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Department ofHistory


Faculty News, Activities and Achievements Fall 2023

Updates from Naomi Andrews, Michael Brillman, Mateo Carrillo, Meg Gudgeirsson, Sonia Gomez, Matthew Newsom Kerr, Amy Randall, Matthew Specter, Nancy Unger, Gregory Wigmore

Naomi Andrews receives the David Logothetti Teaching Award

The SCU College of Arts and Sciences recognized Naomi Andrews’s excellence in the classroom with the Dr. David E. Logothetti Teaching Award. This is given in recognition for having established among colleagues and students a well-deserved reputation for an energetic, engaging, and effective teaching style, and having demonstrated the ability to motivate other teachers and learners. Naomi more than met this criteria.

Michael Brillman presented a paper entitled “‘She Came Along to Turn on Everyone:’ The Beatles in India” at the Berkshire Fellows’ History Day at SCU in April. He also gave two talks in July on Slavery and Emancipation at Atria, Willow Glen, a retirement community. This fall, Michael will teach his second course for the Osher Lifelong-Learning Institute with a class on the British in India.

Mateo J. Carrillo continues to work on an article for the journal Latin American Research Review after receiving a revise-and-resubmit from the editors this past April. In support of his current book project, Dr. Carrillo traveled to the University of Texas at Austin in July to visit the archives of the Benson Latin American Collection. While in Austin he took a detour to San Antonio to learn firsthand how Texas, Mexican, and borderlands history is (misre)presented at the Alamo. In early September Dr. Carrillo and eleven other SCU faculty and staff members spent a week on both sides of the US-Mexico border as participants in an immersion trip sponsored by SCU's Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education and the Kino Border Initiative. This profoundly moving experience, which included meetings with major stakeholders in the US immigration debate--ranchers, the US Border Patrol, nonprofit representatives, and, of course, migrants themselves--brought the current political and humanitarian crisis on the US southern border into sharp focus.

SCU U.S.-Mexico Border immersion trip participants

Meg Eppel Gudgeirsson presented at the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch in August hosted by California State University Northridge. Meg shared the paper, “Educating in Berea: Navigating the Transition from Abolition to Racial Integration,” which adds to her work on the interracial school in the nineteenth century.

On October 21, 2023, C-SPAN aired a class recording of Meg’s course on California history. This lecture focuses on mission history in Alta California. The broadcast is also available online.

Meg Eppel Gudgeirsson lecturing on CSPAN on Sept 25 2023

Sonia Gomez also presented at the American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch. Her talk “Interracial Friendship Across Barbed Wire: Afro-Asian Solidarity during Japanese Wartime Incarceration” builds upon her research for an upcoming project.

Matthew Newsom Kerr attended and gave a paper, "Beautiful Scars: The Medical Aesthetics of Smallpox Vaccination Marks in Nineteenth-Century England," at the national conference of the American Association for the History of Medicine in Ann Arbor, MI in May 2023.

He also spent a few days researching in the archival collection of the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA in June. This is related to a project on late 19th-century representations of vaccination, and the trip was funded by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

SCU’s College of Arts and Sciences honored the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council by conferring it the Dean’s Service Award in recognition of its exemplary service in support of the CAS. Amy Randall was recognized as a member of this advisory council. 

2023 JEDI CouncilSandy Boyer, Sharmila Lodhia, Amy Randall, Maggie Hunter, Dean Daniel Press, Christelle Sabatier, Anna Sampaio, Katy Korsmeyer. Not pictured: Linda Garber.

Matthew Specter has a chapter, “‘America First’: Nationalism, Nativism, and the Fascism Question, 1880-1920” in Fascism in America: Past and Present, which was just released and is currently ranked the no. 1 release in US history and no. 2 on the US history best sellers list. The book is the product of a multi-year collaboration members of the German Studies Association.

Nancy Unger lecturing at The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island.

In March, Nancy C. Unger served as a panelist on the Council on Foreign Relations virtual roundtable series "Threats to Democracy," addressing the question "Is Today Like the 1890s?" In June, Nancy experienced a career highlight when she spoke to a sold-out crowd at The Breakers (the Vanderbilt mansion in Newport, Rhode Island). Nancy’s presentation, "Under the Gold-Plating: Everyday Americans in the Gilded Age," was the final talk in a six-lecture series on various aspects of the Gilded Age (1877-1920) and she surveyed an array of topics including race, labor, leisure, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, legislation, and non-profits. The lecture was followed by a book signing and a dinner (with board members and select donors) in the mansion.

Nancy C. Unger speaking at Wofford College.

In September, Nancy spoke at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina on “The Importance of the Gay Bar in American History: From Havens to Targets to Catalysts for Community and Change." She has been invited to be a future Lewis P. Jones Visiting Professor at Wofford.

This summer, Gregory Wigmore attended a faculty institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, "Fifty Years Later: The Vietnam War Through the Eyes of Veterans, Vietnamese, and Southeast Asian Refugees," in Orange County. He learned a lot from listening to the first-hand experiences of people whose lives were changed by the war, including members of the Vietnamese diaspora communities throughout California. He also delivered a presentation on how the commemoration and public memory of the Vietnamese refugees' experiences might be taught in conjunction with other refugee crises, as he does in his two-term War & Society sequence at Santa Clara.