History Newsletter

Letter from the Chair

James Marten

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the MU History Department’s newsletter!

2018-2019 was a very good year for the department, with a number of awards and grants earned by history faculty and students. But it also saw us say goodbye to two long-time faculty members who retired.

Some of the highlights from the year are described below, but please browse the entire newsletter for all the news from the department’s faculty and graduate and undergraduate students.

As always, if you have comments are questions, or news for next year’s newsletter, don’t hesitate to write me at james.marten@marquette.edu. If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook (we have almost 750 “likes”), and follow our blog, Historians@Work (The twelve posts from the last year attracted nearly 4500 views!).

New SiteFinally, if you haven’t been to the history department website lately, we’ve completely redesigned it. It’s easier to find out about the research of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates, and is generally easier to navigate. Check it out at https://www.marquette.edu/history/.

Take care,
Jim Marten

  • Newsletter Highlights
  • Faculty News
  • Public Programming
  • Undergraduate News
  • Graduate News

Peter Staudenmaier became the fifteenth member of the department to win a Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and the second to win the Teacher of the Year Award from A & S. In fact, more than a third of the current history faculty have won teaching awards from the university or the college.

On the left, Peter accepts his Award for Teaching Excellence at the Annual Pere Marquette Dinner on May 2, 2019. On the right, Tim McMahon, who won the award two years ago, acts as Master of Ceremonies at the dinner.

Peter Tim


Daniel Meissner became the fourth history faculty member to be awarded the Excellence in Advising Award from the college of Arts and Sciences (joining Kristen Foster, Tim McMahon, and Julius Ruff). Dan is pictured here at the Arts and Sciences awards celebration with Madeleine Mathias, the advisee who nominated him for the award.  Her nomination letter read, in part, Dr. Meissner “has helped me take advantage of so many opportunities and always promotes my education and abilities. As I graduate this year, I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done and I cannot imagine of a more perfect candidate for this award.”

Finally, we bid farewell and good luck to two of our long-time colleagues, Dr. Julius Ruff and Fr. Michael Zeps, SJ, who retired in May.

JuliusJulius began teaching at Marquette in 1980. He is the author of two major monographs, Crime, Justice and Public Order in Old Regime France, and Violence in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800, and co-author of Discovering the Western Past a textbook that went through several editions. Among his academic honors were a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship (1987), his selection as a Sesquicentennial Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at Guilford College (1988), and his election as Co-President of the Society for French Historical Studies.

At Marquette Julius taught sixteen different courses on topics ranging from the Ancient Regime in France to the 1960s. One of his great successes was History and Philosophy of Crime and Punishment, which he co-developed and taught many times. Somewhat more recently, he began teaching a course on the First World War, which quickly became favorite among history majors and non-majors alike.

In 1998 Julius received the John P. Raynor Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, while in 2007 he won the Excellence in Advising Award in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was a long-time Director of Graduate Studies and in 2013 served as Acting Chair.

MikeMike finished forty years at Marquette in fall 2018. He has taught classes ranging over several continents and centuries: modern Europe, both halves of Western Civilization, European intellectual history, and American military history. He published the monograph Education and the Crisis of the First Republic—on post-war Austria—and continues to work on a photographic and historical survey of public housing in Vienna and its association with Nazi architecture and politics.

Mike has for many years and continues to be the resident minister in Cobeen Hall. He has been responsible for weekly masses at Joan of Arc Chapel and in Cobeen (some in Latin), and has been asked to deliver prayers to begin and end countless campus occasions. He has married—and buried—many students and former students.

Besides his role as a Jesuit, Mike’s great love is music. That’s him playing “Ashokan Farewell” at the beginning of the History Department video History Matters. In addition to his long-time association with the Marquette University Symphony Orchestra, he plays with numerous ensembles at the university and in the community, and has performed at many weddings, campus gatherings, and off-campus events. One of his most successful classes was a research seminar hat combined music, intellectual history, and technology.


In addition to activities and accomplishments mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter, History faculty gave lectures and papers, won awards and grants, and engaged the profession in a number of ways. The following is just a sampling of their many scholarly and other activities in 2018-2019:

  • SteveSteve Avella’s The Catholic Church in Southwest Iowa: A History of the Diocese of Des Moines (Liturgical Press) received an award from the Iowa State Historical Society for best book on Iowa history published in 2018.
  • Alan Ball published over twenty original pieces on his SCOWstats blog, dedicated to a statistical analysis of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He spent his spring sabbatical learning new tools (such as text mining) to apply to his SCOW stats analysis of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court
  • Michael Donoghue led his second study trip to Cuba with a small group of undergraduates during the January J-term and continued working on two book-length projects: The United States and Panama: a Postcolonial Alliance, 1964 to the Present, and Ports of Call, Bases of Revolution: the U.S. Military in Cuba 1941-1964.
  • Alison Efford served as Newsletter editor and board member for the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. Students in her immigration history course collaborated with students at St. Anthony’s High School on projects related to Latinx History in Wisconsin. (See more here.)
  • Jenn Finn delivered a number of papers and invited talks and completed the manuscript for Alexander the Great: History Rewritten, which is currently under review at the University of Michigan Press.
  • Kristen Foster directed the new Honors in the Humanities Program and, with other history faculty, supervised several Senior Theses by history majors in HiH.
  • Sergio Gonzalez, our newest colleague, was recently accepted into the 2019 cohort of the Young Scholars Symposium at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. He was appointed by Gov. Tony Evers to the Wisconsin Historic Preservation Review Board.
  • Lezlie Knox organized three panels for the medieval congress at University of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo; her colleagues elected her to be the next chair of the department, beginning in summer 2020. She will serve as assistant chair in 2019-2020. She continued to serve on the university’s Committee on Research.
  • Chima Korieh delivered the keynote address at the 3rd Interdisciplinary International Conference on governance, Agriculture and ICT in the 21st Century at Benue State University in Nigeria
  • JamesJamesJames Marten published A Very Short Introduction to the History of Childhood (Oxford) and War and Childhood in the Era of the World Wars (Cambridge, co-edited with Mischa Honeck). He was named to the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library in June 2018.
  • Laura Matthew delivered an invited lecture, "El náhuatl en Centro América y el sitio de internet NECA," La Sociedad Mexicana de Historiografía Lingüística A.C. (SOMEHIL), at the Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico City and received a Mellon Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences to continue her student research project, “Remembering Madre Rosa: Oral Histories of a Marquette Doctor in Highland Guatemala, 1962-1992,” which included research trips to Guatemala and New York.
  • Patrick Mullins published “The Sermon That Didn’t Start the Revolution Jonathon’s Mayhew’s Role in the Boston Stamp Act Riots,” in Zachary Hutchins, ed., Community Without Consent: New Perspectives on the Stamp Act (Dartmouth). 
  • Timothy McMahon was one of the featured historians in a new Irish television documentary on the independence movement in Ireland and completed is first year as Director of Undergraduate Studies. See more about the documentary here.
  • Daniel Meissner won the college’s Excellence in Advising Award and served on the university’s Academic Integrity Committee.
  • Phil Naylor spent part of his year preparing to co-teach with a mathematician and a psychologist a Methods of Inquiry course on Rock and Roll in the Marquette Core Curriculum.
  • Bryan Rindfleisch received grants from the Huntington Library and from the British Academy for research in England this summer for his next book project, From Creek (Mvskoke) to Cherokee (Tsalagi): The Entangled Histories of Native America, 1600-1800.
  • Rob Smith engaged the community in several ways—including public programming and advocacy—through CURTO; conducting leadership program for African American males at Wauwatosa West HS; volunteering at Highland Community School; and serving on the Board of Curators for the Wisconsin Historical Society and as chair of the Milwaukee County Human Rights Commission.
  • Peter Staudenmaier was awarded a 2019 Summer Faculty Fellowship (SFF) of to work on his latest book project, Accomplices to Genocide: Racial Ideology and the Path to the Holocaust in Fascist Italy.
  • WertMichael Wert spent part of the past year helping translate his first book, Meiji Restoration Losers, into Japanese; his new book, Samurai: A Concise History, will be published by Oxford University Press this summer.



Throughout the academic year, History faculty participated in the Marquette Forum.  The theme for this year was “Democracy in Troubled Times,” and a number of history faculty and students contributed posts to the department’s blog, “Historians at Work.” The posts included: Statue

  • Lezlie Knox: “And now for something completely different:” Democracy and the
     Middle Ages
  • Jenn Finn: Second Thoughts: Athens and Mytilene in 428 BC
  • Kristen Foster: The Importance of Seneca Falls (1848)
  • Laura Matthew: The Other September 11 (on the 1973 coup in Chile)
  • Bryan Rindfleisch: Standing Rock, #NoDAPL, & Mni Wiconi Protest
  • J. Patrick Mullins: Never Forget: Two Lessons of the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre
  • James Marten: The League of Nations Invents Childhood, 1924
  • Sam Harshner: Empire and the Politics of the Street 

Although we did not host a Casper Lecture this year, the department sponsored three major public lectures in 2018-2019:


  • KlementDr. Ned Blackhawk of Yale University delivered the annual Frank L. Klement Lecture on “The Rediscovery of Early America: American Indians and the Remaking of U.S. Colonial History.”


  • The department co-sponsored The Cannon Irish Studies Collection: A Symposium.” This event celebrated the donation by MU Alum Tom Cannon and his wife Nancy Cannon of thousands of book and manuscripts related to Irish IrishHistory to Raynor Memorial Libraries. Professor Pádraig Ó Riain of the National University of Ireland (Cork) has described this collection as “the finest Irish studies library in private hands outside of Ireland.” The Cannon Irish Studies Collection enhances the library's rich holdings in Irish political, social, and ecclesiastical history, as well as in Irish literature. The keynote speaker for the symposium was Micheal O'Siochru of Trinity College, Dublin.


  • The annual Phi Alpha Theta Lecture featured Dustin Mack, chief curator for The Castle Museum in Oshkosh, WI. His topic: "History. The Public. And Why They Both Matter."

News from Undergraduate Students and Alums

Undergrads 1 Undergrads 2 Undergrads 3

  • Several undergraduates were honored at the History Department's end of the year party. Cara Caputo (left, with Director of Undergraduate Studies Michael Wert) and Katherine Stein (center) shared the Boden Award for outstanding senior history student, while Andrew Himmelberg (right) received the James Jablonowski Memorial award for best undergraduate research paper for his paper, "Unearthing Easter in Laois: Provincializing the 1916 Easter Rising."
  • The "Celebrating the Humanities at Marquette" conference in March featured a number of students and faculty from the history department. Pictured here is the Conferencepanel on "Imagining History," with, left to right, students Madeleine Mathias, Alexis Garcia, and Marcella Michalek, faculty member Kristen Foster, and PhD student Margaret Nettesheim-Hoffman. Others participating in the conference were undergraduate Katherine Stein, MA student Tyechia Price, and Prof. Chima Korieh. Peter Staudenmaier was one of the conference organizers.

Other accomplishments and post-graduation plans for history majors:

  • Sam Anderson is traveling then attending law school.
  • Cara Caputo is one of eight members of the new, fully funded cohort of students to enter the museum studies program at the Winterthur Museum at the University of Delaware.
  • Bryce Dively will report to Fort Benning, GA. for Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course.
  • Caitlin Doll will enter Marquette’s MBA program in Sports Leadership.
  • Matthew Dorsey will attend law school.
  • Tom Doyle will become a police officer.
  • Ricardo Fernandez will attend Marquette University Law School.
  • Alexis Garcias won the School of Education's award for best secondary pre-service teacher
  • Yazmin Gomez was accepted into UW-Madison's MA program in Women's Studies and into Ph.D. programs at Michigan State and Ohio State.
  • Kelsie Lamb was named Outstanding Elementary Pre-Service Teacher by the College of Education.
  • Madeleine Mathias will begin a two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Cambodia in July.
  • Brigid Nannenhorn received the prestigious Gerda Lerner Fellowship from the History Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Jimmy Nolter hopes to enter the Air Force in order to become a Combat Rescue Officer (CRO).
  • Michael Odden will attend law school at UW-Madison.
  • Angela Scavone will become a high school teacher at Oconomowoc High School, teaching AP psychology, government, and history.
  • Katherine Stein will enter the PhD program in English at the University of North Carolina; she received full funding.
  • John Tobin (Alumnus) was accepted into the PhD program in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Alex Warren will begin the public history program at Duquesne University and work as a teaching assistant in the history department.
  • Benjamin Wiberg will attend Northern Illinois University to get his Masters in Public Administration and pursue a career in local government.
  • Stephanie Wissing has been accepted into the Billiken Teachers Corps—will be teaching in St Louis and earning an MEd at SLU

News from Graduate Students and Alums

In addition to the following, check out the History Graduate Student Organization website at https://marquettehgso.weebly.com.

