News & Notes Recent faculty, student, and alum happenings

Pamela Nadell discusses how antisemitism fuels white nationalism on PBS’ “Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism”; she was featured in Set the World on Fire: How Antisemitism Fuels White Nationalism from PBS.

Rebecca DeWolf published Gendered Citizenship: The Original Conflict over the Equal Rights Amendment, 1920-1963 (University of Nebraska Press).

Alumnus John Schmitz (CAS/PhD '07) published Enemies Among Us.

Andrew Demshuk published Three Cities after Hitler: Redemptive Reconstruction across Cold War Borders.

Daniel Kerr (history) received an award of $100,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation for his project called "Food Security in DC during COVID-19" with the purpose of supporting the activities of the Humanities Truck during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Brenner served as consultant and is featured in a new CNN six-part series on Jerusalem to be screened later this year. His article "The Ever-Dying People? Prophets of Doom and the Survival of European Jewry" appears in The Future of the German-Jewish Past. In December he was named first laureate of the newly established Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Award for Scholarly Excellence in Research.

PhD candidate Maurizio Recordati won first prize for his essay "Towards an Epistemology of Grand Strategy: Stereotype, Ideal Type, and the Dematerialization of the Concept" in a contest at The Strategy Bridge.

Gautham Rao's "The New Historiography of the Early Federal Government: Institutions, Contexts, and the Imperial State" is in The William and Mary Quarterly. 

Kathy Franz and Kate Haulman's exhibit All Work, No Pay: A History of Women's Invisible Labor received a Smithsonian Institution Secretary's Research Prize. Haulman's “The Mother of the Father: Memorializing Mary Washington in Antebellum Virginia” is forthcoming in Women in the World of Washington.

Laura Beers published What Josh Hawley doesn't get about George Orwell on CNN.

Allan Lichtman published “Here is the smoking gun evidence to back impeachment of Donald Trump” (The Hill), “There’s no constitutional question: The Senate can try Trump” (New York Daily News), and his forthcoming book, working title Thirteen Cracks: Closing Democracies' Loopholes, will be published by Rowman Littlefield this fall.

Faculty Books

The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures

By Justin Jacobs (Chicago, 2020). Based on a close analysis of previously neglected archives in English, French, and Chinese, Jacobs finds that many local elites in China acquiesced to the removal of art and antiquities abroad, understanding their trade as currency for a cosmopolitan elite.

Bowling for Communism:
Urban Ingenuity at the End of East Germany

By Andrew Demshuk (Cornell, 2020). Illuminates civic life in Leipzig, East Germany's second-largest city, on the eve of the 1989 revolution by exploring acts of "urban ingenuity" such as local communist officials who, with the help of scores of volunteers, constructed a palatial bowling alley without Berlin's knowledge or approval. 

See more at Faculty Bookshelf.

Faculty Updates

Brief notes on faculty work in progress, recent articles, fellowships, and more:

Professor Beers is currently working on her third book project, on the politics of infertility research and treatment in modern Britain. Earlier this year, she carried out archival research in Britain funded by a research bursary from the Wellcome Trust, and has written on infertility for CNN. Professor Beers has taken a keen interest in the UK’s Brexit drama, writing and speaking on Brexit and British history for the Washington Post, the New StatesmanThe Atlantic, CNN and the BBC. She was recently awarded the University’s Morton Bender prize, which acknowledges the extraordinary research achieve-ments of a recently-tenured faculty member. She has published a piece in CNN on the history of the term Orwellian and its relevance to contemporary political debates. 

Richard Breitman continues to serve as editor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, a scholarly journal owned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His book, The Berlin Mission: The American Who Resisted Nazi Germany from Within, was pub-lished by Public Affairs in October. 

Michael Brenner gave numerous book talks on his In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton University, 2019), which will appear in paperback in 2020. Together with the President of Germany, he was the keynote speaker at the anniversary of the College for Jewish Studies in Heidelberg in June 2019. His latest book on the rise of the Nazi Movement in Munich, which appeared in German in 2019, will be published in English by Princeton University Press in 2020. He served as consultant and is featured in a new CNN six-part series on Jerusalem to be screened later this year. He published a scholarly article "The Ever-Dying People? Prophets of Doom and the Survival of European Jewry" in The Future of the German-Jewish Past.

