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Department of History

News Archive

Launching Your Career—a preparation for the job market for History majors

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 from 3:30-5 PM at the Berney Family Welcome Center

Pizza provided (RSVP by Feb. 15 for the food order at http://tinyurl.com/gpxguez)
The event will help you prepare for career events and interviews for internships and jobs. It will help you:
* translate your academic skills into job-speak
* talk with a prospective employer
* think about what an interviewer might ask
Additionally, we'll tour the Career Center and learn about the services they provide to K-State Students.

NEW BOOKS by Prof. David Graff and History doctoral alum Brian Laslie, each about “ways of war.” Read more about their work here.

 James Sherow, a professor of history who has taught and researched at Kansas State University for more than 20 years, received the Hamlin Garland Prize, with John Charlton for their book "Railroad Empire Across the Heartland: Rephotographing Alexander Gardner's Westward Journey." The award was presented Oct. 21 at the annual meeting of the Midwestern History Association in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Read more here

Chapman Center Rural Studies KPR Intereview:

Professor M.J. Morgan the historian and research director at the Chapman Center for Rural studies recently had an interview with Kansas Public Radio regarding her research on lost Kansas communities. Check out the link below to listen to her interview.


Please join us on Wednesday October 23, when the History Department will be hosting Yanek Mieczkowski, who is delivering a special lecture in the Eisenhower Lecture Program. Dr. Mieczkowski's talk will be entitled “Eisenhower and the Cold War Prestige Race: Sputnik, Satellites, and Men on the Moon.” The lecture will be held at 3:30pm in Eisenhower Hall, Room 226.

Yanek Mieczkowski, professor and chairperson of the History Department at Dowling College in New York, is the author of "Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s" (2005) and "Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment: The Race for Space and World Prestige" (2013).


One of the nation's best known historians of Islam and Middle East history and politics will deliver the biennial Fred L. Parish Lecture and Colloquium in Religious History, sponsored by the history department at Kansas State University.

Juan R. Cole will present "Egypt's Rebellion Against Political Islam" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, at the K-State Alumni Center. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell collegiate professor of history at the University of Michigan. The lecture is free and open to all.



The Department of History at KSU proudly announces the publication of Professor James Sherow’s new book, Manhattan, now available online and in local bookstores.

Manhattan is part of the popular “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing. It features a collection of 199 photographs and illustrations chosen from various local archives, including the Riley County Museum, the Special Collections Department at Hale Library, and the City of Manhattan. Gleaned from the thousands available, these carefully selected and arranged photographs provide a visual history of a unique and vibrant city nestled in the Flint Hills of Kansas.



Students, faculty, and community members are invited to attend a lecture with Southern Cheyenne artist Edgar Heap of Birds on Wednesday, September 18 at 3:00 p.m. on the K-State campus in Justin Hall room 109.


CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSOR DEREK HOFF - Winner of the PCB Book Award from the American Historical Association - Pacific Coast Branch

September 2013--The American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch's PCB Award is given to the best first book in history. Professor Hoff received this year's award for The State and the Stork:The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History  (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012).


Professor Heather McCrea has received a prestigious fellowship from the Rachel Carson Center in Munich, Germany. Professor McCrea will be at the Center from January to July 2014 to work on her second book project called "Gulf of Disease: Environment, Medicine, and State-Building in Cuba, Mexico and Panama 1880-1940." The RCC hosts scholars from around the world and from a variety of scholarly disciplines to work on projects, collaborate and comment on each others' work. The RCC was founded in 2009 as part of a joint initiative of Munich's Ludwig-Maxilimilians-Universität. For more information, see the Center's website at: http://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/index.html.

M.A. Student Participates in U.S. Holocaust Museum Seminar

July, 2013: Sara Swanzy, M.A. student in History, has received a stipend to attend the "Introduction to Holocaust Studies" seminar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. from July 15 to 19, 2013. Participants in the seminar will learn to use the records of the International Tracing Service, which are archived at the USHMM. This service documents the fates of more than 17 million people who were subject to incarceration, forced labor, displacement, or death as a result of World War II. The seminar provides an excellent background for Sara's M.A. thesis on the place of the Holocaust in public memory and in school curricula in the United States.

