History Department
History Department

History Department Celebrates Undergraduate Honors Students and Thesis Award Winners

Wed, May 16, 2018
History Department Celebrates Undergraduate Honors Students and Thesis Award Winners
History Honors Reception, May 16

On Wednesday May 16th, the History Department held a ceremony to celebrate graduating History Honors students and present awards for best theses.

Honors Program Director and Leslie Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellow, Professor Denise A. Spellberg acknowledged this year’s “particularly outstanding group of theses.” Honors theses are 50-70-page works of original research. The thirteen thesis-writers each worked closely with a faculty advisor and second reader, experts in their field. The students’ research, however, was self-directed and independent. As Prof. Spellberg noted to those gathered for the ceremony, each pursued “pressing intellectual questions that were most important to you. I am proud of all of you.” All thirteen seniors graduating with Special Honors received honors certificates and cords that they will wear at commencement later this week. Each student also received a journal, a gift to to acknowledge ongoing role of writing in their future.

History Department Chair Jacqueline Jones presented two awards on behalf of the department’s Undergraduate Scholarship Committee. The winner of the department’s Claudio Segre Honors Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History was Katharine Taylor. Her thesis, "Revolutionary Fervor: The History and Legacy of Communism in Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq, 1958-1963,” was advised Dr. William Roger Louis and second reader Dr. Michael Anderson.

The History Department’s John Ferguson Honors Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History was awarded to Anton Ermakov for his thesis "Grandfather Frost Meets Comrade Stalin: The New Year Holiday in Stalinist Culture.” Ermakov was advised by Dr. Joan Neuberger and second reader Dr. Petre Petrov. Later in the day, Ermakov’s thesis was also announced by the Liberal Arts Honors Program as the winner of its inaugural Outstanding Thesis Award. This extremely competitive award for Outstanding Thesis in the Humanities comes with a certificate and $5,000 scholarship.

The History Department congratulates all of the following students who completed their Honors Theses during 2018:

Aaron Ahlstrom
The Domesday Revolution”
Advisor: Dr. Vaughn, Second Reader: Dr. Roberts-Miller

Katherine Barry
”Maria Celeste: The Daughter of Science and Religion”
Advisor: Dr. Hunt, Second Reader: Dr. Frazier

Shelby Bremigan
 “The Atomic Scientists of Chicago and Political Activism: Influences on Domestic and International Postwar Legislation, 1945-1947”
Advisor: Dr. Hunt, Second Reader: Dr. Lawrence
Bremigan is also the winner of a Burke-Smith Thesis Scholarship and presented her work at the Longhorn Research Poster Session.

Anton Ermakov
”Grandfather Frost Meets Comrade Stalin: The New Year Holiday in Stalinist Culture”
Advisor: Dr. Neuberger, Second Reader: Dr. Petrov
Ermakov is the winner of the 2018 John Ferguson Honors Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History, a Liberal Arts Honors Outstanding Thesis Award, and a Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship.

Grace Gilker
“Split Memories: The American Presidency’s Unexpected Role in the Formation of Popular Holocaust Understanding”
Advisor: Dr. Crew, Second Reader: Dr. De Bos

Brendalys Lebron
Conducting Conformity? Musical Culture and Politics under Early Francoism from 1935-1945”
Advisor: Dr. Spellberg, Second Reader: Dr. Moore

Jennifer Levin
“Thorns from the Fleur de Lis: French Exploration of the Gulf Coast after La Salle, 1687-1721”
Advisor: Dr. Kamil, Second Reader: Dr. Olwell
Levin is also the winner of a Rapoport-King Thesis Scholarship.

Hunter Newell
“Forced from the Fight: Domestic Opposition and the End of U.S. Military Involvement in Southeast Asia”
Advisor: Dr. Lawrence, Second Reader: Dr. Brown
Newell is also the winner of a Burke-Smith Thesis Scholarship.

Mary Papadopoulos
“The First ‘Humanitarian Intervention’?: The Battle of Navarino and the Greek War of Independence”
Advisor: Dr. Suri, Second Reader: Dr. Vaughn

Alexis Partyka
“Power, Exploitation, and Expectations:  Gender Representation in Postcolonial Algeria”
Advisor: Dr. Brower, Second Reader: Dr. Holmsten
Partyka is also the winner of a Burke-Smith Thesis Scholarship and presented her work at the Liberal Arts Deans Research Reception.

Hannah Rotwein
“Art, Sex, and Jewishness: Peggy Guggenheim as a Modern Object”
Advisor: Dr. Coffin, Second Reader: Dr. Henderson
Rotwein is also a Dean's Distinguished Graduate.
 
Katharine Taylor
"Revolutionary Fervor: The History and Legacy of Communism in Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq, 1958-1963"
Adviser: Dr. Louis, Second Reader: Dr. Anderson
Taylor is the winner of the 2018 Claudio Segre Honors Thesis Prize for Excellence in the Study of History.

Abraham Van Matre
“Cultural Conflicts and Mediterranean Mariners: Organized Piracy in the 16th and 17th Century”
Advisor: Dr. Vaughn, Second Reader: Dr. Spellberg 

Research by all of the 2018 graduating Honors students was also recently showcased at the Honors Thesis Symposium.

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