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Remembering Tony Kaye by Greg Downs

The world is quieter now that Tony Kaye is no longer part of it. Anthony E. Kaye passed away May 15 after a brave struggle against cancer. Among Tony’s many scholarly accomplishments was his role in the founding of the Journal of the Civil War Era, for which he served as Associate Editor and which he helped shape through his curiosity, passion, and integrity. Given Tony’s many contributions to the journal, we think it fitting to begin to offer remembrances of him here. This is not a formal obituary but an invitation for others among his many, many friends and admirers to share their own memories of him, in the comments here or on the Facebook page, or via email to us. In lieu of flowers, his family has asked friends to consider donating to the National Humanities Center or the UNC Cancer Center.

With his broad mind, broad shoulders, and booming voice, Tony was a substantial presence in the field and in almost every room—literal and intellectual—he inhabited. After working in journalism—a field he loved both to follow and to critique—Tony turned to history, studying at Columbia University’s fabled department with Barbara J. Fields and Eric Foner, among others. Afterwards, he worked at the equally fabled Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, where he helped edit Series 3, Volume 2, Land and Labor, 1866-1867, of Freedom: A Documentary Series. From there he joined the Pennsylvania State University’s History Department.

The full article can be viewed on the Journal of the Civil War Era Muster blog. 

The Richards Center mourns the passing of Anthony E. Kaye

Dr. Kaye was an associate professor in the department of history from 2002-2016, an affiliated faculty member in the Richards Center, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Civil War Era from 2011-2014. Tony was an expert on slavery and emancipation in the United States and was interested in exploring the intersections where political history and social history meet, such as the struggles, crises, ideas, and everyday practices that shaped American politics and were shaped by it.

Tony served as the National Humanities Center’s vice president of scholarly programs since July 2016. He originally went to the Center in the fall of 2015 as the Robert F. and Margaret Goheen Fellow to work on his project, Taking Canaan: Rethinking the Nat Turner Revolt. Following an international search for a new vice president for scholarly programs, Kaye was selected to join the staff of the Center and assume leadership of the Center’s world renowned program in scholarly research.


Congratulations to Crystal Sanders!

Congratulations to Crystal Sanders, Associate  Professor in the Departments of History and African American Studies, who won a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship!! The Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research that make significant scholarly contributions to the field of education. The program also develops the careers of its recipients through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.

Dr. Sanders will be spending her fellowship working on her new book project tentatively titled, Deferred Dreams and Exiled Citizens: Black Graduate Education in the Age of Jim Crow.  Deferred Dreams and Exiled Citizens will be the first book-length study of African Americans’ efforts to secure graduate education during the age of Jim Crow. While many scholars of black education have written about African Americans’ quest for elementary, secondary, and baccalaureate education, black efforts to secure graduate and professional education have been largely overlooked.  For most of the twentieth century, southern and border state legislatures did not provide graduate education for African Americans.  Rather than create graduate and professional programs at black colleges or desegregate white colleges, state lawmakers appropriated tax dollars to send black citizens out-of-state for graduate training.  Missouri began this arrangement in 1921.  By 1948, South Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia had also created Jim Crow scholarship programs and exported black scholars to preserve segregation.  These states continued their scholarship programs until the 1960s defying the United States Supreme Court decision in Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938) where justices decreed that states had a responsibility to offer white and black citizens in-state education.  Usually, the Jim Crow scholarships covered the differential between the cost of pursuing a course of study offered at the state’s white institutions and the cost of pursuing the same program at the out-of-state school that the black student attended. Some states also paid travel expenses. Most students receiving funds studied at institutions in the North, Midwest, or West and many never returned to the South.

Congratulations to Crystal Sanders!

Congratulations to Crystal Sanders who earned tenure and is now Associate Professor of History and African American Studies!

Congratulations to Crystal Sanders!

Congratulations to Crystal Sanders, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies, who won the American Educational Research Association, Division F – History and Historiography New Scholar’s Book Award for her book, A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

Congratulations to Brandon Benner!

Congratulations to Brandon Benner who won a Best Schreyer Honors Senior Thesis award from the Department of History!

Brandon is a native of Juniata County, PA and the first in his family to attend college. After taking up the hobby of Civil War living history in sixth grade, he began to discover a passion for teaching others about America's heritage. In the summers following his freshman and sophomore years, he was a Richards Center intern with the National Park Service at Gettysburg and enjoyed every day that he was able to help the American public connect with their history.

Brandon is a Paterno Fellow with a double major in history and political science graduating in May. After graduation, he will be working with Teach for America, and later hopes to explore careers in the National Park Service, higher education, and politics.