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History at American University

NEWSLETTER 2010-2011

Contents Marking History: AU Public History Students Work to Tell the Stories of One of America’s Most Moving Landmarks............................................1 Chair’s Letter........................................2 Alan Kraut Nominated for OAH Vice Presidency.............................................2 History PhD Examines Cosmopolitan Clubs.............................3 Vincent Intondi Makes Waves...........3 Ira Klein to Retire...............................4 Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History............................4 Laura Beers Publishes New Book....5 Teaching with Research Award Winner..................................................5 Department of History News and Notes...............................................6-12

American University Department of History 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20016-8029 202-885-2401 202-885-6166 (fax) Department of History College of Arts & Sciences

Marking History: AU Public History Students Work to Tell the Stories of One of America’s Most Moving Landmarks Most of Arlington National Cemetery’s 624 rolling acres remain a mystery to the public, an unfortunate fact that AU history professor Kathleen Franz and a handful of her students are hoping to change. Working with the National Park Service, Franz and her public history graduate students have developed an interpretive plan to create 20 to 25 wayside exhibits—informational signs— that would educate visitors about important sites throughout the cemetery and Arlington House, photo by Jeff Watts once Robert E. Lee’s home. “People get a certain level of interpretation from their tourmobile guide, but if they start walking around there’s nothing to tell them what they’re seeing or why it’s important,” Franz says. “Arlington Cemetery is full of monuments put there mostly in the 19th and 20th centuries to remind the American public of their great losses. But the memorials don’t speak to us the way they spoke to Americans in, say, 1910, so what we’ve done is go back and mark the markers to give people more historical context.” The project largely is the result of collaboration between Franz and her former student, Emily Weisner, now a park ranger at Arlington House. Located on 19 acres within the cemetery, which is a Department of the Army entity, Arlington House was a working plantation and home to the Custis-Lee family for three decades before the Union army occupied it during the Civil War and began burying fallen soldiers on its grounds. “We were looking for ways to partner with the cemetery, and we thought this was a great way to draw attention to some of the lesser known stories,” Weisner says. “People come and they know about Arlington House and they know about Kennedy’s grave and the changing of the guard, but there are so many sections of this place that nobody thinks about visiting. We’d like to tell the stories of the nurses’ section, or the chaplains’ section, or the astronauts who are here.” “There are few wayside exhibits in Arlington because we are still a very active cemetery,” says Thomas Sherlock, Arlington’s official historian. “There are 27 to 30 funerals a day, and we don’t have signs in our active burial sections. But we would place some of these signs in our older sections to educate visitors on the historical significance of locations in the cemetery. These signs will put a historical perspective on not only Arlington’s history, but also the history of our armed forces and country.” continued on page 2


American University Department of History Newsletter


Marking History

Chair’s Column

continued from page 1

As we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century, this is a good time to reflect on the department’s recent progress. Long recognized Since 2008 about 10 students on campus for the high quality of its teaching and have worked on the project. They scholarship, the department has enjoyed a decade began by researching the cemetery of remarkable growth in size, quality, and prestige. and Arlington House, studying Faculty members are publishing a steady stream of visitation patterns, and identifying books and journal articles, serving the university specifically which landmarks might and the profession in a variety of capacities and benefit from a wayside exhibit. are deeply engaged in public service to our various After selecting more than 20 sites communities. for signs, students researched, wrote, In May 2010, an external review committee and designed five. Loren Miller, a comprised of three distinguished scholars visited history PhD candidate, worked on a campus; their report – based on a departmental wayside for the Women’s Memorial, self-study and on interviews, concluded that: which was dedicated in 1997. “[The Department’s] faculty is well balanced “I wanted to focus on the process at the several levels of professorial rank, with of creating the memorial,” she says. distinguished senior scholars who enjoy national “It wasn’t created until the early and international reputations in the profession ’90s, and women have been serving photo by Jessica Tabak and promising junior scholars. We are particularly in the military since World War I. I impressed with the quantity and quality of the research accomplishments of a faculty who are also clearly and passionately committed to was interested in why their official providing quality instruction to students at every instructional level. As a group they embody the memory wasn’t created until the university’s strategic plan goal to “Epitomize the Scholar-Teacher Ideal.” ’90s. I didn’t want to come to a By no means, however, is the department content to rest on its laurels. In the self-study that conclusion. I just wanted to make preceded the external review, we identified many challenges and opportunities for improvement visitors question that. The thing about public history is not necessarily and, as the decade comes to an end, we are hard at work addressing these issues. It has been a pleasure to serve as department chair these past seven years. As I step down at to give visitors answers. It’s to have the end of this academic year to return to teaching, I am confident that the progress we have them question themselves.” realized over the past decade will continue. Other exhibits already created -Bob Griffith include Freedmen’s Village, a community of former slaves that included a hospital, church, and school in what is now Section 47 of the cemetery. “There’s no imprint on the property, so the sign will address the place and connect it to Arlington House, where In 2010, Alan Kraut was nominated for the Vice Presidency of the Organization of some of the slaves worked, and back American Historians (OAH), the nation’s largest and most prestigious association for historians to Section 27, where a lot of former of the United States. He will be on the ballot this fall, unopposed, as is the practice in the OAH. residents of Freedmen’s Village are He will serve for two years as vice president, before succeeding to the Presidency in 2013. buried,” Weisner says. “It allows Kraut brings to the OAH a wide range of accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, and leader people to have a more complete in the profession. A prize-winning historian, he has published eight books and many, many experience.” articles. A past recipient of AU’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, Kraut was recently appointed University Professor, one of the university’s highest accolades. A past president of The five completed signs are in the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, he chairs the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island History the hands of the park service for Advisory Committee and is a consultant to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. He serves review. Whether the exhibits are on the editorial boards of the Journal of American Ethnic History, the Journal of Immigrant and produced is up to the park service Refugee Studies, and Southern Jewish History. Kraut is working with the National Park Service on the and cemetery. While that process “Peopling of America” exhibit, which will expand the scope of the current immigration museum unfolds, a new group of Franz’s on Ellis Island to include the eras before Ellis opened in 1892 and the recent immigration era. students continues to create more. Kraut follows in the distinguished footsteps of the current president, David Hollinger, University of California, Berkeley; president-elect Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University; and Adapted from Mike Unger, American vice president Albert M. Camarillo, Stanford University. He joins AU history department chair Magazine, May 3, 2010 Robert Griffith, who is currently serving a five-year term as OAH’s treasurer.

