A “Great Mistake?” Award-Winning Scholar To Challenge Our Assumptions About the First World War

On Friday, September 19, at 7pm in the Doudna Lecture Hall, Professor Isabel Hull of Cornell University will present a talk titled “Rethinking the First World War through the Lens of International Law.” The lecture will be based on her recently published book, A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law in the First World War (Cornell University Press.)  Professor Hull will argue against the widely held view that the war was “nonsensical,” or “a great mistake.” Rather, the war emerged from the belligerents’ understandings of and relative adherence to international law.

Professor Hull (Ph.D., Yale, 1978) is John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell, where she has taught for her entire career. A specialist in modern and early modern German history, Hull has researched in different fields, including governmentality (The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II), sexuality and politics (Sexuality, State, and Civil Society in Germany, 1700-1815), and military culture (Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany). Professor Hull is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and was recently awarded the first Research Prize of the Max-Weber-Stiftung/Historisches Kolleg for her life’s work in the field of German history.

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This lecture commemorating the centennial of the Great War is co-sponsored by the History Department, the Center for the Humanities, and the Political Science Department. The talk is free and open to the public.

Translation of Leopold Tyrmand’s: Diary 1954

On April 1 , 2014, Anita Shelton and her collaborator, A.J. Wrobel, published their translation of Leopold Tyrmand’s Diary 1954.  The blurb from the back of the book reads: “Leopold Tyrmand, a Polish Jew who survived World War II by working in Germany under a false identity, would go on to live and write under Poland’s Communist regime for twenty years before emigrating to the West, where he continued to express his deeply felt anti-Communist views. Diary 1954—written after the independent weekly paper that employed him was closed for refusing to mourn Stalin’s death—is an account of daily life in Communist Poland. Like Czesław Miłosz, Václav Havel, and other dissidents who described the absurdities of Soviet-backed regimes, Tyrmand exposes the lies—big and small—that the regimes employed to stay in power. Witty and insightful, Tyrmand’s diary is the chronicle of a man who uses seemingly minor modes of resistance—as a provocative journalist, a Warsaw intellectual, the “spiritual father” of Polish hipsters, and a promoter of jazz in Poland—to maintain his freedom of thought.”

Diary 1954 cover photo

“Absolutely essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the culture, not just the politics, of Stalinism.” - Anne Applebaum, author of Iron Curtain: the Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956.

EIU’s Walhain-Saint-Paul Project Study Abroad Underway in Belgium

Dr. Bailey K. Young has partnered with the Catholic University in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, since 1998, offering a one-month immersion experience in historical archaeology — The Walhain-Saint-Paul Project Study Abroad.

The students completes paperwork as Bailey K. Young looks on (Photo: Debra Reid).

The students completes paperwork as Bailey K. Young looks on (photo: Debra Reid).

The 2014 dig runs from June 28 through July 25 and includes two students from EIU (Nathanial Rees, History, and Bradley Ogilvie, Computer Science) and ten students from nine other universities (alphabetically: Colby College (Maine), Fordham University (NYC), Ohio Wesleyan University, Portland State University; two from the University of Chicago, University of Delaware; University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; University of York, England; Wittenberg University.

Laurent Verslype, director of the Centre de recherches d'archéologie  nationale (CRAN), headquartered at the Université catholique de Louvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve, orients students to the site on June 30, 2014, while his students dig on the medieval residence behind him. (photo: Debra Reid)

Laurent Verslype, director of the Centre de recherches d’archéologie nationale (CRAN), headquartered at the Université catholique de Louvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve, orients students to the site on June 30, 2014, while his students dig on the medieval residence behind him. (photo: Debra Reid)

 

The EIU students received some financial assistance to participate this year, thanks to a Presidential Research & Creative Activity Fund grant awarded to  co-investigators, Bailey K. Young, director of the Walhain project, and Debra A. Reid, to launch a three-year project focused on the rural and agricultural history of the site.

Bailey K. Young orienting students to the features in the Renaissance  portion of the Walhain Castle using a map color coded to the stone types,  prepared by Erika Weinkauf, PhD student at the CRAN and field director of  the excavation (photo: Debra Reid)

Bailey K. Young orienting students to the features in the Renaissance portion of the Walhain Castle using a map color coded to the stone types, prepared by Erika Weinkauf, PhD student at the CRAN and field director of the excavation (photo: Debra Reid)

Reid is also working with Historical Administration student Amanda Hursch to partially fulfill her internship requirement while developing a comprehensive feasibility study for the site’s interpretation and fine-tuning two grant applications).

Amanda Hursch works on clearing a foundation in preparation for future  excavation (Photo: Debra Reid).

Amanda Hursch works on clearing a foundation in preparation for future excavation (photo: Debra Reid).

History graduate program alumns Annie Tock and her husband, Adam Morrisette joined the dig to work on digital humanities components to further the dream of site interpretation. Three more weeks remain, and the future seems bright for finding new features and increasing the data about this important medieval site.

Bailey K. Young and Dana Best-Mizsak, site supervisor and field  laboratory director, conferring over a find   unearthed by Luke Bretscher, University of Chicago. (Photo: Debra Reid)

Bailey K. Young and Dana Best-Mizsak, site supervisor and field laboratory director, conferring over a find unearthed by Luke Bretscher, University of Chicago. (photo: Debra Reid)

You can follow the progress of the dig at The Walhain Saint-Paul Project’s facebook site.

Ethnic Nationalism in 20th Century Iran

Brian Mann’s “The Khuzistani Arab Movement, 1941-46: A Case of Nationalism?” was recently published in the edited volume Rethinking Iranian Nationalism and Modernity.  In the chapter, Professor Mann examines contested notions of Iranian national identity by analyzing the ethnicity and regionalism in a Iranian Arab secessionist movement.

