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As always, the academic year 2017-18 included an impressive amount of daily achievements by students and faculty in the classroom, exploring history across a vast range of topics, eras, and parts of the world. This newsletter cannot pretend to do justice to all of the creativity and hard work by undergraduates, graduate-student teaching assistants, and faculty across two semesters. One class in particular, however, taught by Professor Karen Hagemann, deserves mention: students in HIST259, “Women and Gender in Europe, 18th-20th Century, produced an innovative final group project, a website “Towards Emancipation? – Women in Modern European History: A Digital Exhibition & Encyclopedia.”

Beyond the regular class offerings, a number of our undergraduates presented their original research at off-campus and on-campus venues. Sophia Rupp attended the biennial Phi Alpha Theta conference at New Orleans in January, presenting a paper “There Are Those Who Drink Our Blood”: The Beilis Case and the Power of Anti-Semitism in Late Imperial Russia.” That same month, Frances Cayton presented at the undergraduate poster session at the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C., on her project “Radio Free Europe, Poland, and 1956: Impact and Incoherencies in American Psychological Warfare Intervention Efforts.”

DuVal and Hunter
Professor Kathleen DuVal (Senior Honors Thesis Director) and Lacey Hunter at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research Poster Session, Student Union.
Two of our senior honors thesis students also shared their work at the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research here at UNC, including Lacey Hunter, who presented a prize-winning poster related to her thesis “An Expansive Subjecthood in Eighteenth-Century British North America: The Life and Perspectives of Sir Guy Carleton,” and Jimmy Messmer, who joined a panel to speak on his thesis “The Final Judgment: John Bale’s Apocalyptic Justification of English Protestantism.” Denton Ong and Walter Vozzo, who will be part of next year’s honors class in History, also presented research from their 398 “capstone” seminars at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research.

The department was also proud to award a number of prizes and forms of financial support related to undergraduate research. Please see the list of honors below! The History department expresses it deep gratitude to the Meador, Kusa, Ryan and Boyatt families for their support of the undergraduate program in History.

We also have a new undergraduate coordinator, Jeanette Jennings, who is doing an amazing job providing administrative savvy to our undergraduate program, and helped ensure that the 2018 Commencement ceremony went off without a hitch. Lastly, thanks to our undergraduate students for their energy, enthusiasm, and historical insights that continue to enliven our intellectual community anew every year.

Brett Whalen
Director of Undergraduate Studies

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