History Buzz March 5, 2012: James McPherson: Returns to Gustavus College as Civil War Sesquicentennial Scholar


History Buzz


James McPherson: Returns to Gustavus as Sesquicentennial Scholar

Source: Gustavus News, 3-5-12

James McPherson

Sesquicentennial Scholar and 1958 Gustavus alumnus James McPhersonGustavus alumnus, Civil War historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson ‘58 will return to his alma mater April 15-17 as a Sesquicentennial Scholar.

Besides visiting several History Department classes during his visit to campus, McPherson will speak publicly during the College’s Monday, April 16, daily chapel service at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel. His talk will be titled “Two Sesquicentennials: New Beginnings” and will address how the founding of Gustavus provided leadership for a people making a new beginning in a new country and compare it to the new beginnings for Americans – black and white, Northern and Southern – generated by the Civil War. Following his talk in Christ Chapel, McPherson will sign books in the President’s Dining Room in the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center from 10:30-1130 a.m. McPherson’s chapel talk will be live-streamed on the Gustavus website. Both the chapel talk and book signing are free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, April 17, McPherson will speak at Interlachen Country Club in Edina at an event that is also open to the public. McPherson’s lecture will be titled “Why the Civil War Still Matters” and will address the ways in which the war’s impact on America is still being felt today. Those interested in attending this event, which will include a reception at 4:30 p.m., McPherson’s lecture at 5 p.m., and a book signing at 6 p.m., should RSVP by going online to gustavus.edu/go/mcpherson, or by contacting the Gustavus Office of Alumni Relations at 507-933-7511….

For more information about McPherson’s visit to Minnesota as Gustavus Adolphus College’s Sesquicentennial Scholar, go online to gustavus.edu/go/mcpherson or contact Gustavus Professor of History Greg Kaster at gkaster@gustavus.edu.

Clement A. Price: Obama names New Jersey historian Professor to federal advisory post


History Buzz

Will serve as vice chair of Advisory Council on Historic Preservation



Renown Rutgers-Newark History Prof. Clement A. Price on Friday was named vice chairman of the president’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by President Obama.

Price is Rutgers’ Board of Governors Distinguished Service professor of history and the founder and director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience at Rutgers-Newark. The professor is involved in many historic and cultural institutions in New Jersey. He currently serves as the chairman of the Save Ellis Island Foundation and the Newark Education Trust, and is a member of the state Historical Commission, the state Council on the Arts, and the Newark Black Film Festival. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the University of Bridgeport and his doctorate in history from Rutgers.

Price was one of five people appointed to federal posts and advisory positions by Obama.

“The extraordinary dedication these men and women bring to their new roles will greatly serve the American people,” the president said. “I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Obama also appointed, the former president of the University of South Florida to the William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She received her bachelor’s degree from Rowan University in Glassboro.

Erik Seeman Named Director of University of Buffalo Humanities InstituteI


History Buzz

Source: University of Buffalo News Center, 7-17-11

Historian Erik Seeman has been named director of the UB Humanities Institute.
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Erik R. Seeman, PhD, professor of history at the University at Buffalo and a [ photograph ]noted historian of the Americas, has been named director of the UB College of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Institute, an association that has developed an international reputation for innovative cross-disciplinary research, teaching and community programs in the humanities.

Seeman was appointed by E. Bruce Pitman, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to a three-year term that began July 1.. He will succeed Tim Dean, PhD, professor of English, who has held the position since 2008. Carrie Tirado Bramen, PhD, professor of English, will continue as executive director of the Humanities Institute, a position to which she was re-appointed in 2010.

In making the appointment, Pitman said, “Since its founding in 2005, the Humanities Institute has served as a bridge across disciplines within the university and as a bridge from UB to the larger community.

“It has achieved recognition on campus for fostering and facilitating interdisciplinary scholarship,” he said, “and through the conferences it sponsors and the publications it has helped create, has established a national presence for itself and the faculty members affiliated with it.”

Pitman added, “Previous directors, Professors Ewa Ziarek, Martha Malamud and Tim Dean, developed very successful programs of teaching and outreach and I have every confidence that Drs. Seeman and Bramen will continue this excellent work of enhancing the cultural life of the university and Western New York.”

The institute focuses on interdisciplinary research and education in the fields of history, literature, languages and cultural studies, philosophy and, more broadly, the fine arts, media studies, architecture and other disciplines.

In his new position Seeman will direct a broad range of programs that include research fellowships and awards, lecture series, a seminar series featuring new faculty members, interdisciplinary research workshops, support for publications, a distinguished scholars-in-residence program, the Scholars in the Schools program, the Scholars at Hallwalls program and an annual conference for international scholars that in the past has covered such topics as the meaning of madness and human trafficking.

