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History Faculty Publish New Research

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 09:46pm | By: Kristina Schluter

The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to announce the publication of new books by faculty members in the history program during the past year. “Taken together, these exciting and innovative books reflect the History faculty’s commitment to research and the presentation of new archives and historical narratives that confirm the important role the Humanities play in the creation of new knowledge and ways of understanding the world: past, present, and future,” said Dr. Luis Iglesias, Director of the School of Humanities

Dr. Andrew Wiest’s previous work, The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam (2012), focused on the wartime experiences and post-war readjustment of one particular combat unit known as Charlie Company. In Charlie Company Journeys Home: The Forgotten Impact on the Wives of Vietnam Veterans (2018), Wiest’s focus shifts from the lives of the soldiers to their wives and families on the home front.  “History often remembers and pays tribute to the soldiers who fight wars.  What has been all but ignored, though, are the families that those soldiers leave behind. Charlie Company Journeys Home is a story of the wives and families of one combat unit in Vietnam and how the war impacted them then and continues to play a major part in their lives to this day,” Wiest explains.

Dr. Kevin Greene’s The Invention and Reinvention of Big Bill Broonzy (2018) focuses on forgotten blues legend William “Big Bill” Broonzy and how his career shaped the blues genre and impacted African American racial identity in the early to mid twentieth century. Broonzy’s self-reinvention, Greene argues, served to tailor his performance to the cultural expectations of his different audiences and thereby shape African American racial identity and self-presentation during this time period.  “When he is investigated within the context of the twists and turns of his career, Broonzy offers historians a pathway to understand how musicians shaped the black experience under the weight of Jim Crow,” Greene observes.

Dr. Rebecca Tuuri’s Strategic Sisterhood: The National Council of Negro Women in the Black Freedom Struggle (2018) spotlights the women of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), a driving force behind the civil rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s. The women of the NCNW advocated for voting rights and desegregation and provided food, shelter, and jobs to black families. Tuuri’s book is the first history of the National Council of Negro Women, the largest black women's organization at the height of the civil rights, feminist, and Black Power movements. “My book shows how women of the NCNW highly valued their all-female national network as a means to bring resources to black communities around the country,” Tuuri explained.

Dr. Kenneth Swope’s book On the Trail of the Yellow Tiger (2018) focuses on the Ming-Qing dynasty transition and the life of Zhang Xianzhong (1605-47), a rebel known as the Yellow Tiger, who was believed responsible for the deaths of one-sixth of the entire Sichuan province over the course of only two years. In the book, Swope draws from trauma and memory studies to investigate the collapse of the Ming dynasty and explore the military and social history of the transitional period.  As Swope explains, “The book utilizes rare primary sources, including diaries and memoirs, to bring the horrific experiences of war in seventeenth-century China to life, highlighting the career of one of China's most notorious peasant rebels.”

Dr. Joshua Haynes’s Patrolling the Border: Theft and Violence on the Creek-Georgia Frontier, 1770-1796 (1918) focuses on conflicts between the Creek Indians and Georgians along the Oconee River. Previously, the Creek raids on Georgian outposts were viewed to be senseless acts of violence. However, Dr. Haynes instead analyzes these acts as measured border patrols employed to maintain Creek borders.  He finds that these attacks were repeatedly exaggerated by Georgia authorities in an effort to justify Indian Removal. “Patrolling the Border demonstrates that Creek Indians in the 1700s defended their rights as a sovereign, independent polity against Euro-American encroachment,” Haynes explains. 

“The history program includes many accomplished and productive researchers, and an extraordinary number of projects were published in 2018 that drew national and international attention to the program,” said Eric Tribunella, Executive Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.