UIC History Department
September 2003

September 2003

There is a great deal of news to report since last Spring. Headline bulletins and late flashes to begin with, followed by an alphabetical listing of news and its makers.

BEACH BOOKS­Summer Reading (or nearly so). Recent books from UIC History:

Prof. MICHAEL C. ALEXANDER, The Case for the Prosecution in the Ciceronian Era (University of Michigan)

Prof. CHRISTOPHER R. BOYER, Becoming Campesionos: Politics, Identity, and Agrarian Struggles in Postrevolutionary Michoacan, 1920-1935 (Stanford University Press)

Prof. JAMES CRACRAFT (and Daniel Rowland), eds., Architectures of Russian Identity: 1500 to the Present (Cornell University Press)

Prof. JOHN D’EMILIO, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin (Free Press).

Prof. LEON FINK, The Maya of Morganton: Work and Community in the Nuevo New South (University of North Carolina Press)

Prof. ROBERT D. JOHNSTON, The Radical Middle Class: Populist Democracy and the Question of Capitalism in Progressive Era Portland, Oregon (Princeton University Press)

Prof. BARBARA RANSBY, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (University of North Carolina Press).



The front page of the August 24 “Books” section of the Sunday Chicago Tribune was an all-UIC extravaganza. A joint review by James Ralph (Middlebury) showered praise on the brand-new books of Profs. JOHN D’EMILIO and BARBARA RANSBY. (Q.V.) In the adjacent column, Prof. ERIC ARNESEN had a review of The Dream, a book that details the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” at the March on Washington forty years earlier.

But wait! there’s more. The Aug. 17 Trib Book Section had a review by Rachel Arnesen, daughter of Eric and KATRIN SCHULTHEISS of Angel on the Square, a historical (of course) novel set at the time of the Russian Revolution.

And the Aug. 31 Trib had a positive review of LEON FINK’s book (see above).



JOHN D’EMILIO, Professor of History and Gender and Women’s Studies, had his scholarly work cited in the majority opinon, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the Lawrence case which overthrew a Texas sodomy law. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion referred to D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman’s 1977 book, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, to buttress the point that "there is no longstanding history in this country of laws directed at homosexual conduct as a distinct matter." John was also interviewed on “Nightline” on July 2 in connection with the decision. A tracking shot also displayed the glories of the architecture of BSB. He had a short piece about this on HNN.


LEON FINK has been named a UIC Distinguished Professor.

Late (but not late-breaking) news from the OAH Convention last March:

Prof. ROBERT JOHNSTON chaired a session on “Taxation and Social Justice in the 19th Century.” Prof. LEON FINK commented on a session addressing “What is Work? Reclaiming the Labor of Care.” Prof. BARBARA Ransby commented on a panel on “African American Women and Social Change.” Grad student SARAH ROSE gave a paper on “Narratives of Disability and Normalcy: Blind Veterans of World War II and the G.I. Bill.”


And the General Good News:

Prof. ERIC ARNESEN’s essay, "Willard S. Townsend: Black Workers, Civil Rights, and the Labor Movement," appeared in Nina Mjagkij, ed., Portraits of African American Life Since 1865 (Scholarly Resources, 2003). He published a number of reviews in the Chicago Tribune Sunday Book section. (See also above.) They included treatments of Gitlin, Letters to a Young Activist, Barber, Marching on Washington, and Due & Due, Freedom in the Family (July 6); Lebsock, A Murder in Virginia (June 29); Hendrickson, Sons of Mississippi (June 1); and an essay on five books under the heading “Consumed by Consumption” (April 20). On August 28, he was interviewed on WGN radio on the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. In April, he presented "New Race Theorists for the Twenty-First Century at the conference of the Collegium for African American Research in Winchester, England. His first book, Waterfront Workers of New Orleans, has also been selected for inclusion in the ACLS E-Book project.

Prof. RENATO BARAHONA has an essay titled "Between Ideals and Pragmatism: Honor in Early Modern Spain" in the upcoming volume Approaches to Teaching the Comedia, published by the MLA. Defensively he notes that while this chapter may seem an odd fit in such a volume, it was invited by the coeditors to provide historial perspective for a subject long dominated by Golden Age literary experts.

Prof. DAVE BECK (Ph.D., 1994) of the University of Montana received the Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award of Merit for his Siege and Survival. He also participated in an NEH Summer Institute, “Re-Imagining Indigenous Cultures: The Pacific Islands,” at the East-West Center and University of Hawaii at Manoa.

