Faculty & Staff News


Oregon Historical Quarterly Summer 2011 coverProf. James' Latest Article Headlines
Oregon Historical Quarterly

Professor James' article "'Hardly a Family is Free From the Disease': Tuberculosis, Health Care, and Assimilation Policy on the Nez Perce Reservation, 1908-1942" appears in the Summer 2011 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly.  

Tuberculosis afflicted numerous Native American reservations in epidemic proportions in the early twentieth century.  "Hardly a Family is Free From the Disease" explores the impact of tuberculosis on the Nez Perce reservation in Idaho and efforts to alleviate its significant morbidity and mortality rates. A particular focus is federal policies that could and did preclude efforts to alleviate the disease. Such efforts included the experimental opening of a "sanitarium school" in which students received medical care while at a boarding school that sought to assimilate students into American culture--often at the price of their own heritage.   

Dr. James will also be presenting her research on this topic at the annual meeting of the Western History Association this fall in Oakland, California.

[posted 13 June 2011]


Distinguished Professor Haycox on "The Nobility of History"

Distinguished Emeritus Professor Stephen W. HaycoxDistinguished Emeritus Professor Stephen W. Haycox honored the attendees with second annual Phi Alpha Theta banquet on 26 February 2011 with an address on "The Nobility of History."

In the address, Prof. Haycox reflects on the status of the field of history and examines the history of history as well. Despite the numerous criticisms of the "utility" of history and its applicability to modern society, Prof. Haycox concludes that as a discipline history now has the ability to return to its roots, to contemplate and to comment on the great questions of the human experience.

Download "The Nobility of History" (.pdf file)

[posted 15 April 2011]


History Faculty Discusses the Legacy of the
American Civil War to Mark 150th Anniversary

The Civil War: 150 Years LaterOn Tuesday, 12 April 2011, faculty from the UAA Departments of History and Political Science presented a public forum on the legacy of the American Civil War at the UAA Campus Bookstore.

The event was an overwhelming success, with more than fifty members of the UAA and Anchorage community in attendance.

April 12th marked the 150th Anniversary of the attack by Confederate forces on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The attack was the official starting point of the Civil War.

The speakers and topics were:

  • Songho Ha: "The Institution of Antebellum Slavery"
  • Stephen Haycox: "American Politics Leading to the Secession Movement."
  • James W. Muller: "Lincoln and his Role."
  • William Jacobs: "The Military Innovation/Consequences of the War."
  • Elizabeth James: "Reconstruction and the Lingering Effects of the Civil War.'
  • Scott A. Gavorsky: Chair and Moderator

The History Department is looking forward to presenting more public panels in the future.

[posted 13 April 2011]


Japan's Siberian InterventionProf. Dunscomb Discusses "Japan's Siberian Intervention"

On Monday, 4 April 2011, Prof. Dunscomb presented a summary of his new book at the UAA Campus Bookstore to an audience of over forty people.

In 1918, as the First World War was finishing and civil war engulfed the Russian Far East, Japan' leadership entered into international diplomacy by deploying military forces to Siberia to help quell the violence and keep wartime military supplies from falling into the hands of combatants.

As the intervention continued, both the purpose of the intervention and the strategies employed by the Japanese military came under increasing public scrutiny. The inability of the democratically-elected Japanese government to articulate a coherent policy concerning Japan's international interventions and to control the military establishment helped to undermine Japanese faith in liberal democratic government.


[posted 8 April 2011]


UAA History Department Tees Off for Alaska SeaLife Center

2011 EiderDons Charity Golf Team

On Saturday, 25 March 2011, members from the UAA History Department participated in the Fifth Annual Indoor Mini-Golf Tournament fundraiser for the Alaska SeaLife Center. 

Professors Paul Dunscomb, Scott Gavorsky, and Elizabeth James, along with UAA Head Archivist Arlene Schmuland, travelled to Seward to play a 11-hole round of mini-golf within the SeaLife Center with twenty other teams. Part of the event was a contest for "Best Golfing Attire." The team, taking the name EiderDons combining the Eider duck with the traditional British academic rank of Don, easily won the contest with a 1920s British public school inspired theme.

[posted 5 April 2011]


Prof. James Article Nominated for Berkshire Prize

The editors of the journal Western Historical Quarterly have nominated Prof. James' article "Toward Alaska Native Political Organization: The Origin of the Tundra Times" for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians 2011 Article Prize.

Prof. James article examines the evolution of the Tundra Times from a newspaper that intended to connect isolated Native Alaskan communities into a venue for the assertion of a pan-Alaskan Native political identity. The article originally appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of the Western Historical Quarterly.

The winner of the Prize will be announced this summer. We wish Prof. James the best of luck!

[updated 15 February 2011]


Prof. Gavorsky Presents on
"Blockheads with Hearts of Gold"

Alfred comte de FallouxOn Saturday, 12 February 2011, Prof. Gavorsky delivered a paper entitled "Blockheads with Hearts of Gold: Catholic Nobles and the Expansion of Primary Education in Nineteenth‐Century Angers" at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies in Charleston, South Carolina.

As part of a panel on "Surviving Untimely Nobility," Prof. Gavorsky will discuss the very active roles played by Catholic nobles in the construction of local education infrastructures and national education policies in post-Revolutionary France. The paper focuses on the noble members of the Association religieuse et royale of the western French city of Angers. Although dismissed by contemporaries as the "têtes-de-bois" ("blockheads"), the Association established, funded, and oversaw a growing number of free schools for boys in Angers from 1817 through the early 1870s. By the 1840s, members such as Alfred, the Comte de Falloux (pictured left) helped parlayed this local experience into national policies that continue to influence French primary education.

[updated 15 February 2011]


Dr. Dunscomb and his recent bookProf. Dunscomb's
Japan's Siberian Intervention

Published in Hardcover and Paperback

Dunscomb - Japan's Siberian Intervention coverProf. Dunscomb's new book, Japan's Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922: 'A Great Disobedience Against the People', is now available from Lexington Books in both hardcover and paperback.

During a fifty month period starting near the conclusion of World War I, Japan's military occupied part of Siberia. Nominally undertaken as an effort to insure Japan a significant role in a post-Great War world order, the Siberian Intervention provoked an extensive public debate on the nature of Japanese political life during the "Taishō democracy" period.

Utilizing newspaper and magazine articles discussing the ramifications of the Siberian Intervention, Prof. Dunscomb argues that the debates illuminate the various tensions within the embryoic Japanese democracy. Issues such as the relationship between Japan's military and its civilian government, the role of cabinets in political decision-making, the domestic effects of foreign policy, and the responsibility of government to the demands of the governed were evident in these public debates. Prof. Dunscomb also illustrates that these concerns were not only limited to the major metropolitan centers of Tokyo and Osaka but also the smaller cities of Mitō, Nara, Ōita, and Tsuruga.

[posted 22 December 2010]


Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress MichikoProf. Dunscomb Discusses
"The Heisei Period as History"

On 15 October 2010, Prof. Dunscomb delivered a talk on "The Heisei Period as History" at a workshop on Contemporary Japan sponsored by Johnson County Community College and the Asian Studies Development Program.

The Heisei Period, marking the reign of the current Japanese Emperor Akihito (pictured at right with Empress Michiko), began on 8 January 1989. The twenty-one years of the period cover some of the most drastic changes in modern Japan, including the "Lost Decade" of the 1990s in which Japan's economy stagnated and a series of debates about Japan's imperial past and role in the post-Cold War world.

Prof. Dunscomb's talk argued for the need to begin studying the period from a historical perspective.

[posted 19 October 2010]


Western Historical Quarterly, Autumn 2010Prof. James Headlines The Western Historical Quarterly

Prof. James' article "Toward Alaska Native Political Organization: The Origins of Tundra Times" has been selected as the lead article in the latest issue of The Western Historical Quarterly, the premier journal of the history of the American West.

