Summer in Review

The history department is gearing up for another academic year that will begin on Monday with our orientation for new history majors. Over the last week, as we gathered for meetings to discuss our plans, I asked my colleagues how they passed their time this summer. Yesterday Bernardo posted on his research at the British Library. Here is what others had to say.

Jim LaGrand spent some of this past summer moving into and remodeling his family’s new home near the campus. There, he built a desk for himself at which he finished writing an article on Progressive-era urban reform and continued reading for a project on American nationalism and its uses. He was also busy with several church responsibilities, including preparing to teach an adult Sunday School class on the Reformation (N.B. as a complete interloper-novice). And he enjoyed trips with his family to see relatives in Georgia and Michigan, and watching the World Cup with his son.

John Fea had a busy summer bringing to completion two books. Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation will be out in late October and Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction will be out in February. He also spent the summer preparing public lectures he will be giving this fall, attending a conference on how to be an effective department chair, conducting workshops with American history teachers in New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina, doing some consulting work for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and blogging at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. In June, he took two current history majors, a history department alum, and his daughter Allyson on a research trip to a small southern New Jersey town called Greenwich. They conducted research for a forthcoming project called “The Greenwich Tea Burning: History and Memory in an American Town.” Sometime in July, he managed to sneak in a family vacation to historic Philadelphia!

Joseph Huffman conducted research (for a book on the history of medieval Cologne) at the Abteilung für Rheinische Landesgeschichte [the Division for Rhineland Regional History] of the University of Bonn for a week in early August, thanks to a generous grant attached to his appointment as a Distinguished Professor at Messiah College. In Bonn he not only met with several German colleagues and graduate students of medieval history but also gathered an extensive amount of archival and library research data. Thereafter, he and his wife Peggy enjoyed a belated 30th-wedding anniversary weekend in Cologne and Paris, and when in Paris they found Peggy’s original family parish church of St. Étienne du Mont in the Latin Quarter. The remainder of the summer was spent reading for both fall courses and for the book project, and taking on new responsibilities as the director of the Center for Public Humanities.

Anne Marie Stoner-Eby enjoyed camping this summer in Acadia National Park with her husband and two sons, ages 5 and 9, and she also found time for several work-related projects!  She is helping launch the new Peace and Conflict Studies major, an interdisciplinary major with history as one of its three core disciplines.  She has been leading a committee considering partnerships with African Christian colleges, and she began a new research project on the history of the Mennonite mission and church in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

David Pettegrew took seven students majoring in history, art history, and biblical and religious studies to Cyprus in late May to take part in the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project field school. He conducted several days of research in the Corinthia, Greece, and found time for vacation with family in Ohio and Kentucky. During the rest of the summer, he finished articles on the “diolkos” of Corinth and Hellenistic towers in Greece and continued working on a book manuscript called The Isthmus of Corinth. He enjoyed making progress on some home projects (like chainsawing branches off his trees!) and spending time with his wife and baby son.

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