  • Ben Nestor and Aaron Kinskey were awarded the Prucha-Theoharis Outstanding Graduate Student awards for a PhD student and an MA student, respectively.
  • Graduate 1Two history PhD students received $2000 grants from the Marquette University Center for Transnational Justice. Ben Nestor received funding for his doctoral project on “Einsatzgruppe C in the District Galicia: Ideology, Situational Violence and Mass Murder,” which he’s writing under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Staudenmaier. Through its focus on actors and events in Ukraine during World War II, the project explores critically important questions as to what motivates the perpetrators of genocide. The project is particularly noteworthy for its proposed inquiry into the “mid-level bureaucracies and functionaries” that engage in mass killings. The grant will help Ben conduct archival research at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Advanced Center for Holocaust Studies in Washington D.C. Patrick Bethel received funding for his doctoral project on the effects of contending conceptualizations of justice during Ireland’s Land War years, 1878-1882 (with Tim McMahon as dissertation director). The project explores the extent to which the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s rhetoric and actions were influenced by republican political movements espousing transnational ideals of egalitarianism and human rights, or affected by more indigenous concepts of justice rooted in understandings of extended kin group and community responsibility. The project offers potential insights into the historical Irish case as well as for ongoing deliberations over the meanings and paths to justice. Pat will use the grant to help fund archival research at the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the University College Dublin during May-June 2019.
  • Steven Leahy (PhD) won the Swastek Award for the beset article in the 2018 volume of Polish American Sstudies.  The article was on   “George Wallace and the Myth of the White Ethnic Backlash in Milwaukee, 1958-1964” and appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue.

Several of our graduating MA students are moving on to PhD and other professional programs:

  • Graduate 2Andrew Belovsky will enter the PhD program at Vanderbilt, where he received full aid.
  • Aaron Kinskey will begin the MA program at the UW-Milwaukee MLIS Program.
  • Sean O'Farrell will enter the PhD program at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  • Adam Peterson received full support to the PhD program at Marquette.
  • Mindy Williams received full funding to pursue her PhD in history at Purdue University.

Other activities by graduate students:

