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.


Subscribers to Project Muse can access the latest issue of Syllecta Classica at

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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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


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


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


The Robert Hennings HA Internship Scholarship
Cate LiaBraaten

The Duane Elbert Internship Scholarship
Caitlin Smith


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

History Students & Faculty Participate in Interdisciplinary Conference on Asia

On Thursday, April 24 a number of history department students and faculty participated in the Interdisciplinary Conference on Asia hosted by Asian Studies. The day’s events, organized by history professor and Coordinator of Asian Studies Jinhee Lee, included an award ceremony, two student research panels, a roundtable discussion, and a guest speaker session entitled “Territorial Disputes in Contemporary Asia” featuring Dr. Rustin Gates of Bradley University and Dr. Jongnam Choi of Western Illinois University.

At the award ceremony, history major Taylor Coffman was awarded the Asian Studies Study Abroad Scholarship, which she will use this summer while attending Ajou University, one of the EIU’s sister universities in South Korea. History major Quentin Spannagel presented his paper, “The Carter Administration and the Taiwan Relations Act,” during the first panel session, on which history professor Edmund Wehrle served as a discussant. History professors Brian Mann, Bailey Young, Lee Patterson, Edmund Wehrle as well as a number of history students participated in the discussion following the two student presentation panels as well as in the lunchtime roundtable discussion “What to Teach about Asia in American Universities?” During the final panel of the day, history professors Jinhee Lee and Jon Coit served as discussants.

History major Taylor Coffman receives the Asian Studies Study Abroad Scholarship

History major Taylor Coffman receives the Asian Studies Study Abroad Scholarship

History major Quentin Spannagel presents his paper "The Carter Administration and the Taiwan Relations Act"

History major Quentin Spannagel presents his paper “The Carter Administration and the Taiwan Relations Act”

Lunch and roundtable discussion

Lunch and roundtable discussion

Participants of the conference's final panel of the day

Participants of the conference’s final panel of the day

The EIU Interdisciplinary Conference on Asia was sponsored by the EIU Foundation’s Redden Grants and Faculty Development Collaboration Grants. Asian Studies would like to thank the College of Arts and Humanities, the Interdisciplinary Center for Global Diversity, the Minority Affairs Office, the History Department, and all faculty and student members who made this meaningful interdisciplinary program possible, especially the members of the Asian Studies Executive, Awards, Publicity, and Colloquium Committees, and Ms. Connie Clarkson and Ms. Donna Nichols for their administrative support.

Dr. Foy Chosen by Mystic Seaport to Participate in the voyage of The Charles W. Morgan, America’s last wooden whaling ship

After a five-year restoration project at Mystic Seaport, America’s last wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan, is to sail this summer for the first time in more than eighty years. On board this 1841 whaleship will be Associate Professor Charles R. Foy of EIU’s History Department. As part of Mystic Seaport’s 38th Voyage project (a reference to the thirty-seven whaling voyages the ship took during its working career)Dr. Foy and 78 other historians, literary scholars, artists, scientists, journalists, teachers, musicians, scholars, and whaling descendants were chosen to document their experiences on the whaling ship in one of America’s largest public history endeavors. Dr. Foy will be blogging about the lives of black whalers as well as working on a lesson plan for high school students. In addition, working with Steven DiNaso, Co-Director of EIU’s GISci Lab, Dr. Foy will be plotting his voyage as a means to discuss on his blog the differences between present-day navigation and navigation in the Age of Sail.

38th Voyagers, including Dr. Charles R. Foy (center in yellow slicker) during orientation day at Mystic Seaport on April 26, 2014.

38th Voyagers, including Dr. Charles R. Foy (center in yellow slicker) during orientation day at Mystic Seaport on April 26, 2014.

The 38th Voyage project will involve the Charles W. Morgan returning to its original homeport, New Bedford, Massachusetts, before sailing on to a number of other New England ports. Through Mystic Seaport’s partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration the whaling ship will also spend two days exploring the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Dr. Foy is fortunate that his voyage on the Charles W. Morgan will end with the whaling ship docking in Boston next to the USS Constitution, America’s oldest existing sailing ship.  Truly a maritime historian’s dream trip!