AHA has complied a list of resources, with links, on the Confederate monument debate: "In the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy, historians across the country provided important historical context and insight to the public. The AHA compiled statements that our members, fellow historical societies, AHA Council members, and staff have made in op-eds, interviews, and other media conversations about the importance of historical thinking and knowledge within the current debate. The AHA’s statement on how these issues relate to the discipline of history will be forthcoming."


CMU history professor John Robertson's work informed and was quoted by the New York Times Magazine. The article "The Living and the Dead" by James Verini details the October battle for Mosul and examines the conflict in the context of history. 

The reporter drew from Robertson's well-received Iraq: A History. From the editor: "In this unrivaled study, John Robertson details the greatness and grandeur of Iraq’s achievements, the brutality and magnificence of its ancient empires and its extraordinary contributions to the world. The only work in the English language to explore the history of the land of two rivers in its entirety, it takes readers from the seminal advances of its Neolithic inhabitants to the aftermath of the American and British-led invasion, the rise of Islamic State and Iraq today."


MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Speakers this Academic Year

The Department of History is looking forward to some exceptional speakers this coming year. Mark your calendars now so you don't miss the opportunity to hear from these renowned historians. Follow the blog for reminders and updated information as the dates approach.

For the William T. Bulger Lecture Series on American Biography, we are pleased to welcome Susan Ware on Nov. 2, 2017. Ware is the Honorary Women’s Suffrage Centennial Historian of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and a leading biographer of feminists. Her book on Amelia Earhart was the first to place the female pilot into our understanding of the advancement of feminism: Still Missing: Amelia Earhart and the Search for Modern Feminism (W.W. Norton, 1993). Her most recent monograph is Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports (University of North Carolina Press, 2011).

For the George M. Blackburn Lecture Series on American Civil War and Reconstruction History, we are honored to have Edward Ayers present "Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America." The lecture will take place on Feb. 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Park Library auditorium. Ayers is the Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, where he is President Emeritus. In 2013, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. He is an accomplished historian of the American South. His book The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Prize for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492.

For grad students, Ayers will also run a workshop on digital history called History Between the Lines. The workshop will take place 12:30-2:00 pm.

For the International Graduate Historical Studies Conference Keynote Address, we are pleased to have Alan Taylor present "Transforming North America: Empires and Republics in War and Peace, 1800-1850 on April 6, 2018. Taylor, a historian of colonial and early republic America, holds the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia. Taylor has received many awards and prizes for his work including the Pulitzer Prize for American History for his book The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (W. W. Norton, 2013). His most recent monograph is American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (W. W. Norton, 2016).

Lectures are open to the public.

GAME OF PRIVILEGE: An African American History of Golf

CMU History professor Lane Demas's new book Game of Privilege will be released this September.

From the publisher, University of North Carolina Press: "This groundbreaking history of African Americans and golf explores the role of race, class, and public space in golf course development, the stories of individual black golfers during the age of segregation, the legal battle to integrate public golf courses, and the little-known history of the United Golfers Association (UGA)--a black golf tour that operated from 1925 to 1975. Lane Demas charts how African Americans nationwide organized social campaigns, filed lawsuits, and went to jail in order to desegregate courses; he also provides dramatic stories of golfers who boldly confronted wider segregation more broadly in their local communities. As national civil rights organizations debated golf’s symbolism and whether or not to pursue the game’s integration, black players and caddies took matters into their own hands and helped shape its subculture, while UGA participants forged one of the most durable black sporting organizations in American history as they fought to join the white Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA)."

Preorder on Amazon or other book retailers.


Martin Farr of Newcastle University will offer a presentation on Brexit and the General Election of 2017. British PM Theresa May just called for an election, so Farr is sure to offer interesting insight for us on this tumultuous period of British politics. Join us in Powers Hall 121, Monday, April 24, 12-1:30 pm.

OH, THE THINGS YOU COULD DO! Alternative Careers for History PhDs

If you have wondered what options history PhDs have other than teaching at a college, join us Friday, April 28, for Maura Elizabeth Cunningham’s talk “Oh, the Things You Could Do! Alternative Careers for History PhDs.” Maura Elizabeth chose to take the non-academic route after obtaining her PhD from the University of California, Irvine. Currently, she is the Digital Media Manager at the Association for Asian Studies headquartered in Ann Arbor. Before that, she was a program assistant at the National Committee on US-China Relations. She is also a very active writer with two forthcoming books under contract with Oxford University Press. You can find out more about her by going to her blog:

The lunch talk will be held from 12:30-2:00 on Friday, April 28 in Powers 121. Pizza will be served.

FOR LIBERTY AND EMPIRE: Remembering Sand Creek and Rethinking the Civil War

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Join us Friday, April 21 at 7:30 pm in the Park Library Auditorium for the a Blackburn Lecture Series Event. Ari Kelman, professor of History at UC-Davis will present For Liberty and Empire: Remembering Sand Creek and Rethinking the Civil War. A reception will follow the public lecture in the Terrace Room at the Bovee Center.

Review of A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek:

A Misplaced Massacre…recounts and analyses the ways in which generations of Americans, both white and Native American, have struggled—and as the book’s subtitle intimates, still struggle—to come to terms with the meaning of the attack. It is an important book, and its most brilliant chapter, which follows the order of events at the opening ceremonies, in April 2007, of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, shows that positions taken by the various speakers on that day still echoed the differing views expressed a hundred years earlier by Chivington, Soule and Bent… Kelman provides a nuanced and virtually complete account of each of the chronological phases and of the eddying currents of opinion in the movement towards the opening of the Historic Site… The book functions as an instructive lesson in public history, and Kelman shows how the massacre positively intersects with its legacy.”—Mick Gidley, The Times Literary Supplement


The Department of History is pleased to host an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecture by Daniel Fuller for the William T. Bulger Lecture in American Biography. The event will take place Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Park Library Auditorium.

This annual lecture series in the field of American biography is in honor of William T. Bulger, a long-time former member of the CMU history faculty.

Graduate students and faculty will have the opportunity to chat with Dr. Feller over coffee at 3 pm in the grad lounge. All are welcome.

MARTIN LUTHER KING'S: "Beyond Vietnam: Time to Break Silence"

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Join the Department of History and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration Tuesday, April 4, 2:30 pm, Park Library Auditorium.

On April 4, 1967 -- exactly a year before his assassination -- the Rev. Martin Luther King delivered the most controversial speech of his life. "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" publicly announced and explained King's opposition to the war in Vietnam. Other civil rights leaders condemned the speech, and President Lyndon Johnson withdrew and invitation to visit the White House.

In the 50 years since he delivered the speech at New York's Riverside Church, public observances of King's life and contributions to America have focused mainly on his most famous speech from the 1963 March on Washington. But "Beyond Vietnam" is essential to any understand of King's teachings on peace, justice and the moral dimensions of public policy.


Tuesday, March 28 the Clarke Historical Library in partnership with the CMU Foreign Languages Department will host "Children's Books from Around the World." As part of the event, CMU students from all over the world to read books from the Clarke's international children's book collection in their native language. This year, two of the readers are from our own history department - Sulaiman Albinhamad and Hugo Zayas. The event will be held in the Barber Room of the Park Library from 1-3 pm.


IGHSC: “Crossing Borders, Challenging Boundaries”

The International Graduate Historical Studies Conference The Central Michigan University Department of History is hosting the International Graduate Historical Studies Conference on March 31 and April 1 at the Bovee University Center. This year’s conference centers around “Crossing Borders, Challenging Boundaries,” and features scholars from across the nation and around the globe. Around 50 presenters are offering insight on a wide variety of topics. Presentations range from papers on witchcraft in the sixteenth century, graphic novels and the Great War, and the evolving architectural landscapes of Accra, Ghana. On Friday evening, at 7:30 pm, we are proud to have Dr. John Merriman, the Charles Seymour Professor of History Yale University, deliver the keynote address, “Against the State: Anarchist Violence in Paris duirng the Belle Epoque that Wasn't.” Please join us for this free public event, to be held in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium. For more information, please call the History Department at CMU (989)774-3374 or e-mail

SALLY HOWELL: presentation Mar 16

Old Islam in Detroit (Oxford)

Old Islam in Detroit (Oxford)

This Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the Park Library Auditorium Sally Howell will be speaking about her book Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim-American Past, published in 2014. Metropolitan Detroit is home to one of the largest the largest Muslim communities in the United States, and Professor Howell’s presentation looks closely at the history of this important group. I hope you will join us. A reception will follow the talk.


Jim and Mary Ellen Wynes

Jim and Mary Ellen Wynes

(News from our Alumni -- Class of 1962)

What do people do with their history degrees? Mary Ellen Wynes responded, “Write cross word puzzles!” Mary Ellen and her husband Jim, both CMU alums, created and published a history crossword puzzle book. Jim, who received his masters in history in 1965, has remained a student of history over the course of his life.

Jim wants people to learn while solving the puzzles, and Mary Ellen offers the friendly warning that it really is designed to challenge history scholars. The clues are devised for someone who has great familiarity with history, and the book covers a wide range of topics from Imperial Russia to military history to early television to Michigan and even CMU history. And that’s naming just a few of many categories.

Seems like great productive procrastinating for grad students and faculty alike. The book is available at the CMU Bookstore in the Bovee University Center or you can order via email at Cost is $11.95.