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Faculty Accomplishments

September 30, 2022

Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling

Written by April Winz • September 30, 2022

Ryan Tucker Jones, professor of History, published a new book titled Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling (University of Chicago Press, 2022).  

Red Leviathan discusses the role played by the Soviet Union in endangering whale populations while, at the same time, contributing to their scientific understanding through key discoveries made by Russian scientists on whaling vessels. By basing his account on Soviet archives and interviews with ex-whalers, Jones offers a complex history on the Soviet Union’s whaling practices and community relationships with the whaling industry.  

“The oceans may have been, as Peter the Great said, windows to the West, but oceans were also windows into Russia. They, and the whales that lived in them, symbolized many of the things Russians felt they themselves lacked. Russia’s pre-revolutionary whaling history offers numerous examples of these frustrations, as well as many wild schemes designed to right Russia’s relationship with the ocean. And it is this history of failure and resentment that is essential for understanding the motivations that much later drove Soviet whalers to attack the world’s oceans when their chance finally arrived.” 

Ryan Tucker Jones is a professor of history, specializing in Russia and global environment, at the University of Oregon. He has authored two other books: Empire of Extinction: Russians and the Strange Beasts of the Sea and Across Species and Cultures: New Histories of Pacific Whaling (Co-authored with Angela Wanhalla).

April Winz is a communications specialist for the Department of History at the University of Oregon.

August 12, 2022

New Book by Goodman: The Suicide of Miss Xi

Written by April Winz • August 12, 2022


Bryna Goodman, professor of History, recently published a new book, The Suicide of Miss Xi: Democracy and Disenchantment in the Chinese Republic (Harvard University Press 2021).  

Death and Democracy

This book examines the suicide of Miss Xi, the first female employee of the Journal of Commerce newspaper, and the effects her death had on Shanghai. It discusses how Xi became a symbol for the failures and problems of the Chinese Republic in the early 1920s. By focusing on Shanghai and the suicide of Miss Xi, Goodman is able to examine how China’s early passage through democratic populism was navigated and to analyze an understudied area of early Republican politics in China.  

“The circumstances of Xi Shangzhen’s suicide and the events it unleased are crucial to understanding why and how, for the arbiters of Shanghai society, this suicide so ‘greatly shook public opinion’ that in the course of the ‘tremendous social furor’ that ensued, ‘not a pen remained dry.’ Some facts were quickly established. Others were mysterious, hinted at only in rumors, silences, odd behavior, or peculiar choices of words. Further material (some of it possibly manufactured) was unearthed, attested, and contested in investigations undertaken by journalists, public associations, and the Chinese court in the weeks and months that followed.” 

Bryna Goodman

Bryna Goodman is a professor of history, specializing in the history of modern China, at the University of Oregon. She has written extensively on early 20th century China with other works including Twentieth-Century Colonialism and China: Localities, the Everyday, and the World (co-authored with David Goodman) and Gender in Motion: Divisions of Labor and Cultural Change in Modern China (co-authored with Wendy Larson). 

April Winz is a communications specialist for the History Department and General Social Sciences Program at the University of Oregon.

February 7, 2022


The Eugene History Pub Talks is pleased to present

“A One-Man NAACP: Dick Gregory and the Black Freedom Struggle”
featuring Malcolm Frierson, visiting assistant professor of history, University of Oregon

Monday, February 21, 2022
7:00–8:30 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom

Please note, the event date was changed from February 14. This event is cosponsored by the University of Oregon’s Department of History, Lane County History Museum, and Viking Braggot Co. Open to the public and free to attend. For any questions, please email

Register for Event

Please register by 5:00 p.m., February 21 to receive Zoom event link.

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About the Speaker

Malcolm Frierson is a professor of African American history, specializing in the politics of African American culture in the twentieth century. His book, Freedom in Laughter (SUNY Press, 2020), investigates African American comedy as a tool of social mediation in the Civil Rights Movement.

Learn more about Frierson’s research and career in this article from the Register Guard, “Comedy intersects with Black history for visiting UO assistant professor Malcolm Frierson.”

book cover, Freedom in Laughter by Malcolm Frierson

January 3, 2022

History Pub Talk with Vera Keller

Please join us for the next Eugene History Pub talk:

“Allen Hendershott Eaton (1878-1962), Rural Craft, and the History of Collections at UO”
featuring Vera Keller, University of Oregon Department of History
Monday, January 10, 2022
7:00–8:30 p.m. PST
Live via Zoom (registration required, see below)

This event is cosponsored by the University of Oregon’s Department of History, Lane County History Museum, and Viking Braggot Co. Open to the public and free to attend. For any questions, please email

Register for Event

Please register by 5:00 p.m., January 10 to receive Zoom event link.

This event has passed.


Vera Keller discusses the early history of the University of Oregon, the role of the arts and crafts movement in Eugene, and the ways that a certain political view of craft shaped campus and its collections. The topic centers on Allen Hendershott Eaton, UO class of ’02, who has been all over the news recently for the collection of objects made by Japanese Americans in internment camps, which has recently been acquired by the Japanese American National Museum and has been touring the country.

Eaton championed cultural diversity in craft throughout his national career and worked to increase access to art collections, including by designing exhibitions for the blind. He also founded the first art and bookstore in Eugene in 1902, where he hosted art shows and artists such as the celebrated Japanese painter Ikka Nagai. Although Eaton was kicked out of UO in 1918 for attending a pacifist event, he remained thoroughly involved in UO affairs (and in fact returned to teach summer school).

However, Eaton has been rather forgotten locally; his home on Eaton Drive in Fairmont was torn down a few years ago.

About the Speaker

Vera Keller is an associate professor and department head of the UO Department of History. She is also  researches the emergence of experimental science in early modern Europe. Her first book, Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575–1725 (Cambridge UP, 2015), explores the effects of new theories and practices of political “reason of state” and interest upon knowledge.

