Skip to main content

Department ofHistory


Faculty News, Activities and Achievements Winter 2023

Updates from Mateo Carrillo, Naomi Andrews, Marwan Hanania, Matthew Specter, Matthew Newsom Kerr, Nancy Unger, and Michael Brillman/Meg Gudgeirsson
Mateo Carrillo headshot

Mateo J. Carrillo (History) presented an invited paper "Disparate Development, Gendered Geographies: Ejidos, Inequality, and the Maquila Industry in Ciudad Juárez" for the Center for Latin American Studies Lecture Series at Stanford University. The lecture took place at Stanford's Bolívar House on January 20, 2023. It focused on the urbanization of communal lands (ejidos) in Ciudad Juárez and how this process shaped the rise of multinational factories (maquiladoras), inequality, and gendered violence in Mexico’s northern borderlands. Incorporating Google Street View and GIS imagery, the lecture explored how Juárez’s modernization regime—embodied by Mexico’s first private maquiladora industrial park which occupies former ejidal lands—forged disparate landscapes of investment and infrastructure, processes that informed not only femicide patterns in Juárez but neoliberal reform in Mexico.

Naomi Andrews presented the paper "The mobile metaphor of slavery and the development of French antislavery sentiment” at the Western Society for French History meeting in November in Victoria, BC. This paper marks the beginning of a new line of research on how the language of political and civil enslavement that was widely used by French thinkers from the mid-18th through the 19th century contributed to the development — actually the lack thereof — of strong, popular antislavery sentiment in France. Her research was aided by a Faculty-Student Research Grant, which funded the work of senior history major Bianca Romero in gathering primary resources and tracing this theme through a variety of different contexts.

Marwan Daoud Hanania gave an online presentation for an audience in Jordan at the German-Jordanian University in late October on the history of Amman as part of a symposium on the modern heritage of the Arab world. With large numbers of incoming migrants and refugees, the urban community of Jordan's capital, Amman, has co-existed peacefully in a way that is unique in the modern Levant. This talk provided an overview of Amman's modern history and shed light on the reasons for the relative harmony in Amman. Based on a range of primary sources, the presentation shows how Amman’s residents have consistently attached more importance to their economic well-being than to political doctrine, ethno-national pride, or religious zeal.

He also presented this research on the history of Amman at SCU in November as part of the Humanities Brown Bag Speaker Series.

Matthew Specter was asked to contribute to a Forum on political realism and the Ukraine war by the German social philosophy journal, Analyse und Kritik. His essay, "Realism after Ukraine: Critique of Geopolitical Reason from Monroe to Mearsheimer" appeared there in late November. In January, he presented a paper at the University of Chicago's Political Theory Workshop. That paper, "Apostates from Realism: Harold and Margaret Sprout, Princeton, and Geopolitics, 1935-65," will appear in a theme issue on "Women in International Thought" organized by Patricia Owens of Oxford University in Global Studies Quarterly in April.

Matthew Newsom Kerr will be giving a paper at the upcoming annual conference of the 19th-Century Studies Association in Sacramento. The paper is titled "Faces from the Past: Smallpox, Vaccination, and the Construction of History." He will also present a paper in May at the conference of the American Association for the History of Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is titled "Beautiful Scars: The Medical Aesthetics of Smallpox Vaccination Marks in Nineteenth-Century England."

Matthew Newsom Kerr was awarded a University Research Grant to support a research trip to archives in London and Gloucester, UK in December.

Nancy Unger

Nancy C. Unger's Lesbian and Gay History class was taped by C-SPAN on January 20, and will air as part of C-SPAN's "Lectures in History" series sometime in March. The C-SPAN producer who viewed the recording had special praise for our students: "it was great to see how involved the students were – that always helps make these 'Lectures in History' pop."  This will be Nancy's fifth appearance on C-SPAN.  The first four can be viewed here.


Dr. Khalid el-Hakim

Michael Brillman and Meg Gudgeirsson’s Slavery and Unfreedom (HIST 11A and 12A) classes welcomed Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, who is the creator of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, to their classes on February 13. Dr. el-Hakim spoke to their students in dialogue with course themes and highlighting objects in his collection.