A Note from the Chair on the Fall 2020 Semester

Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Helgeson

Every semester begins with a sense of possibility, bringing both anxiety and excitement for what will come. This year, our anticipation mixes dramatically with an experience of rupture, a loss of the kind of certainty about habits and continuity that generally provide us with a foundation on which we bring some order to our semesters. This year, then, we are all working harder. We—as students, as teachers, as workers who keep our classrooms and offices running—face exponentially more difficult challenges as we get back to workNonetheless, I return this fall confirmed in my belief that the people in this department face disruption head-on and forge new paths out of difficult days.  

Teaching and learning in the contemporary university are always challenging. Limited resourcesalong with inequities, injustices, anti-intellectualism, and divisions in the society at large—impinge on the classroom. We always have to work to build and maintain the space where we can come together to study. Yet we do create that space.  

We all have known those moments when the university fulfills its promise. We see it in the light of realization in a student’s eyes, we hear it in the laughter of people working together to solve a problem, we can sense it in the air when professors and students are locked in mutual concentration on a difficult question. These satisfactions, and our memories of them, are what make the return to school such a time of promise.  

This year, the obstacles in our path can seem nearly insurmountable. Much of the extra labor we are doing can feel incomplete, frustrating, and even at times distractingly prosaic. A global pandemic, an economic calamitythe exhausting work of anti-racism in a time of surging bigotry and violence—these crises have revealed with painful clarity the structural inequities and divisions that threaten our communities. These challenges also threaten the energy and opportunity to engage in the study of history—even as that work has never seemed more important. 

To help our students enter into the study of history, the department is building on its recent growth. Four new faculty members add to the great energy in our public history and European history offerings. Students can choose from several new courses, including African American and Mexican American history surveys, which count toward core curriculum requirementsa course on creating podcasts that lift up unsung voices in historythe history of 20th-century social movements in the U.S.; and the history of childhood in EuropeStudents can also visit the new library guide for researching #BlackLivesMatter, developed by Dr. Casey Nichols and subject librarian Margaret Vaverek. The department will be collaborating on public programs and courses with people across campus, including the history faculty leading the Center for Texas Music History, the Center for Texas Public History, the Center for the Study of the Southwest, and the Center for International StudiesThe TXST chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and the student-led History Club (open to all Bobcats) are organizing regular events—from film screenings to an academic conference—that will provide opportunities to connect and outlets for graduate and undergraduate student research. There is so much going on…follow it all on the department’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram feeds. 

 To move through tribulation in a way that seeks not just the familiar but the possible requires persistent support for each other and our studentsWriting in the shadows of Nazism on the risethe historian Walter Benjamin declared that the struggle for a just world “is a fight for the crude and material things without which no refined and spiritual things could exist.” This phrase has been ringing in my ears as I have been working with the faculty, staff, and students in the history department to make Zoom work, to welcome our new faculty and students, to learn how to foster group discussions that are simultaneously inperson and virtualand to figure out how to clear the algae from the fountain in our courtyard and order the coffee that will keep the department running. It can make for days that sometimes seem distressingly fragmented. Yet it is in working with the people in this department that I am reminded of the other half of Benjamin’s point: that the “spiritual things” we win out of the struggle come not as “spoils,” but “as courage, humor, cunning, and fortitude.”  

Dr. Jeff Helgeson

Chair and Associate Professor
Department of History
Texas State University

Congrats to the 2020-21 Awardees of the Margerison Graduate Fellowship in History!

Photos of Margerison Fellowship awardees

The Texas State University Department of History is proud to announce this year’s awardees of the Kenneth and Patricia Margerison Graduate Research Fellowship in History. The Fellowship provides support to full-time graduate students enrolled in the master’s degree program in history. Recipients are awarded funds to fully cover graduate tuition and fees for the spring and fall semesters as well as research support—qualifying for in-state tuition. The Graduate Studies Committee considers all first-year students as well as continuing students who demonstrate great promise as historians. In addition to the fellowship, students may also be offered a graduate Instructional Assistantship (IA), which includes a monthly salary.

Please visit the History Department Scholarships website for specific details and requirements.

Learn more about Railey Tassin (top photo) and Madison Otte (bottom photo), this year’s recipients of this prestigious fellowship:


Railey Tassin is a first-year Texas State graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Public History. Railey graduated summa cum laude from Texas Christian University in May 2020 with a B.A. in History, minor in French, and emphasis in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. She has experience interning at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and studying abroad in Toulouse, France. After completing her degree, Railey would love to work in a museum dedicated to documenting diversity and engaging the general public with the history of underrepresented groups. 

How do you see this Margerison Fellowship helping you in your studies?

Railey: The financial aid provided by the Margerison Fellowship guarantees that I will be able to begin my graduate education completely focused on excelling in my personal studies and my duties as an Instructional Assistant. As a first-generation student, I strongly recognize the significance of generous financial support in helping students reach their highest potential. Receiving this fellowship has ensured that I feel supported and valued as a student at Texas State even before having officially entered.

As an undergraduate at Texas Christian University, you studied History, and French with an emphasis in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies, can you tell us more about your research interests, and what got you interested in it in the first place?

Railey: Since a young age, I have been fascinated by studying the actions and words of those who came before us as a way to better understand the present. I began studying French in high school to feel a closer connection to my ancestry, and I loved the idea of having a wider range of writings/sources available to me in college by knowing a second language. Taking CRES classes gave me additional knowledge in analyzing race and ethnicity and inspired me to focus my historical research on traditionally marginalized/underrepresented groups. My senior History thesis focused on the works of three Black women, Paulette Nardal, Jessie Fauset, and Gwendolyn Bennett, whose France-inspired writings contributed to a rise in race consciousness across the African diaspora throughout the twentieth century. This project allowed me to combine theories learned from CRES, French primary sources, and my historical research interests.

What are you looking forward to the most about your graduate studies at Texas State?

Railey: I am most looking forward to making meaningful connections with professors and fellow students – all of us dedicated to continuous learning and working together to adapt during this abnormal semester. I can already sense that the Texas State community will be fully encouraging and helpful in all of my endeavors and will strive to make each student feel supported. I believe the study of history is meant to be shared with others, and I am eager to have the opportunity to engage in collaborative efforts to do so during my time at Texas State.


Madison Otte is a first-year graduate student, but is not new to the Texas State campus. Madison received her bachelor’s degree in History from Texas State University with a minor in Spanish and single-field teaching certification in History for grades 7-12. Madison is working towards her master’s degree in History, and plans to write a thesis about Early Modern Spanish and Colonial History. Madison is also an Instructional Assistant, and looks forward to merging her love of History and teaching to help students this semester. After finishing her degree, Madison hopes to continue her education and one day become a professor at the university level.

How do you see this Margerison Fellowship helping you in your studies?

Madison: The recognition of my hard work through the Margerison Fellowship makes me feel even more strongly motivated to succeed in my endeavors in graduate school. I am very thankful to be able to focus on my thesis wholeheartedly, without the stress of an extra job to juggle with my courses and research.

You are interested in Early Modern Spanish and Colonial History, can you tell us more about your research interests, and what got you interested in it in the first place?

Madison: I am interested in researching the changes that occurred in the Spanish colonies in Latin America after the start of the Counter-Reformation. I am especially interested in the way this changed interactions between Spanish missionaries and the Native people they wished to convert to Catholicism. I have always been interested in Colonial History because the effects the has Old World on the New World that can still be seen today are fascinating to me. I became particularly interested in the religious effects on colonialism in the Americas during my undergraduate studies here at Texas State.

What are you looking forward to the most about your graduate studies at Texas State?

Madison: I am most looking forward to growing more as a writer as I construct my thesis. I also look forward to working with the professors in the History Department both on my research and as an Instructional Assistant. I really enjoy working with other students and using the skills I gained in my undergraduate degree as a candidate for teaching certification.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter Image

The Department of History at Texas State University affirms that #BlackLivesMatter. We study, teach, and strive to understand the historical continuum of racisms in this country. We recognize the many ways that racism is intertwined with deep and constantly evolving structures and cultures of inequity, domination, exclusion, and exploitation in the United States and across the globe, throughout the long expanse of modern history. We have learned from this history that, in order to advance the cause of anti-racism, we must identify the many forms of violence that sustain racial injustice and affirm both the dignity of Black lives and the interdependence of all human beings.

We stand in solidarity with our Black students, colleagues, and their families, and we are grieving and committed to act against racial injustice with you.

Signed: 
Dr. Thomas Alter
Dr. Gregory Andrews
Dr. Nancy Berlage
Dr. Elizabeth Bishop
Dr. Ronald Brown
Dr. Victoria Bynum
Adam Clark
Dr. Sarah Coleman
Dr. Sara Damiano
Dr. Peter Dedek
Dr. José Carlos de la Puente
Dr. Shannon Duffy
Trace Etienne
Dr. Bryan Glass
Dr. Dwonna Goldstone
Dr. Jeff Helgeson
Dr. Debra Law
Dr. Deirdre E. Lannon
Dr. Bryan N. Mann
Dr. Kenneth Margerison
Dr. John Mckiernan-González
Dr. James McWilliams
Dr. Jason Mellard
Dr. Margaret Menninger
Dr. Rebecca Montgomery
Dr. Angela Murphy
Dr. Joshua Paddison
Madelyn Patlan
Dr. Jessica Pliley
Dr. Leah Renold
Dr. Caroline Ritter
Dr. Joaquín Rivaya-Martínez
Dr. Allison Robinson
Dr. Anadelia Romo
Roberta Ruiz
Katie Salzmann
Dr. Ellen Tillman
Dan K. Utley
Dr. Louie Dean Valencia-García
Dr. Joseph Yick

Congratulations to the class of 2020!

Congratulations image

The Texas State University Department of History would like to congratulate all of our graduating students this semester. While it wasn’t the type of semester anyone expected, we are all very proud of all of you for graduating in this historic time! We encourage you all to stay in touch!

Students completing a Master of Arts in History:

Karen Johnston-Ashton
Blake Gandy
Rayanna Hoeft
Cheyenne Johnston-Ashton
Lauren Kahre-Campbell
Evan Moore
Amanda Rock
Suzanne Schatz
Travis Smith
Jonathan Wales

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in History:

Brenda Alba
Kendall Allen
Brooke Anaya
Avery Armstrong
Sarah Arndt
Antonio Barbosa
Natasha Beck-King
Hannah Bertling
Kayla Borak
June Carnahan
Gwendolyn Cunningham
Blu De Vanon
Samuel Dunn
Celestial Edmonson
Katherine Edwards
Dominic Funug
Cody Gonzales
Devin Granado
Ty Hancock
Thomas Harney
Sydney Harrell
Daniel Hogan
Jayson Johnson
William Keenan
Lindy Lantelme
Nathalie Love
Rosemary Lugo
Christopher Luna
Kendall McCumber
Wesley Moore
Philip Mudd
Taylor Neal
Osaetin Omo-Osagie
Madison Otte
Brandon Paez
Ramon Perez
Jordan Pilkenton
Victoria Ramirez
Ashley Reimer
Christopher Reyes
Kristin Reynolds
Paul Saldana
Taylor Schuster
Laura Serrano
Scarlett Smith
Conner Staples
Dillon Tolsma
William Watford
Kaitlyn White

Meet the Chairs: Dr. Murphy and Dr. Helgeson reflect on the History Department and its future

Photo of Drs. Murphy and Helgeson

Dr. Angela Murphy, who has served as chair of the department since 2017, reflects on her time as chair and shares some of her upcoming research. Incoming chair, Dr. Jeffrey Helgeson, gives us a glimpse into his vision of the future of the department.

Join them both on 9 March 2020 from 5:30-6:30 PM in Taylor-Murphy Hall 101 for a discussion sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society.


Murphy and Helgeson FlyerA Note from Dr. Angela Murphy

It has been rewarding serving as chair of the History Department for the past few years. It has given me a chance to get to know students on a different level, beyond the classroom, and to help further the vision of my fellow faculty. Students should know that they are front and center in that vision. I am proud to say that although the department is made up of world-class researchers, student success has remained one of its highest priorities.  This can be seen not only in the way in which faculty interact with students both in and out of the classroom, but also in the type of people we have hired over the past three years, in the efforts that have been put into modernizing the curriculum, and in the accomplishments of our students both while they are enrolled with us and afterwards.

While I am grateful for the experience of serving as chair, I am very much looking forward to stepping back into to my old faculty role in which I get to teach more (hands down my favorite part of my work) and engage more heavily with my research. Next year I will return to teaching the first half of the U.S. history survey and upper level and graduate courses on the history of the United States during the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction Eras. I also will be able to dedicate more time to writing a monograph that has been long in the making – a biography of 19thcentury African American activist, Jermain Loguen, who was one of the primary Underground Railroad operatives in New York State.

