this class be useful for graduate students?

This class will be useful for graduate students by giving them a deep understanding of African American history from the vantage of one of America's most complex, dynamic, and modern cities. This understanding can serve graduate students additionally as a point of comparison for African American history from other areas.

What's the benefit of doing this course online and over the summer?  

Doing the course online and over the summer offers graduate student more mobility in a time when saving money is often a priority and it will allow them all of the benefit of online study, which often facilitates the creation of broader and deeper dialogue than its brick and mortar counterpart.

Summer registrations begins on February 15th on LOCUS.


Phi Alpha Theta Inducts New Members


Phi Alpha Theta, Loyola’s history honor society, is pleased to welcome their newly initiated class, who were inducted on January 30th, 2017. Phi Alpha Theta’s Chi-Mu chapter initiated 21 new members into the prestigious society for excellence in the field of history. The new members heard a presentation from Dr. Ted Karamanski entitled, “History and the Movies, or the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Phi Alpha Theta is excited about all their new members and events for the semester, including their new undergraduate academic journal, “The Chicago Style.” The President, Alexa Lindsley, and Vice-President, David Jackson, would also like to give a very special thanks to their chapter advisor, Dr. Kim Searcy, and their special guest speaker Dr. Ted Karamanski.

New Members: Tiffany Bartucci, Robert Baurley, Maxim Belovol, Claire Blankenship, Pari Cariaga, Brittany Christianson, Olivia Fossier, Lawrence Geist, Garrett Guitierrez, Andrew Haberman, Elisabeth Hagemann, Hunter Hayes, Cailyn Heintzelman, Andre Kallgren, John Lipinski, Stephen Longo, Kendall MacKay, Mark Neuhengen, Devin O’Brien, Keegan Sims, and Emily Wagner.

Junior Amanda Malmstrom Wins Myser Research Grant

Malmstrom Grant

Amanda Malmstrom, a junior History and Art History major currently enrolled in the Ramonat Seminar, was recently awarded a Myser Research Grant to travel to the Ade Bethune Collection at St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Malmstrom is currently working on a research project tentatively entitled "Labor of Love: The Women Artists of The Catholic Worker Newspaper." In this project, she is focusing on the artwork of Ade Bethune and Rita Corbin as a lens into gender, social activism, and art in the Catholic Worker Movement.

As Malmstrom explains, "The Catholic Worker newspaper was started in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The newspaper was as a part of the larger Catholic Worker Movement dedicated to performing the Corporal Works of Mercy, such as feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. The newspaper heavily featured Bethune and Corbin’s artwork, illuminating the ideas of the movement. My project will be a digital exhibit that will expand the potential audience of Bethune and Corbin’s artwork while fostering knowledge of Catholic Worker art, the role women played in the Church in the twentieth century, and the larger history of Catholic social activism. The main themes I want to explore are the style and implications of Bethune and Corbin’s artwork, the role of women in the Church and Catholic Worker Movement, and the social justice nature of twentieth-century liturgical art."

This project is part of Malmstrom's work in the Ramonat Seminar, an interdisciplinary, two-semester history course which provides undergraduates with the opportunity to research American Catholic history. This year's seminar is taught by Professor Michelle Nickerson. This project, Malmstrom says, is a product of both her interest in the Catholic Worker Movement and her background in art history. "Since I am an Art History major and someone who has been personally influenced by Dorothy Day’s outlook on spirituality and justice, I knew when I applied for the seminar that I would want to focus on art in relation to the Catholic Worker Movement." Later, she says, "I came across what was termed the 'Holy Trinity of Artists'—Ade Bethune, Fritz Eichenberg, and Rita Corbin. These three individuals were the most prolific of The Catholic Worker artists. I later decided that I wanted to narrow by research to Ade Bethune and Rita Corbin, and focus the relationship between gender, social activism, and art within the Catholic Worker Movement."

The Myser Research Grant will allow Malmstrom to work directly with primary sources related to Ade Bethune. "The collection," Malmstrom says, "is a very rich resource of Ade Bethune’s papers, books, artwork, correspondence, book manuscripts, drawings, memorabilia, sketchbooks, photographs, journals, engravings, and more. Visiting the archive will be a valuable resource for me to retrieve scans of the artwork for my digital project as well as retrieve additional information about Ade Bethune’s involvement with the newspaper."

Malmstrom, a junior, is excited about the ways in which this project intersect with her interest in social justice work. "Although I don’t know exactly where I will be after graduation, I know that I want whatever I do—whether graduate school, teaching, volunteering, or working in a museum--to be able to share art and its potential to serve as a testament to love and justice with others."


Dr. Thomas Murphy Lecture and Luncheon Event: Jesuit Slaveholding In Maryland

Jesuit Slaveholding Talk

On Thursday, February 9, The Joan and Bill Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage presents a lecture by Dr. Thomas Murphy, entitled "The Jesuit Choice: Religious Freedom Before Ecumenism and Slave Emancipation" at 4 pm in McCormick Lounge in Coffey Hall. 

Beginning in colonial times, the Jesuits in Maryland owned slaves as part of their belief that their Roman Catholic faith did not exclude them from an English subject's right to possess all forms of legal property. Despite the passage of the Bill of Rights by the recently independent United States in 1791, Jesuits remained insecure about the recognition of their American citizenship. They feared that advocating the removal of the protection of slavery from the Constitution would lead to their freedom of worship being removed from it too. They also began to see abolitionism as a Protestant heresy that they must reject. The result of these forces was that in 1838 they sold their slaves rather than set them free. This lecture will examine the legacy of these events for Jesuit ministries today.

The same day, the Hank Center is organizing a luncheon seminar with faculty and graduate students with Dr. Murphy. The seminar is an opportunity to discuss the legacies of Jesuit slaveholding, made particularly topical by Georgetown University's recent efforts to address its history of owning and selling enslaved people. If interested, please RSVP to Kelly Schmidt by February 1, including any dietary restrictions. 

PhD Candidate Hope Shannon is the New Editor of the UHA Newsletter

Hope Shannon UHA Newsletter

Congratulations to PhD candidate Hope Shannon, who is the new editor of the Urban History Association Newsletter! 

The Urban History Association was founded in Cincinnati in 1988 to encourage research and study of the history of the city in all periods and geographical locations. Its members include historians, museum professionals, archivists, independent scholars, public historians and others. Their biannual newsletter highlights conferences, including the most recent UHA conference held at Loyola University Chicago, member achievements and other announcements.   

Loyola Undergrads and Alumnus Present at the ACHA Conference in Denver

Jesuit Libraries at AHA

Loyola undergraduates Gustav Roman and Roman Krasnitsky and alumnus Michael Albani presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association/American Catholic Historical Association in Denver on January 7th. 

Undergraduates Gustav Roman and Roman Krasnitsky presented "The Heresy Saga: Heterodox Theology and Obscene Literature in the 1870s St. Ignatius College Library Collection," which explores the library of St. Ignatius College, later Loyola University Chicago. This work was completed as part of the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project. 

Loyola alumnus Michael Albani presented "Pio Nono on Paper: Transnational Connections in American Catholic Publishing, 1846-1878," using the library of St. Ignatius College as a case study to explore transnational dynamics of nineteenth-century American Catholic publishing. 

Congratulations on a successful panel! 

For more information about the panel, visit the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project website. 

Professor Carlos Eire, Loyola Alumnus, Reflects on Life Under Castro


Professor Carlos Eire (Loyola University Chicago Class of 1973) and T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University, recently published an opinion piece in the Washington Post, titled "Farewell to Cuba's brutal Big Brother." Eire argued that Castro was one of "the most brutal dictators in history," and paints Castro as a man whose "deceit was one of [his] greatest talents." Professor Eire was also recently featured in the National Catholic Register, speaking about the death of Fidel Castro and the dictator's legacy.    

Professor Eire was born in Cuba in 1950. In 1962, he was airlifted out of the country as part of Operation Pedro Pan and arrived in Miami as one of 14,000 unaccompanied minors from Cuba. He attributes his interest in history and religion to his experience living with Norma and Lewis Chait, his foster parents in Miami for nine months. The Chaits were Jewish, but they encouraged, even pushed Eire to develop and practice his own faith. 

His two most recent books are Learning to Die In Miami and A Very Brief History of EternityA Very Brief History of Eternity explores belief in eternity in Western culture, and the way it has changed over time. Learning to Die in Miami is a memoir exploring his experience as a refugee and exile from his homeland.

“Public History Is In My Blood”


"I feel like public history is in my blood," explained Karen Sieber, a first year student in the joint doctoral program in Public History and United States History. "I come from a long line of genealogists, and was raised in a household that celebrated and explored history. I grew up in Chicago and my mom and I would take the train into the city to explore neighborhoods or go to museums. Yet for some reason, when it became time to go to college, it didn't occur to me that "being a historian" was a thing."

Like many of her colleagues in the Public History program, Sieber hopes to apply her passion for history to a career outside the traditional parameters of "being a historian." Loyola's pioneering Public History program prepares both masters and doctoral students to work as educators and researchers in museums, archives, historic sites, and other mediums beyond the classroom. Graduate students in the program take both traditional academic history classes as well as hands-on coursework in museum studies, historical preservation, and archives and record management.

Sieber explains: "For people who think the humanities are dead or question the usefulness of a degree in Public History, I think they'd be surprised at the variety of opportunities a degree in this field affords. And if jobs are limited when I finish my program, the hands-on experience I add to my resume while at Loyola will give me a leg up against other applicants in the future."

* * *

Sieber's decision to join Loyola's History Department and earn her PhD came from years of interest in all things history. "I attempted, quite poorly, to go to college in the 90's, but ended up dropping out. I worked for almost twenty years as a chef, restaurant manager, and farmers market manager. But history was always my hobby. Whenever I traveled I would go to historic sites. I continued doing genealogy. I devoured old books, old movies, old music."

In recent years, Sieber's history hobby led her to get involved in various public history endeavors. She gained certification in the preservation of gravestone and cemetery monuments from the International Preservation Studies Center in 2014. She worked as a volunteer conducting historic house research for a preservation website in Durham, North Carolina from 2012 to 2015. And through that work, Sieber became involved in community outreach in East Durham with a new local history museum:

"Despite its large size and rich history, Durham, North Carolina did not have a history museum. When the museum was still in its incubation, I reached out to the Executive Director, Katie Spencer, to talk to her about my career change and return to school and what I could bring to the table. I'm a big believer in seeking out opportunities and making smart, calculated decisions. Choosing a smaller institution with a limited staff allowed me to gain experience in a variety of different facets over the past few years because I was vocal about the skills I wanted to learn."

While working with the Museum of Durham History, Sieber completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC), where she received her BA in American Studies and Urban History in 2015. At UNC, Sieber's next public history initiative was her work with Digital Loray, a digital memory site that curates the history of the iconic Loray Mill in Gastonia, NC:

"I had designed a walking tour through East Durham for the Museum of Durham History and met Dr. Robert Allen, who led the Digital Innovation Lab at UNC. This was when I was returning to school and needed an advisor, as I was creating my own major. Dr. Allen began my advisor, and I joined the staff of the Digital Innovation Lab shortly after to expand on some mapping I had done of the Loray Mill village. This extended into work in the community acquiring photographs and other ephemera to create a community archive. Our tiny team also created a history center in the recently renovated mill. I lived and breathed Gastonia for the past few years and am changed by this project and the community that contributed so much to it."

After the success of Digital Loray, Sieber embarked on her first independent digital humanities project, Visualizing the Red Summer, which served as her senior honors thesis: 

"The Red Summer of 1919, a series of at least three-dozen riots and lynchings throughout the United States over the course of one summer, is one of the most significant yet rarely told stories in American History. Thousands of primary documents exist on the events of that summer but are difficult to find, scattered in collections and archives across the country in dozens of locations, and not digitized, making it difficult for scholars to get the big picture. I created Visualizing the Red Summer in hopes that it would facilitate further, more comprehensive research on the race riots of 1919 by putting all of the available information and documents in one place, the Internet. I traveled 7,500 miles during the summer of 2015 to collect over 700 primary documents related to the riots, from court records and newspaper articles to photographs and telegrams. Over 25 cultural institutions provided material for the archive I created. Users are able to filter results to only look at documents related to a particular city’s riot if they wish, but are also able to filter the archive by topic to help better gauge the interconnectivity between the riots, or to look at regional trends."

* * *

Sieber is currently halfway through her first year of coursework at Loyola University and looks forward to building on the skills she's honed in North Carolina and applying them to new projects in Chicago:

"I can't imagine a better city to be studying urban history or public history, my two loves. I was looking for a Public History program that was both established and yet cutting edge, with lots of hands on experience. Loyola fit to a “T.” The fact that the History Department had specializations in urban, public and digital history was what solidified the deal for me. I think that the education I am receiving at Loyola, combined with the education and skills I seek out on my own, will prepare me for many positions umbrellaed under the Public History field."

History Honors Students Present Original Research on December 6th


Students in the history honors program will present their semester-long research projects in three panels on Tuesday, December 6th, from 2:30-5pm in Regis Hall.


Panel 1 
Outside the Mainstream: The Construction of Alternative Communities in Early Twentieth Century Chicago 

Bianca Barcenas, “Dismantling Chicago's Red-Light Community: The Levee Shutdown of 1912 and its Moralist Takeover”

Shannon Koelsch, “The Fair of Freaks, The Union of Eccentrics: Politics and Chicago's Dil Pickle Club”

Wyatt Miller, “No Regard for Musical Ethics: Uplift Ideology and Blues Music in the Chicago Defender”

Commentator: Professor Tim Gilfoyle


Panel 2 
Interpreting the Past: Memory, Violence, and Civilization

Michael Coffey, “Ideology and Archeology: Creating Narratives about Neolithic Societies”

Michelle King, “The Function of Remembrance: American Soldiers and the Liberation of Nazi Camps”     

Maggie Miller, “History Wars: The Politicization of the American Past under Reagan“

Andrew Kallgren, “The No Longer Silent Majority: How Public Support for the Military Found its Voice Under Reagan”  

Commentator: Professor Elizabeth Fraterrigo


Panel 3 
Making the Self and the Other: Race, Religion, and Gender in the Construction of Collective Identities 

Zach Ludwig, “Methods and Consequences: Gender Construction by Western Missionaries in China”

Jodie Casleton “Catholicism, Celts, and Clans: Anti-Jacobite Propaganda in Early Modern England”

Noah Beissel “Commodities Cannot Revolt: The reactionary continuation of African commodification in Jamaica”

Commentator: Professor John Pincince


Panels are followed by a catered reception which all are invited to attend!

Professor Kyle B. Roberts Publishes New Book


The Loyola History Department offers its congratulations to Dr. Kyle B. Roberts on the publication of his new book, Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860. Professor Roberts' book explores the experiences of evangelical Protestant men and women in New York City between the American Revolution and the Civil War. It interprets evangelicalism as a fundamentally modern urban religion that appealed to New Yorkers because it allowed them to navigate the experience of the rapidly expanding city around them. It seeks to recover what they believed, as well as what motivated them to act and how they contributed to the development of the city as it grew. 

Public History MA student Marie Pellissier spoke with Dr. Roberts about his motivations and experience writing Evangelical Gotham. 

MP: What got you interested in the topic?  

KBR: I have long been interested in the relationship between individual belief and religious community. In college and graduate school I grew increasingly frustrated with scholars who didn’t approach religious belief critically or seriously. For much of the twentieth-century, scholars located within specific faith traditions wrote religious history. Some of what they wrote is very good, but much isn’t very critical. When non-religious scholars started to take religion more seriously as a subject for study in the second half of the twentieth century, they tended to focus more on what the religious did than what they believed. Histories of antebellum Protestant religion in particular are rife with arguments that reduce religion to social control. These arguments always struck me as simplistic and unsatisfying.

As I became increasingly interested in urban history, I was similarly frustrated that historians often fail to consider the role that religion has played in the development of modernizing cities. More often urban historians focus on real estate, immigration, or commerce as the primary factors shaping urban development. I wanted to expand the discussion by showing the ways in which one urban religious community, evangelical Protestants, played a previously unrecognized role in urban development. A study of New York City made sense because its pre-Civil War religious landscape has been relatively understudied and because it emerged by mid-century as a national and international center for evangelical cultural production, exported across the country and around the world. 

MP: What was the most interesting aspect of the project for you? 

KBR: All of it! But two things stand out. First, my way of researching was to completely immerse myself in primary sources created by evangelical New Yorkers – autobiographies, journals, church records, tracts, books, maps, paintings, meetinghouses – in order to understand their world through their words and on their terms. Graduate school offers an unparalleled opportunity for this kind of work. It is as much an experiential as an archival process. Only through researching in the New York Public Library or the New-York Historical Society during the day and walking the streets of Manhattan at night could I begin to more holistically understand the story unfolding before me and conceptually organize how I would tell it. 

Second, I embraced the opportunity to use digital mapping to recover a world that is largely lost to us. Evangelical New Yorkers built hundreds of churches over the eighty years following the American Revolution. Evangelicals were barely a presence before the war broke out, but they were the dominant religious group in the city on the eve of the Civil War. But the vast majority of their churches, institutions, and homes no longer stand, victim to the dramatic, ongoing redevelopment of the urban built environment. Mapping their world allowed me to recover where they congregated, when and why they moved, and to think about what their decisions meant for some important processes as neighborhood development, commercial growth, and the racial and class-based segmentation of the city. Over my nearly decade’s worth of work on the project, digital mapping applications continued to evolve, becoming easier and easier to use and allowing me to ask even more questions of my data. 

MP: What challenges or obstacles did you encounter during the project? 

KR: Too much good material. Talk to any scholar who has devoted significant time to a research project – a student writing a History Honors paper, a graduate student crafting a dissertation, or a senior scholar finishing a masterly monograph – and she or he will tell you that more material ends up on the cutting room floor than in the final work. The manuscript that I submitted to the press was 60,000 words longer than my contract allowed. So I spent an entire semester on leave sitting in my dining room cutting words. A friend advised just cutting one chapter and publishing it as an article. But I couldn’t figure out which chapter to part with, so I edited the entire manuscript down, line-by-line, word-by-word. I’m glad I did it. The book is much better for it, but it was certainly a challenge. That was also the winter when Boston (where I make my home when I’m not in Chicago) received the greatest snowfall in its recorded history, so I wasn’t really tempted to do anything else instead!

