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Faculty News

  • Isaacmans Receive Top Honors for "Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development"

    Congratulations to Professor Allen and Barbara Isaacman! Their book "Dams, Displacement, and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007" has recently been honored with two major book awards: ASA's Melville Herskovits Award, and AHA's Martin A. Klein Prize.

    (Continue Reading)December 5th, 2014
  • American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award to Jean O'Brien

    Professor Jeani O'Brien (history and American Indian studies) has been awarded the American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 by the Western History Association.

    (Continue Reading)December 4th, 2014
  • Jean O'Brien, 2014 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

    Jean O'Brien has been awarded this year's Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award. Jean O'Brien joins Erika Lee (2012) as the second historian to receive Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award. Congratulations, Jeani!

    (Continue Reading)August 31st, 2014
  • Ann Waltner, 2014 President's Award for Outstanding Service

    Congratulations to Ann Waltner, who is a 2014 recipient of the President's Award for Outstanding Service.

    (Continue Reading)May 1st, 2014
  • Giancarlo Casale, Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education

    Giancarlo Casale has been named winner of this year's Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

    The department's nomination recognized his success in the classroom, his integration of language study and study abroad, his activity as a public intellectual, and his service as DUS.

    Each year since 1965, the University of Minnesota has recognized a select group of faculty members for their outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in undergraduate education.

    Congratulations, Giancarlo!

    (Continue Reading)April 1st, 2014
  • Digital Research Projects by HIST 3959 Students

    In Fall 2013, HIST 3959 - How to Do History was taught by Prof. Donna Gabaccia with a focus on digital history research projects. One additional feature of HIST 3959 this fall was that six graduate students earned graduate credit by working with the undergraduate groups as "project managers."

    Here is a sample of innovative projects from class:

    The Pacific Railroad Surveyors
    Jewish Life in 1930s/40s Minneapolis
    Why Public Education?
    Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution
    Early Scandinavian Cartography
    Korea, Forgotten War?
    Political Leadership and Masculinity

    (Continue Reading)December 13th, 2013
  • Austin Mason, 2013 CGS/Proquest Distinguished Dissertation Award

    Austin Mason was awarded the Best Dissertation Award in the Humanities by the Council of Graduate Schools. Runner-up was our PhD alumna, Caley Horan (2012), now a lecturer at Princeton. Congratulations, Austin and Caley!

    (Continue Reading)December 6th, 2013
  • JB Shank, CLA Receives Mellon Grant for Premodern Studies

    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the College of Liberal Arts a $600,000 start-up grant to develop the conceptual and programmatic foundations for a new Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World.

    (Continue Reading)December 4th, 2013
  • Steve Ruggles Chosen to Lead Population Association of America (PAA)

    Steve Ruggles has been chosen president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA) He will be the first historian ever to lead that organization (more typically its presidents have been sociologists or economists). Steve will serve as PAA president-elect in 2014 and president in 2015.

    This honor is recognition of the great work that Steve has done both in his own research and in supporting the work of other scholars through his work with the Minnesota Population Center. Congratulations, Prof. Ruggles!

    Learn more about the Population Association of America (PAA)

    (Continue Reading)September 3rd, 2013
  • Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May

    It has been a season for great honors and accomplishments for our faculty. Congratulations to all!

    Donna Gabaccia is one of the recipients of the 2013 University Outstanding Community Service Award
    Donna Gabaccia has been awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective.
    Elaine Tyler May has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013 by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
    Kevin Murphy is a 2013 recipient of the UofM's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
    Kay Reyerson has been awarded the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy.
    Barbara Welke has been named one of the new Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

    (Continue Reading)April 3rd, 2013
  • 2012 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History to Ruth Karras

    Congratulations to Professor Ruth Karras, who has been named co-winner of the AHA's 2012 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History for her book Unmarriages: Women, Men, and Sexual Unions in the Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

    Given by the American Historical Association and named in memory of Joan Kelly, this prize is awarded annually for the book in women's history and/or feminist theory that best reflects the high intellectual and scholarly ideals exemplified by the life and work of Joan Kelly (1928-1982).

    (Continue Reading)November 13th, 2012
  • Erika Lee to receive 2012 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

    Congratulations to Erika Lee who has been awarded the Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award in Humanities, Arts and Sciences for 2012 at the University of Minnesota.

    Erika Lee received the award at the Celebrating University Women Awards Program on October 12, 2012.

    (Continue Reading)October 30th, 2012
  • Prof. Jeffrey Pilcher's "Planet Taco"

    Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food

    Prof. Jeffrey Pilcher's new book, Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food, published September 2012 by Oxford University Press, is featured in the Fall 2012 issue of the UofM Alumni Association's MINNESOTA Magazine, and was recently profiled in a Washington Post article published on August 3, 2012.

    (Continue Reading)October 9th, 2012
  • Arthur "Red" Motley Award for 2011-12 to Prof. Saje Mathieu

    The College of Liberal Arts has awarded to Saje Mathieu the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award for 2011-12. The purpose of the award is to recognize faculty who are outstanding teachers of graduate and undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts. Congratulations Saje!

    More Information

    (Continue Reading)June 21st, 2012
  • Professor Emeritus Stanford (Stan) Lehmberg

    Professor Emeritus Stanford (Stan) Lehmberg, born in 1931 and taught in the Department of History from 1969 to the late 1990s, died in New Mexico on June 14. His books included Sir Thomas Elyot, Tudor Humanist (1960), a modernized edition of Elyot's book Book Named the Governor (1962), Sir Walter Mildmay and Tudor Government (1964), The Reformation Parliament, 1529-1536 (1970), The Later Parliaments of Henry VIII, 1536-1547 (1977),The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 (1988), The Peoples of the British Isles, from Prehistoric Times to 1688 (1991), and another study of cathedrals, Cathedral Under Siege: Cathedrals in English Society, 1600-1700 (1996). Stan served as chair of the department and was also an accomplished musician. For 28 years he was organist and choir director for St. Clement's Episcopal Church in St. Paul.


    (Continue Reading)June 20th, 2012
  • NAISA Book Prize for Prof. Jean O'Brien

    Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) awarded Jean O'Brien its Best Subsequent Book Prize for her Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians out of Existence in New England (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Congratulations Jeani!

    (Continue Reading)June 12th, 2012
  • David Chang, Finalist for ASA Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize


    The Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize was established in 2002
    and is awarded annually for the best-published first book in American
    Studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class,
    sexuality and/or nation.

    The 2011 prizewinner is Cynthia M. Blair, I've Got to Make My Livin':
    Black Women's Sex Work in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago (University of
    Chicago Press, 2010).

    Finalist mentions go to:

    David Chang, The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics
    of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929
    (University of North Carolina
    Press, 2010)

    Kelly Lytle Hernández, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol.
    (University of California Press. 2010)

    (Continue Reading)December 19th, 2011
  • Evan Roberts Takes Freshmen to 19th Century Chicago

    Students in Evan Roberts freshman seminar are immersing themselves in a different time and place -- 19th century Chicago.

    Continue reading MN Daily: Students go back in time to 19th century Chicago

    (Continue Reading)December 16th, 2011
  • Caughey Western History Prize to Erika Lee

    Western History Association has awarded the Caughey Western History Prize to Erika Lee for her book, Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America.

    (Continue Reading)December 8th, 2011
  • Mai Na Lee in the Chronicle of Higher Education

    In March 2011, Mai Na M. Lee, an assistant professor of history at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, participated in a panel at a conference in Madison, Wisconsin titled "To Zomia or Not to Zomia," The panel topic was centered around issues raised by Yale University professor of political science and anthropology James C. Scott in his latest book, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale University Press, 2009).

    On Sept. 4, 2011, Mai Na Lee was featured extensively in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education discussing the Zomia region and James C. Scott's book.
    Chronicle of Higher Education: The Battle Over Zomia

    (Continue Reading)September 29th, 2011
  • Profs. Tracey Deutsch, Erika Lee, and Thomas Wolfe Honored

    Prof. Tracey Deutsch has won the prize for the best book of 2010 awarded by the Association for the Study of Food and Society, for her book, Building a Housewife's Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century (University of North Caroline Press, 2010).

    More Information

    Prof. Erika Lee has received the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award for 2010-11 from the College of Liberal Arts.

    More Information

    Prof. Thomas Wolfe has also won a significant honor this spring in the form of the Council of Graduate Students Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching and advising.

    More Information

    (Continue Reading)August 31st, 2011
  • Prof. Fischer, 2010-11 Morse-Alumni Award for Undergraduate Education Recipient

    Kirsten Fischer, 2010-11 Morse-Alumni Award for Undergraduate Education Recipient

    Watch Kirsten's award presentation and comments here.

    Each year, the University community honors its best teaching professors with the Morse-Alumni Award for Undergraduate Education and the Graduate-Professional Teaching Award. The Alumni Association is proud to financially support the awards and to host the annual awards ceremony.

    (Continue Reading)May 13th, 2011
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences Honors Prof. Cohen

    On April 15, 2011, members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Philosophical-Historical Section, elected Professor Gary Cohen a Corresponding Member of the Academy.

    The Austrian Academy of Sciences is the leading organization promoting non-university academic research institutions in Austria. More than 1100 employees carry out extensive research projects. Highly qualified researchers from Austria and abroad are included among the members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and guarantee the "community's" excellence in the sciences and the humanities.

    (Continue Reading)May 6th, 2011
  • Wed 2/16, 4:00 pm, U Bookstore: Tracey Deutsch's Building a Housewife's Paradise

    Tracey Deutsch will discuss her book, Building a Housewife's Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century, on Wednesday, February 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

    Deutsch examines the history of food distribution in the United States and demonstrates the important roles that gender, business, class and the government have played in the evolution of the American grocery store. The supermarket, that icon of postwar American life, emerged not from straightforward consumer desire for low prices and convenience, but through government regulations, women customers' demands, and retailers' concerns with financial success and control of the "shop floor." From small neighborhood stores to huge corporate chains, Deutsch traces the origins of contemporary food distribution through topics as varied as everyday food purchases, sales tax, ideologies of domesticity, politics and the history of capitalism.

    More Info

    (Continue Reading)February 15th, 2011
  • Profs. Welke, Matar Named a Scholar of the College in the College of Liberal Arts

    Barbara Y. Welke, University of Minnesota professor of History and professor of Law, and Nabil Matar, University of Minnesota professor of English and professor of History have been named as a Scholar of the College in the College of Liberal Arts for the three year period 2011-12 through 2013-14.

    Award recipients will be honored at a presentation on Feb. 16, 2011, at 3:30 p.m. in the Cowles Auditorium of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

    More info on Welke and Matar

    (Continue Reading)February 14th, 2011
  • Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project at U Bookstore - Monday, Jan 24, 4pm


    Members of the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project will discuss their work in Queer Twin Cities on Monday, January 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

    The Twin Cities GLBT Oral History project--a collective organization of students, scholars, and activists devoted to documenting and interpreting the lives of GLBT people, presents a collection of essays on Minnesota's vibrant queer communities, past and present.

    Queer Twin Cities is a rich blend of oral history, archival research, and ethnography that uses sexuality to chart connections between people's lives in Minnesota. This collection delivers a critical analysis of local history and community, and fills a glaring omission in the culture and history of Minnesota. Contributors include Kevin P. Murphy, an associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, and Jennifer L. Pierce, a professor of American studies and the former director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota.

    More information:
    UofM Events Calendar

    (Continue Reading)January 19th, 2011
  • Minnesota 2.0: Facebook gives researchers insight into young immigrants

    Minnesota2.0.jpg"Minnesota 2.0," a new digital archive created by the U of M's Immigration History Research Center, used Facebook to examine how first and second generation immigrants deal with the challenges they face in everyday life. Center director Donna Gabaccia says the conversational nature of social media makes "Minnesota 2.0" a unique historical snapshot of young immigrant life in the 21st century.

    Visit the Minnesota 2.0 website
    Read more from MPR about the Minnesota 2.0 project
    Learn more about the Immigration History Research Center

    (Continue Reading)January 12th, 2011
  • Hy Berman on "Minnesota's Deadliest Blizzards"

    Premieres Thursday November 11 on PBS/TPT channel 2

    tpt's Mary Lahammer tells the history of three deadly Minnesota blizzards along with meteorologist Paul Douglas, climatologist Mark Seeley and historian Hy Berman. 1880s's Laura Ingalls Wilder blizzard, 1888's Schoolchildren's Blizzard and 1940's Armistice Day Blizzard are all brought back to life.

    More viewing times

    (Continue Reading)November 9th, 2010
  • IAS "Oil Spill" Fall Course Garners National Attention

    "Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010", a Fall semester course sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study and taught by PhD student Robert Gilmer, is featured on the front page of today's Star Tribune. The story profiling the course offering, instructor Robert Gilmer, and the IAS and its director, Prof. Ann Waltner, is also featured on's "Intriguing People" blog, on, the website of the Washington Post, and the 6/23 edition of The Minnesota Daily.

    Congratulations to Rob and Ann!

    For a course description of "Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010", click here.

    (Continue Reading)June 25th, 2010
  • 2009-10 Distinguished Teaching Award - Ruth Mazo Karras

    On Monday, April 26, 2010, Prof. Ruth Mazo Karras was honored as a recipient of the 1009-2010 Graduate/Professional Award.

    The Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education (Graduate/Professional Award) was established in 1999 to recognize contributions to postbaccalaureate, graduate, and professional education. Recipients are chosen for excellence in instruction; involvement in students' research, scholarship, and professional development; development of instructional programs; and advising and mentoring of students.

    Prof. Karras Award Profile

    (Continue Reading)April 27th, 2010
  • 2010 Dean's Medal to Ruth Mazo Karras

    The College of Liberal Arts has awarded the 2010 Dean's Medal to Professor Ruth Karras, Department of History.

    This honor is awarded each year to a member of the CLA faculty who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and/or creative activity. Previous recipients have been Professors Edward Prescott, Sara Evans, Lydia Artymiw, Elaine Tyler May, Marcia Eaton, Gordon Legge, Jeylan Mortimer, Clarence Morgan, R. Dennis Cook, David Wilkins, Paula Rabinowitz, and John Freeman.

    The faculty member selected receives an inscribed medal and a cash award, and is invited to address the faculty at the time the award is presented.

    Prof. Karras' Dean's Medalist address: "A Medieval Perspective on Marriage Equality"

    The college will honor the 2010 Dean's Medalist, as well as the 2010 Scholar of the College Awardees, on Monday, February 22, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Mississippi Room (3rd floor, Coffman Memorial Union) and is open to the public.

    More Information

    (Continue Reading)February 9th, 2010
  • Gary Cohen Awarded Austrian Medal of Honor

    Gary Cohen has been awarded the Austrian Medal of Honor (Verdienstkreuz) for Science and Arts, First Class. The ceremony was held at the Austrian Embassy in Washington. He was presented the award by Dr. Christian Prosl, the Austrian Ambassador to the United States.

    Congratulations to Gary! This is a much-deserved recognition of Gary's scholarship on the Habsburg Empire and his leadership of the Center for Austrian Studies.

    (Continue Reading)November 17th, 2009
  • Regina Kunzel, Lambda Literary Award Recipient

    Regina Kunzel has been awarded the Lambda Literary Award in the category of LGBT Studies for her book Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality. Congratulations Regina.

    (Continue Reading)June 5th, 2009
  • Donna Gabaccia, Fesler-Lampert Chair

    Tthe Graduate School has appointed Donna Gabaccia to the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Public Humanities for 2009-2010.

    (Continue Reading)June 5th, 2009
  • Pat McNamara, "Red" Motley Award

    Each year, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) honors at least one tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has exemplified CLA's highest standards of teaching and scholarship. CLA has selected Pat McNamara as one of this year's recipients of the "Red" Motley Award for Teaching Excellence. Congratulations Pat.

    (Continue Reading)June 5th, 2009
  • Clarke Chambers, MPR Interview

    Clarke Chambers, Professor Emeritus of the History Department, was interviewed on MPR's "Midday" about growing up in southern Minnesota, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Social Welfare History Archive.

    (Continue Reading)October 7th, 2008
  • Steve Ruggles, Regents Professor

    Congratulations to Steve Ruggles, who has been named Regents Professor. The Regents Professorship is the highest rank the University of Minnesota offers and is limited to 25 positions. This is a great honor to Steve, one very richly deserved.

    Continue Reading

    (Continue Reading)June 16th, 2008
  • Sara Evans

    Sara Evans has been named the Ada Comstock Distinguished Women Scholar for fall 2008. Congratulations to Sara on a very well-deserved award!

    Continue Reading

    (Continue Reading)June 16th, 2008
  • Jean O'Brien-Kehoe helps found Native Studies Association; 2009 meeting to be held in Minneapolis

    On April 11, a new academic organization officially came into existence at what will one day be called (by future academics, of course) a ''historic'' meeting held at the University of Georgia - Athens. Say hello to the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, aka NAISA.

    Continue Reading

    (Continue Reading)May 13th, 2008
  • Kay Reyerson

    Kay Reyerson has been elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, a wonderful testament to her accomplishments. The Medieval Academy was founded in 1925 and is the largest and most prestigous association committed to the study of the medieval world.

    Continue reading

    (Continue Reading)April 14th, 2008
  • Giancarlo Casale

    Congratulations to Assiatant Professor Giancarlo Casale, who has been awarded a Senior Residential Fellowship at Koc University's Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC), for Spring 2009.

    (Continue Reading)March 27th, 2008
  • Rudy Vecoli

    Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Rudolph Vecoli who recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. The award is presented on rare occasions to scholars who have made
    distinguished contributions to the field of immigration and ethnic history. Rudy is only the third recipient of this award.

    (Continue Reading)March 27th, 2008
  • Stephen Feinstein 1943-2008


    The University of Minnesota lost a popular teacher and influential scholar when Stephen Feinstein, the director of the U's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) and adjunct professor of history, died on Tuesday, March 4. Feinstein was speaking at the Jewish Film Festival when he suffered an aortic aneurysm that resulted in cardiac arrest. He was 64.

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    (Continue Reading)March 6th, 2008
  • Saje Mathieu

    Assistant Professor Saje Mathieu has been awarded the 2008 President's Faculty Multicultural Research Award (PFMRA). PFMRA is designed to encourage and support research on issues related to people of color, particularly in a North American context.
    For more information see PFMRA.

    (Continue Reading)March 2nd, 2008
  • Ruth Karras

    It is with great pleasure to report that Professor Ruth Karras has been selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Women Scholars Award in Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities for 2008. This award will be presented at the OUW spring celebration.

    (Continue Reading)March 1st, 2008
  • Kirsten Fischer

    Congratulations to Associate Professor Kirsten Fischer who will be the Deutsche Bank Junior Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for American Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, in 2008-2009. Kirsten will teach a graduate level course on religion in early America and will work on her book "Reason and Wonder: Rational Religion in the Early American Republic."

    (Continue Reading)February 14th, 2008

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