Message from the Chair

Greetings from the Department of History to our alumni and friends. What a year it has been. We hope that all of you are doing all right in this troubling time. The national stories of pandemic, economic struggles, and racial injustice have impacted Mizzou and the history department, but we know they have impacted all of you as well.

Catherine Rymph, Chair
Looking for a Historical Perspective?
Our faculty, students, and alumni have been busy thinking and writing about current events through the lens of history. Take a look at our series of essays:
Historians Reflect on the Pandemic
As a historian of medicine, Assistant Professor Kristy Wilson Bowers has been studying pandemics and the responses to them for nearly 25 years, so she knows that social distancing has a long history.
Kris Lawson (associate professor of history at State University and a former Mizzou history MA student) studied Columbia, Missouri’s, outbreak of the 1918 Spanish flu. Let her tell you about the time our own Read Hall served as a pandemic hospital.

Teaching and Learning During the Pandemic

We could not be prouder of how creatively our students have adapted to learning in this difficult time.

Check out Mizzou’s History Club President Catherine Hutinett’s message to her fellow majors in which she encourages them to think of their own writing as primary sources in the making.

Let history major Paige Harris tell you about her experiences shifting to remote learning last year. Routine, it turns out, is key.

Of course, faculty did some adapting as well. Kinder Endowed Chair in Constitutional Democracy Jay Sexton’s experience teaching his students (remotely) and his daughters (in person) led him to reflect on the history of how we experience time and the division between “work” and “life.”
Professor John Wigger re-evaluated what constituted a major event in his survey of American history from reconstruction to the present. Condensing 150 years
into 15 weeks necessarily involves picking and choosing. This year, the end of World War I was not the only 1918 event to make the cut!
Several other faculty members contributed to this series. Check out Teaching During the Pandemic.
Historical Perspectives on Current Events
With so much going on in the news, we decided to start a new series for historical perspectives on the issues making modern headlines. In our first installment, former graduate student and newly minted doctoral recipient Mary Beth Brown, PhD '20, reflects on the long history of civil rights activism at Mizzou. Keep checking back for more essays in this series.
Speaking of current events with a long history, the history department Issued a statement on systemic racism and injustice:

As historians, we know Black people in our country are subjected to violent racism that began more than 150 years before the Declaration of Independence had a single signature. We cannot—must not—ignore that our history contains such travesties as the Atlantic passage, slavery, lynching, Jim Crow laws, disenfranchisement, redlining, mass incarceration, police brutality, and much more. Systemic racism is not merely a part of our history. It lives on in our communities today. We stand with those who are fighting to eradicate the structures of racism and injustice in the wake of the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others.
Along with the American Historical Association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Organization of American Historians, we urge all members of our campus community to study the hard parts of our country’s past. We need to keep educating ourselves and listening to each other, especially to the voices of Black students and alumni who shared their gut-wrenching experiences with racism and exclusion on our campus.

History also reminds us that change is possible if we commit to working for that change. We unequivocally assert that Black Lives Matter.
Suggested Summer Reading
We asked our graduate students to list the best books for understanding the current racial crisis in America. Here is what they recommend:
Our Undergraduates

Good weather and good company came together with hot dogs and raffle tickets. September 2019’s fifth annual weenie roast was a hit!
Faramola Shonekan, history major, Mizzou track athlete, Rhodes Scholar finalist, and now winner of the prestigious Mark Twain Fellowship describes the best lunch break ever.
Our Graduate Students
Please join us in hearty congratulations to all of those who have earned their doctorates since our last newsletter!

Todd Barnett, “More than Beer: The Complex Career of Adolphus Busch”

Mary Beth Brown, “Beyond the Border War: Student Civil Rights Activism at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri, 1946–1954.”

Zach Dowdle, “Reluctant Emancipator: James Sidney Rollins and the Politics of Slavery and Freedom in the Border South, 1838–1882”

Craig Forrest, “A History of in loco parentis in American Higher Education”

Jenna Rice, “Animals in Ancient Greek Warfare: A Study of the Elephant, Camel, and Dog”

Congratulations to Kris Maulden, PhD, ’12, on the publication of his new book Federalist Frontiers!
Our Faculty
Welcome to Our New Colleagues!
During fall 2019, we were delighted to welcome three new colleagues: Assistant Professor Admire Mseba, who specializes in the history of southern Africa; Assistant Teaching Professor Jeff Stevens, whose expertise is in ancient Rome and Greece; and Preparing Future Faculty Postdoc Merve Fejzula, who recently completed a dissertation on trans-Atlantic Black thought.
Retirements in 2019
In August 2019, four of our colleagues retired with over a century of service amongst them. Many of you will remember well Mark Carroll, Mark Smith, Steve Watts, and Jonathan Sperber. We miss their presence and their leadership, although they could often be found in Read Hall—still at work on their research—before the pandemic closed our campus.