Demchak - Boren Fellow

June 5, 2013: Congratulations to Tony Demchak, doctoral student in history, who has been awarded a 2013 David S. Boren Fellowship to explore archives in St. Petersburg and Moscow for 11 months.

Demchak will be reviewing documents that have recently become declassified and are only available in Russia. The documents are important to learning how Russian and Soviet Union naval decisions were made from 1905 to 1940, specifically importing foreign naval technologies.

Read the full article

History Professor in the NY Times

April 17, 2013: K-State's economic historian, Professor Derek Hoff, wrote an editorial on America's population, birth-rates, and current immigration debate that appeared in the April 17 edition of the New York Times.  

"It's good to see this important issue finally being discussed again in the mainstream media," Hoff said. "I was contacted out of the blue by the New York Times, which was great -- it's always nice when an academic book gets noticed."

Read Dr. Hoff's op-ed article "The False Alarm Over U.S. Fertility"

Find details about Dr. Hoff's book The State and the Stork

Eight History Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

March 2013: We are proud to announce that eight history majors have been chosen for Phi Beta Kappa this year. Congratulations to Janet Adam, Crayton Caswell, Haley Claxton, Yi Ge, Lauren Kimbell, Whitney Madsen, Kristina Miller, and Allison Skees.

Career Workshop on Friday, March 29, 2013

On Friday, March 29 at 12:30 p.m. in Union 207, the Graduation Student Professionalization Committee will be holding a session on preparing for the academic and non-academic job markets. This is a process that should begin as soon as you arrive on campus and continue until you get a job. Angela Hayes from Career and Employment Services will speak about the many services her office provides to help you build the best possible c.v. and give yourself the best chance on the job market. Professors Defries, Kazemi and I will speak about what you need to do to prepare yourself for different kinds of academic positions as well as non-academic positions.


Phi Alpha Theta Students Make History in Omaha

Congratulations to Crayton Caswell, Allison Skees, and Janet Adam, three undergraduate members of our Phi Alpha Theta chapter who presented papers at the Missouri Valley History Conference in Omaha on March 8-9.  Crayton spoke on “Politics and the Plowshare: PL480 – Food for Peace – in the 1970s.”  Janet's paper explored “Kansas Eleemosynary Institutions: Giving the Proper amount of Care, 1860-1950.”  And Allison informed with “We the People and We the States: Liberalism and Republicanism in Antifederalist Amendments.”  Congratulations to all three for their participation in this event, and Crayton placed third in the undergraduate paper competition!

University's sesquicentennial and land-grant roots find prestigious place at presidential inauguration luncheon

MANHATTAN -- An essay by two Kansas State University historians will be part of a special gift that President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a select group of 200 dignitaries receive at a luncheon following the president's inauguration speech Monday, Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C.

Jim Sherow, professor of history, and Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, associate professor of history, are the authors of one of the 10 essays in a commemorative portfolio that will be given to attendees of the inauguration lunch, which is hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies at the U.S. Capital. The committee is responsible for the 2013 presidential inaugural ceremonies.


Read the Essay

Stone Spends Month in Madison, WI on Russian Revolution Project

David Stone, Pickett Professor of Military History, spent July at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as part of an international team assembling a major project to commemorate the centenary of Russia’s experience in World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War. “For the Russian Empire, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 began seven years of social and political upheaval,” Stone said. “The goal of this project is to gather and assess the state of our knowledge on those momentous events.”


She Told Me Stories

Our own Sue Zschoche co-directed "She Told Me Stories," a documentary that showcases multicultural Kansas histories and the stories of several Manhattan residents, including Rosa Hickman and Geraldine Baker Walton. The film premiered in June 2012 and has been screened across the state.  It was created as a joint project by faculty members from the Kansas State University women's studies and history departments and received support from from the Kansas Humanities Council.

