Welcome Back!

Dear History Students & Friends,

There is a traffic jam on Beall Ave and parking is hard to find, which can only mean one thing: that time of year has come. On behalf of the History faculty, let me welcome you back to campus!

Stay tuned for a message about the Mandatory Meeting of All History Majors, which will take place this coming Thursday, August 30, at 11am, in Mateer Auditorium Severance Chemistry 009. For now, I just want to welcome you back and share a few updates on developments in the Department of History.


David Gedalecia, who taught Chinese history and civilization with distinction at the College since 1971, has taken his retirement and emeritus faculty status. If you haven’t already, you should read the nice piece on him in Wooster Magazine. We’ll share a few more thoughts later this fall – and let you know some ways you can honor him.

Monika Flaschka, who visited (so ably) in History and WGSS last year, has moved on. Sarah Mirza, who was a visiting fellow in History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies last year, has joined the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies in a tenure-track position.

You will see less of some familiar faces this year. Madonna Hettinger is on leave for the academic year, writing and studying pilgrimage and trade routes in Europe and Asia. Also on leave, but just for the spring semester, are Shannon King and Ibra Sene.

But the tally sheet is not all negative.

Your Department Chair has returned from a semester of research leave in France.

And we are lucky to welcome a cohort of visitors to the History Department:

• Robert Maclean, a visitor in the Departments of History and English, works on African-American history and the history of Jazz. A recent PhD from the University of Michigan — and a Woo grad ’99 — he is teaching courses on the African diaspora and Black intellectual history in the spring semester.

• Sucheta Mahajan, from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, is a distinguished scholar of nationalism and colonialism in modern India. She is visiting this fall, teaching courses on India and nationalism.

• Elizabeth Swedo is a recent PhD from the University of Minnesota who works on the medieval church in Iceland. She is teaching Western Civ, along with courses on Viking history and medieval church history.

• Garrett Washington, a scholar of religion in modern Japan, comes to us from Case Western and Oberlin. He will be teaching the introduction to global history, together with courses on Japan, China, and East Asia.


You’ll notice a number of new (and relatively new) courses being offered this year under the History rubrics we added last year.

Under the rubric of History 101: An Introduction to Historical Study, we’re offering courses on “The Viking World,” “Latin American Revolutions,” “West Africa & Black America,” the “African Diaspora Since 1940” (spring), and many more.

Under the rubric of History 201: The Craft of History (a writing course that helps prepare students for Junior and Senior I.S. with an emphasis on the critical skills of the historian) we’re offering courses on “Race, Religion, and Nation in East Asia,” the “History of Education in the U.S.,” “History of the Civil Rights Movement,” and more.

Under the rubric of History 202: Historical Workshop (a quarter-credit introduction to the theory and practice of a particular historical methodology), we’ll be offering a course on “Historical Documentary” in the spring (and perhaps one more).

We have two offerings this fall under the rubric of History 275: Studies in History (an upper-level topics course): “Modern India” and “Nationalism in the Modern World.”

And finally, we’ll be offering two seminars in the spring under the rubric of History 301: History Colloquium (an advanced History seminar): “Gender in Latin American History” and “The Fall of the USSR & Rise of the New Russia.”

I hope you have a chance to check out these courses. For more information, including course descriptions, check out the History Website at http://history.voices.wooster.edu/Courses.

History Events & News

There will be lots going on soon: the Junior I.S. Workshops (required of those enrolled in Junior I.S. in the fall) starting in the second week of the semester, Café Bob—the History Department Roundtable, visits from outside scholars, the Fall History Picnic & Croquet Match, and more. We’ll announce events as they come, but you can take a look forward by checking out the History Calendar (available directly on Google calendar by following the link to https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=b0r6mk5th8k7j0q7872n6r9kjo%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York).

The History Calendar is also available on the History Department Website (at http://history.voices.wooster.edu). Remember that the History Website also has all variety of Department news: course descriptions, office hours, updates on alumni, and much, much more. If you haven’t already, subscribe to email or Facebook updates from the blog to stay up to date on History news. As always, we will use the History email listserv for important announcements.

Good luck moving in! Have a great rest of the weekend. We look forward to seeing you soon in our classes and our offices. We wish you all the best for a great start to the year! gks