Seeman said he looks forward to building on the success of the previous directors, but also wants to take the institute in new directions.

“In particular,” he said, “I am eager to begin supporting the research of PhD students who represent the future of the humanities.”…READ MORE

Marc Pachter: Former Portrait Gallery director returns to Smithsonian as acting head of history museum


Source: AP, WaPo, 7-13-11

A historian and former director of the National Portrait Gallery is returning to the Smithsonian Institution to serve as acting director of the National Museum of American History.

Marc Pachter retired from the Smithsonian in 2007. On Wednesday, the museum complex announced he will return Aug. 15 to temporarily replace Brent Glass, who is leaving the American history museum.

Glass announced in June that he will step down as director after nine years….READ MORE

Debra Wall: Appointed Deputy Archivist of the United States


History Buzz

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero recently announced the appointment of Debra Steidel Wall as Deputy Archivist of the United States, effective July 3, 2011.

Ms. Wall is a twenty-year veteran of the National Archives. For the past four years she has served as Chief of Staff, providing exceptional leadership and effective management for the agency. She has been actively involved in creating and implementing the “Charter for Change,” the roadmap for the transformation of the National Archives.

As Deputy Archivist, Ms. Wall will be instrumental in achieving the goals of the transformation. An early priority will be helping to build new leadership into effective executive and management teams. She will also assist the Archivist in achieving an open and inclusive work environment; encouraging creativity and investing in innovation.

Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Ms. Wall was Senior Special Assistant to the Archivist from 2005-2007. In 2000, she was appointed Director of the Lifecycle Coordination Staff, where she led staff responsible for developing policies, processes, systems and standards relating to the life cycle of records. She has also served as the initial manager of the Archival Research Catalog database and other information technology projects, as Deputy Director of the Information Resources Policy and Projects Division, and worked as an archivist in the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video unit. Debra joined the National Archives in 1991 as an archivist trainee and holds an undergraduate degree in history and government from Georgetown University, and a graduate degree in film from the American University.

Scott Casper: Nationally Recognized History Professor Named College of Liberal Arts Dean


History Buzz

University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Professor Scott Casper steps up from leading history department

Source: UNR, University of Nevada, Reno, 6-29-11

Foundation Professor Scott Casper, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Foundation Professor Scott Casper, chair of the Department of History at the University of Nevada, Reno, has accepted the position of interim dean of the University’s College of Liberal Arts and will assume his duties July 1.

Casper has been at the University since 1992, served as the history department’s chair for five years, and as the department’s director of graduate studies before that. He has received several honors, including the Professor of the Year from the prestigious Carnegie Foundation in 2008, and the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award in 2005.

“Scott is an award-winning teacher with a strong record of research in his specialty, nineteenth-century United States history, and a distinguished record of campus and professional service and outreach,” said Heather Hardy, the College’s former dean who was named the University’s executive vice president and provost June 1. “He is well respected by both students and colleagues alike, and we are very pleased that he has accepted this new challenge.”

Casper has also chaired the Faculty Senate and participated in numerous college and university committees, chairing the College of Liberal Arts Personnel Committee and Planning Committee. A historian of the 19th-century United States, his research has focused on the ways Americans understood their past and on the history of books and reading….READ MORE

Richard McCormick: Former Rutgers president to be paid $335,000 as history professor


History Buzz

We hope that when former Rutgers University president and future $335,000-a-year history professor Richard L. McCormick sits down to write his “What I did this summer” essay, it includes some soul-searching, and a sense that he should turn down the gig or do it for a whole lot less money.

It’s absurd that the retiring university president will earn so much to be a history professor. After stepping down as president next year, McCormick will take a year off — while being paid handsomely — before returning to the school as a history teacher.

It’s an outrageous expense, but the university is stuck: McCormick’s contract guaranteed that if he left the president’s post and returned to teach he could not be paid less than the highest-paid faculty member….READ MORE

Robert W. Gordon: Harvard, Yale professors join Stanford Law


History Buzz

Source: San Jose Business Journal, 6-9-11

Stanford Law School said that commercial legal historian Robert W. Gordon has been named professor of law and will begin teaching this fall.

Stanford Law School said Thursday that commercial law scholar George G. Triantis and legal historian Robert W. Gordon have been named professors of law and will begin teaching this fall.

The appointments of Triantis and Gordon come on the heels of the appointment of James Cavallaro as professor of law and director of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic of the Mills Legal Clinic.