The article is part of a book she is currently writing about the impact of the Native Alaskan newspaper Tundra Times on the development of Alaskan politics. Founded in 1962 as a means to connect isolated Native communities, the Tundra Times rapidly evolved into an influential news source read by Natives and non-Natives alike.

Congratulations to Prof. James on this noteworthy success.

[posted 21 September 2010]

 History Department Welcomes Another Academic Year

2010 History Department Faculty
(left to right) History Professors Dennison, Ha, Dunscomb, Gavorsky, and James look forward to another great academic year.

[posted 20 August 2010]


Prof. Ha's The Rise and Fall of the American System Published

Ha-The Rise and Fall of the American SystemProfessor Songho Ha’s book The Rise and Fall of the American System: Nationalism and the Development of the American Economy, 1790-1837 has been published by Pickering and Chatto of London as part of their Financial History Series. The book analyzes the American System, which was a political, economic, and cultural policy package proposed by the Whig Party in the early 19th century that emphasized the role of the federal government in promoting economic and cultural unity. He also made three presentations on the topic in the spring and summer 2010: “The American System as a Cultural System,” an invited talk for the Complex Systems Group, University of Alaska Anchorage, March 19, 2010; “Two Americas: the History of a Divided Nation, 1789-1845,” an invited talk for the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Anchorage, Alaska, June 27, 2010; and “The American System as a Cultural System,” for The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Rochester, New York, July 23, 2010.

[posted 16 August 2010]


Prof. Dunscomb Continues Work in Japanese History and with the UAA Confucius Institute

Prof. Paul DunscombProfessor Paul Dunscomb has shipped the corrected proof of his book, A Great Disobedience Against the People, Japan's Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922, to the publisher. The book will be published by Lexington Books for their New Studies in Modern Japan Series. It is the first complete narrative on the topic in either English or Japanese. The book will appear in the second half of 2010.

Dunscomb also hosted a conference of the partner institutions of the Confucius Institute June 23-27, 2010 in the capacity of its UAA Director. The conference brought together delegations from UAA's Chinese partner institution Northeast Normal University (NENU) based in Changchun and from NENU's other affiliated Confucius Institutes at Dong-A University in Pusan, South Korea and Valencia University in Valencia, Spain. Officials of the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco also attended.

[posted 16 August 2010]


Prof. James Conducts Diverse Research into Histories of the Nez Perce and Native Alaskans

Prof. Elizabeth JamesAfter a May vacation in England, Professor James spent most of the summer on research projects. She worked on final edits of her article, “Toward Alaska Native Political Organization: The Origins of Tundra Times” which appears in the Autumn 2010 issue of the Western Historical Quarterly. The article is the basis for a book manuscript she is currently developing about the impact of the Native Alaskan newspaper Tundra Times on Alaskan politics. She also completed revision of an article about tuberculosis on the Nez Perce reservation during the early twentieth century.

She also reviewed the book Beyond Bear’s Paw: The Nez Perce Indians in Canada by Jerome A. Greene for the WHQ. In June, James attended the Oral History Institute at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. The Institute instructs professionals from a wide background of disciplines and occupations in planning, managing, and accomplishing oral history projects. In addition to researching the Tundra Times, James is now working on a paper and panel proposal for the 2011 Western History Association meeting which will be held in Oakland, California.

[updated 16 August 2010]


Prof. Gavorsky Finishes First Year at UAA

Prof. Scott A. GavorskyIn addition to enjoying a wonderful Alaskan summer in between classes, Professor Gavorsky hosted a well-attended international panel on the continuing significance of the French Revolution in honor of Bastille Day (July 14th), the traditional start of the Revolution. He has also begun work on a series of articles in preparation for a book project tentatively entitled A Tale of Two Societies: NGOs Building Schools in Nineteenth Century France. First up are articles on the pedagogical debates on education and the nationalism models embedded in them, and a look at the efforts of Catholic nobles to use participation in education organizations to mold a new place for themselves in post-Revolutionary France.

[posted 16 August 2010]


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