MP: How does Evangelical Gotham relate to present issues or current events?  

KBR: Turn on the television or read a newspaper online and you would think that religion in general, and evangelicalism in particular, was the exclusive domain of rural Americans. But then go out and walk the streets of New York, Chicago, or any American city and you will see that religion is alive, well, and quintessentially urban. The church you pass in the storefront in the former storefront in a strip mall isn’t a new invention. New York Methodists innovated with commercial space in the 1760s. Get off the Red Line at Chicago and State and odds are you will see women and men distributing religious literature for free. The most important evangelical Bible and tract publishing operations were located in New York throughout the nineteenth century. Think about how many prayers were said within and without Wrigley Field during the World Series, by players and fans alike. Religion is alive and well within the American city today not simply because it is interwoven into the fabric of the built environment, but because at a fundamental level it helps people negotiate the experience of being urban. By not understanding how religion functions, we miss an important component of the urban experience.

MP: What's next? 

KBR: There are two different digital projects that I have been working on for the last few years that will be the basis for books. Before I came to Loyola, I spent two years at Queen Mary, University of London creating Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library Systemwith an international team of scholars. Dissenting Academies recreates the holdings and borrowings from leading English Protestant dissenting academies over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Working with the massive data we gathered in that project, I have in development a book that looks at the ways in which textual communities functioned as political and religious communities on both sides of the Atlantic over two centuries. 

When I arrived at Loyola, I started a new research project as a way of teaching Digital Humanities and Public History. I felt it was really important for that project to be a local story, grounded in the collections and resources of my new institutional home. The Jesuit Libraries Project recreates the holdings of the original library catalog for the c.1878 St. Ignatius College (precursor to current day St. Ignatius College) in a virtual library system while the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project gathers images from the nearly 1750 titles that survive from the original library in a digital archive and fosters a participatory community around them. Nearly three-dozen undergraduate and graduate Loyola interns have been involved in the project. Together we’ve begun to uncover the previously overlooked importance of print to transnational nineteenth-century Catholics, their contributions to the shaping of American nationalism, and the opportunities and challenges of educating the children of immigrants in a booming city, Loyola’s original social justice mission.

But before those books come out, I have two co-edited anthologies to finish: Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014 with Stephen Schloesser of Loyola and Reading, Identity and Community in the Atlantic World with Mark Towsey of the University of Liverpool. Given that I am also the new Director of Loyola’s Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, I have a pretty full plate!


Graduate Students Attend Newberry Seminar Series


Ph.D student Kelly Schmidt participated in a full-day lecture and seminar series at the Newberry Library on November 5th. This series, conducted in association with the Chicago Humanities Council and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago, brought together graduate students from around the Midwest for lectures and seminars with three distinguished scholars from a variety of fields. Kelly provides her reflections on this experience below. 

On Saturday, November 5, I joined graduate students from around the Midwest for a full-day lecture and seminar series at the Newberry Library in association with the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago. We enjoyed three lectures, each followed by a seminar with the speaker.

In the first lecture, “How Taming Sleep Created our Restless World,” Benjamin Reiss discussed his forthcoming work: a book about why so many people feel frustrated by sleep in their attempts to track and manage it, because they believe that they’re “doing sleep wrong.” He described how efforts to regulate and consolidate sleep to “conform with the momentum of the industrial economy” in the nineteenth century resulted in a series of social parameters about where, when, and how one sleeps, which gradually made sleep “abnormalities” less of a spiritual affair and more a concern of science. Reiss made striking observations about how control over “normal” sleep and who was able to conform to conventional sleep patterns became a means of justification for keeping people of color, women, and impoverished laborers in states of oppression.

Following the lecture, graduate participants continued the conversation gathered around a selection of materials from the Newberry’s collection pertaining to the topics of the day, including a nineteenth-century account about Rachel Baker, a young woman who prayed aloud and discussed theology in her sleep, and a play about sleepwalking from the same period. Highlights related to the subsequent lecture were a braille-writing stencil and some of the earliest forms of books for the blind, featuring embossed script rather than braille. Perhaps the most popular item on display was Thomas Jefferson’s annotated copy of the Federalist papers.

In her lecture, “Accelerating Speech: How We Learned to Speed Listen” Mara Mills discussed the history of technology developed to increase the speed of a sound recording without altering the pitch. She elaborated on how blind scholars, who sought to read their audio textbooks more efficiently but found the resultant high pitch irritating, were instrumental in the research and implementation of high-speed listening devices.

During the seminar component, Mills introduced us to Marit MacArthur, who shared with us Gentle and Drift, two open-source tools for performative speech analysis. As she shared statistics on the number and length of pauses, pitch by genre and gender, and words per minute for different categories of spoken word, I couldn’t help but imagine how a historian might use these tools to analyze emotion or other patterns in a corpus of oral histories.

The lecture and seminar discussion with Annette Gordon-Reed centered on her recent publication “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination, as well as her previous work, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Her latest work, coauthored with Peter Onuf, looks through Jefferson’s eyes to understand how he imagined his world and his role in it, in an attempt to analyze many of his apparent contradictions over slavery and how he viewed himself (and wished to be remembered) as a part of the legacy of democracy. In the seminar we discussed Jefferson's contemporary reception (both positive and negative) in popular culture and on college campuses. Gordon-Reed further elaborated on her role in mediating many of these campus conversations. She also remarked that she hadn’t expected to be answering so many audience questions about Hamilton when she wrote the book!

Overall, I found the opportunity to be a richly rewarding experience. The lectures and conversations with scholars and peers were friendly and engaging; through them I gained appreciation for areas of scholarship about which I formerly knew very little.



Graduate Students Get Hands-On Experience with Medieval Manuscripts


This fall semester, history graduate students have the rare opportunity of working with the Newberry Library's renowned collection of medieval manuscripts through a 500-level seminar course on gender, bodies, and the body politic in medieval Europe. Led by Dr. Tanya Stabler-Miller, Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, this course examines the relationship between gender, sex differences, and politics in medieval Europe and the ways in which systems of power mapped onto perceived sex differences and bolstered, reproduced, or authenticated those systems. Through a close reading of political treatises, sermons, mystical literature, and church decrees, students in this ten-week graduate course evaluate the ways in which gendered discourses supported or weakened institutional, political, and religious authority, even in situations that seemingly had nothing to do with “real” women. The course aims to illuminate the effects of gendered symbols and discourses on institutions or spaces from which real women were increasingly marginalized, like royal authority, or completely excluded, such as the medieval university.

This graduate seminar is offered through the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library and welcomes graduate students from across the region. 

Join Us for an Election Night Viewing Extravaganza!


On election night, Tuesday November 8th, the History Department is proud to co-sponsor an Election Night Viewing Extravaganza in Damen Center from 7-11pm. Drop in or spend the whole evening with us enjoying free snacks while listening to journalists, activists, and policy experts explain the results as they come in and answer questions. This event is sponsored by: the History DepartmentInside Government, Phi Alpha Theta, History ClubDepartment of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Honors Program.

The Election Night Viewing Extravaganza is free and open to the public!


7:15pm: East Coast Returns

Tom Geoghegan, Chicago-Area Lawyer 

7:45pm: Gender and the Presidential Election

Dr. Michelle Nickerson, History and Women Studies & Gender Studies, Loyola University Chicago

8:15pm: Midwest Returns 

Micah Uetricht, Associate Editor, Jacobin

8:45pm: Criminal Justice and American Jurisprudence

Dr. Don Stemen, Criminal Justice and Criminology, Loyola University Chicago

9:15pm: Mountain West Returns

Dr. Benjamin Johnson, History, Loyola University Chicago

9:45pm: Student Organizations and Activists

Maria Ralenkotter, Inside Government

Alexa Lindsley, History Club and Phi Alpha Theta

Jolai Michel, Students for Worker Justice

10:15pm: West Coast Returns

Dr. Elizabeth Shermer, History, Loyola University Chicago

Teaching World History in a Global Twenty-First Century


This spring, Professor John Pincince is offering a new 300-level course, "Teaching World History: Pedagogy and Curricula for a Global Twenty-First Century." The course, which is scheduled on Thursdays from 2:30 to 5:00 pm, aims to prepare students, both graduate and undergraduate, to teach world history in high schools and in college/university settings. This is an exciting opportunity for students, particularly those who are planning on pursuing teaching, to engage with both the pedagogy and curricula of teaching world history.

MA student Marie Pellissier spoke to Professor Pincince about his goals and motivations for designing this course. 

MP: What is the main goal of the course, and what are you hoping students will take away from it?

JP: I have multiple goals for the "teaching world history" course, three of which I list here:

  1. To introduce students to the teaching field of world (or global) history by providing examples of content and delivery.  The first 45-odd minutes of the course begin with my giving a teaching demonstration on a specific theme or topic.
  2. To provide students the opportunity to work on and improve upon world history curricula and pedagogical approaches.
  3. To critically examine world history textbooks and primary source materials in effort to engage in textual modes of delivery of world history content.

MP: Why is it so important for both graduate and undergraduate students to understand world history? 

JP: The course is dedicated, but not limited, to undergraduate and graduate students whose pursuit of a history major or minor will lead to profession of teaching (or employed in some related educational institution).  In the case of undergraduates, World History is a component for all secondary-level subjects, more frequently a course taught in 10th or 11th grade.  Increasingly, more and more students are choosing to take the World History AP exam instead of the US and European AP exams.  This course will provide a venue to work on World History developing by examining and developing curricula and pedagogy.  Graduate students may find this course useful in at least ways: they will teach a world history class in high school setting or they will secure a faculty position in a university or college in which World History will be one of the courses they teach.  

 MP: What are the major benefits of thinking and teaching about global or world history? 

JP: This course is important in the long trajectory of a revisionist and re-centering mode in the discipline of history to move beyond the limits of nation-centered (nation-centric) historical frameworks and to move beyond Eurocentric and American-exceptionalist perspectives that still plague teaching and research in high schools, colleges and universities. There is a need to move beyond paradigms that limit our abilities to transcend comfort, familiarity and self-hood in our academic or disciplinary foci by historical analyzing peoples, processes, events, discourses, experiences, etc. through global or world historical perspectives. 

MP: Who are you anticipating will be the main audience for this course?

JP: Most definitely history and secondary ed (History) students.  This course is also the only course in the Department of History that is solely dedicated to "teaching." I believe the department needs to assist in the preparation of future teachers by offering courses dedicated to pedagogical and curricula development.  Moreover, I think this course will aid in developing synergistic links with the School of Education, which has been the main location for curricula and pedagogical development for history teachers. 

MP: What was your inspiration or motivation to teach this course?

JP: You may be aware that we have graduate teaching assistant training for Western Civ (I and II).  However, the training is immersive-- TAs are simply thrown into the deep water of an undergraduate history course and forced to orient themselves to a class that may in many ways be unfamiliar to their academic background.  A course devoted to history pedagogy and curricula development will, I believe, better prepare undergraduates and graduate students to swim comfortably in the waters of the increasing expansive discipline of history that in moving toward world and global approaches to studying the past and living in the present.


Undergraduate registration opens November 7th.

Some responses have been edited for clarity.



Celebrating Chrysler Village


Chrysler Village, the subject of an ongoing public history project by Loyola graduate students, is a neighborhood unlike any other in Chicago. Boarding Midway Airport on the southwest side of the city, Chrysler Village was established in 1942 to house 30,000 laborers who worked at the Chrysler-Dodge plant assembling B-29 “Superfortress” bomber engines during World War II. In addition to its role in wartime production, Chrysler Village is historically significant for foreshadowing national trends in postwar housing development. Its 700 housing units are similar to those seen in later planned communities like Levittown in their low-cost construction, uniformity of design, and financial dependence on the Federal Housing Act. Lastly, the layout of Chrysler Village is unique in Chicago because it does not conform to the grid system that defines the rest of the city's built environment. In “the village,” apartments, duplexes, and single-family homes are arranged concentrically along curving streets that surround Lawler Park at its center.

On a Tuesday evening this past August, Lawler Park was the site of the first ever Chrysler Village Community Fest. This was a collaborative event organized between students in Loyola's Public History Program, the Clear-Ridge Historical Society, the Office of Alderman Marty Quinn, the Chicago Park District at Lawler Park, local community members, teachers, and students from area schools. The festival brought together community members past and present to enjoy good company, free hotdogs, and a celebration of the area's rich past. The event showcased a community mural designed and painted by local students, an oral history booth for sharing memories, and a pop-up museum for neighborhood mementos. Lastly, commemorative signs were unveiled in honor of Chrysler Village's designation as a historic district.

Chrysler Village Community Fest is the most recent accomplishment of The Chrysler Village History Project, which was spearheaded by a group of Public History students in 2013 when they successfully nominated the neighborhood as a historic district to National Register of Historic Places. Over the last three years, Public History students have created a multifaceted, collaborative public history project through Loyola's student-driven Public History Lab with the goals of preserving and sharing the diverse histories of the Chrysler Village neighborhood. 

* * *

On October 13-16th, Loyola University Chicago will host the Urban History Association's eighth biennial conference that will feature over 650 urban historians and scholars from around the world. As the History Department prepares for this exciting event, PhD Student Ruby Oram spoke with PhD Candidates Rachel Boyle and Chelsea Denault and PhD Student Kelly Schmidt about how they've put urban history into action through the collaborative Chrysler Village History Project.

* * *

How did this project start?

Chelsea Denault: We first became involved in this project during Dr. Karamanski's Management of Historic Resources graduate course in Spring 2013. The community's alderman, Marty Quinn, had approached Dr. Karamanski about nominating Chrysler Village to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a way to raise neighborhood pride and use that status as a way to advocate for city resources and services, which is a big deal in that neighborhood given its proximity to the noise, traffic, and pollution of Midway Airport.

Rachel Boyle: As part of our coursework, fellow Loyola history graduate students and I unearthed the neighborhood’s historical significance through extensive research in the archives and on the ground in Chrysler Village. Contributors to the NRHP nomination included: Joshua Arens, Courtney Baxter, Kim Connelly Hicks, Chelsea Denault, Mairead O’Malley, and Gregory Ruth. We continued to develop the nomination in the months after class until it was officially accepted in early 2014 and Chrysler Village was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

As satisfying as it was to help put Chrysler Village on the National Register, we couldn’t help but ask how the listing could better benefit the community. At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History (NCPH), Kim Connelly Hicks and I joined a roundtable on preservation to discuss how we could build on our nomination to create a sustained, financially soluble, and socially relevant project for a changing community. The roundtable generated a host of great ideas, but as the original core of students moved on in their lives and careers, we needed leaders with a plan to move the project forward.

Once again, Chrysler Village entered the classroom. Dr. Mooney-Melvin offered to collaborate and integrate an assignment into her Public History: Methods and Theory course in fall 2015 that would introduce Chrysler Village to history graduate students and provide an opportunity to develop and present a public history proposal. Students pitched creative project plans that harnessed our National Register nomination research into dynamic public history projects for the benefit of the contemporary community of Chrysler Village.

Kelly Schmidt: I became involved in the Chrysler Village project through Dr. Mooney-Melvin's Public History Methods and Theory course. Rachel Boyle asked us as a part of the course to submit project proposals that would build upon the Chrysler Village nomination. The project sought ideas that would benefit the neighborhood socially and economically, and shed greater light on Chrysler Village's history and presence in the community, city-wide, and nationally. After the course concluded, Rachel invited those who were interested in reviewing these proposals and selecting components to put into action together to form a committee, and that's how the Chrysler Village History Project emerged. It has been an ongoing three-year effort across three different courses, an independent group of students, and invested members of the Chrysler Village community.

Rachel Boyle: Under the umbrella of Public History Lab, a handful of dedicated students decided to put their proposals into action after the course concluded. For example, Maggie McClain initiated a course collaboration with Dr. Manning to conduct oral histories of local residences. At the same time, Kelly Schmidt took the lead on bringing the idea of a community festival to the neighborhood. Over the course of a year, Kelly and fellow students periodically met with local residents and community leaders to refine the vision of the event and coordinate logistics.

Chelsea Denault: We decided our purpose was to preserve and celebrate the historical significance of the community, but we wanted to do so in a way that was accessible and engaging to everyone in the community. In the end, we pursued this mission in three ways. First, we began planning a Community Festival to raise awareness among the residents of the area's history while also building community. We also started an oral history project to collect and preserve the stories of residents. Finally, we created a website to document the project and also serve as an archive of articles, photos, oral histories, and other materials we've assembled over the the three years of this project.

Why have a Community Fest?

Kelly Schmidt: When Rachel Boyle's preservation cohort succeeded in nominating Chrysler Village to the National Register of Historic Places, neighborhood residents wondered, "So what? What does this nomination do for us?" Because residents felt that they missed out on community-building events that used to take place in the past, and sought more internal and external investment into their community, we thought that a Community Fest would be an ideal rallying point to bring neighbors together, encourage them to share their memories of the neighborhood and preserve them for posterity, and to evaluate interest in hosting larger community-building opportunities in the future, such as a festival celebrating Chrysler Village's 75th anniversary and the creation of a neighborhood association.

Rachel Boyle: The purpose of a community fest was to draw together neighborhood residents, both past and present, to celebrate Chrysler Village's rich history and current vibrancy. It was also an opportunity to collaborate with local elementary students to research their neighborhood's past, gather additional oral histories of longtime residents, and share information on how the National Register listing impacted homeowners. One of the most exciting results of the community fest was the collection of contact information for residents interested in starting a Homeowners or Civic Association. As a direct result of coming together and asserting the community's historical and contemporary significance, residents empowered themselves to organize and advocate for the tangible needs of their community.

What do you think are the greatest successes of this project so far?

Chelsea Denault: The greatest success of this project, to me, was the Community Festival! There was an unbelievable turnout of current and past residents, and such a wonderful atmosphere of community. It was so fulfilling to this key part of the project come to fruition, bringing people together to share their enthusiasm for their neighborhood. That feeling was particularly evident in the 50 signatures we collected from residents who were interested in starting their own neighborhood association.

