Alberto Perez-Rueda, a Master’s student in Public History,  created and designed this exhibition of swords and fencing that just opened at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts.  The exhibit covers a timeline from 1645-2015, and shows swords as weapons of war and dueling, objects of power, and equipment for sport.  Alberto also explored the gendered nature of sword fighting over the centuries.  The items in the exhibit come from his own personal collection as well as other repositories within Florida State University, including Special Collections and the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.

Ever since he was a child, Alberto Perez-Rueda has been fascinated by swords and fencing.  When asked how his interest was sparked, he remembered “I used to watch a lot of Zorro on TV.”  He is a member of the FSU Fencing Club, and even wears his mustache in the manner of Alfred Hutton (1839-1910), one of the great fencing masters of the past.

To find out, Marina Ortiz, doctoral candidate in History, went to a lecture by Sarah Milligan, head of the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program. Organized by FSU’s Art History Department, Milligan spoke on oral history and community engagement last Friday.

Sarah Milligan, currently at Oklahoma State University, demonstrated the complexities of oral history in practice by drawing on the Chilocco History Project. Oral historians and Native American groups with ties to the Chilocco Indian Agricultural School collaborated closely to share authority for the making of their history. In narrating the Chilocco Project, Milligan explained the importance of assessing the motivations of participants, in order to balance experiential retellings of events with the need for being scholarly. Sarah Milligan emphasized that honesty, transparency, and intentionality were at the heart of oral history.

You think you know FSU?

History major Robert Gonzalez will take you on a brief tour of Florida State’s history.

169 years ago, today, the Florida Legislature voted to establish two institutions of learning, the West and the East Florida Seminaries. The two seminaries were to be situated on either side of the Suwannee River. The 1851 law left the specific locations to the best offer. In 1854, to claim the west seminary for itself, the Tallahassee City Council constructed a new school building. Very late in 1856, Tallahassee’s “Florida Institute” became one of the seminaries.

Over the next 50 years, the seminary morphed into Florida’s first liberal arts college and then, early on in the twentieth century, into an all-white women’s school. After WWII, a flood of men returned to Florida, straining the state’s university system. In 1947, Florida went back to a coeducational system. The first African American undergraduate student was admitted in 1962.

Since then, FSU has expanded in size -  to about 1,600 acres, in scope – nearly 300 degree programs with 18 colleges and schools, and houses the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. It also won 14 national athletic championships, and is the only college in the country with a Big Top circus tent. To cap it all – it is now a top 20 public university. Then as now the institution has striven to provide the very best in teaching, research, and achievement while fostering a community of free inquiry and diversity.

Paul M. Renfro studies United States history since 1945, with specific interests in gender/sexuality, the carceral state, and childhood and the family. Before arriving at FSU, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. His book, Stranger Danger: Family Values, Childhood, and the American Carceral State, will be published by Oxford University Press in June 2020, and his coedited anthology Growing Up America: Youth and Politics since 1945, is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press in December 2019. Renfro’s other scholarship has been published in Feminist Studies, Enterprise & Society, Southern Cultures, American Quarterly, and Disability Studies Quarterly. His popular writing has appeared in Dissent, the Washington Post, and Atlanta Studies.

Prof. Katherine Mooney will use the Edith and Richard French Fellowship from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University to study the movement of women into male-dominated professions between the Civil War and World War II. Read more at Arts & Science News.

FSU News wrote about Prof. Annika Culver's new course on North Korea. Read the story here.



The department is proud to congratulate John Cable, winner of the Martin-Vegue Dissertation fellowship, and Taylor Tobias, winner of the Walbolt Dissertation Fellowship for Fall 2019. Each will receive funding for a semester to support research and/or the writing of their dissertations. 

Congratulations to John and Taylor!

Professor Emeritus William Warren Rogers passed away on October 7, 2017 at age 88. Professor Rogers taught at FSU from 1961 until his retirement in 1996. He published widely on the 19th Century American South. A remembrance by Gerald Ensley, published in the Tallahassee Democrat, can be read here.

Rafe Blaufarb's The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property (Oxford University Press, 2016) has been awarded the J Russell Major Prize by the American Historical Association.  The prize is awarded annually for the best work in English on any aspect of French history.  Congratulations, Rafe!

Will Hanley's new book Identifying with Nationality: Europeans, Ottomans, and Egyptians in Alexandria has been published by Columbia University Press.  From the publisher: "Nationality is the most important legal mechanism sorting and classifying the world's population today. An individual's place of birth or naturalization determines where he or she can and cannot be and what he or she can and cannot do. Although this system may appear universal, even natural, Will Hanley shows that it arose just a century ago. In Identifying with Nationality, he uses the Mediterranean city of Alexandria to develop a genealogy of the nation and the formation of the modern national subject. Identifying with Nationality traces the advent of modern citizenship to multinational, transimperial settings such as turn-of-the-century colonial Alexandria, where ordinary people abandoned old identifiers and grasped nationality as the best means to access the protections promised by expanding states. The result was a system that continues to define and divide people through status, mobility, and residency."  Congratulations Will!