I am excited to pass the torch to Jeff Helgeson, who is a natural leader in the department already and whose dynamism and commitment will surely take the department to new heights!


A Note from Dr. Jeffrey Helgeson

It is an incredible honor to be able to say that in September 2020 I will be beginning my eleventh year here at Texas State in a new role as chair of the department of history. Over the course of the past decade, I have had the great good fortune to learn from, and have the support of, our previous chairs: Dr. Frank de la Teja, Dr. Mary Brennan (now Dean of the College of Liberal Arts), and Dr. Angela Murphy. To a great extent, as leaders of the history department, they have created the foundation for my success here as a scholar and a teacher, and they have helped guide the energy I have put into helping to foster the growth of Texas State as a whole (the kind of work academics label, “service,” that includes not just serving on committees, but, among other things, making decisions about how we will teach our classes, who we will hire, and how the university can live as a community of inclusiveness and student growth in difficult times). I hope to follow in the footsteps of the previous chairs, to support my colleagues in their work.

The history department has a reputation for being a well-run department. This means that the chairs who have come before me have been highly successful at doing the work of managing the department. They lead the way on the work that happens behind the scenes to make sure that students have the classes, advising, and academic support they need. They work to ensure that our faculty has the resources they need to develop their research, as well as coursework and extracurricular programs (study abroad, study in America, student clubs, teacher training programs, etc.) that make the Texas State history department such a vibrant place.

The Department of History is a dynamic living community, the health of which depends upon the dedicated work of dozens of people. Our academic counseling and teacher training leaders are amongst the leaders in Texas and the nation. Our public history program has established itself as a national leader, placing graduates in internships and jobs with institutions like the National Park Service, the Smithsonian, and dozens of museums, archives, and history enterprises nationwide. Our undergraduate major in history prepares students to be leaders in the professional worlds of education, the media, public service, the arts, and much more. Moreover, through our connections with vibrant areas of study across campus—including, but not limited to, the Center for International Studies, the Center for Texas Music History, the Center for the Study of the Southwest, the Center for the Study of Gender and Diversity, and minors in African American and Latino/a Studies—the history department opens doors for students to have a grounding in sophisticated historical thinking while pursuing academic and career paths that could take them literally anywhere in the world. None of this wide-ranging work would be possible if not for the department’s outstanding administrative staff—I know I am going to learn so much from Madelyn Patlan, Roberta Ruiz, Adam Clark, and the student staffers in the office.

As you can see, I am a big believer in the ongoing work of the Department of History. I have seen my colleagues dramatically transform the lives of thousands of students over the years. I want to do nothing that will slow down those achievements. Indeed, one of my goals is to sustain the department’s record of continuous excellence, and to build upon recent gains we have made in funding graduate student research and travel, in creating resources to foster undergraduate research, and to support our faculty in their awe-inspiring research on historical themes that span thousands of years of global history.

In addition to maintaining our ongoing success, I also pledge my energies to the tasks of making the Department of History a place where even more students—undergraduate and graduate, alike—can find a path for themselves, while gaining the kinds of skills and worldview that will give them the power to constantly reinvent themselves in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. This means that I am committed both to the fostering of a community of scholars, even as I show up day in and day out to ensure that the nitty gritty work of making the department run well gets done.

Looking forward, I have to admit that I find my new role to be somewhat daunting. Yet I return to advice I received years ago from none other than my own mom. She said, if you want to take on big challenges in life, be sure to surround yourself with people whom you respect and who are doing interesting things. The Department of History is a complex institution, it is also my academic home—a place where I look forward to learning from, and working alongside, fellow faculty members, deeply competent and friendly staff, as well as curious and profoundly interesting students.

 

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities

Check out some of these scholarship opportunities for Texas State University History Scholarships: Apply Here

Texas State Undergraduate and Graduate Level Scholarships

Alton G. Brieger Scholarship $950 Undergraduates History Majors  

3.3 GPA in History

Taylor-Murphy Scholarship $950 Undergraduates History Majors  

3.3 GPA in History

Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship  

$2000

Entering Freshmen, Undergraduates,

Graduate students.

History or International Studies Majors 3.5 GPA
FitzPatrick-Clayton-Kissler Scholarship $1700  

Undergraduates,

Graduate Students

.

History Major 3.5 GPA

Texas State Departmental Nominations

Outstanding Undergraduate Student In Liberal Arts TBA 30 hrs Completed/

18 in Major

Department will nominate a junior or senior from our Majors for this Liberal Arts College Opportunity 3.75 GPA
Presidential Upper Division Schoalrhsip TBA 60 hrs Completed/

30hrs at TxState

Department will nominate a junior or senior from our Majors for the Univeristy Wide Opportunity

Graduate Level Only History Scholarships

Brunson Family Endowed Scholarship $1000 Graduate Students History Majors 3.5 GPA
Minnie Knispel Scholarship $660 Graduate Students History Majors/Social Studies Teachers
 

James W. Pohl Scholarship

 

$1800 Graduate students working on a Thesis in History. History Majors 3.5 GPA

Kenneth and Patricia Margerison Graduate Research Fellowship

The Fellowship is intended for use in recruiting master’s students of the highest quality to Texas State University. It provides support to full-time graduate students enrolled in the master’s degree program who demonstrate great promise as historians. All newly admitted students are automatically considered. Recipients will be awarded funds to fully cover graduate tuition and fees for the spring and fall semesters as well as limited research support. Fellows will also qualify for in-state tuition. In addition to the fellowship, students may also be offered a graduate Instructional Assistantship (IA) to create an attractive financial aid package for top applicants. Recipients who maintain a 3.7 cumulative GPA may have their fellowship renewed for up to three consecutive years.

Learn more about the 2019 inaugural fellows on our Texas State History blog.

 

2019 Phi Alpha Theta Texas State University History Conference

Conference logo

8:00am—9am

Registration (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Foyer)

Breakfast and Coffee Service (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 110)

  • Assorted breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana
  • Coffee service from Mocha & Java

 

9:00am—10:20am

  • Diplomatic Response to Native and Foreign Powers Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 201) Faculty Commentator: Margaret Vaverek, Librarian, Texas State University, and Jason Rivas, Graduate Student, Texas State University

Student Moderator: John Rogers, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Issac Xaiver Auld, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Comparative Analysis of the United States, France, and Spain’s Use of Neutrality in 1776 and 1793’”
  • Christopher Bragdon, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Effects of Cherokee Nationalism and American Public Opinion on Early S. Diplomacy”
  • Kendall Jo Allen, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Education as a Diplomatic Tool in Negotiations with Native People”

 

9:00am—10:20am

Transformations in Architecture Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 106)

Faculty Commentator: Dr. Peter Dedek, Associate Professor, Texas State University Student Moderator: Kyla Campbell, Graduate Student, Texas State University

  • Kyle Walker, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture’s Role in the Preservation Movement in San Antonio”
  • Mary Kahle, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Architecture of Moral Treatment for the Mentally Ill in Nineteenth Century S.”
  • Nikolas Koetting, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “‘A Comparative Analysis of the Architecture of Charleston and New Orleans

 

9:00am—10:20am

Decolonization and the British Empire Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 105)

Faculty Commentators: Dr. Nancy Berlage, Director of Public History, Texas State University Student Moderator: Francisco Rodriguez Arroyo, Graduate Student, Texas State University

  • Rayanna Hoeft, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “A Collection’s Purpose: Connecting Material Culture to Museum Visitor Experience”
  • Messia Gondorchin, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Misunderstood Monuments of a Forgotten War: Commemoration of the Second Boer War throughout England”
  • Desmond Workhoven, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Barton Brothers: Privateers and Founders of the Scottish Navy”

 

10:30am—11:50am

Thomas Jefferson and National Leaders Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 201) Faculty Commentator: Dr. Shannon Duffy, Senior Lecturer, Texas State University Student Moderator: John Rogers, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Christian M. Prado, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Nature and Nurture: How Human Tendency and Exterior Influence Affected Early Diplomatic Policy”
  • Samantha S. Cayse, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “North African Pirates and American International Affairs: Evolution of Jefferson’s Diplomacy with the Barbary States”
  • Asher C. Rogers, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Jefferson’s America in the Age of European Colonialism: Western Territories & the Louisiana Purchase”

 

10:30am—11:50am

Gender and Women’s Identity Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 106)

Faculty Commentator: Dr. Jessica Pliley, Associate Professor, Texas State University Student Moderator: Messia Gondorchin, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Jennifer Blackwell, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Two for the Price of One: The First Ladies and American Diplomacy Beyond the Confines of the Women’s Sphere”
  • Lauren Kahre-Campbell, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Gendered Patterns of Inheritance in Early Modern England”

 

10:30am—11:50am

Foreign Policy and War Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 105)

Faculty Commentator: Dr. Ellen Tillman, Associate Professor, Texas State University Student Moderator: Desmond Workhoven, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Evan Moore, Graduate Student, Texas State University
  • “The Continental Army’s Role in Violence at the Battle of King Mountain”
    • Andrew Freeman, Graduate Student, Texas State University
      • “From Tampico to Niagara Falls: How a Perceived Insult Led to Invasion, Occupation, and Mediation”
    • Robert J. Anzenberger, Graduate Student, Texas State University
      • “Herbert Hoover: Finland’s Guardian Angel”

 

12:00pm—12:30pm

Lunch catered by Mamacita’s (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 110)

 

12:45pm—1:45pm

Keynote Presentation (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 101)

  • Dr. Thomas Cauvin, Assistant Professor at Colorado State University and President of the International Federation for Public History

 

2:00pm—3:20pm

The Continuous Role of Slavery in Revolutions and Diplomacy Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 106)

Faculty Commentator: Dr. Dwonna Goldstone, Director of African American Studies Program, Texas State University

Student Moderator: Messia Gondorchin, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Ana Sofia Hernandez, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “‘The Impact of the Haitian Revolution on Early American Diplomacy Towards Slavery”
  • Reagan Deona Sekander, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Annexation of Texas and the Issues that Slowed the Process”

 

2:00pm—3:20pm

Perspectives in Modern History Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 105)

Faculty Commentators: Mr. Dan K. Utley, Lecturer, Texas State University and Dr. Jeff Helgeson, Associate Professor, Texas State University

Student Moderator: Desmond Workhoven, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Suzanne Schatz, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Fire Burns On: Texas A&M Bonfire, Women, and Tradition”
  • Ethen Peña, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Yellow Stained Tears”: The Effects of Historical Trauma on the American Indian Movement”

 

2:00pm—3:20pm

The Chains of Early American Diplomacy Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 201) Faculty Commentator: Dr. Sara Damiano, Assistant Professor, Texas State University Student Moderator: John Rogers, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Tobi Omo-Osagie, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Racial Barriers to American Diplomacy”
  • William Joseph Keenan, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “By Way of the St. Lawrence: The Bond of Slavery in Canada and The United States”
  • Alex J. Humphries, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Faith of the Confederacy Rests on Cotton”

 

3:30pm—4:50pm

The Beginnings and Impact of the Monroe Doctrine (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 201)

Faculty Commentators: Dr. Thomas Alter, Assistant Professor, Texas State University, and Rayanna Hoeft, Graduate Student, Texas State University

Student Moderator: John Rogers, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Hannah Thompson, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: How Early American Presidents Paved the Way for the Monroe Doctrine”
  • Sarie Aguirre, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Advancement of American Imperialism through The Monroe Doctrine”
  • Illeane Marquez, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Monroe Doctrine: A Policy of Non-Interference for European Powers for Peace and Safety”

 

3:30pm—4:50pm

American Imperialism Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 106)

Faculty  Commentator:  Dr.  Joshua  Paddison,  Lecturer,  Texas  State  University Student Moderator: Messia Gondorchin, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Noa Vasquez, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Conquest and Growth: The Two Ages of Filibustering”
  • Carlos Fidalgo, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Texas Quagmire: How Failed Diplomacy Sparked the Mexican American War”
  • Jacob Dowdell, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University
    • “The Tempering of US Imperialism: The Cost of an Island Empire”

 

3:30pm—4:50pm

Military and Government Architecture Panel (Taylor-Murphy Hall, Room 105) Faculty Commentator: Dr. Peter Dedek, Associate Professor, Texas State University

Student Moderator: Desmond Workhoven, Undergraduate Student, Texas State University

  • Kyla Campbell, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “From Barracks to Balfour: The Evolution of Base Housing on American Military Bases.””
  • Evan Smith, Graduate Student, Texas State University
    • “Washington D.C.: A Unique Creation of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries”

 

Announcing: The Kenneth and Patricia Margerison Graduate Research Fellowship in History

Margerison fellowship

The Department of History is proud to announce the establishment of the Kenneth and Patricia Margerison Graduate Research Fellowship in History. The Fellowship provides support to full-time graduate students enrolled in the master’s degree program in history. Recipients will be awarded funds to fully cover graduate tuition and fees for the spring and fall semesters as well as research support. Recipients will qualify for in-state tuition. The Graduate Studies Committee will consider all first-year students as well as continuing students who demonstrate great promise as historians. In addition to the fellowship, students may also be offered a graduate Instructional Assistantship (IA), which includes a monthly salary. Recipients who maintain a 3.7 cumulative GPA may also have the fellowship renewed!

Please visit the History Department Scholarships website for specific details and requirements.


Learn more about Lauren Kahre-Campbell (top photo) and Amber Hullum (bottom photo), recipients of this inaugural fellowship:

Lauren Kahre-Cambell received a B.A. in international studies with a focus in international relations from Texas State University in 2012 and a J.D. from Michigan State University in 2015. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in History, with a focus in European History. Her areas of interest include early modern British history as well as women’s and legal history. While earning her degree, Lauren has served as a Liddle Teaching Fellow and been a recipient of both the Dennis and Margaret Dunn Scholarship and the Outstanding Graduate Student in History Award. Her thesis, “Where There’s a Will: Gender, Wills and Inheritance in Early Modern England,” explores gendered patterns of inheritance in early modern English wills. She conducted a portion of her archival research during the 2018 Texas State Chester study abroad program. Lauren hopes to forge a career that combines her legal background with her historical research interests.

How do you see this Margerison Fellowship helping you in your studies? 

Lauren Kahre-Cambell: As a non-traditional student, I face some unique challenges in financing my graduate degree. The Margerison Fellowship will really allow me to focus on completing my graduate thesis without additional financial stress. Writing a thesis can be daunting, so it’s nice to have the hard work acknowledged in a tangible way and receiving this fellowship makes me feel even more supported in my endeavors.

What have you enjoyed so far from your time in the Texas State graduate program?

Lauren: I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to delve deeply into my personal passions through the study of history. If I had to pinpoint one formative experience, it would be my participation in the Chester 2018 Summer Abroad program. While conducting my archival research, I had the opportunity to explore sixteenth century wills and manuscripts in person at the Chester Local Archives. I really appreciated the ability to make the kinetic connection with my research subjects, who wrote or commissioned these documents over 400 years ago.

Currently, your work is on women’s and legal history, how do your study of law and history complement each other?

Lauren: It has been so fascinating to approach the law from both its current application and to explore its origins. In the United States we share a common legal history with Britain, so my study of British legal history has been really informative for me in understanding the development of U.S. law. I find it particularly fascinating to explore which legal tenets have evolved or remained static over time.

I must confess that some subjects I found quite boring in law school (probate, inheritance, property rights) are much more interesting from a historical standpoint and have become the focus of my research.

Finally, in both my legal and historical careers I have focused on the intersection of women and the law and it is particularly interesting to me to see how some of the challenges that women face in accessing justice have remained the same through time.


Amber Hullum is a first-year graduate student working towards her master’s degree in Public History. Amber graduated from Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi with bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and in History, with hopes of marrying the two with living history. Amber has been doing living history for over four years and has also worked with the City of Corpus Christi in hosting “La Frontera,” a living history festival with multiple actors playing local historical figures who interact with visitors. After finishing her master’s degree at Texas State, Amber hopes to work with the US National Parks Service as well as museums around Texas to enact more living history programs which will harbor a greater interest for history in a much more exciting, interactive way.

How do you see the Margerison Fellowship helping you in your studies?

Amber Hallum: The Margerison Fellowship is already proving itself to be an enormous aid in my graduate studies. By covering my tuition, I am able to pour all my focus into my work rather than having to divide my time with another job to help pay for my courses and books. Further, now that I have the title of a fellowship behind me, I feel an increased fervor to succeed in my classes. I mean, you don’t really want to do poorly in a class that is getting paid for you by someone else!

You studied theatre and history in undergrad; how do you see those two helping inform your decision to study public history?

Amber: Theatre has been an invaluable part of my education. It has helped me with my communication skills, my creativeness, and has helped to grow my love of working with other people. History has always been exciting for me, ever since my grandparents would take me to annual trips to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I knew that these two components of my education would best be married through living history, which allows for me to serve others in a way that my two passions can co-exist. Thus, my studies have brought me to pursuing public history.

You’ve done work hosting “La Frontera” in Corpus Christi. What is one memorable experience from your time with La Frontera that inspires your work today?

Amber: While the entire festival was amazing to attend and watch my living historians/ actors interact with the community, the most rewarding moment was when an elderly couple approached me after speaking with some of the “characters” and exclaimed how exciting it was to talk with local historical figures, some of which they were related to. They had never seen anything like “La Frontera” before and they were grateful to have the history of their hometown and family be told. So many people around the state have never heard of– let alone experienced living history. To be able to share this with them, therefore, is why I am pursuing public history.

 

 

Making History with Margaret Vaverek: Tea and Snacks with History’s librarian

As just about any historian in the Department of History will tell you, research is often a long but rewarding process. One of the best resources for historians at Texas State is Margaret Vaverek, who is the History subject librarian at Alkek—and a History alum!

Whether you are a first-year student or a faculty member, she is  invaluable when it comes to tracking down the materials you need to do your research. On Thursday, 5 September, and Monday, 9 September, she will be having tea and snacks with students at Alkek. Stop by, say hello, and share your research interests with her. Not sure what a subject librarian does? She explains in her own words:

As history librarian, I will help you search for, find, and obtain better and more sources for your research project than you might have found on your own, and it’ll take less time and effort.

We call these sessions research consultations

During the consultation, we will work together to search the catalog, relevant discipline-specific databases, and other resources depending on your research needs.

By the end of the consultation, you will have:

  • Discovered lots of resources at Texas State and learned how to find and request materials from other libraries as well.
  • Discovered a whole lot more about how to do academic research effectively & efficiently

Here’s the research consultation request form.

Once you’ve pressed submit on your request, the request will come to me and I will then email you to schedule a time and provide directions to the space where the consult will take place.

Alumni Profile: Jennifer Ruch on the Past, Future, Cowpunk, and Grad School

A new academic year is starting and we were excited to hear from Jennifer Ruch. Not only did Jennifer give us a little bit of background on where she’s been and where she’s going, but she also tells us about her doctoral research, and leaves us with a few tips for first year graduate students!

Can you tell us a bit about your path so far?

Jennifer Ruch: I received my B.A in history from Texas State in 2014 and I continued on with the Public History Program and earned my M.A. in 2016. I wrote my thesis on Austin music in the 1960s and 1970s with particular interest in the narrative’s intersection with cultural heritage construction. I was lucky enough to publish my M.A. thesis in the Journal of Texas Music History through the Center for Texas Music History. I worked closely with Dr. Jason Mellard, Dr. Lynn Denton, and Dr. Gary Hartman. I began my PhD at Middle Tennessee State University last fall and specialize in American popular music, museums, popular culture, and material culture. I am continuing my research to analyze the intersection between popular music, the museum, and the music industry. My dissertation will explore the genre dubbed “cowpunk” in the Nashville during the late 20th century. I am a year away from qualifying exams, but currently have a dissertation committee that includes the State Historian of Tennessee, Dr. Carroll Van West. I work as a doctoral research assistant for the Oral History Association and I also work part time at the Grand Ole Opry House. My hope is that my PhD and the research I am conducting will broaden the field’s understanding of music and popular culture in the academic & museum spaces.

So, what is cowpunk?:

Jennifer Ruch: I am exploring a regional intersection of punk and country music that originated in the UK in the 1980s and gained popularity in L.A.  as well as Nashville. It was a brief moment in time, but its importance has more to do with the presence of an underground scene in Nashville adjacent to mainstream country music. Think bands like Jason & the Scorchers, Rank & File (actually out of Austin), Social Distortion. Dwight Yoakum even dabbled in cowpunk early on.

What are few tips you have for first year graduate students?

Jennifer Ruch: 

  • Get to know your faculty and your centers! They can be your biggest help while you acclimate to graduate school life. Don’t be afraid to reach out!
  • Know when to take a breather. Breaks are healthy. Running yourself into the ground and losing sleep doesn’t produce quality work. Get your sleep, eat smart, and never apologize for a mental health day!