Dr. Carleton E. Curran (1923-2015)

From the desk of Dr. David Maurer:

Dr. Carleton E. Curran passed away on November 15, 2015 at his residence. Declining health had finally required hospice care. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1923. In the Fall of 1941 he matriculated at the University of Wisconsin. However, he was soon to enlist in the U.S. Army and served in the 104th Infantry Division in World War II. After the war he returned to the University and acquired his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.  During that time he married Nancy Elisabeth Riedel; she survives as do their two sons, David and Thomas. He taught for 10 years at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas. He then was hired by Eastern Illinois University’s Department of History in 1966 and taught for 28 years, retiring in 1994.

Robert Sterling notes, “Through the many years of relationship with Carl, one thing remained constant: my appreciation of his never ending friendship. The loss is immeasurable.”

Jimmie Franklin remembers that “Carl believed that “analysis” began with an uncluttered understanding of the “facts.” And that is why I think that he produced strong students with an ability to think creatively.”

Wolfgang Schlauch remembers that “Carl was a dedicated teacher who care about his students and encouraged them to excel. While travelling in Europe with him he described the horrors of the war and the devastation. In the 1980’s and 1990’s he was able to applaud the rebuilt Europe.”

Charles Titus joined the Department in 1990 and immediately was impressed by Carl’s friendliness and helpfulness. He was always optimistic and upbeat. After retirement Charles continued to enjoy Carl’s good humor and wit.

Newton Key remembers Carl’s innovative teaching techniques and his advice that faculty should “grade what they did write.” Key notes, “A couple of decades letter, this is still good advice, as I continue to try to respond to what the student’s argument and evidence is, rather than what is the ideal in my mind.”

David Maurer has never forgotten that Carl met and counseled students with no thought of the clock. Whatever he could do to encourage his students, he would do. Maurer also knew of the exceptional volunteer work he gave to this church and the local Soup Stop charity. He was outstanding in the University and the community.


Dr. Carleton E. Curran (via The Keep)

Discussing ISIS

An Asian Studies Colloquium, “The roots, context, and impact of the ISIS/ISIL in and beyond the Middle East region,” with panelists Prof. Brian Mann (History), Prof. Hasan F Mavi (Kinesiology), and Prof. Newton Key (History), moderated by Prof. Gordon Tucker (Biology) will take place 5:00-6:30 PM Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 4440 Booth Library Conference Room. Following the panel presentation discussion will take place over pizza and refreshment. All are invited. (Making Sense of the ISIS panel flyer)

ISIS panel

2015 History Careers Day

The History Department held its third annual History Careers HCD 2015Day on Friday, February 20.

Our keynote presenter this year was Angela Scalpello. Angela, who has worked for many years as a senior human resources executive at major firms in New York City and San Francisco, shared with majors and non-majors her considerable interviewing and hiring experience as someone who understands the skills historians bring to the job market.

For our 11am panel, EIU alumni and current students discussed how they are using their history degrees.

During our third panel EIU alumni and faculty shared their experiences teaching in a variety of settings—public school, private school, and community college.

At our final panel of the day, some faculty and current graduate students discussed the joys (and challenges) of MA and PhD programs.

Thank you to all of our panelists who helped us make this year’s History Careers Day such a success!

HA Graduate Students Awarded EGS Scholarships

Laura Russman and Brian Failing, graduate students in the Historical Administration Program, have each been awarded a Chester A. Bowser Scholarship from the Elgin Genealogical Society (EGS). EGS provides scholarship funds to deserving graduate students in studies related to genealogy and grants to local organizations for projects to benefit the genealogical community. Scholarships are awarded in honor of the Society’s late member and benefactor, Chester A. Bowser.

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!


Booth Library to Host the ISHS History Symposium

EIU’s Booth Library will host the Illinois State Historical Society’s 2014 History Symposium on March 27-28. The symposium is co-sponsored by the History Department, Booth Library, the Coles County Historical Society, and the Illinois State Genealogical Society. The symposium commemorates the sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War, and specifically, the infamous Charleston “copperhead” riot of March 28, 1864.


Several students and professors from the History Department are participating as speakers. Visit the Illinois State Historical Society  website and click on “2014 Illinois History Symposium” for details. The best part? Registration is free for EIU students!