Anne Rubin, History, on C-SPAN

Anne RubinOn Saturday, May 31, C-SPAN 3 aired a talk given by History Associate Professor Anne Rubin at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. The talk was part of the 2014 Civil War Symposium held at the beginning of May.

Rubin discussed Union General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea and the concept of “civilized war.” In 1864, General Sherman marched his troops from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, and Rubin described the destruction along the way as setting the precedent for “total war” tactics in subsequent conflicts.

Rubin opens her talk by discussing basic Google and Internet searches of General Sherman and that many of them represent “a really popularly held view that William T. Sherman and the march through Georgia and the Carolinas in the final months of the Civil War have something to do with the creation of total war.”

You can watch the full talk on C-SPAN 3 by clicking here. Rubin’s book, A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868, won the 2006 Avery O. Craven book prize for the best book in Civil War history

Joseph L. Arnold Papers Now Open to Researchers

The Special Collections department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, in partnership with the history department and the Center for Digital History Education, is happy to announce that the Joseph L. Arnold papers are now open for research use. The collection will be a valuable resource for researchers and students of Baltimore history.

The Joseph L. Arnold papers contain more than three decades of research on Baltimore history by the urban historian and longtime UMBC History Department faculty member. Within this collection are Dr. Arnold’s manuscripts for two works on the history of Baltimore, one organized chronologically and another thematically by ethnic/social groups. The bulk of the collection is Dr. Arnold’s extensive Baltimore subject files, mostly containing reproductions from 19th century editions of the Baltimore Sun interspersed with his hand-written notes on various topics.

Joseph Larkin Arnold (1937-2004) was a prominent urban historian and a key leader at UMBC for most of his career. Dr. Arnold joined the faculty of UMBC—then a very young institution—in 1968 after earning a PhD in social history at the Ohio State University. In his three and a half decades at UMBC, Dr. Arnold fulfilled a variety of campus leadership roles, including a term as Acting Librarian in 1979-1980.

For more information about the collection, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians

On Saturday, April 12 in Atlanta, History Associate Professor Kate Brown was awarded the 2014 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH) for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present.


Brown received the award for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013), in which she tells the stories of Hanford, Washington and Ozersk, Russia. The Soviet and American governments created these communities to produce the plutonium that fueled the nuclear arms race during the Cold War.

In a press release announcing the award, OAH stated: “Brown notes that the major accidents at Hanford and Ozersk were largely unknown to the public, in contrast to the recognition today of Chernobyl and Fukushima. But the costs to the well-being of the workers and the environment were arguably far higher. This revelatory history provides a highly readable and deeply researched model of transnational history.”

Last month, Brown was awarded the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), also for her book, Plutopia.

George Derek Musgrove, History, Op-Ed in The Washington Post

Washington, D.C. hasn’t directly funded its shadow delegation to Congress, the city’s official statehood lobby, since the first elections for the positions were held in 1990. However, just last week, Mayor Vincent Gray released a budget for fiscal 2015 that includes $100,000 for the delegation.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, assistant professor of history, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “D.C.’s shadow delegation: It’s not the money, it’s the strategy,” in which he argued the money could help the delegation, but only if it changes its approach.

“Since its creation, the shadow delegation has focused its energy on lobbying members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Though its efforts get support from the small number of members who already favor statehood, the delegation has never been able to persuade those on the fence, let alone outright opponents, to support their cause,” Musgrove wrote.

Musgrove wrote in order to attain its goals, the delegation must learn from lessons in D.C.’s history, such as the campaign for the D.C. Voting Rights Amendment.

“The 2015 budget could give the shadow delegation funding it needs to expand its lobbying operation. But the history of the struggle for D.C. self-determination teaches that, to have any success, it needs to adopt a strategy that can reach the folks back home,” he adds.

To read the full op-ed in The Washington Post, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, in The Washington Post

Derek MusgroveA recent Washington Post column explores the possibility of District Mayor Vincent Gray being indicted on federal criminal charges while running for reelection. Gray has said he wouldn’t resign if the charges were brought and would defend himself at trial.

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, assistant professor of history, was interviewed for the column and offered his perspective on what a trial would mean for Gray if he were to continue governing.

A trial “would be horrible — it would just be a magnification of the current situation,” Musgrove said. He added such a spectacle would hurt the city’s relations with Congress and hamper Gray’s performance.

Musgrove is currently writing a book about race and democracy in the District. To read the full column in The Washington Post, click here.

Kate Brown, History, Wins Environmental History Book Prize

plutopiaHistory Associate Professor Kate Brown has won the 2014 George Perkins Marsh Prize for her book, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013).

The award is given by the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) for the best book in environmental history. Brown received her prize March 15 in San Francisco at the annual ASEH conference.

Last fall, Brown presented a Social Sciences Forum on Plutopia which explored the work and research behind her book. More information can be found here.

Meredith Oyen, History, on CNBC News Website

Meredith OyenMeredith Oyen, an assistant professor of history, is quoted in a CNBC News article about the five-man alternative rock band from Taiwan known as Mayday that is set to kick off a tour in the United States this month.

In the article, Oyen says music groups like Mayday are beginning to become more popular in countries around the world: “Mayday is starting to challenge the assumption that English-speaking pop stars are global stars, and Chinese-speaking acts are only regional ones,” she said.

Oyen is currently in China serving on a Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (Beijing) external evaluation panel to evaluate U.S. history courses taught at several Chinese universities. As part of the trip, she gave a lecture at Minjiang University called “The Meeting of Minds: Academic Exchanges in US-Chinese Relations.”

To read the full CNBC article that Oyen is quoted in, click here.

George Derek Musgrove, History, in The Washington Post

More than 80,000 new voters in Washington, D.C. have registered since 2010, and rapid changes in the city’s demographics are being studied as experts analyze the upcoming Democratic primary in the race for D.C. mayor.

Derek Musgrove

George Derek Musgrove ’97, history, assistant professor of history, was interviewed for a front page story published in The Washington Post on March 9. The article, titled “D.C.’s complexion is changing. Will the next mayor reflect that?“, examines how the upcoming mayoral election could reshape power and politics in the nation’s capital.

“The identity of the city since the ’60s has been ‘Chocolate City,’ ” Musgrove said. “The last thing keeping that identity intact is the mayoralty.” Musgrove, who lives in Washington and is currently writing a book on race and politics in the District, provided insight and historical context on changing political attitudes among residents in the nation’s capital.

“The passing of the civil rights-home rule generation brought us the children of that generation, including [former council members] Kwame Brown, Michael Brown and Tommy Thomas,” Musgrove said, and those sons of prominent civil rights-era political figures in the city, now disgraced former council members, “were miserable — and not just because they were caught stealing, but because they never had a vision for the city.”

In the article, Musgrove also pointed to a younger generation of voters and council members who are focusing more on economic diversity than racial identity. Young voters, too, “have very different notions of politics and race than the older generations did,” Musgrove said. “Young black professionals are willing to give Tommy Wells a fair shake.”

You can read the full article in The Washington Post here.

Meredith Oyen, History, Selected for Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange Panel

Meredith OyenAssistant Professor of History Meredith Oyen has been asked to serve on a Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (Beijing) external evaluation panel to evaluate courses in the international general education curriculum program.

Oyen will serve as part of a team that will be traveling to Sanming University and Minjiang University in Fujian Province to audit classes, speak with students and faculty and review the quality of course offerings.

Oyen’s main focus will be evaluating the teaching and learning outcomes for courses on U.S. history that are taught in English. She will be in China from March 14-22.

“Hit & Stay” screening and Q&A with Joe Tropea ’06, History and ’08 M.A., Historical Studies (3/12)

UMBC’s history and American studies departments are sponsoring a screening of “Hit & Stay,” a documentary about the Catonsville Nine directed by Joe Tropea ’06, History and ’08 M.A., Historical Studies.

Hit & Stay

The documentary tells the story of nine Catholic activists who entered a Selective Service office in Catonsville on May 17, 1968 and burnt draft files to protest the Vietnam War. “Hit & Stay” features archived footage and activists telling their stories in their own words. Interviews include Bill Ayers, Daniel and Philip Berrigan, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Laura Whitehorn, and Howard Zinn.

The film premiered locally last year at the Maryland Film Festival. For past coverage of the documentary, click here.

The screening takes place Wednesday, March 12 at 8 p.m. in Meyerhoff 030. Joe Tropea will attend the screening and host a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Note: This event was previously scheduled for February 13.