PAST PERFECT
News from UIC’s History Department


January 2005

Headline News from the Department:


Prof. CHRIS BOYER has been awarded an NEH Fellowship for the coming academic year.

Prof. JOHN D’EMILIO (History and Gender and Women’s Studies) was featured in late December in the Chicago Tribune as one of its "Chicagoans of the Year." He has also been awarded the Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime contribution to gay and lesbian studies and will give a lecture there in late February titled "Courting Disaster: The Campaign for Same-Sex Marriage."


News from the American Historical Association Convention, Seattle, Jan. 6-9.


Competition with the Tribune’s Society Page being cutthroat, PP sent journalists to Seattle to cover both historical and social happenings. Historical first:


JASON DIGMAN (Ph.D., 2001), University of Minnesota, co-presented a paper on “Comparing Southern Black Migration to the North and West, 1920-1980.”

Prof. RICK FRIED chaired and commented on a panel on “The ‘Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations.’” One of the paper-givers appeared via videotape!

Prof. Emeritus RICHARD JENSEN chaired/commented on “An Integrated, Web-Based Census Microdata Archive: Problems and Prospects with Reference to the History of the Family.”

Prof. MARY TODD (Ph.D., 1996) of Ohio Dominican University presented the paper “Slippery Slope or Paper Pope? The Missouri Synod’’s Battle for the Bible” before the AHA-affiliated American Society of Church History/AHA.


Social notes from the AHA:

Seen in the corridors, sessions, or other intellectual haunts: Roger Biles (see below), Mary Todd (see above), Prof. Emeritus Ed Thaden, Jason Digman (above), Justin Coffey (see below), Greg Schneider (Ph.D., 1996) of Emporia State University, and Margaret Power of IIT (Ph.D., 1997). Not seen in the corridors: members of the Department’s US Early National search committee, rumored to be in attendance.

News from the Social Science Historical Association:


Many UIC’ers took part in the convention­in Chicago­last November:
Prof. ERIC ARNESEN took part in a panel on the book The Other Women’s Movement.

Grad student CATHERINE BATZA gave the paper “Marketing Sexual Health: The Howard Brown Memorial Clinic and the Gay Male Community in the pre-AIDS Era.”

Prof. FRED BEUTTLER (Office of UIC Historian) chaired a panel and gave the paper “UCLA or CCNY? Race, Admissions and Institutional Identity at University of Illinois, Chicago Circle.” He also discussed Wendy Plotkin’s paper (see below).

Prof. JUSTIN COFFEY (Ph.D., 2003) of North Central College gave the paper “The Non-Ideology of the American Suburbs: Spiro Agnew as a Case Study.”

Prof. LEON FINK gave the paper “Sweatshops at Sea: The Seamen’s Act of 1915 as an Experiment in Trans-National Labor Regulation” and was chair of another panel.

Former UIC Prof. RICHARD JENSEN took part in a roundtable on the 2004 election.

Prof. ROBERT JOHNSTON was the target of an “author meets critics” panel on his book about Portland in the Progressive Era.

Prof. DEIRDRE McCLOSKY chaired/commented on two panels.

Prof. WENDY PLOTKIN (Ph.D., 1999) of Arizona State University gave the paper “Louis Wirth and the American Council on Race Relations.”

RIMA LUNIN SCHULTZ (Jane Addams Hull House Museum) chaired a panel.

Prof. DANIEL SCOTT SMITH chaired a panel on “Fertility Decline in Regional Perspective” and was a panelist on an author-meets-critics donnybrook.

Grad student DAVID VEENSTRA gave the paper “Minorities and the Urban Mission: African-American and Latin American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, 1965-1975.”

Other Department News:


“The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle" came off the presses in December 2004. This is a map of Chicago labor and working-class history produced by scholars from many Chicago institutions, but led by UIC faculty and students. Prof. LEON FINK was project director Prof. Leon Fink. UIC grad students AARON BERKOWITZ, JOHN FLORES, DAN HARPER, JEFF HELGESON, and EMILY LaBARBERA-TWAROG researched and created the map. The project was funded by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. The spiffy website for all this is www.labortrail.org


Prof. ROGER BILES (Ph.D., 1981) of East Carolina University (but this year at NIU) offered an “Expanding the Circle” presentation on Jan. 18 on “Tobacco Towns: Urbanization and Urban Life in Eastern North Carolina.”


Prof. CHRIS BOYER has a book chapter due out this spring, “Toward a History of Community Forestry: Science, Law, and Production in Twentieth-Century Michoacán” in The Community-Managed Forests of Mexico: The Struggle for Equity and Sustainability, David Barton Bray, Leticia Merino-Pérez, and Deborah Barry, eds. (University of Texas Press).

Prof. JAMES CRACRAFT’s article “Implicit Morality” appears in HISTORY AND THEORY 43 (Dec., 2004), an issue devoted to the topic of historians and ethics.

The Chicago Tribune named Prof. PETER D’AGOSTINO’s book, Rome in America: Transnational Catholic Ideology from the Risorgimento to Fascism. one of its "Best (Nonfiction) Books for 2004." The University of Notre Dame's Cushwa Center semesterly Seminar in American Religion will focus, on Feb. 4-5, on Peter’s book. Our former colleague JON BUTLER of Yale will be a commentator. Peter gave the paper "'Utterly Faithless Specimens': Italians in the American Catholic Church" at a conference at Seton Hall University on December 3-4, 2004.

BARBARA DOBSCHUETZ (Ph.D., 2002), currently guest lecturer at Indiana University Northwest, has three articles that will be posted on the Jane Addams Urban Experience Website.

Prof. PERRY DUIS wrote the foreword to the University of Chicago Press's reissue of Bessie Louise Pierce's 1933 "classic," As Others See Chicago: Impressions of Visitors, 1673-1933.

NORMAN EDER (Ph.D., 1980) reports in from Portland, OR, that his partnership in public affairs, communications and research is thriving, his twin sons are about to graduate from law school, and that he attended a lecture, along with the eldest son of Prof. Emeritus BENTLEY B. GILBERT, given by Bob Remini in Portland. It was, he reports, a “packed house.”

Prof. Emeritus MELVIN HOLLI is co-author of the third edition of The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition (SIU Press, 2005). The book has a new ranking of Chicago's mayors by scholars, urban experts and writers and several chapters on the current mayor, Richard M. Daley.

Prof. BRIAN HOSMER (Newberry Library and History) had his face all over a Jan. 13 Chicago Tribune article about a major exhibit at the Art Institute titled "Hero, Hawk and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South." It was a sort of gallery tour on paper. He was also interviewed on NPR for a story about a Kennedy School comparison of census data on American Indians from 1990 and 2000.

Prof. RICHARD JOHN gave two papers in November: "Unnatural Monopoly: The Political Economy of Telegraphy in Civil War America," for the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT; and "Networks" for the Business History Workshop at the Harvard Business School. He also chaired a session on Zorina Khan's Democratization of Invention at a conference on the History of Modern U. S. Intellectual Property Law at the Law School of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

On Jan. 19, grad student BOB HUNTER gave his Work-in-Progress talk as a Guggenheim Fellow at the National Aeronautics and Space Museum on "Into the Wild Nuclear Yonder: The U.S. Air Force in Film, Radio, and Television, 1945-1965."

Prof BOB MESSER has an essay, "'Accidental Judgments, Casual Slaughters': Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Total War," in Roger Chickering, Stig Foerster, & Bernd Greiner eds., A World at Total War: Global Conflict and the Politics of Destruction, 1937-1945 (Cambridge University Press for the German Historical Institute, 2005).

Columbia College Prof. DOMINIC PACYGA (Ph.D,1981) has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Urban History Association. He recently was named also to the Chicago Center for Working Class Studies Board and serves on the Immigration and Ethnic History Association Board of Directors.

Prof. Emeritus ROBERT V. REMINI’s essay "The Historical Speakership," was published in The Cannon Centenary Conference: The Changing Nature of the Speakership, edited by Walter J. Oleszek (Washington, 2005). On January 8, 2005 he gave the keynote address on the battlefield at Chalmette to commemorate the 190th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.

Prof. ASTRIDA TANTILLO was just elected to the Executive Committee of her division (German 18th-and Early 19th-Century) of the Modern Languages Association.

Prof. BEN WHISENHUNT (Ph.D., 1997) of College of DuPage presented the paper "Pavel P. Svin'in, General J.V. Moreau and the Journey Home" at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies National Convention in Boston in December.

Under the heading “better late than never,” Prof. DEBORAH GRAY WHITE's book, "Ar'n't I a Woman?", was the entire subject of a panel at the Southern Historical Association's meeting in November, 2003. chaired by Peter Kolchin, with papers by three other scholars. DGW (Ph.D., 1979) of Rutgers responded.

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