The History Department is proud to announce six ’13 History Majors, who are working on their honors theses. Below are their topics:
Alexandre Caillot – The Rifled Musket: Transformer of War and Harbinger of Modern Conflict
This project will examine one of history’s greatest firearm innovations: the rifled musket. Studied in the context of the Civil War, the goal will be to evaluate its impact in both North and South through military, social, and economic lenses. In this way, the weapon will not only have import as a factor in the development of military tactics, but will also acquire significance due to its influence on the evolution of modern warfare. The repercussions on American memory will be highlighted, as well as the way in which the weapon’s production was tied to an increasing trend of wartime industrialization.
Audrey Lomax - The Use of Paratroopers by the United States in WWII: Why the Army Achieved its Goal of Using its Airborne to Paradrop Behind Enemy Lines While the Marines Did Not
She is comparing United States Army and Marine airborne operations in World War II in order to determine what factors led to the discrepancy between how they employed their paratroops. They started building their airborne operations at the same time in 1940, but while the Army achieved many successful jumps throughout the war, the Marine paratroopers never made a jump. Her project is an in-depth study as to what actions by each branch led to this discrepancy.
Eoin McCarron – “You Have Been in Afghanistan, I Perceive”: A Portrait of the Second Afghan War and the Irish Who Were There
This project will address the questions surrounding Irish service in the British Army through the context of the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880). Countless Irish born soldiers served in the British Army throughout the 19th century, primarily in the colonies. What can their experiences in the Second Anglo-Afghan War reveal about their role in the British Army, their reasons for enlistment and why they ended up so far from home righting on the peripheries of the British Empire.
Lindsay Peterson – Americanization Through Education: The Carlisle Indian School and the Americanization of Immigrants
Her thesis will first examine the Carlisle Indian School and Richard Henry Pratt’s goals in this endeavor to Americanize Native Americans in order to integrate them in mainstream society. Within a quarter of a century of Carlisle opening there was a strong societal response to the massive influx of European immigrants and there was a desire to integrate these new people into society. The question this thesis will investigate is what is the connection between Pratt’s Carlisle experiment and the Americanization through education methods that followed in regards to immigrants? She will seek to discover if there were common individual actors and ideas that suggest Pratt’s methods were used as a model in the Americanization of immigrants that followed.
Carter Stevens - When the Confederates Terrorized Maine: The Battle of Portland Harbor
This project focuses on a Confederate raid into Portland, Maine, of June 1863, when a Confederate ship under the command of Lt. Charles W. Read entered the harbor and commandeered a U.S. Revenue Cutter there. A short pursuit and battle followed off the coast of Portland, where the Confederates surrendered but scuttled the ship. The project will look not only at the details of the battle, but also at how it was reported in local and national media, the reactions of Mainers to the raid, and how such a small incident fits into the larger Civil War.
Her thesis will trace the transformation of Jewish summer camps from institutions to escape discrimination into institutions to shape Jewish identity. She will study the establishment of Jewish summer camps in light of the American summer camp movement, which started in the 1880s. Jewish summer camps got their starts in the early 1900s and were widely attended. Through the lens of summer camp, she hopes to learn more about the social dynamics of the American Jewish community in the 20th century.
The History Department has hired two new faculty members for next year: Hwisang Cho as a Faculty Fellow/Joint Appointment with East Asian Studies, and Urmi Engineer as World History Faculty Fellow.
Hwisang Cho earned his Ph.D. in 2010 from Columbia University. The title of his dissertation was “The Community of Letters: The T’oegye School and the Political Culture of Choson Korea, 1545-1800.”
Urmi Engineer earned her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of California-Santa Cruz. The title of her dissertation was “Hurricane of the Human Frame: Yellow Fever, Race, Reconstruction in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans.”
Professor Leonard has been selected to serve on the 2013 Lincoln Prize Jury. In December, she will be visiting Minneapolis to give a lecture on women in the Civil War, in her capacity as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. She was named co-winner of the 2012 Lincoln Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in American Civil War history. She received this award for her biography of Joseph Holt, Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky (2011), which was released by the University of North Carolina Press in October 2011. Those interested in seeing or hearing her discuss the book can do so by clicking here and going to the November 12, 2011, link. She has given talks about the book in Lexington, Kentucky, in June 2012, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in July 2012.
Watch Professor Leonard’s August 24, 2012 interview with the Civil War Monitor (20 minutes):
Professor Taylor was recently invited to be part of a filming in France of a two-part documentary on “Ken Follett’s Medieval World”. Her segment was on medieval women, and she was interviewed for the documentary. She was asked to show Ken Follett Joan of Arc sites in Rouen and Chinon, France. This will accompany British TV Channel 4 and German TV’s production of a miniseries on Pillars of the Earth and World Without End this fall. Professor Taylor is President Emerita for 2012 of the American Catholic Historical Association.
Above images are of Professor Taylor, Ken Follett, and location in France.
Professor Tortora has worked as a consultant on Fort Loudoun: Forsaken by God and Man, a documentary film about historic Fort Loudoun (Tennessee) and the dramatic Cherokee victory there in 1760. The film will air on PBS in 2013. Tortora, who studies Native American war and society in the eighteenth century, wrote several essays in the recently published book, Reporting the Revolutionary War.