News & Features 2013–2014

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Oral Histories of French VeteransAnndal and veterans

Doctoral candidate Anndal Narayanan traveled to Brittany to interview French veterans of the Algerian War of Independence. Even though this was a limited sample of self-selected interviewees, Narayanan was struck by their bitterness at the rejection and indifference they perceived in society. One objected that the young men of his village who had not served refused to talk to veterans. Another noted that the greatest rejection came from veterans of World War II, who did not consider the young generation to be ‘real’ veterans. While humble about their military service and life stories, these men were pleased that a young foreign historian was according them a kind of recognition they feel they have scarcely received in their own country.


History Department Welcomes Karen Auerbach!

This semester the History Department welcomes Karen Auerbach, assistant professor and Stuart E. Eizenstat Fellow, to the faculty. Professor Auerbach received her BA from Rutgers University and her PhD from Brandeis University. Her Research focuses on the social history of Polish Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She published her first book on the reconstruction of Jewish communities and identifications in Poland after WWII and will be teaching classes through the department which focus on modern Jewish history and East European Jewish history. Previously, she was the Kronhill Lecturer in East European Jewish History at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

In her first semester at UNC-CH, Professor Auerbach is teaching

  • HIST 190: The Search for Modern Jewish Identity and
  • HNRS 353: Ghettos and Shtetls? Urban Life in East European Jewish History.

Leadership Transitions

The end of 2013 marks a transition in several crucial leadership positions in the department. Terry McIntosh is stepping down as Interim Associate Chair, and will be succeeded by Louise McReynolds. Miles Fletcher has completed his term as Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies and now Lisa Lindsay will assume the duties of DUS. On behalf of everyone in the department, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Terry and Miles for their generous service on behalf of the department. I also would like to express my gratitude for their wise counsel. At the same time, I want to thank Louise and Lisa for taking on these essential leadership positions.

We also welcome Molly Worthen as Interim Placement Director while John Sweet, the serving Placement Director, enjoys a respite from the duties. Given the contemporary job market, this service to our graduate students is vital and we are fortunate that John, and now Molly have undertaken it.

W. Fitzhugh Brundage
Chair, Department of History


Professor Kenneth Janken Selected to Lead the Center for the Study of the American South

The Department of History congratulates Professor Kenneth Janken on his selection to lead the Center for the Study of the American South. Janken came to Carolina out of graduate school in 1991, and is on the faculty of the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies with an adjunct appointment in the Department of History. His research and writing focuses on themes in the history of the American South such as race, power, politics, and justice. Janken has written two biographies of major figures in African American and southern history and is completing a history of the Wilmington Ten and political conflicts in that city and in the state in the 1970s.


 Second Issue of Department of History Student Journal Shares Top Honors

tracesThe Department of History is proud to announce that in 2013 its student journal, Traces: The UNC-Chapel Hill Journal of History, tied for first prize in the 2013 Gerald D. Nash History Journal Award competition sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. In 2012, the inaugural issue of Traces earned second prize in this competition. Volume two contained a roundtable about the Civil War, articles by undergraduates based on original research and essays by both undergraduates and graduate students, as well as reviews of books, films, and exhibitions by graduate students. The journal’s success reflects the hard and effective work by many students. They include Executive and Founding Editors G. Lawson Kuehnert and Mark W. Hornburg, Senior Editors Maggie Howell and Michael Welker, Graduate Editors Gary Guadagnolo and Jeanine Navarrete, Director of Finance Chase Haislip, and members of the Editorial Board Augusta Dell’Omo, Anna Langley, Bo Stump, Grace Tatter, Peter Vogel, Burt Westermeier, and Tom Wolf.


