University of South Alabama Department of History News
History Department News
HISTORY MATTERS: LOMBARDO IN THE WASHINGTON POST
In light of the first debate of the Democratic Party's primary elections for President, in June 2019, Assistant Professor of History at USA, Dr. Timothy Lombardo, wrote on June 30, 2019 in the Washington Post about Vice President Joseph Biden's role in moving the Democratic Party to a more moderate policy perspective in the 1970s, following the turmoil of the 1960s. This analysis draws on Dr. Lombardo's extensive work on politics from the 1970s and 1980s, typified by his 2018 book examining blue collar conservatism in Philadelphia, Blue Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press). See Dr. Lombardo's story for the Post here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/06/30/why-joe-biden-should-answer-his-record-decades-ago/?utm_term=.cc88d5913a49
HISTORY MATTERS: MEOLA, MESSENGER PART OF PROTEST AGAINST HOLOCAUST MUSEUM STATEMENT
Dr. David Meola, Fanny and Bert Meisler Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, and Dr. David A. Messenger, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at USA, joined nearly 600 other scholars in criticizing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's June 24, 2019 statement condemning the use of Holocaust analogies when discussing current events, as U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had done on June 17, 2019 when calling U.S. camps for detaining migrants along the southern U.S. border "concentration camps." The joint letter to the Holocaust Museum leadership urged the retraction of the Museum's statement, writing that such a statement "makes learning from the past almost impossible" and that "careful historical analysis and comparison" is indeed one of the roles that historians play in a lively, democratic society. Messenger recently participated in the Museum's 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar on Migration and Displacement in the Holocaust. The full text of the letter to the Museum leadership is posted on the website of the New York Review of Books, here: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/07/01/an-open-letter-to-the-director-of-the-holocaust-memorial-museum/
HISTORY STUDENTS SHARE RESEARCH, WIN AWARD
On May 1, 2019, students from Dr. Meola's History of the Holocaust course (HY 347) presented their final projects at Congregation Ahavas Chesed for the Mobile Jewish community's annual Yom Ha'Shoah commemoration (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Students formed into nine groups, each group chose a central theme, and then each student researched a derivative subject that contributed to the overall project. Groups then presented their projects before the ceremony and stayed to engage and interact with the public—to much acclaim from members of the community. Candace Pickering, a Secondary Education and History double major, as well as an aspiring teacher, presented a summary of her research at the ceremony. Ms. Pickering was awarded the inaugural Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education award for Holocaust research by a University student. Her paper was entitled “Was Nazism a Cult?” and it drew on the extensive collections at USA Marx Library in the Agnes Tennenbaum Collection. Another student, Courtney Tittle, who is a History major and President of the USA History Society (formerly History Club), was invited to the Springhill Avenue Temple to present her research, which looked at Western media portrayals of various genocides. Her presentation was well-received by the community. Additionally, for many students this event was the first time they had visited a synagogue. Dr. Meola believes that such visits are an important opportunity to incorporate more community engagement among his students—both in the Department of History and in the new Jewish & Holocaust Studies minor.
MESSENGER OFF TO DC
Dr. David Messenger has been selected as one of twenty faculty members in the United States and Canada to participate in the 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for Faculty at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The seminar is entitled Displacement, Migration, and the Holocaust and will be held for two weeks in June, 2019. Dr. Messenger’s participation will enhance his teaching of his University of South Alabama class on refugees, race and migration in Europe.
URBAN WINS MAJOR USA GRANT AND AHA GRANT
Dr. Kelly Urban has won a $5000 Faculty Development Council Grant from the University of South Alabama for research in Cuba and Washington, D.C. related to her book project, Politicosis: Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Politics in Cuba, 1925—1970. This is one of the most prestigious awards for research given here at USA. She also has won the very competitive Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere from the American Historical Association. Congratulations!
MEOLA WINS FULBRIGHT GRANT
Congratulations to Dr. David Meola, who has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship to Germany to conduct summer research from 2019 to 2021 in the city of Goettingen (at the University of Goettingen). This time will be spent on researching his book project: "Fighting for the Volk: Jewish Germans in the German Liberal and Democratic Movements before 1848”.
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
This fall, books by members of our faculty are rolling off the presses:
Congratulations to Mara Kozelsky for her book, Crimea in War and Transformation, and Tim Lombardo for his book, Blue Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics
Historians Make Great Novelists Too! Check out Harry Miller's first novel, Southern Rain: A Novel of Seventeenth Century China
LOMBARDO IN PRINT AND TV
Timothy Lombardo recently contributed to the "Made by History" perspectives column in the Washington Post. His piece, "Why White Blue-Collar Voters Love President Trump" appeared on September 16, 2018.
Timothy Lombardo was interviewed by C-SPAN at the April 2018 annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. Dr. Lombardo discussed former Philadelphia mayor, Frank Rizzo, the concerns of white-working class voters in the 1970s, and made comparisons to today's political climate. He also discussed his forthcoming book, Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics to be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. The full interview as it aired on C-SPAN can be found here.
CAGE WINS 2018 NEH GRANT
Claire Cage has been offered a Summer Stipends award by the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research in France over the summer of 2018 for a new book on the history of forensic science. The NEH Program is a very competitive national grant and all Summer Stipends applications are evaluated by peer review panels and by the National Council on the Humanities. This year NEH received almost eight hundred applications and only eight percent were funded. Congratulations Dr. Cage!
Recent History Department Faculty Publications
Mara Kozelsky, Crimea in War and Transformation
David Messenger, A Nazi Past: Recasting German Identity in Postwar Europe
Harry Miller, Southern Rain: A Novel of Seventeenth Century China
Rebecca Williams, Muhammad and the Supernatural