Kelly Schmidt: Through the project we've begun to collect information about the history of Chrysler Village from its past and present residents--knowledge that might be implicitly known by some members of the community, but not by all, especially new arrivals to the neighborhood. We've been able to collect this information and make it publicly available in one place, The Chrysler Village History Project Website, which houses audio and transcriptions of oral histories with the residents as well as photographs and collections of documents from past and present residents and the local historical society. By being able to gather this material, we've been able to accomplish several goals. We've also been better able to contextualize the history of the people of Chrysler Village, about whom we formerly knew very little. Students in Dr. Manning's Oral History class wrote papers placing Chrysler Village's history within the larger context of Chicago and its neighborhoods, as well as similar communities throughout the nation.

Second, by posting this material digitally on a single website, we've made this material accessible to the Chrysler Village community and the general public. Through publicity help from Rob Bitunjac of the Clear-Ridge historical society, Chrysler Village residents, and local newspapers, residents past and present began to take a look at the site. It became a tool and network for community members and former residents to reflect on and reminisce about their neighborhood, both on the site and within Facebook communities. I was impressed to see that long-term residents and former residents used the comments section on our event page leading up to the Community fest to reconnect about their memories. They lamented that some elements of the neighborhood had changed, but praised many of the robust community events that used to take place, such as a neighborhood haunted house in the Lawler Park Fieldhouse, and the famous softball team that played in Lawler Park. One person even wrote that he was flying into Chicago to be at the Community Fest and used the comment section to reach out to a former neighbor to see if she would be in attendance!

Students of one resident's fifth-grade class also conducted research on local history topics in the area, and constructed posters that were placed on display along with materials from the Clear-Ridge Historical Society during the festival. One student even used the information we had gathered and shared to create a community mural, depicting important elements of Chrysler Village, past and present, that she unveiled at the event. They helped us achieve our goal of elevating attention to, and appreciation for, the community's history. Guests at the festival enjoyed learning about the history of the community and expressed that they previously had not known much about the neighborhood's origins.

Finally, we've seen a lot of momentum grow from our oral history and Community Fest efforts. Members of the neighborhood who'd like to see their community come together more often and share their commitment to the neighborhood used the Fest as an opportunity to gauge interest in forming a homeowner's association.

Rachel Boyle: No public history project can succeed without community investment, and we were so lucky to collaborate with an enthusiastic core of neighborhood residents and local leaders. The folks we worked with have such a strong commitment to advocating for their community and it was an incredible opportunity to lend our professional skills to support their goals. That we could help get them to a point to successfully start their own sustainable organization stands out as a great success of the project.

Secondly, throughout the three-year span of this project, a large number of Loyola graduate history students gave their time and skills to the Chrysler Village History Project. Whether coordinating logistics behind the scenes, travelling the 2.5-hour round trip to Chrysler Village for a community meeting, or volunteering the day of the community fest, so many dedicated students made this project possible. It was gratifying to support and coordinate the work of such passionate and capable public historians over the past three years, and I am proud to be part of program with students so committed to practicing public history for the benefit of local communities. 

What's next? 

Chelsea Denault: I would love to see our community collaborators build off of the enthusiasm everyone felt at the community festival and move forward with their neighborhood association. That would be the ultimate success in this project in my mind: that we had the opportunity to take a National Register nomination from a simple (well, not so simple) document back into the community and work with residents to foster a sense of place is truly incredible and speaks to the impact that public history can have when there's hard-working and passionate people - professionals and collaborators - involved in a project.

We also just presented the project at the American Association for State and Local History annual meeting in Detroit at the beginning of the month. We received so much positive feedback from public history professionals and scholars, many of whom encouraged us to apply for next year's award.  

Kelly Schmidt: I would like to see the community take what we initiated into its own hands and use the momentum we gained together to build community, meeting residents' needs and desires. I hope that the Community Fest committee's efforts to create a homeowners' association that will host neighborhood events and bring neighbors together grows in popularity, and that they will continue to foster community growth through even bigger neighborhood events like the Community Fest each year.

Rachel Boyle: Some history graduate students are still following up on oral histories and maintaining our website as a resource for Chrysler Village, but overall our role in the project is coming to an end. Kelly and I are headed to the The National Council on Public History (NCPH) Annual Meeting in April along with a community collaborator to join other public historians in reflecting on best practices for transitioning full leadership of projects into the hands of the community. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing how Chrysler Village residents move forward with their plans to organize and advocate for their neighborhood.

Chrysler Village Community Fest, August 18th, 2016


Dr. Raúl Rodríguez to speak Nov. 2 and 3


Dr. Raúl Rodríguez is a Researcher and Professor at La Universidad de la Habana where he teaches courses on US history and Canadian Studies. He has taught in the United States, Canada, and Austria and lectures around the globe on various topics, most recently on Cuban foreign policy and the stalemate in US-Cuban relations at the University of London. His areas of specialization include US-Cuban relations and Caribbean-Canadian studies.

On November 2, the History Department will host Dr. Rodríguez for a roundtable discussion with interested faculty and graduate students at 1:30 pm.

On November 3, Dr. Rodríguez will give a talk on US-Cuban relations at 5 pm in Cuneo Hall Room 312. This talk is sponsored by the Latin American and Latin@ Studies program and the Philosophy Department. 

Professor Gilfoyle to present at Newberry Seminar in Writing History


On November 11, Prof. Timothy Gilfoyle will present "Writing a Pickpocket's Tale" at the Newberry Seminar in Writing History. Professor Gilfoyle will discuss how he came to write A Pickpocket's Tale. The book starts with a single felon and opens into a sweeping examination of crime and punishment in late nineteenth century New York. The discussion will range across many facets of the writing and editing process, as well as getting published. 

The Newberry Seminar in Writing History will meet on Friday, November 11 at 3 pm in the Towner Fellows Lounge at the Newberry Library, 60 W Walton Street. 

Save the Date for the Dorothy Day Symposium!


The Ramonat Seminar in American Catholic History has announced its year-long seminar series, "Dorothy Day's America: Speaker Series on Catholic Social Teaching in the 20th Century." Made possible by the generosity of Susan Ramonat, this speaker series brings together outstanding scholars to discuss Catholic social teaching and activism in the twentieth century. Each seminar is free and open to all students, faculty, and the general public.

Mark your calendar for the 2016-2017 Ramonat Seminar Schedule:

American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global
Professor John McGreevy, University of Notre Dame
Tuesday, October 4th, 5PM
4th Floor of Information Commons

I Am Free to Be What I Want:” The Role of Roman Catholicism in the Inner Lives of Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, and Eldridge Cleaver
Professor Randal Jelks, University of Kansas
Wednesday, October 19th, 5PM
Cuneo Hall 109

When a Catholic Became President
Professor Kevin Schultz, University of Illinois, Chicago
Wednesday, November 2nd, 5PM
4th Floor of Information Commons

Dorothy Day: A Saint for Today
Author Robert Ellsberg
Thursday, February 16th, 5:30PM
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall

Medieval Studies Program Presents: "The Supernatural in the Middle Ages"


The Medieval Studies Program at Loyola is excited to present a lecture series on on “The Supernatural in the Middle Ages.” This speaker series will take place on Mondays in October and November at 4 pm in the Crown Center auditorium.

On October 3, Colin Fewer, Associate Professor at Purdue University Northwest, presents “The Soul in Pain: Ghosts, Purgatory and the Body in Late Medieval Culture.” Professor Fewer is a specialist in medieval English literature.

On October 31, just in time for Halloween, Nancy Caciola, Professor of Medieval History at the University of California San Diego, presents “The Restless Dead in the Middle Ages.”

To finish off the series, Richard Keickhefer, John Evans Professor of Religious Studies at Northwestern University, presents “The Problem of Angel Magic” on November 14.  


Charting New Career Pathways


The Graduate School, under the direction of Project Leader Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Associate Professor of History and Interim Dean, received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support its new project, “Charting Career Pathways: Enhancing and Sustaining Doctoral Education in the Humanities.” The Graduate School is one of 25 grant recipients of the NEH's “Next Generation PhD” program. This new grant initiative provides financial support for universities with the goal of creating new directions in the education of doctoral students in the humanities to broaden career paths outside the academy. 

Dr. Mooney-Melvin spoke with PhD student Ruby Oram about the project:

What are the goals for the project “Charting Career Pathways”?

This project has 6 major goals. We want to create opportunities for our students to see themselves as possessing multiple career pathways. An important part of student success revolves around advising and mentoring and this project hopes to strengthen faculty ability to discuss multiple career pathways. We hope to work with the career planning and placement center to develop a robust career guidance program for graduate students. We want our students to be able to communicate with a wide range of audiences. Finally, we want to give students experience outside of the academy while in their graduate programs. Secondary goals include shaping student recruitment messaging to reflect multiple career pathways and to explore curricular opportunities.

Why is it important to provide doctoral students in the humanities with multiple career pathways? 

Doctoral education offers students the opportunity to gain both breadth and depth in a discipline.  They also acquire and hone a wide variety of skills and abilities that can serve them well where ever their interests take them.  While many students may find academic positions and feel fulfilled in these positions, many others will take a different path.  It is our responsibility to offer all students the ability to appreciate the range of opportunities available to them.

How will this grant help bring “Charting Career Pathways” into fruition?

We are at the very beginning of the project. The planning committee will meet and formalize  our plan of action.  The Internship in the Field is a pilot program with the Illinois Humanities Council. The Graduate School provides the assistantship and the Illinois Humanities Council has designed a program that will allow the student to learn about the work of a non-profit as well as work on a specific public humanities project.  Philosophy doctoral candidate Nicoletta Ruane is the first recipient of the assistantship.

“Charting Career Pathways” builds on Loyola's tradition of preparing graduate students in the humanities for diverse career trajectories. Loyola founded a pioneering Public History Program, which trains both masters and doctoral students to apply their historical training outside the classroom to museums, archives, and historic sites. Loyola also created one of the earliest masters programs in Digital Humanities through the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities. By challenging the distinction between “traditional” academic careers and “alternative” careers in the humanities, “Charting Career Pathways” is an important step towards allowing PhD students to envision themselves following multiple career paths.

Congratulations, Dr. Mooney-Melvin!

Chicago Maritime Museum Celebrates Grand Opening


In June 2016, the Chicago Maritime Museum celebrated its grand opening at the Bridgeport Art Center at Bubbly Creek. The Maritime Museum has been associated with the Public History program at Loyola for many years, and Professor Theodore Karamanski has been heavily involved with the Chicago Maritime Society (now the Maritime Museum) since the 1980s, as both a founding board member and historical advisor. This cooperation has had multiple benefits for both the Public History program and the Maritime Museum. The first Public History internship was at the Maritime Society, and Loyola hosted a regional conference on Lake Michigan maritime history to help the Society grow.

Loyola students and professors have worked with the Maritime Museum to produce a number of publications and special exhibits. In 1990, Professor Karamanski, in conjunction with the Maritime Museum, published an annotated bibliography, The Maritime History of Chicago: A Guide to Sources. Other publications and exhibitions include “Shaping the Waters: Chicago’s Maritime Past” (1986), a video documentary project led by Public History student Joel Mendes. In 1988, Public History student Melinda Campbell directed a radio documentary, “Work and the Waterways: An Aural History,” which used folk music to tell the story of sailors and canalers. That program aired on Public Radio International, was reviewed in the Spring 1990 issue of The Public Historian, and won an award from the Illinois State Historical Society. Professor Karamanski and graduate student Ariel Orloff worked on the Chicago Schooner project in 1999, which led to the publication, in conjunction with the society, of Schooner Passage: Sailing Ships and the Lake Michigan Frontier and Maritime Chicago. The Maritime Museum has been a key partner with the Public History program and the History department, and hopefully this partnership will continue to the benefit of both the Public History program and the Maritime Museum.   


Alumnus Returns Home to Teach at Arrupe College


Dr. Rene Luis Alvarez works with a student during a break from his Western Civilization to 17th Century class on Arrupe College's opening day last August.

Rene Luis Alvarez, PhD, recently accepted the position of Lecturer of History at Arrupe College, Loyola University’s two-year liberal arts degree-granting college. Dr. Alvarez received his Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago, and completed his Master of Arts at Northwestern University specializing in secondary history education. He taught history and social studies in a Philadelphia suburban school district for several years before pursuing his doctorate in history at the University of Pennsylvania. His primary research interest is in the history of American education, and he has also written about the educational history of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Chicago during the late twentieth century. Dr. Alvarez taught classes at Arrupe as an adjunct instructor during the 2015-2016 school year.

Dr. Alvarez was interviewed by Fazila Kabahita, Loyola public history MA 2016, regarding his new position.

Q: Can you describe your position at Arrupe?

A: My new position is Lecturer of History in Arrupe College, Loyola University’s two-year liberal arts degree-granting college that prepares students to pursue their Bachelor degrees or move into meaningful employment. I will teach the introductory history courses “Western Civilization to the 17th Century” and “United States History to 1865” beginning in the Fall of 2016.

Q: How did you come about teaching?

A: I began my teaching career at the high school level. After I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History from Loyola, I completed the Master of Arts program at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, specializing in secondary history education. I taught history and social studies in a Philadelphia suburban school district for several years before pursuing my doctorate in history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Q: What are your primary research interests?

A: I entered Penn’s history program to study and research the history of American education. That continues to be my primary area of research. Within that, I have researched and written about the educational history of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Chicago during the late twentieth century. Researching in this field has provided me opportunities to explore other aspects of the past, such as urban history and ethnic history.

Professor Bucholz concludes three successful years as department chair


At the end of June 2016, Professor Robert O. Bucholz will conclude his three-year term as Chair of the History Department. During his tenure, Bob cultivated a culture of excellence that stressed the importance of teaching, research, and service. 

Under his watch, History faculty and students won a significant number of awards. This included three consecutive winners of the annual Sujack Family Faculty Research Excellence Award, three major book prizes, a dissertation of the year, and an undergraduate research award.  Teaching awards included the Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence---the department’s first since Bucholz won the inaugural prize in 1994---several Master Teacher Awards, a Langerbeck Award for Undergraduate Mentoring, and the Provost Award for Teaching Freshman.  Passionately devoted to the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis (care for the person), Bucholz fostered an environment in which History students won the Regents’ Award three years running and the President’s Medallion in 2015.

In 1988, after having received his D. Phil. from the University of Oxford (U.K.), Bucholz moved to Chicago and joined Loyola University’s History faculty. An internationally renowned historian of Tudor-Stuart England, he is the author of five books, the online Database of Court Offices, 1660-1837, and numerous articles. Several of his video recorded sets for “The Great Courses,” including London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World, have brought his trademark lecture style into venues across the globe. A generation of students lucky enough to have experienced him “live” will fondly remember Bucholz as the beloved teacher of the two-semester Introduction to Western Civilization (101/102). He was named the SGLC and Maroon and Gold Society Faculty Member of the Year in 2015.

As Bob returns to full-time teaching, research, and his knight-errant’s quest for quaffable English Ale on this side of the Pond, please click here to share your favorite memory or click here to give a gift in his honor.

History undergraduates recognized for academic achievement

The History Department announces the following winners of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Essay Contest:

  • Andrew Kelly won first place for his paper, "Development and Dependency in Burkina Faso, 1983-2014."
  • Alexa Lindsley won second place for her paper, "Going Old School: A Spatial Analysis of Ancient Roman Education and its Purposes."
  • Magdalena Jachymiak won third place for her paper, "The Unofficial Diplomat: Congressman Dan Rostenkowski's Impact on Polish-American Relations from 1975-1990."

For the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Blog Contest:

Congratulations to all!

MA student Lauren O'Brien bridges academic experience with community work

Lauren O’Brien is a second year History MA student with a concentration in 20th Century U.S History, and a minor in Public History. This fall, she will attend Rutgers University to pursue her PhD in American Studies.  Lauren shares how Loyola’s MA History Program prepared her for a position at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

How did you get involved with Jane Addams Hull-House Museum? 

I’m a strong advocate for reading list-serv emails! During my first semester I received an email from our department about applying to the Cities of Peace program that was sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull House. I wanted to find a way to better bridge my academic experiences with my community work and felt that the program was the perfect way to do so. I made it to the final round of interviews, but ultimately was not selected as a fellow. Fortunately, the Education Manager instead offered me a position as a graduate intern in the Museum’s Education Department. In a matter of weeks, Hull House became another home for me as I quickly became immersed in the site’s history and the museums’ programming. Luckily, when my internship ended, I was offered a more permanent position as the Cities of Peace Education Program Assistant.

What is Cities of Peace?

Cities of Peace is an intergenerational initiative which connects the struggles of young people in Chicago and Phnom Penh, Cambodia as they organize to transform harm caused by state and interpersonal violence and create community healing. 2015 marked the fortieth anniversary of the Khmer Rouge genocide which took the lives of nearly one in four Cambodians. It was also the year that a group of Chicago activists organized under “We Charge Genocide” to petition the United Nations to recognize a global epidemic of police violence that disproportionately impacts young people of color, as well as queer, trans, and gender nonconforming youth from marginalized communities. Although young people in Chicago and Phnom Penh are separated by language, culture, and nearly 9,000 miles of Pacific Ocean, this program intends to illuminate their shared histories of state and interpersonal violence and generational trauma. Over the course of two years, youth participated in an international exchange through which Chicago Peace Fellows visited Cambodia in April 2015 and Cambodian Peace Fellows visited Chicago in July 2015. The exchange centered histories of state violence and community resistance featuring local historians, human rights advocates, legislators, community organizers, artists, as well as survivors of violence and trauma. The exchange culminated in a Youth Peace Summit through which young activists shared their experiences and presented a collective platform for international solidarity.

What is your job as facilitator?

Joining in the second year of the initiative, I worked in partnership with the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce to develop a trauma-informed critical high school curriculum which includes original research, lesson plans, community organizing techniques, arts interventions, and interviews from program participants in Chicago and Cambodia. This curriculum was launched at the Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair and will be distributed in print and digitally to local, national, and international educators and youth workers in partnership with the Cambodian Peace Institute and the International Sites of Conscience. Additionally, in partnership with local artists, activists, and scholars, I am facilitator of a series of teach-in’s which will utilize trauma-informed popular education methodology to educate and organize their peers around issues of state and interpersonal violence on the local and global scale. These teach-in’s will be facilitated at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, within Chicago Public Schools, and at a variety of cultural, historic, and organizing sites throughout the city.

Why did the Hull-House Museum decide to sponsor this program?

Jane Addams once said "True peace is not simply the absence of war." As the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and A founder and president of the Women’s Peace Party, Addams empowered women across the U.S. – and eventually around the world with her demands to end World War. Yet for Addams, peace-making encompassed much more than protesting war. It meant listening to mothers who had lost their children to combat, and lending support to conscientious objectors. It included speaking up against racialized violence, and building playgrounds where neighbors could get to know each other. Just as Addams’ peace-building took multiple forms, it also enlisted all kinds of participants. Addams argued that peacebuilding should include and benefit women, low-wage workers, migrants, and people of color. Almost a century later however, these communities disproportionately face mass incarceration, police brutality, poverty, criminalization, deportation, and domestic violence. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM) serves as a dynamic memorial to Jane Addams, her fellow reformers, and the migrant neighbors who struggled to organize, engage in cultural exchange, and impact national and international public policy. Cities of Peace utilizes JAHHM’s extensive experience in bringing diverse constituents from across the city into meaningful conversations that move towards action, expertise in thinking about peace broadly as well as within specific historical and cultural contexts.

What have you learned from the discussions?

One big takeaway for me is the role of history plays in violence against communities of color. By examining histories of colonization and genocide, we can recognize that not only are individual experiences of interpersonal violence silenced, but so are long histories of state-based violence towards communities of color. In this sense, history as a discipline can further inflict harm on communities of color, as these aspects of their history are unexplored or unacknowledged. It is imperative to recognize this cycle of trauma and seek ways to disrupt and prevent more harm so that history can be transformative and restorative for all. One way to attempt to make history more restorative is for the educator to create an  intentional and trauma informed learning environment. Whether in the classroom or a museum, educators should attempt to establish a brave space that is welcomes and supports the diverse identities, experiences, and learning styles of all participants.

How has Loyola’s History Graduate MA Program benefited your experience at Hull House?

Graduate school has illuminated for me the politics and privilege within the writing, preservation, and dissemination of history. Within dominant narratives about the United States, the stories of marginalized individuals are often excluded, trivialized and at worst, undocumented. Even at Hull House, an institution that prides itself as a radical space of democracy that allowed women to transcend boundaries of race, class and gender, the experiences of communities of color are often excluded and overlooked. As a black woman, my historical practice and educational philosophies are inextricable to my identity. I take immense pride in my heritage and recognize the importance of positive representations of people of color in history, art, and higher education. I firmly believe that there is a correlation between the underrepresentation of students of color in history and the marginalization of people of color in cultural institutions and historical narratives. Therefore one of the greatest gifts Loyola has given me is the cultural capital to interrogate silences within exclusionary narratives and create platforms that highlight, document, and share the histories of marginalized communities.  

Professor John Donoghue and Dr. Anthony DiLorenzo to present co-authored paper at Université Sorbonne


On May 27, Professor John Donoghue and Dr. Anthony DiLorenzo will present their paper “Transatlantic Republicanism and Abolitionism in the Longue Durée” at the Institute for the Study of the French Revolution​ at the Paris-Sorbonne. The paper "compares and contrasts the conceptualization and transnational circulation of abolitionist ideas in the mid-seventeenth century English Revolution and the late eighteenth-century “Age of Atlantic Revolutions." Donoghue and DiLorenzo's approach, "stress both continuity and change across time and Atlantic space in the multiple efforts republicans made to eradicate human bondage. Such an approach helps to explain how conservative American reactions to transatlantic French and Irish “Jacobinism” in general, and the Haitian Revolution and the 1798 Irish uprising in particular, negatively impacted early abolitionist agitation in the United States."

Dr. DiLorezno successfully defended his dissertation, "A Higher Law: Anti-Slavery Radicalism in Early America, 1760-1800," in April with Professor Donoghue as chair. Below, both discuss their experience co-authoring the paper. 

 How did you decide to approach this topic?

Anthony DiLorenzo: Initially, Dr. Donoghue did most of the leg-work in proposing our paper topic to the Institute for the Study of the French Revolution​ for this conference. He recognized that my dissertation work on radical antislavery thought and activity on both sides of the Atlantic would be a good fit for its theme, "Ireland and France in the Age of Atlantic Republicanism​." Political revolutionaries in America, England, Ireland and France were all involved in the late eighteenth-century abolitionist movement and formed networks that connected them throughout the period. Dr. Donoghue also recognized that a collaboration between the two of us could reveal some insights on the topic. Both of us are interested in the ways that revolution was tied to antislavery activity, but we focus on different periods. Expanding the frame to capture the long history of anti slavery throughout the Age of Revolutions - starting with the English Revolution of the mid-seventeenth century and continuing through the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions -we hoped, would reveal commonalities as well as change over time. The Irish Rebellion of 1798 has long been of interest to both of us and we also strove to integrate this often neglected even into our analysis.

Professor John Donoghue: For my part, the topic came about after researching the links between the radical republicanism of the English Revolution and the ideological origins of abolitionism, the findings of which were published in an American Historical Review article (October 2010) and in my first monograph,'Fire under the Ashes': An Atlantic History of the English Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2013). I met Pierre Serna, the Director of the Institute for the Study of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne after a lecture I was invited to give on the meaning of freedom and slavery during the age of the English Revolution at the University of Bologna in the fall of 2013. Pierre and I met up again in Paris this past October at a conference, New Directions in the Study of Slavery and Capitalism, sponsored by the Collège d’études mondiales. There I talked with Pierre about Anthony's research on radical republican abolition during the late 18th C and Pierre thought a joint paper from us would be a good fit for the conference he's sponsoring at the Sorbonne in late May ("Ireland and France in the Age of Atlantic Republicanism​").

What was the process like? Find anything surprising?

AD:I was struck by the similarities between the radical political thought of the mid-seventeenth-century English Revolution and that of the later eighteenth-century revolutions. In both periods, antislavery voices consistently emphasized that human bondage contradicted revolutionary ideals -- particularly freedom and equality. Oppression and exploitation was also frequently compared to slavery, not just in the abstract, but directly. In Ireland, for example, some compared unjust British laws to chattel slavery.  And it cut both ways, with some calling on those who protested against anti-Catholic and anti-Irish laws to oppose the African slave trade as well.

JD:In terms of surprises, what's been very gratifying for me as an Atlanticist is that leading intellectual historians of early modern and modern Europe working on the Continent are now taking Atlantic approaches seriously. Atlantic history is now a mature field, and so there is a considerable body of literature that has convinced some Europeanists that re-conceptualizing our notions of historical space can reveal processes of great historical significance  that national paradigms either obscure or marginalize. I'm also happy that Professor Serna has seen the value of Anthony's work. I'm enthusiastic that the conference in Paris will give Anthony the chance to showcase his scholarship before an invited group of very eminent scholars. I think the work Anthony and I have done in the English Atlantic Writing Group (EAWG) [note: EAWG was co-founded by myself and Profs. Bucholz and Roberts in the fall of 2012] with our colleagues from Loyola, from Chicagoland universities, and with fellows from schools the world over working at The Newberry Library has been pivotal in helping us fine tune our scholarship to the point where we are now being asked to present it before international audiences at institutions such as The Sorbonne.  

Anthony, did this paper have an effect on your research for your dissertation?

AD: The focus on this topic in the conference paper definitely expanded my scope and led to some interesting research that was a bit outside of my comfort zone in terms of both period and geography. Collaborating with Dr. Donoghue also helped me to recognize some of the commonalities in our work and method. Entire sections of my dissertation were influenced by my reflecting on how to approach this project, including one on the roots of abolitionist ideology that was influenced by Dr. Donoghue's American Historical Review article and another on the Irish Rebellion that traced radical Irish emigres who fled to the United States -- some becoming vocal antislavery activists. The dissertation clearly benefited from the process and it will be an honor to represent Loyola at such a prestigious institution in France.


Professors Hajdarpasic, Kaufman, Roberts recognized for Research and Teaching Excellence


We are pleased to congratulate Professors Edin Hajdarpasic, Suzanne Kaufman, Kyle Roberts for their awards in Research and Teaching Excellence.  Professor Roberts was awarded the Sujack for teaching, and Professor Hajdarpasic for research. This is the first time a department has won both Sujack Awards for research and teaching. The Sujack Teaching Awards were established in 1994 by Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack in order to take special notice each year of two outstanding teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences.  These awards recognize superb teaching of undergraduate students. In 2012, the Sujack Family established the Sujack Family Faculty Research Excellence Awards in order to recognize college faculty for their individual research and scholarship outside of the classroom. Professor Hajadarpasic has also won the 2016 Rothschild Prize in Nationalism and Ethnic Studies for his book, Whose Bosnia? Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840–1914, which you can read more about here. Professor Kaufman was awarded Masters Teacher in the College of Arts and Sciences which is the second highest award for teaching for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations to our award winning faculty! To see a full list of past award winning faculty, click here

Phi Alpha Theta President and Vice President present at The Biennial National Convention


Earlier in the semester, Loyola’s History Honors Society Phi Alpha Theta President Nemanja Krsic, and Vice President, Alexa Lindsley attended the Biennial National Convention in Orlando, Florida. Both members presented their individual research in front of an academic audience. Mr. Krsic presented on Josip B. Tito’s foreign policy during the Cold War, and Ms. Lindsley on the lifespan and health of gladiators. They met members and faculty from other chapters nationwide, and gained knowledgeable information and valuable insight in how to improve Loyola’s own chapter. Phi Alpha Theta continues to be a nationally recognized organization that encourages the study and promotion of history for undergraduate and graduate students alike. Loyola’s chapter hopes to increase their campus presence through public events, and provide students with opportunities to further their historical careers. In addition, they are looking forward to inducting their newest pledge class in the Fall of 2016 and expanding their membership.

To learn more about Phi Alpha Theta at Loyola, click here.


History Students to Present at Weekend of Excellence

Saturday, April 16

Graduate School Interdisciplinary Research Symposium, Quinlan Life Sciences Building Auditorium, First Floor

Paper Session A


Mapping Feminine Felonies in Chicago, 1870-1920- Rachel Boyle, PhD Candidate


Digital Mapping to (Re) Envision the the Geographies of Antislavery Newspapers and Black Networks for Print Distribution, 1823-1833-  Nathan Jeremie-Brink, PhD Candidate

Paper Session B

1:30PM, Room 212

Nineteenth-Century Jesuits and the Making of the St. Ignatius College Library, Michael Albani, History MA

Undergraduate  Research and Engagement Symposium, Mundelein Center Auditorium

Research Poster Session I: 11-12:30PM

Poster 12

Outside the Army: An In-depth Look at the Duke of Cumberland's Personnel - Sarah Deas, '16 Provost Fellowship 

Poster 13

The Cultural Defiance of Women Religious: Speaking Volumes through the Removal of Habits - Claire Blankenship, '17

Research Poster Session II: 2-3:30PM

Poster 82

Cardinal George William Mundelein: Chicago Catholicism from 1929-1923 - Hector Bahena, '17, Mulcahy Scholars Program

Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project-1840's Jesuit Book Trade - Brendan Courtois '16 and Dan Snow

Research Paper Oral Presentations, 12:50PM-2PM

Mundelein 303

Cardinal George William Mundelein: Chicago Catholicism from 1929-1933 - Hector Bahena '17, Mulcahy Scholars Program 

Foreign Americans: Immigrant Catholics in 19th Century Chicago - Kyle Jenkins, '16

Building an Indentity: An Artistic Study of Irish Catholic Ethnic Parishes in Chicago - Susannah Heissner '17

A Roman Martyr in LA: The Impact of Fabiola on Catholic Literary History - Olivia Raymond '18

Mundelein 406

Dog Fighting in Chicago - Lauren Rogers '16, Provost Fellowship

The "Golden Age" of the French Foreign Legion: A Cultural Analysis of the Legion through Film and Memoir Depictions - Katherine Will '16, Provost Fellowship

The Excellence Awards Ceremony-by invitation

Sr. Jean Dolores Schmidt MPR, Damen Student Center, 7:00PM

History Graduate Student Association (HGSA) President, Hope Shannon, along with Vice President Fazila Kabahita, and Treasurer Kelly Schmidt will represent HGSA for their nomination for the Loyola Graduate and Adult Leadership Award for an Outstanding GPA Student Organization.

Not-to-miss Fall 2016 Courses!

HIST 300C-001: The Ottoman Empire
Professor Edin Hajdarpasic
M, W: 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM (LSC)

The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest-lasting empires in world history, stretching across the Balkans, the Middle East, and North Africa since the 1500s. Its fascinating history, from its beginnings in medieval Anatolia to its violent disintegration during WWI, has been the subject of much debate. This course will explore the political and cultural history of the Ottoman Empire, focusing especially on the Balkans and the modern period (from the empire’s zenith to its disintegration). Themes will include: imperial politics, everyday life, the rise of nationalism, practices of inclusion and exclusion (along religious, gender, class, and ethnic lines), relations between the Ottoman Empire and Europe, especially in the Balkans.

HIST 300D-003: Pirates and Sailors in the Revolutionary Atlantic
Professor John Donoghue
Tu, Th: 2:30PM - 3:45PM (LSC)

Who was the real Captain Morgan and why does he matter in history? Why did sailors become pirates? What was like life for those who sailed under the Jolly Roger? Why did they drink themselves into oblivion when they weren’t pillaging ships or the port cities of the Caribbean? For the sailors who did not become pirates, what compelled them to lead “liberty mobs” around the Atlantic world during the age of the American Revolution? Finally, what can the stories of pirates and sailors tell us about the histories of empires, the transatlantic slave trade, and the rise of global capitalism? To answer these questions and many more, this course will explore the lives and times of mariners from the days of Queen Elizabeth to the War of 1812. In the process, students will discover that Hollywood can never match the real history of pirates and sailors for drama, adventure, and lasting historical legacies.  

HIST 300D-004: Races to the White House 
Professor Elizabeth Shermer
Tu, Th: 4:15PM - 5:15PM (LSC)

Just what does the president do? And how exactly do Americans go about picking a new one? This course aims to cut through the confusion, acrimony, and excitement of the 2016 race for the White House in order to show how the president’s election, job, power, and mystique has changed dramatically over the course of American history. But this course will not be a chronological march from George Washington to Barack Obama but a thematic exploration of the topics shaping the modern presidency. For example, students will delve into the long origins of the modern primary and party system, the fierce debates about the Electoral College’s continued importance, the controversies over executive branch bureaucracies’ autonomy, the media’s importance to how Americans perceive their candidates, the first families’ shifting importance to voters, and the citizenry’s decades-old expectation for immediate change. This course accordingly aims to give students a deeper understanding of American political history as well as awareness of how that past has shaped the contemporary White House and the race to it. (Formerly titled Presidential Power and Politics.)

HIST 300D-005: LGBT History in the United States
Professor Joseph Lapsley
M, W, F: 12:35 PM - 1:25 PM (LSC)

HIST 300D-01W: Italian-American Culture in Historical Perspective
Professor Dominic Candeloro
W: 4:15 PM - 6:45 PM (LSC)

This class traces the story of one of the largest European immigrant groups in the United States with particular attention to the literary, theatrical, artistic, folkloric, and popular culture elements of the Italian American experience. In addition to reading the historic narrative, students will focus on classic and contemporary novels and the films, music, newspapers, magazines, and cultural institutes that have shaped the self identity and public perception of Italians in this country. Current Italian American culture makers from the US and Italy will visit the class in person and via Skype. Students will screen and review feature films and documentaries in class and online. Students will master the narrative history, develop analytic skills in reviewing film and literature in historic context and develop a sense of the cultural dynamic that places Italian ethnicity in American culture and simultaneously compares the Italian experience with that of other ethnics.  

HIST 300D-02W: Autobiography and Memoir in Recent American History
Professor Elliott Gorn
Tu: 4:15 - 6:45 PM (LSC)

Autobiography and Memoir in Recent American History is a writing intensive class. The goal is to think about personal narratives as sources for understanding history, how the individual finds him/herself in the past. We also try to let singular human voices articulate our national diversity. In previous semesters, we've read works by Chinese sojourners, Alabama sharecroppers, Irish immigrants, factory workers, and graphic novelists. We read a new memoir every week and work our way through the late twentieth century. Assignments include two short papers and a term paper.


HIST 300E-200: Modern Chinese History Through Film
Professor Elena Valussi
M: 1:40 PM - 4:10 PM (WTC)

Learn about Chinese Modern History at the movies! War, passion, intrigue, love, death... all of this and more will be the topic of Chinese Modern History through Film. In this course, we will discuss momentous changes in Chinese Modern and Contemporary History, from the fall of the Qing dynasty, through WW2, the civil war, the communist era, and contemporary capitalist society through the lens of movies and documentaries. We will approach historical and contemporary topics from the point of view of filmmakers and documentarists and we will use historical documents in conjunction with the films so students can judge their accuracy and learn how to approach historical films critically.

HIST 304-009: The Holocaust and Twentieth Century Genocide
Professor Elliot Lefkovitz
Tu, Th: 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM (LSC)

HIST 308-001: History of Rome to Constantine
Professor Leslie Dossey
M, W, F: 9:20 AM-10:10 AM (LSC)

HIST 313-01W: Modern Middle East
Professor Zouhair Ghazzal
M, W, F: 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM (LSC)

HIST 315-001: The Reformation
Professor John McManamon, S.J.
M, W, F: 10:25 AM - 11:15 AM (LSC)

During a Surtz Lecture at Loyola, Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, distinguished historian of Christian theology, observed that Catholics need to know why the Reformation did happen and non-Catholics need to know why it could happen. Sample both! The first generation of the Reformation featured, among others: the Medici Popes, Gasparo Contarini, Ignatius Loyola, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas More, Erasmus, Henry VIII, Charles V, Francis I, Michelangelo, Raphael, Albrecht Dürer—and that’s just the short list.


HIST 317-001: The Age of Absolutism and Enlightenment
Professor Marek Suszko
Tu, Th: 1 PM to 2:15 PM (LSC)

This course covers the period that leads directly into the French Revolution and serves as a survey of the social, economic, and cultural role of Europe in the world of the 17th and 18th centuries. We will discuss the nature of classical absolutism illustrated by the reign of Louis XIV of France, the history of the Netherlands as the leading economic power of the day, the origin and evolution of Prussia, Austria, and Russia. We will bring examples of enlightened reform proposals in Poland and other European states and evaluate various attempts to implement them in practice.

HIST 319-001: London: Life and Culture, 1550-1715
Professor Robert Bucholz
M, W: 4:15 PM - 6:45 PM (LSC)

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the history of London during that period when (it will be argued) the metropolis did more than any other place on earth to invent modernity. Through lectures, classroom discussion and student papers we will assess the accuracy of that assertion and the nature of London’s contribution in politics, society and culture. Over the course of the semester we will confront the best recent work in urban history; accounts by contemporary Londoners and tourists; and fictional works in which the city figures. These sources will expose us to the full range of London life, from the splendid galleries of Whitehall and St. James’s to the damp and sooty alleyways of the East End. Along the way we shall brave the dangers of plague and fire; witness the diverse spectacles of the Lord Mayor’s Pageant and the hangings at Tyburn; and take refreshment in the city’s pleasure-gardens, coffee-houses and taverns. So, in the words of a famous phrase, “Let’s to London - for there’s variety.”

HIST 321A-001: Germany in the 19th Century
Professor David Dennis
Tu, Th: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM (LSC)

This course will investigate major themes of nineteenth-century German history. Against the background of political and social developments such as the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Restoration, the Revolutions of 1848, the unification of Germany, the German Empire under Bismarck and Wilhelm II, and events leading to the First World War, we will carefully consider responses to these issues by leaders in German cultural life.

Using literary texts—as well as visual arts and music—we will investigate intellectual currents under the following headings: Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, Romanticism, Young Germany vs. Biedermeier, Socialism & Realism, Unification, Volkish Ideology, “Nihilism,” Expressionism, and Wilhelmine Culture. Topics will include works by Lessing, Goethe, Heine, Marx, Wagner, Nietzsche,Thomas Mann, and Heinrich Mann. Music will include works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert,Schumann, Wagner, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, and Schoenberg.

In addition, this class will involve independent study of online lectures and course materials (allowing you to go through them on your own time, at your own pace) , combined with in class discussion of these materials. As a result this “blended” course constitute a rich synthesis of learning methods: full video lectures and, essentially, a weekly "honors" discussion section with the professor. This has proven to be an exciting and effective model for integrating online and in-class teaching.

HIST 340-01W: Russia Pre-1917: Empire Building
Professor Michael Khodarkovsky
Tu, Th: 10 AM - 11:15 AM (LSC)

HIST 345-01W: Reform and Revolution in China, 1800-1949
Professor Mark Allee
Tu, Th: 1 PM - 2:15 PM (LSC)

The “domestic disorder and foreign calamities” of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries prompted increasing anxiety and distress in China. All efforts at reform appeared ineffective or inadequate — it seemed only revolution could save China. This course explores the interplay of domestic disorder (excessive population, rural and urban immiseration, institutional inertia, rebellion) and foreign calamities (the opium trade, wars, unequal treaties, invasion and occupation) and the Chinese responses (increasingly radical reform movements, military coup,cultural revolution, anti-Japanese resistance, communist revolution).

HIST 356-001: The Caribbean and Central America from Colonial to Modern Times
Professor Victor Padilla
M,W,F: 2:45 PM - 3:35 PM (LSC)

This course examines the Caribbean and Central America from European conquest and colonization to the present day. Conquest, pirates, superpower rivalries, wars for independence, slavery, slave uprisings, revolutions, covert operations, tourism, and drug smuggling. These are some of the issue we will examine in this course. The course will move from regional themes to specific countries (Jamaica, Haiti, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua will be examined).

HIST 380-01W: Islam in the African-American Experience
Professor Kim Searcy
Tu, Th: 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM (LSC)

HIST 386-001: American Urban History
Professor Timothy Gilfoyle
M: 2:45 PM - 5:15 PM (LSC)

HIST 389-001: The Vietnam War
Professor Theodore Karamanski
Tu, Th: 1 PM - 2:15 PM

Before the debacle in Iraq, Vietnam was regarded as the greatest foreign policy failure in American history. Today the war still provides important lessons for citizens and policymakers about foreign intervention, unconventional war tactics, and the limits of anti-war activism. This course offers a comprehensive examination of the Vietnam War era from the tumultuous home front to the rice patty battlefields, to the tragic oval office policy debates. Reading will include memoirs by policy makers, military personnel, and Vietnamese civilians. The course will also review the unintended side effects of American involvement in Indochina, including the Cambodian genocide.

Outcome: Students will understand the ancient origins of the Vietnamese nation, the rise and fall of the French colonial regime, the role of Vietnam in the Cold War, the peace movement, the political and cultural impact of the war on America, the success and failures of the United States military, the impact of the war on the Indo-China region, and the memory of the war in American culture.

Winning Elections in the 21st Century


Winning Elections in the 21st Century is coauthored by political science professors Betty O'Shaughnessy and Dick Simpson. Both authors have been successful political candidates and have held key positions in numerous other campaigns. Their book enables readers to get under the hood of modern political campaigns and to learn how candidates and campaign teams use cell phones, computers, data analytics and social media to target, contact, and then persuade a winning number of individuals to join their campaigns, contribute needed funds, and then vote on election day. Professor O’Shaughnessy is a visiting lecturer at UIC and a social studies teacher at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL. In 2009, she won election to the West Deerfield Township Board (IL), where she served until 2013. Below, Professor O’Shaughnessy discusses how her experience at Loyola influenced her work in and outside academia.

What can you tell me about your experience at Loyola as History MA student? What was your area of concentration?

I was an MA student in Loyola’s History department from 1999 to 1995.  I took one course at a time, at night, since I was teaching high school full time and I got to take one course per semester for free.  My concentration was in American history, with minors in Modern Europe, and Britain and Ireland. Although I did not get to know many students very well, I still remember the individual attention I got from all my professors.  It was they who gave me the idea that I could actually continue my studies after getting a Masters degree, and I did so.

How has your time at Loyola shaped your career in teaching?

What I learned at Loyola changed how I taught both World and US History. I began to include more social history (e.g. how Irish immigrants lived in New York) and philosophical trends (such as how the Enlightenment formed the thinking of the Framers).  After earning an MA I was asked to teach AP courses and help write the history curriculum. The solid background in history I acquired also gave me better insights into how politics worked when I taught Political Science. A history background reveals that political truths are timeless, and I share that insight with students.

Your new book, Winning Elections in the 21st Century, coauthored with Dick Simpson, is quite timely. What do you hope readers will take away from it?

Dick Simpson asked me to coauthor this latest version of his classic Winning Elections and we both believe that engaging in politics is important. Our book explains how to use traditional campaigning methods and harness the new technology -- such as using data analytics and social media – even on a shoestring budget. We need to use these tools to elect the best possible candidates to public office and we need to reform our political system to keep our democracy healthy.  Young people especially should know it is not impossible to elect good candidates, and getting involved in their campaigns is important and worthwhile. We believe that as many people as possible should decide who our public officials are, rather than a select few.

Professors O’Shaughnessy and Simpson will both be at The Cliff Dwellers Arts Club, Thursday, April 14, to discuss their new book. Doors open for cocktails 5:30PM, dinner ($35 per person) will be served at 6:15PM with the presentation to follow. Please call 312-922-8080 or email reservations@cliff-chicago.org to make your reservation.

The 256-page book is available from the University Press of Kansas in hardback for $45.00 and in paperback for $22.95. It can be purchased through many on-line booksellers, at select bookstores, and from the University Press of Kansas at http:// kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/978-0-7006-2213-9.html.

MA student Szilvia Finali uses Twitter to explore grandfather's extraordinary life


Szilvia Finali  discusses her approach to documenting her grandfather's life through Twitter below. You can view her grandfather's account on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Laszlo1921

Why did you choose Twitter as the platform to tell your grandfather's story?

I've chosen Twitter to tell my grandfather's story because I wanted to reach a different and wider audience. Twitter is a digital platform utilized by all age groups - but definitely by Millennials and Gen Z-ers-  and is available to anyone with an internet connection. That way some people who wouldn't necessarily consider buying a book on this topic, could stumble onto this Twitter feed and read the story. The original recording of my grandfather telling the story doesn't allow for a book. The interview is only about 4 hours long. Those 4 hours don't include every detail that would be necessary if I wanted to write a book. I could add things to it, sure, but then it wouldn't be his REAL story anymore And it is very important to me that the story stays 100% true - exactly how my grandfather experienced it, in HIS own words.

Have you had any reactions from readers? What are they saying?

I started the Twitter feed about two weeks ago, so I haven't received that many followers yet. Some of the people that follow the Twitter feed though say that they are intrigued and want to see how the story unfolds.

Has tweeting about your grandfather's experience changed the way you see his story? Or shed light on different aspect of his story?

It has been quite a transcendental experience on so many different levels. First, it was a wonderful feeling to see my grandfather again. He passed away ten years ago and I have been missing him dearly. It was wonderful  hear his voice and to see him talk. To hear this poignant story told by him. I felt that for 4 hours, he was there with me and I was there with him. I felt connected to him. Some of the things he said really affected me. I moved to the US five years ago without my family. Homesickness is something I experience on a daily basis. At one point during the interview he says that he had the opportunity to move to France when he was a teenager, but he refused because "how could I leave my family behind. How could I leave my parents and my siblings behind". That's exactly what I did five years ago. My family stayed behind in Hungary. So in a way, I felt that my grandfather was telling me that sentence transcending time and space. It was a very tough moment.

What are some of the difficulties in telling your grandfather's story over Twitter?

One tricky thing is illustration. I wish I had more images of my grandfather and the people who appear in the story. Also, it's hard to split up his monologue into 140 characters at a time, but I think I've managed to find the right balance. Listening to his story, transcribing it and translating it has allowed me to understand it more. It has allowed me to connect with the story at a deeper level. It was incredibly important for me to give this project the utmost respect, since it is about my beloved grandfather and his story which revolves around a heavy topic. At first I was very hesitant at the idea of posting his story in Twitter. I felt that the platform might not be "mature" enough for a content that is that personal and heavy. But in the meantime I realized that it is a great platform for this. Like I mentioned before, it allows me to present this story in an unusual medium for the subject matter; on a platform that this new generation of millennials and Gen Z-ers understand and perhaps can connect with more easily and frequently.

Do you have any plans for the project after the class?

I am planning on combining this Twitter project with another one. My grandmother was writing a diary the same time my grandfather was taken to a labor force camp. My grandmother was 19 years old when Nazi German forces occupied Budapest and with the help of a friend who provided her and some other members of her family, she was able to hide in Budapest and then in the countryside. She had begun writing this diary three years before the occupation and kept it until the end of the war. I am planning on translating her diary and publishing it as part of an exciting digital project, possibly combining it with my grandfather's story. I know what I would like to do, but I don't have the technological skills yet that would allow me to create this project on my own. Therefore, once I am done translating the diary, I will have to look into how I can make my ideas come true.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After I graduate I would like to continue my studies. My dream is to do a PhD program in Digital Education. I'm a second year student in the Digital Media and Storytelling MA program. When I'm not at school or when I'm not working on my school projects I teach English to people from all over the world. I truly enjoy teaching and therefore, one of my biggest dreams is to do a PhD program in Digital Education. And last, but not least, I love words. I love reading and writing. Reading is in part responsible for who I am. And writing allows me to express that. It's like breathing. I read, so I inhale, and I write, therefore I exhale. I guess I get this from my grandfather.


Professor Edin Hajdarpasic Publishes New Book


Detail from Alphonse Mucha, The Allegory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a tapestry commissioned by the Habsburg government for the Paris Exhibition 1900. Image used on book cover with permission from the Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague.

The Loyola History Department offers its congratulations to Associate Professor Edin Hajdarpasic, PhD, on the recent publication of his book, Whose Bosnia? Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840–1914. Professor Hajdarpasic’s work examines the politics of nation-formation in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the course of the long nineteenth century, a crucial period that witnessed the rise of several converging and competing national movements in the Ottoman and Habsburg Balkan provinces. By analyzing how Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim activists discovered and fostered identification with their co-nationals in Bosnia, who appeared simultaneously as their “brothers” and their “enemies,” his study is a contribution to historiography of the modern Balkans and an engagement with larger methodological questions about the complex workings of nationalism. In addition to authoring Whose Bosnia?, Professor Hajdarpasic has published extensively on Balkan history, conflict and memory, religious and ethnic relations, nationalism, and the Ottoman legacy in Southeastern Europe.

PhD student Hope Shannon spoke to Professor Hajdarpasic about his experience writing Whose Bosnia?

HS: How did you become interested in this topic?

EH: For a long time, I avoided writing about nationalism. I suppose this is a common sentiment among many who experienced the surge of nationalism in Yugoslavia since the late 1980s. With the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, and with so much political life saturated with divisive nationalist claims, many scholars across Eastern Europe have sought to highlight non-national phenomena or explore issues that challenge nationalist divisions. In my doctoral work, I worked along similar lines, trying to unearth different local political debates in late Ottoman Bosnia that did not fit the dominant mold of the nation-state. I still think this is an exciting and valuable research direction. Yet after finishing my doctorate, I began to realize that we as historians needed to face the problem of nationalism more directly and with a fresh pair of eyes, so to speak. I also realized that I had been rethinking histories of nationalism even while I was avoiding writing about them! Since the nineteenth century was the “age of nationalism” in the Balkans and worldwide, I decided to focus on this fascinating period, more precisely on the rise of nationalist movements in and around Bosnia before the First World War. This project then took me to some interesting places along the way.

HS: What challenges did you face while researching and writing the book?

EH: As a province ruled by both the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires in the nineteenth century—Ottoman until 1878, Habsburg from 1878 to 1914—Bosnia presents a fascinating case of transnational competition and mutual influence. Researching this book thus took me to Vienna as well as Istanbul, and to many regional centers like Zagreb and Belgrade. Many essential collections are, of course, in Bosnia. Archival research in Bosnia and other post-Yugoslav states has been very challenging since the 1990s. The 1992-1995 war destroyed an enormous amount of historical artifacts and repositories, including academic institutions that were deliberately targeted, as was the case with the infamous burning of the National Library in Sarajevo in 1992. After the war, there was minimal state support for such institutions, meaning that already damaged archives, universities, libraries, and museums never really recovered, leading to loss of basic services, further loss of collections, and even long-term closures of some institutions. Digitization has preserved some collections, but overall, it takes great diligence, patience, and skill to carry out in-depth historical research in this region.

HS: What was the most interesting aspect of the project for you?

EH: Writing is always a process of discovery, and in this project, writing about nationalism opened a number of surprising questions for me. During my research and writing—the two go together—I found that my approach departed from the usual textbook accounts of nation-formation, which tend to focus on the supposedly final outcome of nation-building: namely the consolidation of national identities and the establishment of strong state institutions. To take the now-proverbial title of Eugen Weber’s classic, nation-formation was about turning “peasants into Frenchmen” or into other nationals. The story usually ends there, with Frenchmen, Germans, Serbs, and other nationals clearly established, or with failures like Yugoslavia plainly apparent to us today.

My research made me rethink the assumptions behind such approaches. Can the process that Weber called the “internal colonialism” of nation-building ever be truly complete? When South Slavic activists urged that national consciousness must be “foisted directly and forcefully” on “our own people,” what kind of relations did this activism entail? How and when does one come to know who are—and who are not—one’s “own people”? In taking up such questions, I came to argue that the project of nationalizing one’s “own people” is not a passing stage, but the basic structural condition on which national projects are founded and continually renewed.

Writing about nationalism in this way led me to explore the recurring questions of nation-formation since the nineteenth century. I found myself assembling something like a formative repertoire of nationalist concerns, which stand as the core subjects of the book: the idea of “the people;” suffering; activism; youth; and imperial rivalry. Developing a new approach, structure, and voice of the book was one of the most enjoyable aspects of this project.

HS: How does your book relate to contemporary issues?

EH: There are a number of ways to explore this question, but I’ll focus on just one here. There is a popular notion that when it comes to ethnically “mixed” places like Bosnia, nationalist disputes can be ultimately resolved only by some kind of ethnic separation, usually through territorial partitions or similar schemes. Politicians and scholars are quick to add that such partitions are regrettable and tragic, but “ultimately” necessary. This notion, which pervades popular and scholarly debates, assumes that nation-building has a finite end. Disputes over national allegiances or identities may be complex and bitter—so the thinking goes—but they can be “ultimately” settled, admittedly at a steep human cost; the underlying idea is that nationalism has some kind of point where nation-formation is complete. History shows us that is not the case—that is one argument of my book. If we look at the dynamics of national movements historically, we discover that nationalist projects are driven precisely by their inherent and unavoidable incompleteablity. My book explores these incomplete, open-ended qualities in different ways, but to come back to your question—one implication is that we need to step outside what I call the “completist” paradigm of nationalism, and instead we need to better understand the compulsions and proliferation of nationalist projects since the nineteenth century. This also means that we need to move away from thinking that territorial partitions, or changes in borders, or categorizations along ethnic lines are allegedly “necessary” to help finish the work of nation-formation.

HS: What’s next?

EH: A couple of projects are in the works. For one, I’d like to explore how the discipline of history specifically has emerged as such a crucial subject in contested lands like Bosnia, particularly by looking at how different twentieth-century regimes—from nationalist to Communist to democratic ones—have relied on history for particular political aims, including interethnic reconciliation and peace-keeping. I also have several projects in progress, including a piece on the history of Bosnian Franciscans since the late Ottoman period, and another piece on the history of Muslim education in Bosnia also since the late Ottoman era. Lots to look forward to!

Whose Bosnia? Nationalism and Political Imagination in the Balkans, 1840–1914 is available from Cornell University Press.

Professor Christopher Manning joins President’s Cabinet to address diversity at Loyola

Interim President John P. Pelissero invited Dr. Christopher Manning, Associate Professor of History, to join the President’s Cabinet to serve as an advisor on diversity at the end of fall semester. Spurred by the protests on the lack diversity at University of Missouri, Loyola undergraduate students led a peaceful demonstration in solidarity last November. The demonstration sparked a response from President Pelissero, who promised action in the new year with a strategic plan titled, “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World.” Plan 2020 mission is intended to guide the University from 2015 to its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2020.