In addition to publishing Bowling for Communism: Urban Ingenuity at the End of East Germany, Demshuk has forthcoming articles with Contemporary European History, European History Quarterly, and in the edited volume War and the Urban Context (Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag). He attained a residency fellowship for summer research at the Architecture and Planning Institute of former East Germany (Berlin) for June 2020 and AU Mellon Grants (Spring and Fall) to help cover subvention and image rights for Cornell University Press volume. 

Professor Fedyashin was visiting professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and Minzu University in Beijing, China. He published “Andropov’s Gamble: Samantha Smith and Soviet Soft Power” in The Journal of Russian-American Studies (v. 4, No. 1, May 2020). He continues to publish numerous book reviews and to give numerous interviews on international relations to media outlets in Europe, Russia, China, and the US. He is currently working on his book Superpower Subconscious: The Cold War and the Spy Novel

Eileen’s article “Cien por Cientos Cubanos: National Identity, Master Narratives, and Si-lencing Moves in a Transnational Caribbean Family History” was approved for publica-tion in the Latin American Research Review. She also delivered a paper at an interna-tional conference on Caribbean History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This year, Eileen Findlay also stepped down as the History Department’s Director of Under-graduate Studies and became the Chair of a new interdisciplinary teaching unit—the Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative. Eileen retains her appointment in the History Department while serving as Chair of the CRGC. She also has begun a 4-year term as the External Examiner for the Women and Gender Studies Programme at The University of Hong Kong. 

Max Paul Friedman published “The Promise of Precommitment in Democracy and Hu-man Rights,” with Tom Long, in Perspectives on Politics (September 2019), and op-eds in The Conversation, Americas Quarterly, La Diaria, and Deutschlandradio Kultur. He wrote and revised “A History of United States Diplomacy,” an 18-panel exhibit for the State Department. He received the Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Hum-boldt Foundation, worth 40,000 Euros, given to “internationally renowned scientists and scholars [with] outstanding research records.” He was appointed to the editorial board of Diplomatic History and elected to the board of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. He is now serving as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Mary Frances Giandrea has been busy on several committees as American University seeks to reconfigure its core curriculum. A key feature of the new vision is to develop stu-dent’s intellectual capabilities, while expanding their perspective and their ways of know-ing a complex world. This year, Dr. Giandrea has been teaching courses on the History of Britain, the Crusades, the Vikings, Medieval Europe, Ancient Greece and Religion and Con-flict in History. 

Kate Haulman’s co-curated exhibit, “All Work, No Pay: The History of Women’s Invisible Labor,” which opened in 2019 at the National Museum of American History, will run through March of 2021. She consulted on the exhibit “Girlhood: It’s Complicated,” to open in June 2020, and received a grant from the Smithsonian’s Women’s History Initia-tive for the project “In Her Own Words: Audience Centric Metadata for Women’s History Objects,” funds from which supported a student workshop that informed the production of enhanced records for objects in the NMAH’s digital catalog. 

Justin Jacobs published his new book, The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures (University of Chicago Press) in July. He also published "The Concept of the Silk Road in the 19th and 20th Centuries" for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History. He is currently working on producing a 24-episode series for The Great Courses titled "World Heritage Sites: Exploring the World's Greatest Places. 

Dan Kerr focused much of his attention on the Humanities Truck, which is now moving into its third year of operations. In 2019 the project received a major grant from the Mellon Foundation. The three year grant funds six faculty and six graduate fellowships to work with and use the truck for community engaged projects, a speaker series, a commu-nity advisory board, and an exhibit production workshop. The truck project was as active as ever when it needed to shut down in person events as a result of the pandemic. As a result, Kerr initiated the From Me to You: A Covid-19 Oral History Project. In the summer, the truck resumed operations and worked with community partners to deliver food to people in need. In 2020-21 the truck will focus on the theme of Food and Communities. 