GINA CARPENTER announces the birth of Sonia Evelien Joseph, with an initial weight of 8 lbs., 6 oz., to the aforesaid grad student and to Steve Joseph on June 3.

Prof. JAMES CRACRAFT gave the keynote address at the annual Clifford Symposium at Middlebury College this month. He also keynoted a conference last March at Georgetown University on “Capitals by Design: Architecture, The Arts and Spectacle in St. Petersburn and Washington, D.C., 1703-2003.” His subject was “Peter the Great’s St. Petersburg.”

Prof. PETER D’AGOSTINO (History and Catholic Studies) has won the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize of the American Society of Church History for his forthcoming book, Rome in America, to be published by the University of North Carolina next year. Peter had a review of Catholicism and American Freedom: A History by John T. McGreevy in the Chicago Tribune Book section on Sunday, May 18.

Prof. JONATHAN DALY published a series of brief essays by a police official with commentary and notes entitled “A.I. Spiridovich. Okhrana i antisemitizm v dorevoliutsionoi Rossii” [“...The Security Police and Anti-Semitism in prerevolutionary Russia”] in Voprosy istorii, no. 8 (2003).

Prof. JOHN D’EMILIO served as senior faculty at a week-long summer seminar/institute on the history of sexuality at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington. His just-out biography of Bayard Rustin (see above) has had reviews in Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and LA Weekly. It was excerpted in The Crisis. And it was discussed in news articles and features about the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Detroit News. And, he was interviewed on the widely-syndicated NPR Diane Rehm show.

JASON DIGMAN (Ph.D., 2001) is engaged as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate on a project at the Minnesota Population Center under the title "African-American Migration to the West, 1930-2000" that has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Thanks.

The Buona Beef Professor? Prof. RICK FRIED won the WBBM news quiz Sept. 10 and with it a catered feed for 30 from Buona Beef. The first and fastest of our graduate students will share in it at the Fall Welcome party, Oct. 6. He also was interviewed last May by Aaron Brown on CNN on the release of Joe McCarthy’s executive-session transcripts. He received one crank and one fan letter. Further of his wisdom was strewn through the pages of the LA Times and the ABC News website. His interview about the 50s appears in Rick Phalen’s How We Have Changed: America Since 1950 (2003) along with those of such other cultural icons Dick Clark and Pat Boone.

Grad student CHERYL GANZ reviewed Martha Ackmann's The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight in the July 27 Chicago Tribune Sunday Books section.

Sam Roberts’s review of a biography of Mayor La Guardia in the June 29 New York Times spent much of its time quoting Prof. emeritus MEL HOLLI to the effect that Fiorello would STILL be rated the best of America’s big-city mayors­take that, Rudy Juliani. Mel also spoke about Emil Hurja at Finnish Heritage Day in Crystal Falls, MI, in August. He was a panelist/commentator on "The Dutch Experience in Urban America," and spoke on comparisons of Dutch to other European immigrants, at a conference held at Trinity Christian College in June.

Prof. BRIAN HOSMER was an invited speaker at the Oneida Nation History Conference in Green Bay on August 15-16. His topic was "Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Wisconsin Indians and U.S. Timber Policy during the Allotment Era." He also served on a task force evaluating the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, a publication based at UCLA.

In May at a Faculty Seminar of the Free University in Berlin, Prof. GEORGE HUPPERT presented his recent research under the title: "Der franzosische Sokrates und die Deutsche Aufklarung." The event was chronicled in some detail in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of June 5 (see the bulletin board on the 9th floor). While in Berlin George was a Visiting Residential Fellow of the American Academy.

Prof. RICHARD JOHN chaired a session on telecommunications at the annual meeting of the Business History Conference in Lowell, MA. In July he chaired a roundtable discussion at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic in Columbus, Ohio. He has been named to the editorial board of the Journal of Policy History and to the advisory council of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. (Surely, a stamp of approval.)

Prof. CYNTHIA KOSSO (Ph.D., 1993) is now Chair of the Department of History at Northern Arizona University. And her book, The Archaeology of Public Policy in Late Roman Greece, has been published in the BAR (British Archaeological Reports) International series in 2003.