Read praise for the film from the Garden City Telegram

Hoff Off the Presses!

Professor Derek Hoff released one and a half books this fall: The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History, and Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression.

Click here to

Death on the Radio

Kenneth S. Davis Professor of History, Albert M. Hamscher, was interviewed August 30th on Wisconsin Public Radio's At Issue with Ben Merens. The topic of the hour was death: our changing attitudes toward mortality, the creation of bucket lists, the way we design our cemeteries, and the role of religion. Hamscher's popular class HIST 520 Death and Dying in History, as well as his published articles on the subject,prompted WPR's invitation.

Listen to the Program

Lost but not Forgotten

by Corene Brisendine of the Manhattan Mercury

"We started calling it an initiative at first because it was new and uncharted territory," said M. J. Morgan, research director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies. "Now, it is pretty solid and is a major part of what we do at Chapman; I would call it a goal."

Click here to

K-State Hosts Agricultural History Society

As the first operational land grant university in the nation, Kansas State University was an easy choice for the upcoming meeting of the Agricultural History's Society, to be held June 6-9 in the new Manhattan Conference Center adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn. Anyone can register for the conference, which will include an exclusive evening at the new Flint Hills Discovery Center and a Keynote address by Dr. Richard Bushman of Columbia University. Here is the program and registration form (PDF), and you may also visit the website of the Agricultural History Society: http://www.aghistorysociety.org

Click here to

Four Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

The department congratulates Chelsie Bonds, Jeff Kuhlman, Andrew Lewis, and Tyler Rudder, history majors who have been invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and the most prestigious honorary society in the nation. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 and includes among its members luminaries like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and all nine members of the current U.S. Supreme Court.

Chapman Center Celebrates First Anniversary with Open House and Reception

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies will celebrate our first anniversary in our new home in Leasure Hall on February 24, 2012. The Center will host an Open House from 9am to 5pm. A formal program will begin at 3pm with a poetry reading from Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa, followed by remarks from KSU President Schultz and Mr. Mark Chapman, a new film by alumni of the Center, and a cake reception. More for information please visit the Chapman Center's webpage, its Facebook page, or Rural Telegraph, the Center's blog. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For more info on Mary Swander, please visit www.maryswander.com

Professor McCulloh to Deliver Plenary Address at Medieval Conference

On February 25, 2012, KSU will host the 36th Annual Mid-America Medieval Association Conference. This year's theme, chosen to honor the career of our own Professor John McCulloh (who is retiring at the end of this academic year), will be "Encountering the Other." Professor McCulloh will also deliver the plenary address on "St. William of Norwich as/and the Medieval Other." This year's theme inspired scholars from a variety of disciplines, including literary studies, history and religion, and the conference program includes over fifty papers in nineteen panels divided into three sessions. We hope that many of you can attend the conference, and we will post more details and a conference program as we get closer to February 25.

MA student to present research in Topeka

History MA student Theresa Young was named one of the top ten researchers at the Research and the State graduate student poster session on October 31, 2011. The poster session aimed at showing the link between graduate student research and the state of Kansas. Young explained that her MA thesis, "Living Tools: Tree Use in the Nineteenth Century," examines land use and the human impact on the Kansas ecosystem. She reports, "The face of Kansas has changed since 1861; the relatively treeless expanses that dominated three-fourths of the state are all but gone. Click here to read more...

 PhD Student Wins Cold War Essay Contest

The History Department is happy to announce that graduate student James Young has placed second in the 2011 John A. Adams '71 Cold War Essay contest.

Recent PhD Margaret Bickers Wins National Dissertation Award

Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society, in conjunction with the Westerners International, offer an annual national award to a graduate student for the best dissertation in Western U.S. History. Margaret Bickers, a recent doctoral graduate in the department, won the award this year for her "Three Cultures, Four Hooves and One River: The Canadian River in Texas and New Mexico, 1848-1039." Judith Austin, the chair of the award committee said, "It was a very tight competition this year, and all of us [serving on the committee] were delighted at the quality and creativity (I mean that positively!) of the entrant's work."

