Book Reception: Dr. Allyson Poska (Wed, 11/1)

bookcoverap Please join the Department of History and American Studies to celebrate Dr. Poska’s newest book! We will host a reception with refreshments on Wednesday, November 1, at 4 pm in Monroe 213.

The event celebrates the publication of Dr. Poska’s award-winning book, Gendered Crossings: Women and Migration in the Spanish Empire.

Between 1778 and 1784 the Spanish Crown transported more than 1,900 peasants, including 875 women and girls, from northern Spain to South America in an ill-fated scheme to colonize Patagonia. The story begins as the colonists trudge across northern Spain to volunteer for the project and follows them across the Atlantic to Montevideo. However, before the last ships reached the Americas, harsh weather, disease, and the prospect of mutiny on the Patagonian coast forced the Crown to abandon the project. Eventually, the peasant colonists were resettled in towns outside of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, where they raised families, bought slaves, and gradually integrated into colonial society. Gendered Crossings brings to life the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in the peasants’ gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.

Allyson Poska Awarded Book Prize

bookcoverap Dr. Allyson Poska has been awarded the prize for best book of 2016 from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for her work Gendered Crossings: Women and Migration in the Spanish Empire (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2016).

In its recognition of the work’s achievement, the award committee noted their appreciation for how this book “complicates our understandings of masculinity, femininity, honor and sexual norms in showing how Spain tried to use families and migration to advance its imperial goals.” At the same time, they praised Gendered Crossings as it also presents “a careful study of many different historical subjects — women as well as men, poor and rich, and enslaved and free — that offers a powerful example of how histories of the early modern Atlantic world are enriched by weaving gender together with class, race, and European and Colonial politics.”

For more information on this study, see the link above. The Department of History and American Studies is delighted to extend its congratulations to Dr. Allyson Poska on her award.

 

McClurken Receives Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award

University of Mary Washington Professor of History Jeffrey McClurken is the recipient of a prestigious 2014 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV).

The awards are the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities, recognizing superior accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. This year, 12 faculty members were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates. In February, the recipients will each receive a $5,000 cash award underwritten by Dominion Foundation.

McClurken, who joined the UMW faculty in 2001, has been instrumental to the university’s digital history efforts and has been on the forefront of incorporating technology in the classroom. He also serves as chairperson of the history and American studies department.

He has presented numerous lectures and presentations across the country on teaching with social media, digital history and 19th-century American social and cultural history. His 2009 book “Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia” examines the long-term consequences of the Civil War for veterans and their families in Southside Virginia.

McClurken, named to the Princeton Review’s inaugural list of “300 Best Professors,” received the Mary Washington Young Alumnus Award in 2003 and the J. Christopher Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award in 2012.

In addition to his work in the history department, McClurken has served as chair of numerous university committees, including the Campus Academic Resources Committee, the Race and Gender Curriculum Advisory Committee and the Provost’s Ad Hoc University Committee on Digital Initiatives. He also has been active in countless university-wide initiatives, including the Teaching and Learning Technologies Roundtable, the Monroe Hall Renovation Planning Committee and the College of Arts and Sciences Strategic Planning Committee.

Outside of UMW, McClurken frequently lends his time to local public school systems, as well as to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

A 1994 graduate of Mary Washington, McClurken received a master’s degree and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.

The General Assembly and Governor created the Outstanding Faculty Award program in 1986. Since the first awards in 1987, more than 300 Virginia faculty members have received this high honor. For more information about the program, visit http://www.schev.edu/AdminFaculty/OFA/OFAprogramOverview.asp.

This news story was composed by Brynn Boyer and originally appeared at UMW’s Media and Public Relations site on January 16, 2014. Link.

Careers: Caitlin Murphy, Digital Native (’12)

Caitlin Murphy ’12 knew she was prepared for a job that combined her history and digital studies degrees and thought a position at PBS would be the perfect fit.

Caitlin Murphy '12 works at PBS in Washington, D.C.

Caitlin Murphy ’12 works at PBS in Washington, D.C.

Not long after she submitted her application, Murphy got a call from the internationally renowned public broadcasting network. They had reviewed her resume and delved into her online portfolio, which she developed while a student at the University of Mary Washington, and it wasn’t long before she had the job.

“When I applied for the position, they said my online portfolio was one of the main reasons they had contacted me,” Murphy said. “It really helped me get a foot in the door. I don’t think I would have gotten called if I hadn’t had the portfolio I did.”

Murphy is a program associate at the PBS headquarters just outside Washington, D.C. She screens upcoming programs, like “Masterpiece Theatre” or “Foyle’s War,” to make sure they meet PBS’ standards.

The position requires an eye for detail and the ability to research, skills Murphy said she honed while a student at UMW.

“Caitlin took full advantage of the liberal arts experience at UMW,” said Jeff McClurken, chair and professor of history and American studies. “Not only was she a history major who wrote a thesis that earned her departmental honors, but she also crafted a second major in digital studies, anticipating our development of the formal digital studies minor by nearly two years.”

Murphy's online portfolio, which she developed as an undergraduate, includes work from her classes and her internships.

Murphy’s online portfolio, which she developed as an undergraduate, includes work from her classes and her internships.

Her digital studies major combined her passion for history with her love of technology in a multi-disciplinary way, combining classes in English, art, history, computer science with ds106, UMW’s open online digital storytelling course.

Murphy’s portfolio, which she shared during her job interview with PBS, included work from her classes and internships, as well as her work on the James Farmer Lectures project.

“She co-produced a site making the words, sounds and images of Civil Rights leader James Farmer available to anyone,” McClurken said. “She then took an assignment in my class to create a digital portfolio and ran with it, producing an amazing site featuring her projects in several classes in multiple departments.  It’s no surprise to me that PBS hired her based on her work.”

Now, all incoming students have the opportunity to create an online presence like Murphy, through the Domain of One’s Own initiative, launched in August 2013. The pioneering project provides free, personal domain names and web hosting to help students take responsibility for their online identities, as well as explore the implications of what it might mean for them to take control of their work and manage their own portfolios.

“Mary Washington does a really great job of providing opportunities for students,” said Murphy. “A lot of departments are working really hard to integrate digital media into day to day classes and projects. The integration of creating a website, blog or video project to create content that is still valid and historical really provided something a traditional class didn’t.”

This article by Brynn Boyer was originally published at the EagleEye Newsletter on October 31st, 2013, and is republished here by permission.

Talking History: Convo’s about Research with UMW Faculty

The History and American Studies Department is kicking off a new series this fall in which faculty members will share informal conversations about their research projects as works in progress. See below for further details. Talks this fall will be held in Monroe 233. All are welcome!

Dr. Allyson Poska Awarded Waple Professorship

Dr. Allyson Poska, Professor of History at UMW, has been awarded the Waple Professorship. The Waple Professorship is a new program supported by a generous gift from the Waple family. Three professorships have been awarded in this inaugural year, one to a leading faculty member from each of the three colleges (Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education) at our university.

Dr. Poska’s award was in recognition for her study, Gendered Crossings:  Transatlantic Migration in the Spanish Empire.

Primarily a social historian, she regularly teaches upper-level courses on the histories of Spain and Latin America and frequently offers seminars dealing with gender issues. Her most recent book is Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia (2006) which won the Roland H. Bainton Prize given by the Sixteenth Century Studies Association to the best book in early modern history or theology.

In addition to her work at the Department of History and American Studies, Dr. Poska is currently director of UMW’s Women’s and Gender Studies program.

New Book by Dr. Steven Harris: “Communism on Tomorrow Street”

The History and American Studies Department is happy to announce that Dr. Steven Harris’ book, Communism on Tomorrow Street: Mass Housing and Everyday Life after Stalin, was recently published by the Woodrow Wilson Center Press and the Johns Hopkins University Press.

Book description:

This book examines how, beginning under Khrushchev in 1953, a generation of Soviet citizens moved from the overcrowded communal dwellings of the Stalin era to modern single-family apartments, later dubbed khrushchevka. Arguing that moving to a separate apartment allowed ordinary urban dwellers to experience Khrushchev’s thaw, Steven E. Harris fundamentally shifts interpretation of the thaw, conventionally understood as an elite phenomenon.

Harris focuses on the many participants eager to benefit from and influence the new way of life embodied by the khrushchevka, its furniture, and its associated consumer goods. He examines activities of national and local politicians, planners, enterprise managers, workers, furniture designers and architects, elite organizations (centrally involved in creating cooperative housing), and ordinary urban dwellers. Communism on Tomorrow Street also demonstrates the relationship of Soviet mass housing and urban planning to international efforts at resolving the “housing question” that had been studied since the nineteenth century and led to housing developments in Western Europe, the United States, and Latin America as well as the USSR.