News

Kristine Harper's new book Make It Rain: State Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America has been published by The University of Chicago Press.  From the publisher: "In Make It Rain, Kristine C. Harper tells the long and somewhat ludicrous history of state-funded attempts to manage, manipulate, and deploy the weather in America. Harper shows that governments from the federal to the local became helplessly captivated by the idea that weather control could promote agriculture, health, industrial output, and economic growth at home, or even be used as a military weapon and diplomatic tool abroad. Clear fog for landing aircraft? There’s a project for that. Gentle rain for strawberries? Let’s do it! Enhanced snowpacks for hydroelectric utilities? Check. The heyday of these weather control programs came during the Cold War, as the atmosphere came to be seen as something to be defended, weaponized, and manipulated. Yet Harper demonstrates that today there are clear implications for our attempts to solve the problems of climate change."  Congratulations Kristine!

Andrew Frank's new book Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami has been published by The University Press of Florida. From the publisher: "Before the Pioneers takes readers back through forgotten eras to the stories of the people who shaped the land along the Miami River long before most modern histories of the city begin. Andrew Frank begins the chronicle of the Magic City’s long history 4,000 years ago when Tequesta Indians settled at the mouth of the river, erecting burial mounds, ceremonial centers, and villages. They created a network of constructed and natural waterways through the Everglades and trade routes to the distant Calusa on the west coast. Centuries later, the area became a stopover for Spanish colonists on their way to Havana, a haven where they could shelter from storms and obtain freshwater, lumber, and other supplies. Frank brings to life the vibrant colonies of fugitives and seafarers that formed on the shores of Biscayne Bay in the eighteenth century. He tells of the emergence of the tropical fruit plantations and the accompanying enslaved communities, as well as the military occupation during the Seminole Wars. Eventually, the small seaport town flourished with the coming of “pioneers” like Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler who promoted the city as a place of luxury and brought new waves of residents from the North.

Also joining the History Department and the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution is Cathy McClive, a social and cultural historian of medicine, gender, embodiment and expertise in ancien regime France. Dr. McClive has published widely in French and English on masculinities, legal medicine, pregnancy, puberty and menstruation in early modern France. Her articles appear in History Workshop Journal, Social History of Medicine, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Eighteenth-Century Studies and Annales de Demographie Historique.

The History Department and the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution are happy to welcome Elizabeth Cross, a historian of eighteenth-century France and its empire whose work emphasizes the history of political economy and capitalism. Dr. Cross received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2017. Her current book manuscript, "The French East India Company and the Politics of Commerce in the Revolutionary Era," argues that the circumstances surrounding the creation and dissolution of the last French East India Company further our understanding of the roles played by globalization and economic institutions in revolutionary political transformations. Her publications include "The Myth of the Foreign Enemy?

We are very pleased that Nilay Özok-Gündogan, a specialist in Ottoman and modern Middle East history, is joining our department. Dr. Özok-Gündogan's major research project concerns the Kurdish principalities in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Her work emphasizes questions of state-making, changing property regimes, and inter-ethnic relations in comparative imperial peripheries. Her recent publications include “Ruling the Periphery, Governing the Land: The Making of the Modern Ottoman State in Kurdistan, 1840-1870” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East and the entry on the Ottoman Empire in Wiley's Encyclopedia of Empire. She has published numerous Turkish translations of English-language academic works. Dr. Özok-Gündogan received her Ph.D.

We are pleased to welcome Maximilian Scholz, a historian of religion with a specialization in the Reformation, who will join the department this fall. Dr. Scholz received his PhD in 2016 from Yale University, where his dissertation won the Elizabethan Club Award for best dissertation on a Renaissance or Early Modern topic. Entitled “Exile and the Recasting of the Reformation: Frankfurt am Main, 1554-1618,” it explores the fate and impact of religious exiles by focusing on the German city of Frankfurt am Main, which became a bastion of displaced peoples in the second half of the sixteenth century. Scholz is also the author of “Exile, Accommodation, and the Advent of Confessions: The Case of Frankfurt’s Reformed Walloons,” which will appear in Reformed Majorities and Minorities, ed. Herman Selderhuis (Vanderhoeck and Ruprechtt, 2017). He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Germany (2011), the William Crozier Award for excellence in teaching (2014), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany (2016-2017). This fall he will teach courses on the Reformation (EUH 4144) and Modern World to 1815 (WOH 1023).

The Immigration and Ethnic History Society has appointed Prof. Suzanne Sinke as the new editor of the Journal of American Ethnic History. Read the announcement here. The Journal of American Ethnic History the JAEH "addresses various aspects of North American immigration history and American ethnic history, including background of emigration, ethnic and racial groups, Native Americans, race and ethnic relations, immigration policies, and the processes of incorporation, integration, and acculturation." Congratulations on this honor, Prof. Sinke!

We are delighted to welcome Anasa Hicks as our new Caribbean specialist. Hicks will receive her Ph.D. this summer from New York University. Her research focuses on Cuba with a Caribbean wide analytic lens. Based on extensive and original archival work in Havana and Santiago, Cuba, her dissertation (entitled "Hierarchies at Home") interrogates the ways that employers perceived domestic workers from the abolition of slavery in the late 1880s to the time before the 1959 Revolution. The work bridges a critical period in Cuban history and it complicates the historical understanding of the roles of home workers within systems of patriarchy and race. Her work has already received significant recognition, she was a 2014-2015 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow. Hicks has also received prestigious awards from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation as well as support to undertake research at the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami. Prior to her graduate work at NYU, she earned her BA with Honors from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011. In the fall semester of 2017, Professor Hicks will teach History of the Caribbean (LAH 4470) and Social Revolutionary Movements in Latin America (LAH 4748).

Dr. Ben Dodds, a scholar with diverse interests and an accomplished educator, joins the FSU history department in fall 2017, after many years at Durham University. Dodds is by training a historian of late medieval England, whose work has focused on social and economic history, particularly of the peasantry. In his book, Peasants and Production in the Medieval North-East: The Evidence from Tithes, 1270-1536 (2007), Dodds analyzed revelatory evidence in previously underappreciated sources, revealing peasants to have been savvy economic actors. Research on Robin Hood and banditry more generally then led Dodds to an entirely different area of inquiry, the bandit literature of Spain in the early modern and modern periods. A book on this topic is currently in preparation. Meanwhile, Dodds remains a committed medievalist, with ongoing research related to the impact of the Black Death in late medieval England.

On March 23 at 5pm at the Rendina Room, FSU Alumni Center, David Blight will deliver the Department of History's 4th annual James P. Jones Lecture. Blight is Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. His books include annotated editions, with introductory essay, of Frederick Douglass’s second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, Robert Penn Warren’s Who Speaks for the Negro, and the monograph, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era. Blight is also the author of A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including their Narratives of Emancipation. Professor Blight's lecture is entitled "Writing Frederick Douglass's Life: Why and Why Now?"