Featured Faculty Titles 2012-2013
This brief profile of recent faculty publications highlights the diverse scholarly interests of the department's faculty and illustrates the department's commitment to scholarship that advances understanding within the academy and also appeals to a wider audience.
Professor Jordan Sand, Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects, University of California Press, 2013.
Tokyo Vernacular examines local places and objects that embodied vernacular forms of Tokyo’s everyday life following the failure of mass movements in 1960s Japan. In the 1970s, Tokyo began to conserve and celebrate its built environment as part of a global trend that increasingly viewed urban landscapes as essential elements of a nation’s cultural heritage. However, repeated destruction and rapid redevelopment had left the city with few buildings of recognized historical value. Moving from the politics of the public square to the invention of neighborhood community, to oddities found and appropriated in the streets, to the consecration of everyday scenes and artifacts as heritage in museums, this volume traces the rediscovery of the past--sometimes in unlikely forms--in a city with few traditional landmarks. Rather than conceiving the city as a national center and claiming public space as national citizens, the post-1960s generation came to value the local places and things that embodied the vernacular language of the city, and to seek what could be claimed as common property outside the spaces of corporate capitalism and the state.
Professor Tommaso Astarita, ed., A Companion to Early Modern Naples, Brill, 2013.
Naples was one of the largest cities in early modern Europe, and for about two centuries the largest city in the global empire ruled by the kings of Spain. Its crowded and noisy streets, the height of its buildings, the number and wealth of its churches and palaces, the celebrated natural beauty of its location, the many antiquities scattered in its environs, the fiery volcano looming over it, the drama of its people’s devotions, the size and liveliness - to put it mildly - of its plebs, all made Naples renowned and at times notorious across Europe. The new essays in this volume aim to introduce this important, fascinating, and bewildering city to readers unfamiliar with its history.
Professor James Millward, The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2013.
This highly informative volume illuminates the historical background against which the Silk Road flourished, shedding new light on the importance of old-world cultural exchanges to Eurasian and world history. The book treats the Silk Road broadly as a stand-in for cross-cultural communication between societies across the Eurasian continent since at least the Neolithic era. While including silks, spices, and travelers' tales of colorful locales, the book explains the dynamics of Central Eurasian history that promoted Silk Road interactions--especially the role of nomad empires--highlighting the importance of the biological, technological, artistic, intellectual, and religious interchanges across the continent. It demonstrates that these exchanges had a profound effect on the old world that was akin to, if not on the scale of, modern globalization.
Professor Gábor Ágoston, Osmanlı’da Savaş ve Serhad (Warfare and Frontiers in the Ottoman Empire) Timaş Yayınevi, 2013.
This volume of nine collected essays examines Ottoman strategies of warfare and frontier management. Written originally in English and translated into Turkish by Dr. Kahraman Sakul, the essays, including new additional material, investigate the transformations that occurred in Ottoman military power and economic strength along the frontier from the fifteenth through the late-eighteenth centuries.
Professor John McNeill, Global Environmental History: An Introductory Reader, co-edited with Alan Roe, Routledge, 2013.
This collection of eighteen essays provides an essential reference to current issues and controversies within the rapidly developing field of global environmental history. The volume begins with a series of chapters offering truly global visions, ranging from reflections on the role of animals in environmental history to a summary of environmental change over the past ten millennia. Other essays focus on the distinctive histories of key regions such as China, Russia, West Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The final part of the book examines different forms of modern environmentalism, ranging from the U.S. and its fascination with wilderness, to Japanese concern with human health, and on to Peru and India, where the environmental debate centers on access to resources.
Professor John McNeill, Wiley-Blackwell Companions to World History: A Companion to Global Environmental History, co-edited with Erin Steward Mauldin, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
This volume brings together essays written by environmental historians from around the world, including scholars from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and China. Expert contributions explore environmental processes, thought, and action from prehistory to the present, providing a historical, cultural, and political context for engagement with the environment in modern times. The book offers multiple points of entry into the history and historiography of global environmental history, providing an essential road map to past developments, current controversies, and future developments for specialists and newcomers alike.
