Department of History College of Arts and Sciences
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News about the Department of History and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni

Archives of History Happenings are available for:

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The department periodically publishes a newsletter.

For upcoming events, consult the Calendar of Events.

History Happenings Archive for 2005


Dr Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas makes presentation to Scholars in Critical Race Studies

[28 November 2005] Dr Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas, Assistant Professor, Department of History, spoke this afternoon on “Race in Latin America” at a meeting of Scholars in Critical Race Studies.


Biographical sketch of Reginald Ellis as summer intern appears in Hooks Institute newsletter

[22 November 2005] Reginald Ellis, doctoral candidate in the Department of History and president of the Graduate Association for African-American History, served as a summer intern for the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. The October 2005 newsletter of the Institute has a lengthy biographical sketch of Mr Ellis, which is also available online.

The Institute’s complete October 2005 newsletter is available as a PDF document.


Dr Daniel Unowsky leads discussion on Peter Singer work

[21 November 2005] Dr Daniel Unowsky, Associate Professor, Department of History, led a discussion this afternoon on selections from Peter Singer’s Pushing Time Away: My Grandfather and the Tragedy of Jewish Vienna. The discussion was the last of four seminars on the works of Dr Singer sponsored by the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities.

Dr Singer himself lectured on global ethics on 18 November at The University of Memphis.


Drs Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas and Robert Gudmestad speak on slavery in the Atlantic World for High School Scholars Seminar

[17 November 2005] In the third program of this semester’s series this afternoon, Dr Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas, Assistant Professor, Department of History, spoke on “Slavery in Brazil” and Dr Robert Gudmestad, Assistant Professor, Department of History, spoke on “Slavery in the United States” for the High School Scholars Seminar.

The Seminar, coordinated by Dr Robert Gudmestad, Assistant Professor, Department of History, is intended primarily for high-school students in the Memphis area.


Memorial mass said for Dr William J. Murnane

[17 November 2005] A memorial mass for Dr William J. Murnane was said at St. Anne Catholic Church, 706 Highland, today at noon. The mass was arranged by Renata Maria Czerkawski, a former graduate student who studied under Dr Murnane’s direction.

Dr Murnane’s untimely death on 17 November 2000 cut short a brilliant career in Egyptology. After receiving his M.A. in 1968 and his Ph.D. in 1973 from the University of Chicago, Dr Murnane did field work for many years at the Karnak Temple near Luxor, Egypt, before joining the Department of History at The University of Memphis. As a faculty member, he taught courses in Egyptology and ancient history while continuing his field work on the Great Hypostyle Hall in the temple at Karnak. His dissertation was on Ancient Egyptian Coregencies: An Aspect of the Transference of the Royal Power in Pharaonic Times, and his publications included The Road to Kadesh: A Historical Interpretation of the Battle Reliefs of King Sety I at Karnak; The Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten; and The Penguin Guide to Ancient Egypt.

One of Dr Murnane’s M.A. students at The University of Memphis was Peter Brand. Brand had completed his doctoral work at the University of Toronto and was chosen by the Department of History to fill Dr Murnane’s position. He also carries forward Dr Murnane’s field work at Karnak, heading the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project.


Dr Peter Brand films interviews for documentaries on the History Channel

[11 November 2005] Dr Peter Brand, Assistant Professor, Department of History, and Director, Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project, has recently filmed two History Channel documentaries on Egyptian medicine and iconic structures. They are scheduled be broadcast some time this summer. He has also been invited to appear in documentaries on Egyptian monuments and engineering. He will be interviewed again in January for the History Channel in Egypt; the other interview will be for an organization in London.


Dr Joseph Hawes speaks on childen in U.S. history for Phi Alpha Theta meeting

[11 November 2005] Dr Joseph Hawes, Professor, Department of History, spoke today on “Hidden in Plain View: Teasing out the Lives of Children in U.S. History,” in a presentation to Phi Alpha Theta, Epsilon Nu chapter. Phi Alpha Theta meets monthly for a pizza luncheon and presentation and discussion about a historical topic. This was the third program on this year’s series theme, “Extraordinary Youth in History.”


Commercial Appeal has article on Oral History interview project with veterans

[11 November 2005] Today’s Commercial Appeal has an article about the Oral History Research Office’s project to interview at least 1,000 West Tennessee veterans of the Second World War. It quotes both Dr Charles W. Crawford, Professor and Director of the Oral History Research Project, and Dr Janann Sherman, Olin Atkins Professor and Chair, Department of History, as well as several of the veterans who have already been interviewed.

The project has received $13,000 as a seed grant from Veterans of Foreign Wars through the Assisi Foundation. Application has been made to the Assisi Foundation and the WH Durham Foundation for $290,000 to support five graduate students to conduct the interviews over the next three years. The completed interviews will be housed in both the Special Collections Department of the Ned W. McWherter Library at The University of Memphis and the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.

Veterans of World War II who would like to participate in the project are urged to call the Oral History Research Office at 901.678.2524.


Newsletter of African and African American Studies features several persons in History

[8 November 2005] African and African American Studies has just published the first issue of its twice-yearly newsletter Me te ase (Akan for: “What I hear, I understand”). Many of the articles are by or about persons in the Department of History, The University of Memphis. Dr Beverly Bond has a message in her capacity as Director of the program. Dr Dennis Laumann contributed an article about the Study Abroad in Ghana program which he led during the summer. The article includes many color photographs, some of which were in the report that Dr Bond made recently to the departmental blog about the trip. Other photographs weren’t in that report (such as the one of Dr Laumann modeling newly woven Kente cloth). Several students, including doctoral candidate Reggie Ellis, wrote of their experiences on the trip. Mr Ellis, with Kay Lewary, also wrote a report on the recent lecture by Dr Joseph Inikori on “Morality, Causes and Effects, and the Historiography of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” Jesse Lipford (M.A. in History, 2003) is one of the instructors of AAAS2000, “Introduction to African and African American Studies,” featured in the article “Teaching the African Diaspora.”


