Older News Stories 

Lombardo on January 6 in USA Today

Dr. Timothy Lombardo, Associate Professor of History, recently commented on a court case related to the January 6 Capitol Hill riots, giving some historical perspective to the USA Today story, here:

USA out in the World!

Dr. David Meola led a seminar on Antisemitism and its history in Spring, 2022, and students from that class travelled to Montgomery in April 2022 to participate in a seminar with students at five other Alabama Universities studying the same subject.  

Cooke Secures Major NEH Grant to Support Community History Across Campus

October 2021 Dr. Kathy Cooke, Professor of History and Dean of the Honors College, is leading a team of faculty and staff from the McCall Library and Archives and the Archaeology Museum that has secured a $453,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities to support and grow the University's involvement in community history across Mobile and our Gulf Coast region. This is the largest Humanities grant ever awarded to the University! Congratulations! See more here:

Messenger in Spanish Press

September 2021 Dr. David Messenger was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post Spain, commenting on the upcoming Spanish TV show Jaguar, a story of Nazi hunters in Spain in the 1960s and comparing it to reality. Messenger wrote on this subject in his 2014 book Hunting Nazis in Franco's Spain (LSU Press), published in Spanish in 2018 as La Caza de Nazis en la Espana de Franco (Alianza Editorial). The link to the article (in Spanish) is here:

Cage Named Faculty Fellow

December 2020  Dr. Claire Cage is one of 13 USA Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning Program Faculty Fellows.  The inaugural class of faculty fellows will work together to learn and redesign an academic course and/or a research project to help solve real-world issues locally in collaboration with community partners. 

Full Story and Press Release on Cage Faculty Fellow

Kozelsky Receives Grant to Build Digital History Lab

December 2020 Dr. Mara Kozelsky received seed money from a U.S. Department Education Grant for a digital humanities project to build a digital history lab. The lab will allow the History Department to train our students to become leaders in the next era of the information age.

Full Story and Press Release on Digital History Lab

History Department Collaborates with Honors College

November 2020 A team at the University of South Alabama led by the Honors College, with collaborators from the Office of Community Engagement, African American studies program, department of history, and the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, received a renewal for its Delta Fellows program from the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Program at the David Mathews Center for Civic Life.

Full Story and Press Release on Delta Fellows Program

Kozelsky Earns Honorable Mention

October 2020    Dr. Mara Kozelsky and her book Crimea in War and Transformation (Oxford University Press, 2018) received an Honorable Mention in the 2020 Marshall Shulman Book Prize from the Association of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES).  The prize is for an outstanding monograph dealing with the international relations, foreign policy, or foreign-policy decision-making of any of the states of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. The prize went to the Department’s 2019 Mahan Lecturer, Dr. Kate Brown of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for her book Manual for Survival: An Environmental History of the Chernobyl Disaster (W.W. Norton & Company, 2019).

Congratulations, Dr. Kozelsky!

Cooke Elected President of Southern Regional Honors Council

Dr. Kathy Cooke, Founding Dean of the University of South Alabama Honors College and Professor of History, has been elected President of the Southern Region Honors Council, a coalition of Honors scholars in the Southern Region.

Congratulations Dr. Cooke!!

USA Grad Student, Marcee Hinds, is Alabama History Teacher of the Year 

University of South Alabama graduate student, Marcee Hinds has been named the 2020 Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History Teacher of the Year for Alabama. The Gilder Lehrman Institute is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education. Hinds teaches at Baker High School and was selected by a panel of teachers, administrators, and scholars from Alabama for her achievements in American history education. 

Congratulations Ms. Hinds!!

Lombardo Wins NEH Grant for New Research

Dr. Timothy Lombardo was nominated by the University of South Alabama for a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend grant and has learned he was awarded the grant- one of 108 grant winners from thousands of nominees. This funding will allow Dr. Lombardo to examine archives around the United States for his second book project, tentatively titled  Beer Cities: How Craft Brewing Remade Urban America. This work will examine late 20th century urban revitalization and gentrification in America through the prism of the craft brewing industry. The aim of the project is to use the resurgence of small-scale brewing since the 1970s to address larger questions about race, class, gender, inequality, post-industrial economies, popular culture, urban politics and policy, and the use and re-use of urban space. Congratulations, Dr. Lombardo! The NEH announcement is here:

Multiple Faculty Win University Seed Grants for Research

In the 2019-20 academic year, three faculty in the Department of History won the University of South Alabama's Seed Grant to support the Arts and Humanities t fund research. These are familiar names, winning awards from across campus and nationally - congratulations to Dr. Claire Cage for her project "Sex Crimes and Colonial Courts in Nineteenth-Century French Algeria," part of her larger work on the development of forensic medicine in criminal investigation in 19th century France; Dr. Timothy Lombardo for "Beer Cities: How Craft Brewing Remade Urban America," his second book project on urban gentrification and the growth of the craft brewing movement in the Unites States from the 1970s on; and Dr. David Meola for the beginning research on his second book project, entitled "Fighting among the Volk: Jews in the German Liberal and Democratic Movements before 1848."

Urban Wins Another Grant

Dr. Kelly Urban has been awarded a Summer Professional Development Grant from the College of Arts & Sciences at USA. She will use this grant to work on completing her book, tentatively entitled Politicosis: Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Politics in Cuba, 1925—1970. This follows the award of a Faculty Development Council grant and a grant from the American Historical Association last year, which allowed Dr. Urban to carry out final research for her book in Cuban archives.

Congratulations, Dr. Urban! 

Cage Wins Massive National Humanities Grant 

Dr. Claire Cage, Associate Professor of History, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for the calendar year 2021. This is the largest individual grant given by the NEH, an entity of the federal government meant to support research and creative work in the humanities across the United States. This Fellowship, worth $60,000, will allow Dr. Cage to conduct research in France and complete writing a book for her research project entitled "The Science of Proof: Forensic Medicine in Nineteenth-Century France." Congratulations!

See the full announcement of all the NEH awards here:

Meola Publishes Two Pieces of New Research 

Dr. David Meola, Fanny and Bert Meisler Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies, recently published two new pieces of research. The first is the chapter "Making News: Jewish Germans and the Expansion of Vormärz Print Culture" in Vance Byrd and Ervin Malakaj, eds., Market Strategies and German Literature in the Long Nineteenth Century (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2020). The second is entitled "Mirror of Competing Claims: Antisemitism and Citizenship in Vormarz Germany" and appears in the journal Antisemitism Studies 4:1 (2020). Both of these writings are drawn from Dr. Meola's research on the German Jewish community in the 1830s and 1840s.

Congratulations, Dr. Meola!

Messenger Publishes New Book

Dr. David A. Messenger, Professor in the Department of History and Chair of the Department, has published a new book entitled War and Public Memory: Case Studies in Twentieth Century Europe with the University of Alabama Press, as part of their "War, Memory and Culture" series.

This book is not based on original research, but draws on the writings and research of many scholars to introduce students and others to how different societies and cultures remember their national conflicts, and how memories evolve over time. The case studies presented emphasize the major wars fought on European soil as well as the violence perpetrated against civilian populations. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the conflict and then proceeds with a study of how memory of that struggle has entered into public consciousness in different national societies. The focus throughout is on collective social, cultural, and public memory, and in particular how memory has emerged in public spaces throughout Europe, such as parks, museums, and memorial sites. Messenger discusses memories of the First World War for both the victors and the vanquished as well as their successor states. Other events discussed include the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent conflicts in the former Soviet Union, the Armenian genocide, the collapse of Yugoslavia, the legacy of the civil war in Spain, Germany's reckoning with its Nazi past, and the memory of occupation and the Holocaust in France and Poland.

Cooke Involved in Student Oral History Project in Mobile-Tensaw Delta 

See the attached story for details of a significant multi-student research project in oral history in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta region, guided by the USA Honors College and Dean Kathy Cooke, also a member of our Department:

Meola Wins Fulbright Grant

Congratulations to Dr. David Meola, who has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship to Germany to conduct summer research from 2019 to 2021 in the city of Goettingen (at the University of Goettingen). This time will be spent on researching his book project: "Fighting for the Volk: Jewish Germans in the German Liberal and Democratic Movements before 1848”.

History Matters: Lombardo in the Washington Post 

In light of the first debate of the Democratic Party's primary elections for President, in June 2019, Assistant Professor of History at USA, Dr. Timothy Lombardo,  wrote on June 30, 2019 in the Washington Post about Vice President Joseph Biden's role in moving the Democratic Party to a more moderate policy perspective in the 1970s, following the turmoil of the 1960s. This analysis draws on Dr. Lombardo's extensive work on politics from the 1970s and 1980s, typified by his 2018 book examining blue collar conservatism in Philadelphia, Blue Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press). See Dr. Lombardo's story for the Post here:

History Matters: Meola, Messenger Part of Protest Against Holocaust Museum Statement

Dr. David Meola, Fanny and Bert Meisler Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, and Dr. David A. Messenger, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at USA, joined nearly 600 other scholars in criticizing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's June 24, 2019 statement condemning the use of Holocaust analogies when discussing current events, as U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had done on June 17, 2019 when calling U.S. camps for detaining migrants along the southern U.S. border "concentration camps." The joint letter to the Holocaust Museum leadership urged the retraction of the Museum's statement, writing that such a statement "makes learning from the past almost impossible" and that "careful historical analysis and comparison" is indeed one of the roles that historians play in a lively, democratic society. Messenger recently participated in the Museum's 2019 Curt  C. and Else Silberman Seminar on Migration and Displacement in the Holocaust. The full text of the letter to the Museum leadership is posted on the website of the New York Review of Books, here:

History Students Share Research, Win Award

On May 1, 2019, students from Dr. Meola's History of the Holocaust course (HY 347) presented their final projects at Congregation Ahavas Chesed for the Mobile Jewish community's annual Yom Ha'Shoah commemoration (Holocaust Remembrance Day). Students formed into nine groups, each group chose a central theme, and then each student researched a derivative subject that contributed to the overall   project. Groups then presented their projects before the ceremony and stayed to engage and interact with the public—to much acclaim from members of the community. Candace Pickering, a Secondary Education and History double major, as well as an aspiring teacher, presented a summary of her research at the ceremony. Ms. Pickering was awarded the inaugural Gulf Coast Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education award for Holocaust research by a University student. Her paper was entitled “Was Nazism a Cult?” and it drew on the extensive collections at USA Marx Library in the Agnes Tennenbaum Collection. Another student, Courtney Tittle, who is a History major and President of the USA History Society (formerly History Club), was invited to the Springhill Avenue Temple to present her research, which looked at Western media portrayals of various genocides. Her presentation was well-received by the community. Additionally, for many students this event was the first time they had visited a synagogue. Dr. Meola believes that such visits are an important opportunity to incorporate more community engagement among his students—both in the Department of History and in the new Jewish & Holocaust Studies minor.

Messenger off to DC

Dr. David Messenger has been selected as one of twenty  faculty members in the United States and Canada to participate in the 2019 Curt C. and Else Silberman Seminar for Faculty at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The seminar is entitled Displacement, Migration, and the Holocaust  and will be held for two weeks in June, 2019. Dr. Messenger’s participation will enhance his teaching of his University of South Alabama class on refugees, race and migration in Europe. 

Urban Wins Major USA Grant and AHA Grant

Dr. Kelly Urban has won a $5000 Faculty Development Council Grant from the University of South Alabama for research in Cuba and Washington, D.C. related to her book project,  Politicosis: Tuberculosis, Public Health, and Politics in Cuba, 1925—1970.  This is one of the most prestigious awards for research given here at USA.  She also has won the very competitive Albert J. Beveridge Research Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere from the American Historical Association.  Congratulations! 

Hot off the Press!

Lombardo in Print and TV

  • Timothy Lombardo recently contributed to the "Made by History" perspectives column in the Washington Post.  His piece, "Why White Blue-Collar Voters Love President Trump" appeared on September 16, 2018.

  • Timothy Lombardo was interviewed by C-SPAN at the April 2018  annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians.  Dr. Lombardo discussed former Philadelphia mayor, Frank Rizzo, the concerns of white-working class voters in the 1970s, and made comparisons to today's political climate. He also discussed his forthcoming book, Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics to be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.  The full interview as it aired on C-SPAN can be found here.

Cage Wins 2018 NEH Grant 

Claire Cage has been offered a Summer Stipends award by the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research in France over the summer of 2018 for a new book on the history of forensic science. The NEH Program is a very competitive national grant and all Summer Stipends applications are evaluated by peer review panels and by the National Council on the Humanities. This year NEH received almost eight hundred applications and only eight percent were funded. Congratulations Dr. Cage!