Professor Michael David-Fox, Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories, 1914-1945, co-edited with Peter Holquist and Alexander Martin, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012.
Russia and Germany have had a long history of significant cultural, political, and economic exchange. Despite these beneficial interactions, stereotypes of the alien Other persisted. Germans perceived Russia as a vast frontier with unlimited potential, yet infused with an “Asianness” that explained its backwardness and despotic leadership. Russians admired German advances in science, government, and philosophy, but saw their people as lifeless and obsessed with order. Fascination and Enmity presents an original transnational history of the two nations during the critical era of the world wars. By examining the mutual perceptions and misperceptions within each country, the contributors reveal the psyche of the Russian-German dynamic and its use as a powerful political and cultural tool.
Professor Emeritus Ronald Johnson and Abby Arthur Johnson, In the Shadow of the United States Capitol: Congressional Cemetery and the Memory of the Nation, New Academia Publishing, 2012.
This book is a chronological history of Congressional Cemetery, the “nation’s first national burial ground,” established in 1807 long before the national military cemetery was founded at Arlington in 1864. 55,000 individuals are interred in this one-of-a-kind national public cemetery, including a long list of distinguished Americans—Civil War photographer Matthew Brady, Marine Band Director John Philip Sousa, and Belva Lockwood, the first female candidate for President of the U.S. (1884 and 1888). The book uses the long history of the Cemetery to explore the nature of historic memorials more broadly in the construction of national memory.
Professor Emeritus Roger Chickering, The Cambrige History of War, Vol. IV “War and the Modern World,” co-edited with Dennis Showalter, and Hans van de Ven, Cambridge, 2012.
Volume IV of the Cambridge History of War offers a definitive new account of war in the twentieth century. In twenty-three chapters, leading historians trace the global evolution of warfare from about 1850 to 1990s. They explore how industrialization and nationalism fostered vast armies whilst the emergence of mobile warfare and improved communications systems made possible the “total warfare” of the two world wars. This volume is a comprehensive guide to every facet of modern war from strategy and operations to its social, cultural, technological, and political contexts and legacies.
Professor Emeritus Emmett Curran, ed., John Dooley's Civil War: An Irish American's Journey in the First Virginia Infantry Regiment, University of Tennessee Press, 2012.
Among the finer soldier-diarists of the Civil War, John Edward Dooley first came to the attention of readers when an edition of his wartime journal, edited by Joseph Durkin, was published in 1945. That book, John Dooley, Confederate Soldier, became a widely used resource for historians, who frequently tapped Dooley’s vivid accounts of Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, where he was wounded during Pickett’s Charge and subsequently captured.
As it happens, the 1945 edition is actually a much-truncated version of Dooley’s original journal that fails to capture the full scope of his wartime experience—the oscillating rhythm of life on the campaign trail, in camp, in Union prisons, and on parole.
Professor Emeritus Emmett Curran, Shaping American Catholicism: Maryland and New York, 1805-1915, The Catholic University of America Press, 2012.
A study of the American Catholic Church’s experience in its two most important regions of influence, the North East and the South East—specifically New York and Maryland—in the years from 1805 to 1915, and the rivalry that ensued between these two regions regarding the leadership of the church in American and in the Society of Jesus.
John Tutino, ed. Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States, University of Texas Press, 2012.
This story of Mexico and Mexicans and their contributions to the political, social and economic foundations of the United States, from colonial to present times, has for a long time been obscured by headlines about illegal immigration and Mexico’s drug wars. This volume of essays, in totality, explores the cultural legacies of colonial New Spain that have profoundly shaped both Mexico and the United States.
Professor Nancy Tucker, The China Threat: Memories, Myths, and Realities in the 1950s, Columbia University Press, 2012.
This book examines the Eisenhower administration’s policy toward China from 1953 to 1961. Tucker argues that while President Eisenhower saw strategic relations with China as integral to U.S. diplomacy, his anxiety about anti-communist domestic politics impeded his ability to engage Congress and the public effectively on China.