Professor James Sherow, Margaret's major advisor at K-State, said: "This award will be announced at the annual conference of the Western History Association this October in Oakland. It is the only award given for a Ph.D. dissertation at this conference, and it represents competition with submissions from all of the major universities that have a Western History Ph.D. emphasis. I am, of course, exceptionally pleased with this outcome, and excited for Margaret."

Lost Kansas towns are found again with $400,000 gift to K-State's Chapman Center

Mark Chapman, Cat Spring, Texas, has played a pivotal role in providing Kansas State University with the resources to research, preserve and share the history of rural Kansas -- including towns which no longer exist -- through the Chapman Center for Rural Studies in the K-State department of history, a project he initiated two years ago. Click here to read more …

Professor Hoff Appears on PBS's "Need to Know"

On Friday, July 15, Professor Hoff was interviewed extensively on PBS's TV news magazine "Need to Know" during a story on the disappearance of the late 1960s "zero population growth movement" in the United States. Professor Hoff talks most about President Richard Nixon's concerns about population growth. Paul Ehrlich, professor of biology at Stanford University and author of the famous 1968 book "The Population Bomb," also appears in the story. 
You can watch the full segment online at: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/environment/video-standing-room-only/10477/
In addition, you can read and comment on Professor Hoff's corresponding editorial at:http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/voices/

Dynamic Duo Race the Amazon (.com)

History Professors Michael Krysko and Heather McCrea both have new books, and their Amazon listings appeared within a few days of one another! (They assure us the close timing was purely coincidental and had nothing to do with the fact they are married.) Professor Krysko’s American Radio in China: International Encounters with Technology and Communications, 1919–41 (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2011) explores how US radio initiatives in East Asia often heightened the international tensions that pitted Americans against Chinese nationalists and Japanese imperialists in the years before the Pacific War. Professor McCrea’sDiseased Relations: Epidemics, Public Health, and State-Building in Yucatan, Mexico, 1847–1924 (University of New Mexico Press, 2011) examines the politics of postcolonial state-building through the lens of disease and public health policy in order to trace how indigenous groups on the periphery of power and geography helped shape the political practices and institutions of modern Mexico. Congrats to each on the milestone of their first book, and be sure to pick one up today for your summer reading 
Click here for Michael Krysko's Book...

Click here for Heather McCrea's Book...

Apply for Chapman Center New Faculty  Development Grants

The Chapman Center is now accepting application for its new faculty developments grants. 

Undergraduates, Apply for Chapman  Center Internships!

Internship applications are due May 13, 2011.

 Chapman Center for Rural Studies is  open!!

The Chapman Center for Rural Studies had its grand opening on January 28th, 2011. Click here for photos …

Hot off the Press!!!

M. J. Morgan recently published Land of Big Rivers: French and Indian Illinois, 1699–1778 (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). Professor Morgan offers an on-the-ground study of environmental change in the tiny French settlement area in southern Illinois, where five French villages and three Illinois Indian communities once defined the region that would later be known as the American Bottom. Morgan recreates a long-disappeared landscape that was itself always changing on the shores of the Mississippi River. Click here to see the cover of Dr. Morgan's new book...

Department To Host Eisenhower Graduate Conference

The department welcomes all to a public conference Friday, Dec.3 2010, in the Hemisphere Room in Hale Library, during which KSU graduate students will present new research on the Eisenhower Era.

Dwight D.Eisenhower Lecture on War and Peace, FREE - Open to public

Date : October 11, 2010 
Time : 7:30 PM

5 History Majors Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Five of the department’s best undergraduates — Chelsie Bonds, Hannah Hartsig, Patrick Michael Kirk, Tana Smith, and David Zeller — were recently elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society (founded in 1776). Click here to read more …

Department Invades Oregon

The department had an excellent showing at the recent joint meeting of the American Society for Environmental History and the National Council on Public History in Portland, Oregon. Click here to read more …