History Happenings for 2016

Dr. Dan Unowsky presented in Rome

[30 November 2016] Dr. Dan Unowsky was invited by the Austrian Institute of Rome to be on round table discussion and present a paper at conference marking 100th anniversary of the death of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. He's pictured below on Piazza Navonna.

unowsky piazza navonna


Dr. Znamenski presented in Paris, Estonia, Finland

znamenski[16 November 2016] This June, Andrei Znamenski went to Paris, where on June 7 he made a presentation for a Siberian Studies workshop: his most recent book Red Shambhala (2011) was translated in French this spring as Shambhala, le royaume rouge: magie et géopolitique au coeur de l'Asie (2016). Next day, he also delivered a guest talk "From Asian Tradition to Postmodern Folklore: The Metaphor of Shamanism in Western Nature Spiritualities" at L'École Pratique des Hautes Études. Three days later, Andrei traveled to Tartu, Estonia, where he delivered another paper "Alaska in Modern Russian Geopolitical Rhetoric" at the Conference on Russian and East European Studies organized by the Tartu University. While visiting with Tartu University colleagues, on June 15, along with anthropologist Paul Firnhabe, he taught a one-day graduate seminar on intellectual legacy of Mircea Eliade (one of the deans of religious studies in the 1960s and the 1970s). After a two-month interlude devoted to research in Moscow archives, Andrei traveled to Helsinki, Finland, where on August 19 he did one more conference presentation - "Kalachakra for Peace: Western Rebranding of Old Buddhist Tantra" at the Nordic Conference for the Sociology of Religion that was organized by the University of Helsinki.











"Where Do We Go From Here? A Forum on Post-Election America"

[14 November 2016] The Department of History and the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities are hosting a faculty-led critical discussion about last week's momentous events — how we got here and what we can expect next.

"Where Do We Go From Here? A Forum on Post-Election America" will be held in Mitchell Auditorium on Wednesday, November 16, from to 2pm-4pm.

Participants include Luvell Anderson (Philosophy); Virginia Solomon (Art History); Sharon Stanley (Political Science); and Beverly Tsacoyianis (History); along with comments and questions from the audience.

All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend. Light refreshments and pizza will be served.

For questions, contact Scott Marler, Department of History (spmarler@memphis.edu).


Malcom Frierson (PhD 2015) selected as President's Scholar, North Lake College

Malcolm Frierson, who received his PhD from the Department of History in 2015, was selected as this year's President's Scholar at North Lake College in Dallas, Texas. The award comes with a financial prize and reserved parking space. He is delivering a public lecture on November 9 about his research project on the politics and humor of Dick Gregory and Bill Cosby, which began as his dissertation at the University of Memphis. In advance of the lecture, the college did a feature story on Dr. Frierson's life and work.



Dr. Dennis Laumann's book translated into Arabic

Laumann Book Cover Translation[3 Nov 2016] Dr. Dennis Laumann's book Colonial Africa, 1884-1994, originally published by Oxford University Press in 2013, has been translated into Arabic by Belabbes Ali Abdelhafid and recently published in Algeria by Dar El Adib Editions.





The OAH posts Drs. O'Donovan and Bond's blog post about the Memphis Massacre of 1866

[13 Oct 2016] You can read it here.

Richard Nollan (PhD 2012) publishes Blood Picture

lwdiggs[30 Aug 2016] Richard Nollan, who earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of Memphis in 2012, has published Blood Picture: L. W. Diggs, Sickle Cell Anemia, and the South's First Blood Bank. Based on his dissertation, written under the direction of Charles Crawford, the book is the story of Lemuel Diggs, a researcher who came to Memphis and studied sickle cell disease, which would lead him to confront medical racism, establish the South's first blood blank and the nation's first sickle cell center, and help define the mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The book is published by University of Tennessee Press. Dr. Nollan is Associate Professor and Interim Associate Director of the Health Sciences Library at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Dr. Susan O'Donovan awarded a Dunavant Professorship

