Congratulations to our members who have recently been awarded their doctorates:

  • Eric Zimmer defended his dissertation, "Red Earth Nation: Environment and Sovereignty in Modern Meskwaki History", on March 28.
  • Paul Mokrzycki Renfro defended his dissertation, "Stranger Danger: The Politics of Child Safety in the Age of Reason", on March 28.
  • Gabriel Baker defended his dissertation, "Spare No One: Destroying Communities in Roman Warfare, Third and Second Centuries BCE", on April 19.
  • Yvonne Seale defended her dissertation, ""Ten Thousand Women": Gender, Affinity, and the Development of the Premonstratensian Order in Medieval France", on April 26.
  • Katherine Massoth defended her dissertation, "That Was Women's Work": The Borders of Gender, Cultural Practices, and Ethnic Identity in Arizona and New Mexico, 1846-1941", on May 3.
  • Michelle Seiler-Godfrey defended her dissertation, "Constructing Urban Community: The Ruling Elite of Late Medieval England", on May 5.
  • Heather Wacha defended her dissertation, ""La Puissance du Choix": Women's Economic Activity in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Picardy", on May 6.

Congratulations also to our four recent graduates who have accepted tenure-track positions as assistant professors of history. This fall, Katherine Massoth will take up her appointment at the University of Louisville, KY; Yvonne Seale at SUNY Geneseo, NY; and Susan Stanfield at the University of Texas-El Paso, TX; while William Ennis is now a tenure-track assistant professor of history at Gallaudet University. Marlino Mubai has also resumed his academic position at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique.

Heather Wacha has accepted a CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Curation for Medieval Studies with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Paul Mokrzycki Renfro accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, TX. Recent alum John Eicher has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with the German Historical Institute in Washington DC for 2016-17, and recent alum Admire Mseba has accepted a three-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Gabriel Baker accepted a teaching position with the Nueva School in San Francisco, CA, and Eric Zimmer has been appointed a Senior Historian with Vantage Point History, SD.

Awards and Grants:

Noaquia Callahan has been selected for a 2016-2017 U.S. Fulbright Student Award to Germany, to assist in her doctoral research on African-American women's internationalism in the early twentieth century.

Aiqi Liu (pictured left) was selected as a 2016-17 Nippon Foundation Fellow. Aiqi will spend the year in Japan at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies run by Stanford University.

Our colleagues at History Corps received a major internal grant through the University of Iowa Internal Funding Initiatives program to conduct summer field work with partners for Iowa Native Spaces, a collaborative digital mapping project. This generous funding is provided by the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Laurel Sanders also received a University of Iowa Graduate & Professional Student Government Service Grant for her education component to the Iowa Native Spaces Project.

Several of our members received funding from the University of Iowa Graduate College. Salvatory Nyanto received a Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Award for Fall 2016, and a Marcus Bach Fellowship for Graduate Students in the Humanities for Spring 2017. Aldrin Magaya and Andrew Steck both received a Graduate College Summer Fellowship to support their doctoral research. Faye Bartram and Pam Stek both received a Ballard-Seashore Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

Caroline Radesky was awarded a 2016 Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources. She was also awarded the 2016 Jane A. Weiss Dissertation Scholarship from the Department of Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies for her feminist scholarship and activism.

Heather Wacha received a grant from the Memory and Knowledge Digital Archive Creation Initiative program, funded by the University of Iowa Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio. This grant will support Heather's work to document the life and career of Iowa artist, Marilyn Thomas. 


Marius Kothor published a book review:

Review of Andrew Zimmerman, Alabama in Africa : Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010) in the African American Intellectual History Society, March 30 2016. [Read online]

Yvonne Seale's 3D digital reconstructions of the palace and temple complex and the Bronze Age walls of the ancient city of Byblos are included in the e-book edition of Prof. Robert Cargill's (Classics) new book, The Cities That Built The Bible (San Francisco: Harper One, 2016). She also published a journal article:

"Imagining Medieval Europe in the College Classroom", Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART), 23:1 (Spring 2016).

Open Access Scholarship:

Marius Kothor discussed some of the challenges of conducting oral history interviews over at the group blog of our colleagues at History Corps.

Holly Pinheiro contributed to the blog of the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, with a post on Black soldiers during the U.S. Civil War that focuses on the families which these men left behind.

Eric Zimmer blogged about the effort to rename Harney Peak, the tallest mountain in South Dakota, to its Lakota name, “Hinhan Kaga” (“the Making of Owls”).

Yvonne Seale blogged about the "Explorer's Legacy" exhibition, and how museum exhibitions can be linked to the college history classroom. She also shared a list of resources for beginners to the world of medieval digital paleography, and hosted a round of the History Carnival.

Heather Wacha contributed to the University of Iowa Special Collections blog, with a post discussing how she helped Norwalk High School artists connect to the university's archival holdings.

Activities and Events:

On February 19, Pam Stek delivered a talk (pictured above right) to the GHS Forum on "'A Little Suffrage Spice in the Melting Pot': The Minnesota Scandinavian Woman Suffrage Association and the Power of Ethnic Organization." Pam argued that immigrant women were the bedrock of the suffrage movement in early twentieth-century Minnesota. In the second Forum of the month on February 26, Faye Bartram discussed some of her doctoral research in a talk entitled "Two Weeks of Drama and Romance Turn Permanent: the Development of the "Weeks of Cinema" and the Franco-Soviet Permanent Mixed Commission."

For the March Forum, Joseph Jakarasi spoke on “Kincraft and Caring: Rethinking Public Health and Medicine in African History.” The final Forum of the academic year was presented by Scott Sulzener, who discussed the initial findings of his doctoral research in a presentation on "Provincial Convents in the Prussian Press, 1863-1894."

Gabe Baker travelled to Cedar Rapids in March to meet high school students there (pictured above left), and spoke to them about his research on the history of Roman warfare.

Later that month, Yvonne Seale and Heather Wacha helped to lead a workshop in conjunction with the University of Iowa Digital Publishing studio (pictured right). In collaboration with Professors Sarah Bond and Katherine Tachau, Heather and Yvonne introduced participants to the University of Iowa's medieval manuscripts, which have been newly added to the DIY History website. DIY History is a project run by the University of Iowa Libraries, which seeks to digitize some of its Special Collections' holdings and make them available for crowd-sourced transcription and translation.

Heather Wacha continued her public engagement activities, participating in the "Taking It to the Streets: Engagement and the Academy" program of the University of Iowa International Programs WorldCanvass series in early March. Heather discussed her involvement with the Obermann Center's Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy. The event was recorded for UITV, and you can watch it on YouTube. Later that month, she welcomed students from Norwalk High School, near Des Moines, to campus. These students examined some of the medieval manuscripts held at the University of Iowa Special Collections, and asked what it is that makes a book a book.

Heather also appeared in the latest installment of the collaborative YouTube series "If Books Could Talk" which explores the medieval manuscript known as the Wilton Processional. A fragment of this manuscript is housed in UI Special Collections, and together with librarian Colleen Theisen, Heather figured out its provenance. Watch it below: