PAST PERFECT
News from UIC’s History Department

November 2005

UIC Award of Merit:
Linda VanPuyenbroeck, Secretary of the Graduate Program, has received a UIC Award of Merit!  These monetary as well as honorific awards, a small number of which are given out each year, are meant to provide a way for the University to honor and reward outstanding UIC employees who demonstrate overall excellence in work performance, service, creativity, initiative, and a lot of other good stuff.

Teaching American History Grant:
Prof. ROBERT JOHNSTON is academic director of a project involving collaboration with the Newberry Library and the Homewood-Flossmoor American History Consortium (a group of twelve high schools in five school districts in the southern suburbs) on a program to improve the teaching of American history.  This project is made possible by a three-year, $967,000 Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Homewood-Flossmoor High School District to fund graduate courses, symposia, and a series of summer institutes for teachers.

                       
AHA Annual Meeting, January 2006:
            Advance news of the AHA convention indicates a goodly crew from UIC will take part. LEON FINK will be a member of a roundtable on “New Perspectives on Transnational Labor History.”  RICHARD JOHN will deliver a paper on “The Political Economy of Electrical Networks during the Second Industrial Revolution.”  JAVIER VILLA-FLORES will speak on “Words and Bonds: Slavery, Witnessing, and Salvation in Colonial Coyoacan.”  A session on alternative health and life reform in Europe and the US will offer papers by INA ZWEINIGER-BARGIELOWSKA on “Fighting Racial Degeneration: The New Health Society and Public Health in Britain, 1920s-30s”; and ROBERT JOHNSTON on “Becoming the People’s Doctor: Robert Mendelsohn and the Rise of Contemporary Anti-Vaccination Activism.”  PEG STROBEL will chair a roundtable on “Exploring NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers.”

 

Other News from the History Department:   

Prof.  DAVE BECK (Ph.D., 1994) reports in from (the already snow-covered) University of Montana that the University of Nebraska Press has recently published the second volume of his series on Menominee history, _The Struggle for Self-Determination: History of the Menominee Indians Since 1954_.  He has also received the Donald J. Sterling, Jr., Research Fellowship for (summer) 2006 from the Oregon Historical Society.

 

Prof. JONATHAN DALY recently published two chapters:  “Russian Punishments in the European Mirror,” in Russia in the European Context, 1789-1914:  A Member of the Family, ed. Susan McCaffray and Michael Melancon (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005); and “Krasnyi terror v Sovetskom gosudarstve (v otsenkakh rossiiskih i zarubezhnykh issledovatelei)” [“Red Terror in the Soviet State: Assessments by Russian and Foreign Scholars”], in Rossiia v XX v. Istoriia i istoriografiia, vol. 2, ed. V. D. Kamynin and Vladimir N. Brovkin et al. (Ekaterinburg: Ural’skii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2005).  He gave the paper “Rasstreliat’! Capital punishment and Executions in Bolshevik Russia, 1917-1922” at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies Meeting in Salt Lake City on November 6.

 

MICHAEL DOORLEY’s (Ph.D., 1995) book _Irish-American Diaspora Nationalism: The Friends of Irish Freedom, 116-1935_ was published in Summer 2005 by Four Courts Press in Dublin.  Currently living in Dublin, he recently visited the US, where he gave several talks, was featured in a story in the Irish Echo, and had a chance to visit Prof. (Emeritus) LEO SCHELBERT and JOHN ABBOTT (Ph.D., 2000).

 

Prof. STEVE FANNING's book, _Mystics of the Christian Tradition_, has been published in a Greek translation, Oi Mustikoi tes Christianikes Paradises (Athens: Enalios, 2005). In addition, there is an unauthorized translation into Farsi being prepared as well, suggesting that Iran may harbor illegal nukes but may also be stockpiling illicit translations of mystical works.

 

Prof. RICK FRIED’s book _The Man Everybody Knew_ has been chosen as a History Book Club selection for early next year.

CHERYL GANZ (Ph.D. 2005) has accepted the position of Curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum.

 

Grad student JEFF HELGESON has presented three papers in recent weeks: (1) "Will 'Our People' Be Any Better Off?': Black Migrants and the Fight to Win the Peace in Chicago, 1945-46," at the North American Labor History Conference, Wayne State University (Oct. 22); (2) "The American People in Wartime: Up From the South, 1914-1918," at the Pritzker Military Library, Chicago (Nov. 1); (3) "'Hidden to the Casual Observer': Social Science and Neighborhood Uplift in the Black Metropolis, 1937-1956," at the Social Science History Association Conference, Portland, OR (Nov. 5).

 

Should this be paid advertising?  Prof. GEORGE HUPPERT reports that the second issue of the Journal of the Historical Society just appeared (copy in the office on display) and that the February’s issue has gone to press.  If you are working on something interesting, George would like to hear about it.  He is actively soliciting mss. for the June issue and beyond.

 

Prof. RICHARD R JOHN lectured on "Agent of Change: The Postal System and Making of Modern America" on 10 May at the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum in Washington.  On 20 May, he presented the paper “Telephomania: The Contested Origins of the Urban Telephone Operating Company in the United States, 1879-1894" at the Business History Conference in Minneapolis.  In September, at the Mid-America Conference in Lawrence, KN, he
commented at a panel on the history of Indian removal.  In October, he gave a presentation at UIUC’s Institute for Advanced Study on "Networks: Rethinking the Advent of American Telecommunications."  This month he gave papers on the advent of U.S. telecommunications at before the Society for the History of Technology in Minneapolis and at the business history seminar at Harvard Business School.

 

In September Prof. RICHARD LEVY moderated a panel on "Diplomacy and Memory in Postwar West Germany," at the 29th Annual Conference of the German Studies Association in (where else?) Milwaukee.

                                                           
From Belgium, Prof. Thomas K. MURPHY (Ph.D. 1997) reports that he was recently elected to the Faculty Advisory Council of the University of Maryland. This board of 15 faculty members oversees faculty relations with the university administration for the overseas military programs (Asia and Europe), as well as the American division of the university.

 

Prof. DOMINIC PACYGA (Ph.D. 1981), Columbia College, spoke recently at Chicago’s Polish Museum on the development of Chicago's Polonia. This semester he has been helping prepare young Jesuits from across the country to work in Chicago at Loyola University and offered two workshops for teachers at the Newberry Library.  He was quoted several times in the press (New York Times, Pittsburgh Courier, AP, etc.) about the White Sox relationship with Chicago's Latino community. On WGN-TV News he discussed similarities between the 1959 White Sox and the current World Champions.  In October he held forth on the Bob Edwards radio show regarding the coming 100th anniversary of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.  Pacyga is serving his third year on the Fulbright Senior Scholar Peer Review Board.

           
Prof. WENDY PLOTKIN (Ph.D., 1999) reports from Arizona State University that she has been asked to join the boards of the Urban History Association and the Society for American City and Regional Planning History.  Thanks to her successful proposal, the UHA will hold its 2006 meeting at ASU.  She received an Instruction grant from her college (LAS) for the project "Incorporating Historical GIS into the Study of History and Geography at ASU," She will also head a panel at the upcoming Social Science History Association meeting on this project.
            She also helped create a new academic group on "Space, Place, Society, and Culture" as part of the ASU Institute for Humanities Research's new "research cluster program," which provides a small amount of funding and other support for interdisciplinary efforts at ASU.  And she was nominated for the CLAS Outstanding Professor award for AY 2004-05.               

 

Prof. MARGARET POWER of IIT (Ph.D., 1997) gave a paper on "The Politics and Technology of Family Planning in Chile in the 1960s" at the Society for the History of Technology, in Minneapolis on Nov.5.  She also presented a paper on her own and related work on the history of women in Chile at Dartmouth College a week later. 

 

Grad student SARAH ROSE gave a talk, "Producing Productive Citizens: Disability and the Origins of Eugenics, 1850-1900," at the Social Welfare History Archives at the University of Minnesota in early November.   In the same city she also gave a conference paper at the Society for the History of Technology conference: “Creating the Disabled: Mechanization, Industrial Accidents, and Ideal Workers at the Ford Motor Company, 1905-1930.”

 

Grad student JOSHUA SALZMANN presented the paper, “The Chicago Lakefront's Last Frontier: Streeterville 1886-1921,” at the Conference on Illinois History in Springfield.  He also published a review of Andrew Wender Cohen's _The Racketeer's Progress_ in the Michigan Historical Review (Fall 2005)

 

Prof. KATRIN SCHULTHEISS had a review of the second volume of Hilary Spurling's biography of Henri Matisse (subtitle: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954) in the Sept. 25 Chicago Tribune Book section.

 

On November 15 Prof. ASTRIDA TANTILLO’s piece Reforming College: What professors don't tell you” appeared along with contributions of such other luminaries as K. Anthony Appiah and Andrew Delbanco in Slate magazine:
http://www.slate.com/id/2130322/

 

Prof. LES TISCHAUSER (Ph. D., 1981) of Prairie State College contracted recently to write one of five volumes in a Greenwood Press series edited by Ronald Bayor called "Race Relations in the United States in the Twentieth Century by the Decade."  His book will cover the Twenties and Thirties.  It’s due out in 2007.

 

MARTIN TUOHY (M.A., 2001) became a citizen of the Republic of Ireland this year. In June he attended a conference on "Land and Landscape in 19th-century Ireland" at the University of Limerick.  Later in Dublin, his wife Rachel and he met up with Michael Doorley (see supra) at the National Library of Ireland.  This fall, Secretary of State Jesse White appointed Martin to the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board and Illinois State Archives Advisory Board, where he joins Doug Bicknese (M.A., 1995), UIC University Archivist, in promoting better cooperation among archival repositories and preservation and use of records and manuscripts.  In October he began his fourteenth year at the National Archives-Great Lakes Region in Chicago.

 

DAVID VEENSTRA, who successfully defended his dissertation (on President Gerald R. Ford) last summer is now Visiting Associate UIC Historian.

 

Grad student BENN WILLIAMS has been re-elected to the Executive Board of the Center for French Colonial Studies (CFCS) for a three-year term, based in part on his key role in creating a Graduate Research Grant. In addition, he has been named the editor of the CFCS's Extended Publication series.

 

In January your inquiring reporter is off to Vietnam for the semester.  Please note that Prof. Daniel Smith will be taking over.  For the duration, please submit your news to dansmith@uic.edu 
   Good night and good luck.