So far this has been a semester of graduations, publications, and congratulations.


Congratulations go to the two newly-minted doctors among our ranks (pictured right): Dr. Admire Mseba defended his dissertation, "Land, Power and Social Relations in Northeastern Zimbabwe from Pre-Colonial Times to the 1950s", on March 24; and Dr. Sarah Matthews defended her dissertation, "Matter over Mind: Pietro d'Abano (d. 1316) and the Science of Physiognomy", on March 26.

Awards and Appointments:

Noaquia Callahan was awarded the 2015 Doctoral Fellowship in African American History at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC. This will help to support the completion of Noaquia's dissertation, "Divided Duty: African American Feminist Transnational Activism and the Lure of the Imperial Gaze, 1888-1922," which investigates the ways race, gender, and citizenship intersected with empire, foreign policy, and the international activism of African American women during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Noaquia is also this year's recipient of a research award from the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics of Iowa State University, of a Marcus Bach Graduate Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and of the 2015 Jane A. Weiss Dissertation Scholarship from the University of Iowa's Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department. Noaquia will be presented with the latter award at the Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women later this spring. Noaquia has also been accepted to attend the 2015 Humanities Without Walls Consortium Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop, based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

Aihua Zheng also received a Marcus Bach Graduate Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to support the completion of her doctoral dissertation, entitled "Rinzai Zen and Shaku Sōen in Modern Japan, 1868-1919."

Marlino Mubai was accepted to attend the 2015 Summer Institute on Contested Global Landscapes at Cornell University. This will help to further his doctoral research on the impact of warfare on the social ecology of Mozambique during that country's civil war. 

Caroline Radesky received a Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Summer Award, supporting her research into late nineteenth-century discourses surrounding sexuality, neurasthenia, and degeneracy.

Eric Zimmer's essay, "Settlement Sovereignty: The Meskwaki Fight for Self-Governance, 1856-1937," which appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of the Annals of Iowa, won the 2015 Mildred Throne-Charles Aldrich Award for the most significant article on Iowa history from the State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees. Eric also received the Graduate Research Excellence Award.

Among our medievalists, Heather Wacha has been accepted to participate in, and received funding to attend, the Middle French Paleography Workshop held at Columbia University this summer. She has also been awarded the Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Summer Award. Michelle Seiler has been appointed assistant editor for the Fall 2015 volume of the Hortulus journal of medieval studies, while Andrew Steck was accepted into the Diploma Programme in Manuscript Studies, a two summer course (2015-2016) run jointly by the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto and the American Academy in Rome. Andrew was also awarded a Mellon Fellowship for each summer.

Open Access Scholarship

Michelle Seiler continued with her series of blog posts inspired by her research trip to England: Edith Pretty, the woman behind the famous Sutton Hoo excavations; on Paddington Bear, memory studies and war commemoration; who's buried next to Henry VIII of England; and the never-should-have-been monarchs of Britain.

Meanwhile, Kristi DiClemente shared some of her findings on medieval marriage rituals and some instances of manuscript marginalia. Yvonne Seale wrote about the medievalist art and architecture of Iowa City, compiled a handlist of medieval Latin and French dictionaries, and hosted a round of the History Carnival.

Heather Wacha launched a new video blog series in conjunction with University of Iowa Special Collections, called "If Books Could Talk." Each installment explores the history of one of the manuscripts held here at the University of Iowa, by exploring the material it's made of, how it's bound, and what marks its past use has left behind. Check out the first episode on YouTube, or read a fuller analysis of the manuscript over here on the History Corps website:


Our colleagues at the History Corps have also gone live with their new website. History Corps, a graduate student-led, online digital and oral history project based out of the Department of History, is about fostering collaborations between researchers, students, and community groups. Through the creation of online history exhibits, the History Corps share their scholarly work with the broader public and promote interest in history and the humanities.


Paul Mokrzycki published an article:

"Lost in the Heartland: Childhood, Region, and Iowa’s Missing Paperboys," Annals of Iowa 74, no. 1 (Winter 2015): 29–70.

Eric Zimmer published a book review:

Review of C. Joseph Genetin-Pilawa, Crooked Paths to Allotment: The Fight over Federal Indian Policy After the Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), in South Dakota History 44, no. 2 (Summer 2014): 176–179.

Talks and Colloquia:

Katherine Massoth spoke at our January Forum on ""Mexican Cookery that Belongs to the United States": Women Binding the Historical Tensions of Whiteness, Ethnic Identity, and Citizenship in Cookbooks." This talk explored part of Katherine's doctoral research, on the ways in which cooking and kitchen design could be markers of ethnic identity in nineteenth-century New Mexico.

At our February Forum, Kathy Wilson (pictured right) gave a talk entitled, "'A Young Lady Comes from a Convent': Female Education at the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and its Role in the Transformation of the British Catholic Gentry, 1760-1830." Kathy discussed her research on Bar Convent, York, which reveals a network of girls and women whose educations and subsequent marriages helped to create a network of Catholic gentry across the British Empire.

And in our March Forum, Matine Spence discussed "Fear and Conformity in the 1950s: Sneaking Up on the Black-White Racial Barrier in American Adoption." Matine argued that inter-racial adoption practices and policies in this period reflect different racial fault-lines and constructions than we might expect.

Elsewhere, Kristi DiClemente addressed an audience at the Granger House Museum in Marion IA, on the topic, "Life in Tudor England."

We also held our first colloquium of the year on February 20. Professor Alyssa Park presented "The Art of Proposal Writing: What You Need to Know and How To Do It."