Alan Kraut Nominated for OAH Vice Presidency

American University Department of History Newsletter


History PhD Examines Cosmopolitan Clubs Allen Mikaelian is a history doctoral student with a wealth of experience already under his belt. Mikaelian has written a New York Times best-selling book and has written, collaborated on, or ghostwritten nearly a dozen other works. He has extensive training in researching primary historical and governmental sources. He has also taught several undergraduate history courses at AU and had a hand in some adult education initiatives of the past decade. Mikaelian is currently researching his dissertation, which will study “cosmopolitan clubs” of the early 20th century. In the very first years of the 20th century, the US government arranged for students from around the world—from countries such as China or the Philipines— to study full time at American universities, according to Mikaelian. “There was the clear intent of wanting to Americanize these students, to teach them a certain set of American photo by Ariana Stone values, along with so-called ‘Western’ science,” says Mikaelian. “I really wanted to see how these students reacted to this. Did they take those lessons?” Soon after arriving in the US, many of these international students formed cosmopolitan clubs, which also included immigrant students. Additionally, some American students joined the clubs —“people who thought that their colleagues were far too provincial and racist,” says Mikaelian. What Mikaelian found in the course of his research is that many of the clubs formed “distinct ideologies” of anti-imperialism and anti-racism. “They felt that imperialism, along with racism, was definitely incompatible with ideas of democracy,” says Mikaelian. “They started to develop an ideology that was detached from nations. They thought that you didn’t necessarily need a nation to be worthy of having rights. All of this was really running counter to a lot of the social trends in the US at the time.” Mikaelian’s best-selling book, Medal of Honor, published in 2002, profiles 11 members of the US armed forces who have received the highest award that can be given to military personnel. Most recently, Mikaelian co-authored Fear Up Harsh: An Army Interrogator’s Dark Journey Through Iraq, published in 2007. The book chronicles the experiences of Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis. Adapted from Ariana Stone,, September 24, 2010

Vincent Intondi Makes Waves Vincent Intondi (PhD, 2009) currently teaches U.S. history and African American history at Seminole State College in Central Florida. Intondi made headlines there last September, when he delivered the keynote address for the college’s annual Constitution Day event. Afterward, Intondi began organizing to bring civil rights activist Bobby Seale to campus, just as he had brought Seale to American University in 2005. Intondi wanted his students to have the same opportunity he had—to learn from living history. Despite protests and threats from the Ku Klux Klan and local Tea Party groups, the event proved to be a huge success. While this may have proved a successful first year for most, Intondi refused to slow down. In spring 2010, he was named Director of Research for American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute, and later he, along with two Seminole State students, joined Professor Peter Kuznick on the Nuclear Studies Institute’s annual trip to Japan. On the researching end, Intondi is writing an article that examines Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King’s role in the antinuclear movement, as well as coediting a book on the NAACP in Florida. He is also working on his book which examines the history of African Americans’ antinuclear efforts. As Intondi continues to teach, organize, and write, he also plans on returning to Japan this year with more Seminole State students. In light of all this, we asked Intondi the obvious question: What keeps you going? Intondi said it was not just one thing, but that his passion for teaching and the hopes of one day having a world free of racism and nuclear weapons were some of the biggest reasons he works so hard. He added, “So many professors at American University, especially Peter Kuznick, Bob Griffith, Eileen Findlay, and Alan Kraut, invested so much in me; their time, energy, and advice. Now I have to make good on that investment and that’s what I am doing. Now I invest in my students and I hope they will go on to be future scholars making a difference and make good on that investment.”

