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Public Talk by William C. Davis

Central PA Civil War Round Table public talk with William C. Davis, “Looking for Loreta Velasquez—the Fantasy Life of a Confederate Heroine,” Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 pm, Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg.

William C. Davis, formerly Director of Virginia Tech's Center for Civil War Studies, spent 31 years in editorial management in the publishing industry, consulted for numerous film and television productions, and was senior advisor for the A&E and History Channel series “Civil War Journal.” Davis is the author of more than 50 books, most recently Crucible of Command and Inventing Loreta Velasquez. He is the only four-time winner of the Jefferson Davis Award of the Museum of the Confederacy for works on the Civil War and Confederacy.

Talk is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) We The People Challenge Grant. 

The Richards Center would like to welcome Ph.D. candidate A.J. Perez to Penn State!

A.J. Perez is a first year graduate student pursuing a Dual-title PhD in History and African-American Studies. He currently holds a BA in Painting and a BA in History from the University of Houston. Currently under the guidance of Dr. Amy Greenberg, his broad research interests include American Slavery, the U.S. Civil War, and memory of the war. His secondary areas of interest are Gender and Transnational/Global history. He's interested in examining how the past continues to helplessly and subtly affect the present day and recent examinations of the past.



Luke Harlow

The Journal of the Civil War Era is pleased to announce five new scholars who are joining our editorial board, as well as a new associate editor. We would like to thank all of the editorial board members who are cycling off this year: Lorien Foote, Fay Yarbrough, Brian DeLay, Matt Gallman, and Manisha Sinha. And special thanks to Greg Downs, who is leaving his position as associate editor. We are deeply appreciative of the commitment each of you has demonstrated in advancing Civil War studies.

Welcome to Luke Harlow, who is joining us as associate editor. Luke is Associate Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is the author of Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830–1880 (Cambridge, 2014), which received a Kentucky History Award from the Kentucky Historical Society. Luke will be working with Stacey Smith, Associate Editor, to recruit historiographic review essays for the journal.

The first of our new editorial board members is Rabia Belt. Rabia is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on disability and citizenship. She teaches at Stanford Law School. Her scholarship ranges from cultural analysis of disability in media, to contemporary issues facing voters with disability, to the historical treatment of disabled Americans. She is currently writing a book titled, Disabling Democracy in America: Disability, Citizenship, Suffrage, and the Law, 1819-1920. In 2015, the American Society of Legal History named her a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar for her paper, “Ballots for Bullets? The Disenfranchisement of Civil War Veterans.”

Angela Pulley Hudson is Professor of History at Texas A&M University. She is the author of Real Native Genius: How an Ex-slave and a White Mormon Became Famous Indians (2015)—winner of the 2016 Evans Biography Prize from the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies—and Creek Paths and Federal Roads: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves and the Making of the American South (2010). She co-edits, with Andrew Frank and Kristofer Ray, the “Indians and Southern History” series from the University of Alabama Press and is a senior editor of Native American history for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia in American History.

Stephen Kantrowitz is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Afro-American Studies and the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on race, politics, and citizenship in the long nineteenth century. He is the author of More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 (Penguin, 2012), which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize, and Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (UNC Press, 2000), which won several scholarly awards and was a New York Times Notable Book. He is currently at work on a book on Native Americans and citizenship in the Civil War era.

David Silkenat is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Moments of Despair: Suicide, Divorce, and Debt in Civil War Era North Carolina (2011), Driven from Home: North Carolina’s Civil War Refugee Crisis (2016), and Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War (2019). He is the Chair of the Scottish Association for the Study of America.

The last addition to the editorial board is Brenda E. Stevenson. She is UCLA’s Nickoll Family Endowed Chair and Professor of History and African American Studies. Her research areas are: gender and family; American South and slavery; African Americans; race and film; and racial/ethnic conflict. Her book publications include: Life in Black and White, Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins, and What is Slavery? She is editor of the Journals of Charlotte Forten Grimke, co-author ofUnderground Railroad, and contributing editor to the Encyclopedia of Black Women’s History. Professional accolades include: a Guggenheim Fellowship, SHA’s John Blassingame Award, a Berlin Prize, a NHC Fellowship, the OAH’s Rawley Prize, the Ida B. Wells Award, and a Gustavus Meyer Book Prize.

Deans in conversation

The Penn Stater Magazine, July/August 2018, Interview by Savita Iyer and Photograghs by Steve Tressler


Two of Penn State’s longest-standing academic leaders, Nan Crouter and Susan Welch, stepped down June 30 after a combined 38 years as deans—Crouter in Health and Human Development and Welch in Liberal Arts. We invited them to talk about their careers, the changes they’ve seen at Penn State, and what lies ahead.  (full interview)

Larry McCabe, Penn State alumnus and philanthropist, dies

McCabe returned to Pittsburgh following his tour of duty and joined Duquesne Light Co.’s legal department. He moved to the H.J. Heinz Company in 1965, where he rose through the company ranks to become senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of the board until his retirement in 2000.

While a student at Penn State, McCabe was a member of the Parmi Nous leadership society and the Penn State Thespians. He remained closely connected to his alma mater for the 60-plus years following his graduation. He and Gretchen are longtime members of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center Board of Visitors in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and established an undergraduate fund, graduate fund, and director’s fund in the center. The couple also co-funded the college’s McCabe Greer Professorship in the American Civil War Era and have provided support for the college’s Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellowship Program. McCabe received the college’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2011.

"Larry and Gretchen have been pioneers for what became the Richards Center,” said William Blair, center director and Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor of Middle American History. “In 1998, they stepped in during a critical moment and created a professorship that became a cornerstone of the center. Their vision and support have been instrumental in helping us become a research entity with a national reputation. Larry will be very much missed.”

In addition to his wife, McCabe is survived by his five children: Susan Kinsella, of Clarendon Hills, Illinois; Megan Cantella, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania; Kevin McCabe, of Sandusky, Ohio; Heather Wurzer, of Fairport, New York; and Erin Powell of the North Hills, Pennsylvania. He also is survived by 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Congratulations to Paul Matzko!

Congratulations to Paul Matzko (Ph.D. 2016) who is the Assistant Editor for Tech and Innovation at Dr. Matzko also hosts a podcast called Building Tomorrow, on emerging tech topics.