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Eleven History Graduate Students Make Conference Presentations in Spring 2009

Feb 26, 2009

Eleven WIU History graduate students, mentored by at least nine faculty members, will be giving or have already made fifteen research presentations at academic conferences around the nation during the Spring 2009 semester, WIU History Graduate Director and Associate Professor Dr. Virginia Jelatis announced. Austin Schwartz already gave a presentation at the Third Regional International Security and Internal Safety Conference, based on the thesis he is writing under the direction of Dr. Walter Kretchik (see blue box for related article). WIU History graduate students also recently made presentations at the Missouri Valley History Conference (accompanied by Dr. Jelatis and Dr. Richard Filipink) and the University of Alabama Graduate Student History Conference on Power and Struggle. Later this Spring, groups of History graduate students will be presenting at the Phi Alpha Theta Midwest Regional Conference (accompanied by Dr. Lee Brice and Dr. Ute Chamberlin), and the Loyola University of Chicago History Graduate Conference.

Six of these History graduate students, including prize-winner Robert Deveraux, made presentations at the 52nd Annual Missouri Valley History Conference, held in Omaha, Nebraska, in early March. Rob Deveraux's paper won this year's Kevin Carroll Award for the Best Graduate Student Paper in Military History presented at the Missouri Valley History Conference. Mr. Deveraux and Austin Schwartz presented papers, based on research they originally did for WIU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Timothy Roberts's course on the History of the Early Republic, as part of a conference panel on "The Navy in the Early American Republic" that was sponsored by the Society for Military History. Mr. Deveraux's prize-winning paper, "The First American Fleet: the Sailing Warships of the Quasi-War, 1798-1801," is also related to the thesis he is completing under the direction of WIU Associate Professor of History Dr. Walter Kretchik. Mr. Schwartz presented "A Family Affair: Decatur, Decatur, and the Frigate Philadelphia." These presentations were supported in part by a Professor Emeritus Fund Award from the History Department.

Three other History graduate students presented papers at the Missouri Valley Conference based on the papers they originally wrote for WIU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Richard Filipink's graduate research seminar. Dr. Filipink chaired their paper panel, entitled "The Presidential Recordings: Problems and Opportunities in Kennedy/Johnson Historiography." The panel consisted of WIU History graduate students Ryan Buller, who presented his paper "Johnson and SNCC: Analyzing the Presidential Tapes as a Primary Source," Ryan J. Lewis, who presented his paper "Eyeball to Eyeball": Dean Rusk and the Cuban Missile Crisis," and Daniel Marten, who presented his paper "Pressured to Act: An Examination of the Dominican Invasion of 1965." These presentations were supported by a Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund Award from the WIU School of Graduate Studies and by a Professor Emeritus Fund Award from the History Department.

Also presenting at the Missouri Valley Conference was History graduate student Adam Carey, who co-presented with Jeffrey L. Hancks, a WIU Library faculty member, a paper entitled "Developed: The Problems and Possibilities of Using Photographs in Historical Research," as part of a panel of papers on "Media, History, and Politics." This paper is based on research Mr. Carey completed while a Graduate Assistant with the University Libraries. Mr. Carey's research has been supported in part by a Professor Emeritus Fund Award from the History Department.

That same weekend, History graduate student Darren Miles presented "Territory and Turf: The Civil Rights Campaign in Chicago and its Failure to Eliminate Segregated Housing" at the University of Alabama Graduate Student History Conference on Power and Struggle, in Tuscaloosa. His conference paper was based on research he originally did for a course on Illinois History taught by WIU Associate Professor of History Dr. Greg Hall. Mr. Miles has since incorporated this research into a chapter of the Master's thesis he is writing under the direction of WIU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Barclay Key. His research has been supported in part by Professor Emeritus Fund Awards from the History Department.

Also in March, three History graduate students will be among those WIU students making research presentations at the Phi Alpha Theta Midwest Regional Conference, held at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. David Sprung will present a paper originally written for Assoc. Prof. Greg Hall's Environmental History course. Mr. Sprung will present "America's Giant: The Historical and Economic Story of the American Bison." Robert Deveraux and Eric Willey will present papers based on research they originally completed for Assist. Prof. Timothy Roberts's course on the History of the Early Republic. Mr. Deveraux will present "Jefferson as an Antinavalist: A Re-evaluation of the Transition of Naval Policy in 1801," which he has revised for the M.A. thesis he is completing under the direction of Dr. Walter Kretchik. Mr. Willey will present "A Time to Build: An Examination of the Controversy of the Polish Land Claim in Winnebago County, Illinois from 1834-1842." The presentation of papers by WIU graduate and undergraduate students at the Phi Alpha Theta regional conference is being coordinated by WIU Associate Professor of History Dr. Lee Brice, Advisor to the Department's Phi Alpha Theta chapter, who will accompany the students to the conference, along with WIU Assistant Professor Dr. Ute Chamberlin. These presentations were supported in part by Professor Emeritus Fund Awards from the History Department.

In April, three History graduate students will present papers at the Fifth Annual Loyola University of Chicago History Graduate Conference, held on the Lakeshore Campus of Loyola University. All three papers are based on research papers originally written for WIU Assistant Professor of History Dr. Jennifer McNabb's graduate research seminar. Eric Willey will present "Witches and Whores: Gender Conflict in Early Modern English Pamphlet Literature," David Sprung will present ""The Trial: Comparing and Contrasting the Salem Witch Trials and the Vintage Malleus Maleficarum Trial," and Elizabeth Carlson will present "The Malleus Maleficarum and A Discourse on the Damned Art of Witchcraft: Resonance and Dissonance in Elite Demonologists' Views on Early Modern Witchcraft." These presentations were supported in part by a Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Fund Award from the WIU School of Graduate Studies

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