“These are capstone appointments in what has been a steady program of enlarging the law school faculty while preserving its longstanding tradition of excellence,” said Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer. “Both Bob and George are intellectual leaders in their fields. As important, both are fabulous teachers, colleagues, and mentors of students.”….READ MORE

Jeremi Suri: International History Scholar Gets First Mack Brown Chair and LBJ School and History Joint Appointment


History Buzz

Source: UTexas News, 6-7-11

Jeremi Suri, an acclaimed scholar of international history, has been named the first holder of the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law and has received a joint appointment at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Department of History in the College of Liberal Artsat The University of Texas at Austin.

Suri, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, joins the university in fall 2011.

Jeremi Suri“Jeremi Suri is one of the most highly regarded scholars of international history, with a brilliant record of innovation in teaching and research,” said Robert Hutchings, dean of the LBJ School. “His appointment will secure our already strong reputation as the leading program in international history, drawing together scholars and practitioners in international security, American foreign policy, international law and diplomatic history. Other institutions have excellent programs in one or two of these fields, but ours breaks new ground owing to the combined strength of our faculties in history, law and public policy.”

“Besides his intellectual achievements, Suri brings boundless energy, extraordinary eloquence and high visibility,” said  Randy L. Diehl, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “The entire university community will benefit immeasurably from having such a talented individual among us.”

Suri said, “The Strauss Center uniquely positions Austin and the University of Texas to become a leader in re-making American foreign policy for the 21st century. The interdisciplinary mix of cutting-edge scholars, the integration of distinguished policy practitioners and the culture of practical inquiry nurtured by the center have already expanded our understanding of contemporary international challenges and opportunities. I look forward to joining both the exciting and transformative team at the Strauss Center and collaborating with the many distinguished historian scholars at the university.”

Francis J. Gavin, the director of the Strauss Center and the Tom Slick Professor of International Affairs at the LBJ School, said Suri possesses a stellar academic record and has excelled as a teacher, scholar, institution builder and leader.

“Jeremi Suri is one of the nation’s foremost scholars on global affairs and one of the leading international historians of his generation,” said Gavin. “He is the perfect addition to our growing world-class team of scholars and practitioners. We believe his joint appointment in history and public affairs, and his leadership of our new ‘History and Policy’ program signals the center’s commitment to innovative, interdisciplinary and policy-relevant scholarship and teaching.”

“Suri is one of the top young historians of U.S. foreign relations and the international history of the 20th century,” said Alan Tully, chairman of the History Department. “He joins Professors H.W. Brands and Mark Lawrence in History as well as Frank Gavin and William Inboden in the LBJ School of Public Affairs to give The University of Texas at Austin one of the largest and most distinguished groups of diplomatic and international historians of any university in the world.”

Suri has received numerous awards for his research and teaching, and Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the Arts and Sciences in 2007. He is the author of four books, including, “Henry Kissinger and the American Century” (Harvard University Press, 2007). His latest book, “Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from Washington to Obama,” will be the Free Press/ Simon and Schuster’s lead non-fiction release in fall 2011.

Suri earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University in 1994 and a master’s degree in history from Ohio University in 1996. He earned his doctor’s degree from Yale University in 2001.

The Mack Brown Chair, named in honor of the university’s head football coach for his leadership on and off the field, is the center’s flagship chair. It was created to bring the highest profile leaders in global scholarship and policymaking to The University of Texas at Austin to inspire and instruct the next generation of leaders to better meet international challenges.

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law is a non-partisan research center dedicated to promoting multidisciplinary, policy-relevant scholarship on the most pressing problems in international affairs.

Carol Quillen: Davidson College appoints new president


History Buzz

Source: Charlotte Observer, 5-26-11

Davidson College announced its new president this afternoon.

Rice University historian and administrator Carol Quillen was appointed as the college’s 18th president, reports DavidsonNews.net.

She will take the place of Tom Ross, who left Davidson College last year to become president of the University of North Carolina system.

Quillen is currently an associate professor of history and vice president for international and interdisciplinary initiatives at Rice University in Houston.

She’s the first woman appointed president, according to DavidsonNews.net, and the first non-Davidson graduate to become president since the 1940s.

James Belich: Kiwi historian nabs leading role at Oxford University

Source: National Business Review, 5-9-11

Prominent New Zealand historian Professor James Belich has been appointed to one of the top jobs in the world in his field.

Professor Belich will take up the Beit Professorship of Commonwealth and Imperial History at Oxford University in the United Kingdom in October this year.

He is currently Professor of History at Victoria University’s Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies.

The Beit Professorship provides research leadership in Commonwealth, imperial and global history and is awarded to a historian of exceptional and international reputation.

The position was established in 1905 and Professor Belich will be the seventh historian to hold it.

Professor Belich says the appointment is an honour and will allow him to take his research interests, which he describes as ‘increasingly global’ to a wider canvas…READ MORE

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