Dr Dennis Laumann and Dr Doug Cupples nominated for Distinguished Teaching Award

[7 November 2005] Dr Dennis Laumann, Assistant Professor, and Dr Doug Cupples, Instructor, both of the Department of History, The University of Memphis, have received sufficient votes from faculty, students, and alumni to qualify for the final steps to become one of four recipients of the 2005/2006 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Since the institution of the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1967, the following current members of the Department of History have received it: Dr Beverly G. Bond, Dr Walter R. Brown, Dr James R. Chumney, Dr Charles W. Crawford, Dr Robert J. Frankle (twice), and Dr C. Edward Skeen. In addition, former members of the department Dr William R. Gillaspie, Dr Marcus W. Orr, and Dr Major L. Wilson (twice) have received the award.


Dr Steven Hahn lectures on “Can Slaves Practice Politics?” in Belle McWilliams series

Hahn and audience

[27 October 2005] Dr Steven Hahn, Roy F. and Jeanette P. Nichols Professor of American History at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke this evening in 200 Mitchell on the subject of “Can Slaves Practice Politics?" in the Belle McWilliams Lecture Series. He described how slaves, through their communal activities, laid the basis for activism during and after the Civil War and eventually paved the way for later grassroots mobilization. Hahn’s view is that slavery was a formulative period for African-American political thought.

According to Hahn, the assumption that slaves were politically inert has determined much earlier historical writing, and challenging that assumption can open up many areas of investigation. He argued that the franchise was not the only — or even the primary — political activity. Much political activity before and after slavery was conducted through paramilitary organizations, and much of the violence of the Reconstruction era was not an abberation but an extension and redeployment of earlier paramilitarism. The Ku Klux Klan, for example, was an extension of the slave patrol. More and more, he said, historians are beginning to recognize that the American Civil War represented two rebellions, one being the Southern states against national authority and the other being slaves against their masters. Hahn contended further that with the exception of a few historians like Herbert Gutman, historians of American labor movements have mistakenly excluded slaves on the assumption that they contributed nothing to workers’ struggles.

Hahn close-up

Slaves, Hahn said, formed aspirations and networks of organizations that would shape aspirations and organizations after the achievement of freedom. The slaves were trying to keep families together and to achieve some degree of economic and social autonomy. In the postwar period, as they had during the slavery period, blacks formed groups based on kinship and labor, disregarding normal party organization, the regular geographical units of political organization, and gender conventions. He cited a Union League chapter in Caswell County, North Carolina, that consisted largely of several families or persons who had worked together in slavery times. Black women, Hahn said, were often important in political movements; although they did not vote, they may have thought of the franchise as being collective instead of individual. The drive for autonomy was reflected in the postwar period by numerous separate organizations such as churches, fraternal and benevolent associations, educational institutions, newspapers, and the creation of black towns. Early movements urging migration to other parts of the United States or to Liberia were strongly reflected later in Marcus Garvey’s “Back to Africa” movement, the Great Migration, and the Black Nationalism movement.

Hahn stressed the importance of circuits of communication capable of spreading news from both far and near. An especially important circuit in the slavery period was rumors. Rumors, he said, could be interpreted as indications of the aspirations of slaves, particularly as to land distributions, causing political mobilization before the franchise became an issue.

Dr Hahn, a specialist in the history of the American South and the comparative history of slavery and emancipation, has written A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (2003), which won the Bancroft Prize, the Organization of American Historians’ Merle Curti Prize in Social History, and the Pulitzer Prize for history; and The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890 (1983), which won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award. He is coeditor of The Countryside in the Age of Capitalist Transformation: Essays in the Social History of Rural America (1985) and the forthcoming Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, Land, and Labor in 1865. He is a member of the 2005-2006 Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program.

The lecture was sponsored theDepartment of History, African and African-American Studies, the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities, and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change.


Central Library in Memphis Public Library system renamed for Dr Benjamin L. Hooks

[27 October 2005] In a ceremony held today at the library, the Central Library in the Memphis Public Library system at 3030 Poplar Avenue was renamed the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library in honor of Dr Benjamin L. Hooks. At the ceremony Dr Hooks spoke of how books had been important in his life since his early childhood and announced that he and his wife Frances had donated $10,000 to the Library Foundation. Dr Hooks noted that his grandmother had been ejected from the Cossitt Library in the early 20th century for attempting to check out a book there, and his niece had been arrested and jailed, along with other students, in the 1960s for attempting to use the old main library at Peabody and McLean. He remarked that it was therefore a great honor for a library to be named for a black person, something which he would never have thought possible.

Dr Hooks has had a varied career, becoming the first black Criminal Court judge in the state of Tennessee since the Reconstruction era in 1965 and the first black member of the Federal Communications Commission in 1972. He was Executive Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 1977-1993, and he has been pastor of Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis for almost half a century. He is an adjunct member of the faculty of the Department of History, The University of Memphis, and the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University is named in his honor.