Learn more about Keller’s research and publications

November 17, 2021

History Faculty Grant Projects

The College of Arts and Sciences published a report of externally funded research projects that UO faculty have been engaged in during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years. This recognition list includes the work of several history faculty, demonstrating the diverse scope of research that UO historians are involved in.

old-fashioned globe showing African continent

Lindsay Frederick Braun

Cultures of Colonial Compilation: Collecting and Mapping Knowledge in Southern Africa, 1850–1910
Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences

As an NIAS Fellow, Lindsay Frederick Braun examined the history of mapping and book collecting in settler colonies and republics of southern Africa prior to 1910. This research addresses questions of curated knowledge the impact on the local and global perceptions of colonial spaces.

rocks under water

Mark Carey

Dissertation Grant: The Seafloor and Society: How Technological Development on the Ocean Floor Transformed North America
National Science Foundation

Mark Carey’s doctoral dissertation research analyzes seafloor histories in the Northeast Pacific Ocean during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the developments of offshore oil drilling, undersea cable systems for Internet and international phone traffic, and scientific observatories.

Chinese junk boats at harbor in front of skyscraper buildings

Bryna Goodman

Finance and Fortune: Economics, Individual Calculation, and the Fate of the Chinese Republic
National Humanities Center

Bryna Goodman spent the 2020-21 year in residence at the National Humanities Center, working on her book Finance and Fortune: Economics, Individual Calculation, and the Fate of the Chinese Republic, about the imagination of finance in twentieth-century China.

laptop keyboard with higana characters

Jeff Hanes

Oregon-Vietnam-Japan Collaboration and Exchange Project
Japan Foundation

The Oregon-Vietnam-Japan Exchange and Collaboration (OVJEC) Project works with partner universities in the United States, Japan, and Vietnam to promote the field of Japanese Studies. To date, the OVJEC Project has already enjoyed many successes including a kick-off conference at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, academic residencies, professional development workshops, networking and mentorship programs, translation initiatives, and multiple discussions on curriculum and pedagogy.

museum display of dinosaur fossils

Vera Keller

Curating the German Enlightenment: Johann Daniel Major (1634–1693) and the Experimental Century
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Vera Keller was awarded a year-long Guggenheim Fellowship to work on her third book project, Curating the German Enlightenment: Johann Daniel Major (1634–1693) and the Experimental Century. This research explores the polymathic construction of research disciplines and Johann Daniel Major’s “science” of museum organization.

logo from Nuestro South podcast

Julie Weise

Nuestro South
Whiting Foundation

The Nuestro South podcast was created in 2019 to highlight Southern Latinx representation in regional history, specifically focused on Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina. With the help of this grant, the podcast has added a new season and is expanding into YouTube with a three-part series hosted by Latinx youth.

protest sign reading "Climate Justice Now!"

Marsha Weisiger and Mark Carey

with John Arroyo, Laura Pulido, Ana-Maurine Lara, Stephanie LeMenager, Kathy Lynn, James Meacham, and Joanna Merson

Pacific Northwest Just Futures Institute for Racial and Climate Justice
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Just Futures Institute (JFI) is a three-year joint initiative with the University of Idaho and Whitman College and will be housed in the UO Center for Environmental Futures. Through partnerships, collaborative research, and multidisciplinary projects focused on climate change and racial justice, the institute will address inequalities experienced by historically underrepresented communities of the Pacific Northwest region.

May 24, 2021

Reclaiming the Black Past

event poster

Don’t miss the final History Pub Talk of the year!

“Reclaiming the Black Past: Black Women in Pacific Northwest History”

Quin’Nita Cobbins-Modica, visiting assistant professor, UO Department of History

Monday, June 14, 2021
7:00–8:00 p.m. PDT
Liva via Zoom (RSVP required)

This event is cosponsored by the University of Oregon’s Department of History, Lane County History Museum, and Viking Braggot Co. Please RSVP by 5:00 p.m. on June 14 in order to attend.

RSVP for Event

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1948 Convention of the National Association of Colored Women

24th convention for The National Association of Colored Women in Seattle, Washington, 1948. Photo credit: Albert J. Smith, Sr./MOHAI

About the Speaker

photo of Quin'Nita Cobbins-Modica

Professor Quin’Nita Cobbins-Modica is a scholar of African American history whose research centers on black women and politics in the American West. She completed her PhD in 2018 at the University of Washington and has spent the last two years as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Gonzaga University. She is currently completing revisions on a book manuscript, Black Emeralds: African American Women’s Activism and Politics in Seattle, which explores the political engagement, resistance strategies, and community building efforts of black women across the twentieth-century. This activism went well beyond formal politics and the fight for women’s suffrage, extending into unions, businesses, social services, and community organizations. Cobbins-Modica is attentive to the diversity of approaches taken by African American women activists, who were sometimes at odds with one another even when fighting similar forms of oppression and exclusion. While illuminating African American history in the Pacific Northwest, Black Emeralds offers an expansive new interpretation of the relationship between women’s activism, the Civil Rights movement, and public service.

Cobbins-Modica teaches courses focused on Black history, African American women, Civil Rights, and the American West. Her creative pedagogy involves multiple forms of learning, including engaging students in digital humanities work. As the Executive Director and Webmaster of, Prof. Cobbins-Modica has developed her own and others’ public-facing scholarship on the African American experience.


April 26, 2021

New Book on the History of Mahjong

Page updated May 21, 2021

Assistant professor Annelise Heinz has published a new book, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2021). This book explores a previously untold story of how the Chinese game mahjong was brought into American culture, including the changes it brought to the lives of American women.

