Skip to Content

Student Accomplishments

July 25, 2022

Queer Life in Russia: A Historical Primer

History is recorded and recounted in many ways, even in the classroom.

Duncan Baumgarten, a comics and cartoon studies minor, used a creative approach to a recent course on the USSR and Contemporary Russia. Baumgarten wrote and illustrated a zine, Queer Life in Russia: A Historical Primer, which provides an overview of queer history from tsarist Russia all the way up to current events with the war in Ukraine.

It has been called criminal mischief.

It has been called sluggishly manifesting schizophrenia.

It has been called Western decadence.

It has been silenced, punished, killed, and minimized.

But, from the bathhouses to the Gulags to the streets and online, queerness in Russia has historically endured, and will continue to do so.

The entire zine is available to read on this website, linked below.

Artist Statement

“I embarked on the project out of sheer curiosity, aware that many general histories don’t include the experiences of queer people. The work Professor Hessler and I did was intended to not only educate myself on the history of queer people in the Soviet Union, but also, gradually, to figure out how to share that knowledge with others. Queer history is a special subject because it’s not only consistently unexplored, but it’s also a shared history in a way that many underrepresented groups experience. The experiences of those in the Gulags belong in the historical canon for queer people today to learn and contemplate. To document it and share it means so much to me as a historian and as an artist and creating a zine that synthesizes my term’s work—particularly finishing the class during Pride month—is exciting and extremely gratifying.”

—Duncan Baumgarten

Use the link above to read the complete zine online. Or download a PDF version.

April 27, 2022

Introducing the Undergraduate Advisory Committee

Written by April Winz • April 27, 2022

The University of Oregon Department of History is delighted to announce its new Undergraduate Advisory Committee composed of five students—Julie Whitehill, Olivia Wilkinson, Isaac Kim, Tyler Mahan White, and Juan Ochoa.

The committee was established to foster more community between both the department and its students, and among the students themselves. “I felt that students in the history department have not been very well connected, and I want to work on ways we can change that,” Olivia Wilkinson said. The committee plans on creating things like newsletters and social events for students to cultivate connection.

Olivia Wilkinson

They also look forward to contributing student perspectives to influence the future of the department. “I think this committee will serve as a great opportunity for undergraduates to have a voice in the matters relating to the History Department and help to make the community a better place,” said Isaac Kim.

Isaac Kim

Tyler White hopes to give a voice to the non-traditional student demographic. Since leaving the army to pursue a degree in history, he notes that joining the committee has been a fantastic opportunity to help his peers. “The committee is dedicated to contextualizing the way intersecting aspects of identity affect a student’s ability to receive a worthwhile historical education,” he said. “There is an emphasis on inclusion and awareness of student diversity in general, and a specific desire to ensure that the History Department continues to accommodate students from all walks of life.” The committee will also be working closely with the History Department Diversity Committee to further support students.



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

February 14, 2022

Pflug Wins Prestigious Fellowship

photo of Michele Pflug

Congratulations go out to Michele Pflug, who won the Gwin J. and Ruth Kolb Research Travel Fellowship from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

The ASECS seeks to advance the study of the eighteenth century through endowed travel and research funds. The Gwin J. and Ruth Kolb fund is awarded to early career scholars of the eighteenth century to support their access to research collections.

Michele Pflug is a PhD student in the UO Department of History. Her studies focus on the history of science, women and gender, and the the history of the book.

August 2, 2021

Spencer Abbe Gets Firsthand Experience Researching Earthquake History

On July 29, 2021, Alaska experienced a magnitude 8.2 earthquake, deemed the largest earthquake to hit the state since 1965. In a stroke of strange luck, University of Oregon doctoral student Spencer Abbe was in the region at the time studying—you guessed it: earthquakes.

Damage from the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska. Photo credit: NOAA

Spencer Abbe has spent the last year researching the history of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions in the North Pacific, specifically the relationship between humans and these natural phenomena. During the July 29 earthquake, Abbe was in Kodiak, Alaska to learn more about significant earthquake events.

Learn more about Abbe’s research and his experience in an interview with Kodiak Public Broadcasting.

May 5, 2021

Crossing Borders: International and Transnational Histories

HIST 407/507 Virtual Conference

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

A series of virtual presentations on undergraduate and graduate student research. All are welcome to attend. Join for either the entire conference or come and go. See schedule below.

Join conference: Zoom

Presentation Schedule

3:30–4:20 PM, People Across Borders

Nikolai Perepelitza, “Managing Migration: The Italian General Commissariat of Emigration”

David Lerma, “Argentina’s Bicycle History: Through Italian Migration”

Odalis Aguilar-Aguilar, “Remembering Braceros and their contributions: How communal memory uncovers truth”

4:25–5:20 PM, Politics Across Borders

Will Blake, “Assessing Cold-War Democracy: Japan, The U.S., and the New York Herald Tribune World Youth Forum, 1952–1972”

Dalton Dodson, “Scandinavian Settlement Abroad: Earldom and Influence in the Northeastern Atlantic”

Veronica Jones, “Negotiating Removal Treaties: ‘Civilization’ in Conflict”

Andrew Vitt, “The Perspective of South Africa’s Apartheid in US media”

5:25–6:20 PM, Cultures Across Borders

Sam McClelland, “Cultural Difference in the Republic of Letters: Considering the Practice of the Alba Amicorum”

Mads Phythyon Miller, “Heathens, Witches, and Queers, Oh, My! A History of Trans and Queer Neopagan Subcultures in the 21st Century”

Ally Anderson, “Gender and Domestic Violence in Mexico between the 1910s to the 1920s”

Jason Ashcraft, “Extended Play: Challenging the Periodization of the “British Invasion” While Examining Cross-Class Relations in the United States”

Crossing Borders

The HIST 407/507 Crossing Borders course is a senior/graduate research seminar designed to guide students through the process of writing an original research paper on any topic from any part of the world that incorporates the histories of more than one country or cultural group.

For questions, contact Professor Julie Weise at

April 15, 2021

Odalis Aguilar-Aguilar Speaks for Farmworkers’ Rights

strawberry pickers at work

History major Odalis Aguilar-Aguilar met with the Oregon House Committee on Business and Labor on March 29, 2021 to give a historically informed testimony in support of a new farmworkers’ rights bill. House Bill 2358 prohibits employers from permitting or requiring agricultural workers to work in excess of 40 hours in one workweek unless workers are compensated for overtime hours worked.


Odalis Aguilar-Aguilar is a third-year student at the UO, majoring in history, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Her testimony touches on her own family’s experience with agricultural work and also draws Aguilar-Aguilar’s academic research. Working with Julie Weise, associate professor of history, Aguilar-Aguilar has studied the Bracero farm worker program and the personal histories of migrant families.

Learn more about Aguilar-Aguilar’s work in this Around the O feature, Untold Stories.

March 17, 2021

Brown Awarded Grant for Academic Excellence

Gingolx Village Government logo

Congratulations go out to Madelyn Brown, graduate student in the Department of History, who has been awarded the Incentive Grant under the Nisga’a Post Secondary Education Assistance Program.

This grant was awarded in recognition of Brown’s academic excellence in her post-secondary studies.

photo of Madelyn Brown

Madelyn Brown (Nisg̱a’a/Tsimshian) is a graduate student at the University of Oregon; she is currently earning her MA in history. Her research interests focus on Traditional Indigenous Knowledge systems and their historical influence on ecological-care techniques utilized by Pacific Northwest tribal communities. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History with an emphasis in American Indian Studies and Anthropology (summa cum laude).

February 17, 2021

Glowark Awarded WHA Dissertation Prize

Congratulations to history graduate student Erik Glowark for winning the 2020 World History Association Dissertation Prize with his research, “The Christianization of Kyushu: A World-Historical Interpretation of the Jesuit Mission to Japan, 1549–1650.”

Every year, the WHA awards this prize to the best doctoral dissertation in world, global, or transnational history. Glowark’s research focuses on the history of Early Modern Japan, religion, and Christianity.

painting of Jesuit with Japanese noble

June 15, 2020

Marc Carpenter Speaks on Statue Removal

Marc Carpenter looking at statue

As Native students and people of color have argued and historical records confirm, the 1919 Pioneer (toppled on June 13, 2020 by parties unknown) was meant from its creation as a celebration of violent white supremacy.

PhD candidate Marc Carpenter has researched and talked about the monument for the past two years, uncovering the sordid history of The Pioneer as part of his broader research into the memory, commemoration, and erasure of settler violence in the Pacific Northwest.

Carpenter’s research has already earned significant notice in news coverage:

KEZI, “Students Suggest Pioneer Statue Removal”

Emerald Daily, “New research reveals the Pioneer statue’s controversial history”

KLCC, “Q & A: University of Oregon Historian Discusses Pioneer Statue”

To learn more, read the full report here:

“Reconsidering The Pioneer, One Hundred Years Later”

May 13, 2020

History Grad Students Awarded Fellowships

The Department of History congratulates two graduate students, Tara Keegan and Hayley Brazier, for winning prestigious and competitive fellowships to help support their dissertation research.

Tara Keegan has won a Winter 2021 Oregon Humanities Center Dissertation Fellowship for her work on “Running the Redwood Empire: Indigeneity, Modernity, and a 480-Mile Footrace.” This fellowship seeks to provide doctoral students in humanities with the support to work full-time on their dissertations.

Hayley Brazier will be a 2020-21 Center for Environmental Futures/Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow for her work on “The Seafloor and Society: Technological Innovation on the Pacific Seabed Transformation of North America,” which has been featured in Around the O. This fellowship, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is awarded to only two University of Oregon graduate students working in the field of Environmental Humanities.

January 10, 2020

History Alumnus Receives International Award

Zach Bigalke is a UO alumnus who earned his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees in the Department of History. Now a PhD student at Penn State University, Bigalke has just received the 2020 Robert K. Barney Graduate Essay Award from the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research at California State University, Fullerton.

This international prize is awarded annually to one graduate student (Masters or Doctoral candidates) who submits the most outstanding piece of original research in the area of Olympic studies.

Zach Bigalke’s paper, a study on foreign-born athletes in the Winter Olympics from 1924 to the present, was considered by the award committee “fascinating, clearly organized, and crisply written.” As part of the award, the CSSOR will fund Bigalke’s travel, accommodations, and registration to the center’s annual conference, where he will present his scholarship in a special session.

Bigalke has also written an essay on soccer in Oregon prior to World War I, which will be published later this year in an anthology on the early history of soccer in the United States.

Join us in congratulating Zach Bigalke on his achievements and successful academic career.

November 7, 2019

Aziza Baker Receives Grant for Research in Cuba

Aziza Baker in Cuba

Aziza Baker received a 2019-20 Tinker Field Research Grant for her research project, “Recalling Runaways: Studies of Slavery and Absenteeism in Cuba.” This grant was awarded by the Center for Latino/a & Latin American Studies (CLLAS) and funded a month-long summer research trip to Cuba, where Baker was able to access local archives and museums like the Biblioteca Nacional in Havana.

Baker’s research has two points of focus. The first project examines demographic backgrounds of enslaved Africans in the nineteenth century and the different methods that people used to resist enslavement. Baker’s second project uses this demographic data determine the “economic value” of different groups of enslaved people.

A summary of Baker’s research and her experiences from conducting research abroad will be published in CLLAS’s upcoming issue of Cllas Notes.

Aziza Baker is a second-year master’s student in the Department of History. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese literature from UC Berkely and has studied the history of nineteenth century Cuba under the guidance of her advisor, Dr. Carlos Aguirre.

The Tinker Grant is funded by the Tinker Foundation, with matching funds from the UO Office of Academic Affairs and the Graduate School. Learn more at

June 3, 2019

Graduate Student Conference 2019


Don’t miss the Department of History’s Annual Graduate Student Research Conference, featuring exciting new research being done by first-year graduate students:

Saturday, June 8, 2019
9:00 a.m.–2:45 p.m.
375 McKenzie Hall
Free and open to the public

Schedule of Events

9:00 am–9:30 am

Coffee & Refreshments (provided)

9:30 am–11:00 am

Panel I: Restrictive “Liberations”: Training, Relocation, and Captivity’s Legacy in Transnational Context
Commentator: Dr. Brett Rushforth

“African Activism in Redefining Bondage Practices in Sierra Leone, 1796-1855”
Aziza Baker

“‘These People Shall Be Free’: Intermountain Slaveries and the Indian Student Placement Program in Utah”
Jack Evans

11:00 am–11:15 am

Break & Snacks (provided)

11:15 am–12:45 pm

Panel II: Ideas and Professional Networks in Modern Europe
Commentator: Dr. John McCole

“‘Agglutinating a Family’: Friedrich Max Müller and the Turanian Language Family Theory in Nineteenth-Century European Linguistics and other Human Sciences”
Preetham Sridharan

“‘Alchemical Bonds: Social Media and Medical Networks in the Alba Amicorum”
Samuel McClelland

“Mediating Malthus: Population in the Didactic Works of Maria Edgeworth, Jane Marcet, and Harriet Martineau”
Christopher Simmerman

12:45 pm–1:30 pm

Lunch (provided)

1:30 pm–2:45 pm

Panel III: White Lies: Museums and Reform
Commentator: Dr. Jeffrey Ostler

“‘An Opportunity Unembarrassed’: Alaska and the Indian Reform Movement, 1867-1885”
Ian Halter

“Imperialist Nostalgia: Guilt, Survivance, and Native Museums”
Ariana Persico

event poster

May 28, 2019

History Showcase

Celebrate undergraduate research and accomplishment at the 2019 History Showcase event!

Thursday, June 6
3:30 p.m.
Erb Memorial Union, Cedar + Spruce Rooms
(EMU 231 & 232)

Refreshments will be served.

Tour an exhibit of research posters, showcasing the excellent work of History undergraduate students. And then join the department in honoring award recipients for their accomplishments and exceptional endeavors.

event poster

March 11, 2019

History Workshop: Medical Confidentiality with Miles Wilkinson

X-ray scan of a hand making the OK sign

Don’t miss the last History Workshop of winter quarter, presented by Miles Wilkinson:

Creating Confidentiality: Physician-Patient Privilege and Medical Confidentiality in the United States, 1776–1975

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
3:30–5:00 p.m.
375 McKenzie Hall

This event is free and open to all.


Tracing the origins and evolution of physician-patient privilege in America, Miles Wilkinson shows that the laws regulating medical testimony in the courtroom were cobbled together in response to a variety of disparate medical and legal developments—many predating the modern notions of privacy and patients’ rights often associated with the privilege today.

In doing so, Wilkinson explains how physician-patient privilege became a widely accepted legal doctrine and explain why the privilege remains such an unevenly applied rule in American courts.

About the Speaker

Miles Wilkinson is a graduate employee with the Department of History. His research focuses on the history of medicine in the United States. He is also a 2018-19 Oregon Humanities Center Teaching Fellow.

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.


June 6, 2017

Congratulations Josh Fitzgerald!

History Ph.D. candidate Josh Fitzgerald has received a 2017-18 Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Innovation Award! (more…)

May 19, 2017

Congratulations Augustine Beard!

History major Augustine Beard has been selected as a Udall Scholar! (more…)

April 14, 2017

Congratulations Lacey Guest!

History MA student Lacey Guest has received a 2017-18 CSWS Research Grant Award for her project “Magic and Power: Educating African-American College Students in the Science of Marriage, 1920s-1960s.”


March 21, 2017

Oregon Humanities Center 2017-18 Fellowships

Please join us in congratulating our colleagues!  (more…)

February 19, 2017

History Degree Pays Off for Investment Banker

Mark Kolt (History, ’10) uses research skills to help investors find The Next Big Thing.

While his college studies as a history major were focused on the past, Mark Kolt’s job is all about the future.

As a venture capitalist and investment banker, the 2010 graduate makes investments in U.S.-based nanotechnology startups for the Russian government. He predicts which companies to gamble on, in hopes of picking one that experiences rapid growth and provides a big return on investment. He bases his predictions on thorough evaluations of company and industry history.

“Investors make bets based on their interpretation of how current events will affect their bottom lines,” Kolt said. “They look at how markets react based on similar news in the past, make educated assumptions based on that research and apply those assumptions to their current models to predict future trends and determine the best course of action. This is exactly what history teaches you to do.”

In American Business History, a lecture-and-discussion class, Kolt learned how historical events affect business culture. It inspired him to write a senior thesis about the history of venture capitalism in Silicon Valley.

“Really, what I was interested in was, ‘how did all these people make all their money?’” he said.

Professor Daniel Pope, Kolt’s thesis advisor, said UO history students learn to write a clear narrative and develop persuasive skills through producing a thesis, a requirement for the major.

Historical knowledge can be useful for business professionals in several ways.

Said Pope: “People with historical training should bring an awareness of the social context of business—trends in national and international politics, macroeconomics, popular culture, race and gender relations all affect how a firm functions in the present.

“Second, historical research experience is often valuable for specific tasks and projects. Well-trained business people will know how to investigate the past to get a sense of what worked and what didn’t, to learn of paths not taken, to become alert to potential problems and issues in current and future activity.”

Kolt’s study of venture capitalism led him to pursue a career in finance.

Living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kolt starts his typical day by reviewing news and market conditions, looking for anything that may affect his clients’ investments. He then spends time on the phone working on deals, reaching out to companies, making introductions and scheduling meetings.

Kolt keeps track of two clocks and manages his day to work with people in America and Russia. “It’s not a very traditional schedule,” he said.

Moscow is 10 hours ahead, so after eating dinner around 10 p.m. Kolt hops onto an 11 p.m. conference call. Around 1 a.m. he’s off the phone, having passed any unfinished work to analysts in Russia, and into bed. He is then up and in his stateside office by 10 a.m.

“My history degree gave me the skills to not only analyze source materials,” Kolt said, “but also to understand the underlying causes of economic trends, paths to success and to apply such lessons to my current job and responsibilities.”

January 25, 2017

Congratulations Ryan Patterson (History ’16)!

Ryan Patterson’s undergraduate thesis, “Resistance and Resilience:  Politicized Art and Anti-Feminicide Activism in Ciudad Juárez and Abroad,” published in The Yale Historical Review.

The murder of women is neither a new phenomenon nor a topic of historical research that has garnered a large body of research. In this essay, Ryan Bailey Patterson, University of Oregon ’16, delves into the topic of feminicide, studying the gendered contexts of the murder of women in terms of pervasive patriarchal power structures. Patterson focuses much of her analysis on the feminicides of Ciudad Juárez, looking at the role of politicized visual art in combatting the troubling trend. This essay follows a grassroots art movement that evolved into a transnational fight for basic human rights. Read more…

January 18, 2017

Congratulations Paulla Santos (History, ’16)!

Paulla Santos’s undergraduate thesis, “Sexualtiy, Gender, and US Imperialism after Philippine Independence:  An Examination of Gender and Sexual Stereotypes of Pilipina Entertainment Workers and US Servicemen,” published in The Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal

Paulla’s paper examines the continuation of United States imperialism in the Philippines after Philippine Independence in 1946 through the gendered and sexual stereotypes of US men and Philippine women. These perceptions of the women as submissive and dependent were constructed through women’s interactions with US military men, who were present due to growing US concern over eastern communist influence in the second half of the 20th century. Evidence from rest-and-recreation areas near US military bases suggests that US servicemen were seen as powerful and wealthy, while the Philippines appeared submissive and dependent on US power, as represented by Philippine women’s behavior towards the servicemen. The Philippine presidencies of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino also transformed identities particularly of Philippine women. These ranged from the support and promotion of Pilipina entertainment workers to condemning and imprisoning them. However, Santos illuminates instances of Pilipina agency that show how many Pilipinas were not simply victims to US power within these entertainment districts, but also sought employment opportunities in order to benefit from the circumstances created by US presence and provide for themselves, their families, and their country. Santos then connects the events around US military bases at that time to present-day stereotypes associated with Asian-born women married to US men in the United States, as well as the current discussions of reopening the US military bases in the Philippines.