An integral part of the mission is to create a campus environment that is inclusive and encourages diversity. To do so, Dr. Manning was invited to serve as an advisor to streamline strategies that will help achieve Loyola’s end goal. Recently, Dr. Manning took part in creating Loyola’s new Diversity and Inclusion website. This site is designed to serve as a valuable resource for students and includes information pertinent to improving diversity at Loyola. One of the major points Dr. Manning is working on is increasing African American enrollment from the Chicago metro area, a feat that Dr. Manning believes can happen quickly. “I didn’t want to do the job if the only thing that I was going to do was sort of to be a representative at the meetings and just reporting back. I had four sets of specific policy initiatives that I wanted to work on as well.” As part of the executive council on diversity at Loyola, Dr. Manning is familiar with organizations on campus that deal with diversity within the faculty and enrollment.

The four policy initiatives that Dr. Manning hopes Loyola will institute are as follows:

  • To improve on diversity in faculty hiring.
  • To improve diversity in undergraduate and graduate enrollment.
  • To reform recruitment at the undergraduate level to include more African American students from the Chicago metro area.
  • To develop research models by studying other peer institutions-- some locally and some nationally-- and find out what works in those models and then offer a model or a set of suggestions for Loyola.

Currently, Dr. Manning is working with Loyola’s education department to develop focus groups that will look at recruitment. Dr. Manning explained, “If we’re going to make a serious effort to recruit African American students from Chicago, we need to know what they think of the institution and what they want from it. Right now we honestly don’t know. The step to talk to them specifically has not occurred.”

The plan is to develop focus groups in six different high schools on Chicago’s South and West sides. Dr. Manning and his team will interview about 100 African American students who qualify for Loyola education standards to see what they think about Loyola as a possible choice after high school. They will also interview guidance counselors to get more of an idea of what high schools are saying about Loyola. Once the data is collected, Dr. Manning will present the information to interim President Pelissero, the Provost, and the Office of Enrollment before the end of his term as advisor on June 4. When asked about how to take action, Dr. Manning replied, “I think it’s very difficult for me to imagine that we wouldn’t be able to take steps immediately to one: change aspects of our culture to make it a place that they would like to be [a part of] and two: figure out how to more appropriately, and directly, communicate, interact and market ourselves to that target group.” The focus groups will take place in early spring, and Dr. Manning invites history graduate students who are interested in volunteering to contact him. “It would be interesting look at real world applications of oral technique, the taking of testimony technique that we study in the graduate class.”

Dr. Christopher Manning is an Associate Professor and Undergraduate Programs Director in the History Department and a member of the Rostenkowski Archives Advisory Committee. His first book, the Ties That bind: William L. Dawson and the Limits of Black Electoral Leadership in the Twentieth Century (2009), examines African American politics in twentieth century Chicago. Dr. Manning is currently working on two book projects, one is tentatively titled N.O.L.A: An Oral History of the Hurricane Katrina Volunteers which examines the volunteer mobilization in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the second is a memoir entitled Army Brat: A Memoir of Racial Identity and Life as a Military Child.

Students blend history with advocacy


Above photo: Loyola M.A. student Kristin Jacobsen leads a walking tour for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society as part of a class project organized by Public History Lab. (Photo: David Kogan)

By Anna Gaynor

The Public History Lab started with a handful of students. What it has turned into, however, is a full-scale campaign of projects, art walks, community days, faculty consults, and numerous proposals—all to support Chicago’s historic neighborhoods.

A student-led organization for those in Loyola’s public history program, the lab works with fellow students to help them make a difference outside the classroom.

“We’re learning all of these things, and it’d be great to actually apply some of the new skills we’re learning in the community,” said Hope Shannon, a PhD student in the joint public history and US history program. “It’d be great to take what we know out into the community and try and find somebody who we can help because we have all of these skills between us.”

The students have definitely found somebody to help. In the past few years, the lab has developed two main partnerships: one with the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, and the other with the Chrysler Village neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

“Sometimes there can be a disconnect between academic history and the public,” said Katie Macica, another PhD student. “I think the goal of public history is to engage the public with the past. So it’s really great to see how we can put that into practice, how we can use that to benefit the public.”

The partnership with the historical society began in 2013 when students approached the group’s board of directors to see if it could use their help.

“It immediately seemed perfect,” said Ken Walchak, the president of the board. “It was one of those things where you slap your head and say, ‘Duh, of course.’ It was great from day one.”

Since then students have helped develop a strategic plan, finessed mission statements, increased fundraising efforts, and more.

“It wasn’t our place at all to go in there and say you need to do x, y, and z,” Shannon said. “Our job, as we saw it and as we’ve been taught in the public history program, is to take our skills, go to a group, and say, ‘We know how to do these things. How would you like to apply that knowledge?’"‌

Staying local

Over the years, Shannon and Macica have become more involved with the historical society. Shannon, now head of the association’s media committee, and Macica, head of the education committee, were named to the society’s board in 2014 along with another Loyola student, Dan Ott, who has since graduated.

“Definitely something that drove the founders of the Public History Lab is starting these community collaborations,” Macica said. “Then the next part of that was, ‘Can we become the middleman between the community partnerships and the public history coursework? ’”

One of their biggest supporters has been Patricia Mooney-Melvin, PhD, the interim dean of The Graduate School, who teaches Public History: Method and Theory, one of the first classes students take in the program.

In the course, students work on two big projects relating to public history, so members of the Public History Lab approached her about incorporating their efforts into the classwork.

“It was from my standpoint a win-win situation because I could reorient the nature of the two projects that I have my students do,” Mooney-Melvin said.

This past fall, one of their class projects was to write a walking tour, similar to an art walk led by master’s student Kristin Jacobsen in August. The other was developing fundraising events drawing on the neighborhoods’ rich history.

The fresh perspective means everything for Walchak, whose family has owned Clark-Devon Hardware in Rogers Park since 1924.

“The typical member of the society has been and probably still is somebody like me—or somebody older than me, very honestly—often retired or semi-retired,” Walchak said. “To get young people in there with a whole different view of things has just been great. It’s energized everybody.”

Branching out

Rachel Boyle is another PhD student involved with the historical society, and she’s also spearheading the Chrysler Village History Project. She and other public history students are working with the Clearing neighborhood and the local alderman to bring attention to the small subdivision. The project started after students successfully nominated Chrysler Village to the National Register of Historical Places in the Management of Historical Resources course taught by Professor Theodore Karamanski, PhD.


Above photo: Members of the Chrysler Village project talk with residents of Clearing and Chrysler Village. (Photo: Chrysler Village Project)

The following fall, Boyle and a handful of her classmates decided to continue the project, enlisting Mooney-Melvin’s class for ideas on how to develop a vibrant community program and also gathering the stories of its residents in their course, Oral History: Method and Practice.

Beyond preserving history though, Boyle sees how their efforts can bring economic and social benefits to the community. With higher visibility, the neighborhood may find more funding for infrastructure projects and potential tax breaks.

“We know about the Chicago fire, we know about the world’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893,” Boyle said. “Where does Chrysler Village fit in that? What would happen if Chrysler Village was a part of that story that we tell? Well then, we wouldn’t be so quick to overlook it in city politics and in the city’s history.”

Mooney-Melvin also has some experience with helping local communities. In 1993, she worked with Rogers Park and West Ridge to commemorate the neighborhoods’ 100th anniversary of their annexation to Chicago.

“I strongly believe that as a University, we have a commitment to the places where we reside,” Mooney-Melvin said. “To me, it seems really important to not just be users or consumers but to also give something back. The students saw this as an opportunity for them to enhance some of their skills—but also as a real way to make a contribution.”

The Texas Massacres You’ve Never Heard Of


Professor Benjamin Johnson and the Refusing to Forget Project’s new exhibition, "Life and Death on the Border 1910-1920," sheds new light on one of Texas’ most difficult (and silenced) historical legacies. 

On January 23, 2016, Life and Death on the Border 1910-1920 opened at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. The exhibition brings to light one of Texas' most difficult and silenced historical legacies-- the state-sanctioned anti-Mexican violence perpetrated by Texas Rangers between 1915 and 1916. Though arguably one of the most violent periods in Texas' history, little has been done to memorialize the Tejanos and Mexican Americans murdered by the Rangers and the victims' stories are virtually unknown to the majority of Texas residents. The exhibition is one of the first steps in a coordinated effort to spread public awareness of this history.

‌Life and Death on the Border is the product of a partnership between the Refusing to Forget project and the Bullock Museum. Founded in 2013 by a group of scholars and Texas residents interested in commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the 1915-1916 massacres, Refusing to Forget works to locate this history, share it with others, and reshape common understandings of Texas' past. One of the founders of Refusing to Forget is Dr. Benjamin Johnson, Assistant Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. In his first book, Revolution in Texas: How a Forgotten Rebellion and Its Bloody Suppression Turned Mexicans into Americans, published in 2003, Professor Johnson discovered that the origins of the Mexican American civil rights movement were rooted in this period of anti-Mexican violence, a key finding that connects the events of 1915 and 1916 to later Mexican American history. In search of ways to share what they knew, the Refusing to Forget team partnered with the Bullock Museum to undertake its first major project: the exhibition that became Life and Death on the Border.

"There are some that don't want the history taught or heard. The Texas Rangers, for some people, are like saints. They're not to be, in any way, tarnished," Dr. Johnson said. "But 100 years later, I think it's time to talk about … the significance of the inclusion of Latinos and Mexicanos within the history of Texas and the United States.”

Dr. Johnson added, “There is a reluctance to tackle dark chapters in textbooks. You need them to be written in a way that is willing to tackle controversial things and not just stick to a sanitized history. Human beings are complicated, and our history is complicated, too.”

On view in the exhibition are artifacts that illustrate the militarization of the Texas border region, such as a 1915 postcard titled "Dead Mexican Bandits," which shows Texas Rangers with their lassos around the corpses of those slain during a raid. The exhibition also follows the 1919 investigation of the Texas Rangers by the the Texas Legislature for the torture and murder of civilians. A copy of the Zimmerman Telegram moves the story through heightened tensions between Mexico and the United States during World War I, when the U.S. intercepted a message from Germany to Mexico offering to help Mexico push its borders northward if Mexico united with Germany in war against the United States. The Mexican American civil rights movement gained strength after this turbulent period and artifacts related to this movement and to the Chicano movement in the 1970s are also on view.

Bullock Museum Director Dr. Victoria Ramirez said the museum, whose mission is to tell “the Story of Texas,” was proud to partner with Refusing to Forget to bring this important history to its visitors. Jennifer Cobb, Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the museum said, “The scholars and professors approached the Bullock with this idea of this exhibit, to learn about this piece of history. I never knew about it until I started working on this exhibit, and it was astounding that this is not public knowledge. This is largely faded from public memory after the period ended, aside from those who were directly affected by it.”

In addition to this exhibition, Refusing to Forget has been working on the creation of a traveling exhibit and an online exhibit, designing curricular materials for teachers, organizing public lectures, increasing the number of Tejano and Mexican American encyclopedia entries for the Handbook of Texas Online, and applying for Texas Historical Markers to mark the presence of Tejanos and Mexican Americans on the memorial landscape. They hope that these projects will generate ongoing public dialogue about this period of anti-Mexican violence and provide Texans and others with places where they can learn about and reflect on the lasting consequences of this period.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Bullock Museum’s website.

Follow Refusing to Forget on Facebook and Twitter.

The photograph attributions for this article's cover image are as follows: "International Bridge, Looking Toward Mexico," courtesy Robert Runyon Photograph Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin; exhibition flyer, courtesy of the Bullock Museum; "'Juan Crow' Laws," courtesy Russell Lee Photography Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin; and "Dead Mexican Bandits," courtesy of the Bullock Museum.

Amber Bailey, M.A. student in Public History, wins Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship


The History Department congratulates, Amber Bailey, a M.A. student in our public history graduate program, on winning the highly competitive Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship. The award, sponsored jointly by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), enables a graduate student in architectural history or a related field to work on a 12-week HABS history project during the summer. The award consists of a $10,000 stipend. The successful applicant is also granted travel, hotel accommodation, and registration costs to attend the Society of Architectural Historians annual meeting. Amber will accept the award at SAH's 69th Annual Meeting held in April in Pasadena, California.

Congratulations, Amber!

"What hope for democracy in the work place?"


Chicago labor lawyer Tom Geoghegan will address how recent changes in city, state, and national labor law and policy impact current movements and demands for economic justice. Geoghegan will draw on examples and observations for the decades that he has spent as both a writer and litigator. Geoghegan's Which Side Are You On? (1991), cited as one of the best five non-fiction books in that year by the National Book Critics Circle. He has written for the New York Times, The Nation, Harper’s, Slate, Bloomberg View, and other publications. His latest book, Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement, was released in December 2014.


The talk will be given in Information Commons first floor room 111, Thursday, March 3 at 4PM.

Professor Tanya Stabler Miller to lead graduate seminar at the Newberry Library this fall titled, 'Gender, Bodies, and the Body Politic in Medieval Europe.'

Ten-week graduate seminar
Thursday, September 29, 2016Thursday, December 8, 2016

2 to 5 pm, ten Thursdays (Thanksgiving excluded)

Room 101

Led by Tanya Stabler Miller, Loyola University Chicago
Early application deadline May 1
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Renaissance Graduate Programs
Graduate Seminar

This course will examine the relationship between gender, sex differences, and politics—defined broadly—in medieval Europe, exploring the ways in which systems of power mapped onto perceived sex differences and bolstered, reproduced, or authenticated those systems. Through a close reading of political treatises, sermons, mystical literature, and church decrees, we will evaluate the ways in which gendered discourses supported or weakened institutional, political, and religious authority, even in situations that seemingly had nothing to do with “real” women. Thus, our investigations will move beyond “exceptional” women who exercised political power (for example royal and noblewomen), illuminating the effects of gendered symbols and discourses on institutions or spaces from which real women were increasingly marginalized (for example royal authority) or completely excluded (for example the medieval university). In this way, this course will take up the challenge of Joan Scott’s influential historiographical essay “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” Nevertheless, we will not lose sight of the effects gendered constructs and discourses had on real women, nor the specific strategies women employed to manipulate or subvert the systems and institutions that limited their agency.

Prerequisites: None, although the instructor prefers that students work with texts that they can read in the original language whenever possible. Students may take this seminar on a not-for-credit basis or arrange to earn credit at their home campuses. When space permits, consortium faculty members are encouraged to audit Newberry seminars, and graduate students from non-consortium schools may also enroll.

Cost and Registration Information 

Enrollment is limited, by competitive application, with priority to students from Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions, in accordance with the consortium agreement. The course fee is waived for consortium students.

To learn more and apply online, click here.

The Four Homes of Poetry: Writing from the Aztlan


Thursday, March 3, at 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Galvin Auditorium, Sullivan Center, Loyola University Chicago 

Aaron A. Abeyta is a Colorado native and professor of English at Adams State University and the Mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown.   

He is the author of four collections of poetry and one novel.  For his book, colcha, Abeyta received an American Book Award and the Colorado Book Award.  In addition, his novel,Rise, Do Not be Afraid, was a finalist for the 2007 Colorado Book Award and El Premio Aztlan.  Abeyta was awarded a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for poetry, and he is the former Poet Laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope, as named by the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival.

Abeyta received his MFA from Colorado State University.  He lives in Antonito, Colorado where he can remain close to his family and culture, both of which greatly influence his work.

Professor Mooney-Melvin selected to serve as panelist for the Scholar Summit on Women’s History and Public History


Professor Patricia Mooney-Melvin will serve as a panelist at the The Scholar Summit on Women's History and Public History. The Congressional Commission to study the potential of a National Women's History Museum was appointed by Congress to create a report on the feasibility of creating a National Women’s History Museum. The Scholar Summit invited women's history scholars and museum professionals from across the country to attend and contribute their expertise on women's history for the report. The Summit will be held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The report is due November 18, 2016.

Professor Mooney-Melvin currently serves as interim dean for The Graduate School and is an associate professor in the history department.

The Mary Karr Reading Groups

Public History MA Alumna Samantha Chmelik Publishes New Book


Graduates of Loyola’s Public History MA program go on to successful careers in a variety of fields, from public service, to small non-profits, to teaching.  Samantha Chmelik (MA, 2013) is putting her education and experience in public history to work as an author and consultant.  Chmelik’s first book, Museum and Historic Site Management: A Case Study Approach, was recently published by Rowman and Littlefield.  With case studies covering topics such as collections, fundraising, and board management, Chmelik’s book helps public historians learn to work through major issues encountered in the field.

As Dr. Ted Karamanski, Director of Loyola’s Public History Program, explained in his review of the book, "this is a most welcome and long-needed book. Museum professionals and public history educators will greatly benefit from Chmelik's imaginative and useful case-studies. It belongs on every museum studies required reading list. One can only hope that this is the first of a series of volumes bringing the case-study approach to public history education."

PhD candidate Katie Macica caught up with Samantha Chmelik to talk about her experience writing the book.

What have you been up to since finishing your MA?

Since finishing my MA, I have continued my research into grave marker symbolism and a few new topics that grew out of that research.  I have also pursued publication opportunities, which resulted in my recently published book Museum and Historic Site Management: A Case Study Approach.  My editor has asked me to submit a proposal for another book that we have discussed, so more ink might be spilled in 2016.

Give us an overview of your book and how you became involved in the project.

Museum and Historic Site Management evolved from my Loyola coursework.  Though we participated in internships and practicums, we did not have nitty gritty coursework in organizational management:  personnel management, financial planning, fundraising, contracts, etc.  When I attended business school, we used case studies as an immersive exercise to learn about those management practicalities, as well as to improve communication and decision-making skills.  Why can’t public history or museum studies or non-profit management programs use case studies?  So when Rowman & Littlefield issued an RFP for authors, I submitted my proposal.  

How did you conduct the research for the book?  Did you learn anything that surprised you during the course of your research?

I had been collecting stories/issues for a couple of years - from my own experiences or those of colleagues.  I reviewed museum and non-profit publications to see which issues were constantly problematic and to identify different solutions to problems.  The case studies themselves are amalgamations of situations that occurred at different institutions.  One case study might include problems from three or four institutions to increase the complexity.  I also did not want people to fixate on trying to figure out the “real” institution.  It’s like Dragnet: the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  You should think about what you would do in these situations with the specific personalities involved.  