odonovan[24 August 2016] From the Memphis Accolades page: "Susan Eva O'Donovan is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis. She is a past editor on the Freedmen & Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, a former member of the faculties of History and African & African American Studies at Harvard University, and co-editor of American Nineteenth-Century History, the journal of the British American Nineteenth-Century History Association. A specialist in African American history with a particular interest in slavery and emancipation, O'Donovan is the author of Becoming Free in the Cotton South (2007), winner of the 2008 OAH James A. Rawley Prize, the 2009 Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of an Archives, and finalist for the 2008 Agricultural History Society Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award. She is also author or co-editor of numerous other publications, including Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, ser. 3, vol. 1, Land and Labor, 1865 (2008); Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, ser. 3, vol. 1, Land and Labor, 1866-67 (2013) (winner of the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Prize given by the Society for History of the Federal Government); "At the Intersection of Cotton and Commerce: Antebellum Savannah and its Slaves," in Slavery and Freedom in Savannah, ed. Daina Ramey and Leslie M. Harris (2014); "Mapping Freedom's Terrain: The Political and Productive Landscapes of Wilmington, North Carolina," in After Slavery: New Approaches to the Reconstruction South, ed. by Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly (2013); and "Universities of Social and Political Change: Slaves in Jail in Antebellum America," in Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America, ed. by Michele Lise Tarter and Richard Bell (2012) which has been reprinted in Major Problems in American History, vol. 1, 4th ed. (2016). O'Donovan has contributed articles, review essays, opinion pieces, and book reviews to a range of periodicals and journals, most recently, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, The Journal of American History, Civil War History, the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, and the New York Times. O'Donovan is currently at work on a project Changing the Rules of the Game: Mobility, Messages, and Power in Slavery's Nation. This study seeks to take seriously, historicize, and understand what is all too often left unexamined as the "politics of slaves." In addition to her research and writing, O'Donovan is also working in partnership with the National Park Service and other collaborative partners to develop the first-ever NPS commemoration devoted to any aspect of Reconstruction. Titled Memories of a Massacre: Memphis 1866, this initiative is designed to generate an enduring and public conversation about a long-overlooked but foundational part of the American experience. O'Donovan's scholarship has been generously supported by a number of prestigious fellowships and grants, including residential fellowships at Agrarian Studies (Yale); the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition; and the Newberry Library. She is currently an OAH Distinguished Lecturer, and coordinator for West Tennessee History Day."

Drs. O'Donovan and Bond reflect on the Memphis Massacre project

[17 Aug 2016] After a busy summer, Drs. Susan O'Donovan and Beverly Bond took a moment to reflect on the Memphis Massacre project. They have a new post on "Muster," the official blog of the Society of Civil War Historians. You can check it out here.

Dr. Peter Brand delivers several lectures in China

[12 August 2016] In the second half of May Dr. Peter Brand returned to China for his second trip there to see the sites and meet with his Chinese colleagues in the field of Egyptology. He had a couple of lectures at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. During his week long stay in Beijing, which means "the Northern Capital," he saw the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Ming Dynasty royal tombs, all of which equal or exceed the grandeur of Ancient Egyptian monuments in the Valley of the Kings, the Great Pyramids or Karnak Temple. Next he travelled to Changchun in Northeast China to give four lectures at Northeast Normal University and to visit with his colleague Professor Li Xiaodong, the most senior Egyptologist in China, and his colleagues and students. Prof. Li and two Chinese students will work with Dr. Brand and his students at Karnak Temple for the Fall 2016 season of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project.


Dr. Colin Chapell publishes "Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him"

ye that now serve him[10 August 2016[ Congratulations to Dr. Colin Chapell, whose first book, "'Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him': Radical Holiness Theology and Gender in the South," was published by the University of Alabama Press!

From the website, "Modernity remade much of the world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and was nowhere more transformational than in the American South. In the wake of the Civil War, the region not only formed new legal, financial, and social structures, but citizens of the South also faced disorienting uncertainty about personal identity and even gender itself. Ye That Are Men Now Serve Him traces the changes in southern gender roles during the New South period of 1877–1915 and demonstrates that religion is the key to perceiving how constructions of gender changed."



Dr. Dennis Laumann presents paper in Ghana

[8 August 2016] Dr. Dennis Laumann participated in the Ghana Studies Association Triennial Conference 2016 at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana on July 6-9. He presented a paper entitled "The origins, development, and influence of the Hare Krishna Movement in Ghana" and also participated in a roundtable entitled "The Politics and Practice of Study Abroad Programs in Ghana."
Attached is a photo from the roundtable. To his left are Dr. Wilhelmina Donkoh, President of Garden City University College in Ghana, and Dr. Akosua Adomoko Ampofo, Director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana.
Dr. Laumann is a former President of the Ghana Studies Association (2007-2011) and currently serves on its advisory board.
The second photo features, from left to right: Dr. Benjamin Talton (Temple University), president of the GSA 2012-2015; Dr. Nana Akua Anyidoho (University of Ghana), current GSA President; Dr. Ato Quayson (University of Toronto), keynote speaker at the conference; and Dr. Laumann.