Sarah Bufkin, History and Cultural Studies Major, Is 2013 Mitchell Scholarship Recipient

BufkinSarah Bufkin, a senior History and Cultural Studies major, has been selected for a Mitchell Scholarship, which supports graduate studies in Ireland. Sarah was one of 12 Americans selected for this prestigious award, which provides tuition, accommodations, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend for one year. She will pursue a master’s degree in moral, legal and political philosophy at Queens University in Belfast. “It’s such a surprise, and it really is an incredible honor to represent UNC over in Northern Ireland,” Bufkin said. “It’s also the crowning achievement of my four years in Chapel Hill. And it will allow me to do more, to learn more—to get a Master’s, which is something I never thought I would be looking to do this soon after graduating. I’m quite ecstatic.”  “Sarah is an extraordinary scholar, a deep thinker and an accomplished poet,’’ said Linda Dykstra, director of UNC’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “The opportunity to pursue a Master of Arts degree at Queens University Belfast is a perfect match for this exceptional woman.”


History Majors Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Fall 2013

The History Department would like to offer hearty congratulations to the history majors and history double majors who were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this fall! 
Congratulations to:

Reid Justus Hamilton
Matthew Kerns Humphries
Aislinn Rose Klos
William Gray Lindsey
Scott Parker Nelson
Anderson Herman Phillips
Thomas Ingram Wolf


Louise McReynolds’ Book Receives Honorable Mention for the Heldt Prize

Louise McReynolds’s Murder Most Russian: True Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press, 2012) received Honorable Mention for the Heldt Prize in the category of Best Book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women’s Studies. The AWSS Prize Committee hailed her book as an “entertaining read [that] interweaves in an innovative way the history of justice, gender, class, and sensationalism as it masterfully depicts Russian murder with its universal and unique facets.”


UNC-King’s College, London Graduate Student Workshop on Transatlantic Historical Approaches

Hamilton 569, UNC-Chapel Hill campus on September 17, 2013. Every year graduate students in the history department collaborate with students in the history department at King’s College, London to put on a transatlantic conference. The first part of the conference was held in London in May. The panels feature one UNC student, one King’s student, and a UNC faculty commentator. A complete program may be found HERE.  


“Modern Walks: Human Locomotion during the Long Nineteenth Century, c.1800–1914″

Hyde Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill campus, on Friday, September 13 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and Saturday, September 14 from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Organized by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Collaboration with King’s College, London

Morstadt.Panorama Prahy z Vysehradu 1821Conference organizers are Chad Bryant (UNC-Chapel Hill), Cynthia Radding (UNC-Chapel Hill), Paul Readman (King’s College, London)

The conference is supported by the UNC-King’s College, London collaboration fund; the History Department; the Center for European Studies; the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.

For a complete program, please go HERE.


 Malinda Maynor Lowery Named Director of the Southern Oral History Program

Lowery SOHPBeginning July 1, 2013 Malinda Maynor Lowery will serve as the second permanent director of the SOHP, which was founded in 1973 by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall to preserve the voices of the southern past and will celebrate its fortieth anniversary this year. Housed at the Center for the Study of the American South, the SOHP has collected and analyzed more than 5,000 interviews—from mill workers to civil rights leaders to future presidents of the United States.

Read more here.


Leadership Team Transitions in the History Department

Lloyd Kramer‘s eight years as Department Chair came to a close on June 30, and on July 1 W. Fitzhugh Brundage began his term as Department Chair. Taking over from Jay Smith as Associate chair, Terence McIntosh moved into the position of interim Associate Chair. Kathleen DuVal completed her tenure as Director of Undergraduate Studies, replaced by W. Miles Fletcher as interim Director. Cynthia Radding continues to serve as the Director of Graduate Studies.


Lawson Kuehnert’s “Grace and Gasoline” Wins Elie Wiesel Prize

George “Lawson” Kuehnert (B.A. 2013, adviser James L. Leloudis) has won Second Prize in the 2013 Elie Wiesel Ethics Essay Contest. In his essay, “Grace and Gasoline: Self-Immolations in Modern Tibet and the Ethical Limits of Nonviolent Protest,” he questions the ethical limits of nonviolent protest and if self-immolation is a moral good or simply the cause of unnecessary human suffering. Raised in Morganton, NC, Lawson graduated from UNC with Honors. He served as an Executive and Founding Editor of traces: The UNC-Chapel Hill Journal of History. Before graduating, he received the Eugene Jackson Award for his leadership and contributions to the University.


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