Dept. of History | 1356 Campus Drive, East Campus, 224 Classroom Bldg., Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719 | (919) 684-3014 | history.duke.edu vol. 2, May 2023
Welcome to our second issue, highlighting the accomplishments of the History Department's faculty, graduate students, and alumni, as well as events and other noteworthy topics. Suggestions and submissions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submission is no guarantee of inclusion.
"I’m delighted to announce that we will be joined in the fall by two wonderful new colleagues, Hannah Conway and Matthew Shutzer. Both will join as Assistant Professors. Hannah’s research is on the environmental history of the US South, with a focus on aging infrastructure and its environmental consequences. Matt’s research is on fossil fuel extraction in eastern India. Both have a strong interest in environmental activism and environmental justice. I am thrilled that our environmental history search has ended so successfully, with these two wonderful young scholars joining our ranks. It will be a great boost to environmental studies at Duke, and promises a bright future for environmental history in our department."
- Interim Department Chair Simon Partner
Congratulations to Calvin Cheung-Miaw, who has just been appointed the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of History.
Anna Krylova’s “Agency and History” and “Ideology, Power, and the Phantom of Agency: Reflection on the Responses” will appear in American Historical Review in June 2023. The Forum on the article includes William Sewell, Judith Walkowitz, Geoff Eley, Angela Zimmerman. Most recently, the forum has been joined by Vivien Tejada who also presented her critical comments on the article at the Methods Lab panel, March 6, 2023.
The Huntington Library has awarded Thavolia Glymph the Rogers Distinguished Fellowship in 19th Century American History to complete her manuscript entitled "Playing ‘Dixie’ in Egypt: Civil War Veterans in the Egyptian Army and Transnational Transcripts of Race, Nation, Empire, and Citizenship, 1869-1882."
Dr. Glymph also served as Jury Chair for the recently awarded 2023 Pulitzer Prize in History (winner: Freedom's Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power, by Jefferson Cowie).
Mona Hassan's Summer/Fall 2022 exhibition on "The Transformational History of Ar-Razzaq Islamic Center in Durham" in the main exhibition space of Perkins Library shared her research on the significant role of the state's first known mosque in the struggle for human rights and civil rights and how it provided essential educational and economic opportunities in the Triangle as well as a creative space fostering beauty and well-being. Hassan has also been serving on the Steering Committee for the AHA Middle East History Prize since 2020 and conveyed the good news that the American Historical Association's Academic Council voted in 2023 to approve the creation of a prize for the best book, or its scholarly equivalent, in Middle East history since the seventh century.
Oxford University Press will publish Bill Chafe's latest book, "Lifting the Chains: the Black American Freedom Struggle from Reconstruction" on August 29, 2023. With new evidence drawn from scores of oral history interviews conducted by Dr. Chafe and the graduate students in our oral history program since 1971, the book focuses on the up and down struggles for racial equality that occurred in both the 19th and 20th centuries.
John D. French spoke on “The Latest Insurrection: Brazilian Right-Wing Populism and its Implications” on February 15, 2023, as a guest of Perry World House Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
May 25-27, 2023, Dr. French will also be a keynote speaker comparing two working class socialist leaders, Lula of Brazil and August Bebel of Germany at a University of Toronto conference entitled “Work, Class, and Social Democracy in the Global Age of August Bebel (1840-1913).”
On May 11th, Dr. Duara delivered a lecture at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, India entitled ‘Biocultural Diversity and Agency in the Anthropocene.' The lecture follows the impact of deforestation and dam building on marginal peoples.
Dr. Duara was also interviewed for the European ARTE.TV documentary series, "LA CHINE, REVES et CAUCHEMARS" (China, Dreams and Nightmares) which is currently online, and will be airing on ARTE on May 23rd.
James Chappel recently published an essay called “The Frozen Politics of Social Security” for The Boston Review. It is available here.
(Pictured: “The Meaning of Social Security,” by Ben Shahn)
On May 8, 2023, Malachi Hacohen will present Jacob and Esau, Catastrophe, and Jewish European History, his inaugural lecture as Leibniz Professor at the University of Leipzig in Germany. Dr. Hacohen will use the biblical story of the rival twins, Jacob and Esau, and its subsequent retelling by Christians and Jews through the ages, as a lens through which to illuminate changing Jewish responses to catastrophe.
Along with six Duke undergraduate co-authors, Gunther Peck published an article last month in the Rutgers Law Review as part of an issue dedicated to the 26th Amendment that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1972. North Carolina’s support ratified the Amendment.
The article was the product of a year-long Bass research project called “Elections in a Pandemic.” The article has been generating good conversations among voting rights advocates, as well as policy makers in NC and DC. "Very fun to collaborate with these talented young people," Dr. Peck notes.
Karin Shapiro, together with Dan Letwin and Eric Arnesen, published “Campus activism at Yale: Fragmentary Memories and Reflections on the 1980s” in Safundi: The Journal of Southern African and American Studies. It’s part of a special issue on anti-apartheid activism on college campuses around the world.
Jocelyn Olcott will be a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton next year, where she will work on her current book, "Decolonizing Development: The Global South Foundations of Feminist Economics.” She continues to lead the Revaluing Care in the Global Economy network, which has focused this year on a work-in-progress seminar featuring emerging scholars and the development of an open-access annotated bibliography of care studies.