Besides the conference, he spent three weeks in Ghana doing archival and field research and collaborating with his colleague, Dr. Kofi Baku of the University of Ghana, on a monograph on Ghana's history.

laumann roundtable  gsa presidents and keynote

Dr. Catherine Phipps returns from workshops in Germany

catherine phipps berlin wall[5 August 2016] Who knew that Germany would be a hot spot this summer for discussing port cities and maritime imperialism!? Dr. Catherine Phipps was invited to two different workshops there this summer. The first was on Treaty Ports in East Asia and was held at Heidelberg University in mid-June. Scholars of Japan, China, and Korea came together from around the world to discuss their current work on treaty ports as well as trends in and future possibilities for the field. The second workshop, Imperial Port Cities in the Age of Steam, was held in mid-July in Berlin (in connection with the Freie Universität, Technische Universität, and Humboldt Universität). These discussions centered on the specific characteristics and histories of port cities, as well as on their connections, differences, and limitations as subjects of study. In describing her trip Dr. Phipps told us "I got a lot out of both workshops, met and reconnected with some wonderful people, and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the cities of Heidelberg and Berlin!"

Dr. Guiomar Duenas-Vargas delivers two papers in Spain

duenas vargas[3 August 2016] Dr. Duenas Vargas had an exciting summer this year. She delivered a number of papers, most recently at CEISAL2016 Tiempos posthegemónicos: sociedad, cultura y política en America Latina, Instituto de Iberoamerica, at the Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, España, June 28, July1, 2016. A month prior she attended ADEH2016 Association of Historical Demography, June 21-24, 2016, in Cadiz, Spain and delivered a paper titled "Hombres, mujeres, y muchos niños. El censo de viruelas de 1801 en Santa Fe de Bogotá" (Women, Men and many children. The Smallpox census, 1801 in Santa Fe de Bogotá.) Before the semester concluded she delivered a paper at RMCLAS-2016 Annual Conference, Santa Fe NM, March 30th, April 2, 2016 titled "Written in Blood and Tears. War, Peace and Masculinity in 19th Century Colombia." She was also a jury for the book award granted to the Best Book on colonial Latin American History 2016 at the same conference.

She has two chapters coming out, an introductory Chapter for the forthcoming book, Las cosas del querer: Amor, familia y matrimonio in Iberoamerica. (Endearing things: Love, family and marriage in Hispanic America) and "Who is afraid of Emotions"? chapter in that same book.

Dr. Dan Unowsky leads Holocaust Travel Seminar with Rhodes College professors

[1 August 2016] Dr. Dan Unowsky helped lead a Holocaust Travel Seminar out of Rhodes College. unowsky holocaust tripThe group had 18 participants and three professors (Dr. Unowsky, Dr. Jonathan Judaken, and Dr. Stephen Haynes, both of the latter Rhodes Faculty.) According to the group's Facebook Page, the course "explores Jewish and non-Jewish life in Berlin, Prague, Krakow, and Warsaw before, during, and after the Holocaust." You can see a photojournal of their entire trip on their Facebook page: Rhodes College Holocaust Travel Seminar.

Drs. Beverly Tsacoyianis and Ben Graham discuss globalization

[30 June 2016] Drs. Beverly Tsacoyianis and Ben Graham joined musician and designer Marco Alexander and fashion designer Tara Skelley for a conversation about the impact of globalization on Memphis' music, food, culture and fashion. Moderated by Eileen Townsend, the event was was held on 22  June and was coordinated by Young Art Patrons of Memphis, hosted in conjunction with the exhibit "My Rock Stars" (Hassan Hijjaj) currently at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. This event is part of a larger series of art classes the group hosts, you can check out their previous and upcoming events here. Images courtesy of Young Art Patrons and their photographers Trey Easter and Lauren Turner.

youngartpatrons1   youngartpatrons2

youngartpatrons3   youngartpatrons4

More National Attention for the Memphis Massacre Symposium

[24 June 2016] CSPAN  will be airing panels four and five of the Memphis Massacre Symposium on July 9 and July 23 respectively.

Session 4: The Memphis Massacre, featuring Stephen V. Ash, Hannah Rosen, and Andrew Slapp, will air at 6:00pm ET (5:00pm CT) on July 9.

Session 5: The Radicalization of Reconstruction, featuring Julie Saville, Carole Emberton, and Timothy Huebner, will air at 6:00pm ET (5:00pm CT) on July 23.