Alan Kraut chairs the History Advisory Committee of the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation. They are currently revising the exhibitry in the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. He is also the current president of the National Coalition for History, the lobbying group for the nation’s historians and archivists. He has been engaged with the current health crisis and its influence on migration. His article on anti-Asian nativism and the COVID-19 pandemic, “The Other Pandemic,” was published by the History News Net-work in April 2020. He was a panelist on a webinar sponsored by the Migration Policy In-stitute, “Migration & Coronavirus: A Complicated Nexus Between Migration Management and Public Health.” He has also been interviewed on the history of the 1918 Influenza epidemic on National Public Radio, Kojo Nnamdi’s program on WAMU, and the BBC News. He has been quoted by the Russia News & Information Agency, Ha’aretz in Israel, Spain’s International News Agency (EFE), and the Britain’s New StatesmanHe has been consulting with the American Civil Liberties Union to support the rights of asylees who have been denied hearings on public health grounds during the pandemic. They also gave a presentation on a panel, "The Natural World and the Border," at "Geography 2050: Borders & a Borderless World, a conference sponsored by the American Geographical Society at Columbia University on November 22, 2019. He chaired a panel, "In the Hands of the People: Negotiating US Immigration Policy from Below," at the American Historical Association's Annual Meeting in New York, January 3, 2020.

Dr. Kuznick had another busy year plus with speaking and media tours in India (twice), Sin-gapore, Russia, Spain, Belgium, Canada, mainland Japan, and Okinawa, where he received the Ikemiyagushiku Award on behalf of the international support for the anti-base movement in Okinawa from the Okinawan newspaper Ryukyu Shimpo, as well as several talks in the United States. He brought 26 participants (mostly AU students) to attend Victory Day commemorations in Moscow, recognizing the end of World War II. He conducted a couple hundred interviews, mostly with international television, newspapers, and radio, plus a couple major press conferences. He and Oliver Stone wrote a 160-page chapter “How the Unthinkable Became Thinkable Again” on the years 2012-2019 for the new edition of The Untold History of the United States, which came out in April. The new chapter was pub-lished as a stand-alone book in many countries. He also worked on the second volume of the young readers edition of Untold History, which came out in January 2019. He and Oliver Stone recorded a day-long symposium with former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoya-ma, which was published as a co-authored book in Japan in spring 2020. He was also very active with scores of talks, interviews, and op-eds around the end of the European War and the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

Lisa Leff continues her work as Director of the Mandel Center, the research arm of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her book, Colonialism and the Jews (co-edited with Ethan Katz and Maud Mandel) was named a finalist for a 2019 National Jewish Book Award. 

Professor Lichtman published Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America (St. Martin’s) and the chapter on the Obama Administration in Presidential Miscon-ductJames M. Banner, ed. (New Press). He published 16 opinion pieces and provided more than 100 interviews and commentary in print and broadcast media in the U.S. and world-wide. He was the key expert witness in federal court litigation that halted implementation of a new voter photo identification law in North Carolina. His articles on presidential pre-diction have been accepted for the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting and publication in PS: Political Science and Politics. His latest book with the working title Thirteen Cracks: Closing Democracies Loopholes, will be published by Rowman Littlefield this fall. Recently he published two columns: “Here is the smoking gun evidence to back impeachment of Donald Trump,” The Hill, February 8, 2021. As well as “There’s no constitutional question: The Senate can try Trump,” New York Daily News, February 8, 2021.

Eric Lohr is in his fourth year as chair of the department. He published “The Bolshevik Revolution is Over” in the Journal of Modern History in September 2020 and is working on a book titled "Russia's World War I and Revolution: From Total Mobilization to Total Demobilization." 

Pamela Nadell’book, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today (W.W. Norton), winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award Book of the Year, was pub-lished in paperback in May. Before the Covid quarantine, Nadell gave fifty book talks around the country, and, since then, speaks widely thanks to Zoom. For her schedule of upcoming events, visit Her op-eds on Bella Abzug and Jewish women and suffrage appeared recently in The Conversation and The Forward. Her new book, America’s Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today, has won the National Jewish Book Awards top prize, the Everett Family Foundation Book of the Year.

Pedram Partovi completed two book chapters, one on the Indian origins of Iranian cinema and the second on popular Iranian cinema as "counter-memory," to be published in sepa-rate edited volumes in 2020. He is currently working on two journal articles. One is an es-say on the "subaltern consciousness" of modern Iranians. The second is a social history of the first modern military unit in Iran, which will introduce some of the themes that organ-ize his current book project about modern youth movements in Iran. He plans to present these works in progress at the Association of Iranian Studies and Middle East Studies Asso-ciation conferences respectively. 

