Faculty in the News

April 28 2017
Associate Professor Qiong Zhang has received a Visiting International Fellowship from Kyoto University, Japan, where she will conduct research on the intra-East Asian circulation of meteorological knowledge in early modern times from May 15 to August 14, 2017.
April 24 2017
During the 2017-2018 academic year, Associate Professor Robert Hellyer will be in residence at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan supported by grants from that institute and by the Hakuho Foundation.  He will be completing a book on Japan's place in the global tea trade in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
April 24 2017
Assistant Professor Benjamin Coates' book, Legalist Empire: International Law and American Foreign Relations in the Early Twentieth Century, received an Honorable Mention for the Vincent P. DeSantis book prize, awarded every two years by the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era for the best first book on the history of the United States between 1865 and 1920. Read more about the prize and selection criteria here.
April 28 2017
Congratulations to History Department faculty who have published articles this year. This is just a sampling of the wonderful research that professors in the History Department are pursuing and publishing!
  • Professor Simone Caron, “‘Endeavoring to Carry on Their Work’: The National Debate over Midwives and its Impact in Rhode Island, 1890-1940,” Journal of Nursing History Review 25 (2017): 26-53.
  • Associate Professor Qiong Zhang, "The Jesuit Heresiological Discourse as Enlightenment Project in Early Modern China," has been published in Journal of World History, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2017): 31-60.
April 24 2017
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Benjamin Coates and Associate Professor Qiong Zhang, who were awarded Henry S. Stroupe History Faculty Fellowships for the 2017-2018 year.
April 21 2017
Congratulations to Professor Monique O'Connell on her promotion to full professor on April 21, 2017. Here she is being feted by Provost Rogan Kersh (l.) and Dean Michele Gillespie (r.), Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History.
April 12 2017
Assistant Professor Stephanie Koscak received a 2017 Innovative Teaching Award from the Teaching and Learning Center for her course, HST 325: "English Kings, Queens, and Spectacle. This is an elective course for History majors and minors in the field of European and/or Pre-Modern history. While adopting a broad approach to examine the wide variety of media forms through which politics took place (such as paintings, performances, engravings, books, and newspapers), one of the primary aims of this class is to explore the evolving relationship between the crown and the public sphere accompanying the invention and spread of print. The main innovation was twofold: first, to emphasize the role of print culture in early modern England and to teach students the skills of close critical analysis of original historical texts, Stephanie worked closely with Megan Mulder (Special Collections, Z. Smith Reynolds Library) so that each student researched a single archival object across the entire semester. Second, students produced a bibliographic and biographical history of their source that was published as an edited collection through Library Partners Press. Students developed highly original and perceptive arguments about early modern readers, about the political differences between multiple editions of single texts, and about how print culture affected the representation of specific rulers and authors.
February 27 2017

Did U.S. Anti-Immigrant Hysteria Doom the Passengers on the ‘St. Louis’? It’s Complicated.

Professor Barry Trachtenberg, Michael H. and Deborah Rubin Presidential Chair of Jewish History, published an essay in Tablet on the complicated history of the MS St. Louis and German Jewish refugees on the eve of the Second World War. As he demonstrates, the ship’s refugees seeking safe haven from the Nazis were victims of a global system that included America. "The journey of the MS St. Louis lasted only a period of a few weeks, and yet for many, it has come to symbolize American indifference to the desperation of German Jews seeking safety from Nazi oppression. According to the standard telling, a ship of German Jewish refugees arrived in the United States after being denied entry to Cuba, its initial destination. Rather than allow the passengers to enter the country and find safety from Nazi persecution, President Franklin D. Roosevelt cruelly turned the ship away. Out of options, the St. Louis returned to Europe and soon thereafter, its passengers, abandoned to their fate, died in the Holocaust. This account, with occasional variations, is frequently evoked in discussions of how the United States responded to the Nazi Holocaust. Some see in the story of the St. Louis evidence of American apathy toward the plight of Hitler’s victims. Others have gone so far as to argue that it proves that the United States acquiesced with German plans to exterminate European Jewry. Some see proof of a particular American anti-Semitism while others evoke the St. Louis as an ethical lesson in order to advocate on behalf of refugees from subsequent conflicts. As it turns out, the actual history of the St. Louis is far more complicated than this account allows. When understood correctly, it is less an example of how the United States responded to the Holocaust than it is one an illustration of the extent to which this difficult period is misunderstood and misrepresented." Continue reading here.