Click-click-click. The sound of mahjong tiles connects American expatriates in Shanghai, Jazz Age white Americans, urban Chinese Americans in the 1930s, incarcerated Japanese Americans in wartime, Jewish American suburban mothers, and Air Force officers’ wives in the postwar era.

Heinz discusses this history in her article for The Wall Street Journal, “How Mahjong Became American.” She points out that the rising fad of mahjong actually coincided with a period of American nativism and, by the mid-20th century, even became “a hallmark of Jewish American culture.”

book cover


The Tablet: “How Mahjong Became American—and Jewish”

Jewish Book Council: “Bungalow Colonies and Mahjong Summers”


Learn more about the history of mahjong in America with one of these upcoming virtual events. Events are free and open to the public, but advance registration may be required.

May 27
5:00–6:00 p.m. PDT
Conversation with Katherine Marino of UCLA and Judy Tzu-Chun Wu of UC Irvine

June 3
10:00 a.m. PDT
OUP History Book Club, with Madeline Hsu

Interviews and Recorded Events

NPR 1A, A ‘Ton’ Of Fun: How Mahjong Became A U.S. Phenomenon”

Time Magazine, “What the Surprising History of Mah-johngg Can Teach Us About America”

Moment Magazine Zoominar, “Crack, Bam, Dot: The Sounds and Stories of Mahjong with Author Annelise Heinz and Moment Deputy Editor Sarah Breger”

Virtual Book Talk at Eldridge Street Museum, with a focus on New York City’s role

USF Asia-Pacific Center lecture, with a focus on Chinese American History

An informal conversation about mahjong’s history and research with “Modern Mahjong”

Virtual Lecture at University of San Francisco

Annelise Heinz

photo of Annelise Heinz

Annelise Heinz teaches at the University of Oregon’s Department of History, specializing on modern American history and the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. Heinz is also the author of Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2021). Learn more about Professor Heinz’s work: Department of History Faculty

March 19, 2021

Caste in Translation?

Join the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics for this research talk:

“Caste in Translation? Community, Genotyping, and Risk in Postgenomic India and Its Diasporas”

Arafaat Valiani, Wayne Morse Resident Scholar and Associate Professor of History
Commentary by Vera Keller, Associate Professor of History

Friday, April 16, 2021
10:00 a.m. PST

This talk explores one of several recent initiatives in genomics which seek to produce genetic maps of caste-based communities among populations in South Asia and its diasporas. It reviews scholarly publications about these initiatives, along with reports in the media, in order to trace how principal investigators and public commentators construct an epistemology of comparison and difference in the context of the genotyping of caste among South Asians.

Arafaat Valiani is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oregon. His current research focuses on biomedicine/biotechnology and population genetics in South Asia and among Asian populations in North America, employing methods from medical sociology, indigenous science and technology studies, and South Asian Studies. Valiani’s first book, Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (Palgrave 2011), combined history and ethnography to examine the effects of ethno-religious, medical, and masculine conceptions of the body on the formation of political community in modern India.

Additional Zoom meeting info:

Meeting ID: 975 1868 4466
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March 18, 2021

Daniel Pope on Failed Nuclear Aspirations

Daniel Pope discusses the failed aspirations of nuclear power in Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective. The article, “The Unkept Promise of Nuclear Power,” looks at the renewed attention towards nuclear power as a carbon-free option. However, Pope frames the promise of clean, affordable energy amid a history of failures and disasters of nuclear power.

“The quest to use the peaceful atom to build a utopian future has been marked by limited success, by failures and diminished hopes, and by an uncertain future. Today nuclear power generates about one fifth of the United States’ electric supply and roughly the same fraction of the world’s output.”

Read the full article at

Daniel Pope is a Professor Emeritus with the University of Oregon’s History Department. He specializes in United States business and economic history, as well as the history of nuclear power.

Origins is an online magazine published by the History Departments at the Ohio State University and Miami University. Each monthly publication includes topical interest articles from industry experts, essays, book reviews, news from the worldwide historian community, and more.

December 2, 2020

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

title page of historians brief

History professor Ellen Herman provides crucial historical information to a Supreme Court case on religious freedom, at the request of the ACLU.

Herman worked with Michael Grossberg, Indiana University Bloomington, and Catherine Rymph, University of Missouri, to coauthor the brief, to which four other historians signed on after the brief was finished.

The area of controversy in this case is whether foster case funding that comes from taxpayers can be legally used by sectarian agencies who wish to express ideas that they consider a matter of religious freedom but others consider a matter of discrimination. A major example of this is marriage or, more specifically, same-sex marriage. The Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case came about after religious-based foster care agencies refused same-sex couples as foster parents.

The brief provided by Herman, Grossberg, and Rymph argues that child foster care has been a “state prerogative” since colonial times, especially in the last 100 years.

More About This Story

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia—Amicus Brief of Voice for Adoption Et Al

UO prof’s amicus brief is part of Supreme Court foster care case

Ellen Herman

November 9, 2020

New Book on Peruvian History

book cover

Carlos Aguirre, University of Oregon Department of History, has just published the book Alberto Flores Galindo. Utopía, historia y revolución (Lima, La Siniestra Ensayos, 2020), coauthored with Charles Walker (University of California, Davis).

The book addresses different aspects of the work and life of the late Marxist Peruvian historian Alberto Flores Galindo (1949–1990), including his role as a public intellectual, his views about Peruvian independence, his interpretations of political violence in the 1980s, his relationship with the Cuban revolution, and the way in which his passion for literature infused his work as a historian.
Carlos Aguirre is a professor of history specializing in the history of modern Peru and Latin America. He has written extensively on the history of slavery and abolition, crime and punishment, political imprisonment, intellectuals, print culture, and archives.
July 28, 2020

Revolution and Republicanism in Venezuela

Don’t miss this new article by Reuben Zahler, associate professor of history, in the recent edition of the Journal of World History.