Gautham has a forthcoming article in the William and Mary Quarterly, “The New Historiog-raphy of the Early Federal Government: Institutions, Contexts, and the Imperial State." He has continued to work on his book manuscript about runaway slave laws and policing in America. His co-edited volume for the Federal Judiciary Center appeared in 2020. Gautham was also invited to join the Program Committee for the 2021 meeting of the AHA.

Gautham's article, "The New Historiography of the Early Federal Government: Institutions, Contexts, and the Imperial State," was published in The William and Mary Quarterly 3rd set., vol. 77, no. 1 (January, 2020). Gautham's spring 2020 course "The West Wing as History," was mentioned in a New York Times article. The Times also included quotes from an interview on the history of law enforcement.

Theresa Runstedtler won an NEH Public Scholar fellowship for academic year 2019-2020 to work on a trade book tentatively titled, Black Ball: The ABA, the Slam Dunk, and the Struggle for the Soul of Basketball in the 1970s. The project is under contract with BoldType Books (Hachette). Her most recent publication, “Punishing the Punch: Con-structions of Black Criminality During the NBA’s ‘Dark Ages,’” appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of the Journal of African American History

M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska published “Hippies Living History: Form and Context in Tracing Public History’s Past,” in The Public Historian and “Between Reception and Interpreta-tion: The Historical Practice of Ant Farm,” in ASAP/Journal. Her essay on the U.S. Bicen-tennial appeared in the Inclusive Historian’s Handbook. While M.J.’s 2017 monograph History Comes Alive continued to garner positive reviews, she’s begun a new project about the history of the time capsule. She presented this re-search at several conferences and the department’s own Brandenburg Lecture. M.J. has also kept up a busy public history agenda. Working with the Humanities Truck and four partner organizations, her Practicum mounted Community History Snapshots in April 2019. She also served on the DC History Conference committee, the Slavery at AU Working Group, AASLH’s USA250 Advisory Committee and was named to the Editorial Board of Washington History

Professor Shelford is revising her book manuscript, "A Caribbean Enlightenment." She has delivered several papers based on that project: “Experience and Authority: A Coloni-al Naturalist at Work in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica” at the 15th International Congress on the Enlightenment in Edinburgh, Scotland; “Protest by Proxy: Saint-Domingue & the Stamp Act Crisis,” at a colloquium hosted at the University of Toulon, France; “Nature, God, & Transcendence in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica” at the British Studies Annual Meeting; “The Enlightened Planter” at the Western Society for French History. 

To pursue her research interests in former French West Africa, Elke Stockreiter took up learning Bambara, the most widely spoken language in Mali. Thanks to a Mellon Faculty Development Fund, she has obtained elementary proficiency in speaking and reading Bambara. She worked on articles in English and French that are forthcoming and further contributed to AU Core by designing two new courses: a first-year Complex Problems Seminar titled “Sex, Power, Human Trafficking” and HIST-120 Empires Past & Present, in which she offers an introduction to colonial Africa through mostly primary sources. 

Prof. Elizabeth F. Thompson announces the publication of her new book, How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs: The Syrian Arab Congress of 1920 and the Destruction of Its Liberal-Islamic CoalitionUsing new Arabic sources, Thompson locates the origins of modern Islamism in the Paris Peace Conference’s exclusion of Arabs from the family of civilized nations accorded rights under international law. The book will appear in April from Atlantic Monthly Press. 

Katharina Vester won a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers that will grant her 14 months of research in Germany. Also this year her “‘POISE, Miss Lane!’ Super-Femininity in U.S. Comic Books in the 1940s and 50s” was published in Bodies in Flux: Embodiments at the End of Anthropocentrismedited by Barbara Braid and Hanan Muzaffar. She was invited to talk about “Cleaning up the American Mess with Mari Kondo” in the DuBois Lecture Series at Humboldt University in Berlin and on "Diet Manuals from the 1920s as Proto-Feminist Literature“ at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bo-chum.