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History Department Newsletter

FOOTNOTES • November 2018

Dear Students

This month's Footnotes will highlight:

  • Spring 2019 Classes
  • Upcoming Events and Lectures
  • Research Opportunity - Paid!
  • Faculty in the News 
  • Spotlight on Undergraduate Research
  • Graduate Awards
  • Alumni Profile
  • Student Opportunities

Spring 2019 Classes!

What's offered next semester? Check out our history course offerings. Click here for the Spring 2019 flyer.

New Classes

  • HISA 6190 Mystics & Holy Women in the Middle Ages, Professor F. Thomas Luongo
  • HISC 3910 Religion and Politics in South Asia, Professor Subah Dayal
  • HISL 2910 American Independence, Professor Justin Wolfe
  • HISU 2680 Working in America, Professor Jana Lipman

History Majors, don't forget your Methods Seminar!

  • HISL 3200 History of Voodoo, Professor Laura Rosanne Adderley
  • HISM 3220 Arab/Israeli Conflict, Professor Yigit Akin  

Upcoming Events and Lectures

World War I Remembered, A panel discussion with Prof. Fettweis and Prof. Otte

Refugees Endure: WWII Displaced Persons versus Today and the Lessons Learned

The international conference, Refugees Endure: WWII Displaced Persons versus Today and the Lessons Learned, on November 16th and 17th at the Tulane Law School, and hosted by the Eason Weinmann Center for International and Comparative Law, will be a first of its kind, focusing on the lessons learned from the challenges of the 10 to 12 million refugees following WWII and their application to today’s over 65 million world refugees. Additionally, this conference will examine the contributions by refugees through their art, music, as well as, hearing the oral vignettes of their experiences.

 WWII Displaced Persons versus Today and the Lessons Learned

November 16, 11:15am - 12:15pm
Displaced Persons:
An In-Depth Look at Camp Life

Professor Lawrence Powell (Tulane History Dept) - Moderator
Professor Adam Seipp (Texas A&M)                            
Rivka Augenfeld (Canada)

November 17, 10:45am - 11:45am
What has been done? What has worked?
Not worked?      
Professor Douglas Brinkley - Moderator
Jana Mason (UNHCR)
JD McCrary (IRC)
Professor Jana Lipman (Tulane History Dept)

Tuesday, November 16-17
Tulane Law School, 6329 Freret Street
Event Information here.

History in the News

My Fascism is Better than Your Fascism!

Atlantis or Kitezh? The Future of a Great American City, Dr. Leslie Harris
Atlantis or Kitezh? The Future of a Great American City

Dr. Leslie Harris will discuss her new book about the history of African Americans in New Orleans from the nineteenth century to the present. 

Friday, November 30, 12pm
Dinwiddie, Room 102
Admission:  Free
For more information contact: Shelley Meaux via email to

Sponsored by Environmental Studies Program

Research Opportunity!

Research Assistant - Professor Jana Lipman

Professor Jana Lipman is interested in an undergraduate research assistant. Tasks will include assisting with bibliography and research for project on Vietnamese refugee camps at the end of the Vietnam War. Interested students should contact Professor Lipman ( by email with a short letter and CV. She will contact finalists for in-person interviews.   $10/Hour, 3-5 hours/week depending on student availability.

Faculty in the News

Professor Walter Isaacson brings new stories to life through one-on-one interviews in his role as a contributor on the late-night public affairs series “Amanpour & Company.”

Professor Walter Isaacson brings new stories to life through one-on-one interviews in his role as a contributor on the late-night public affairs series “Amanpour & Company.”

Episodes were recently recorded at Tulane University with Annette Gordon-Reed, Garrett Graves and Ben Jaffe. Air dates TBD. 

Watch recently aired episodes:
Theoretical Physicist Brian Greene
Walter Isaacson sits down with theoretical physicist Brian Greene to probe the origin of life and the universe.

Jill Lepore on the Roots of Political Tribalism
Historian Jill Lepore discusses the roots of political tribalism in an interview with Walter Isaacson.  
“Amanpour & Company” premiered this September on PBS. 


Spotlight on Undergraduate Research

Reagan Orloff

This semester, I am taking the Writing Biography course taught by Walter Isaacson. The class objective is to choose a historical New Orleans figure to research extensively and then write about in a final biographical paper. The subjects of my classmates’ biographies range from political figures to Storyville legends, reflecting the rich and complicated history of New Orleans.

Spotlight on Undergraduate Research   Reagan Orloff

For my paper, I chose Sandra and Allan Jaffe, the couple who founded Preservation Hall in 1961. Since beginning the course, I have made amazing progress in not only my research but in my understanding of the Jaffes’ significant legacy.  I’ve spent hours searching through the Preservation Hall archives, which as of now are several storage units filled from floor to ceiling with sources ranging from handwritten letters to vacation photographs. Other useful resources include the Hogan Jazz Archives and Times-Picayune online archives. I have visited the Hall itself several times, speaking with current employees and musicians who have been performing at the Hall for decades. I believe the interviews I have conducted so far have been the most enlightening. For example, Ben Jaffe, who currently operates the Hall, has been a valuable resource to understand the personalities of and anecdotes about Sandra and Allan, his parents.

