Hochelaga: Land of Souls Screening

CMU’s department of World Languages and Cultures is hosting a free and public showing of the film Hochelaga: Land of Souls at 7 pm, Tuesday March 26, in the Park Library Auditorium.

Directed by François Girard (The Red Violin) this film intercalates present-day sequences featuring a First Nations history professor in Montreal and those of the first encounters between Jacques Cartier and first peoples in what is now Québec.

Kyle Harper On Epidemics, Climate, and the Fall of Rome


Kyle Harper, historian and provost of the University of Oklahoma, will deliver the Critical Engagements keynote address for fall 2018 on October 25, 2018, at 7:30pm in the Powers Ballroom. Dr. Harper’s most recent book, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, is the first to examine the catastrophic role that climate change and infectious diseases played in the collapse of Rome’s power—a story of nature’s triumph over human ambition. It helps to explain the end of a world that once seemed eternal, sounding themes that echo with ominous resonance in the twenty-first century: epidemics and the environment, apocalyptic obsessions and the splintering of social and political norms.

Dr. Harper’s first book, Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275-425 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) was awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize by the American Historical Association and the Outstanding Publication Award from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. His second book, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality was published by Harvard University Press in 2013. This presentation is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ Critical Engagements initiative and the Department of History.

The talk is open to the public: please join us and help spread the word!

How to Prevent an Epidemic like the American Colonists did

Our own Dr. Andrew Wehrman writes an article for On Second Thought Magazine titled "How to Prevent an Epidemic like the American Colonists did".  He shares the grisly details of early colonial medicine and the surprisingly-creative nine rules/policies the colonists used to prevent these deadly illnesses. 

History Major Receives Alumni Award


Abigail Diaz, who graduated in 2014 with a double-major in History and Anthropology and a minor in Museum Studies, has been named one of CMU’s “10 Within 10” for 2018

“I’m passionate about making museums welcoming for everyone,” she writes, “being a fierce advocate for my brother, who has disabilities. I’m proud that I have helped in some small part, within my sphere of influence, to break down systematic barriers of oppression that prevent all people from feeling welcome in museums.”

Congratulations, Abigail!

Game of Privilege Has Won the North American Society for Sport History Book Award for Best 2017 Monograph in Sport History

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Congratulations to CMU history professor Lane Demas for winning the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) Book Award for best 2017 monograph in Sport History for his work Game of Privilege: An African American History of Golf!

Game of Privilege was published by the University of Carolina Press in September 2017. The book received the 2017 Herbert Warren Wind Book Award.

Andrew Wehrman at the “Spirit of Inquiry in the Age of Jefferson Symposium” and at the “GameChangers Ideas Festival”

Congratulations to Dr. Wehrman, who has been invited to speak at the “Spirit of Inquiry in the Age of Jefferson Symposium” at the American Philosophical Society in June, and to the “GameChangers Ideas Festival” in North Dakota in October. Both these events are open to public and registration is open.

From the American Philosophical Society website: “In commemoration of the 275th anniversary of the American Philosophical Society’s founding in 1743 and the birth of its long-time President, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, APS 1780, President 1797-1814), the APS Library, along with the National Constitution Center and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, are organizing a daylong symposium that aims to explore the history of science, knowledge production, and learning during the Age of Jefferson (1743-1826).” For the full program of the event, click here.

The “GameChangers Ideas Festival” is organized by Humanities North Dakota, an independent non-profit organization established in 1974. Form the “GameChangers Ideas Festival” website: “Our Founding Fathers believed in the importance and the power of ideas to change people’s lives. Our nation’s history has been a great adventure in ideas. The GameChanger Ideas Festival was created to continue this proud tradition and provide people opportunities to engage with and debate life-changing-ideas, because democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. … We invite people to our stage who challenge the status quo and strive to make changes to critical systems that honor our shared humanity. We believe that civil disagreement and debate are stepping stones for learning. The GameChanger Ideas Festival does not take political stances on issues. Instead we strive to offer a variety of viewpoints from people with both scholarly insight and hands-on knowledge. These aren’t just people with good ideas, but people who have put their ideas to action in the real world.”

BLACKBURN LECTURE: Edward Ayers, "Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America"


Next week! Join us for the George M. Blackburn Endowed Lecture on the Civil War and Reconstruction by Dr. Edward Ayers, who will present "Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America" on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 pm in the Park Library Auditorium. Open to all.

Edward Ayers is Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, where he is President Emeritus. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2013. Ed is serving as president of the Organization of American Historians for the 2017-18 term. Over his decades of work of writing history, experimenting with digital scholarship, collaborating in public history, and teaching and leading in higher education, Ed has tried to find new ways to connect people with the American past.”

Jennifer Vannette in the Washington Post

Congratulations to Jennifer Vannette, whose article "What really drives mass shooters to commit atrocities" has been published in Made by History in the Washington Post.

Jennifer Vannette earned her PhD in U.S. History at Central Michigan University in Fall 2017 with a dissertation titled "Aftermath of Genocide: the World Jewish Congress and The Fight for Human Rights."


History Department Students at SRCEE

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Our students will exhibit their research at the 25th Annual Student Research & Creative Endeavors Exhibition tomorrow Wednesday, April 11 from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm in Finch Field House. The exhibition is open to all. We hope you will join us to discover the latest research and meet our students!

Here is a list of the history department students' exhibits that will be available tomorrow:

  • From Tradition to Modernity: The Transformation of Japanese Martial Arts through the Meiji Restoration (Display #228)
    Primary Author: David Banas Jr.
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Jennifer Demas
  • Misappropriation of African Culture in the United States: The Banjo (Display #229)
    Primary Author: Ryan Warriner, winner of the 2018 Robert Newby Award for Diversity Efforts (read the blog post he wrote for us on his research here)
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Lane Demas
  • Turnerism in Michigan - A Study of German Gymnastics and Political Thought (Display #230)
    Primary Author: Felix Zuber
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Lane Demas
  • Regime Change, Strategic Security, and the Revolution of 1688-90 in Scotland: The Role and Activities of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Privy Council, 1689-91 (Display #231)
    Primary Author: Gillian Macdonald
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Carrie Euler
  • Acontius’ Ideas in Favor of Religious Tolerance: Adiaphora, Fallibilism, and Freedom of Conscience (Display #232)
    Primary Author: Chiara Ziletti
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Carrie Euler
  • Allied “Luftgangster” and the German Population: The Mistreatment of Downed American Airmen in Germany during World War II (Display #233)
    Primary Author: Kevin Hall
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Eric Johnson
  • Occultism, Magic, and History. Jesuit Philosophers in the Seventeenth-Century Iberian World (Display #234)
    Primary Author: Carlos Hugo Zayas-Gonzalez
    Primary Faculty Sponsor: Jonathan Truitt

Hugo Zayas' dissertation defense, "Makers of Knowledge: Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Intellectual Culture in the Spanish World"


Hugo Zayas will be defending his dissertation this Friday, April 13 at 10:00am in the Garden View Room of the Park Library (Room 337). The title of his dissertation is: “Makers of Knowledge: Seventeenth-Century Jesuit Intellectual Culture in the Spanish World.”