Featured Titles 2011-2012
Professor Gábor Ágoston, Osmanli'da Strateji ve Askerî Güc (Strategy and Military Power in the Ottoman Empire), Timas Yayinlari, Istanbul 2012.. This book is a collection of nine essays on Ottoman strategy and military power from the fifteenth through the late eighteenth centuries. Written originally in English and translated into Turkish (with some modifications for the Turkish readership), the essays examine Ottoman strategies of conquest and rule, information gathering and imperial ideology, military technology and weapons production, and military and fiscal transformations during this time period. The essays question some of the old views of the Eurocentric and Orientalist schools of thought regarding Ottoman “backwardness” and military decline and study the waning of Ottoman military power by comparing Ottoman military, bureaucratic and fiscal developments to those of the Habsburgs and Romanovs.
Richard Kuisel, The French Way: How France Embraced and Rejected American Values and Power, Princeton University Press, 2012.
There are over 1,000 McDonald's on French soil. Two Disney theme parks have opened near Paris in the last two decades. And American-inspired vocabulary such as "le weekend" has been absorbed into the French language. But as former French president Jacques Chirac put it: "The U.S. finds France unbearably pretentious. And we find the U.S. unbearably hegemonic." Are the French fascinated or threatened by America? They Americanize yet are notorious for expressions of anti-Americanism. From McDonald's and Coca-Cola to free markets and foreign policy, this book looks closely at the conflicts and contradictions of France's relationship to American politics and culture. Richard Kuisel shows that France has charted its own path even as the French have used America as a yardstick and foil to mark their own distinct identity. Exploring cultural trends, values, public opinion, and political reality, The French Way delves into the complex relationship between two modern nations. Kuisel examines France's role as an independent ally of the United States--in the reunification of Germany and in military involvement in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia--but he also considers the country's failures in influencing the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. Whether investigating France's successful information technology sector or its spurning of American expertise during the AIDS epidemic, Kuisel asks if this insistence on a French way represents a growing distance between Europe and the United States or a reaction to American globalization.
Carol Benedict, Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010, University of California Press, 2011.
From the long-stemmed pipe to snuff, the water pipe, hand-rolled cigarettes, and finally, manufactured cigarettes, the history of tobacco in China is the fascinating story of a commodity that became a hallmark of modern mass consumerism. Carol Benedict follows the spread of Chinese tobacco use from the sixteenth century, when it was introduced to China from the New World, through the development of commercialized tobacco cultivation, and to the present day. Along the way, she analyzes the factors that have shaped China's highly gendered tobacco cultures, and shows how they have evolved within a broad, comparative world-historical framework. Golden-Silk Smoke not only uncovers the long and dynamic history of tobacco in China but also sheds new light on global histories of fashion and consumption.
Michael David-Fox, Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western Visitors to the Soviet Union, 1921-1941, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
During the 1920s and 1930s thousands of European and American writers, professionals, scientists, artists, and intellectuals made a pilgrimage to experience the "Soviet experiment" personally. Showcasing the Great Experiment explores the reception of these intellectuals and fellow-travelers and their cross-cultural and trans-ideological encounters in order to analyze Soviet attitudes towards the West. Many of the twentieth century's greatest writers and thinkers, including Theodore Dreiser, André Gide, Paul Robeson, and George Bernard Shaw, notoriously defended Stalin's USSR despite the unprecedented violence of its prewar decade. While many visitors were profoundly affected by their Soviet tours, so too was the Soviet system. The early experiences of building showcases and teaching outsiders to perceive the future-in-the-making constitute a neglected international part of the emergence of Stalinism at home. Michael David-Fox contends that each side critically examined the other, negotiating feelings of inferiority and superiority, admiration and enmity, emulation and rejection. By the time of the Great Purges, these tensions gave way to the dramatic triumph of xenophobia and isolationism; whereas in the twenties the new regime assumed it had much to learn from Western modernity, by the Stalinist thirties the Soviet order was declared superior in all respects.