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Caracalla and Armenia

Lee E. Patterson’s latest exploration of ancient Armenia has just been published in the journal Syllecta Classica.  “Caracalla’s Armenia” investigates the role Armenia played in the emperor Caracalla’s war against the Parthian Empire, Rome’s inveterate enemy in the East.  Many have speculated that Caracalla annexed the country as a Roman province, essentially to help secure the frontier before embarking on his Parthian war, but Patterson argues Armenian resistance prevented such an annexation from happening, thus impeding the emperor’s overall military objectives.  This conclusion is based on a detailed analysis of classical and Armenian sources, the latter presenting acute historiographical problems with which Patterson continues to engage in his longterm book project on Armenia.  The book will take a diachronic view of Armenia’s role in Roman foreign policy in the East, from the first century BCE to the seventh CE.

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Subscribers to Project Muse can access the latest issue of Syllecta Classica at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/syllecta_classica/toc/syl.24.html

Violence and German Society

Who has the legal right to discipline a child? The answer in early twentieth-century Germany was not as simple as you might think. In her recently published article  “A Right to Beat a Child? Corporal Punishment and the Law in Wilhelmine Germany,” Dr. Sace Elder examines the  legal and popular debates over who possessed the right to exercise legitimate violence (that is, physical force for the purpose of correction or discipline) on children. The article appears in the first issue of Central European History, volume 47.

Dr. Elder continues her research on child mistreatment this summer when she travels to Germany to complete work on her book manuscript, “Cruel, Brutal, and Malicious: Child Abuse and Parental Authority in Germany, 1890-1945.” Her work will be supported by a Council for Faculty Research Summer Research Grant.

This work grew out of her first research project on criminal violence in Weimar Germany. The final publication from that project also appeared just this month: “’Prostitutes, Respectable Women, and Women from Outside:’ The Carl Grossmann Sexual Murder Case in Postwar Berlin,” in Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany, ed. Richard Wetzell, (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014).

Illustration from Heinrich Hoffmann, Der Struuwelpeter, "The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb" (1845)

Illustration from Heinrich Hoffmann, Der Struuwelpeter, “The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb” (1845)

 

2014 History Awards Banquet

The EIU History Department and the Epsilon Mu Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta held its annual awards banquet on May 2, 2014. Please join us in congratulating all of our award recipients!

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PHI ALPHA THETA INITIATES, 2013-2014

Breeahnah Babers, John Bays, Michael Bradley, Rebecca Braundmeier, Brendon Charles, Taylor Coffman, Andrew Daily, Bethany Haywood, Megan Kessler, Kody Kidwell, Jay Ryan Lawler, Jr., Cate LiaBraaten, Emily McInerney, Jacob Meyerhoff, Joseph Mickelson, Ryan Repking, Michael Rosenbaum, Rachael Sapp, Jessica Schluter, Ethan Shimer, Quentin Spannagel, James Willaert

DEPARTMENTAL SCHOLARSHIPS

The Errett and Mazie Warner History Award
For an outstanding junior or senior history major
Jennifer Seiler
Michael Bradley
Taylor Yangas

The Rex Syndergaard Scholarship
For an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in teaching
Breeahnah Babers
Jessica Nunez

The Stephen M. Horak Award
For an outstanding senior history major with a concentration in European history and at least one course in Russia or Eastern European history
John Bays

The Robert and Julie Sterling History Education in Social Science Scholarship
For a junior or senior history major with teacher certification
Megan Kessler

The William B. Reid, Jr. History Education Scholarship
For a junior or senior history major with teacher certification
Jessica Schluter

The Wolfgang and Barbara Schlauch European History Scholarship
For an undergraduate or graduate history major with an outstanding academic record and a concentration in modern European history
James Bishop

DEPARTMENTAL WRITING AWARDS

The Lavern M. Hamand Graduate Writing Award
For the best paper by a graduate student in the Department of History
Aaron Psujek (Fall)
Cate LiaBraaten (Spring)

The Alexander Hamilton Paper Award in American History
For the best undergraduate paper on American history written for a course taught in EIU’s History Department
Michael Bradley

History Faculty Writing Award in World History
For the best paper in world history (excluding Europe and the United States) written by an undergraduate for a course taught by a member of EIU’s History Department
Jennifer Seiler

The Herbert and Jane Lasky Anne Frank Award
For the best undergraduate paper on the Holocaust written for a course taught by EIU History Department faculty
Matthew Cain

INTERNSHIP SCHOLARSHIPS

The Robert Hennings HA Internship Scholarship
Cate LiaBraaten

The Duane Elbert Internship Scholarship
Caitlin Smith

DISTINCTIONS OUTSIDE THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT

Livingston C. Lord Scholarship
Jessica Nunez

King-Mertz Distinguished Research/Creative Activity Award
Nichole Garbrough

Distinguished Graduate Student Award
History: Aaron Psujek
Historical Administration: Desiree Ramirez

Williams Travel Awards
Aaron Psujek
Danielle DiGiacomo
Logan Bruce

Social Science Writing Awards
Michael Bradley
Michael Olson

Women’s Studies Woman of Artistic Vision Award
Emily Scarbourgh

Women’s Studies Essay Contest, Graduate Category
Emily Scarbrough

Graham R. Lewis Memorial Poetry Award, Second Place
Emily Scarbrough

Study Abroad Student of the Year
Mattie Korneta

Distinguished Senior Award, Alumni Services
Zachary Samples