Faculty Activities

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August 9, 2011

Not only has the Department of History faculty been busy teaching this academic year, but they also have been occupied with numerous other activities.

In addition to his regular slate of courses in Western civilization, world history, the Enlightenment, and historical methods, Bradford Brown had the opportunity to take the first history class from Bradley to Sydney, Australia, in May-June 2010. Students in his course took daily field trips to museums and historic sites in Sydney, a side trip to the capital in Canberra, and an expedition to see aboriginal rock art. They had a fantastic time exploring the area. He also published two book reviews of Corry Cropper’s Playing at Monarchy: Sport as Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century France (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) for H-France Review (August 2010); and of Mike Rapport’s 1848: Year of Revolution (Basic Books, 2009) for History: Reviews of New Books (March 2011).

In September, Professor Emeritus Heather Fowler-Salamini received the Merit Award of University of Veracruz from the governor of Veracruz, Mexico. She presented a major address about the place of her work in Veracruz historiography. She was also invited by the University of Houston to give a lecture on gender and the Mexican Revolution in April. The professor emeritus reports that she and her husband Leo are doing very well in the Hudson River Valley, although it is just a little too rural for them.

On top of his regular work of teaching, advising, and researching, Rustin Gates welcomed his second child, a daughter, in February. Only a month later, he jetted off to Hawaii to present a paper, “Out with the New and in with the Old: Uchida Yasuya and the Great War as a Turning Point in Japanese Foreign Affairs.” The paper was for a panel he organized for the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. The paper is the first draft of a chapter that will be included in an edited volume on Japan and World War I to be published by Brill in 2014, the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of the war. He also published a review of Urs Matthias Zachmann’s book China and Japan in the Late Meiji Period: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895–1904 in Pacific Affairs and completed seven encyclopedia entries for the forthcoming Japan at War: An Encyclopedia. He plans to continue writing this summer in between long stints of playtime with his new daughter and her 3-year-old brother.

While this is his third year of retirement, Professor Emeritus Greg Guzman again taught in the Middle East during the January 2011 Interim. Fifteen students enrolled in his HIS 336 class (Early Non-Western History). Jordan and Egypt are the ideal places to teach about the rise of early civilizations, especially since the very first human civilizations emerged in the Middle East. His class was the largest, as the two engineering classes only had 10 students each. This year he had one history major in the class, and he said he would love to have more, as liberal arts majors tend to be more willing to participate in class discussions and prefer essay tests to objective ones. The faculty and students participating in this Middle East program were also lucky in that they left Egypt less than a week before the demonstrations that toppled the authoritarian government of Hosni Mubarak broke out. Three faculty members trying to get 35 students to the airport by bus or taxis in such chaotic times would have been a very scary and dangerous situation, he said. In addition to the Middle East, the professor emeritus has traveled to Europe three times during the last year. He spent most of his time on an Eastern European trip in Poland, the home of his ancestors. His two trips to England revolved around visiting his son and family, but one did include a trip to Oxford, where he formally transferred the editorship of the Vincent of Beauvais Newsletter to the two new European co-editors. He gave two classroom presentations on campus: a lecture on the role of Inner Asian Barbarians in Randy Kidd’s world history course and a slide presentation on Roman architecture in a Western civilization class. Although retired, he is still actively involved in research. Last year, he published an article in The Historian, journal of Phi Alpha Theta (the national history honor society). The article was titled “European Captives and Craftsmen Among the Mongols, 1231-1255.” The professor emeritus also published three book reviews this past year in Choice, a journal for academic library purchases. He reviewed Empires and Barbarians: the Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe by Peter Heather, The Mongols: from Genghis Khan to Tamerlane by W.B. Bartlett, and Holy Warriors: a Modern History of the Crusades by Jonathan Phillips. With his more flexible schedule, he had lunch and/or dinner with several former students while they were in Peoria. All retired professors enjoy such meetings.

Stacey Robertson, who was promoted to full professor in the spring of 2011, published two books this fall: Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest with the University of North Carolina Press and Antebellum Women: Private, Public, Partisan with Rowman & Littlefield. The latter book was co-authored with Carol Lasser. (See http://uncpress.unc.edu and http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com.) She presented nearly 20 papers and lectures at locations across the United States and in the United Kingdom. She is working on a biography of abolitionist Betsy Mix Cowles and a study of the transatlantic free produce movement (a boycott of slave goods).

Amy Scott’s anthology, City Dreams, Country Schemes: Community and Identity in the American West, co-edited with Kathleen Brosnan of the University of Houston, is in production at the University of Nevada Press. The essays utilize an interdisciplinary approach to explore the ways that westerners conceptualized, built, and inhabited urban, suburban, and exurban spaces in the 20th century. Her contribution, “Greening the Urban Infrastructure: The Politics of Open Space in Boulder, Colorado,” discusses the rise of a coalition of environmentalists, homeowners, and city planners who tried to control suburban development through open space preservation and urban infill. (See www.unpress.nevada.edu/NewForthcoming/Titles.) She presented papers at the Urban History Association Conference and at the University of New Mexico Symposium on the Legacy and Future of Western and Borderlands Studies. She is currently working on an article titled “Housing for People, Not for Profits: The Housing Rights Movement in Denver, 1974-1989.” She continues to revise her book manuscript, City Republic of Boulder: Lifestyle Liberalism and the Politics of the Good Life, 1945-2000, which explores how activists influenced by the environmental movement, the radical politics of the New Left, and the ways in which the lifestyle experimentation of the counterculture remade urban cultures and landscapes in the American West.

Áurea Toxqui presented papers in three national and international conferences during the 2010-2011 academic year. In October 2010, she attended the meeting of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the largest organization in her field. She also participated in the most prestigious meeting for scholars of Mexican history, the Reunion of Historians from Mexico, United States, and Canada, which is celebrated every four years. In April, she participated as panelist and commentator at the Rocky Mountain Council of Latin American Studies. In the context of the Heritage Month, she and two of her students presented at the National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Peoria. They discussed Latino women’s experiences in college and graduate school, their challenges and expectations, and their goals and successes. As part of her involvement with student organizations on campus, she has served as the faculty adviser of the new Bradley chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

John Williams spent the fall 2010 semester in Berlin for personal reasons and taught his Bradley classes on modern Germany and Western civilization online for the first time. Since the Germany class was Wednesdays from 7-9:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, he was chatting with his students every Thursday from 2 to 4:30 a.m. Germany time with his students and never fell asleep! His edited anthology Weimar Culture Revisited was published by Palgrave Macmillan in February 2011 (http://us.macmillan.com/weimarculturerevisited). He became department chair for the first time in the spring, teaching courses on 20th century Europe and Western civilization in the meantime. He is spending this summer and much of the fall in Berlin again, where he will continue to teach online and work on a new research project about European film since World War II.