What was the most interesting aspect of the project for you?

Formulating the different points of view, establishing the distinct character personalities, and writing the argument scenes were the most interesting parts of writing the book.  Since improving communication skills is a key point of the book, I wanted readers to confront a diverse array of protagonists.  (Loyola readers should be able to figure out the protagonist who is an homage to Dr. Karamanski.)  The protagonists’ personalities shape how the conflicts play out.  The key for me as the author was to ensure that multiple viable solutions were presented.  No easy answers.  

How did your education in the Public History program prepare you for this project?

My Public History background supplied the general framework and situations presented in the book.  My particular intellectual approach to these case studies grew out of a methodology used by my business school operations management professor.  Another lesson of the book is that we should open ourselves to cross-disciplinary learnings/practices.  The concept of shared authority underscores how public historians balance multiple perspectives and interests in their work.  That same concept can be applied to the site management responsibilities, too.

Congratulations Samantha!  We look forward to your next book!

History PhD Students Inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu


Pictured, from left to right, are Hope Shannon, Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, Katherine Macica, and Rachel Boyle.

The only honor society permitted to bear the name Jesuit, Alpha Sigma Nu is the international honor society of Jesuit institutions of higher education. The society was founded in 1915 to honor a select number of students each year on the basis of scholarship, loyalty, and service. Alpha Sigma Nu is unique among honor societies in that it seeks to identify the most promising students in Jesuit schools. Inductees demonstrate an intelligent appreciation of and commitment to the ideals - intellectual, social, moral, and religious - of Jesuit higher education. Selection to Alpha Sigma Nu is one of the highest honors that can be given on a Jesuit campus.

Inducted this year from the History Department's graduate program were Rachel Boyle, a U.S. and Public History PhD Candidate; Katherine Macica, a U.S. and Public History PhD Candidate; and Hope Shannon, a U.S. and Public History PhD student. 

Congratulations to Rachel, Katie, and Hope!

For more information about Alpha Sigma Nu, visit Loyola University Chicago's Alpha Sigma Nu chapter website

"Galileo, The Pope, A Cardinal: A Roman Triangle," on Friday, February 5.


 Friday, February 5th 

9:00AM -12 PM in Piper Hall Loyola University Chicago.

Presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago,  ItalCultura, the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago, the John Cardinal Cody Chair of Theology of Loyola University, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Mission and Identity, the Graduate School, and the Department of Theology.

Mons. Melchor Sánchez de Toca y Alameda, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture (Vatican) was born in Jaca (Spain) in 1966. He was a priest of the archdiocese of Toledo (Spain) from 1993-2015. He studied Philosophy at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid (1989), then Theology at the Studium Theologicum "San Ildefonso", in Toledo. In Rome he read biblical theology at the Theology Faculty of the Gregorian University where he graduated in 1996. In 2006 he completed his Doctorate in Theology at the same university with a thesis on the relations between faith and culture in the contemporary Church. He developed his priestly ministry as Campus chaplain at Polytechnic University of Madrid and as ecclesiastical assistant to youth. From 1999 he has worked in the service of the Holy See at the Pontifical Council for Culture where he was named Undersecretary in 2004. In the Council he has worked on the dialogue between Faith and Science as coordinator of the STOQ project. Currently he works in the field of Culture & Sport. His fields of interest are the relations between Christian faith and human culture in all its dimensions, particularly the dialogue of faith and science, with a special focus on the Galileo affair, and presently the interaction of sports and Christian life.


This event is free and open to the public.


For more information, please contact Prof. Edmondo Lupieri at elupier@aol.com / 773-508-2363


History Honors Gala Paper Presentation on Tuesday, November 24


Please come to the History Honors Gala Paper Presentation on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 in Crown Center 528 from 2:30 to 4:30 PM.


Taylor Haran: "What Makes a Criminal? : The American Psychological Profession and the Debate over the Nazi Personality”

Steven Tinetti: “Warped Recollection: How American History Textbooks Came to Distort the Soviet Contribution to WWII Victory in Europe”

Alexa Lindsley: “Going Old School: A Spatial Analysis of Ancient Roman Education and its Purposes”

Ari Wujkowski: “Sidewalk Benches in Herculaneum: For a Different Sort of Client?”

Aaron Kinskey: “Wycliffe and the Lollards:  Radical Catholics?”

Sarah Deas: "Fighting the Informal: Court Resistance to the Simple Fashions in 18th-century England

Daniel Snow: “The Moral Empire: British Anti-Slavery and Expansionism, 1850-1865”

Brian McDevitt: “Frederick Douglass: A Political Journey to Ireland”

Magdalena Jachymiak: “The Unofficial Diplomat: Congressman Dan Rostenkowski's Impact on Polish-American Relations from 1975-1990”

Hector Bahena: "Senator Simon and The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Illinois Response to The ‘Mexican Problem’”

Andrew Kelly: “Development and Dependency in Burkina Faso, 1983-2014”

Louis Ridgway: “Competing Perspectives on Chinese Agricultural Success in the Reform Period (1978-1986)”


Refreshments will be provided. 

Professor Rosenwein Publishes New Book


Professor Emerita Barbara Rosenwein's new book, Generations of Feeling: A History of Emotions, 600-1700, recently published by Cambridge University Press, examines the history of emotions in pre-modern and early-modern Western Europe. Using a case studies of emotional communities in England and France, Rosenwein demonstrates the ways in which emotions and their expression responded to and influenced social, cultural, and religious norms over the course of eleven centuries of European history.

Generations of Feeling has already garnered glowing reviews.  Christina Lutter, of the University of Vienna, writes that "Barbara Rosenwein's pioneering account masterly bridges the gap between the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times to show the historicity of emotions, and their making and unmaking over time within a variety of emotional communities." William Reddy, of Duke University, explains that "through a series of micro-historical case studies, Rosenwein elaborates a vision of European history in terms of multiple interacting emotional communities, each repurposing the emotional schemes of the past, within a larger legacy of Western conceptions."

Congratulations on this achievement, Dr. Rosenwein!

Not-to-Miss Spring 2016 Classes!

HIST 296: Gender in East Asia
Professor Elena Valussi
M 1:40-4:10 (Water Tower Campus)

This course, engages with gender images and roles in China, Japan and Korea. Starting with a critical discussion of terms such as “women,” “gender” and “Confucianism” as used in historical analysis, we will analyze 'traditional'  gender roles in these societies, and then discuss how, in the modern era, Marxism, feminism and globalization differently affected the power relations between genders. We will end by addressing how gender relations have changed in contemporary East Asia


History 300:  Climate and History
Professor Benjamin H. Johnson
TTH 11:30-12:45

Discussion of global warming in recent decades has drawn attention to the role of climate in human affairs.  This course explores how both natural and anthropogenic climate change has shaped human history, from the emergence of homo sapiens to contemporary geo-politics. 

Questions to be discussed in this course include: how did climate variability shape the societies of the past?  Why were some vulnerable to change while others proved more resilient?  How did climate patterns and meteorological events such as “El Niño” link the fortunes of distant societies? How have scientists come to understand how the world’s climate works, and what are the consequences of these understandings? How did transnational and international institutions such as the United Nations support these investigations and sometimes act on them? In what ways is climate change affecting the contemporary world, from local environmental shifts to tensions between the global North and South?  Finally, how might the answers to these questions inform our responses to the challenge of contemporary human-caused climate change?


History 300B-002: Barbarians and the Fall of the Roman Empire
Professor Leslie Dossey
MWF 11:30-12:20

This course examines the interaction between Romans and the so-called “barbarians” such as the Goths, Huns, and Arabs from the 2nd to the 6th centuries CE.  We will be addressing issues such as:  the late Roman military – whether the enemies were getting stronger or the Roman military weaker; the “movement of peoples” - whether large-scale migrations really occurred; the ethnic identity of peoples like the Goths or Huns – were they Roman constructs or did they have some basis in reality (as assessed by archaeology and scientific evidence such as the isotopic analysis of bones); the incorporation of immigrants - both how well the Romans integrated them and how modern attitudes toward immigration have influenced the scholarship on ancient “barbarians.”  Readings will be a mix of recent secondary scholarship and primary sources.  In addition to a midterm and final exam, students will be a writing medium length (10-12 page) research paper based on primary sources.


History 300C: Food, Hunger, and Power in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Professor Alice Weinreb
TTH 2:30-3:45

This course examines the ways in which modern history has been shaped by concerns with and conflicts over food. This course will address the role that food has played in major historical topics of the past two centuries including imperialism, genocide, and war, as well as addressing the history of contemporary American food policies. Lectures will focus on Germany, Italy, India, Ireland, the Soviet Union, and the United States.


History 300D: American Law and Public Policy
Professor Elizabeth Tandy Shermer
MWF 9:20-10:10

This course broadly explores the making of American law and public policy since the Civil War.  Students will investigate efforts to obtain social and economic justice, maintain both law and order, and create meaningful change in both state ways and folk ways. Outcomes include a deeper understanding of how laws have been passed and public policy has been crafted. Students will also come to understand how laws and policies have been implemented, continued, reformed, and, in some cases, repealed over time.


HIST 300D: The History of Italians in Chicago
Professor Dominic Candeloro
M 4:15-6:45

The History of Italians in Chicago offers an in-depth look at one of Chicago's important ethnic groups. Class presentations, readings and student projects will focus on the trends and personalities in the immigration process, neighborhood history, social mobility, the labor movement, politics, business, organized crime, the impact of Fascism and World War II, and the post World War II migration of Italians to Chicago. In addition to mastering the course material in class sessions and the readings, students will do a hands-on written or media project derived from primary sources.


HIST 329: England to 1485: A Cultural History
Professor Theresa Gross-Diaz
TH 4:15 - 6:45

Britons, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and other peoples contributed ideas and institutions that made England a cultural melting-pot in the Middle Ages, yet the end result is decidedly “English". What made England England? We will look at the factors that came together to create a distinctive political structure, as well as explore England's cultural history as manifested through writings in several genres, material remains, and art – including food and games! Course assignments include primary source studies and a short research “dabble”.


History 336: Germany in the Twentieth Century
Professor David Dennis
MWF 10:25-11:15

This course will cover the major phases of modern German history: Wilhelmine Germany, Germany in the First World War, Weimar Germany, National Socialist Germany, Germany in the Second World War, Post-War West Germany, East Germany, and Reunification. While establishing the background of political and social developments, we will carefully consider responses to these issues by leaders in German intellectual and cultural life.  Using literary texts—as well as visual arts, music and film—we will investigate intellectual currents under these headings, as well as the devastating historical developments that triggered them.  

This is a "blended" class: Taking advantage of many of the new technologies available to educators today, this course will involve independent study of online lectures and course materials (allowing you to go through them on your own time, at your own pace) , combined with individual and in class discussion of these materials with the professor. As a result this course will constitute a rich synthesis of learning methods: full video lectures and, essentially, an "honors" discussion section with the professor. 


HIST 340W: Russia pre-1917: Empire Building
Professor Michael Khodarkovsky
TTH 1:00-2:15

By the middle of the 19th century, Russia emerged as the largest land empire in the world. How did Russia survive the ravages of the Mongols under Chinggis Khan, the reign of terror under Ivan the Terrible, westernize under Peter the Great, open itself to new ideas under Catherine the Great, while it continued to preserve an oppressive institution of serfdom and remained a deeply divided society ready to explode in 1917? This course is writing intensive.


HIST 343W: History of South Asia, 1700-1947
Professor John Pincince
Th 2:30-5:00

This course will examine the modern history of South Asia from 1700-1947.  We will explore the rich history of South Asia with a thematic and chronological approach in which we focus largely on the following topics: Mughal Empire, European interaction and colonization, indigenous collaboration and resistance, reformist and nationalist responses to British colonialism, the struggle for independence, and the tragedy of Partition in 1947.  Class Attributes: Asian Studies, Global and International Studies, Islamic World Studies; 300-level; “non-Western”; writing intensive.


HIST 354: Latin America in the 19th Century
Professor Victor Padilla
MWF 11:30-12:20

We open the course with Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. The course proceeds to focus on Latin America’s transition from colonial status to political independence and upon the problems of creating new states (and nations?) in the 19th century. Among the topics of central interest are the difficulties encountered in forming stable polities (and nations) after independence and the patterns of economic and social change. The class is organized around the concept of a dialogue between "national" political histories--that is, the formation of independent states after centuries of Spanish and Portuguese colonial rule -- and the heterogeneous experiences and histories of the ordinary people that made up these societies. Our attention will focus primarily on Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Chile and Brasil. We end the course with the 20th century’s first revolution, the Mexican in 1910.


History 376A: History of the American Indian
Professor Theodore Karamanski
TTh 2:30PM-3:45

Who were the first Americans? How did they fight, survive, and endure in the face of the Invasion of their homeland. What was the impact of disease, government policy, and genocidal actions upon their demography? Who were the Indian “heroes” that successfully fought to protect their culture? These questions are at the heart of this survey of the role of native people in American life.


HIST 385: The History of Chicago
Professor Timothy Gilfoyle
M 2:45-5:15

The United States was born in the country and moved to the city.  This course examines the transformation of the United States through the prism of metropolitan Chicago.  Between 1600 and 2016, the region now called Chicago evolved from an area filled with Native American settlements to one of the three largest urban metropolitan regions on the North American continent.  This courses examines that evolution by focusing on major themes in American urban history related to Chicago: the interaction of private commerce with cultural change; the rise of distinctive working and middle classes; the creation and segregation of public and private spaces; the formation of new and distinctive urban subcultures organized by gender, work, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexuality; problems of health and housing resulting from congestion; and the building of the physical city.  Students will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge of Chicago’s history, improve their writing ability, and develop critical thinking and communication skills.


HIST 394-1W: The Sixties
Profess Joseph Lapsley
MWF 1:40-2:30

This course traces and documents changes of the 1960s, an era that has quickly become covered in myth despite its nearness to our own times. The period from the roughly the election of John F. Kennedy (1960) to the fall of Saigon (1975) remains crucial for an understanding of current issues and attitudes. Those years reshaped American culture and society in many ways. Vivid events and slogans shattered the images of an earlier time and created a new America.

Complete listing of Spring 2016 Undergraduate Courses!

Lillian Osborne Interns with In These Times Magazine


During the spring semester of 2015, Loyola history undergraduate student Lillian Osborne worked as an editorial intern for In These Times magazine as part of the History Department's undergraduate History Internship Program. While there, Osborne researched and created content in the fast-pased, deadline-oriented world of magazine publication. 

Click here to visit Osborne's internship video blog.

Interested in a history internship? Click here for more information

Dr. Dina Berger to present "Before the Good Neighbor: Women Pan Americanists of Yesterday and Today" on Nov. 19


2015 Gannon Faculty Fellow Presentation: "Before the Good Neighbor: Civic Activism and the Origins of Inter-American Unity, 1907-1959," by Dr. Dina Berger. 

When: Thursday, November 19, 2015, noon to 1:30 PM.

Where: Piper Hall, Lake Shore Campus, Room 201

Simple lunch provided. Please rsvp to Carol Coyne ccoyne@luc.edu by November 16.

For nearly a century, women members of the Pan American Round Tables (PART) from Texas and Latin American have been leaders in the quest to bring about peace and prosperity in the hemisphere through education and public service. The group’s mission was rooted in “practical Pan Americanism,” a concept coined by John Barrett, director of the Pan American Union from 1907-1919, which made the aspiration of inter-American unity relevant and tangible for Americans. While progressive-era men in government and industry negotiated the economic and political terms of the emerging Pan American family, ordinary citizens could achieve practical results by promoting goodwill toward Latin America and its people. For internationalist-minded Texas women this meant learning Spanish, giving scholarships to Latin American women at Texas universities, organizing Pan American libraries, and hosting visiting diplomats at monthly luncheons. Acts like these became the model for civic activism within a more urgent Pan American movement signaled by the Good Neighbor policy and WWII. Before the Good Neighbor uncovers the origins of Pan Americanism, all too often attributed to a few exceptional men like Elihu Root and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and locates its enactment in non-governmental institutions like the Pan American Union and in women’s and men’s civic clubs like PART. By reframing our understanding of the Good Neighbor, this project decenters traditional top-down studies of hemispheric relations to document the seminal role played by non-elite actors, especially women, in shaping the course of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy in Latin America based on values such as democracy (peace) and capitalism (prosperity) through a rhetoric of cooperation that ultimately solidified U.S. hegemony in the region.

This event is sponsored by the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership.

Chicago History Museum Urban History Seminar on Nov. 19th


Join Professor emeritus Harold Platt at the Chicago History Museum’s Urban History Seminar on Thursday, November 19. Platt’s talk, “Sinking Chicago: The Politics of a Flood-Prone Environment in the Age of Climate Change,” is part of his latest research which integrates long-term climate change into environmental history.

The reception begins at CHM at 5:45, dinner is served at 6:15, and the program begins at 7:00. The event costs $25, which includes dinner and parking. Reservations are required.

Professor Platt Publishes New Book


Professor Emeritus Harold Platt's new book, Building the Urban Environment: Visions of the Organic City in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, recently published by Temple University Press, offers a transnational approach to urban environmental history. Using case studies from seven cities, including Chicago, Rotterdam, and Sao Paulo, Platt explores the contestations between planners, policy makers, and residents over the production and meaning of urban space.

As Platt explains, during the post-1945 race to technological modernization, policymakers gave urban planners of the International Style extraordinary influence to build their utopian vision of a self-sustaining "organic city." However, in the 1960s, they faced a revolt of the grassroots. Building the Urban Environment traces the rise and fall of the Modernist planners during an era of Cold War, urban crisis, unnatural disasters, and global restructuring in the wake of the oil-energy embargo of the 1970s.

Reviewer Maureen Flanagan described Building the Urban Environment as "entirely original in its overall conceptualization, synthesis of the literature, and its major arguments... It challenges the reader to reconsider the rationales/rationality of modernism as well as the values upon which so much of the received wisdom of the post-WWII planning of cities was predicated."

Building the Urban Environment joins Shock Cities and The Electric City among Platt's contributions to urban and environmental history.

