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Department of History
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Faculty News

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    Dr. Jason Pierce’s article “Marvelous, Maligned, and Misunderstood: The Strange History of the Mesquite Tree in Texas” examines the environmental and cultural influence of this iconic plant on Texas history from Native American times to the present.  Dr. Pierce shows how this native plant has inadvertently come to dominate landscapes across much of the state—often to the consternation of farmers and ranchers.  The article appears in the April issue of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly.
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    On April 22, 2014, Dr. Robert Hicks, director of the Mutter Museum and Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, made two presentations on Civil War medicine.  At 3 P.M., Dr. Hicks met with Angelo State University pre-med and physical therapy students at the historical Fort Concho post hospital.  Dr. Hicks incorporated artifacts at the hospital in his discussion of Civil War medicine and the lives, illnesses, and deaths of Civil War soldiers.  At 7 P.M. Dr. Hicks then gave a lecture on Civil War medicine at the Fort Concho Stables.  Approximately 136 community members, medical personnel, and Angelo State University faculty and students attended this evening event.  The audience learned about the organization of the Union medical corps, the training of Army doctors, and the challenges they faced with sanitation, disease, and the frequent necessity for amputations.  Topics included the introduction of women into the nascent nursing profession, as well as the role climate played in soldiers’ health.  Dr. Hicks observed that a number of the practices used today in American civilian and military medicine were first derived from Civil War experiences.
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    On Monday, April 14, 2014, Angelo State University honored Dr. Arnoldo De León for his 40 years of service to the institution.

    Dr. De León, fresh out of the Air Force, first set foot at ASU in 1967 as a student.  When he is asked about his longevity at ASU, he answers “I needed to work!”
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    On April 14, the History Department and ASU Multicultural Center hosted “San Angelo and Civil Rights: Local Stories of Integration in San Angelo Schools.” Two local community residents spoke about the integration of San Angelo schools during the 1950s to an audience of 150 students and members of the community. Coach Phil George, a former ASU athletic director and coach, spoke about the integration of Angelo State College, particularly the role of Ben Kelly in integrating the football program. Mary Frances Owens is a retired SAISD schoolteacher who spoke about the integration of San Angelo public schools. Dr. Christine Lamberson introduced the speakers and moderated the event.
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    Dr. Christine Lamberson recently spoke at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians about the legacies and consequences of the My Lai Massacre for military policy and public opinion. Her talk, “American War Crimes: The My Lai Massacre in American Military Policy” was part of a panel titled: “Boundless War: The Legal, Military, and Psychological Effects of the Vietnam War Across Time and Space.” The talk discussed how the military revised its training after the My Lai Massacre, how the public responded to the prosecution of one massacre participant, and the memory of the massacre.
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    On April 9th, 2014, Ken Heineman gave a talk on his most recent book, Civil War Dynasty, as a guest of the Washington, D.C. Civil War Roundtable.
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    Dr. Kenna Archer recently spoke to members of the Texas Map Society about the historical applications of cartography in her talk “To highlight the hills, to corral the creeks:  Mapwork along the Brazos River.”  The talk highlighted the map collections and mapping tools that she used in the writing of her book manuscript.
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    Dr. David Dewar discussed the origins of baseball and the game’s connection to the American Civil War.  This event, part of the department’s Civil War Lecture Series, was held at Fort Concho and also featured Fort Concho site manager Bob BluthardtMr. Bluthardt discussed how baseball developed into the nation’s favorite pastime by the twentieth century.  Attendees also witnessed (and some participated in) a demonstration game using nineteenth century rules.
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    William McWhorter, coordinator of the Military Sites Program for the Texas Historical Commission (THC), discussed what his organization has been doing to commemorate the Civil War’s sesquicentennial as part of the History Department’s Civil War lecture series.  Mr. McWhorter spoke to an audience of over 135 in the C. J. Davidson Center.
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    In the second Civil War lecture event of the spring semester, Dr. Kimberly Busby (Department of Visual and Performing Arts) discussed how ancient art and architectural designs influenced Civil War monuments around the nation.
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    Duncan Knox, junior history major and ASU honors student, has earned a summer internship with the Office of the Curator at the U.S. Supreme Court.  He will work in the Supreme Court archives. His application was one of many in a very competitive process.  This is not Duncan’s first such accomplishment.  During the summer of 2013 he was a Fulbright Summer Fellow at the University of Bristol in England.  While there, he studied the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century slave trade at the university’s extensive Atlantic World archive.
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    History major Sarah Elliott (B.A. 2013) will be attending the Ph.D. program at the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2014.  Elliott is interested in studying nineteenth-century American history.
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    Zachary Dowdle (B.A., 2010; M.A., 2014) has been accepted to the history Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri.  He will start classes there in the fall of 2014.
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    History major Joshua Logsdon has worked for two years under the supervision of history professors David Dewar and Shirley Eoff (director of the Honors Program) to produce a project of remarkable achievement. Logsdon discovered west Texas counties providing public aid to the indigent at the turn of the twentieth century.  He has produced and presented three papers on the topic as he learned more about it.  His most recent paper, “Western Welfare:  the Pauper System in West Texas, 1870-1930” has received the 2014 West Texas Historical Association Best Student Essay Prize. He earned a cash prize and the right to present his paper to the West Texas Historical Association’s annual meeting.  In addition, Josh is one of 15 students nationwide to win the Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  The award recognized outstanding graduating college seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence, dedication to the study of American history, and a commitment to public service and community involvement. He will attend a seminar in New York City June 6 – 9, 2014.