Ed Frank lectures on the Meriwethers at Friends of the University Libraries meeting

[26 October 2005] Edwin Frank, Curator, Special Collections, University Libraries, The University of Memphis, spoke today at a meeting of the Friends of the University Libraries on “The Meriwethers, Two Remarkable Memphians.” The Meriwether Family Papers are owned by the West Tennessee Historical Society and are housed in the Mississippi Valley Collection, which is part of Special Collections. Mr Frank (M.A. in history, 1999) wrote his thesis on “The Meriwethers of Memphis and Saint Louis.”


Drs Margaret Caffrey and Gary Edwards speak on race and slavery in the Old South for High School Scholars Seminar

[20 October 2005] In the second program of this semester’s series this afternoon, Dr Margaret Caffrey, Associate Professor, Department of History, spoke on “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings” and Dr Gary Edwards, Instructor, Department of History, spoke on “African-American Slaveholders” for the High School Scholars Seminar.

The Seminar, coordinated by Dr Robert Gudmestad, Assistant Professor, Department of History, is intended primarily for high-school students in the Memphis area.


Dr Daniel Unowsky leads discussion for Phi Alpha Theta film

[19 October 2005] Dr Daniel Unowsky, Associate Professor, Department of History, led a discussion of the film “Europa, Europa” at this evening’s Phi Alpha Theta Film Night.


Dr Janann Sherman conducts film series on Americans in World War II at Germantown Community Library

[17 October 2005] Dr Janann Sherman, Olin Atkins Professor and Chair, Department of History, The University of Memphis, conducted a film series entitled From Rosie to Roosevelt: A Film History of Americans in World War II at the Germantown Community Library from 12 September through 17 October 2005. The films in the series were

  • The Home Front, a series of three short films of social and economic history of America during the war years
  • The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, about women’s experiences in war industry
  • The Color of Honor, regarding Japanese Americans in internment and combat experiences
  • Proudly We Served: The Men of the U.S.S. Mason, a Navy warship manned by a predominantly African American crew
  • America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference
  • D-Day

Department of History showcased at Arts and Sciences Alumni Chapter meeting

[12 October 2005] The Arts and Sciences Alumni Chapter’s initial “Back to School Night” of the season featured the Department of History. Four members of the faculty made presentations about their research activities. Dr Kevin Martin spoke on “Living and researching in a ‘rogue state’” (Syria), Dr Guiomar Dueñas-Vargas on “Women and children in 19th-century Colombia,” Dr Peter Brand on “The Hypostyle Hall Project,” and Dr Arwin Smallwood on “Merging Native American and African American culture in North Carolina.”

Here are some pictures from the meeting:

Photo1 Photo2 Photo3 Photo4 Photo5 Photo6

Dr Dennis Laumann leads discussion of Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation

[11 October 2005] Dr Dennis Laumann, Assistant Professor, Department of History, led a discussion this afternoon of Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. The discussion was one of four seminars on the works of Dr Singer sponsored by the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities.


Paul White speaks at hospital site featured in James Jones’s last novel, Whistle

[9 October 2005]  As part of the 15th Annual Symposium of the James Jones Literary Society held in Memphis on 8-9 October and co-sponsored by the Department of English, Paul White, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, lectured at Building 48 on the South Campus of The University of Memphis on the morning of 9 October.

During the Second World War, what is now the South Campus was Kennedy General Hospital, and Building 48 was the actual ward of the hospital in which Jones was recovering during the period May-October 1943 from severe wounds received at the battle of Guadalcanal (Jones had earlier survived the Pearl Harbor attack). Jones later wrote three works about his wartime experiences: From Here to Eternity (1951, about Pearl Harbor; made into a motion picture in 1953), The Thin Red Line (1962, about Guadalcanal), and Whistle (incomplete at Jones’s death in 1977, completed by Willie Morris and published posthumously in 1978, about his experiences in Memphis).

Mr White spoke about Jones’s transportation to the hospital, the medical care he received in 1943, his personal feelings of isolation in a building of strangers, and his experiences in wartime Memphis. Mr White’s dissertation is on Kennedy General Hospital, and Jones’s experiences are an important part of the narrative.


Book cover

Dr Daniel Unowsky’s book on imperial celebrations in Habsburg Austria published by Purdue University Press

[7 October 2005] Purdue University Press has just published The Pomp and Politics of Patriotism: Imperial Celebrations in Habsburg Austria (1848-1916), written by Dr Daniel Unowsky, Associate Professor, Department of History. The press describes the book in the following terms:

This book examines the promotion and reception of the image of Franz Joseph (Habsburg emperor from 1848-1916) as a symbol of common identity in the Austrian half of the Habsburg Monarchy (Cisleithania). In the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century the promotion of the cult of the emperor encouraged a Cisleithania-wide culture of imperial celebration.


Dr Arwin Smallwood speaks on child slaves in early America for Phi Alpha Theta

[7 October 2005] Dr Arwin Smallwood, Associate Professor, Department of History, spoke today on “Child Slaves in Early America” in a presentation to Phi Alpha Theta, Epsilon Nu chapter. Phi Alpha Theta meets monthly for a pizza luncheon and presentation and discussion about a historical topic. This was the second program on this year’s series theme, “Extraordinary Youth in History.”


Graduate Association for African American History hosts 7th annual graduate conference on African American history

[30 September 2005]  The Graduate Association for African American History (GAAAH) hosted its 7th Annual Graduate Conference on African American History September 28-30. The conference was co-sponsored by the Department of History, the College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Memphis Foundation, the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change, the Student Activities Council, the African and African American Studies program, and the Graduate History Association.

