students with awards

Each spring, the Department of History holds an induction ceremony for Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society. 

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2014-2015 News and Events

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December 18, 2014:

Professor Emeritus Joseph Rishel, along with his wife Helen, recently published A Holy Dwelling Place: the History of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. As stated on the Diocese of Greensburg's website, "[t]he book traces the history of the Catholic community in Greensburg from the late 1700s to the establishment of Most Holy Sacrament Parish in 1847, the construction of the current church building in the 1920s, the renovations following the Second Vatican Council, and the year-long restoration project that started in 2010."

You can learn more about the book, including where and how to order a copy, here.

Student News

  • Graduate Public History students Sarina Johnston and Carl Lew presented papers at the Milton Plesur Graduate Student Conference at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, NY, on March 7, 2015. Their papers given are titled respectively, "Unstable Spheres: Suffragists and Antis Traverse the Home and Public Arenas in Twentieth Century Pittsburgh," and "The Value of Natural Philosophy in Traditional China."

  • Graduate Public History students Carrie Hadley and Lauren Van Zandt have been accepted to present poster projects at the National Council on Public History's Annual Meeting this coming April 2015 in Nashville, TN.

  • Graduate Public History student Lauren Van Zandt presented her scholarship on "The U.S. Capitol Columbus Doors and the Catechism of Expansionism" at the Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC) October 8-11, 2014, in Sarasota, Florida. SECAC typically hosts teachers and administrators in universities, colleges, community colleges, professional art schools, and museums, as well as independent artists and scholars. Thus, we are proud of Ms. Van Zandt's unique and remarkable accomplishment of being asked to present her scholarship as a Master's student at this conference. 

  • On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Department of Hitsory had three of its Public History graduate students present their scholarship at the 2014 Graduate Student Research Symposium on Duquesne's campus. Carrie Hadley, Abigail Kirstein, and Lauren Van Zandt participated.

Faculty Presentations

Bucciantini, Alima. "National Museums, Changing Nations: The Case of Scotland." 7th International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Los Angeles, CA, August 3-8, 2014.  

Parsons, Elaine. "How Klan Victims Explained their Attacks." Association for the Study of African American History and Life Conference, Memphis, TN, September 27-28, 2014.

---. "The Novelty of the Reconstruction-Era Ku-Klux," American Studies Association, Los Angeles, CA, November 5-7, 2014.

---. "The Emergence of the Ku-Klux Klan into Mainstream U.S. History Textbook Narrative, 1880-1920." Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 13-15, 2014.

Parsons, Jotham. "Pierre Nicole: Political Economy and Salvation." Western Society for French History, San Antonio, TX, November 13-15, 2014.  

Sienkewicz, Julia. "Beyond the American School: Placing Art in the 1790s." Society of Early Americanists Conference, London, England, July 15-21, 2014. 

---. "John Flaxman Redux: Copying, Homage, and Illusion in the Sketchbooks of Benjamin Henry Latrobe." Southeast College Art Conference, Sarasota, FL, October 9-12, 2014.

Simpson, Andrew. "Making Money from AIDS? Public-Private Partnerships and the Failure for Non-Profit AIDS Care in Houston, 1985-1987," Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Jackson, MS, March 12-15, 2015.

Stelzel, Philipp. "Arguing about World War I: A Transatlantic Story, 1920-1970," German Studies Association Conference, Kansas City, MO, September 18-21, 2014.



ART BEYOND BARS EXHIBIT - April 10-30, 2015

The Art Beyond Bars exhibit features artwork from inmates at the State Correctional Institution--Pittsburgh and is presented and curated by graduate students in the Duquesne University Department of History's Graduate Public History Program

An opening reception will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015, at 7 p.m. in room 203 of the Duquesne Union. This reception is free and open to the public. RSVP now.




On Friday, March 13, 2015, Dr. Alima Bucciantini presented "Who Are Our Saints?: Building a National Pantheon in the Modern Museum" for the Center for Women's and Gender Studies.  

On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Department of Hitsory had three of its Public History graduate students present their scholarship at the 2014 Graduate Student Research Symposium on Duquesne's campus. Carrie Hadley, Abigail Kirstein, and Lauren Van Zandt participated.

On Thursday, October 16, 2014, Dr. Alima Bucciantini presented "Exhibitions, Identity, and Impact: Assessing the Changing Nation of Scotland and Its Museum" for the Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research (CIQR).

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the Department of History hosted its annual History Forum, "The American Civil War: Conflicting Views of Faith and Freedom," featuring guest speaker Barbara Franco, President and Excecutive Director of the Gettysburgh Seminary Ridge Museum. For more information about this event, visit our History Forum page.

What Did Our Department Do Last Year?

Faculty Presentations

Bucciantini, Alima. "GenNext: The Future of Public History Programs Working Group." National Council on Public History, Monterey, CA, March 18-22, 2014.

Dwyer, John. "Environmental Regulation for Southern California." Western History Association, Tuscon, AZ, October 9-13, 2013.

Fenichel, Emily. "Michelangelo's Portait Medal: Self-Fashioning the Religious Artist." Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, New York, NY, March 26-30, 2014.

Hyland, Matthew. "Historic Preservation and New Deal Key West." Florida Conference of Historians, Saint Augustine, FL, January 30-February 2, 2014.

