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.


Dr. Allyson Poska Interviewed in USA Today

Poska_Allyson_170Dr. Allyson Poska, Professor of History and a specialist in the histories of Spain and Latin America, was interviewed recently for an article in USA Today. See “Study: Crew that Sailed with Columbus Suffered Scurvy” for a look at the challenges faced by colonizers in the Caribbean’s Spanish settlements of the 1490s.

Faculty News: Dr. Kimberly Kutz Wins Dissertation Award

kutz_photoDr. Kimberly Kutz of UMW’s History and American Studies Department recently won the 2014 Hay-Nicolay Award for the best dissertation about Abraham Lincoln’s life, career, or legacy, presented by the Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute.  She’ll be accepting the award at the ALI Annual Symposium at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on March 22.

Dr. Kutz’s dissertation (“Lincoln’s Ghosts: The Posthumous Career of an American Icon” UNC-Chapel Hill, 2013) examines the perception that Abraham Lincoln’s “spirit” remained in the United States after his death through a range of representations in popular culture: spirit photographs, stage actors and Lincoln presenters, paintings, the Walt Disney Lincoln Audioanimatron, and pilgrimage sites.  She argues that these representations continued to debate whether the Civil War was about emancipation or saving the Union by attempting to solve the question of whether Lincoln would have approved of African American equality – by trying to “bring him to life” to give a definitive answer.

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

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

Dr. Jeffrey McClurken Featured on C-Span

In a recent C-Span interview, Professor of History Jeff McClurken discusses the difficulties families faced  after the United States Civil War as their loved ones returned from the conflict.  McClurken, author of Take Care of the Living: Reconstruction of Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia, explores the consequences of the war for more than 3,000 Confederate soldiers and their families in Virginia. See the video above for more.

Students and Faculty Present Papers at OHMAR Joint Meeting

Professor Jess Rigelhaupt and three history students, Josephine Appiah, Kelsey Matthews, and Kendall Simonpietri, presented papers at the joint meeting of the Society for the History in the Federal Government (SHFG) and Oral History Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) on April 4, 2013. The panel, “Rosie the Riveter Revisited: Oral History, Digital History, and Memories of the World War II Home Front,” was based on work from Professor Rigelhaupt’s fall 2012 oral history course. The panel discussed the public history website,, that was built as part of the course and students presented research based on their interviews. Professor Rigelhaupt presented a paper on teaching oral history. Dr. Lu Ann Jones, a historian with the National Park Service served as the commentator.

Professor Rigelhaupt introduces the panel.

SHFG/OHMAR-Panel Introduction, “Rosie the Riveter Revisited” from UMW History on Vimeo.

Josephine Appiah, “Reevaluating Our Cultural Understanding of World War II”

SHFG/OHMAR – Appiah, “Reevaluating Our Cultural Understanding of World War II” from UMW History on Vimeo.

Kelsey Matthews, “A Personal Perspective: Oral Histories of the World War II Homefront”

SHFG/OHMAR – Matthews, “A Personal Perspective: Oral Histories of the World War II Homefront” from UMW History on Vimeo.

Kendall Simonpietri, “Not Everyone’s Rosie: Different Reactions to the Interview Process”

SHFG/OHMAR – Simonpietri, “Not Everyone’s Rosie: Different Reactions to the Interview Process” from UMW History on Vimeo.

Jess Rigelhaupt, “Born Digital: Teaching Oral History to Create Public History”

SHFG/OHMAR – Rigelhaupt, “Born Digital: Teaching Oral History to Create Public History” from UMW History on Vimeo.

Commentator and Audience Q & A

SHFG/OHMAR – Q & A from UMW History on Vimeo.