Catherine Evtuhov, Portrait of a Russian Province: Economy, Society, and Civilization in Nineteenth-Century Nizhnii Novgorod, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.
An in-depth history of the Russian province of Nizhnii Novgorod, this book undermines conventional interpretations of Russia’s history and preconceived notions of nineteenth-century Russian society. It is commonly assumed that Russia had always labored under a highly centralized and autocratic imperial state. The responsibility for this lamentable state of affairs was ultimately assigned to the profoundly agrarian character of Russian society. The countryside, home to the overwhelming majority of the nation’s population, was considered a harsh world of cruel landowners and ignorant peasants, and a strong hand was required for such a crude society. A number of significant conclusions flowed from this understanding. Deep and abiding social divisions obstructed the evolution of modernity, as experienced “naturally” in other parts of Europe, so there was no Renaissance or Reformation; merely a derivative Enlightenment; and only a distorted capitalism. And since only despotism could contain these volatile social forces, it followed that the 1917 Revolution was an inevitable explosion resulting from these intolerable contradictions—and so too were the blood-soaked realities of the Soviet regime that came after. In short, the sheer immensity of its provincial backwardness could explain almost everything negative about the course of Russian history. Through her close study of the province of Nizhnii Novgorod in the nineteenth century, Catherine Evtuhov demonstrates how nearly everything we thought we knew about the dynamics of Russian society was wrong. Instead of peasants ground down by poverty and ignorance, we find skilled farmers, talented artisans and craftsmen, and enterprising tradespeople. Instead of an exclusively centrally administered state, we discover effective and participatory local government. Instead of pervasive ignorance, we are shown a lively cultural scene and an active middle class. Rooted in, but going well beyond, provincial affairs, her book challenges us with an entirely new perspective on Russia’s historical trajectory: not one of Russian exceptionalism but rather one that is recognizable to any historian of nineteenth-century Europe.
Yvonne Haddad, Becoming American? The Forging of Arab and Muslim Identity in Pluralist America, Baylor University Press, 2011.
Countless generations of Arabs and Muslims have called the United States "home." Yet while diversity and pluralism continue to define contemporary America, many Muslims are viewed by their neighbors as painful reminders of conflict and violence. In this concise volume, renowned historian Yvonne Haddad argues that American Muslim identity is as uniquely American it is for as any other race, nationality, or religion. Becoming American? first traces the history of Arab and Muslim immigration into Western society during the 19th and 20th centuries, revealing a two-fold disconnect between the cultures—America's unwillingness to accept these new communities at home and the activities of radical Islam abroad. Urging America to reconsider its tenets of religious pluralism, Haddad reveals that the public square has more than enough room to accommodate those values and ideals inherent in the moderate Islam flourishing throughout the country. In all, in remarkable, succinct fashion, Haddad prods readers to ask what it means to be truly American and paves the way forward for not only increased understanding but for forming a Muslim message that is capable of uplifting American society.
Michael Kazin, American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation, Knopf, 2011.
A panoramic yet intimate history of the American left—of the reformers, radicals, and idealists who have fought for a more just and humane society, from the abolitionists to Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky—that gives us a revelatory new way of looking at two centuries of American politics and culture. Michael Kazin—one of the most respected historians of the American left working today—takes us from abolitionism and early feminism to the labor struggles of the industrial age, through the emergence of anarchists, socialists, and communists, right up to the New Left in the 1960s and ’70s. While the history of the left is a long story of idealism and determination, it has also been, in the traditional view, a story of movements that failed to gain support from mainstream America. In American Dreamers, Kazin tells a new history: one in which many of these movements, although they did not fully succeed on their own terms, nonetheless made lasting contributions to American society that led to equal opportunity for women, racial minorities, and homosexuals; the celebration of sexual pleasure; multiculturalism in the media and the schools; and the popularity of books and films with altruistic and antiauthoritarian messages.
Deeply informed, at once judicious and impassioned, and superbly written, American Dreamers is an essential book for our times and for anyone seeking to understand our political history and the people who made it.