Prof. KURT LEICHTLE (Ph.D., 1982) of University of Wisconsin-River Falls reports that his fourth-grade history of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Journey, is doing well and actually is back-ordered about 900 copies. This summer he was a presenter at a workshop on Madeline Island, Wisconsin, as part of a Teaching American History Grant sponsored by the National Council for History Education.

Grad student RAYMOND LOHNE published an essay, “Recapturing the Spirit of Nuremberg: Published and Unpublished Sorces on the Danube Swabians of Yugoslavia,” in Steven Bela Vardy and T. Hunt Tooley, eds., Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe (Social Science Monographs, Boulder, 2003).

Prof. DOMINIC PACYGA (Ph.D., 1981) has contracted with the University of Chicago Press to write a book titled, "Chicago: An Urban Biography." On August 25 he appeared on the WBEZ to discuss the World's Columbian Exposition and its impact on Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods. He has an essay forthcoming in a new encyclopedia of world diasporas. On September 10, he gave the Feodarczyk Lecture in Polish American Studies at Central Connecticut University.

Prof. BARBARA RANSBY (see also above) gave a paper at The Colorlines Conference organized by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard early in the month. On Aug. 24 she appeared as part of a panel on “Race, Resistance and Culture” at DuSable Museum on C-SPAN2. She spoke at Carnegie Mellon University on Sept. 19.

Grad student JOHN REDA presented his paper, “Illinois Slavery Reconsidered: The Signifcance of the Northwest Ordinance,” at the SHEAR Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in July.

Prof. Emeritus ROBERT V. REMINI’s "Heroes of History" Lecture, delivered at the White House on May 1 as part of the NEH's We the People Initiative, is published as "Ordinary Heroes: Founders of our Republic" in the July/August issue Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Prof. MARIAN RUBCHAK (Ph.D., 1987) of Valparaiso University reports that she has been awarded a second Fulbright to Kyiv and Odessa. It begins next January. She was recently promoted to Full Professor. Her annotated translation, with introduction, of a volume of Sergei Soloviev's History of Russia from Earliest Times was published last October. She recently directed the master’s thesis of a student at Hong Kong University (on Ukrainian women/feminists) who used Marian’s work as a basis for her project.

Prof. GREG SCHNEIDER’s (Ph.D., 1996) book, Conservatism in America Since 1930: A Reader (NYU Press, 2003) was selected as a main selection of the Conservative Book Club. The just-tenured prof. at Emporia State University has been invited to give a paper at the Evolution of American Conservatism conference to be held October 11 at Ashland University. He is Associate Chair of his department.

Prof. JAMES SEARING published two articles: "Conversion to Islam: Military Recruitment and Generational Conflict in a Sereer-Safen Village (Bandia), 1920-1938," Journal of African History 44 (2003); and "’Blancs’ et ‘Noirs’: la frontiere du desert mauritanien. Notes critiques sur le livre de James Webb, Desert Frontier (1995)," Annuaire de l'Afrique du Nord 39, (2000-2001). He also presented a paper in May at the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA), Third International Colloquium, "Muslim/Christian Encounters in Africa," at Northwestern: "The Time of Conversion: Christians and Muslims among the Sereer-Safen of Senegal, 1914-1950s."

Prof. DANIEL S. SMITH's essay, "Seasoning, Disease Environment, and Conditions of Exposure: New York Union Army Regiments and Soldiers," appeared in Dora Costa, ed. Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle, a volume published by the University of Chicago Press in the National Bureau of Economic Research Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development.

Grad student ERIC SMITH was married on Sept. 20 to Mireia Valls from Barcelona, Spain. Ms. Valls works as a psychologist for Chicago Public Schools.

Prof. MARY TODD (Ph.D., 1996) of Concordia University River Forest gave a paper, "Defying or Defining? Transplanting Old Lutheranism into a New Nation" at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic at Ohio State in July. She also was awarded a two-year grant by the Louisville Institute to support research, including the gathering of oral histories, on a book on the 1970s schism in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. She continues in her position as Assistant Vice President for Academics at Concordia.

Prof. BEN WHISENHUNT (Ph.D., 1997) was promoted to Professor of History at the College of DuPage. He will be leading a group of students to Russia in 2004.

UIC undergraduate History major SCOTT WILSON won a NSEP (National Security Education Program) scholarship for his summer and fall programs in Russia.

Please send any news of interest to the UIC History community to rmfried@uic.edu