News and Events
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The George Washington University History Department invites you to the 2013 Elmer Louis Kayser Memorial Lecture
Empire, Ideology, and the East: Thoughts on Nazism’s Spatial Imaginary
Professor Geoff Eley
Karl Pohrt, Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan
Wednesday, March 20, 4-5:30PM
Marvin Center, Room 307
The Elmer Louis Kayser Lecture began in 2001 with the creation of an endowment by members of the class of 1951, led by Tad Lindner, in honor of their fiftieth reunion and GW's longtime dean of students, historian Elmer L. Kayser. Prof. Kayser, a native of Washington, got both his B.A. and M.A. from GW. He received his Ph.D in history from Columbia in 1932. He was a Professor of History for many years at GW and dean of students from 1930 to 1962.
Emancipation and Equality: A Genealogy
Professor Joan Wallach Scott
Institute for Advanced Study
This lecture is sponsored by the new Graduate Concentration in the History of Women and Gender in Global Perspective in the History Department at the George Washington University.
Thursday, February 28, 4-6:30PM.
Marvin Center, Room 307
Prof. Gordon Wood to give inaugural George Washington Lecture
Renowned early American scholar Gordon S. Wood will discuss the significance of Washington to the American Revolution and founding of the United States of America. Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University and the recipient of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Radicalism of the American Revolution and the National Humanities Medal in 2010.
Monday, February 25, 2013 4 p.m.
The Cloyd Heck Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
800 21st Street, NW, third floor
The History Department Welcomes Three New Faculty Members
We are proud to announce three faculty members have joined our department this in 2012-2013 as Assistant Professors. They are Greg L. Childs (on the left), a PhD from New York University. Prof. Childs specializes in the history of the African Diaspora in Colonial Latin America and the Caribbean. Denver Brunsman (center) got his doctorate at Princeton and taught at Wayne State University before coming here. Prof. Brunsman writes on the politics and social history of the American Revolution, early American republic, and British Atlantic world. Jessica A. Krug (right) is a historian of politics, ideas, and cultural practices in Africa and the African Diaspora. She received her PhD at the University of Wisconsin.
The Graduate Program of the Department of History is very pleased to announce its 2011-12 prizewinners
Congratulations to the winners of this year's graduate student prizes! All prize winners will be formally recognized at the Graduate Program Reception in Fall 2012.
Elmer Louis Kayser Prize for the best history thesis submitted by a candidate for the degree of Master of Art. Christina Dempsey Chronister, student of Ed Berkowitz and Leo Ribuffo, for her thesis: “Unemployment Compensation: Coverage in the Federal-State System, 1935-1976”
Howard M. Sachar Prize for the best history research papers Matthew Bias, student of Andrew Zimmerman, for his paper: “’Nationalist Bogeymen’: The Bambergers, Innercolonization, and Polonization in the Prussian East” and Seth La Shier, student of Eric Arnesen, for his paper: “’On the Ground Floor Near the Seat of Government’: Daniel Tobin, The Teamsters, and the Politics of the New Deal State”
Charles Herber Teaching Prize for the department’s best Graduate Teaching Assistant Kelsey Flynn
Center for Study of Winston Churchill Comes to GW -- Churchill Library and Center will include endowed professorship
The first permanent American home for studies of 20th-century leader Sir Winston Churchill will be located in George Washington University’s Estelle and Melvin Gelman Library.
The Churchill Centre, a Chicago-based international educational organization devoted to preserving the legacy of Winston Churchill, has agreed to establish the National Churchill Library and Center at the George Washington University through an $8 million pledge to the university. The agreement between the two institutions includes rare books and other research materials for the new center, endowed academic positions for the study of Churchill and British history and renovations to the ground floor of Gelman Library. The center will open in several stages between 2013 and 2015. The partnership includes a dedicated street-level space for the National Churchill Library and Center; a $2.5 million endowed professorship in Churchill and 20th-century British history in the History Department.
George Washington’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences will launch the nation’s first graduate degree in Jewish cultural arts in fall 2012.
The next generation of cultural entrepreneurs and arts administrators will be trained at George Washington in the university’s new graduate program in Jewish cultural arts, the first of its kind in the nation. The two-year Master of Arts program--created by Jenna Weissman Joselit, the Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and Professor of History--will combine cultural arts research with practical arts training. The multidisciplinary curriculum will be complemented by cultural collaborations and internship opportunities with Washington, D.C. arts organizations, foundations and museums. It will launch this fall.
Dr. Weissman Joselit said the program will expand what traditionally constitutes the study of Judaic studies—mostly examining texts—to draw upon the Jewish culture’s other “rich and vibrant” expressions. “The new program underscores the primacy of culture in all of its varied expressions—the visual arts, dance, film, music, theater—to Judaic Studies,” said Dr. Weissman Joselit. “Jewish cultural arts are central, even indispensable, to understanding the Jewish historical experience.”