American University Department of History Newsletter


Ira Klein to Retire Professor Ira Klein announced that that he will retire in May 2011, following a long and distinguished career at American University. A graduate of Columbia University, Klein is the author of more than 40 scholarly articles and book chapters, including the influential and much-cited “Death in India,” which appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies. A Fulbright fellow, he also won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford-Rockefeller Foundations, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has served since 1980 on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Indian History. A wide-ranging scholar in both European and Asian history, Professor Klein introduced 16 new courses into the AU curriculum. He was a recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences award for outstanding teaching and the university award for outstanding teaching in General Education. His service to the university has been extensive. From 1980 to 1985 he was director of the University Honors program, initiating many of the features that today characterize the program. As vice chair of the General Education Committee, he helped forge the program’s five field system. For almost a decade he chaired the University’s Grievance Committee, introducing new guidelines and procedures. He played an important leadership role in organizing the AU Service-Learning Program. As chair of the Senate Committee on Student Learning, he reported on the importance of improving campus services and the need for tighter integration of the functions of registrar, bursar, and financial aid—what has become “AU Central.” Professor Klein received the CAS award for Outstanding Service and was twice recognized for outstanding service by the Community Service Network.

Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History

photo by Jeff Watts

In September 2010, American University celebrated the appointment of Pamela Nadell as its inaugural Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History. Professor Nadell, arguably our nation’s leading scholar on the history of Jewish women in America, has written, edited, or coedited six important books and is currently on sabbatical to finish a seventh. Her most recent publication, New Essays in American Jewish History, was coedited with Jonathan D. Sarna and Lance J. Sussman. She has served as a member of nine academic advisory boards and is much sought after as a consultant by museums, archives, filmmakers, and others. Since 1994, Pam has directed AU’s outstanding Jewish Studies program. In 2007, she was the recipient of the university’s highest honor, the AU Scholar/Teacher of the Year award. The Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society also recognized Pam’s many contributions by awarding her the Lee Max Friedman Medal for distinguished service in the field of American Jewish history. Professor Nadell’s appointment as Clendenen Chair was made as the result of a gift of $50,000 by Mary E. Graydon in 1894, only a year after AU was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress and more than a decade before it would admit its first class. She wanted to endow a professorship in what AU’s early builders called the “College of History,” with the understanding that the proceeds of the fund, as she noted, to “go towards the education of young women alone.” By the twenty-first century, that gift, named for her grandfather Patrick Clendenen and given by a woman who wished in all due modesty “that no publicity be given to my name” had matured into the Patrick Clendenen Fund for Women’s and Gender History in AU’s Department of History. Beginning in 2006, income from the Clendenen Fund was used to support a number of initiatives in women’s and gender history, including a rotating Patrick Clendenen “Professor” in Women and Gender History. As Clendenen Professor, Nadell organized the AU conference “‘With Vision Flying’: New Perspectives on Women’s and Gender History” in March 2008. .Kate Haulman, her successor, is coediting a volume of essays on women’s history that was generated by that conference. In fall 2010, Professor Eileen Findlay began her two-year term as Clendenen Associate Professor, in which she will begin an oral history of Caribbean migrants to the District of Columbia.

American University Department of History Newsletter


Laura Beers Publishes New Book The public has historically perceived the British Labour Party as out-of-touch with modernity and skeptical of “capitalist” mass media, according to history professor Laura Beers. However, in her new book, Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Modern Labour Party (Harvard University Press, 2010), Beers argues that the Party was always plugged in and used contemporary media to its benefit since its inception in 1900. This media savvy had a major role in the Party’s landslide electoral victory in 1945, Beers concludes. The book—which is based on Beers’ PhD dissertation work on British politics and media—is the result of several years of research in the United Kingdom. “My research is a combination of looking at media sources and political sources,” says Beers. “Usually, people look at one or the other, but not how they interact together.” What she found was that the Party used an array of media to its advantage. “A lot of the media was directed photo by Ariana Stone to the working class,” says Beers. “But the media was particularly useful to get the Party’s message out to groups such as women who weren’t likely to come to a Labour demonstration, mostly because their social life was in the home and not in public, but also because they were more suspicious of the Party than their husbands. Also, to the middle classes, to show that the Labour Party wasn’t just the working man’s party, that it could be their party as well.” Beers says she hopes the book will help broaden assumptions about the Labour Party—and the political left, in general. “[Your Britain] presents a picture of the Labour movement as being very engaged with the practicalities of the modern world, of mass democracy as it’s actually experienced by the voter; of being willing to play the game in a way that’s very progressive and forward-thinking. Adapted from Ariana Stone,, August 13, 2010

Teaching With Research Award Winner In February 2010, Professor Kathy Franz was the recipient of AU’s Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning’s very first Teaching with Research Award. In her “Public History Practicum,” Franz engages students in best practices for interpreting history in collaborative situations and public settings through praxis, or learning through doing. Every spring, students team up with local and national cultural institutions in the DC area on a variety of public history projects. In 2009, students in Franz’s practicum conducted a research-based project to study and develop a series of wayside signs (interpretive panels) for Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery (see accompanying story). Studying the needs of the National Park Service and visitors and drawing on photo by Samanthe Saleh historiography and primary sources from various archives, students created an interpretive plan and researched and wrote an initial set of interpretive signs. The group additionally created a digital portfolio of the project to share both the research materials and the finished products with the site supervisors

American University Department of History Newsletter


Department of History News and Notes Faculty Mustafa Aksakal has returned to teaching this fall after a research leave as a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in 2009-2010 and archival research in summer 2010 in Istanbul. In spring 2011, he will teach an honors course on the history of Istanbul/Constantinople, and the class plans to take a week-long trip to Turkey. He will also be coteaching a graduate seminar with Professor Eric Lohr on World War I and the demise of empires (Hapsburg, Ottoman, Romanov). His article, “Holy War Made in Germany? Ottoman Origins of the 1914 Jihad,” is appearing this year in the journal War in History. Last year marked a “trifecta” for British historian Laura Beers, who completed her first year of teaching at AU, married British historian Lawrence Black, and published her first book, Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Modern Labour Party (see accompanying article). During the summer, she began archival research for her next book, on the battle for women’s suffrage in Great Britain, and prepared a chapter on women under Thatcherism for Thatcher Revisited, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. Richard Breitman divided his time between AU; the National Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he edits the Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies; and the National Archives, where he has been assessing the historical significance of newly declassified records regarding Nazi war criminals and American intelligence. He is the author, together with Norman J. Goda, of a 100-page report, “Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War,” which will be submitted to Congress by the National Archives and Records Administration this fall. Working with coauthor Allan J. Lichtman, he has completed a book entitled Political Jeopardy, FDR and the Jews, which is under contract to Harvard University Press. Mary Ellen Curtin studies modern African American political and prison history. She is finishing a biography of former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (University of Pennsylvania Press). Her review of Khalil Muhammad’s The Condemnation of Blackness: Race Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard, 2010) will appear in the Register for the Kentucky Historical Society. Her article “’Please Hear Our Cries: The Hidden History

of Black Prisoners in America” will be published in the Problem of Punishment (University Press of Virginia, 2011). In 2011, she will speak at the National Archives and her article, “Barbara Jordan and the Paradox of Black Female Ambition,” will appear in Texas Women/American Women (University of Georgia Press, 2011), edited by Rebecca Sharpness. Anton Fedyashin finished revising his book manuscript, Liberals under Autocracy: Visions of Progress on the Pages of the Herald of Europe, 1866-1905 (University of Wisconsin Press). Kritika will shortly publish his article “Russia’s First Polittekhnolog: Sergei Witte and the Press,” and a review an essay of a highly controversial Russianlanguage history of the Soviet Union. The Russian Review journal will carry his obituary for Georgetown’s renowned Soviet specialist, Richard Stites. He has begun preliminary research for his next book project, Shades of Gray: The Cold War and the Spy Novel. Eileen Findlay is beginning her two-year appointment as Clendenen Professor of Women and Gender History. In addition to teaching and pursuing her own scholarship, she will be coordinating an oral history project on gender and immigration to DC. This fall, she published “Portable Roots: Community Building and Return Migration to San Juan Puerto Rico, 1965-2000” in Caribbean Studies and “Artful Narration: The Meanings of Puerto Rican Women Return Migrants’ Life Histories” in The Journal of Women’s History. This summer, Findlay conducted archival research in New York City, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, for her book project We Are Left Without a Father Here: Masculinity, Colonial Populism, and Puerto Rican Post-War Labor Migration to the Rural Midwest.” Kathleen Franz has just completed work on Major Problems in American Popular Culture (Wadsworth Cengage, winter 2011). Coedited with Susan Smulyan at Brown University, the textbook covers the emergence and evolution of commercialized popular culture from the 1840s to the present. Franz’s next big project is helping to curate a landmark exhibition on the history of American business and the economy at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Franz will be a visiting scholar at the museum over the next three years and will spend her 2011-2012 sabbatical working on the exhibition. She continues to direct AU’s public history program and is chairing the department’s search for a second public historian.

American University Department of History Newsletter

Max Paul Friedman won an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship, enabling him to spend the summer 2010 revising his book manuscript, Rethinking AntiAmericanism. In the past year, he delivered lectures in Berlin, Freiburg, Paderborn, andPhoenix and at Ohio University and the State Department. His article, “Fracas in Caracas: Latin American Diplomatic Resistance to US Intervention in Guatemala in 1954,” was accepted for publication by Diplomacy and Statecraft. In August and September, he served on the Foreign Service Selection Board at the State Department, helping to vet career diplomats for promotion. He continues to serve as the department’s Director of Graduate Studies and is chairing the department’s search for an East Asian historian. Mary Frances Giandrea introduced a new course, “Violence in the Middle Ages,” in which students searched primary and secondary sources to learn about medieval attitudes toward violence, the crimes people committed, and the diverse ways they were punished. She is currently teaching a course in her specialty, early Britain. In March, she gave an invited paper at a conference at Pomona College on medieval bishops and power. In November she will chair a panel on late-Roman/early-medieval Britain at the annual conference of the Haskins Society, an international society of scholars working on the early and central Middle Ages. In early January 2011, she will chair a panel at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting in Boston. Robert Griffith will step down as department chair in May 2011, at the end of his seventh year. He will begin a sabbatical the following fall, during which he plans to read, relax, and complete a fourth edition of his anthology, Major Problems in American History since 1945, coedited with Paula Baker. He continues his service as treasurer and member of the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians. Kate Haulman spent 2009-2010 on family and then research leave, during which she completed her book, The Politics of Fashion in 18th-Century America, forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press in 2011. She also continued coediting a collection of essays with Professor Pamela Nadell, tentatively titled Engendering Women’s Histories: A Global Project (New York University Press). Haulman published the article “Mixed Messages: Women’s Fashion and American National Identity” in the Magazine Antiques in the