Commemorating the 1866 Memphis Massacre (video)

[10 June 2016] Drs. Bond and O'Donovan discussing the "literal whitewashing of big chunks of American history." If you've ever asked yourself "why wasn't I taught about this [about the Memphis Massacre] in history?" then check out this video.

Dr. Daryl Carter Publishes Brother Bill

[27 May 2016] Daryl Carter has published his first book, Brother Bill: President Clinton and the Politics of Race and Class (University of Arkansas Press). Dr. Carter completed his PhD in History at the University of Memphis in 2011 under the direction of Aram Goudsouzian, and he is now an Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University. Cornel West blurbs Brother Bill: "This book is a fascinating analysis of race and clas in the age of President Bill Clinton. It provides much-needed clarity in regards to the myth of the 'First Black President.' It contributes much to our understanding of the history that informs our present moment."

Drs. Bond and O'Donovan in a special edition of Talk, Memphis

[19 May 2016] Drs. Bond and O'Donovan discussed the Memphis Massacre for a special edition of Talk, Memphis with David Waters, a columnist for The Commercial Appeal. You can listen to the podcast here.

Whitney Kennon named Gilder Lehrman Teacher of the Year in the State of Tennessee

whitney kennon[18 May 2016] Dr. Whitney Kennon won the Gilder Lehrman Teacher of the Year award for Tennessee! Dr. Kennon graduated from our program in 2008, under the direction of Dr. Jim Blythe. Dr. Kennon currently teaches for Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, and also teaches medieval history courses part-time for our department. 

 According to their website, to be considered for the award teachers must demonstrate the following:

  • A demonstrated commitment to teaching American history (including state and local history)
  • Evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom
  • Effective use of documents, artifacts, historic sites, oral histories, and other primary resources to engage students with American history

State level winners receive classroom resources for their libraries and become a Glider Lehrman Affiliate School. Dr. Kennon is now a finalist for the National Teaching Award, which will be announced in the fall.

Marcus Orr fellows announced: Dr. Beverly Tsacoyianis, graduate student Andrea Ringer among the recipients

[12 May 2016] Today the Marcus Orr Center for Humanities announced the recipients of the spring 2017 fellowship awards. Dr. Beverly Tsacoyianis will be one of the three faulty fellows, and Andrea Ringer received the dissertation fellowship. You can read more about the fellowship at MOCH's website.

This is the second year that we've had excellent representation in the MOCH fellowship from the department. You can read about last year's recipients here.

Dr. Christine Eisel's digital collaboration is "making an impact" with students

[9 May 2016] Students in the Spring 2015 online section of Women in American History (HIST 4851) created a digital exhibit using archival materials culled from Special Collections at the Ned McWherter Library. The project was created by Dr. Christine Eisel, History faculty member, in partnership with Brigitte Billeaudeaux, University of Memphis Libraries' Archival Assistant. This type of collaboration is new for both departments and has been an experiment in the possibilities of applied learning in digital scholarship for students at the university. Students in the Spring 2016 classroom section of HIST 4851 are currently expanding the exhibit.

The project was conceived as an opportunity for students to gain exposure and build skills in historical methods and in digital scholarship while enhancing their online learning environment. Students in the courses have worked in groups according to topics of interest. Working in teams, students have developed secondary source bibliographies; selected primary source archival materials from University Libraries' Special Collections; written narrative essays, document descriptions and metadata; and uploaded their work into Omeka,

The result is "Making and Impact: The Lives of Tennessee Women," an exhibit that highlights Tennessee women throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

The project truly has been collaborative, from its inception to its completion. Jennifer Schnabel, former Assistant to the Dean for Community Engagement for University Libraries at U of M and current English librarian at The Ohio State University, brainstormed ideas with Eisel and Billeaudeaux; history undergraduate intern Chase Plesofsky assisted in choosing and scanning archival material; and history graduate student Morgan Walker has provided editorial assistance for the Omeka site.

Memphis Massacre Marker Discussed on NPR's "Code Switch"

[3 May 2016] Dr. Beverly Bond was on a WKNO radio segment about the Memphis Massacre marker, and it got picked up by national NPR and featured on "Code Switch." You can read the article here, and you can learn more about the project at the Memphis Massacre website.

  National Parks Service Establishes Marker for the 1866 Memphis Massacre

[2 May 2016] The Commercial Appeal covered the unveiling of the National Parks Service historical marker to finally, in the words of the paper, honor the truth and the victims of the 1866 Memphis Massacre. In the words of Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, chair, "this whole endeavor started in the minds of our colleagues Susan O'Donovan and Beverly Bond, and it has snowballed into a community-wide discussion that has involved a wide host of events, a variety of sponsors, and most importantly a series of reflections on the meaning of history and its role in contemporary struggles for justice. I'm so proud of them for how they've used their academic work to engage with the public. It is a bright advertisement for why the humanities matter so much, and it is a model for us all."