  • Abigail Bernhardt (PhD) Presented papers at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies at University College Cork in Ireland; the British Society of Sports Historians at the University of Westminster in England; the Ohio Valley History Conference at the University of Tennessee at Martin; the Far West Popular Culture Association in Las Vegas; and the 2019 annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies in Boston. She also delivered a Soup with Substance presentation at Marquette on part of her dissertation on sports in Ireland.
  • Peter Borg (PhD) received a 2019 graduate student teaching award from the Marquette University Graduate School in the “Instructor of Record” category.  In addition to teaching sections of 1101: Introduction to American History, Peter also taught HOPR 1953H – “Exploring the History of Racial Segregation in Milwaukee’s Churches,” a topic inspired by his dissertation research.
  • Heyley Bowman (MA) presented papers at the annual meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies in Boston MA
  • Douglas Charles (MA alumnus) was promoted to Professor of History at Penn State University's Greater Allegheny campus, and has published three books: Hoover's War on Gays (2015), The FBI's Obscene File (2012), and J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-Interventionists (2007).
  • Cory Haala (PhD) was named a New England Research Consortium Fellow for 2019-2020.He also published a book chapter: “Replanting the Grassroots: The Remaking of the South Dakota Democratic Party from McGovern to Daschle, 1980-1986,” The Plains Political Tradition, Vol. 3, eds. Jon Lauck, John E. Miller, Paula Nelson (Pierre: South Dakota Historical Society Press, September 2018).  He received several research grants: Everett M. Dirksen Congressional Research Grant, State Historical Society of Iowa Research Grant , and the Paul Simon Papers Research Stipend, Southern Illinois. In addition to papers delivered at the Midwestern History Association and the Northern Great Plains History Conference, Cory also gave invited lectures at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois and at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana University. 
  • Aaron Kinskey (MA) delivered two papers:
    • *“The Magdalene Chapel of Assisi: Shaping Penitent Pilgrims”- Midwest Medieval History Conference, Marquette University, October 19-20, 2018
    • *“Patronage & Pilgrimage: The Cult of the Magdalene in a Transregional Context"- Medieval Studies Spring Symposium, Indiana University Bloomington, March 22-23, 2019.
  • Christian Krueger (PhD) presented papers at the Living With Animals Conference at Eastern Kentucky University and at theconference "Horses, Moving" at the Arkeologisk Museum in Stavanger, Norway.
  • Graduate 3Lisa Lamson (PhD) received an Arthur J. Schmitt Leadership Fellowship for 2019-20 to support research and writing on her dissertation, which explores Baltimore City’s educational system, in both faith-based and public institutions, to understand the intersections of race, gender, class, and age in nineteenth century America. Her dissertation director is James Marten. Lisa also: was the Lord Baltimore Research fellow for AY 2018-2019; presented papers at the UK Children's History Society Biennial Conference at the University of Greenwich, the European Early American Historic Association at Kings College – London, and the American Catholic Historical Association; gave a brownbag talk at Marquette entitled "Brown Bag Lunch and Learn: 19th Century Education for Girls of Color in Baltimore"; and delivered a lecture at the Maryland Historical Society. She has also been researching for a museum exhibit regarding African American Education for the Peale Center and Museum in Baltimore.  Lisa was a “featured student” on the Society for the History of Children and Youth website in January 2019.
  • Ben Lindsay (PhD) gave several papers:
    • *"An Alliance of Violence: The Provisional IRA, the PLO, and Gaddafi” at the American Conference of Irish Studies National Conference, March 20-24, 2019, in Boston.
    • *“Eden’s Lost Egypt: Sir Anthony Eden and the Decline of British Influence in Egypt 1936-1956,” Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies Annual Meeting, April 6-7, Williamsburg, VA.
    • *"A Time of War: The Rhetoric and Reality of the Theocratic Far Right's Anti-Abortion 'Crusade,’” Conference on Right-Wing Studies, April 25-27, 2019, University of California, Berkeley.
    • Ben also published the entry on African-American Media in the Encyclopedia of Milwaukee.
  • Edward Longe (PhD) won a research grant of $1530 from the Truman Library Institute to conduct research at the Truman Presidential Library, as well as a small travel grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations to defray the cost of travel to their 2019 annual meeting, where he will deliver a paper.
  • Ben Nestor (PhD) delivered “Human Rights and Environmentalism: German Émigrés and a New Cold War Critique” at the Missouri Valley History Conference in Omaha in February 2019, and “The Question of Memel: Geostrategy, Race, and the German Foreign Office” at the Northern Great Plains History Conference in Mankato in September 2018. He also attended, with funding, the seminar on “Teaching Anti-Semitism in the Twenty-First Century,” The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University, Toronto, in summer 2019. Finally, he received Sharon Abramson Research Grant for the Study of the Holocaust from the Holocaust Education Foundation.
  • Graduate 4Tyechia Price (MA) [pictured right] was the only finalist from a Humanities department in the Graduate School’s recent “Three-Minute Thesis” competition. Her topic, which was based on papers she wrote for Daniel Meissner’s and James Marten’s seminars, is on “The Material Witness: A Wearable Story of Chinese Women in the Late 20th Century​.” You can watch her presentation here.
  • Patrick Steele (PhD alumnus) won the MCHS Gambrinus Award for the best book on Milwaukee County History published in 2018 for Home of the Braves: The Battle for Baseball in Milwaukee (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).
  • Steven Vickers (PhD) delivered several papers at professional conferences:
    • *“Pan-European Solutions to Postwar Problems: Palingenesis and European Integration in Postwar Europe.” Inaugural Conference on Right-Wing Studies, University of California-Berkeley, (April 2019)
    • *"Changing the Postwar Reality: Europeanism as Palingenesis in Postwar Fascist Discourse," 10th Annual Texas A&M History Conference, Texas A&M, (April 2019).
    • *“A Recipe for Reconciliation: Prerequisites for a Lasting Resolution to Violence in Northern Ireland and Italy,” American Conference for Irish Studies International Meeting, Boston, (March 2019).
    • *“Macho Electrodes: Asserting Masculinity through Violence during the Battle of Algiers, 1956-57,” European Studies Conference, University of Oklahoma at Omaha, (October 2018)
  • Kevin Wienke was accepted to the summer 2019 ASI-UIUC Summer Institute for Human-Animal Studies at the University of Illinois. He also delivered a paper at the Living With Animals Conference at Eastern Kentucky University.
  • Michael Whitaker presented "A Reconsideration of Edmund Burke's Social and Political Theory" at the 62nd Missouri Valley History Conference, on February 28, 2019.

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