Held at the campus Holiday Inn for the first time, this year’s conference had the theme of “African Americans in Southern Small Cities, Towns, and Rural Communities.” It attracted students from a wider geographic area than usual, including Purdue University, Brown University, Howard University, and Temple University. Over three days, eight paper sessions were held, ranging from “The Evolution of Black Education in the Jim Crow Era” to “Expressing Blackness in College: African American Sororities and Fraternities on Southern White and Black College Campuses.” There was also a roundtable on black women and the prison system.

GAAAH was able to attract not only an impressive array of emerging scholars but also two prominent African American scholars as speakers. Wednesday’s keynote address was delivered by Dr. Daniel C. Littlefield, Carolina Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and author of Rice and Slaves: Ethnicity and the Slave Trade in Colonial South Carolina and Revolutionary Citizens: African Americans, 1776-1804. The featured speaker during Friday’s luncheon was Dr. Beverly Bunch-Lyons, Associate Professor of History at Virginia Tech University and author of Contested Terrain: African American Women Migrate from the South to Cincinnati, 1900-1950.

Next year’s theme will be “From Slavery to Freedom.” GAAAH hopes to bring Dr John Hope Franklin as the keynote speaker.


Drs Robert Frankle and Maurice Crouse speak on magic and witchcraft for High School Scholars’ Seminar

[29 September 2005] In the first presentations of the new academic year, Dr Robert Frankle, Associate Professor, Department of History, spoke this afternoon on “Witches and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe” and Dr Maurice Crouse, Professor, Department of History, spoke on “The Devil in Massachusetts” for the High School Scholars’ Seminar.

The Seminar, coordinated by Dr Robert Gudmestad, Assistant Professor, Department of History, is intended primarily for high-school students in the Memphis area.


Dr Janann Sherman reads for Banned Books Week

[28 September 2005] Dr Janann Sherman, Olin Atkins Professor and Chair, Department of History, read Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings this afternoon as part of the University Libraries’ observance of Banned Books Week.


Book cover

Reginald Ellis and Shirletta Kinchen publish chapters in new book on Florida’s African-American history

[19 September 2005] Reginald Ellis, Teaching Assistant, and Shirletta Kinchen, Graduate Assistant, Department of History, have chapters in Go Sound the Trumpet: Selections in Florida’s African American History, edited by David H. Jackson, Jr. and Canter Brown, Jr., published in 2005 by the University of Tampa Press. Mr Ellis wrote “Nathan B. Young: Florida A&M College’s Second President and His Relations with White Public Officials” and Ms Kinchen wrote “The Experience of Pioneering Women Educators.”

Darius Young, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, assisted in the production of the book.

Dr Jackson served not only as one of the editors but also as author of a chapter on “Booker T. Washington’s Tour of the Sunshine State, March 1912.” Dr Jackson received his Ph.D. in history from The University of Memphis in 1997. His dissertation, written under the direction of Dr Kenneth Goings, was Charles Banks: A Black Leader in Mississippi, 1873-1915.


Dr Joseph Hawes delivers presidential address at convention of the Society for the History of Children and Youth

[16 September 2005] Dr Joseph Hawes, Professor, Department of History, gave the presidential address on 4 August 2005 at the biennial convention of the Society for the History of Children and Youth, held 4-7 August at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr Hawes had served as president of the organization since 2003 and was turning over the office to the incoming president, Dr Kriste Lindenmeyer, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

The address is available online in the newsletter of the society.


Dr Robert Gudmestad speaks on Andrew Jackson for Phi Alpha Theta

[16 September 2005] Dr Robert Gudmestad, Assistant Professor, Department of History, spoke today on “Andrew Jackson’s Reckless Youth” in a presentation to Phi Alpha Theta, Epsilon Nu chapter. Phi Alpha Theta meets monthly for a pizza luncheon and presentation and discussion about a historical topic. This was the first program on this year’s series theme, “Extraordinary Youth in History.”


New page on courses added to departmental Web site

[7 September 2005] There is a new page on the departmental Web site about the courses we offer. You will find a link to it in the top menu, between About faculty and History happenings. The page has links to schedules of classes and course descriptions. Perhaps the most useful feature links to a schedule of current classes in History, which lists place, time, name of instructor, and (if available) links to online course syllabi.


Bob Brown and Karen Bradley featured in August Update

[31 August 2005] Don’t throw away the August issue of Update without reading it. Bob Brown and Karen Bradley are both featured in it for the awards they received recently. As we’ve reported here, Dr Brown won a Distinguished Advising Award and Ms Bradley won a Distinguished Employee of the Year Award. The article on Dr Brown (page 2) doesn’t add a great deal to what we reported, but the article on Ms Bradley (page 5) has some information about her background that you may not have seen before. Both articles have photographs (pages 2 and 8), similar to or identical with ones you’ve seen on this Web site.

Update is a print-only publication, so there is nothing to link to. If you’ve already discarded the issue without looking at it, rescue it or find a fresh copy.


Dr James Blythe receives Dunavant Faculty Award from the College of Arts and Sciences

[24 August 2005] Dr James Blythe, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History, received a Dunavant Faculty Award at the meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences this afternoon.

The Dunavant awards are endowed by a generous gift from William Dunavant. Awardees receive $5,000 per year for three years to support their research programs. The awards are given to tenured faculty who:

  • Have served as members of the University of Memphis faculty for a minimum of eight years
  • Are associate or full professors
  • Demonstrate exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, service, and outreach

Dean Henry Kurtz, in making the award, used excerpts from a letter of nomination by Dr Janann Sherman, Chair, Department of History:

“Dr. Blythe has served this department and the university energetically and enthusiastically for thirteen years. His research is path-breaking and exemplary, his teaching is consistently rated as excellent, and his service to the department and the university is broad and tireless.