summer of 2010 and began writing a piece about fishing and dancing clubs in the late-18th and early-19th century, part of a larger second book project on the making of elite culture in early America. In 2010 Alan Kraut was nominated for the Vice Presidency of the OAH (see accompanying story). He is currently writing a book on the Americanization of immigrants after their arrival in the United States as it has evolved from 1850 to the present. Last spring Kraut published an article, “Immigration, Ethnicity, and the Pandemic,” on the history of the 1918 pandemic in a special supplement of Public Health Reports (v. 125), the journal of the US Public Health Service. Talking on “Fit for America: Immigration, Healthy Bodies, and the American Environment in the 20th Century,” he was the keynote speaker at a conference entitled “Policing Citizenship: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration,” sponsored by Middlebury College’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity in March 2010. Peter Kuznick’s new book titled Rethinking the History of the Atomic Bombings: US and Japanese Perspectives (Horitsu Bunkasha, 2010), coauthored with Professor Akira Kimura of Kagoshima University, will be published in Japan this November. During the 2010 spring semester, he led an honors class to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Siem Reap, Cambodia, as part of his class “America’s Killing Fields.” In the summer, he again led students to Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki as part of the Nuclear Studies Institute. Kuznick spent the year working on the book and documentary series, Untold History of the United States, he is cowriting with Oliver Stone. The series is scheduled to air on Showtime in March 2011. With the generous support of a fellowship from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, Lisa Leff was able to continue research on her book on the transfer of French Judaica to America during and in the aftermath of World War II. She presented papers based on that research at Rhodes College and New York University, and at the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. She also presented papers at the University of Montreal and Goucher College. In March 2010, her article on why American Jews became interested in French Jewish history in the 1970s was published in Archives Juives. Leff is currently serving as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Interim Director of Jewish Studies.


Allan Lichtman and Professor Richard Breitman submitted the manuscript for their new book, Political Jeopardy: FDR and the Jews, to Harvard University Press in early October. The latest edition of Lichtman’s The Keys to the White House is scheduled for publication in 2011. In the summer 2010 edition of Foresight: The Journal of the International Association of Forecasters, Lichtman once again went out on a limb, predicting the re-election of Barack Obama. This past summer Lichtman lectured for the US State Department in Austria and Ukraine. He has been appointed American columnist for the prestigious British website and has given numerous media interviews on current affairs. Eric Lohr is on leave this fall, having won a grant from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, in order to complete his new book on the history of Russian citizenship. He traveled to Moscow twice as a member of the US delegation to the prestigious “Dartmouth Dialogues,” a series of track-two diplomatic discussions on US-Russian relations. He continues to chair the Washington Russian History Seminar. In the 2011 spring semester, he will also be co-teaching a graduate seminar with Professor Mustafa Aksakal on World War I and the demise of empires (Hapsburg, Ottoman, Romanov). Ira Klein announced that he will retire in May 2011, following a long and distinguished career at American University (see accompanying article). He published “Lay Down to Die: Famine in Mysore and India” in the Journal of Indian History and has two additional essays under consideration. He served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Student Learning and as a faculty senator, where he played an active role in revising the AU Faculty Manual. He also served on the Committee of Undergraduate Fellowships and participated in meetings of the Board of Trustees Campus Life Committee and the Provost’s Round Table for Deans and University Committee Chairs. Maddalena Marinari received her PhD in 2010 from the University of Kansas. This past year she participated in panel discussions at the annual meetings of both the Social Science History Association and the OAH and has been asked to revise her presentation for publication. She presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association and coauthored an article with Donna Gabaccia on the role of Lyndon Johnson in the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. She is currently at work on an article on the role that Italian and Jewish immigration reform advocates had in the passage of the same law.

American University Department of History Newsletter

This was a banner year for Pamela Nadell. In addition to her appointment as Clendenen Chair (see accompanying article), Nadell’s wide-ranging service in Jewish history was recognized by her receipt of the Lee Max Friedman Award from the American Jewish Historical Society. The year was also marked by the publication of New Essays in American Jewish History, coedited with Jonathan D. Sarna and Lance J. Sussman. She continues to serve as the principal historical consultant for the new National Museum of American Jewish history, scheduled to open next year on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. April Shelford has been working on her current project “A Caribbean Enlightenment.” She presented a paper, “Buttons and Blood: Fusée-Aublet’s Critique of Slavery, East and West,” at the American Society for 18th-Century Studies’ annual meeting in March 2010 and presented “Caribbean Jesuits” at the Western Society for French History’s annual meeting in October. During spring break, she went to Jamaica to work on manuscripts that document the activities of Anthony Robinson, a physician and botanist in 18th-century Jamaica. This summer, she published an article in L’amitié et les sciences de Descartes à Lévi-Strauss, and her review of The Dictionary of 17thCentury Philosophers appeared on H-France. With Donna Ryan of Gallaudet University, she edited Volume 37 of the Proceedings of the Western Society of French History. Nina Spiegel completed her book manuscript, The Creation of Israeli Culture: Hebrew Dance, Sports, and Beauty in the British Mandate. She was invited to deliver two papers this past spring: “The City as a Stage: Dancing, Parading, and Masquerading in Mandate Tel Aviv” at the Yeshiva University conference entitled “Zionism on the Jewish Street: Urban Geography and Nationalism at the Turn of the 20th Century” and “The Creation of Israeli Culture: Origins and Dilemmas” at the Middle East Studies Forum at AU. Melvin Urofksy continues to garner awards for his magisterial Louis D. Brandeis: A Life (Pantheon, 2009), which won the English-Speaking Union’s biography award, the Jewish Book Council’s Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year Award, and the 2010 Brandeis Medal from the University of Louisville Law School. Katharina Vester has been a Clendenen fellow and scholar-in-residence at AU since 2007 and the director of the American Studies Program since 2009. This fall she

American University Department of History Newsletter

joined the department’s faculty as assistant professor. Vester recently published an article in Journal of Social History and also published “Queer Appetites, Butch Cooking – Recipes for Lesbian Subjectivities” in Queers in American Popular Culture, ed. Jim Elledge (Praeger, 2010). This past summer she received a research award from Harvard’s Schlesinger Library to explore the conceptualization of national and transnational identity in cookbooks written by and for ethnic minorities in the late-19th and early-20th century. Vester was elected to the board of the Chesapeake chapter of the American Studies Association this fall.

Graduate Alumni Carter Andress (MA, 1992) has published a book on his experiences as a military contractor and cofounder of AmericanIraqi Solutions Group (AISG), entitled Contractor Combatants: Tales of an Imbedded Capitalist (2007). History alumna Beth Hill (MA, 1995) has been named executive director of the Fort Ticonderoga historical site. Moira J. Maguire (PhD, 2003) published Precarious Childhood in Post-Independence Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2010). Maguire is associate professor of History at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. She has also published “A Hidden Agenda? The Carrigan Committee and Child Sexual Abuse in the 20th Century” New Hibernia Review, 2007; (coauthor) “‘A Good Beating Never Hurt Anyone’: The Punishment and Abuse of Children in 20th Century Ireland” Journal of Social History, 2005; “Foreign Adoptions and the Formation of Irish Adoption Policy, 1945-52” Journal of Social History, 2002; and “The Changing Face of Catholic Ireland: Conservatism and Liberalism in Ann Lovett and Kerry Babies Scandals” Feminist Studies, Summer 2001. Bernard J. Unti (PhD, 2001), senior policy adviser for the Humane Society of the United States, was recently interviewed about the early history of the Humane Society. Unti is the author of Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of the Humane Society of the United States (2004).

Current Graduate Students The Department of History’s Graduate Student Council is led this year by Aaron Bell (president), John Little (vice president), and Jayne Cosson (vice president).


Thanks to the leadership of Richard Breitman, Kathy Franz, and Alan Kraut, six graduate students are currently pursuing paid internships in the Washington area. Jen Jablonsky, Alexandra Lane, and Brittney Westbrook are all working on the inaugural exhibitions at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jordan Grant and Will Tchakirides are helping to design a website at the National Museum of American History; and Katharine Orr is beginning exhibition research for a new feature on the Magna Carta. Current and former AU history graduate students have assisted Peter Kuznick with the film and book project he is cowriting with director Oliver Stone, “The Untold History of the United States.” Among these are current graduate students Eric Singer, Matt Pembleton, Rebecca DeWolf, Ben Bennett, Allen Pietroben, and Terumi Rafferty-Osaki and recent PhD Cindy Gueli. Others, including Arie Serota and Daniel Cipriani, have also pitched in on areas of their particular expertise. The twelve-part documentary series is set to air on Showtime in March with the coauthored book scheduled for simultaneous publication. “I wouldn’t have a prayer of meeting that deadline without such a dedicated team of researchers,” Kuznick acknowledged. “This has been a real team effort.” Congratulations to the following AU history graduate students who have received research funding from the College of Arts and Sciences: Nicolas Ercole, Allen Mikaelian, Loren Miller, Louie Milojevic, Shannon Mohan, Ann Rothfeld, Lauren Stelzer, Leah Suhrstedt, and Sarah Thelen. Kelly Gannon has an exhibition review on the Pony Express exhibit at the National Postal Museum forthcoming in CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship. In February 2010, she presented a paper, “Victorian Museums in the South: Is there a Market?” at North Carolina State University’s Sixth Annual History Graduate Student Conference. Stephanie Jacobe was awarded a Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame and the Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Travel Fellowship in Business History from Harvard University. This past summer, Lisa Maguire taught a section of “Imperialism and Revolution” that focused on French imperialism and Algerian anti-colonial resistance. In August, she went to Rabat, Morocco, for an intensive, month-long study of Arabic. She then embarked for

American University Department of History Newsletter


Paris and Nantes, France, to begin preliminary archival research for her dissertation, which will focus on French responses to colonial resistance in Syria and Morocco. Congratulations to AU history graduate students Allen Mikaelian, who has been awarded the 2010-2011 Roger Brown dissertation fellowship and Lorna Loring, who has been awarded the 20102011 Richard and Carol Breitman fellowship. Louie Milojevic received a grant from the Immigration History Research Center to support his doctoral research on Yugoslav-US relations and immigrant identity during the Cold War. Erica Munkwitz presented a paper, “From Rotten Row to Red Road: British Women and Equestrian Sports in India, 1850-1947,” at the North East Conference on British Studies (NCEBS) as part of a panel entitled “Making Sense of Colonial Environments: 1580-1947.” As an intern with the National Law Enforcement Museum, James Nelson is helping tell the story of American social history. Scheduled to open to the public in 2013, the museum will attempt to educate the public on the historical role of law enforcement through a combination of exhibitions and educational outreach. Congratulations to doctoral student Matthew R. Pembleton, who has won the Gondos Graduate Summer Research Fellowship. This award, made possible by a gift from Dorothy and Victor Gondos, Jr., supports research using the collections at the U.S. National Archives. Adam M. Sherry presented a paper, “Waterbury Jewry: Ever Changing and Ever Vibrant,” at the University of Hartford. It will be part of a volume on the history of Connecticut Jewry titled Connecticut Jewish History. This summer, Sherry also authored entries for an upcoming encyclopedia on the history of women in the United States, tentatively titled American Women’s History: An Encyclopedia. David Waltrop has published “Critical Issues in the History and Historiography of National Reconnaissance” in Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly (vol 17, no 3).

Current Undergraduate Students Kurt Karandy and Emily Poor won CAS Dean’s Undergraduate

Research Awards for summer 2010. Karandy researched “Churches and Jim Crow in Washington, DC” under the direction of Professor Kimberly Sims. Poor studied “The Treatment of Politics in Mid-20th Century British Mass Market Journals” under the direction of Professor Laura Beers. These awards are made possible through a generous gift from AU trustee and alumna Robyn Rafferty Mathias. Abigail Kret, Lisa Plotkin, and Jonathan Terrell were winners of the 2010 Janet Oppenheim Prize, awarded annually for the best senior thesis. Created in remembrance of a former AU history faculty member, the prize carries with it an award of $2,000 for each of the recipients. Tim Moore (BA/MA) received the 2010 Honors Capstone Research Conference Honorable Mention Award for his capstone project presentation, “The Disneyfication of Stone Mountain: A Park’s Response to Its Visitors.” Ryan Tanner-Read won the Best Arts and Humanities Paper by an Undergraduate Award at the 2010 CAS Mathias Research Conference for his paper, “The American Philosophical Society and the Indian Question: Race and Science in Early America.” Jonathan Terrell also won the Department of History’s Dorothy and Victor Gondos, Jr. Undergraduate Research Prize for the best undergraduate thesis based on research in the National Archives and the Larry I. Bland Undergraduate Scholars Prize for the best George C. Marshall Undergraduate Scholar Paper of 2009-2010. History major Will Zeman, who won a scholarship to study in Cairo, Egypt, from the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program, was featured in a New York Times article on American students studying in the Middle East. Zeman also worked at The Daily News Egypt, an English-language newspaper.

AU Alums Return To Offer Career Advice to History Majors Every year, AU history alums return to campus to talk about their lives and to offer career advice to current history majors. History majors go on to a wide variety of fascinating careers. Those returning have included:

American University Department of History Newsletter

Elizabeth Carey (BA, 2002) worked as a bilingual domestic violence victims’ advocate prior to and during graduate school. She has recently moved to Baltimore and is preparing to work as an alternative to violence group facilitator at a Baltimore juvenile detention facility. Ken Durr (PhD, 1998) is executive vice president of History Associates, Incorporated. His dissertation was published as Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 (University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Durr has developed an extensive background in US financial regulation and has done research and writing on the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Matt Harty (BA, 2003) is currently pursuing a higher education administration MA at Teachers College, Columbia University, and has joined the staff at Columbia Business School as an Associate Director of New Business Development. He is also enrolled in the doctoral program at Columbia Teachers College. Joshua R. Kolchins (BA, 1994) is senior manager at Business Development for Cyber Security in the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Division of General Dynamics-Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS), where he supports homeland security, defense, and intelligence community customers. David Moak (BA, 2008) is currently pursuing graduate studies in French history and is working on research that reexamines the debates surrounding Jewish emancipation during the French Revolution in light of contemporary notions of patriotism, economic utility, and regeneration. Caren S. Oberg (BA, 1997) is the owner and principal of the Oberg Research consulting firm. Her specialty is visitor studies— assisting museums and historic sites in understanding how visitors use historic sites to make connections to their world and enhance their lives. Oberg is also serving as a resident historian in the AU history department. Richard Paul (BA, 1981) is the head of rlpaulproductions, which produces award winning television and radio programming, mostly for public radio. He has also been a long-time member of the Capital Steps, the political satire troupe whose musical parodies have lampooned prominent Washingtonians since 1981. Matt Ringelstetter (MA, 2008) is the web team coordinator at


the National Trust for Historic Preservation where he works with other National Trust employees in order to turn their work and projects into various types of web content. Nickolas Roth (BA, 2004) is Program Director for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA). In his spare time, Roth serves as a coordinator for the peace and security community’s Young Professionals Working Group and is on the “Think Outside the Bomb” national youth network coordinating committee. Craig Stronberg (BA, 1995; MA, 1996) is a senior analyst at CENTRA Technology, where he works for the federal government on various issues. Since 1998 he has also been a regular lecturer at the National Defense University on European Union and NATO issues. Emily Weisner (MA, 2007) joined the Park Service in 2007 and is currently stationed at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (see accompanying story). In 2010, she began her new post as strategic planner for the National Parks Service’s Southwest Border Park Program.

Undergraduate Alumni Profile: Ward Wilson (BA, 1980) By Thomas Meal

Asked about nuclear disarmament’s future prospects, history alum Ward Wilson sees reasons for optimism – often from a ringside seat. A senior fellow at the Monterrey Institute’s Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons project, Wilson took part in the UN Nonproliferation Treaty review conference this May, delivering a study he co-authored, “Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons: Examining the Validity of Nuclear Deterrence.” Backed by a grant awarded this February by the Foreign Ministry of Norway, Wilson’s current focus is a book project, title New Realism: Rethinking Nuclear Weapon, which he describes as a pragmatic reevaluation of nuclear weapons. Simultaneously he’s preparing a study of military attacks on cities, researching notions of apocalypse in the American mind, writing an adventure novel about Nazi Germany getting the Bomb first, and speaking on nuclear weapons issues worldwide. Wilson credits his AU historical and philosophical studies for helping ballast the intellectual core beneath his swirl of activity. “Robert Beisner’s ‘War and Society’ class was foundational for me, and for years Bob has remained someone I can trust to take

American University Department of History Newsletter

the temperature of my ideas,” says Wilson. “Beisner helped me learn to value historical knowledge and not to trust the established accounts, whether about Truman and the Bomb or anything else.” While pushing the policy debate toward the ultimate goal of disarmament, Wilson entertains a more humble aim for the near future: “I just hope to see that a group of people can visit these issues with an unbiased view and say to each other, ‘We’ve misunderstood history and need to examine a new perspective.’”


Graduate Director Max Paul Friedman The graduate program continues to grow, with 29 new graduate students enrolling in the fall 2010 semester. Most graduate students focus on US or European history, with outside fields including early-modern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, public history, and comparative historical justice. A recent external review of the department by a panel of academics noted that the PhD program has “become much more selective” and that the grad students “have good track records for presenting papers at conferences and winning external grants.” The reviewers also noted that our “recent PhDs have published a number of important books with major academic presses.” AU history graduates now work at such places as the University of Arkansas, Illinois State University, Villanova University, the Naval Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Archives, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Historical

12 Association, the State Department, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES Undergraduate Director Lisa Leff

The undergraduate program in history is booming. With 135 majors and 93 minors, we’ve become one of the largest majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. In quality as well, the undergraduate history program continues to impress. Our end-ofthe-year event, History Day 2010, testifies to this. In April 2010, our senior majors presented the findings of the research papers they had conceived, researched, and written over the course of the year in their major seminar classes. As befits such a conference, the topics of the papers ranged widely, including work on American neoconservatism, the 1840 smallpox epidemic in Capetown, a cultural history of medieval York, and the Lebanese civil war, to name just a few. With the start of the new school year in 2010, the department turned its energies to recruiting new majors. Our fall luncheon was held in September and provided current and potential majors with an opportunity to meet each other, meet faculty, and learn about our program. We are looking forward to an induction ceremony for our history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, in early November 2010, where our own Allen Lichtman will deliver the annual Brandenberg lecture about his recent book, White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

Help us “Make History” in the Nation’s Capital I want to support The Department of History with a gift of $_______.  Valerie French History Education Endowment  Roger Brown Graduate Fellowship Endowment  History Department’s Quasi Endowment  CAS Dean’s Discretionary Fund  Other (please specify)______________________ □My check is enclosed (make payable to American University). □Please charge my gift to my: □Visa □MasterCard □American Express □Discover Card #_________________________________Exp. ______ Signature _________________________________________ Name __________________________________________________ Home Address ___________________________________________ City ____________________________ State _______ Zip ________ Home Phone __________________ E-mail ____________________ You may also donate online at Questions? Call 202-885-2435 or e-mail Liz Raymond at

History Newsletter, 2010-11  

News from the Department of History at American University in Washington, DC

History Newsletter, 2010-11  

News from the Department of History at American University in Washington, DC