• Dr. Ben Lawson defended his dissertation, "Garbage Mountains: The Use, Redevelopment, and Representation of New York City’s Fresh Kills, Greater Toronto’s Keele Valley, and Greater Tel Aviv’s Hiriya Landfills” on December 3.

To the right are all of our members who graduated with their doctorates on December 18, 2015: Dr. Brian J.K. Miller, Marlino Mubai, John Eicher, and Ben Lawson, pictured with Professor Colin Gordon, who hooded them. Congratulations to all!

Allison Wells received a Graduate Dissertation Research Award from the University of Iowa Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and a Bordin-Gillette Researcher Travel Fellowship to do research at the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan. These grants will help to support Allison's doctoral research, on the history of the U.S. colonization of the Philippines.

Allison and Noaquia Callahan were both awarded a Samuel Flagg Bemis Dissertation Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.


Pam Stek published a journal article which explores women's involvement with the labor history of the Upper Midwest:

“Militant Mothers: Women and the Minnesota Iron Range Strike of 1916.” The Mining History Journal, 22 (2015).

Paul Mokrzycki Renfro published two journal articles arising from his doctoral research:

“Keeping Children Safe is Good Business: The Enterprise of Child Safety in the Age of Reagan,” Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History 17, no. 1 (March 2016), 1-37.

"'The City Too Busy to Care': The Atlanta Youth Murders and the Southern Past, 1979–81," Southern Cultures 21, no. 4 (Winter 2015): 43–66.

Yvonne Seale published a book review:

Review of Sara McDougall, Bigamy and Christian Identity in Late Medieval Champagne. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012, in The UCLA Historical Journal, 26:1 (2015), 59-60. [Read online]

Open Access Scholarship:

Noaquia Callahan blogged about pursuing a non-traditional academic career, as part of her involvement with the Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Workshop. This project, facilitated and directed by the Chicago Humanities Festival, aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy through a series of summer workshops.

Yvonne Seale contributed to the History Matters column at the History Today magazine with a piece on Elizabeth Elstob, a seventeenth-century scholar of Anglo-Saxon and one of the first-known medievalists. She also blogged about the life and career of Helen Maybury Roe, a pioneering historian of medieval Ireland.

Activities and Events:

In December 2015, Heather Wacha spoke to students at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids about how medieval manuscripts can be used as a historical source. In February 2016, Heather addressed the Iowa Bibliophile Society (above right) about the findings of her work as a specialist researcher attached to the University of Iowa Special Collections. Heather discussed how her research helped her correctly identify a previously miscatalogued manuscript leaf, and to use digital tools to connect it to manuscripts held at other universities, in a talk entitled, “The Mysterious Chain of Psalms: Identifying and Recovering an Otto Ege Manuscript.”

Heather Wacha and David De La Torre both participated in the Obermann Graduate Institute on Public Engagement and the Academy January 11-15, 2016. This one-week interdisciplinary institute brings together graduate students from across the University of Iowa campus and at any point in their graduate studies to explore how public engagement can enhance teaching, research, and creative work.

Noaquia Callahan was a fellow of the Obermann Graduate Institute in 2014, and continues to build on the work which she carried out there. Most recently, in February 2016, she presented an invited lecture (see flyer right) at Howard University in Washington, D.C., on the African-American intellectual tradition and international education. This talk was presented as part of Noaquia's ongoing schedule of activities while a fellow of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C.