History Department
History Department

Institute for Historical Studies year in review

Wed, June 1, 2011
Institute for Historical Studies year in review

As the Class of 2011 at the Institute for Historical Studies (IHS) makes its way “across the stage” and prepares for the next juncture of their lives, the institute bids them a fond farewell. During the academic year 2010-11 and in keeping with the 2010-12 theme, Power and Place, the fellows  worked on colonialism in German East Africa, on issues of Asian-American citizenship in Hawaii, on biopolitics in Revolutionary Europe and its Atlantic colonies, and on the creation of the state of Pakistan.  

Apart from presenting their work at bi-weekly workshops, the fellows also had a chance to submit journal articles and book reviews for publication, organize panels for conferences, and apply for grants and job positions.

Visiting Assistant Professor from University of Miami William Nelson used the public workshop format as a launching pad for his new book project. He used the feedback from the workshop to transform his paper into two book chapters now in progress for publication.

During his year at the IHS, Nelson accepted a tenure-track job at the University of Toronto. He believes that his success in the very competitive IHS fellowship process and the opportunity while a fellow to begin his second book project, provided him with a real advantage in obtaining his new position.

Dr. Michelle Moyd, assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, secured another resident fellowship at the International Research Center–Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, where she will work on a project on colonial militaries and labor regimes. Her new project, she says, is an outgrowth of an article she produced while in residence at the IHS.

She has also made excellent progress on her first monograph,"Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa." She received a New Frontiers Research Grant from her home institution, Indiana University, to allow her to begin her “next major book project on the social and cultural history of the 1979 war between Tanzania and Uganda.”

Resident fellows also had a chance to participate in the first manuscript workshops at the institute.  Through these workshops the participants met with a core group of University of Texas History Department faculty members who read their manuscripts and provided comments to aid them in preparing the manuscripts for submission to publishers. 

Dr. Ellen Wu, assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, said the “fuzziness” of transforming her dissertation into a manuscript was “a source of much anxiety.” She jumped at the chance to be the manuscript workshop’s “guinea pig” — the one to go first.

She said it allowed her to “emerge from the session with a set of useful questions and ideas and a much more defined roadmap for [her] revisions.” She will complete her book manuscript titled "The Origins of the Model Minority: Race and Imperatives of Asian American Citizenship in the Mid-Twentieth Century" this summer.

Dr. Venkat Dhulipala, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, seconds Wu in the benefits of participating in the manuscript workshop.  He transformed his dissertation into his manuscript titled "Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India," which he plans to send out to the presses this summer.

Story by José Barragán, History Graduate Student and IHS Graduate Research Assistant

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