Alumni News: 2011–2012

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Johanna Schoen (PhD, 1996), was recently interviewed by NBC News about her work chronicling North Carolina’s controversial eugenics program from the 1920s to the 1970s. Watch as she describes her archival findings and the way she used her historical research to shape public policy and make a difference in the lives of the program’s victims.

Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America (Harvard University Press, 2010)

UNC PhD Christina Snyder 07 was named one of the three finalists for the prestigious Frederick Douglass book prize. “One of the most coveted awards for the study of the African-American experience,” the Douglass prize is awarded by Yale’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. Snyder’s book rose to the top in a field of more than ninety nominations.


 Philipp Stelzel (Ph.D. 2010) received the 2012 Edmund Spevack Award for Transatlantic Studies from the Lasky Center of the University of Munich. Philipp will begin a three-year post-doctoral teaching position at Boston College in Fall 2012.

David Silkenat (Ph.D. 2008) received the 2011 North Caroliniana Society Book Award for Moments of Despair: Suicide, Divorce and Debt in Civil War Era North Carolina (UNC Press, 2011).

Michael Huner (Ph.D. 2011) has accepted a tenure-track position at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

Darin Waters (Ph.D. 2011) has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at UNC-Asheville.

Robin Payne (Ph.D. 2010) has accepted a tenure-track job at Fairmont State University in West Virginia.

Emily Baran (Ph.D. 2011) received the Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award and she accepted a tenure-track job at Middle Tennessee University.

Three UNC Ph.D.s won major book prizes at the 2012 Organization of American Historians annual meeting: Cindy Hahamovitch (Ph.D. 1992): Merle Curti Award for the best book published in American social history and James Rawley Prize for a book dealing with the history of race relations in the United States for No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor (Princeton University Press); Susan J. Pearson (Ph.D. 2004): Merle Curti Award for the best book published in American intellectual history for The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America (University of Chicago Press); and David Sehat (Ph.D. 2007): Frederick Jackson Turner Award for an author’s first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American History for The Myth of American Religious Freedom (Oxford University Press).

Paul Quigley (Ph.D. 2006) has won two book prizes—British Association for American Studies Book Prize and the Jefferson Davis prize from the Museum of the Confederacy—for the published version of his dissertation, Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 18481865 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).

Michael Meng (Ph.D. 2008), Assistant Professor of History at Clemson University, published his first book, Shattered Spaces: Encountering Jewish Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland, with Harvard University Press in November 2011. The book explores the transnational history of Jewish spaces in the cities of Berlin, Warsaw, Potsdam, Essen, and Wroclaw from 1945 to the present.


Eric Steinhart’s 2010 dissertation, “Creating Killers: The Nazification of the Black Sea Germans and the Holocaust in Southern Ukraine, 1941–1944,” was co-winner of the Fritz Stern Prize, given by the American Friends of the German Historical Institute in Washington D.C.

Waitman Beorn (Ph.D. 2011) played the key role in uncovering the recent SS flag scandal among Marine sniper units.

Tim Williams (Ph.D. 2010) was awarded the St. George Tucker Society’s M. E. Bradford Dissertation Prize for 2011. The Prize is awarded annually by the society for the best dissertation in Southern studies. The St. George Tucker Society is an interdisciplinary southern studies group aimed at promoting discussion across disciplinary, ideological, and topical lines among Southernists. Tim’s dissertation, “Intellectual Manhood: Becoming Men of the Republic at a Southern University, 1795–1861,” is a study of antebellum students’ personal and civic development at the University of North Carolina, the first state university to open its doors to students.

Sarah Bond (Ph.D. 2011) has accepted a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in History and Classics at Washington and Lee University. The University’s recently established Junior Faculty Fellows Program in the Humanities is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Congratulations to Gleb Tsipursky (Ph.D. 2011), who has accepted a position as the Assistant Professor of Modern European History at The Ohio State University at Newark.

David Silkenat (Ph.D. 2008) has published his first book, Moments of Despair: Suicide, Divorce, and Debt in Civil War Era North Carolina (UNC Press, 2011). His book argues that, during the Civil War era, black and white North Carolinians were forced to fundamentally reinterpret the morality of suicide, divorce, and debt as these experiences became pressing issues throughout the region and nation.

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