Don't forget that their big symposium is still to come--May 20th and 21st. Check their website for details.

Karen Bradley wins the Outstanding Employee Award

[28 April 2016] The College of Arts and Sciences has awarded Ms. Karen Bradley the Dean's Outstanding Employee Award for 2016. Award winners are nominated by faculty and staff, and are selected for their department leadership, commitment, and professionalism.

West Tennessee History Day students go on to win the state level competition

[28 April 2016] Please join us in congratulation the medal winners from the West Tennessee District at Tennessee History Day State Competition! We are very proud of all our state participants and wish all our state winners luck at the upcoming National Competition! For more information on West Tennessee History Day, coordinated by Dr. Susan O'Donovan and hosted at the University of Memphis, check out their website here.

The first and second place winners will advance to the national contest, which will be held June 12-16 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Second Place Title: Thinking Outside the Pox: The History of the World's First Vaccine Students: Swati Kinger, Reethu Krishnan School: Collierville High School, Collierville, TN Teachers: Michelle Martin, Catherine Hammons

First Place Title: A Question of Loyalty: Encountering Racism on All Fronts
Student: McKenzie Desio
School: First Assembly Christian School, Cordova, TN
Teacher: Victoria Gast

Second Place Title: Scott Bowden: The Deadly Exchange
Student: Scott Bowden
School: First Assembly Christian School, Cordova, TN
Teacher: Sherrie Hopper

First Place Title: The Story of the 9th Armored Division
Student: Jon Mark Castleman
School: Dyersburg Middle School, Dyersburg, TN
Teacher: Becky Hasselle

First Place Title: Words are Not Enough: Martha Graham and the Post War Modern Dance Movement
Student: Hannah Shelton
School: First Assembly Christian School, Cordova, TN
Teacher: Sherrie Hopper

Second Place Title: Suleyman's Reign: The Ottoman Empire and How it Flourished Under His Rule Students: Inara Devji, Milanca Wang, Rebecca Price, Zephyr Barlow, Tori Moore-McMiller
School: Lausanne Collegiate School, Memphis, TN
Teacher: Rebecca Hodges

Third Place Title: A Soviet Dissident's Exploration of Human Rights
Student: Osman Celikok
School: Pleasant View School, Memphis, TN
Teacher: Andre Clarke

Third Place Title: History of 1920's Film: Impact of Filmmaking
Students: Tess Emerson, Meghan Fleming, Arabella Hamm
School: St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, Memphis, TN
Teacher: Mark McDonald


Third Place Title: Apollo 11
Students: Samuel Paul, Camden Estes
School: First Assembly Christian School, Cordova,
TN Teacher: Victoria Gast

First Place Title: The French Exploration and Occupation of Syria: Encounters and Exchanges that Left a Lasting Legacy
Student: Ibtihal Malley
School: Pleasant View School, Memphis,
TN Teacher: Andre Clarke

Second Place Title: Lewis and Clark
Student: Caroline Finch
School: St. George's Independent School, Collierville, Collierville, TN
Teacher: Traci Erlandson

Third Place Title: Islam in America: Encounters and Exchanges that Forged an American Muslim Identity
Student: Muadth Malley
School: Pleasant View School, Memphis, TN
Teacher: Ashir Kirk

---------------------------------------- SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS ----------------------------------------
Title: The French Exploration and Occupation of Syria: Encounters and Exchanges that Left a Lasting Legacy
Student: Ibtihal Malley
School: Pleasant View School, Memphis, TN Teacher: Andre Clarke

Dr. Charles Crawford wins the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award

[31 March 2016] Dr. Charles Crawford, Professor and Director of the Oral History Research Office, won the Alumni Association's Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Beverly Bond receives the Carter G Woodson Award of Merit.

[15 February 2016] Dr. Beverly Bond was awarded the Carter G Woodson Award of Merit from Southwest Tennessee Community College. The school created the award in 1988 to "recognize individuals, groups, or agencies who have contributed to, preserved, or promoted the African-American experience and who support Dr. Woodson's legacy of "historical accuracy through inclusion."

Dr. Bond is also the co-director of the Memories of a Massacre project. You can check out their blog here and read more about the project, including upcoming events, here.

Dr. Sarah Potter named director of the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities

[7 January 2016] Dr. Sarah Potter was named the director of the Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities.