Department of History

Assistant Professor Jacob Dorman wins Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award
The Hall Center for the Humanities has announced the winner of the 2013 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. Jacob Dorman, assistant professor of history at the University of Kansas, won the award for his book, "Chosen People: The Rise of Black Israelite Religions," published by Oxford University Press in 2013. The Byron Caldwell Smith Award was established at the bequest of Kate Stephens, a former KU student and one of KU's first women professors. As an undergraduate, Stephens learned to love the study of Greek language and literature from Professor Byron Caldwell Smith. In his name, she established this award, given biennially to an individual who lives or is employed in Kansas and who has written an outstanding book published in the previous two years. Read more.

Doctoral student Joshua Nygren is recipient of a Hall Center Sias Graduate Fellowship for 2013-14
Joshua Nygren, a doctoral candidate in history from Wisconsin has been selected as a recipient of the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities for 2013-14. Nygren's dissertation project, titled "Engineering Conservation: Soil, Water and Science in American Agriculture, 1930-2010," will argue that industrialized agriculture and soil and water conservation co-evolved during the 20th century and neither can be understood independently. Read more.

Assistant Professor Jacob's Dorman's book explores rise of American black Israelite religions
Dorman's new book, "Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions," explores the notion that ancient Israelites were black and that today's African-Americans are their descendants. The book was published this month by Oxford University Press. For more information, please see here.

Distinguished professor Edmund Russell to bring wealth of knowledge in environmental history to KU
Edmund Russell will become the Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of United States History at the University of Kansas in spring 2013. Russell is an environmental historian who studies the ways technological advancements in agriculture and industry have affected the evolution of human and nonhuman populations. For more information, please see here.

Professor Jeff Moran wins University Scholarly Achievement Award
Associate Professor Jeff Moran was one of only five recipients of the University Scholarly Achievement Awards, which recognize mid-career scholars who have made significant scholarly or research contributions to their fields. For more information, please see here.

Jonathan Earle and other Civil War historians evaluate impact of Border Wars
As part of the nation’s Civil War sesquicentennial, 17 of the nation’s leading scholars on the Border Wars, including Professors Jonathan Earle and Jennifer Weber, will discuss the issues and circumstances that shattered the Union during the Civil War. Earle and his counterpart at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Diane Mutti Burke, have organized a national public conference on Border Wars from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12 at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library. Please read more about the conference here:

Professor: 'Border Wars' concept belongs to modern coaches, not history

Today’s use of "Border Wars" to describe athletic rivalries between the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri did not evolve in the decades that followed the Civil War, according to a study at the University of Kansas.

Charles Stansifer Gifts Latin American Collection

An extensive gift of more than 20,000 Latin American books, pamphlets and papers from a KU emeritus professor will serve to deepen an already substantial collection that he helped to create. Charles Stansifer, professor emeritus of history and a former director of the KU Center of Latin American Studies, has donated his personal collection and papers, including items from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay and other Central and South American countries. Please read more about the donation here:

Sara Gregg Wins Book Award

Sara M. Gregg has won the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for 2010. Given since 1977, it rewards superior scholarship in forest and conservation history. In Managing the Mountains: Land Use Planning, The New Deal, and the Creation of a Federal Landscape in Appalachia, Gregg explores the redevelopment of the Appalachian Mountains from the 1910s through the 1930s. Her use of case studies reveals the ecological as well as economic impact local, state, and federal land management policies had by moving farmers off their subsistence farms in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains to create public forests and parks. The book is published by Yale University Press.

Professor Hagith Sivan receives Research Achievement Award for 2010

Dr. Hagith SivanProfessor Hagith Sivan has received a Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Award for 2010. Her particular honor is the Balfour Jeffrey Award in Humanities and Social Sciences. For complete details see:

Professor Nathan Wood receives 2010 Kemper Fellowship

Associate Professor Nathan Wood won a 2010 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. For more information, please see here.   