Joseph McCartin, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America, Oxford University Press, 2011
In August 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) called an illegal strike. The new president, Ronald Reagan, fired the strikers, establishing a reputation for both decisiveness and hostility to organized labor. As Joseph A. McCartin writes, the strike was the culmination of two decades of escalating conflict between controllers and the government that stemmed from the high-pressure nature of the job and the controllers' inability to negotiate with their employer over vital issues. PATCO's fall not only ushered in a long period of labor decline; it also served as a harbinger of the campaign against public sector unions that now roils American politics.Collision Course sets the strike within a vivid panorama of the rise of the world's busiest air-traffic control system. It begins with an arresting account of the 1960 midair collision over New York that cost 134 lives and exposed the weaknesses of an overburdened system. Through the stories of controllers like Mike Rock and Jack Maher, who were galvanized into action by that disaster and went on to found PATCO, it describes the efforts of those who sought to make the airways safer and fought to win a secure place in the American middle class. It climaxes with the story of Reagan and the controllers, who surprisingly endorsed the Republican on the promise that he would address their grievances. That brief, fateful alliance triggered devastating miscalculations that changed America.
John Tutino, Making a New World: Founding Capitalism in the Bajio and Spanish North America, Duke University Press, 2011.
Making a New World is a major rethinking of the role of the Americas in early world trade, the rise of capitalism, and the conflicts that reconfigured global power around 1800. At its center is the Bajío, a fertile basin extending across the modern-day Mexican states of Guanajuato and Querétaro, northwest of Mexico City. The Bajío became part of a new world in the 1530s, when Mesoamerican Otomís and Franciscan friars built Querétaro, a town that quickly thrived on agriculture and trade. Settlement accelerated as regional silver mines began to flourish in the 1550s. Silver tied the Bajío to Europe and China; it stimulated the development of an unprecedented commercial, patriarchal, Catholic society. A frontier extended north across vast expanses settled by people of European, Amerindian, and African ancestry. As mining, cloth making, and irrigated cultivation increased, inequities deepened and religious debates escalated. Analyzing the political economy, social relations, and cultural conflicts that animated the Bajío and Spanish North America from 1500 to 1800, John Tutino depicts an engine of global capitalism and the tensions that would lead to its collapse into revolution in 1810.
John McNeill, Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
This book explores the links among ecology, disease, and international politics in the context of the Greater Caribbean - the landscapes lying between Surinam and the Chesapeake - in the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. Ecological changes made these landscapes especially suitable for the vector mosquitoes of yellow fever and malaria, and these diseases wrought systematic havoc among armies and would-be settlers. Because yellow fever confers immunity on survivors of the disease, and because malaria confers resistance, these diseases played partisan roles in the struggles for empire and revolution, attacking some populations more severely than others. In particular, yellow fever and malaria attacked newcomers to the region, which helped keep the Spanish Empire Spanish in the face of predatory rivals in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the late eighteenth and through the nineteenth century, these diseases helped revolutions to succeed by decimating forces sent out from Europe to prevent them.
Osama Abi-Mershed, Apostles of Modernity: Saint-Simonians and the Civilizing Mission in Algeria, Stanford University Press, 2010
Between 1830 and 1870, French army officers serving in the colonial Offices of Arab Affairs profoundly altered the course of political decision-making in Algeria. Guided by the modernizing ideologies of the Saint-Simonian school in their development and implementation of colonial policy, the officers articulated a new doctrine and framework for governing the Muslim and European populations of Algeria. Apostles of Modernity shows the evolution of this civilizing mission in Algeria, and illustrates how these 40 years were decisive in shaping the principal ideological tenets in French colonization of the region.
This book offers a rethinking of 19th-century French colonial history. It reveals not only what the rise of Europe implied for the cultural identities of non-elite Middle Easterners and North Africans, but also what dynamics were involved in the imposition or local adoptions of European cultural norms and how the colonial encounter impacted the cultural identities of the colonizers themselves
revised July 2013