March 15, 2014

Prof. Ruggles Chosen to Lead Population Association of America (PAA)

Prof. Steve Ruggles has been chosen president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA) He will be the first historian ever to lead that organization (more typically its presidents have been sociologists or economists). Steve will serve as PAA president-elect in 2014 and president in 2015.

This honor is recognition of the great work that Steve has done both in his own research and in supporting the work of other scholars through his work with the Minnesota Population Center. Congratulations, Prof. Ruggles!

Learn more about the Population Association of America (PAA)

March 10, 2014

Lauritsen Lecture, "Ancient Greek Infantry Combat: What can Modern Riots Tell Us?" April 17, 4pm

The Frederick and Catherine Lauritsen Lecture in Ancient History
"Ancient Greek Infantry Combat: What Can Modern Riots Tell Us?"

Professor Jon E. Lendon
Corcoran Department of History
University of Virgina

Thursday, April 17, 4:00pm
1210 Heller Hall

The controversy about what exactly happened in an ancient Greek hoplite battle--a controversy that goes back to the '30s of the last century--simply continues to ramify, with new books on the subject published in 2009 and 2012. Did battle come down to a gigantic pushing match between the hoplites on either side (the othismos of the ancient texts) or was it a matter of spear-fighting? How could battles last for hours without the soldiers on both sides becoming exhausted? This lecture begins with an illustrated introduction to ancient Greek infantry fighting and weapons and goes on to try to answer some of the outstanding questions about hoplite warfare on the basis of video footage of riots in Japan and South Korea.

Lendon Lauritsen 2014 FINAL.pdf

January 23, 2014

GTMO in MSP, Exhibition and Programs: Feb 11-March 16

The Exhibition
February 11 - March 16, 2014
The Guantánamo Public Memory Project Exhibition

Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MNánamo-public-memory-project-exhibition

Since 2012, students at 11 universities around the country, including the University of Minnesota, asked: what can Guantánamo's (GTMO) history tell us about what's happening now - there, and here at home? They dug through historical and visual archives; talked to people who worked there, lived there, or were detained there; and explored how GTMO relates to issues, people, and places in their own communities. Each student team created a piece of the Project's first traveling exhibit, sharing their discoveries and the difficult questions they struggled with.

The exhibit explores GTMO's history from U.S. occupation in 1898 to today's debates and visions for its future, from a wide variety of perspectives. It includes video testimonies and a "Shape the Debate" text-message voting activity.

Learn more about the Guantánamo Public Memory Project.

February 11, 2014
Guantánamo Public Memory Project Community Open House

Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul MN
7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Free

Attend a community open house for the Guantánamo Public Memory Project exhibit. Meet the University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students who, along with students from eleven other American universities, created the exhibit as a way to examine the long history of the American naval station and military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Join them in exploring the historical and current connections between "Gitmo" and Minnesota.This program is made possible with support from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, voted into law by the people of Minnesota in 2008.

Friday, February 28, 2014
The Origins and Development of Guantánamo's Legal Black Hole,
A Talk by Michael Strauss

Room 50, Walter F. Mondale Hall, 229 19th Ave, S., University of Minnesota
12:15 - 1:15 p.m., free
Co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota Legal History Workshop

In this presentation, Michael Strauss, professor of international relations at Paris' École des Hautes Études Internationales, explains what the jurisdictional gap is, and how it emerged and evolved through a combination of things: the lease itself and how it has been interpreted; the US and Cuban legal systems; the application of the US constitution and laws on territory that is controlled by the US but is not US sovereign territory; and whether the conditions that gave rise to the "legal black hole" can be replicated elsewhere - or already are.

Friday, February 28, 2014
Refugee Rights and Rightlessness:
Haitian Refugees at Guantánamo in the 1990s

Andersen Library 120, University of Minnesota, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Free
Co-Sponsored by the Immigration History Research Center

In the early 1990s, over 32,000 refugees fled a military coup d'etat in Haiti. Their makeshift boats were intercepted by the US Coast Guard and brought to crowded detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. US courts declared that the Haitians had "no substantive rights." The camp became the world's first detention center for people with HIV/AIDS and marked the first time GTMO was used as anything other than a naval base. This panel of speakers will address the experiences of Haitian refugees at GTMO and connect this history with the major issues relevant to refugee rights in the present.

A. Naomi Paik is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Paik's work examines Japanese Americans interned during World War II, "enemy combatants" currently detained at GTMO, and Haitian refugees at GTMO in the 1990s and connects these disparate experiences through the concept of

Ninaj Raoul worked as a translator for Haitian refugees detained at GTMO in the 1990s. On her return to New York, Raoul co-founded Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees (HWHR), an organization intended to respond to the needs the refugees. Today, HWHR continues to be the only New York organization serving the working class Haitian community, through community organizing, outreach, and education.

Michele Garnett McKenzie works as Advocacy Director at The Advocates for Human Rights. As a staff attorney, she represents asylum seekers and immigration detainees. McKenzie is responsible for policy advocacy and community and coalition engagement around The Advocates' priority issues, including human trafficking, refugee
and immigrant rights, and diaspora community engagement.

March 1, 2014
Inside Guantánamo, Past and Present

Minnesota History Center, 345 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul MN
2:00 p.m., Free
Today, Guantánamo Bay makes headlines as the U.S. detention facility for alleged enemy combatants. What many Americans don't realize is that "Gitmo" was built over a century ago as the United States' first foreign military installation, and that it served many purposes before 2002 when it became a military prison for the "War on Terror." Join the conversation and the debate about Guantánamo with international experts Liz Sevcenko, Founding Director of the Guantánamo Bay Public Memory Project, Michael Strauss, professor of international relations at Paris' École des Hautes Études Internationales, and Omar Farah, Staff Attorney, Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, as they explore Guantánamo Bay's little-known past and the historical, legal and human rights implications of its present use for the U.S. and the world.

This program is made possible with support from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, voted into law by the people of Minnesota in 2008.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
Surveillance and Detention in the Twin Cities: A public forum

5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455

This forum explores how nationality/ethnicity-based suspicion, surveillance, detention and other practices that are often associated with the prison camp at Guantánamo and U.S. "counterterrorism" policies abroad also operate within the Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP) region. It includes a presentation by University of Minnesota students on their multimedia project "GTMO in MSP" as well as comments by Omar Farah, Staff Attorney, Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative of the Center for Constitutional Rights, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, and other community leaders. There will be ample time for open discussion.

Key questions addressed include:
• How have practices of nationality/ethnicity-based suspicion, surveillance and detention impacted people in the Twin Cities region?
• How has the longer history of US intervention in East Africa, and important site of migration to MSP, shaped these practices?
• How does surveillance and suspicion impact the ability of people to move money and other resources across national boundaries?

GTMO in MSP events have been made possible through the generous support of: The
Minnesota Historical Society, University of Minnesota Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, The Heritage and Public History Collaborative of the University of Minnesota, The Immigration History Research Center of the University of Minnesota, and the Departments of History and American Studies at the University of Minnesota

GTMO in MSP Event Program.Revised.2.17.2014.pdf

December 13, 2013

Digital Research Projects by HIST 3959 Students

In Fall 2013, HIST 3959 - How to Do History was taught by Prof. Donna Gabaccia with a focus on digital history research projects. One additional feature of HIST 3959 this fall was that six graduate students earned graduate credit by working with the undergraduate groups as "project managers."

Here is a sample of innovative projects from class:

The Pacific Railroad Surveyors
Jewish Life in 1930s/40s Minneapolis
Why Public Education?
Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Early Scandinavian Cartography
Korea, Forgotten War?
Political Leadership and Masculinity

August 30, 2013

HIST 1909W Freshman Seminar Abroad: Understanding New Zealand: Re-imagining Kiwi Culture



The Department of History, the Learning Abroad Center, and Professor Evan Roberts are proud to offer a freshmen-only Fall semester/Winter break study abroad opportunity to learn about and visit New Zealand.

Attend class on the UMN campus beginning on September 30, 2013, and visit beautiful Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand from January 3-18, 2014. In New Zealand:

  • Explore Auckland, a multicultural city overlooking sparkling waters and Wellington, a cosmopolitan urban jewel with a bustling waterfront
  • Wander amidst native plant and bird life while tracing the extraordinary history of Matiu Somes Island, located in Wellington's stunning harbor
  • Learn about Kiwi society by meeting with journalists from the New Zealand Herald and visiting the Parliament to discuss the unique political system

Please note you must apply for this seminar through the Learning Abroad Center first in order to obtain a permission number to register on OneStop. For more information, visit: or contact Sarah at Registration deadline is Sept 14. Financial aid and scholarships are available. FreshmanSeminar.StudyAbroad.HIST1909W.Fall2013.pdf

August 9, 2013

Minnesota State History Day - May 4, 2013

On May 4, more than 1,000 students competed at National History Day in Minnesota, held on the U of M campus. They had advanced from among some 30,000 students participating statewide at schools that implement the program to provide structure (and outside support) for learning goals in history and language arts, says Tim Hoogland, History Day coordinator for the Minnesota Historical Society and U of M affiliated professor. Read more

Congratulations to all History Day participants!

Click here for History Day - 2013 State Results

June 10, 2013

Guantanamo Public History Project

In Fall 2012, the University of Minnesota participated in an innovative public history project: The Guantánamo Public Memory Project Travelling Exhibit and National Dialogue (GPMP), which originated at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and was housed at the project hub at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

The GPMP brought together eleven universities to produce the physical and digital content for a traveling exhibit on the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. At Minnesota, Professors Jeani O'Brien and Kevin Murphy team-taught a course with twenty-eight students who produced an exhibit panel that addressed the questions "Can we close Guantánamo?" and "What are visions for Guantánamo's future?" as well as three innovative digital projects

In Fall 2013, Professor Kevin Murphy will offer a graduate course (HIST 5960 section 090/HIST 8960 section 090) linked to the project. Students will develop collaborative public projects that will be presented as part of The Guantánamo Public Memory Project Travelling Exhibit when it is installed at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul in February 2014. These projects will either address the history of the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo or explore Minnesota connections to Guantánamo, broadly defined, including the meanings and impacts of post-9/11 security and anti-terrorism policies in Minnesota as well as the connections between US immigration and citizenship policies and local refugee communities. Professor Murphy will work with students to identify collaborative partners as well as technological resources and expertise.

In this video from the Institute for Advanced Study, GPMP Director Liz Sevcenko discusses the project and the impressive contributions made by the U of M undergraduate participants in Fall 2012 semester of HIST 3001/AMST 3003.

This video features an Access Minnesota interview with Professors O'Brien and Murphy about the project:

April 9, 2013


The Course Guide provides extended course descriptions and describes course details such as work load, grading, and exam format.

April 8, 2013

NEW COURSES - Fall 2013

  • HIST 3264 Imperial Russia: Formation and Expansion of the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th Centuries
  • HIST 3416 Imperialism and its Critics: Ethical Issues, Literary Representations
  • HIST 3492 Hinduism

Continue reading "NEW COURSES - Fall 2013" »

April 5, 2013


  • HIST 1000W / HIST 3000W sec 001 Visions of the Past: Twin Cities History
  • HIST 3837 Minnesota History

Continue reading "MN/LOCAL HISTORY COURSES - Fall 2013" »

April 3, 2013

Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May

It has been a season for great honors and accomplishments for our faculty. Congratulations to all!

Donna Gabaccia is one of the recipients of the 2013 University Outstanding Community Service Award
Donna Gabaccia has been awarded the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for Foreign Relations: American Immigration in Global Perspective.
Elaine Tyler May has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2013 by The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Kevin Murphy is a 2013 recipient of the UofM's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.
Kay Reyerson has been awarded the Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies by the Medieval Academy.
Barbara Welke has been named one of the new Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

Continue reading "Major Awards for History Profs. Kevin Murphy, Barbara Welke, Donna Gabaccia (2), Kay Reyerson, Elaine Tyler May" »

February 22, 2013

2013-2014 NEH Fellowships for David Chang and Elaine Tyler May

Regents Professor Elaine Tyler May (American studies) and Associate Professor David Chang (history) are two of the three Minnesotans awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars for 2013-14. Tyler May's is for her project, "The American Quest for Security." Chang was selected for his project, "Native Hawaiian Perspectives on Imperialism, Colonialism, and Nationalism in the 19th Century." The award amounts are $50,400 each.

December 31, 2012

Talle Scholarship Recipient Gus Gleiter's video greeting from Egypt

Gus Gleiter, who is majoring in History and Communications Studies, received a Talle Family Merit Scholarship for Excellence in History for 2012-2013. His video greeting from Egypt was played at the Oct. 25 CLA Scholarship & Fellowship Event. In his short video, he describes his studies and experiences in Egypt, his future academic and career goals, and how the skills and knowledge from his CLA education will be used in pursuit of these goals, and he expresses his gratitude for the extraordinary opportunity provided by the Talle Scholarship.

To view Gus Gleiter's video, follow this link and click on the last thumbnail to the right of the big central rectangle viewer.

Continue reading "Talle Scholarship Recipient Gus Gleiter's video greeting from Egypt" »

November 13, 2012

2012 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History to Ruth Karras

Congratulations to Professor Ruth Karras, who has been named co-winner of the AHA's 2012 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women's History for her book Unmarriages: Women, Men, and Sexual Unions in the Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).

Given by the American Historical Association and named in memory of Joan Kelly, this prize is awarded annually for the book in women's history and/or feminist theory that best reflects the high intellectual and scholarly ideals exemplified by the life and work of Joan Kelly (1928-1982).

October 30, 2012

Erika Lee to receive 2012 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award

Congratulations to Erika Lee who has been awarded the Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award in Humanities, Arts and Sciences for 2012 at the University of Minnesota.

Erika Lee received the award at the Celebrating University Women Awards Program on October 12, 2012.

Continue reading "Erika Lee to receive 2012 Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader Award" »