It is with no small amount of regret, but with exponentially more admiration and gratitude, that the History department bids farewell to professors Kristen Neuschel, Vasant Kaiwar, Sucheta Mazumdar, and Sally Deutsch. The collective decades of experience, dedication, and inspiration these four remarkable individuals have bestowed upon students and colleagues alike have been impactful beyond measure. They will each be sorely missed, professionally and personally, yet we wish them well in their richly-deserved retirement.
Department Officers will assume their new positions on July 1, 2023:
Sumathi Ramaswamy will reassume the role of Department Chair from Interim Chair Simon Partner.
Reeve Huston will relieve Thavolia Glymph to serve as Interim Associate Chair while Jocelyn Olcott is on leave in the coming year.
James Chappel will be assuming the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies from Interim DUS John French.
Jehangir Malegam will continue in his current role as Director of Graduate Studies, which he assumed from Dirk Bonker earlier in the year.
Many thanks to all of these individuals for past and future service.
Congratulations, Class of 2023!
On May 13th &14th, 2023, Bachelor and PhD degrees were awarded. Job well done!
The Spring 2023 issue of our undergraduate journal, Historia Nova: The Duke Historical Review, is complete. Check it out here.
Joshua Strayhorn will defend his dissertation in the summer and has accepted a National Park Service Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship. His work will focus on freedom seeking in the era of the American Revolution.
Nellie Sun is writing her senior thesis on Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), famous for his translations of Plato's Republic and the Dialogues with Introductory essays. These are still among the most popular translations of Plato's works. Jowett was also the Master of Balliol College, Oxford, and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. Over the Christmas break, Nellie went to Oxford to do some research on Jowett at the Bodleian Library and decided to apply to a Master's degree (M.St) at Oxford. Not only has she been admitted to pursue the degree but Oxford has assigned her to Balliol College! As it happens, Balliol College was also attended by Nellie's admiring advisor, Dr. Vasant Kaiwar.
As of December 1st, 2022, Reina Henderson is a doctoral candidate and has been awarded summer funding both with an SRF for Third-Years and Beyond, as well as a Summer FLAS for Haitian Creole to study at FIU in Miami. She is currently on a multi-city dissertation research trip across 8 US cities and nearly twice as many archives.
PhD Candidates Mohammed S. Ali and Arthur Braswell have both been admitted to the Summer School Institute Vienna Circle as part of an academic exchange program between Duke University and the University of Vienna. Mohammed looks forward to continuing his research on the ethical archetypes of environmental history as part of this summer's course on "Climate Science: Historical, Philosophical, and Sociological Issues." Arthur plans on using the seminar to further pursue his research on the environmental consequences of militarized landscapes in the US South.
In a homecoming of sorts, Alyssa Kuchinski will return to her home state of Ohio as a recipient of the Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship at Kenyon College, where she will be, indeed, teaching and continuing work on her dissertation.
A note from our Director of Graduate Studies recognizing other recently awarded grants and fellowships. Congratulations to all.
History Major Olga Gonzalez-Silen, (AB '02) went on to receive her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2014 and become a widely respected and published historian of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, with a focus on Venezuela, Spain, and the United States. Recently, Gonzalez-Silen submitted the completed manuscript of a book about a New York merchant’s travelogue that sheds light onto the Caribbean during this volatile period. In preparation for this project, the historian tweeted an edited, interactive version of the merchant’s diary at @peyster1812 - an experience that has led to invited talks about how to use Twitter to disseminate historical knowledge to a broader public.
Garrett McKinnon (PhD '22): Garrett has been appointed as a Professional Track Assistant Professor in the History Department at North Carolina State University. He has also been awarded the inaugural Pearson Fellowship in Aerospace History for the 2023-2024 academic year by the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology.
Austin Connors (PhD ’22) is a Fulbright Research Grantee in Paraguay. He presented at the Sociedad Científica del Paraguay’s annual conference on U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes’ arbitration for Paraguay and Argentina. His article “Diplomacia crítica para Paraguay tras la Guerra de la Triple Alianza (1864-1870): el arbitraje del presidente Rutherford B. Hayes” was accepted to the Diplomatic Academy of Paraguay’s Journal and is forthcoming, June 2023. His article in progress is an economic history of failed foreign investment in Paraguay.
Yuridia Ramirez (PhD ‘18) has received an ACLS Fellowship to support “outstanding scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.”
Following a 2-year fellowship at the Rutgers University Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, Amelia Herbert (AB '22) has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in Education and Urban Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University starting this fall. Amelia has also been awarded a Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where she will continue her work expanding her dissertation into a book. The first article from the dissertation, "Shareholder Schools," was recently published in a supplemental special issue of Comparative Education Review.
Christina C. Davidson (PhD '17) began a new role as assistant professor of history at the University of Southern California in 2022-2023. Her first book is contracted with Duke University Press, and she authored three chapters for edited collections last year. Christina and her husband, Josh, also had their first child, Evelyn Cecelia Wassink, this past November.
Jamal Burns (AB '21), currently studying at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, will be attending Yale Law School next year. Jamal's Laprade Prize-winning senior thesis was titled: “From Bad To G.R.E.A.T.: Juvenile Delinquency and Racialized Reform Pedagogy in Durham, NC 1937-2017." He is also the founder of Duke LIFE, which is dedicated to working with first-generation and low-income college students coming to Duke. As co-president of the organization, he led Duke LIFE to become a central component in the lives of a group of students often marginalized at Duke. Jamal is also a founding member of Black Community Matters, which seeks to develop a sense of community among Black students on a predominantly white campus.
The next issue of Primary Source is scheduled for late September 2023. Please submit all items to email@example.com by August 31. Have a wonderful summer!
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