History Major Newsletter - October 2017
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FOOTNOTES • October 2017

Dear Students

This month's Footnotes will highlight:

  • New Classes
  • Research Opportunities — paid!
  • Internship Opportunities
  • Events and Lectures
  • Faculty in the News 
  • Students in the News: Matthew Nguyen, '18 and Emily Galik '18
  • Alumni Profile: Claire Breedlove Smith '05
  • Grants and Opportunities 

Spring 2018 Classes


What's offered next semester? Check out our history course offerings. Click here for the Spring 2018 flyer.


New Classes

  • HISC  2910 India Before 1500, Professor Subah Dayal 
  • HISC 6910 Women and Gender in India, Professor Subah Dayal
  • HISL 2912 Latin American History in Cinema, Professor Felipe Cruz
  • HISL 6910 Medicine,  Science, and Technology in Latin America, Prof. Felipe Cruz
  • HIST 3910 Visual History and Film-Making, Professor Justin Wolfe
  • HISU  2911 History of the Digital Revolution, Professor Walter Isaacson
  • HISU 6910 Prophets, Sects, and Cults in US History, Professor Randy Sparks

Don't forget your Methods Seminar!

  • HISB  3250  Archiving Africa, Professor Elisabeth McMahon (Thursdays 3:30-6pm; Lab: W 3-3:50pm)
  • HISU 3542  U.S. War in Vietnam, Professor Jana Lipman (Mondays 12:15-2:45pm; Lab: W 2-2:50pm)

Research Opportunities!

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Prof. Rick Teichgraeber

Research the Amherst College Board of Trustees' sudden and unexplained decision to force the resignation of the College's dynamic young president Alexander Meiklejohn in June, 1923.  The Board's decision provoked a rancorous controversy  that lasted throughout the summer.  In the process, it also became a summer-long national media event.

Undergrad RA will work with Prof. Teichgraeber to help make a complete inventory of newspaper stories and editorials about "the Meikeljohn affair" that appeared in the summer of 1923.  

Interested students should contact Professor Teichgraeber by email with a short letter and CV.  He will contact finalists for in-person interviews. $10/Hour, 4-5 hours a week. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant, Prof. Elisabeth McMahon

This position will assist in a digital humanities project that maps out the letters between Americans and Africans held in the Amistad Research Center’s collections (located in Tilton Hall, open M-F 8:30-4:30; Sa 9am-1pm).  The research assistant will go through collections of letters in the Amistad, reading them for possible inclusion in the digital project.

Students will meet to discuss the different letters with Prof. McMahon and begin loading the letters into a digital format.  Research assistant must be able to read cursive handwriting.  Training in the necessary computer programs will be provided.
Interested students should contact Professor McMahon (emcmahon@tulane.edu) by email with a short letter and CV.  She will contact finalists for in-person interviews.  $10/Hour, 5-10 hours per week depending on student availability.  Students must be available to work during the Amistad Research Center’s open hours.

Internships and Public History 

You can sign up on Gibson for HIST 4570 Internship and Public History Seminar.

If you are interested, please contact Professor Elisabeth McMahon.  These internships provide 2nd tier service learning credit.

Students  will intern for 60-70 hours during the semester. In addition, students will have a regular seminar to learn about debates in public history, which meets on Wednesdays from 3-5:30.

Internship Opportunities Include: Amistad Research Center, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Archives, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisiana Research Collection, the World War II Museum, and more.  

Fall Events


Jana Lipman

Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Repatriates: Vietnamese Refugee Camps, 1975-2005

Lipman's talk will tell the story of Vietnamese in Guam in 1975 and the campaigns against Vietnamese repatriation in Hong Kong in the 1990s.  The talk will be of interest to students interested in contemporary refugee crises, immigration policy, and Asian Studies. 

When: Thursday, October 26th, 4pm
Where: Hillel, Mintz Room #2

Sponsored by Jewish Studies and the History Department

Wendy Pearlman,  Northwestern

We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled

Professor Pearlman's new book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins, 2017) is based on interviews that she has conducted from 2012 to the present with more than 300 displaced Syrians in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. The book is a collection of first-hand testimonials that chronicles the Syrian rebellion, war, and refugee crisis exclusively through the stories and reflections of people who have lived it.

When: Thursday, November 2nd, 4pm
Where: Rogers Chapel
Followed by a light reception.

Sponsored by Jewish Studies, History, Political Science, English, the Altman Program for International Studies and Business, and the Mandel-Palagye Program for Middle East Peace.

Henry Robert Jolibois
Visiting Fulbright Scholar in Residence, Xavier University of Louisiana


The Importance of Historical Preservation in a Post-Disaster Recovery Context:  Haiti & Beyond.

Henry Robert Jolibois is a specialist in "Architecture, Construction, Heritage Protection Arts." He has held technical, consulting and managerial positions in various governmental sectors in Haiti, including more than 25 years at the National Institute for Heritage Preservation (ISPAN).  During 2017-2018 he is a Visiting Fulbright scholar at Xavier University.

When: Thursday, November 2nd, 4pm
Where: Richardson Memorial Hall, Tulane School of Architecture

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.

When: Monday, November 6th, 4pm
Where: Rm. 110, Tulane Law School

History in the News

"Medieval History Weaponized or Why does the Alt-Right think my field is cool, and what am I supposed to do about it?" 

A conversation with Professor Tom Luongo

When: Wednesday, November 15th, 6pm
Where: Weatherhead Lounge

Pizza Provided!!!

Faculty in the News

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

Walter Isaacson, "The Lessons of Leonardo: How to be a Creative Genius," Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2017

Walter Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci, Long-listed for ALA Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence

Andy Horowitz, "Don't Repeat the Mistakes of the Katrina Recovery," New York Times, September 14, 2017

Jana Lipman, "The South Vietnamese who fled the Fall of Saigon -- and those who returned," September 19, 2017

Student in the News


Matthew Nguyen, '18 Vietnamese American Oral History Project

In February of 2017, I started working with NOLA4Women on their journey to chronicle the history of the Vietnamese-American community in New Orleans. Although the city ranks among one of the most prominent hubs of Vietnamese-Americans in the entire country, the community’s introverted nature meant that its formative past remained relatively unstudied outside of its heroic comeback after Katrina. NOLA4Women sought to redress this and make a formal public acknowledgement of the population’s contribution in time for New Orleans’s tricentennial celebration, and thus requested prompt assistance from volunteers in making a public exhibit.

To this end, I put my patience and research skills accrued from Tulane’s history department to good use. One of the greatest challenges facing the organization was developing an easily understandable and detailed timeline of the history of Vietnamese-Americans before and after their arrival in New Orleans. After several weeks of sifting through more than fifty years of newspapers and numerous revisions made at the suggestions of other historians affiliated with the project, I succeeded in constructing a balanced multi-page timeline of the community. This was not my only contribution to the organization’s endeavor, however. NOLA4Women also wanted to highlight the accomplishments of Vietnamese-American women within New Orleans, and thus sought to bring them into the limelight. While NOLA4Women interviewed these women (who had been selected by members within the local Vietnamese-American community), I recorded and helped translate the proceedings into English.

Not wanting to leave my work unfinished and expressing enjoyment in learning more about the Vietnamese-American community, I decided to continue working on the project throughout the summer and well into the fall.

Personally, I think that this further voluntary commitment was incredibly rewarding.  NOLA4Women and the Vietnamese-American community needed every hand they could get in completing the exhibit in time for its opening at the New Orleans East Hospital in Village de l’Est. The exhibit itself will be making a trek throughout the city in the following weeks- in fact its final destination will be here in the LBC at Tulane University, in early November.

Emily Galik, '18

Emily Galik published her article, "Los Confederados in Brazil," Recreating the Southern American Dream," in the Georgetown Journal of History.

"Abolition and the enfranchisement of former male slaves, enforced by occupying US troops, represented a threat to the antebellum Southern societal hierarchy. These policies disrupted the notion that only white men could exercise the full privileges of citizenship. Instead of enduring these massive changes, close to 4,000 white Southerners fled the United States to Brazil — a country and society they believed institutionalized their ideals...

As an early effort to return to the social, political, and economic structure of the antebellum South, the migration can be seen as an early effort to revive the ‘lost cause’ of the Confederate States of America. Although the Brazilian state played a role in facilitating the emigration that made settlements like Villa Americana possible, the Southern migrants chose to isolate themselves and exist outside its slave society, discovering Brazil notably differed from the American South, and knew they could not change the society to fit their desires. Nonetheless, on a small scale, the Confederate migrants achieved what the Confederate States could not: an enduring political unit preserving Southern antebellum slave society."

Emily began this project in her Methods Seminar, HISL 3910 Explorers, Liars, and Travelers. 

Alumni Profile

Claire Breedlove Smith ‘05

I grew up in a small town in rural, northern Louisiana and arrived at Tulane ready to explore. I spent my junior year studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal. Needless to say, Senegal was totally different from the deep South, and I looked for ways to understand the profound poverty that I saw around me. History was the mechanism that gave me context and taught me how to think about complex economic, political, and social problems. I decided for my senior year to write an honors thesis so that I could design a project for myself and explore it in a truly rigorous way.

In fact, history was so compelling that I went into a Ph.D. program in African history after I graduated from Tulane. The years I spent doing historical research in the West African Sahel ended up being the foundation for a career in African affairs that has included time at the World Bank, the U.S. Department of State, and one of the largest U.S. investors in Africa.

The skill from my History classes that I carry with me every day is my ability to write clearly and concisely. I encourage current history majors to focus on this throughout their classes. Take the critiques you receive and the opportunities to revise papers and become a better writer. I refined these skills as a history major, and they have been key to my professional success. Writing well is difficult, and having worked in a number of professional tracks, I can tell you that not that many people can do it. Take advantage of all the writing intensive courses you can. They will serve you well wherever your career path leads.

Student Opportunities


Study Abroad

  • Agreement Deadline, October 30th.
  • All accepted students have to confirm their participation in the study abroad program for Spring semester by this date.

Honors Study Abroad in Berlin

  • The Honors Berlin Program is designed to offer a rich, multidisciplinary experience for students seeking greater scholarly engagement in a dynamic city that is a fulcrum for the study of politics, history, and science.
  • Opportunity to earn History credit and take "Imagining Berlin: Photography and the Making of a Metropolis" with Professor Marline Otte.
  • Program Dates: June 3rd-30th.
  • Application Deadline: contact honors@tulane.edu

Grants Opportunities

Newcomb-Tulane College

  • Undergraduate Research and Conference Travel Grants
  • Due dates: The monthly grant deadline is on the 15th of the month at 5:00 p.m. Applications submitted late and after the deadline will be considered during the following month’s cycle.
  • For more information:https://college.tulane.edu/grants
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