Unfortunately, events honoring the remaining retirees had to be suspended once travel and large gatherings were curtailed, but we look forward to celebrating the distinguished careers of our remaining colleagues when it becomes safe to do so.
Celebrate Great Teaching!
Congratulations to Associate Professor Ilyana Karthas! She won a 2020 Alumnae Award presented by the Department of Women's and Gender Studies for her excellent teaching.

New Additions to the Faculty
Bookshelf by Linda Reeder and
Jay Sexton
Historians on the Air
Arvarh E. Strickland Distinguished Professor of History and Black Studies Devin Fergus and Professor Jay Sexton weigh in on the twin crises of the current moment: COVID-19 and the public outcry against racism in the United States. Listen in to their perspectives on how we got here and how history can help us better understand the present.
Associate Professor Keona Ervin, along with other distinguished historians, discuss race and historical monuments in Missouri in light of the current controversy over a statue of Thomas Jefferson on Mizzou’s campus. The talk also features two former Mizzou students who were founding members of Concerned Student 1950.
Links to more faculty talks can be found on our Facebook page!
Around the Department
Thank You, Patty!

Last fall, Patty Eggleston celebrated 40 years at Mizzou—most of it spent in the history department. We don’t know what we would do without her. There was, of course, a party and a cake.
The End of an Era—
Jenny Morton Retires

In spring 2020, Jenny Morton retired after nearly 20 years of service in the history department. She has advised thousands of history majors and answered even more questions for history professors in all of those years. She will be sorely missed. Unfortunately, the pandemic derailed her retirement party. Instead, the faculty and staff put on a socially distanced parade (including dogs, of course) outside of her home.
Last year, Jenny was awarded the prestigious Mick Deaver Memorial Award for Student Relations
Excellence. There was a party and a cake.
We Couldn't Do It Without You!
We are continually humbled by the generosity of our alumni supporters. Thanks to all of you who are able to fund student scholarships, lecture series, and faculty research. We are excited to tell you that, this year, we launched two new programs and are in the middle of launching a third.
Shell Fund for Faculty Research
The Shell Fund will award up to two $5,000 research/travel awards annually for the next five years through a competitive, need-based process. Last fall, we made the first two awards, to Ilyana Karthas, for travel to Paris to conduct research on her new project on women art critics and to Lois Huneycutt for travel to England, to complete research for her new book on English queenship during the Civil War of 1139–53. Travel to archives is critical to historical research, and these funds make a big difference.
George Dalack Memorial Scholarship
Another new gift will be used to help students take advantage of summer internship possibilities. Most internships for summer 2020 were cancelled, but we hope to make an award for next summer. Internships with museums, archives, and historical sites are an important part of our department’s public history emphasis and general career readiness offerings. While there are many internships that students can complete during the semester in Columbia, the Dalack fund will enable more students to pursue internships at sites in other parts of the country.
Spitz Fellowship
We were saddened by loss of history alum and former Kansas City resident James Baker this spring. Because of his generosity, the department was able to create a faculty excellence fellowship for associate professors. This award is funded through an endowment set up in memory of Baker’s teacher Lewis Spitz, who taught in the MU history department from 1953 to 1959, before finishing his career at UCLA. Successful candidates for the Spitz Fellowship will be colleagues who have achieved excellence in the areas of research, teaching, and service, and who have achieved a major milestone in one or more of those areas. We are pleased to announce that Linda Reeder is the first recipient of this two-year fellowship.
Kinder Institute logo
In our last newsletter, we let you know that our Kinder Forum had been upgraded to the Kinder Institute. Now we have exciting news about the new...
At 9:36 a.m., on June 15, when an incoming first-year student clicked “Register” on MyZou in a Bethalto, Illinois, living room, the bachelor of arts in Constitutional Democracy became a living degree. A joint project of the Kinder Institute and the College of Arts and Science—in collaboration with the Departments of History and Political Science—the new BA provides Mizzou undergrads with a unique opportunity to explore the complex theory and changing practice of constitutionalism and democracy in the United States, and around the globe, from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives.

The curriculum includes courses not only from history and political science, but also from Black studies, women’s and gender studies, philosophy, law, ancient Mediterranean studies, and economics, a list we continue to grow over time. We see the degree as a perfect complement to a bachelor's in history or political science that, through focused, upper-level coursework in a single concentration area, will allow students to spend a little extra time (15 credit hours of time, to be exact) drilling down on a specific idea, event, or era that sparked their interest during the course of their early studies at MU.
The Kinder Institute, in partnership with the Departments of History and Political Science, is inaugurating next academic year a new, one-year master of arts in Atlantic history and politics. This interdisciplinary program will begin in the fall and will conclude with a 9-credit-hour embedded study abroad in Oxford in July 2021. We are excited to kick this program off, not least because we have a full roster of 20 highly accomplished students for our inaugural class.
For department news,
blogs, and events, check out
our website at 
To keep up with all of our events and activities, follow us on Facebook (and maybe spare us a "like" or two).
You can also follow the department on Twitter.
101 Read Hall • 573-882-2481 •