Dr. Kristen Epps receives Distinguised Dissertation Prize

Dr. Kristen Epps (shown with her advisor, Professor Jonathan Earle)Dr. Kristen Epps (shown with her advisor, Professor Jonathan Earle) received the university-wide 2010 Marnie and Bill Argersinger Dissertation Prize at commencement in May. She defended her dissertation, "Bound Together: Masters and Slaves on the Kansas-Missouri Border, 1825-1865" with honors earlier in the Spring semester. This fall Epps begins a job as visiting assistant professor at Colorado State University at Pueblo.

Hannah N. Ballard Receives Scholarship to Attend a Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program

A University of Kansas junior majoring in history is one of 30 students in the nation selected for an intensive one-week program at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City.

Hannah N. Ballard received a $1,500 scholarship to attend a Gilder Lehrman History Scholars Program to be held June 12-19. The Wellington High School graduate is the daughter of Joe Ballard of Wellington and Sharon Ballard of Winfield.

History Faculty News

Worster Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Donald WorsterDonald Worster, the Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Professor of U.S. History at the University of Kansas, has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies. Worster joins Mario Capecchi, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology: 19 foreign honorary members, including former South African President Nelson Mandela; and Academy Award, MacArthur Fellowship, Tony Award and National medal of the Arts recipients in the 2009 class. Worster is a nationally renowned historian and the author of several books, including “A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir,” “A River Running West: The Life of John Wesley Powell,” “Rivers of Empire,” “Dust Bowl” and “Nature's Economy.” “A River Running West” won the Byron Caldwell Smith Award, and “Dust Bowl” won a Bancroft Prize. Three of his books have been nominated for Pulitzer Prizes. Worster, a KU faculty member since 1989, said he is honored to be selected by the academy. “The University of Kansas and the State of Kansas as a whole have been very good to me and given me an excellent academic home where my work could thrive,” Worster said. “I am grateful to the academy for electing me, but even more I'm grateful to KU for is steadfast support.” A Native of Kansas, Worster earned a bachelor's in 1963 and a master's in 1964, both from KU. He earned his doctorate in American History and Literature at Yale University in 1971. A noted pioneer in the field of environmental history, he has been president of the American Society for Environmental History and has served as editor of the Cambridge University monograph series “Studies in Environment and History.” “Since 1780, the academy has served the public good by convening leading thinkers and doers from diverse perspectives to provide practical policy solutions to the pressing issues of the day,” said Leslie Berlowitz, chief executive officer and William T. Golden chair. “I look forward to welcoming into the academy these new members to help continue that tradition.” Worster and his fellow inductees will be honored at a ceremony Oct. 10 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

History Department Boasts Six Teaching Awardees in '09

Leslie TuttleLeslie Tuttle, assistant professor, won a prestigious Kemper Award. Watch her receive the surprise award in class!

Sheyda Jahanbani

Sheyda Jahanbani, assistant professor, won the 2009 Silver Anniversary Award for distinguished teaching, given to only one untenured professor at the University each year.

Ted WilsonTed Wilson received the Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences this past spring. The award honors outstanding faculty who are selected on the basis of nominations received from graduate students in the college. Ted will co-direct a NEH seminar with Janet Sharistanian in the English Department at KU on "America and The Great War: An Interdisciplinary Seminar in Literature and History." For five weeks next summer 16 elementary and secondary teachers will examine America's relationship to World War I through a combination of literature, history, and visual arts.

Anton Rosenthal

Anton Rosenthal, associate professor of history, received a 2009 Ned N. Fleming Trust Award for teaching, scholarship, and service.

Megan GreeneEve Levin

Last but not least, Megan Greene, associate professor, and Eve Levin, professor, both were recognized for their excellence in teaching by the Center for Teaching Excellence in Spring of 2009. Greene was lauded for her accessibility to students. Graduate students Emily Lowrance-Floyd and Steven Tucker noted, "When educators say their office is always open, few mean that in a literal sense. Prof. Greene, on the other hand, has made it a point to be available to graduate students both inside and outside her field." Levin was recognized for her rigorous approach to working with graduate students. "Dr. Levin pushes her students to a higher standard of scholarship, and we are better historians because of her leadership," said Shelly Cline and John Schneiderwind, graduate students in the department.

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