“How Civic Virtue Became Republican Honor: Revolution and Republicanism in Venezuela, 1800-1840”

As an ideology, civic virtue inspired rebellion throughout the Age of Revolution, most famously in the US and France but also in the Spanish American independence movements of the 1810-20s. Throughout the Atlantic world, however, the appeal of virtue faded, usually within a decade after the violent phase of each revolution. This article explores the rise and fall of civic virtue in Venezuela, which adopted this North Atlantic ideology but then abandoned it within a decade of achieving independence. The investigation identifies three factors that challenged the persistence of virtue as an ideology in Venezuela: the power of regionalism, the increasing allure of liberalism, and the difficulty that most people faced in acquiring virtue. In addition, the article explores how the culture of honor transformed after independence to incorporate several characteristics of virtue. While virtue disappeared from public discourse, many of its features persisted in the new honor code.

Journal of World History
University of Hawai’i Press
Volume 31, Number 2, June 2020
pp. 391-424

“A court martial convicted Leonardo Infante, a cavalry colonel, of murdering a fellow officer and sentenced him to death. The sentence came before the Supreme Court for approval, and the justices divided evenly on whether the crime warranted death. Consequently, the chief justice was obliged to cast the tie-breaking vote. Miguel Peña asserted that the death penalty required support from a majority of the justices and therefore voted against the sentence. The military judges, embarrassed and angered that a civilian court could over rule them, brought impeachment charges against Peña. The hearings went first before the House of Representatives and then to the Senate. Ultimately, both houses of Congress found Peña derelict in his duty and removed him from office.” Continue reading on Project MUSE

Professor Reuben Zahler studies Latin America during the Age of Revolution. He has published articles on the evolving political and legal culture across the long nineteenth century, as the region transformed from colonies to independent, liberal republics. His book, Ambitious Rebels: Remaking Honor, Law, and Liberalism in Venezuela, 1780–1850, focuses on Venezuelan honor and law in order to understand the complications that arise as a people, with little history of liberal institutions, attempt to adopt civil rights, capitalism, and democracy. His current project examines the lives of female criminals and these poor, mostly non-white women were repressed by that state and society as part of a larger agenda.

May 19, 2020

Allison Madar Awarded Kluge Fellowship

Allison Madar, assistant professor of History at the University of Oregon, has been recently been awarded the 2020 Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress.

The John W. Kluge Center was established by the Library of Congress to encourage humanistic and social science research. Twelve fellowships are awarded each year to select scholars “with special consideration given to those whose projects demonstrate relevance to contemporary challenges,” according to the Kluge Center website.

Allison Madar

Allison Madar is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. She will use her fellowship to research and write a book that examines the legal and social dynamics of servitude in 18th century Virginia.

May 1, 2020

History Faculty Awarded Fellowships in Humanistic Study

Professor Carlos Aguirre and Associate Professor Julie Weise have both been awarded a 2020–21 Presidential Fellowship in Humanistic Study.

The Presidential Fellowship awards provide funding support to faculty research and projects in the arts and humanities. Recipients have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative accomplishments within the creative arts, humanities, or humanistic social sciences.

Carlos Aguirre is a social historian specialized in the history of modern Peru and Latin America. His current project is “The Inner History of the Latin American Literary Book.”

Julie Weise is an interdisciplinary historian exploring themes of identity, citizenship, migration, race, and nations in hemispheric and global context. Her current project is “Moving Citizens: Migrant Political Cultures in the Era of State Control.”

April 24, 2020

Goodman Named National Humanities Center Fellow

Bryna Goodman, professor of history and affiliated with Asian studies, was selected as one of the 2020–21 National Humanities Center Fellows.

The National Humanities Center is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study of the humanities. Out of 673 applicants from around the world, only 33 were selected for the 2020–21 fellowships. Each Fellow will work on an individual research project and will have the opportunity to share ideas in seminars, lectures, and conferences at the Center.

Bryna Goodman

Bryna Goodman is a professor of Chinese history. This fellowship will help fund research time and resources for her work on “Finance and Fortune: Economics, Calculation, and the Fate of the Chinese Republic.” Learn more about Bryna Goodman

April 9, 2020

UO Historian Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Vera Keller has been awarded a year-long fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation for her research project “Curating the German Enlightenment: Johann Daniel Major (1634–1693) and the Experimental Century.”

Guggenheim Fellows

The Guggenheim Fellowship is one of the most prominent awards given to scholars and artists in the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the creative arts. According to the Guggenheim Foundation, these grants are intensively competitive and are offered only to advance professionals “who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” The purpose of the fellowship is to provide scholars and creators with as much freedom as possible with which to produce bodies of work in their fields.

The 2020 fellows were announced on April 8, 2020, awarding just 175 scholars, artists, and writers from selection of almost 3,000 applicants.

Vera Keller

Vera Keller

Photo Credit: Marty Moore

Vera Keller is an associate professor for the University of Oregon’s Department of History, and she is a historian of science of early modern Europe. Keller’s research looks at how late 17th-century German academics sought to rein in, winnow, connect and re-order three previous epistemic cultures: the court culture explored in my first book, mercantile and medical collecting networks, and pansophic erudition. Learn more about Vera Keller at

November 6, 2019

Jeff Ostler Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

WHA logo

Congratulations go out to Jeffrey Ostler, who has been honored by the Western History Association with the American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Western History Association was founded in 1961 for the purpose of promoting the study of the North American West. For the last twenty years, the WHA has selected one person per year “who has served in the trenches on all fronts to advance Indian History,” particularly through scholarship and mentoring of students.

book cover

With the publication of his recent book, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas (Yale University Press, 2019), Ostler solidified his reputation as one of the nation’s leading scholars of American Indian history. He has worked to support American Indian Studies at the University of Oregon and to expand research and teaching about Native histories throughout the U.S. His books and articles have won numerous prizes, and his work is assigned to thousands of students every year.

Learn more about Jeff Ostler

July 12, 2019

Congratulations to Jeff Ostler

photo of Jeff Ostler

Jeff Ostler is Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History. Along with associate professor Vera Keller, he is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Fellow in Humanistic Studies award.

This new fellowship provides funding support to faculty research and projects in the arts and humanities. Recipients of the award have demonstrated exceptional scholarly or creative accomplishments. Learn more about the Presidential Fellows in Humanistic Studies awards.

About Jeff Ostler

Jeff Ostler specializes in the history of the American West, with a particular focus on American Indian history. His recent book, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas (Yale University Press, 2019), takes a detailed look at the genocidal removal of Native people during U.S. expansion from the 1750s to the start of the Civil War.

July 10, 2019

A New Fellowship for Vera Keller

headshot of Vera Keller

Congratulations go out to associate professor Vera Keller, who has been named a 2019 Presidential Fellow in Humanistic Studies, along with fellow History faculty member Jeff Ostler.

Earlier this year, the UO announced that President Schill would fund a new set of fellowships to support faculty arts and humanities research and creative projects. These awards, of $13,000 each, are supported by discretionary donor funds and are intended to support productive scholars in their professional development and scholarship. Learn more about the Presidential Fellows in Humanistic Studies awards.

About Vera Keller

Vera Keller, a historian of science of early modern Europe, has been quite active lately giving talks and presentations about her research. Specifically, Keller looks at human curiosity and the history of scientific research. Her current project, tentatively titled The Experimental Century: Curating the Early German Enlightenment, examines the work of 17th-century German academics and experimental science.

May 22, 2019

UO Today with Lindsey Mazurek

Catch the latest episode of UO Today, featuring assistant professor Lindsey Mazurek. Here she discusses material culture and the cult of Isis in ancient Greece during Roman occupation. She also discusses her work with the Mediterranean Connectivity Project, a digital humanities initiative that maps social connectivity during the Roman Empire.

Lindsey Mazurek is a specialist in ancient history with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean under the Roman Empire. She previously held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and taught in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Bucknell University. Her research focuses on questions of ethnicity, migration, materiality, and identification in antiquity.

UO Today is a half-hour television interview program hosted by the Oregon Humanities Center that highlights the work of UO faculty and administrators. You can view episode #743 with Lindsey Mazurek on on multiple platforms:


UO Channel


May 20, 2019

Nuestro South Podcast

Check out this new podcast, co-produced by Julie Weise, associate professor of History, along with Ricky Hurtado and Erik Valera.

podcast logo

Click Here to Listen

Nuestro South Podcast is five-part series that explores the stories of Latina/o/x people in the U.S. south from the Jim Crow era on through to the present. The first two episodes are now available for listening, beginning with Episode #1, “A time Mexicans lived as Europeans in New Orleans.” This episodes takes a look at New Orleans nearly a century ago and the experiences of Mexican immigrants that were able to “blend in” to whiteness.

You can listen to Nuestro South Podcast on several of your favorite podcast platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

This podcast is made possible by support from the Whiting Foundation, University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences, and LatinxEd.

About Julie Weise

Julie Weise is an interdisciplinary historian exploring themes of identity, citizenship, migration, race, and nations in hemispheric and global context. She teaches topical courses on race and immigration for the University of Oregon’s Department of History, including a bilingual Latinxs in the Americas course that she co-developed with Claudia Holguín Mendoza, an assistant professor of Spanish linguistics at the University of California, Riverside.

April 15, 2019

The Experimental Century: Curating the Early German Enlightenment

night photo of Milky Way galaxy

The Department of History’s own Vera Keller will give a Work-in-Progress talk, hosted by the Oregon Humanities Center.

“The Experimental Century: Curating the Early German Enlightenment”

Friday, April 19, 2019
Noon–1:25 p.m.
OHC Conference Room (159 PLC)

The Works-in-Progress series features talks by humanities faculty and graduate students on their current research or recently published books. All talks take place on Fridays at noon in the OHC Conference Room, 159 PLC. These are free and open to the public. Brown-bag lunches are welcome. Seating is limited, so early arrival is recommended.

Please direct disability accommodation requests to the Oregon Humanities Center at 541-346-3934.

Oregon Humanities Center logo

About Vera Keller

Vera Keller is an associate professor with the UO Department of History and a 2018-19 OHC Faculty Research Fellow. Her work primarily focuses on the history of science in early Modern Europe. Keller’s first book, Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725 (Cambridge, 2015), explored the once novel idea, now a truism, that knowledge should “serve the public interest.” She has also authored or co-authored numerous articles, most recently, “Deprogramming Baconianism: The meaning of desiderata in the eighteenth century” for Notes and Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.

April 3, 2019

The Rise and Fall of the Mexican New Deal

Congratulations go out to Julie Weise for her contribution to the newly published Shaped by the State: Toward a New Political History of the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

book cover

This book incorporates the writings of diverse scholars to analyze how American political history has been formed by underlining “structures of state power” such as race and gender, as opposed to more typical analyses based on moments of high-profile national crisis.

Weise, in her chapter titled “La revolución institucional: The Rise and Fall of the Mexican New Deal in the U.S. South, 1920–1990,” examines the bracero program, which allowed millions of Mexican laborers to work temporarily in the United States, and the role played by these migrant workers in the politics of the New Deal era.

Learn more about Shaped by the State.

About Julie Weise

Julie Weise is an interdisciplinary historian exploring themes of identity, citizenship, migration, race, and nations in hemispheric and global context. She teaches topical courses on race and immigration for the University of Oregon’s Department of History, including a bilingual Latinxs in the Americas course that she co-developed with Claudia Holguín Mendoza, an assistant professor of Spanish linguistics at the University of California, Riverside.

Weise’s first book, Corazon de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), won the Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians in 2016. Her current project, “Citizenship Displaced: Migrant Political Cultures in the Era of State Control,” seeks to place Mexico-U.S. migration in a global context.

February 22, 2019

Launch of Red Thread

Celebrate the launch of the Red Thread digital project and traveling scriptorium with an open reception:

Thursday, March 7, 2019
4:00–5:30 p.m.
Knight Library DREAM Lab

medieval painting

March 7, Knight Library DREAM Lab

About the Exhibition

Red Thread is a digital exhibition that explores the history of red pigments and the varied use of the color in material culture throughout civilizations. Featured objects in this exhibition come from the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum, and Knight Library’s Special Collections and University Archives. The exhibition is co-curated by Vera Keller, historian of science with the UO Department of History, with contributions of student research from Keller’s course Global History of Color, 1400-1900.

Accompanying the digital exhibition is a traveling scriptorium of rare books and manuscripts from Special Collections.

This project is supported by the UO Libraries Digital Scholarship Center Faculty Grants Program; Oregon Humanities Center’s Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities; and the Department of History.

portrait of Vera Keller

About Vera Keller

Vera Keller is an associate professor of history, specializing in the history of science in early modern Europe. Her first book, Knowledge and the Public Interest, 1575-1725 (Cambridge, 2015), explored the once novel idea, now a truism, that knowledge should “serve the public interest.” She has also authored or co-authored numerous articles, most recently, “Deprogramming Baconianism: The meaning of desiderata in the eighteenth century” for Notes and Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.

February 20, 2019

Digital Humanities on Visualizing the Mediterranean

Hayley Brazier interviews Lindsey Mazurek, assistant professor of ancient history, about the Mediterranean Connectivity Initiative—a project focused on globalization around the Mediterranean Sea.

You can listen to the podcast of Visualizing the Mediterranean: A Conversation with Professor Lindsey Mazurek at DH@UO.

screenshot of DH@UO website

The Mediterranean Connectivity

The Mediterranean Connectivity Initiative, formerly known as the Ostia Connectivity Project, “combines GIS and Social Network Analysis to reconstruct potential social groupings and their participation in the urban fabric of Rome’s main port city of Ostia.” Lindsey Mazurek co-directs this project with other experts on archaeology and social history. Mazurek is a specialist in ancient history with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean under the Roman Empire. She is also interested in questions of globalization and social networks in the Mediterranean.


Digital Humanities at the University of Oregon (DH@UO) is a campus group working to develop the growing interdisciplinary field of digital humanities by building an inclusive community of digital humanities teachers and scholars. The DH@UO website and weekly blog includes scholarly resources, announcements about workshops and events, and information about the new Digital Humanities minor offered through the Department of English.

About Hayley Brazier

Hayley Brazier is the DH Program Coordinator for Digital Humanities at the University of Oregon. She is a Graduate Employee and PhD candidate with the Department of History, researching environmental history and seabed technologies. In addition, she has a background in museum studies and historic preservation.


February 8, 2019

The Autism History Project

The Autism History Project is a new website that provides an extensive exploration of autism and a multitude of information sources together within one archive.

The website was created by Ellen Herman, a professor of History at the University of Oregon. Herman is also a codirector of the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics and the vice provost for Academic Affairs. The project was based on work supported by the UO through a Summer Research Award as well as a Fellowship form the American Council of Learned Societies.

Launched in January 2019, the website is now available to anyone interested in learning about autism. Included is a timeline of key events in recognition and understanding of autism, biographies on prominent people in autism history, and a breakdown of vocabulary that has shaped society’s perception of autism. The site is also a resource for information about the history of medicine, human sciences, and social welfare.

February 6, 2019

The Seattle General Strike of 1919

front page of newspaper from 1919

This week marked the 100-year anniversary of the Seattle General Strike, a five-day period that saw nearly half of the city’s workforce walking off their jobs in protest of low wages. Though the strike was a comparatively short event, its effect on society was lasting and far-reaching.

“the Seattle General Strike offers an important lesson about the power of organized laborer”

Steven Beda, assistant professor with an interest in labor history, discusses this event in this piece, Why the Seattle General Strike of 1919 should inspire a new generation of labor activists, posted to The Conversation. Beda explains what factors led thousands of workers to strike, and what lessons we can derive from their story.

“In my view,” Beda writes, “the story of this particular strike is surprisingly hopeful for the future of labor. And I believe it holds lessons for today’s labor activists—whether they’re striking teachers in West Virginia or Arizona, mental health workers in California or Google activists in offices across the world.”

January 10, 2019

UO Today: Annelise Heinz and Mahjong in American Culture


Learn about mahjong and the role this popular Chinese game plays in American culture, with Annelise Heinz on UO Today.

Annelise Heinz is an assistant professor of History here at the University of Oregon, specializing in modern American history. Her work also engages with the growing field of transpacific history, examining the flows of people, goods, and ideas between the United States and China from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century. Her current book project, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture, explores the American history of the Chinese parlor game mahjong, and how its history helps us understand redefinitions of gender, ethnicity, and consumerism in modern American culture.

mahjong game tile

Heinz discusses her research on UO Today, a half-hour television interview program hosted by the Oregon Humanities Center that highlights the work of UO faculty and administrators. You can view episode #726 with Annelise Heinz on YouTube or the UO Channel.


January 4, 2019

Establishing Latin American Studies in the United Kingdom

Gabe Paquette, professor of history and Dean of the Robert D. Clark Honors College, has a new article with the prestigious Historical Journal (UK), “The “Parry Report’ (1965) and the Establishment of Latin American Studies in the United Kingdom.” This article deals with the geopolitical and academic factors that gave rise to Latin American Studies as an established discipline in the United Kingdom.

View the full text article and learn more about this topic at Cambridge Core.

Article Abstract:

This article examines the origins of the ‘Parry Report’ (1965), the implementation of which led to the massive expansion of Latin American Studies in the United Kingdom. Drawing on material from several archives, the article argues that the Report was the product of a peculiar geopolitical conjuncture—decolonization, the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Britain’s rejection from the European Economic Community—that prompted the Foreign Office to convene a group of academics (and selected others) from institutions then in the process of formalizing links with US-based private foundations. It seeks to show how extramural and intramural factors, geopolitics and academic politics, combined to generate an interdisciplinary area study that survived long after the conditions that had given rise to its genesis had disappeared.

Gabe Paquette is a Professor of History, with a secondary appointment in International Studies. His research focuses on aspects of European, Latin American, and International History. He has co-edited a new special issue of the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (vol. 24, no. 2), entitled “New directions in the political history of the Spanish-Atlantic world, c. 1750–1850.”


Wings: History of the Black Panther Party

In November 2018, the Department of History’s own Professor Curtis Austin presented one of four talks in the 2018 Wings: UO Presidential Speaker Series in Portland.

Hosted by University of Oregon President Michael Schill, the Wings series consists of curated talks and performances to highlight the research, innovation and creativity of UO professors. This session included diverse topics on natural disaster monitoring, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Black Power Movement, as well as a chamber choir performance.

Curtis Austin’s talk, “History of the Black Panther Party”, addressed the context, development, and meanings around the Black Panther Party, which had primarily become a community service organization providing health checkups and daily breakfast to more than 25,000 children across the country. Later, an FBI counter intelligence program looked to radicalize the group.

Watch the recording of Austin’s talk on YouTube.

Curtis Austin is an associate professor for the UO Department of History, specializing in civil rights and the Black Power Movement. He is the author of Up Against the Wall: Violence in the Making and Unmaking of the Black Panther Party.

January 3, 2019

French Translation on the Plains Sioux

Jeffrey Ostler is the Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History. He specializes in the history of the American West, with a particular focus on American Indian history. His book, The Plains Sioux and U.S. Colonialism from Lewis and Clark to Wounded Knee (Cambridge University Press, 2004), is now available to a wide French-speaking audience.

The French edition of Ostler’s book, translated by Florence Moreau and Alexandre Prouvèze, is available from Éditions du Rocher.

book cover English editionbook cover French edition

From the Back Cover:

This volume presents an overview of the history of the Plains Sioux as they became increasingly subject to the power of the United States in the 1800s. Many aspects of the story—the Oregon Trail, military clashes, the deaths of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, and the Ghost Dance—are well-known. Besides providing fresh insights into familiar events, the book offers an in-depth look at many lesser-known facets of Sioux history and culture. Drawing on theories of colonialism, the book shows how the Sioux creatively responded to the challenges of U.S. expansion and domination, while at the same time revealing how U.S. power increasingly limited the autonomy of Sioux communities as the century came to a close. The concluding chapters of the book offer a compelling reinterpretation of the events that led to the Wounded Knee massacre of December 29, 1890.


Issu des plus récentes études sur les Sioux des Plaines, cet ouvrage est à ce jour l’un des plus abouti sur cette tribu qui, presque à elle seule, synthétise sur son nom la résistance et la funeste destinée des Indiens d’Amérique du Nord. Jeffrey Ostler démontre—avec solides arguments à l’appui, témoignages irréfutables de toutes les parties et documents officiels—comment l’Histoire peut aspirer dans sa spirale, pour mieux le broyer, un peuple entier comme les Sioux lakotas, notamment face au processus de colonisation qu’a, au départ, plus que symbolisé l’expédition de Lewis et Clark de 1804 ordonnée par le président Jefferson. Dans une parfaite et claire chronologie, Ostler rapporte les événements et les engrenages militaire, géopolitique, diplomatique, juridique et économique qui ont réduit à portion congrue les immenses contrées des Indiens des Plaines et tous les éléments ayant inéluctablement concouru au massacre de trois cents Sioux dans le Dakota du Sud, à Wounded Knee, en décembre 1890 quelques jours après le meurtre de Sitting Bull.
December 7, 2018

Vera Keller on the History of Curiosity

Catch Vera Keller on Jefferson Public Radio today, December 17, as she discusses the history of science and the history of curiosity itself. Listen live on the Jefferson Exchange at 8:00 a.m., or stream the recorded interview from the JPR website.

Vera Keller is primarily a historian of science of early modern Europe. She researches the origins of experimental science by looking at the intersections between technology, industry and political economy; craft and philosophy; sociability and science; and ideas of innovation, projects, and the public interest. In teaching the history of science, she refines her approach to the study of the history of curiosity.

JPR’s monthly “cUriOus: Research Meets Radio” segment is a continuing series that highlights research at the University of Oregon. You can listen to Keller’s interview and previous episodes from this series at

October 30, 2018

UO Today: History Professor Steven Beda on Labor Movements and Environmentalism

Steven Beda, assistant professor of History at the University of Oregon, discusses his research on labor movements in the timber industry and environmentalism in the Pacific Northwest during the 20th century. He talks about the tensions that arose between rural timber workers and urban industrial workers. His current book project is Strong Winds and Widow Makers: A History of Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in the Pacific Northwest Timber Country, 1900–present.

Watch this interview on YouTube or enjoy the podcast.

July 9, 2018
February 23, 2018

Congratulations Marsha Weisiger!

The American Council of Learned Societies has awarded a $141,000 Collaborative Research Grant to Marsha Weisiger, of the History Department, and Stephanie LeMenager, of the English Department; together, they co-direct the UO Center for Environmental Futures. (more…)

February 21, 2018
February 2, 2018
December 15, 2017

Congratulations Lisa Wolverton!

History Professor Lisa Wolverton has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for 2018-2019, in support of her project titled “Henry and Vratislav: Medieval Central Europe Transformed.” (more…)

December 14, 2017
May 21, 2017

History Informing Public Policy

Jim Mohr, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History and Knight Professor of Social Science, has been appointed to the Editorial Committee of the Federation of State Medical Boards.  (more…)

May 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
March 21, 2017
March 20, 2017
January 25, 2017

Publications by UO Historians: Vera Keller

Science and the Shape of Things to Come, a special issue of Early Science and Medicine 21:5 (2016)

A special issue co-edited by Vera Keller on the history of projects, resulting from a 2012 international conference on that topic that was co-organized by Keller and Ted McCormick (Concordia University, Montreal), has appeared in the journal Early Science of Medicine.

The modern world would be unthinkable without the category of the “project” and yet the history of this idea, and genre, is surprisingly brief and contentious.

The volume includes an introduction by Vera and her co-editor, Ted McCormick, on the history of the idea of “projects,” “Towards a History of Projects,” Early Science and Medicine 21:5 (2016), 423-444

Other recent works by Vera Keller include:

Art Lovers and Scientific Virtuosi? The Philomathia of Erhard Weigel (1625-1699) in Context,Nuncius 31:3 (2016), 523 – 548. In this piece, Keller examines the long-standing view of the virtuoso as the pre-modern form of the scientist, based on English historiography, through comparison with a Central European case in which art, science, love and virtue were related differently.

“‘A Political Fiat Lux’. Wilhem von Schroeder (1640-1688) and the Co-production of Chymical and Political Oeconomy,” in ‘Eigennutz’ und ‘gute Ordnung’: Ökonomisierungen der Welt im 17. Jahrhundert, Sandra Richter and Guillaume Garner, eds. (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2016), 353-378.

This article studies the work of Wilhelm von Schroeder, a German Fellow of the English Royal Society, an important early industrialist, economic writer, and alchemist, exploring the interrelationship between von Schroeder’s writing on alchemy and his thinking about the economy, and in particular, the various “paper tools” he developed to visualize and manipulated economic data and projects.

January 18, 2017

Congratulations Associate Professor Julie Weise

Corazón de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910 by Julie M. Weise wins awards and distinctions

Awards & Distinctions
  • 2016 Merle Curti Award, Organization of American Historians
  • Honorable Mention, 2015 Theodore Saloutos Award, Immigration and Ethnic History Society
  • 2015 CLR James Award, Working-Class Studies Association
  • Honorable Mention, 2016 Deep South Book Prize, Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South


When Latino migration to the U.S. South became increasingly visible in the 1990s, observers and advocates grasped for ways to analyze “new” racial dramas in the absence of historical reference points. However, as this book is the first to comprehensively document, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a long history of migration to the U.S. South. Corazón de Dixie recounts the untold histories of Mexicanos’ migrations to New Orleans, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina as far back as 1910. It follows Mexicanos into the heart of Dixie, where they navigated the Jim Crow system, cultivated community in the cotton fields, purposefully appealed for help to the Mexican government, shaped the southern conservative imagination in the wake of the civil rights movement, and embraced their own version of suburban living at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Rooted in U.S. and Mexican archival research, oral history interviews, and family photographs, Corazón de Dixie unearths not just the facts of Mexicanos’ long-standing presence in the U.S. South but also their own expectations, strategies, and dreams.

Please visit UNC Press for more information.

December 14, 2016
November 20, 2016

Congratulations David Luebke!

Our colleague David Luebke is one of this year’s recipients of a “Faculty Fund for Excellence” award.

The Fund for Faculty Excellence was established in 2006, thanks to generous gifts from Lorry I. Lokey to Campaign Oregon: Transforming Lives. The fund is designed to materially enhance the university’s strategic commitment to improve its overall academic quality and reputation by supporting, recognizing, and retaining world-class tenured faculty.

Luebke is a historian of Europe, especially the German-speaking lands, during and after the Reformation. His latest book, Hometown Religion: Regimes of Coexistence in Early Modern Westphalia, shows how the ordinary inhabitants of one region in northwestern Germany managed to preserve relative peace and unity in the face of ever-escalating conflicts over religion during the period between 1535 and 1650.

November 9, 2016

Congratulations Julie Weise!

Selected as one of two recipients of the Norman H. Brown Faculty Fellowship in the Liberal Arts for 2016-2018.

Brown Fellows are awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences on the basis of their demonstrated excellence in teaching and their capacity for superior scholarship.

Julie Weise

October 26, 2016

Publications by UO Historians:

Congratulations Jeffrey Ostler, Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History

Co-winner of the Lester J. Cappon award for the best article in the William and Mary Quarterly for 2015 for the article:  “‘To Extirpate the Indians’: An Indigenous Consciousness of Genocide in the Ohio Valley and Lower Great Lakes, 1776–1810”


October 19, 2016

Publications by UO Historians:

Our colleague in the Honors College, Tim Williams, has published a fascinating piece in “The Conversation” on left-leaning Evangelicals.

For more information, please read here.

Publications by UO Historians:

97984Andrew E. Goble, “Physician Yamashina Tokitsune’s Healing Gifts,” in Martha Chaiklin, ed., Mediated by Gifts: Politics and Society in Japan, 1350-1850 (Brill, 2016).

Professor Goble argues that gift-giving is an integral phenomenon in Japanese culture. His essay, focusing on the the granular diary of a late sixteenth century urban physician, is the first study to elucidate the earliest evidence we have for the ubiquity and everyday rhythms of gift-giving at, across, and between multiple social levels in Japanese society.

For more information, please visit