My most exciting research milestone so far was arranging an interview with Sandra Jaffe herself. Having been retired from the Hall since the passing of her husband, I have been told this is the first solo interview to which Sandra has agreed. She visited New Orleans a few weekends ago, and I sat with her in the back office of Preservation Hall, which used to be the apartment where her and Allan lived, listening to her incredible stories. From the couple’s spontaneous move to New Orleans, to their opening of an integrated jazz hall, to their active advocacy for civil rights, Sandra’s recount of her life made it clear that Preservation Hall was more than just a music venue; it was an institution that cared about the musicians as well. At the time these jazz musicians were internationally known yet living in the segregated south, where they were barely second-class citizens. Preservation Hall empowered these musicians rather than exploiting them. Sandra and Allan provided a space for these artists to perform with dignity and earn a respectable wage, and in doing so they helped New Orleans jazz survive to present day.

I am extremely grateful for all the lessons this course has already taught me and the confidence it has instilled in me as a historian and a writer; I hope to continue researching and documenting Preservation Hall even after the semester is over, perhaps extending it to become an Honors thesis.

Graduate Student Awards

Mira Kohl received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant to carry out her dissertation research in Bolivia and Brazil.
Mira Kohl received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant to carry out her dissertation research in Bolivia and Brazil.

Mira Kohl is a PhD candidate studying the politics of citizenship, nation-state formation, and migration in the borderlands of Bolivia and Brazil during the 20th century. She received in MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane in 2015 and a BA in Anthropology from Macalester College in 2010. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education and the Linda Hall Library. She has also been awarded the prestigious James R. Scobie Award from the Conference on Latin American History and the Brazil Initiation Scholarship from the Brazilian Studies Association. Before moving to New Orleans in 2013, she worked in immigrant rights advocacy in Boston and taught English in Andalucía, Spain.

John Bardes receives the William F. Holmes Award
John Bardes receives the William F. Holmes Award

In honor of Will Holmes's fifteen years of service as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Historical Association, the Executive Council created the William F. Holmes Award, to be presented every year for the best paper presented at the annual meeting by a graduate student or junior faculty member. The 2018 recipient is Tulane PhD candidate John Bardes.

John Bardes entered the PhD program in 2014. His work examines crime, punishment, policing, incarceration, state power, and the evolving boundaries of race, gender, class, and community in the U.S. South. His work has appeared in the Journal of Southern History and Southern Cultures. His dissertation examines the evolution of penal sanctions for coercing free and enslaved labor in nineteenth-century Louisiana. It demonstrates how antebellum ideas and practices regarding the policing and imprisonment of maroons, poor white vagrants, and illicit free black sailors formed the basis for the postbellum reconstruction of ideas regarding black deviance and criminality.

Alumni Profile

Sophia Cornfield ' 14
Alumni Profile   Sophia Cornfield ' 14

At Tulane, I majored in history and worked with Prof. Haugeberg to write a senior honors thesis on the history of special education in the U.S. After graduation, I drew upon this research for my work in the field of education. I worked in both special education and general education settings for four years.  The macro-level understanding of the history of social and educational policy that I developed at Tulane certainly informed my teaching and inspired me to return to school to explore the history of education more deeply. I am currently pursuing an M.S.Ed in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. The program is flexible and allows me to take classes in all graduate departments, so my studies incorporate history, social work, and education. My current research question, “How do stereotypes about mothers living in poverty inform federal compensatory education policy?” draws directly on my undergraduate research on mothers with children with disabilities.

Student Opportunities

Study Abroad

Take two three-credit courses in Ireland this summer!

Join us this June as we explore the mysteries of the Emerial Isle and have the adventure of a lifetime! All courses have scheduled periodic field trips and excursions to sites and museums in the Dublin area and surrounding villages. In addition, there will be a four day field trip around Ireland for the entire group. The cost of all field trips are included in the program, as well as a meal card, housing, and transportation pass.

Publish your work

The Penn History Review (PHR) Editorial Board is now accepting submissions for its Fall 2018 issue!

The PHR is a biannual publication of the University of Pennsylvania History Department featuring undergraduate historical research. If you are proud of a piece of historical writing and would like to see it published, submit to the PHR! 

This semester, the PHR will be accepting external submissions from undergraduates attending colleges and universities throughout the United States. Authors whose pieces are selected will work with our editorial board to prepare their articles for publication near the end of the semester.

The PHR will be accepting submissions on a rolling basis through Monday, November 26th. We highly recommend submitting ASAP since papers will be reviewed and accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Papers must be at least twelve pages double-spaced, 12-point font, and distinguish between primary and secondary sources in a works cited page. Papers must also be submitted as Word documents rather than PDFs. You can view previous PHRs here:

Please send all submissions and any questions you may have to

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