Li, Jing. "Three China-Naysayers and American Media: The Cases of Chang, Peter Navarro, and Ping Fu." The International Conference on the Comparative Study of China and the West: Bringing Disciplines Together, Beijing, CHINA, July 16, 2013.

Parsons, Elaine. "The Kuklux and the Rise of the Detective in the Reconstruction-Era." Organization of American Historians, Atlanta, GA, April 9-12, 2014.

--. "Representing the Ku-Klux Klan in History Textbooks, 1882-2010." Association of State and Local Historians Convention, Jacksonville, FL, October 3-4, 2013.

Parsons, Jotham. "État de vie, Morals, and Education in the Seventeenth Century." Western Society for French History 2013 Conference, Atlanta, GA, October 24-26, 2013.

Sienkewicz, Julia. "Epic, Ode, Image?: Classical Reference in the Watercolors of Benjamin Henry Latrobe." Classical Association of the Midwest and South, Waco, TX, April 4-6, 2014.

--. "At Sea without a Guiding Star: Uncertain Selfhood in the Atlantic Watercolors of Benjamin Henry Latrobe." American Society of Eighteenth Century Studies, Williamsburg, VA, March 20-23, 2014.

--. "Of Place and Displacement: Benjamin Henry Latrobe's Immigrant Landscapes." Poignant Prospects: Landscape and the Environment in American Visual Culture, 1750-1890, CHAVIC, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA, October 31-November 4, 2013.

Simpson, Andrew. "'We will gladly join you in partnership in Harrisburg, or see you in court': The Growth of Large Not-for-Profits and Consequences of Renaissance in the New Pittsburgh." Society for City and Regional Planning History, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, October 4-6, 2013.

Steinmetz, Charles. "The Aulihan Rebellion 1916 and the Fate of Jubaland." Kenya Scholars and Studies Association Conference, Bowling Green, OH, September 5-7, 2013.

Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony

On Friday, April 11, 2014, we inducted 23 new members into the Epsilon Phi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society. You can view the photo album from the day's events on our Facebook page.

Student Awards

On Friday, April 11, 2014, we presented the Jean E. Hunter Writing History Award and the Joseph R. Morice Award for Excellence in History to two outstanding students, Gesue Staltari and Gannam Rifkah, respectively. For more about our student awards, visit our Undergraduate History Program Awards page. You can also view photos from the award ceremony on our Facebook page.

student with award

Gesue Staltari, 2014 recipient of the Jean E. Hunter Writing History Award

Student Presentations

Western PA Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference

On Saturday, March 25, 2014, three of our graduate students attended and presented papers at the Western PA Regional Phi Alpha Theta Student Conference at Slippery Rock University. Aaron O'Data (Public History), Carrie Hadley (Public History), and Lauren Van Zandt (Public History) all received awards for their papers. Their paper titles:

Hadley, Carrie. "'History' Painting? The Fictional Literary Influences of John Gadsby Chapman's Baptism Pocahontas."

O'Data, Aaron."Disguising Northern-ness: Confederate Commemoration and Northern Ambitions in Richmond, Virginia."

Van Zandt, Lauren. "Slavery and Sentimentality: the Columbus Doors."

6th Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium

On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, four of our undergraduate students presented their work at the 6th Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium. Participating students were:

Maggie Betschart -

presented a poster session with Justine Huber entitled, "Home Sweet Home," as a result of work completed in Dr. Julia Sienkewicz's American Home course in Spring 2013. 

Justine Huber - 

presented a poster session with Maggie Betschart entitled, "Home Sweet Home," as a result of work completed in Dr. Julia Sienkewicz's American Home course in Spring 2013.

Abigail Jones -

presented a poster session as well as a public presentation on "John Vanderlyn's Visual and Political Representation of George Washington" from a paper written in her American Painting and Sculpture course in the fall 2013 semester.

Michael Praskovich - 

presented a poster session entitled, "55 Dixie Hippies: Hippies and their search for Nirvana in the Southern United States." In his abstract, he argues that in 1970 the countercultural "Flower Children" and "New Left" movements of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood combine into one and migrated from the "Haight" with the goal of "Saving the World." Hippies had spread throughout the United States settling down in communes founded largely independent of the mass-mediated image of Hippie "free-love" and drug-experimentation; instead, post-Haight-Ashbury Hippies opted for self-sufficiency and living of the land. Given the South's history as a bastion of tolerance, it would seem futile for Hippies to have settled and start communes throughout the Southern states. This research analyzes the mechanics, and also presents the narrative of three Southern Hippie communes: The Farm in Tennesse, the "Tight Squeeze" in Georgia, and the Long Branch Hotel in Louisiana. These communes are of particular interest because of the bold decision to settle in the part of the nation notoriously known for stubbornly defending antiquated ideologies throughout the 20th century.

You can view the photo album for the event on our Facebook page. 

A Model for Aslym: An Exhibition of the Series by Andrew Hairstans

On March 25, 2014, the Art History Program, in collaboration with the Dean's Office of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, hosted its inaugural exhibit opening and artist's lecture, featuring artist Andrew Hairstans, Associate Professor of Art at Auburn University Montgomery. The exhibit ran from March 25, 2014, to April 12, 2014, in the University's Les Idees Gallery in the student union. 

For more information about this particular exhibit, as well as plans for future exhibits, visit the Art History Program's Exhibits page.