Graduates will emerge with skills ranging from audience development and fiscal management to the seeding and nurturing of new forms of Jewish cultural expression.“Little by little, the impact of the arts is making itself felt within the academy,” said Dr. Weissman Joselit. “The program will combine the practical with the more theoretical; it will enable artists to create but also equip them with a bank of skills as well as intellectual capital.”
The university and the District are the “perfect setting” to launch such a program, said Dr. Weissman Joselit. The program will draw on “in-house talents” from departments and disciplines around the university—including English, museum studies, theatre & dance and music.
The George Washington University Department of History announces a new Graduate Concentration in The History of Women and Gender in Global Perspective
This new concentration offers M.A. and Ph.D. students the opportunity to study how gender has shaped and been shaped by historical processes around the world. Topics such as the changing practices of women's and men's, the construction of the family, understandings of sexuality, the role of gender in religion and popular culture, and the changing discourse on women's political, economic, and social rights, among many others, are addressed from a wide variety of geographical and temporal perspectives. While many graduate programs offer courses in women's and gender history, the GW concentration stands out for the diversity of perspectives it includes. Faculty teaching in the concentration specialize in such wide-ranging fields as African History, African-American History, American Jewish History, Early Modern British History, the History of Empire, Korean History, Latin American History, the History of Medicine, Medieval European History, Middle Eastern History, Modern European History, U.S. Constitutional History, and U.S. Women’s History. Students in the concentration will thus have the opportunity to gain an unusually broad background in the field. At the same time, the many faculty involved in the program allow students to choose an adviser close to their specific interests to guide them in the writing of their M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation.
Program: Students are required to take a core course on "The History of Women and Gender in Global Perspective." In addition, students will take at least two other relevant graduate-level courses. Masters students are encouraged to write an M.A. thesis related to the concentration, while Ph.D. students may choose Gender and Women’s History as a Comprehensive Examination field.
Participating Faculty:Paula Alonso, Latin American History. Nemata Blyden, Africa and African Diaspora History. Erin D. Chapman, African-American and U.S. History. Cynthia Harrison, U.S. Women’s History and U.S. Constitutional History' Jenna Weissman Joselit, American Jewish History. Dina Khoury, Middle Eastern History. Jisoo Kim, Korean History. Suzanne Miller, Medieval European History. Teresa Murphy, U.S. Women’s History. Linda Levy Peck, Early Modern English History. Katrin Schultheiss, Modern European History and History of Medicine. Lauren Strauss, American Jewish and Immigration History. Andrew Zimmerman, German History and History and Theory of Empire.
For more information, please contact Katrin Schultheiss at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEH Funds Rags to Riches Project
The American dream is built on the idea that anyone can attain success no matter how humble his or her beginnings. Professor of History Tyler Anbinder is recruiting undergraduates to assist in a collaborative study of the rise of the American dream during the 19th century. Thanks to a $290,000, three-year grant from the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), the project will follow the wealth accumulation of New York’s Irish immigrants who opened savings accounts during the 1850s. The analysis—one of the first to study the American dream from the perspective of this particular group—will put Columbian College undergraduates on the front lines of a unique research effort.
“Our undergraduate assistants will conduct the majority of the research for the project,” said Anbinder. “And, with the NEH funding, we will have the resources to compile and analyze records from the Emigrants Bank—the best database that we know of for the study of Americans’ savings habits in the 19th century.”
The students will have their work cut out for them. The project, called "Moving Beyond 'Rags to Riches': New York's Irish Immigrants and Their Surprising Savings Accounts," will involve analyzing 18,000 pre-Civil War accounts—original handwritten ledgers (pictured above) that have been scanned into an online database—to determine what factors affected the immigrants’ ability to save and achieve varying levels of success.
Other faculty and experts working with Anbinder on the project team include Chair of the Economics Department Barry Chiswick, an expert on the economics of immigration and recent winner of the Study of Labor (IZA) Prize in Labor Economics; Simone Wegge, associate professor of economics at the City University of New York Graduate Center, economic historian, and statistical expert; and Cormac Ó Grádaat the University College in Dublin, economic historian and foremost authority on the Great Irish Famine of 1845-52.
The team will examine three key questions:
- what differentiated those immigrants who succeeded in saving substantial sums from those who did not;
- why were the savings of peddlers and unskilled workers surprisingly high and those of artisans unexpectedly low; and
- what role did social networks and heritage play in immigrants’ ability to save?
“The results of our project will enable historians and other humanities’ scholars to have a better understanding of the amount of money nineteenth-century immigrants saved and how and why they were able to do so,” said Anbinder. “What those facts tell us will provide new insight on both the origins of the ‘rags-to-riches’ concept and the enduring and evolving nature of the American dream.”