“Blythe has published two books and many articles. His current research centers around the life and work of Ptolemy of Lucca (c.1236-c.1327), one of the most original and important medieval political thinkers, but one long neglected by modern scholars. Ptolemy originated many ideas that later became common: he was the first medieval writer to attack monarchy in principle and the first to use the term ’republican’ in the modern sense opposed to monarchy. . . .

“Since Blythe published a translation of and commentary on Ptolemy’s major work in 1997 and afterward a series of articles concerning Ptolemy and other writers, other scholars have increasingly cited Ptolemy and sought his influence on later writers. One of the most prominent scholars of medieval political thought, Cary J. Nederman, has written about his work: ‘The recent work of James M. Blythe on Ptolemy is indispensable....Blythe is presently completing a book length study of Ptolemy’s political thought that will complete the process of recovering this long-neglected figure.’

“During a PDA in Fall 2004, Dr. Blythe completed a 350-page draft of this book, and will be finishing it in about one year. Establishing such a neglected figure as central to the history of political thought will potentially have a profound effect on our understanding of Western democracy. . . .

“In the course of all these contributions to the university and scholarship, Blythe has remained devoted to graduate and undergraduate teaching, and has consistently received excellent teaching evaluations. One sign of this is the fact that he now has seven Ph.D. students in a field that we do not emphasize and that in the past has produced no Ph.D.s. He has also been instrumental in revising the Ph.D. curriculum and in developing and teaching a new required Ph.D. course in the rapidly-expanding field of global history. . . .”


William Frazier participates in symposium on Arkansas’s role in the Mexican War

[20 August 2005] William Frazier, who received his M.A. in History from The University of Memphis in 2002, spoke this afternoon in the symposium “Ready, Booted & Spurred”: Arkansas & the U.S.-Mexican War. The symposium, which was held at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, was on Arkansas’s role in the Mexican War and the impact of that conflict on the Civil War 15 years later. Besides Frazier, who is guest curator of the Museum’s continuing exhibit “Try Us”: Arkansas & the U.S.-Mexican War, the speakers included Dr. Elliot West, Alumni Distinguished Professor, Department of History, University of Arkansas; and Dr. Donald Shaw Frazier, Professor, Department of History, McMurry University, and Executive Director, McWhiney Foundation.


Dr Stephen Stein moderates panel discussion on World War II

[17 August 2005] Dr Stephen Stein, Instructor, Department of History, moderated a panel this afternoon entitled “The Veterans Speak: Memories from the Pacific Theatre.” This was the third in a series of programs on the Second World War entitled “60 Years After,” sponsored by Friends of the University Libraries. The panelists included Dr John Lasley Dameron, Mr Howard Lee, and Dr Ernest Withers, all of whom served in many interesting capacities with the United States armed forces in the Pacific during the war years.


Hooks Institute receives $248,000 grant for civic education project

[28 July 2005] The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change a grant of $248,000 to support the Institute’s project “Civic Education for Social Change.” Dr D’Ann Penner, Associate Professor of History, is Director of the Institute.

Each year since 1998, the Hooks Institute has brought elementary- and secondary-school students to The University of Memphis campus for a program on the history of the Civil Rights Movement. In the past six years, over two thousand students have attended, many of them many at-risk children who are on a university campus for the first time, where they have been introduced to the possibility of attending college. Dr Benjamin Hooks and guest speakers have presented programs on such diverse topics as “Voting: Why Bother?”; “Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and the Civil Rights Movement” ; and “Predatory Lending: Don’t Be Fooled.”


Local television stations interview Dr Charles W. Crawford and Dr Douglas Cupples

[27 July 2005] Dr Charles W. Crawford and Dr Douglas Cupples were interviewed recently by local television stations about historical subjects. WKNO interviewed Dr Crawford for a documentary program that it is preparing on former Memphis Mayor E. H. “Boss” Crump. The program is tentatively scheduled to be shown in late 2005. Channel 24 interviewed Dr Cupples about General Nathan Bedford Forrest Park and the current controversy over the renaming of public parks in Memphis. The interview was for a newscast today by ABC 24 Eyewitness News.


Funeral services for Charles Ferris

[16 July 2005] Charles Ferris, doctoral candidate in the Department of History, died Wednesday, 12 July. There was a graveside service at Temple Israel Cemetery, 1708 Hernando Road, Memphis, Tennessee 38106, at 1 pm on Thursday, 14 July.

Mr Ferris had completed course work and was engaged in writing a dissertation on “Jews in Mississippi and the Civil Rights Movement” at the time of his death.


Jim Dickinson produces two recordings, will perform in future release

[13 July 2005] Jim Dickinson, who received his B.S. in history from The University of Memphis in 1966, was the subject of a lengthy article in the Commercial Appeal on 1 July 2005. He has recently produced new releases by John Hiatt (Master of Disaster, on which Dickinson’s sons Luther and Cody also performed) and the group Lucero (Nobody’s Darlings). He will also be featured along with his sons as the North Mississippi Allstars on an album entitled Blue Electric Watermelon to be released in September.


Susan Matlock featured in article in The Birmingham News

[13 July 2005] Susan Matlock, who received a B.A. in history from The University of Memphis in 1974, was featured in an article of 29 May 2005 in The Birmingham News. Ms Matlock has had a career in banking and health services in Birmingham and is Founding President of the Entrepreneurial Center and Executive Director of the Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries Technology Center at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.


Brenda J. Waggoner named Outstanding Alumna of 2005 by East Tennessee State University Alumni Association

[13 July 2005] Brenda J. Waggoner, who received an M.A. in history from The University of Memphis in 1973, has been named Outstanding Alumna of 2005 by the East Tennessee State University Alumni Association. She came to The University of Memphis after graduating in 1971 from East Tennessee State University, where she earned four letters in women’s basketball and volleyball. She received an ETSU Alumni Award of Honor in 1990 and was inducted into the ETSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. She earned her law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1978. Ms Waggoner has been a Knox County General Sessions Court Judge for almost twenty years.


Dr Jonathan Judaken and Dr Daniel Unowsky receive tenure and promotion to Associate Professor

[30 June 2005] Dr Jonathan Judaken and Dr Daniel Unowsky, currently Assistant Professors of History, have been granted tenure and have been promoted to Associate Professor, effective at the beginning of the academic year 2005-2006.


Dr Joseph Hawes moderates panel discussion on World War II

[29 June 2005] Dr Joseph M. Hawes, Professor of History, moderated a panel discussion this afternoon on the impact of the Second World War as reflected in contemporary Europe and America, on the 60th anniversary of the end of the war. The panel, the first of a three-part series on the impact of the war, was sponsored by Friends of the University Libraries. Others on the panel were Dr Frank M. Buscher, Dean, School of Arts, Christian Brothers University; Dr Nele Hempel, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Director of Women’s Studies; and Dr H. Pierre Secher, Professor Emeritus, Political Science.


Karen Bradley named Distinguished Employee of the Year at The University of Memphis

[Award] [Award]

[15 June 2005] Karen Bradley, Senior Administrative Secretary (Office Manager) for the Department of History, has won an award from The University of Memphis as Distinguished Employee of the Year. The award, presented this afternoon at Appreciation Day in the Rose Theatre by Dr Henry Kurtz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, carries with it a crystal prism plaque with the University’s shield embedded in it (pictured at left and right, under very different lighting conditions) and a check.

Ms Bradley’s award is one of several that she has won recently. As a step toward winning the current award, she had previously this year won the University’s Outstanding Employee award for Period 2 of the year (read our article on that award), and last year she received the Dean’s Outstanding Clerical Award in the College of Arts and Sciences.

* * * * *

Some excerpts from the letters of support written by Dr Janann Sherman, Chair, Department of History, and Dr Charles W. Crawford, Director, Oral History Research Office:

“. . . unfailingly cheerful, attentive, well-informed and helpful. Those are traits she demonstrates not just to me but to everyone who seeks her assistance.”

“There are many more superlatives I could apply to Karen. The most telling, I believe, is her unflagging commitment to doing the highest quality work in support of this department, often taking materials home or staying several hours late at the office. She stays on top of a thousand different tasks a day and does them willingly and thoroughly. Most of all, I appreciate the way that she makes me look good.”

“The quality of her work is superior, and her commitment to excellence is well known by everyone with whom she works.”

“Those privileged to have worked with her know the energy and skills that she brings to her managerial and supervisory duties. Whatever the undertaking, her work always demonstrates a dedication to the mission of the university and this department that few can equal.”

“Unfailingly positive in her attitude, she encourages others to complete their assignments and meet deadlines by her own example and by her absolute confidence in the ability of each person to handle his or her tasks.”

“Perhaps her most appreciated contribution is her making our department a pleasant place in which to work — to teach, to counsel, and to learn. Every student who has a problem receives personal attention and the assurance that someone truly cares about him or her as an individual. Whenever faculty and staff suffer illness or other losses, she makes sure that personal difficulties are known and that appropriate action is taken to keep the department running smoothly. Her caring and compassion provides direction for us all, and we appreciate it.”

“It is a great pleasure for me to nominate her for the Outstanding Employee Award, and that pleasure is doubled by the knowledge that I express the feelings of all the others who work in this department.”

* * * * *

The following pictures appeared originally on the U of M Employee Relations page, which had articles and pictures of other winners of awards:

[Awards ceremony]
Karen Bradley with President Raines and Dean Kurtz

[Awards ceremony 2]
Karen Bradley with other winners of awards


Quilt created by history class now on display in Mitchell Hall lobby

[9 June 2005] As part of History 7980/8980, “Thematic Studies in American History — Parallel Lives: Black and White Women in American History,” taught by Dr Janann Sherman and Dr Beverly Bond in the Spring semester, each student created a quilt square showing the different relationships, roles, challenges, and triumphs of black and white women in American history. The squares were then made into a quilt which is now on display in the lobby of the second floor of Mitchell Hall. There is also a statement written by each student, interpreting the symbolism of his or her quilt square.


[Quilt]


Elton Weaver wins Southern Regional Education Board dissertation fellowship

[4 June 2005] Elton Weaver has won a dissertation fellowship from the Southern Regional Education Board. This highly competitive award is for doctoral students working in their dissertation stage who plan to become full-time faculty members upon completion of their doctoral program. It provides a stipend, a waiver of tuition and fees, an allowance for research expenses and for expenses to attend the Doctoral Scholars Program annual meeting, the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. This year’s meeting will be held in Arlington, Virginia, October 27-30, 2005.


Dr James McSwain publishes article in Journal of Southern History

[3 June 2005] Dr James B. McSwain, who received his Ph.D. in history from The University of Memphis in 1986, has an article entitled “Urban Government and Environmental Policies: Regulating the Storage and Distribution of Fuel Oil in Houston, Texas, 1901-1915” in the May 2005 issue of the Journal of Southern History. Dr McSwain is an associate professor of history at Tuskegee University. He has been book review editor of the Gulf South Historical Review since 1989.


William Frazier curates “Try Us”: Arkansas & the U. S.-Mexican War

[26 May 2005] Only ten years after Arkansas entered the Union, trouble was brewing in the Southwest over border disputes with Mexico about Texas and the darker issues of Manifest Destiny, the urge to expand to the Pacific Ocean, and southern slaveholders’ desires to gain new slave states. Many men in Arkansas fought for more personal reasons: to test their mettle in combat and to advance their political careers through military glory. William Frazier, who received his M. A. degree in history from The University of Memphis in 2002 and is working on a book on Arkansas’ participation in that war, is the curator of an exhibit that borrows its title “Try us” from the motto of one of the Arkansas companies engaged in the conflict.

“Try Us” is the museum’s first bilingual exhibit. Laura Herrera, curator for the National Museum of the Interventions of the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, Mexico, will portray Mexico’s role in the war, and how the war has influenced the country’s present-day relationship with the United States.

The exhibit at the Old State House Museum, 300 W. Markham, Little Rock, Arkansas, opens on Friday, 17 June. A special exhibit opening celebration will be held on Saturday, 18 June, from 11 am to 9 pm. Re-enactors will present flags from the citizens of Little Rock to Arkansas soldiers who headed off to fight in Mexico. In the afternoon visitors may interact with historical characters, listen to patriotic speeches, experience living history demonstrations, eat barbecue, and see the exhibit. That evening there will be a send-off ball for the “troops” on the front lawn of the Old State House, in which visitors and re-enactors may join in period dances and listen to authentic music.

The exhibit and the opening celebration are free and open to the public.

The exhibit will remain open until late 2006.


Dr Peggy Jemison Bodine Dissertation Fellowship Award

[11 May 2005] The Department of History is pleased to announce the Dr Peggy Jemison Bodine Dissertation Fellowship Award. Dr Jemison received her Ph.D. in history from The University of Memphis in 1992, with a dissertation on “The History of Housing and Community Development in Memphis and Its Impact on Selected Neighborhoods,” directed by Dr David Tucker. For her 80th birthday, her son, Frank Jemison Jr., endowed this fellowship in her name. It is to be used to support doctoral students working on their dissertations.


Joe Frazer chosen to lead Graduate Student Association

[10 May 2005] Joe Frazer, Teaching Assistant, has been elected President of the Graduate Student Association at The University of Memphis for the academic year 2005-2006. He has been serving as Vice President for 2004-2005.


Dr Kent Moran featured in Memphis magazine

[9 May 2005] Dr Kent Moran, who received his Ph.D. in history from The University of Memphis in 1999, was featured in “Citybeat” in the May issue of Memphis magazine. The one-page article discussed his position as “one of only 10 earthquake historians nationally.” He works for the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at The University of Memphis, investigating historical records of earthquakes through electronic databases, state archives, old newspapers, land survey books, railroad repair records, personal letters, and diaries.


Stephen Rogers wins assistantship at Alabama

[6 May 2005] Stephen Rogers, who is graduating with an honors degree in history, has been awarded an assistantship to begin graduate study in early modern European history at the University of Alabama, beginning in the Fall.


James Goodman wins scholarship in Arabic language program

[6 May 2005]  History major James Goodman has been awarded a $2,500 scholarship to attend an intensive Arabic language program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., this summer.


Trent Booker receives position at Northwest Mississippi

[5 May 2005] Trent Booker, Teaching Assistant, has received a full-time teaching position at Northwest Mississippi Community College.


New Web sites for Graduate History Association and Graduate Association for African-American History

[4 May 2005] Two student organizations — the Graduate History Association and the Graduate Association for African-American History — have had accounts granted on UMdrive for their Web pages. At the moment both sites are very much “under construction,” but they will be developed soon. If you want to bookmark the sites for your browser, use https://umdrive.memphis.edu/g-gha/www/ for the GHA and https://umdrive.memphis.edu/g-gaaah/www/ for the GAAAH.


Dr Randolph Meade Walker and Dr Major L. Wilson speak at Lincoln exhibit

[29 April 2005] Dr Randolph Meade Walker and Dr Major L. Wilson spoke this evening at the opening of the exhibit Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation at the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. They will also conduct a panel discussion on Lincoln at the Library at 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 5. Dr Walker, who received his Ph.D. in history from The University of Memphis in 1990, is the former director of LeMoyne-Owen College’s Center for African-American Studies and currently is the senior pastor at Castalia Baptist Church. Dr Wilson is Professor Emeritus of History at The University of Memphis. He has published several articles on Lincoln, made presentations at the Lincoln Conferences at Gettysburg College, and served as a referee for the Lincoln Prize.

The photographs are courtesy of Dr Doug Cupples.

Walker
Dr Walker

Wilson
Dr Wilson


Dr Walter R. Brown wins Distinguished Advising Award

[28 April 2005] At the 18th annual Faculty Convocation, held this afternoon in the Rose Theatre, Dr Walter R. Brown received the Distinguished Advising Award. The following citation was read during the ceremony:

The success and satisfaction of our students is greatly enhanced because they have received good advice from informed and caring individuals on our campus. This year, we are continuing the tradition of honoring our outstanding advisors. The first Distinguished Advising award has been earned by Dr. Walter R. (Bob) Brown, an Associate Professor in the Department of History.

Dr. Brown, a graduate of Emory University, has served as an advisor to students since joining the faculty at the University of Memphis in 1965. As department coordinator for undergraduate advising and in his faculty role, Dr. Brown has worked with literally thousands of students, helping them to develop their academic and personal skills. Since 1988, he and one other colleague have served as advisors to all of the undergraduate majors in history, which is one of the largest undergraduate departments on our campus. He takes every student seriously and gives them the opportunity to form a lasting personal and professional relationship with him as a teacher and an advisor. Students appreciate his availability, his knowledge, and his concern for their well-being. They speak of “his brilliant mind” and his kindness, congeniality, and magnanimous spirit that make him an inspiration to them in their studies and an enduring friend.

Congratulations, Dr. Brown.


Dr Skeen’s retirement party

[25 April 2005] Dr C. Edward Skeen is retiring after 37 years as a member of the Department of History. The Department had a retirement lunch for him on April 22, when faculty, family, and friends honored him with gifts and tributes for his service. Below are some photographs made by Dr Doug Cupples.

Among the many accomplishments during his career, Dr Skeen published three books and many articles, received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and founded and for many years coordinated the High School Scholars Seminar as an outreach program of the Department. (For more information, read his biographical sketch.)

Although he is officially retiring, Dr Skeen will be teaching courses over the next several years under the post-retirement employment arrangement. He also plans to work on another book to complement the ones he wrote while teaching actively. In his remarks at the retirement lunch, he said that he, like Douglas MacArthur, would therefore “just fade away.”

First photo
Dr Skeen and Dr Janann Sherman, Chair, Department of History

Second photo
Dr Skeen and his wife Linda and his daughter Marianne

Third photo
Dr Skeen and Dr Marty Lipinski, Chair, Civil Engineering

Fourth photo
Dr Beverly Bond, History, and Dr Major L. Wilson, Professor Emeritus


Students win awards at annual Department of History ceremony

[20 April 2005] The following awards were made at the annual Department of History awards ceremony and Phi Alpha Theta initiation, held at the Fogelman Executive Center on April 16:

Most outstanding M. A. thesis  Michael A. Negron, “Irving Kristol and Neoconservatives: Bolsheviks of the Right”
Most outstanding Ph.D. dissertation  Stephen H. Patterson, “Tin Gods on Wheels: Gentlemanly Honor and the Imperial Ideal in India”
Major L. Wilson paper prize Undergraduate: John E. Marquart, “Dueling: Its Form and Function in the Early American Republic”
Graduate: Richard A. Chandonnet, “Quantitative Methods in Historical Research”
Tennessee Historical Commission Prize to History major graduating with the highest GPA Hearie Lee
Ruth and Harry Woodbury Graduate Fellowship in Southern History Vickie H. Peters
Belle McWilliams Scholarships in U. S. History Karla Castillo, Angie Price, Miriam Wrye
Best Adjunct Instructor Jesse Lipford
Best Graduate Student Teacher Whitney Huey
Phi Alpha Theta initiates Undergraduates: Gwynneth E. Bradley, James Goodman, James P. Graves, Jr., Linda J. Harris, Stephen D. Johnson, Woodard R. Joyner, Benjamin E. McCaslin, Emily Shaeffer, Chris Tran
Graduates: W. Greg Bryan, Richard A. Chandonnet, Reginald Ellis, Ryan B. Pennel, John Tyler Stephenson, Marilyn H. Taylor, Kurt Werner, Frank Williams

  These two awards are new this year and will be awarded every two years for theses and dissertations written during the preceding two years.


Amanda Sanders wins Outstanding Full-Time Clerical Employee award

[12 April 2005] Amanda Sanders, Office Assistant for the Department of History, received the award for Outstanding Full-Time Clerical Employee in the College of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony today in the Rose Theatre. (Karen Bradley, who manages the office for the Department of History, received the award last year.)


Amanda’s award

Ann Mulhearn wins paper prize

[29 March 2005] Ann Mulhearn, Teaching Assistant, won the Ben Proctor Prize for the best paper presented at the Southwestern Social Science Association meeting last weekend in New Orleans. The prize was sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta and included a “monetary stipend.” Her paper, taken from her master’s thesis, was “Dangerous Liaisons: The Louisiana Farmers’ Alliance, the Anti-Lottery League, and the Gubernatorial Election of 1892.”


Karen Bradley wins University’s Outstanding Employee Award

[20 February 2005] Last year, Karen Bradley, who manages the office for the Department of History, won the Dean’s Outstanding Clerical Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. Now she has added the award from the University. We always knew she was good, and now the rest of the University knows it too.

Here’s what the Web site for Business and Finance said about the award:

OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE (PERIOD 2)

Karen Bradley
Senior Administrative Secretary for the Department of History

Ms. Karen Bradley, Senior Administrative Secretary for the Department of History, was nominated by Dr. Janann Sherman and Dr. Charles W. Crawford. Both agree that the quality of Ms. Bradley’s work is superior and her commitment to excellence is well known. Bradley sets a great example for her colleagues by displaying a positive attitude and encouraging others to complete assignments and meet deadlines; her confidence in their abilities helps them to excel in their tasks. Her diligence and efficiency keeps the history department running smoothly and helps to maintain it as a pleasant place to work, teach, counsel, and learn. Bradley strives to give every student the personal attention he or she needs in order to solve his or her problem; her caring and compassionate attitude provides direction for the whole department. She has a strong commitment to her work, often taking materials home or staying late several hours at the office. The energy and skills that she brings to her position gets her recognized because most depend on her to navigate their duties and responsibilities, and this is why she received the Dean’s Outstanding Clerical Award for the School of Arts and Sciences. Unfailingly cheerful, attentive, well informed, and helpful are just a few adjectives to describe Ms. Bradley and this is why she exemplifies dedication to the mission of the University and her department.
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Last Updated: 3/12/14