My name is Lauren Thompson and I am an Assistant Professor of History at McKendree University, a small liberal arts college located 20 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri. My book, entitled Friendly Enemies: Soldier Fraternization during the American Civil War, was published this summer by the University of Nebraska Press. I also published a chapter in a collection entitled A Forgotten Front: Florida during the Civil War Era (Tuscaloosa: Alabama University Press, 2018), a journal article in Civil War History, and a handful of book reviews in various journals. Recently, I received McKendree University’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. With Dr. Maxine Jones as my Major Professor and the assistance of my dissertation committee members, I graduated with my PhD from FSU in May 2015

Professor Andrew Frank sat down this spring with Jeff Henley (FSU History alumnus, MA 2020) for an interview.  Professor Frank is the Allen Morris Professor of History at Florida State University focusing on the Florida Seminoles and the Native South.  He has been at FSU for thirteen years, however his focus on the Seminole Tribe began during his time at Florida Atlantic University just prior to coming to Tallahassee. 

It is with profound sadness that the FSU history department shares the news that our dear friend and colleague James P. Jones has died. For those of you who didn’t have the great good fortune to know Jim, he was a faculty member in the FSU History Department for 57 years, and retired in 2014 aged 82. Jim was by far the most popular and celebrated teacher the department has ever known—he enthralled, literally, generations of students with his encyclopedic knowledge of his subject matter, his searing wit, and his liberal use of the f-bomb. Jim used to laugh that students would approach him to say that he’d taught their parents, to which Jim would reply, “and how’s your grandmother/grandfather, whom I also taught.”    In retirement, Jim continued to hold forth to rooms of adoring youngsters, but those youngsters were only a little younger than he. He taught classes on American politics, Watergate, the Civil War, and other subjects for the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute and those classes were so popular the OLLI staff had to find larger venues. He was doing this up until the Covid crisis hit.   
Way back in April, Florida State University alumna Grace Hoffman (BA 2015) reached out to the History Department asking if we had any lectures or podcasts by faculty on our website that she could watch. Unfortunately, we did not. Grace's question, however, prompted us to begin assembling a 'Faculty Multimedia Shelf.' Now you can watch and listen to our faculty. Grace Hoffman, a graduate from the FSU History Department, is in her final year of her PhD in history from Trinity College Dublin, where she previously earned her M.Phil degree. Her current research focuses on Ireland's 1641 Rebellion. Grace is using depositions, an unparalleled source in early modern Europe. These depositions contain over 8,000 eyewitness and hearsay accounts of the 1641 Irish rebellion. She explores the insults, name-calling, and verbal abuse recorded to uncover on-the-ground motivations and social interactions.

Congratulations to Dr. Joshua Meeks (PhD, 2015) who just accepted a new position. Joshua will be moving from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, where he has been teaching since 2016, to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He will be an assistant professor in the Strategy and Policy Department, a part of the College of Distance Education. Joshua and his family will be moving back east over the summer.

Dr. Özok-Gündoğan was “born to a Kurdish-Turkish family from Van, a city known for its huge lake and odd-eyed cats in eastern Turkey.” She grew up in Izmir, Turkey, where she described her early education as a state-approved narrative that minimized the identities of non-Turkish citizens such as her own Kurdish people. The difference between what she learned at home and what she was told at school led her to see the problems in the Turkish education system. 

What got you involved in studying the history of Christianity and the Protestant Reformation in particular?

I grew up in a Christian household and regularly went to church and Sunday school. But college was the first time I encountered Christianity in an academic setting, and I was enthralled. What a rich, fascinating, and confusing religion! I took a course on the Reformation, and I was hooked. The Reformation was the birth of modern Christianity as we know it today.

What about your college experience? Did you enter university expecting to come out with a PhD? 

 Yes and no. I knew I wanted to continue reading and writing about the Reformation, and I relished grad school (in history not religious studies), because it gave me the opportunity to do both.

How would you describe the process of attaining a Doctorate?

Dr. Cindy Ermus researches disasters. For Ermus, this covers natural disasters, infectious diseases, and even political events. This year, she returned to Tallahassee to attend the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era (CRE), where she gave a talk that positions revolutions as disasters. However, the trip to Tallahassee was more than just an opportunity to present her scholarship—it was a reunion. Ermus graduated with her PhD in History from Florida State University almost six years ago and returning to Tallahassee was a nostalgic experience for her. “From the moment I stepped out of the airport into my ride to the DoubleTree, I was already nostalgic. I remembered the roads and the route back to the center of town and everything,” she reflected.

Let’s congratulate the three History Majors who were inducted into the Garnet and Gold Scholar Society for the Spring 2020 Semester last week. Below they are describing what they did and what it meant to them.

Katherine Shapiro

My engagement areas were research, international, and service.

Can anything top Tiger King? Probably not.

Nevertheless, these six equally engaging documentaries explore new aspects of prominent figures and some lesser known histories. For those who find themselves with spare time on their hands, consider adding the following documentaries to your watch list.