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Center for Historical Studies Established at Northwestern

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March 18, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has established The Center for Historical Studies, a focal point for addressing the core concerns of the historical discipline and sponsoring lectures, workshops and other events related to theory, methodology and evidence.

The center is administered by director T.H. Breen, assistant director Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch and a faculty council.

One of the center's goals is to reach out beyond the particular concerns of various sub-fields and examine common intellectual concerns that energize the practice of history. It organizes programs in cooperation with the members of the Northwestern history department, but also seeks to draw into its affairs a broader range of scholars and members of the Chicago community.

The center currently hosts eight annual lectures, two graduate workshops, a jointly-sponsored lecture on the history of the book with the University Library, receptions honoring the authors of new books, and lectures especially designed to help graduate students deal with professional challenges connected with the publication of monographs and articles.

Each year the Center selects two graduate students to serve as Fellows who are asked to organize one-day conference or workshop as well as to help manage other Center activities. The current Center Fellows are Lonnie Robbins and Strother Roberts.

For undergraduates the center offers the opportunity to work closely with primary historical materials under the guidance of faculty, doing actual archival faculty research and learning how to transform raw data into historical interpretation. Our first undergraduate Leopold Fellows will be selected for 2008-2009.

The Center for Historical Studies welcomes proposals from Northwestern University faculty members from all schools and departments and advanced graduate students to fund small, focused workshops that reflect the center's broad theoretical and comparative goals.

The center also offers a new undergraduate program that honors the teaching and scholarship of the late Richard Leopold, professor emeritus of history and a long-time member of the Northwestern department of history. The goal of the program is to provide a small group of undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in genuine historical research. Leopold Fellows will work on current faculty research projects, learning how to interpret archival and documentary materials. Each Leopold Fellow will receive financial support as a research assistant.

The Center for Historical Studies has scheduled this series of spring workshops that are free and open to the public:
Environmental History
Keynote speaker Richard White (Stanford University)
Saturday, April 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Harris 108

Reconstructing Social History in a Post-Structural World
Keynote speaker Keith Wrightson (Yale University)
Saturday, May 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

The schedule of spring quarter speakers is as follows:
Dylan Penningroth (Northwestern)
"The Preacher's Wife: Law, Divorce, and Respectability among African Americans, 1865-1930"
Thursday, April 10,

Christof Mauch (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich)
"A Tocquevillian Perspective: Teaching American History in German Universities"
Tuesday, April 22

Christopher Bayly (Cambridge University)
"Between Repression and Reform: The British Empire c. 1800-1960"
Thursday, May 1

Laura de Mello e Souza (University of São Paulo)
"Rethinking the Portuguese Seaborne Empire From the Perspective of Colonial Brazil"
Thursday, May 8

Edward Ayers (University of Richmond)
"Deep Contingency"
Thursday, May 22

For more on CHS activities, consult the center website at http://www.historicalstudies.northwestern.edu/
Topics: University