News

Michael Bryant will deliver the World War Two Institute's Third Annual Fall Lecture, "Speaking the Name of the Unspeakable: the West German Treblinka Trial, 1964-65.” Dr. Bryant, legal scholar and German historian, will speak about his recent book, Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966, in which he evaluates the West German courts’ sentencing of defendants who had been officers and guards at three major death camps, during the Nazis’ deadly “Operation Reinhard”. Bryant gives a detailed history of the trials, and successfully evaluates the cause of the trials' unusual results. The lecture will take place October 21st at Miller’s Hall, University Center C, Room 3300, 296 Champions Way, Tallahassee, FL at 5:30 with a reception to follow. 

Edward E. Baptist (Cornell) will speak on his book The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism on Monday, Oct. 6 at 1:00 PM in Strozier Library. In this pathbreaking book, Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence. The book has received a great deal of attention, not least in the aftermath of a controversial review (subsequently withdrawn) in the Economist.

Robin Bates

We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Robin Bates to the department. Dr. Bates, a specialist in French political culture and education after 1789, received his Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Chicago. He will be with us as a postdoctoral fellow for two years. In the fall semester of 2014, he will teach EUH 2000 (Ancient and Medieval Civilizations) and EUH 4452 (The Age of the French Revolution, 1715-1795). 

Last month, Oxford University Press released Prof. Alex Aviña's book Specters of Revolution: Peasant Guerrillas in the Cold War Mexican Countryside. "Specters of Revolution offers a penetrating account of guerrilla struggles in modern Mexico. Alexander Aviña captures how peasant longings, political repression, and the violence of poverty created a daring movement for justice. The state's response-a dirty war-evokes the darkest moments of Latin America's military regimes. At times hopeful, at times tragic, Aviña provides a profoundly moving Cold War drama." --Tanalís Padilla. Get it at your local bookstore, or online. Congratulations Alex!

This week Katherine Mooney, our new historian of the 19th century US south, published Race Horse Men: How Slavery and Freedom Were Made at the Racetrack (Harvard University Press). “Writing with exceptional polish and élan, Katherine Mooney succeeds brilliantly at restoring humanity to black jockeys and trainers. This superb book says as much about the cruelties and distortions wrought by racism in nineteenth-century America as any single book can.”—W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory. Buy it at your local bookstore or online. Congratulations Professor Mooney!

We are delighted that Katherine Mooney and Laurie Wood will join the department in August. Dr. Mooney (PhD Yale, 2012) is a specialist in cultural history of the U.S. South in the 19th century. In the fall semester, she will lecture on Civil War & Reconstruction and lead a senior seminar on the evolution of slavery in the U.S. Dr. Wood (PhD Texas, 2013) specializes in the legal history of early modern France and its empire in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In the fall, she will teach a survey of European history from 1500-1800 and a course called "Patriots and Pirates: Law in the Atlantic World." Welcome! 

The Department of History has lost one of its most cherished benefactors. On April 15th, Dan Walbolt passed away after a short illness. Dan and Sylvia, his wife of almost 50 years, endowed three fellowships that allow FSU history graduate students to pursue their thesis research.  Dan received his Bachelor of Science in history from F.S.U. in 1962, having studied with, among others, Dr. Jim Jones. In 1965, Dan received his law degree from NYU, and after practicing law for several years he began a career in academic administration at the University of South Florida. In 1995, Dan and his son Dan Walbolt Jr. founded the company Best Evidence. Dan is survived by his wife Sylvia, his son Dan Jr., five grandchildren, and his brothers, Tom and Mike. Dan was an incredibly personable and kind man who was also a dedicated advocate for the department, its faculty, and its students. His and Sylvia's generosity has immeasurably helped the department advance its goals of serving the University, its students, and the history profession. He will be missed.

The irreplaceable James Jones, who retires this week after 57 years, was recently the subject of a Tallahassee Democrat article and video.

In honor of Professor Peter Garretson’s more than 30 years at FSU, the FSU Middle East Center will present a symposium, "New Directions in World History: Essays in Honor of Peter P. Garretson." Papers will discuss various aspects of world history and are presented by past students of Garretson. The final panel is a roundtable to discuss the future of the field of world history. Program

The history department and the College are very pleased to announce a special lecture by Philip D. Morgan of Johns Hopkins University in honor of our esteemed friend and colleague James P. Jones, as he completes his 57th year on the FSU faculty. The lecture will take place on March 27th, 5:30 pm at the Alumni Center Ballroom.