Department of History
CAS Room 216
290 East Buchtel Ave
Akron, OH 44325-1902
Phone (330) 972 - 7006
Fax (330) 972 - 5840
For information about our history faculty
please visit our Faculty & Staff page
Professors Kevin Kern and Gregory Wilson have just published Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State. Hailed by Purdue University’s R. Douglas Hurt as “The best book on Ohio’s history in more than a generation,” the new volume builds on our department’s long-recognized prominence in the field of Ohio History that Professor Emeritus George Knepper established during his illustrious career. Drawing on the latest scholarship from history, archaeology, and political science, the interdisciplinary and thematic text explores the entire range of Ohio’s past from the earliest geological periods to the present day while weaving together major social, economic, and political trends over time. The book has the distinction of being the first survey of Ohio history designed specifically for use in college-level courses, but Miami University’s Andrew Cayton believes it will have an even broader appeal: “Kevin Kern and Gregory Wilson’s readable, authoritative, and comprehensive book immediately becomes the standard point of departure for anyone interested in learning about Ohio’s rich and diverse past.”
Professor Constance Bouchard spent the summer of 2012 doing archival research in Paris and Dijon, France, for her next book entitled The Cartulary of Bèze; at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France she was able to consult a rare twelfth-century manuscript that until now had been inaccessible. Her newest book Three Cartularies from Thirteenth-Century Auxerre will be published by the University of Toronto Press this fall.
During the May intersession, Professor Michael Graham taught a new special topics workshop-style course called “Hunting Witches in Early Modern Europe” that drew in part on his own recent research into early modern demonological literature and its uses.
During the summer of 2012, Professors Bouchard and Graham assisted the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) in updating educational materials for its collection of early modern weapons and armor. Their contributions will be included in an ipad “app” that will guide visitors after the grand reopening of several galleries in the spring of 2013.
Professor Lesley J. Gordon was a featured historian on PBS’s critically acclaimed series “The American Experience: Robert E. Lee” in January 2010. She also collaborated with UA Communications Professor Kathleen Endres on the documentary "Rebels on Lake Erie,” set to be televised nationally on PBS. Since 2010, Dr. Gordon has been editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History. One of its articles published in December 2011 received widespread national and international attention, with the New York Times, the BBC, the New Yorker and other large media outlets featuring its content, which challenged the number of Civil War dead.
Professor Steve Harp has finished a draft of his next book, tentatively entitled Au Naturel: Naturism, Nudism and European Tourism in Twentieth-Century France, thanks in part to the support of a UA Faculty Research Grant that funded a summer research trip to France in June 2012. In the late fall of 2012 he will be teaching as an invited professor at the Université du Maine in Le Mans, France.
Professor Walter Hixson spent two weeks on a delegation to Israel, Palestine, and the south of Lebanon in July 2012. He participated in seminars with Israeli and Palestinian citizens and with academics and activists working for peace in the Middle East. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Boomerang of Savagery: Settler Colonialism, Ambivalence, and Ethnic Cleansing in American History. Two of his essays, “’No Savage Shall Inherit the Land’: The Indian Other and Early American Foreign Policy” and “Vietnam in History and Memory,” will be published in edited volumes later this year.
Professor Janet Klein’s book The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone was published by Stanford University Press in 2011. Her book chapter “State, Tribe, and the Contest over Diyarbekir at the Turn of the Twentieth Century” and Turkish translations of two of her journal articles were published in 2012. Dr. Klein recently traveled to Diyarbakir, Turkey; Dukok, Kurdistan Region Iraq; and Stanford University to present her academic work. She was the keynote speaker for the opening of the Kurdish Library at Binghamton University in September 2011. In the summer of 2011 she was awarded a UA Faculty Research Grant, and she became the director of the World Civilizations Program in the summer of 2012.
Professor Mike Levin travelled to Spain in the summer of 2011 to begin research for his next book project, a study of the Spanish resident embassy in the Republic of Genoa in the sixteenth century. The travel was funded by a UA Faculty Research Grant and a grant from the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain's Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities.
Professor Martha Santos’ book Cleansing Honor with Blood: Masculinity, Violence, and Power in the Backlands of Northeast Brazil, 1845-1880 was published by Stanford University Press in January of 2012. With the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend award and UA’s Office of Sponsored Programs, she spent five weeks in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, Brazil, this summer doing archival research for her new book project—a study of female slavery, motherhood, and family in the hinterlands of Northeast Brazil during the nineteenth century.
Professor A. Martin Wainwright was honored with a Distinguished Teacher Award by the Ohio Academy of History in 2012. He continues to work on his new book project entitled Royalty, Race and Empire: How the Empire/Commonwealth Saved the Monarchy. He was appointed Chair of the Department of History in the summer of 2012.