History Major Newsletter - September 2017
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FOOTNOTES • September 2017

Dear Students

Welcome back  to Tulane!  We hope everyone had a good summer, and we're looking forward to a great semester. This month's Footnotes will highlight:

  • Welcome new Faculty: Subah Dayal and Walter Isaacson
  • Events and Lectures
  • Faculty in the News 
  • Student in the News, Leah Saffir, '18
  • Alumni Profile, Courtney Liss, '15
  • Digital Media by Students and Alumni
  • Grants and Opportunities 
  • Publish Your Work

Welcome Subah Dayal

Subah Dayal (PhD, UCLA) is a new faculty member with a specialty in South Asian history. 

Dr. Dayal received her PhD from UCLA in 2016. She is an expert in early modern South Asia, and she has also studied modern India.  Her book project, “Landscapes of Conquest between Region and Empire: Military Networks and Patronage in the Indo-Islamic World 1580-1700,” analyzes the southern-most portion of the Mughal empire in India. She has multiple languages, including Urdu, Urdu-Dakhani (early modern Urdu), Hindi, Modern Persian, Medieval Indo-Persian, Modern and 17th century Dutch, and Arabic.

 She is excited to offer many classes at Tulane in South Asian history, such as “South Asian history in Film and Fiction,” “Women in Modern South Asia 1500-present,” and “Travelers and Travel-writing in the Indian Ocean World.”  

Welcome Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is joining the Tulane History faculty in January 2017.  He is a celebrated author of many books, including biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein. He recently stepped down as director of the Aspen Institute.

He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

Isaacson’s most recent book is Leonardo Da Vinci.  He is also the author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014), Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

Next spring, Professor Isaacson will offer a course on the history of the digital revolution. 

Fall Events


Karissa Haugeberg


Researching Difficult Subjects

How can researchers engage topics that elicit strong emotions? In this discussion with Prof. Haugeberg, we'll discuss how academic researchers tackle difficult subjects. She'll draw upon her own research on ultra-conservative and sometimes violent activists to explain how researchers analyze controversial subjects respectfully yet critically.
Thursday, September 14th
Cudd Hall Lobby
Lunch Provided

Sponsored by CELT and Newcomb Tulane College

Sarah Cramsey 

Uncertain Citizenship: Jewish Belonging and the “Ethnic Revolution” in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1937-1947

My book, "Uncertain Citizenship: Jewish Belonging and the “Ethnic Revolution” in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1937-1947, considers the resolution of questions concerning Jewish political belonging and citizenship in Europe as the contingent result of transnational debates, diplomatic maneuverings, demographic pressures and policies on multiple levels across one decade.  

Thursday, September 14th
Mintz Room, #2, Hillel

Co-Sponsored by Jewish Studies and History Department


Richard Brent Turner, University of Iowa

Enslaved West African Muslims and Islam in Colonial and Antebellum New Orleans
The Sixth Annual Sylvia Frey Lecture 

Dr. Turner's research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary African-American religious history and African diaspora religions in the Black Atlantic world. He is especially interested in the following areas: Islam in the United States; religion and music in New Orleans, before and after Hurricane Katrina; Vodou in the United States and Haiti; and interactions between African-American religion and popular music — jazz, soul, and hip hop; black nationalism and religion.

Monday, September 18th
Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Gallery

Sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South

History in the News


Why is Turkey in the news, and why does it matter today?

Join Professors Yigit Akin and Ken Harl for a conversation about modern Turkish history and contemporary Turkish politics.  

Tuesday, September 19th, 6pm
Weatherhead Lounge, SoHo
And there will be pizza!

Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University

Place, People, and Power: City Building in Postwar America

Cohen’s current book project, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, considers the benefits and costs of rebuilding American cities through the life and career of urban planner Edward J. Logue, who contributed to major redevelopment projects across the Northeast, including the “New Boston” that emerged in the 1960s.
Monday, November 6th
Rm. 110, Tulane Law School

Faculty in the News

Tulane History faculty routinely publish OpEds, and their work responds to important issues in today's world.


Andy Horowitz 

"The racial strife that can blow in with a hurricane"
Washington Post, August 25, 2017

Walter Isaacson
"Americans brought back New Orleans.  They can do the same for Houston."
Washington Post, September 7, 2017

Andy Horowitz
"Donald Trump's hurricane season"
New York Times, August 16, 2017


Karissa Haugeberg

"Protests heat up at an abortion clinic in North Carolina" 
WNUC North Carolina Public Radio
July 25, 2017

Student in the News


Leah Saffir, '18,  Study Abroad, Budapest

When I told people I was going to live in Budapest for a semester, I invited in a diverse collection of responses: “That’s in Turkey, right?” “You’re going to Bulgaria?” “Is it safe?” “What language do they speak there?” “Why?”  — All common questions.

For those who don’t know, Budapest is in Hungary, and Hungarians speak Hungarian; and yes, it is safe. If I learned one thing while I was there it was that Hungarians despise being labeled Eastern Europe — instead, they insist that they are East Central Europe. Hungarians are a fascinating people –- having recently emerged from the constraints of Communism 26 years ago, Hungarians harbor a deep-seated pessimism about life. The common Hungarian response to the question, “how are you?” is along the lines of “life is hard, but I’m surviving.” Hungarians are, nonetheless, very proud of their heritage and cultural accomplishments, unabashedly boasting about famous Hungarians such as Harry Houdini and Rubik Erno, inventor of the Rubik’s Cube. Some of this cultural pride, however, often translates into scorn for outsiders, making for an interesting transition into the culture. That is not to say I didn’t absolutely love my time in Budapest. The city is rich in history, architecture, and the most amazing public transportation system I have ever seen. 
While abroad, I managed to visit twelve countries over the course of four months: Hungary, Slovakia, Czech, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Ukraine, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland. Although all very different and amazing in their own right, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were by far my favorites. I could talk for pages and pages about the pirogies in Krakow, the people in Kiev, the sights all over Croatia, and the experiences I had in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the ultimate adventure of all my travels was an all day tour I took of the 30km exclusion zone around Chernobyl in Ukraine. For those who may not know, Chernobyl is the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history. In the early hours of the morning of April 26, 1986, reactor four of the nuclear power plant in western Ukraine failed and ultimately caused several explosions, sending massive clouds of radioactive smoke across a huge expanse of land. There is a 10km zone around the plant deemed uninhabitable and a 30km highly restricted zone, but the cloud moved as far as Sweden within hours of the accident. 

The tour began in a recently abandoned village at the edge of the exclusion zone. For years, an older woman lived there alone, having fought numerous battles against the Soviet government to be able to remain in her home. There were close to 190 similarly evacuated villages within the exclusion zone with an estimated 197 residents today, most — if not all — of whom are senior citizens determined to stay in their homes. The tour also took us within 50 yards of the remains of reactor four, something tourists could not do until the new safe containment cover was installed in 2016. The most amazing part of the experience, however, was exploring the city of Pripyat mere miles from the power plant. Life in Pripyat had frozen. The day after the reactor failed, security forces evacuated the city’s near 50,000 residents by bus in under four hours. The people of Pripyat were kept in the dark as to what had happened and were advised to take enough for a three-day evacuation. They had to leave all animals, valuables, and family photographs behind. They were never allowed to return. Because of the combined efforts of the Soviet government to hide the disaster from the world and those of the United States government to distance us from the Soviet world, Americans know so little about one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. It was both exciting and humbling to be one of the few people to ever see what is left of the historic site. 
With travel comes a sea of open doors leading to new adventures, knowledge, appreciation, and love for other cultures and people. My experiences in the last six months all over the world have changed me as a person entirely. Not only am I more open to new experiences, but I actively seek immersion in the unfamiliar in a way that I would have feared mere months ago. As a fellow traveler said to me while I was abroad, “travel is the only thing you can buy that will make you richer.” 

Alumni in the News

Courtney Liss, '15

 As a history and political science dual-major at Tulane, I always thought my political science classes would help me more when I moved to D.C. for work. It turned out I'd use them both in totally different ways. As an associate manager of government affairs for the Partnership for Public Service, I've spent a fair amount of time on the Hill and my knowledge of the system definitely comes in handy. 

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to make government more effective for the American people. I have served at the Partnership as a communications associate and as an associate manager for government affairs. 

As a communications associate, I spent much of my time working on developing and marketing resources from past presidential transitions for the Center for Presidential Transition, a project of the Partnership's dedicated to making the transition smoother. Working with these primary sources and condensing them was similar to the work I had done in my history classes, especially in  History of Reproductive Health (with Prof. Haugeberg) and in U.S. Empire (with Prof. Lipman). Finding ways to tie these historical resources to current news stories in pitches was surprisingly straightforward after trying to tie them into 20 page papers, after all. 

In my new role on government affairs, I read and prepare briefs for the internal team on specific issues ahead of meetings with Congressional staff. I also analyze the key players on the issue and determine the correct staffer to speak to on a given topic. I've also spent time developing a system the team can use to map out our relationships and creating an archive of our past interactions. 

Digital Media by Student and Alumni


Student films

Students in Professor Justin Wolfe's "Visual History & Filmmaking" class (Spring 2017) produced their own short documentaries. The class is being offered again in Spring 2018. 
Camp of the Innocents
"Camp of the Innocents" a documentary on Latin American Jews who were detained in Camp Algiers in New Orleans during World war II, produced by Jack Collins, Joe Hiller, and Mira Kohl.
Fruitfully Medicinal
"Fruitfully Medicinal", on the United Fruit Company, banana production, disease, and public health, produced by David Gaidamak, James McClendon and Evan Marcy.  


Carolyn Day, Associate Professor of History at Furman, Tulane PhD '10

Check out Tulane alumna Carolyn Day on History Hit with Dan Snow, the most popular history podcast in Britain. Prof. Day is talking about her forthcoming book with Bloomsbury, on how the “look” of women dying of consumption came to be identified with female beauty and female fashion in Britain between roughly 1780 and 1850.

Student Opportunities


Grants Opportunities

Interested in a research project? Studying Abroad? Hoping to participate in a conference? Tulane offers a lot of funding opportunities and the History Department would love to support you.

Newcomb-Tulane College

CELT (Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching)

Newcomb College Institute

Publish your work

Chicago Journal of History
The Chicago Journal of History does not impose any particular thematic restrictions on its contributing authors. Submissions may engage any geographic area or thematic content, and adopt any methodological or disciplinary approach, so long as the paper engages with a particular historical topic and its associated historiography. Undergraduate students could submit work written for seminars or senior thesis chapters. 

Submission Guidelines:
  • Deadline, September 8th for the autumn issue.  
  • Paper should be submitted to: ughistoryjournal@gmail.com. The subject line of the email should contain the author’s full name and the title of the submission.
  • The editorial board evaluates submissions by their originality, rigor, and style. We welcome papers written for lectures or seminars and work produced through independent research, as well as  undergraduate. theses.
  • Submissions must be between 15 and 40 double-spaced pages in length, including citations.
  • For more information, see cjh.uchicago.edu. Feel free to contact the editorial board at ughistoryjournal@gmail.com with any particular questions concerning potential submissions.
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