Graduate Student News and Awards (2010–2011)

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Doctoral students Catherine Conner, Rob Ferguson, and Rob Shapard will conduct oral histories this summer with African-American farm owners in the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Mississippi as fellows in the “Breaking New Ground” oral-history project.

Sarah Bond’s op-ed “Erasing the Face of History” appeared in the May 14, 2011 issue of the New York Times.

Katy Smith ’11 published the cover article in the North Carolina Historical Review, “ ‘I Look on You . . . As My Children’: Persistence and Change in Cherokee Motherhood, 1750–1835.” Katy’s article examines how Cherokee mothers raised their children and claimed a political stake for their interests in a time of great change to the Cherokee nation. The article is available here.

Congratulations to David Cline ’10 on accepting a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Public History at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, starting in fall 2011. Click here to view Virginia Tech’s announcement.

Congratulations to Nora Doyle for her Louis Peltzer Prize-winning article “‘The Highest Pleasure of Which Woman’s Nature Is Capable’: Breast-Feeding and the Sentimental Maternal Ideal in America, 1750–1860” in the Journal of American History. Doyle explains that in the mid-eighteenth century, Enlightenment debates about women’s social role prompted a flurry of discussions about motherhood. In particular, advice manuals, portraits of mothers, and American women’s personal writings highlighted breast-feeding as one of the most important maternal duties. She argues that late eighteenth-century advice manuals developed a new focus on the emotional and physical pleasures of breast-feeding. This rhetoric of pleasure contributed to the construction of a sentimental maternal ideal that remained the most important feminine script into the nineteenth century. Doyle sheds new light on the sentimental culture surrounding motherhood by showing how discussions about the physical pleasure of breast-feeding offered possibilities for mediating and exploring female sexuality within marriage and motherhood.

Congratulations to Tim Williams ’10, recipient of the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina.