Faculty Activity in the History Department

May 3, 2012

The faculty in the History Department have been quite busy this academic year.

Dr. Stacey Robertson was thrilled and honored to win the Samuel Rothberg Professional Excellence Award in the fall. She has been busy presenting papers and lectures across the country and continues to work on her research focused on the antislavery movement. She spent two weeks in Philadelphia last summer co-directing the SHEAR-Mellon Seminar that brought ten junior history majors from across the country to study in the nation's richest historical archives and learn to become historians. She continues serve on the Editorial Board of American Nineteenth-Century History, an international journal based in the United Kingdom. She won a national election to the Advisory Council of the Society for American Historians (SHEAR) and she was also asked to chair the Program Committee for that organization's annual meeting in St. Louis in July 2013. She also served as the external reviewer for the Women's Studies Program at Drake University. She is increasingly active in the nationwide Antislavery movement working to eliminate human trafficking. She has also begun to blog on her website, www.StaceyMRobertson.com so please check it out.

John Williams

Dr. John Williams taught classes this year on 19th-century Europe, Western Civilization, and the Holocaust, but his favorite was a topics course on culture in Europe since 1945. For that class, he showed a number of movies, and he used rock music for the first time, focusing on two albums: the Beatles' "White Album" and "London Calling" by the Clash. One of his favorite things this year was the opportunity in February to introduce his father, Dr. Max R. Williams (Emeritus Professor of History, Western Carolina University), who gave a talk to the department about current changes in Southern identity.

Amy Scott

Dr. 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, was published by the University of Nevada Press in September, 2013. The essays in City Dreams, Country Schemes utilize an interdisciplinary approach to explore the ways that westerners conceptualized, built, and inhabited urban, suburban and exurban spaces in the twentieth century. Her contribution to the collection, “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. Click here.


Sponge Bob

Dr. Scott published a comparative review essay, “Holding Out for a Hero: Patty Hearst and America Culture in the 1970s,” in the March, 2012 issue of Reviews in American History. She is currently writing an essay on "Suburbs, Cities, the Sunbelt, and Rural America,” for A Companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower, edited by Chester Pach (Blackwell-Wiley), and revising an article, “’There’s No Place Like Home’: The Golden Brick Road Shelter for Homeless Women and Housing Rights Activism in Denver, Colorado, 1974-1989.

Dr. Scott also had an interesting visitor stop by during her last class this semester to say hello. The students enjoyed a photo op with an impressive character.

Aurea Toxqui

Dr. Áurea Toxqui had a busy and challenging academic year 2011-2012. She participated as panelist and commentator at the 6th Biennial Meeting of the Alcohol and Drug History Society in Buffalo, NY. She also was invited to serve as a member of the examiner committee in a Master thesis’ defense in Guanajuato, Mexico, as an expert on the field of the study of pulque (fermented beverage made of the maguey plant) and its culture. For similar reasons, she was invited to collaborate with a small piece for the two-volume collection, Icons of Mexico. This work intends to provide the history and basic information of 100 things that characterize Mexico and its people.

This year, she taught for the first time the course HIS 452, the research seminar in which students developed their senior project. She was happy to report that she got the students involved in doing research on interesting topics such as “Soccer and Economic Development in Brazil,” “Drug-Ballads in Mexico: The Narcocorridos,” “The African Origins of Tango: The Candomble,” and “The Role of Coca in the Culture of Indigenous Groups” among others.

This year, the Women Studies Committee joined efforts with the Anti-Slavery Coalition (ASC) at Bradley in raising awareness against human trafficking through a series of films and speakers. As a member of this committee and as a faculty advisor of the ASC, she was in charge of the film series. She was very proud to see a consistent attendance among students and members of the Bradley community in these events. She has also continued being involved with other student organizations on campus, the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) and the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS).

John Bragg

Dr. John Bragg has recently learned that he will receive a contract to publish a book entitled "Ottoman Notables and Participatory Politics: Tanzimat Reform in Tokat, 1839-1876". It will appear as part of the School of Oriental and African Studies - Routledge series on the Middle East.  The book, which will be distributed worldwide in hardback, examines the origins of political communities, local governments, and nation-states in the 19th-century Middle East.

At Bradley, Dr. Bragg teaches an introduction to Middle Eastern history and courses on Western Civilization.

Prof. Bragg also organized, created, and coached, the Department of History softball team. He was also platooned as pitcher, utility infielder, and center fielder. The "History-Makers" softball team played their inaugural season last fall as part of the intramural sports league at Bradley. Student participants included Alex Min, Elizabeth Swingle, Will Brenits, Kelly Hernandez, Lorie Falkner, Rachel Borgman, Oswaldo Gonzales, Robert Brown, and Whitney Wilkinson. The History-Makers also featured Drs. Amy Scott, Aurea Toxqui, and Rustin Gates from the History Department, and Lorie Wiebold and Marwin Spiller from Sociology. Although there were more smiles (and bruises) than victories, a good time was had by all, and the team hopes to return in fall 2012 with the co-sponsorship of the History Club. ONE-TWO-THREE ... HERODOTUS!