On September 25-6, 2009, Chima Korieh and the History Department hosted the International Conference on the Biafra-Nigeria Civil War. Other sponsors included the Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, MU’s Office of International Education, the Igbo League, and 100 Ibgo, USA. The two-day conference featured fifty panelists and attendees from at least five countries and thirteen states. A public lecture held in conjunction with the conference was given on September 24 by Ijeoma, Nwajijaku, of Oko Polytechnic in Nigeria. Her lecture was entitled “Women in Africa” and was co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Click here to go to the conference website.
The history department commemorated the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth by co-sponsoring the Legacies of Lincoln Conference on October 2, 2009. The night before the conference, the 17th annual Frank L. Klement Lecture was delivered a crowd of more than 150 by Allen C. Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College The title of his talk was "Colonel Utley's Emancipation: The Strange Case of President Lincoln and his Bid to Become a Slaveowner."
Co-sponsored with the law school (and supported partly by a Mellon Grant from the Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences) the Legacies of Lincoln Conference drew about 125 attendees to Sensenbrenner Hall for three panels on Lincoln. Lincoln and the Constitution
Featured Michael Les Benedict, professor emeritus of history at The Ohio State University, who is author of The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson (1973); A Compromise of Principle: Congressional Republicans and Reconstruction (1975); and The Blessings of Liberty (1996, rev. ed. 2005); and editor of Sources in American Constitutional History (1996). Also speaking on this panel were Stephen Kantrowitz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Kate Masur or Northwestern University. Lincoln and Politics featured Heather Cox Richardson, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who is the author of The Greatest Nation of the Earth: Republican Economic Policies During the Civil War (1997) and The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 (2001). Other speakers on this panel included Alison Clark Efford and James Marten, both of the MU history department. Finally, Lincoln the Lawyer featured Mark E. Steiner of the South Texas College of Law, author of An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln (2007).
Also on the panel were two MU law school adjunct professors and attorneys Joseph A. Ranney and Thomas L. Shriner, Jr. Revised versions of the lectures will be published in the summer edition of the Marquette Law Review.
Judith Bennett of the University of Southern California delivered the 8th annual Henry W. Casper Lecture to about 65 students and faculty members on March 30. Her topic was “Death and the Maiden in Chaucer’s England.” You can watch her lecture on the history department website.
Initiation of new members
Twenty-four young historians were initiated into Alpha Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta at a banquet at John Hawks Pub on March 5. Department chair James Marten welcomed the fifty-or-so initiates, faculty members, and guests, and Fr. Michael Zeps, S. J., blessed the meal. The featured speaker was Dr. Carla H. Hay, whose address, “Living History,” commemorated the Centennial of Women at Marquette by described the many changes in the number and status of female faculty members she had witnessed since joining the university in the early 1970s.
The 2009-2010 officers of Alpha Delta Chapter were Caroline Corcos, President; Jon Stepp, Vice President; Nick Tomaszewski, Treasurer; and Andrew Marshall, E-Board Member. Professors Timothy McMahon and Irene Guenther have been faculty advisors for the last three years. Professors Alison Efford and Michael Donoghue will become co-advisors in 2010-2011.
Other PAT events this year included:
October 3, 2009: Over a dozen Phi Alpha Theta members attended the Field Museum's "Real Pirates" exhibit on October 3. Professors Michael Wert and Michael Donoghue provided insights into piracy in the Caribbean and in Asia. The afternoon ended with dinner in Chinatown.
PAT hosted two “movie nights” with viewing and discussion of history-based films: Paths of Glory, with discussion led by Dr. Julius Ruff, and The Wind that Shakes the Barley with discussion led by Dr. Tim McMahon.
On October 9 a group of graduate students in history attended a conference at the University of Wisconsin at Madison commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of William Appleman Williams’ The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. This influential 1959 work cast U.S. foreign relations in a critical light as an expansionist economic project and inspired the “revisionist” school in American diplomatic history. The keynote address of the conference by historian and social activist Staughton Lynd was entitled “William Appleman Williams, Empire, and International Law.”
Marquette students Bethany Harding, Brian Burns, Mallory Musolf, Nicholas Tomaszewski, and Patrick Beckman attended the conference and participated in the wide-ranging discussion of the 1960s Vietnam protest era in Wisconsin at a luncheon held at the University club. Assistant professor of history Michael Donoghue and professor emeritus of philosophy Robert Ashmore also attended.
Marquette’s participation in this conference is part of growing effort by Dr. Donoghue and Dr. Jeremi Suri, the conference organizer, to encourage greater cooperation and joint ventures between the two history departments, especially in the field of U. S foreign relations and international studies. As part of this project, Dr. Suri lectured on Henry Kissinger and U. S. Middle East Policy at Marquette and in the fall of 2007 and Dr. Donoghue lectured on U.S colonialism in Panama at UW-Madison in the fall of 2008. Future projects involving both Marquette and UW-Madison graduate students are being planned.