Congratulations on this achievement, Dr. Platt!

Rachel Boyle wins President's Medallion


We are thrilled to announce that PhD candidate Rachel Boyle has been awarded this year's President's Medallion. This award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the University, recognizing one outstanding student in each college for their leadership, scholarship, and service.

Reacting to the news of her award, Boyle said that she is "grateful for the honor, and even more grateful to be at an institution that holds up leadership, scholarship, and service as ideals to strive for and celebrate."

Boyle's scholarship focuses on women’s and gender history in late 19th- and early 20th-century Chicago. Her dissertation, "She Shot Him Dead: Criminal Women and the Struggle over Social order in Chicago, 1870-1920," examines how women homicide suspects were tried, punished, written about, and talked about in the Gilded Age/Progressive era. By tracing women from the streets and homes of Chicago through the court and prison systems, Boyle's work grapples with enduring questions about who is identified as criminal and who is held culpable for crime.

In addition to academic scholarship, Boyle has also worked on a number of public history projects, making historical knowledge and inquiry accessible to public audiences through archives, digital media, oral history, and preservation. Boyle created an online exhibit for Loyola’s Women and Leadership Archives, entitled "Practical Work: Chicago Woman’s Club Reformers, Criminal Women, and Delinquent Children, 1876-1920." On a lighter note, Boyle, along with Annie Cullen (MA, Public History, 2013), created "Public History Ryan Gosling," a Tumblr feed that attracted followers with sassy commentary on public history theory. Boyle and Cullen went on to present on the possibilities and limitations of "Public History Ryan Gosling" at the 2013 National Council on Public History conference.

Boyle has been a leader in our community of public history students, serving as President of the History Graduate Student Association from 2013-2014, and as volunteer and project facilitator in the Public History Lab, a student-run effort that provides history graduate students with opportunities to use and build professional skills at Chicago-area history organizations and sites of history.

Boyle sees her work as upholding the Jesuit ideals of higher education, both within the Loyola community and outside the academy. As she explains, "within Loyola, I work to provide opportunities for professional development, convene critical scholarly conversations, and facilitate application of student skills through service. Beyond Loyola, I volunteer my time and expertise for the benefit of local cultural organizations. In addition to emphasizing social justice and responsibility in my scholarship and teaching, I try to put theory into action by serving the communities around me."

Congratulations, Rachel! This honor is clearly well-deserved!

For more about Rachel and other 2015-2016 President's Medallion winners, click here.

Loyola Public History Graduate Students Making an Impact in Chicago Neighborhoods


Photography courtesy of David Kogan.

On August 23, 2015, Loyola history master’s student Kristin Jacobsen led a walking tour of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood for the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society (RP/WRHS). Her walking tour stemmed from projects undertaken by student groups in Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin’s graduate Public History Methods and Theory course (HIST 480) during the fall 2014 semester. For the project, HIST 480 students produced walking tour scripts about Rogers Park and West Ridge history for the RP/WRHS. Jacobsen’s group, which also included master’s students Blake Kennedy, Lauren O'Brien, and Andrew Paddock, produced a tour that explored Rogers Park’s Glenwood Avenue Arts District and presented the concept to the RP/WRHS President and Vice-President in December 2014. Jacobsen agreed to lead the tour for RP/WRHS members the following August.

PhD student Hope Shannon talked to Jacobsen about her experience.

HS: How did you come to lead a walking tour for the RP/WRHS?

KJ: The tour was developed as an assignment for Prof. Mooney-Melvin’s class, Public History: Method and Theory. The class was divided into groups, and each group was asked to develop a tour on an aspect of Rogers Park. My group chose the Glenwood Avenue Arts District. The assignment felt much more dynamic than most class work because of the possibility that the tour we were developing could become a reality, something that would both benefit the community and give students experience as public historians.

HS: Why did your group select the Glenwood Avenue Arts District for your tour?

KJ: We chose the Glenwood Avenue Arts District for the tour because it helps give the neighborhood a rich and unique character in the city. We thought that the connection between art and community in Rogers Park should be highlighted and that it also could help attract people to the neighborhood. I’ve lived in the Chicago area for a long time and have come back again and again to Rogers Park for its theaters and restaurants, even before I became a graduate student at Loyola. My group of public history students also was attracted to the fact that this recent history did not have any official record, and we could help gather information before it became lost.

HS: How did you conduct the research for this project?

KJ: We conducted research using a variety of methodologies and sources. We did traditional textual research to establish background on the history of Rogers Park and on the development of the performing and visual arts since the 1960s. We also interviewed founders of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District and long-time restaurant and theater directors. One member looked at building permits for clues about changes in the buildings on the tour. Several other members looked in the holdings of the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society for information, photos, and supplementary materials to use for the tour.

HS: How did this experience complement or inform what you learned in your public history coursework?

KJ: We experienced first hand the engagement with the community that is a critical part of public history, and we felt pride in helping preserve an aspect of that community. We also learned about the challenges of gathering information that is thinly covered in official sources. It was real-world work that had real-world benefits outside the classroom and outside of academia in general. The project also could be taken further. If there are public history students interested in using digital media, they could explore with the historical society the issues and feasibility of recording the tour script and putting it online.

Students completed two projects during the fall 2014 HIST 480 class. In addition to creating walking tours, students worked on a project about the Chrysler Village Historic District. Both assignments were designed and coordinated by Loyola Public History PhD students-- the walking tour project by PhD student Hope Shannon and the Chrysler Village project by PhD candidate Rachel Boyle. For the Chrysler Village project, students developed proposals that suggested how to turn research gathered for the Chrysler Village National Register of Historic Places nomination into initiatives and programming that would benefit residents living in and around Chrysler Village.

The walking tour project originated from the ongoing partnership between the Public History Lab and the RP/WRHS. Founded by Loyola history graduate students in fall 2013, the Public History Lab is a Loyola history graduate student-run effort that provides history graduate students with opportunities to use and build professional skills at history organizations and sites of history in the Chicago area. Graduate students involved with Public History Lab began volunteering with the RP/WRHS in fall 2013. In January 2015, after the end of the 480 course, Rachel Boyle and students from the 480 class decided to continue the Chrysler Village project, beginning Public History Lab’s second official initiative.

Professors Fraterrigo and Nickerson Publish in "Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies"


Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth Fraterrigo and Dr. Michelle Nickerson on the publication of their essays in the upcoming issue of Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. Dr. Nickerson's essay, "The Feminine Mystique at 50: Reflecting on the Book That Inspired, Angered, and Forever Changed America," co-authored with Joan Marie Johnson and Francesca Morgan, discusses the roundtable that the authors organized at the Newberry Library in November 2013 and introduces the work presented at the Newberry and in print in this issue of Frontiers. Dr. Fraterrigo's essay, "'The Happy Housewife Heroine' and 'The Sexual Sell': Legacies of Betty Friedan's Critique of the Image of Women," based on her paper presented at the Newberry, explores Friedan's assessment of the portrayal of women in postwar media.

Read the full essays here (need a Project MUSE login), or check out Volume 36 Number 2 of Frontiers from your local library.

History Alumnus Zac Weber (MA, 2013) Making Strides in Journalism


A history department alum is making strides in the journalism field post graduation. Zac Weber (MA in History, 2013) is now working as an editorial intern with In These Times, a leading progressive magazine and website known for investigative reporting, as well as its coverage of grassroots activism and the labor movement. Established in 1976, notable contributors to the magazine have included Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, Bernie Sanders, Slavoj Zizek, and Loyola's own Elizabeth Tandy Shermer. Weber recently wrote a feature detailing plans to build the South Side of Chicago's first adult trauma center in nearly 25 years.

"The experience at In These Times has been a great opportunity to meet a lot of people dedicated to work that highlights marginalized voices and oft-ignored stories," said Weber. "My experience at Loyola really pushed me towards this type of setting, and it's been an encouraging place to apply a lot of the writing and research skills I obtained during my time in the graduate program."

In addition to his contributions at In These Times, Weber was recently promoted to writer and editor at CBS' WBBM Newsradio, where he has worked since 2013. To see some of his work during his stint at Loyola, check out the Occupy Chicago Oral History Project, an oral history project and website competed in 2013 that was spearheaded by Weber and Dr. Michelle Nickerson with the help of students in her graduate Urban History seminar.

The Medieval Studies Center presents "Lunch Across the Curriculum" on November 11


Welcome to the Medieval Studies Center’s Lunch Across the Curriculum,

to take place Wednesday Nov. 11,  11:30 – 1:30

in  Palm Court  (Mundelein, 4th floor)

This year’s lecture series topic is The Medieval City, so our reading selection reflects urban activities and attitudes.

If you would like to participate in this free event, here’s what you do:

1.  Send e-mail to  tgross@luc.edu and put LUNCH in the subject line! (RSVP by noon, Monday Nov 9)

2.  You will then receive an e-packet: two short readings to provide context, and the short medieval play “The Boy and the Blind Man”.

3.  On Wed. Nov. 11,  come to the Palm Court between 11:30 and 1:30. Sandwich buffet and beverages will be provided.

4.  BRING the readings (printed out or otherwise). They are your “ticket” to this event.

We will discuss the readings over lunch!

Open to all Loyola students, faculty, graduate students and staff!

But you must register at tgross@luc.edu

You may register for all or part of the time.

"The Head of Joaquin Murrieta" Film Screening on October 28


Join us for a film screening of "The Head of Joaquin Murrieta" and a panel discussion with filmmaker John J. Valadez on October 28.

For over a decade, filmmaker John J. Valadez searched for the remains of Joaquin Murrieta, a legendary Mexican outlaw who blazed a trail of revenge and rebellion following the theft of his land, and the rape and murder of his wife. In the summer of 1853 he was killed by bounty hunters. They put his head in a jar, displayed it across California, and charged people a dollar to see their trophy.

One hundred and sixty-two years later, Valadez is convinced he finally has the head. Together they embark on a quixotic, cross-country road trip through history, memory, and myth to bury the fabled head of Joaquin Murrieta, and finally lay to rest a dark and troubled past. This irreverent, entertaining, and often disturbing tale that tears open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.

Join the Peabody-winning and Emmy-nominated Valdez for an exclusive screening of the film and a panel discussion including Loyola faculty members Benjamin Johnson (History) and Héctor García (Modern Languages). The film screening begins at 5:00 in Mundelein 205 with a reception following in Piper Hall.

Apply Now for the Spring 2016 Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar


The Spring 2016 Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar is entitled "Break the Chains: Revolt, Rebellion, and Resistance in the World of Atlantic Slavery" and will be taught by Dr. John Donoghue (Associate Professor of History, Loyola University Chicago) and Dr. Jeffrey Glovery (Associate Professor of English, Loyola University Chicago). Click here for more details about applying.

Applications for the spring 2016 seminar are due by noon on October 28, 2015. 

Participation in this seminar earns history undergraduate students 6 credit hours. 3 of these credits replace the HIST 291 seminar requirement and 3 credits replace one 300-level United States history elective.

Christopher Benson Interns with Chicago Council of Global Affairs

During the spring semester of 2015, Loyolan Christopher Benson (BA, 2015) interned at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs as part of the History Department's undergraduate History Internship Program. While there, he helped to organize speaking events and roundtable discussions with some of the country’s top intellectuals, as well as movers and shakers in Chicago’s business, intellectual, and political communities.

Click here to visit Christopher's internship video blog.

Interested in a history internship? Click here for more information.

"Absentee Authority in Late Medieval Iceland" on October 7


In his paper, "Absentee Authority in Late Medieval Iceland," Hans-Jacob Orning considers late-Medieval Icelandic politics and manuscripts. He uses a manuscript consisting of 15 legendary sagas/romances from a farm in Northern Iceland around 1450 C.E. as a starting point to investigate how the people there thought about magic, geography, and social order.

In his presentation, Orning will give a brief overview of the historical context (Iceland and Scandinavia in the Late Middle Ages) and discuss how manuscripts have been used in New Philology and how historians can gain insights from this approach.

This presentation will take place on Wednesday, October 7 from 3 to 5 PM at Granada Center West Conference room (second floor).

Faculty and students are welcome to attend.

Public History Alumna Courtney Baxter (MA, 2014) Named Bearden Fellow


Courtney M. Baxter has joined the St. Louis Art Museum as its 2015-16 Romare Bearden Graduate Minority Fellow. Named for African-American artist Romare Bearden, the one-year paid fellowship is intended to help build a pool of talented young minority professionals for work in art-related fields. Baxter is the 22nd Bearden fellow since the program began in 1992. Congratulations, Courtney!

Read more about Courtney's position here

Professor Dennis wins the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen


Dr. David Dennis, left, with department chair Dr. Robert Bucholz

We are pleased to congratulate Professor David Dennis on winning the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching Freshmen for the year 2015.  According to the Faculty Center for Ignatian Pedagogy, the Provost's Award "recognizes faculty who build community with first-year students by teaching 100-level freshmen classes.  Exemplary faculty foster cura personalis (care of the whole person) in new students by providing necessary support and challenging them to become fully integrated into the Loyola community."

Dr. Dennis teaches Western Civilization, and as he explains, "my goal is ever to introduce the Humanities as a record of personal responses to historical conditions, that my students might derive some of the same inspiration from it as I have. It is for this reason that my coverage includes a strong biographical element. By telling stories of the lives of Mozart, Beethoven, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, I try to remind my classes that the 'canon' was produced by real people–many of whom 'broke through' in their fields at the very same age as our first-year students! Above all, I want to show that each of them can enliven their own existence by appreciating the spirit and courage of these young individuals who mastered techniques of their chosen field in order to communicate ideas about their personal, social, political, and spiritual experiences."

Congratulations, Dr. Dennis!

IES Research Seminar Series Announced

The Institute for Environmental Sustainability's seminar series began with "Chicago in Indian Country" on Tuesday, September 1. Ann Durkin Keating discussed Chicago-area history based on her book Rising Up from Indian Country: The Battle of Fort Dearborn and the Birth of Chicago. The series will host one seminar per month. The next seminar will feature Loyola University graduate students whose research concerns environmental sustainability issues.

The mission of Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) is to engage students in understanding and responding to local and global environmental issues by delivering Core environmental science courses to raise awareness and action in all LUC undergraduates, preparing IES baccalaureate and graduate students for socially responsible professions in environmental science, policy, education, business, and health, and advancing our knowledge of environmental problems and developing solutions through original research and community outreach.  

Professor Roberts wins Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize

Roberts Dixon Fox Prize 2015

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kyle Roberts recently won the 2015 Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize for his latest work, titled Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783–1860 (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming fall 2016). The award was presented by the Fenimore Art Museum last week. Way to go, Kyle!

Loyola to host Conference on Women and Vatican II

Loyola to Host Conference on Women and Vatican II

Painting by artist reporter Franklin McMahon – All rights reserved

Still Guests in Our Own House? Women and the Church since Vatican II

November 6–7, 2015, Loyola University Chicago

  • What has and has not changed for women in the Church since the Second Vatican Council?
  • What positions do women have and what roles do they play in the Church today?
  • What is the future for women in the Church? What should be the agenda of engagement for the next half century?

In fall of 2015 Loyola University Chicago will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the conclusion of Vatican II with a public symposium. Women's lives across the globe have changed dramatically since the Council, and these changes have had a powerful effect in the Church as well. Women have taken on new roles, challenged traditional teachings, and raised new questions. What role did and does the Council play in this complex development? At "Still Guests in Our Own House," scholars will address the issues raised by these questions. Please join us in what promises to be a lively exploration of the Council's history and impact on women by proposing a paper, panel, or roundtable.

Keynote: M. Shawn Copeland
Professor, Department of Theology
Boston College

Responder: Kathleen Sprows Cummings
Associate Professor, American Studies
Director, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

We invite interested scholars to submit a 100–200 word proposal for a panel, roundtable, or paper by June 1, 2015 to socialjustice@luc.edu. A decision will be conveyed by June 15, 2015.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Carolyn Farrell, BVM, Professorship in Women and Leadership, the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, the Department of Theology, the John Cardinal Cody Chair in Theology, the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Life, the Catholic Studies Program, and the Department of History.

It is free and open to the public. For more information, see www.luc.edu/gannon.

Lauren O'Brien named 2015–16 ACE Mentor

Lauren O

Congratulations to History Master's student Lauren O'Brien on being named a 2015–2016 Achieving College Excellence (ACE) Master's Mentor. Loyola's ACE program (a federal TRIO program) is designed to support the college success of first generation and low-income undergraduate students and students with documented disabilities.

As a Master's Mentor, Lauren will engage with junior and senior undergraduates to provide guidance on post-baccalaureate planning and preparation. As a successful graduate student herself, she is well-positioned to share her insight into the overall graduate school experience—exploration, application, and admission, in addition to career exploration and goal-setting. By offering undergraduates support and encouragement, Lauren and the other mentors will have the potential to directly impact the future educational and career endeavors of ACE students.

Lauren is also an active member of the graduate program, serving as the incoming Social Media Coordinator for the History Graduate Student Association (HGSA). She has interned at several Chicago-area public history institutions.

Next stop: doctorate!

We recently caught up with four students who have decided to continue their learning in prestigious doctoral programs on both sides of the Atlantic.  Karen Burch will be heading off to the Royal Holloway, University of London; Carl Ewald to the University of Illinois, Chicago; Devin Leigh to the University of California, Davis; and Katya Maslakowski to Northwestern University.  We asked them to share with us why they made this decision, what stands out from their time at Loyola, and where they see themselves ten years from now.


Karen Burch


What program are you off to in the fall?

Royal Holloway, University of London, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, PhD in the Histories.

Committing to a doctoral program in history is a big choice. Tell us about your research interests and where you hope to take them?

My research interests lie primarily in family, social, and gender history in Quattrocento Florence. In the future, I hope to work on the history of emotions in Renaissance Italy, especially the emotions regarding family and patriotism.

Now that you are wrapping up your time at Loyola, what stands out from your education here?
The professors in particular have had a huge impact on my time at Loyola. They - especially Drs Rosenwein and McManamon - pushed me to find my limits and surpass them, and to make the very most of myself and my work.

Looking into your crystal ball, where do see yourself ten years from now?

My biggest desire is to write - both history and fiction - so hopefully whatever I'm doing will include quite a bit of that.


Carl Ewald