You are here: Home / News & Events

News & Events

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR, AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY, JOB #91456

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR, AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY, JOB #91456

2019-20 Richards Center - Africana Research Center Postdoctoral Scholars - Samuel Davis, Leigh Soares, and Elyan Hill

The Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center invite applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in African American history, beginning July 1, 2020. This is a one-year position, with possibility of renewal. All research interests spanning the origins of slavery through the Civil Rights movement will receive favorable consideration. Proposals that align with the Richards Center’s interests in slavery, abolition, and emancipation, as well as comparative or Atlantic history, are especially welcome. During their residency, the Scholar will have no teaching or administrative responsibilities. They will be matched with a mentor, attend professional development sessions and other relevant events, and will be expected to take an active part in Penn State’s community of Africana researchers. The Scholar also will invite two senior scholars to campus to read and comment on the Scholar’s project. Successful applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. within the previous four academic years. In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity. Salary/benefit package is competitive. To be considered for this position, submit complete application packets including a cover letter describing your research and goals for the scholarship year, a curriculum vita (6 page maximum), and a writing sample of no more than 30 double-spaced pages. Review of materials will begin December 10, 2019 and continue until the position has been filled. Three letters of reference should be addressed to the attention of the ESSS Selection Committee and submitted as email attachments to richardscenter@psu.edu. Please direct questions about the process via e-mail to richardscenter@psu.edu. Applications must be submitted online at https://psu.jobs/job/91456.

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review at https://police.psu.edu/annual-security-reports.

EEO Is The Law

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. 

Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Scholar, History of the Civil War Era

The Richards Civil War Era Center, in conjunction with the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts, invites applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in the history of the Civil War Era, beginning July 1, 2020. This is a one-year position, with possibility of renewal. All research interests spanning the pre-war period through Reconstruction will receive favorable consideration. Proposals that align with the Richards Center’s interests in slavery, abolition, and emancipation are especially welcome. During their residency, the Scholar will have no teaching or administrative responsibilities. They will be matched with a mentor, attend professional development sessions and other relevant events, and will be expected to take an active part in Penn State’s community of researchers. The Scholar also will invite two senior scholars to campus to read and comment on the Scholar’s project. Successful applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. within the previous four academic years. In addition, successful candidates must either have demonstrated a commitment to building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community, or describe one or more ways they would envision doing so, given the opportunity. Salary/benefit package is competitive. To be considered for this position, submit complete application packets including a cover letter describing your research and goals for the scholarship year, a curriculum vita (6 page maximum), and a writing sample of no more than 30 double-spaced pages. Review of materials will begin December 10 and continue until the position has been filled. Three letters of reference should be addressed to the attention of the CWE Selection Committee and submitted as email attachments to richardscenter@psu.edu. Please direct questions about the process via e-mail to richardscenter@psu.edu. Applications must be submitted online at https://psu.jobs/job/91453.

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

Snyder Wins Prestigious Dunning Prize

Christina Snyder, McCabe Greer Professor of History, has won the 2019 John H. Dunning from the American Historical Association for the most outstanding book in U.S. history. She earned the prize for Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers and Slaves in the Age of Jackson (Oxford Press, 2017). This is the third major prize Snyder has won for Great Crossings, having won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Outstanding Book Prize from the History of Education Society. The Dunning Prize has been awarded biennially since 1929 to the outstanding monograph on any subject relating to United States history. Great Crossings tells the story of Great Crossings, Kentucky, a community where black, white, and Native Americans created a multicultural community in the Jacksonian era, a period when racial exclusion and hierarchy in the rest of the United States only intensified. As one reviewer put it, "Great Crossings is a rare gem, a story that confounds our assumptions about the American past."

2019 Brose Lectures Consider Rituals of Retaliation in the Civil War

2019 Brose Lectures Consider Rituals of Retaliation in the Civil War

Dr. Lorien Foote

Dr. Lorien Foote, Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History at Texas A&M University, will deliver three lectures on Civilization and Savagery in the American Civil War: Retaliation and the Conduct of Campaigns for the 2019 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series. Taking place on October 24, 25, and 26 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, the lectures are free and open to the public. This lecture series is sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State through the generosity of an endowment by Steven and Janice Brose.

Every military campaign of the American Civil War included a ritual of retaliation. In these incidents, a commander charged his opponent with violating the customs of civilized warfare among western nations. The commander stated that if he did not receive a satisfactory response to his charge, he would retaliate, often threatening to execute prisoners of war that had been set aside for the purpose. During these negotiations, military commanders and the Lincoln and Davis administrations drew the lines that they believed should not be crossed in civilized warfare. Retaliation shaped how the Union and the Confederacy conducted their military campaigns, yet there has been no scholarly study of the practice. The Brose Lectures will use the rituals of retaliation to help the audience understand the cultural construct of “civilization” in the 19th century and its relationship to military practice in the Civil War.

The schedule is as follows:

-- 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 24: “The Sternest Feature of War”: The Ritual of Retaliation

-- 6:00 p.m. Friday, October 25: Barbarians in a Civilized War: Retaliation and Servile Insurrection

-- 4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 26: “Present Difficulty and Future Danger”: Retaliation and Free Black POWs

Dr. Foote is the Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History at Texas A&M University. She is the author of four books on the American Civil War and numerous articles and essays. Her books include The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners and the Collapse of the Confederacy (2016), which was a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Manhood, Honor, and Violence in the Union Army (2010), which was a finalist and Honorable Mention for the 2011 Lincoln Prize.  Her digital humanities project, which is mapping the escape and movement of 3000 Federal prisoners of war, can be explored on-line at www.ehistory.org/projects/fugitive-federals.html. She is the co-editor, along with Earl J. Hess, of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Civil War.  

Undergraduate Summer Internships

Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Deadline: Monday, Jan. 27, 2020
Undergraduate Summer Internships

Eva Blankenhorn ('21), one of four Richards Center 2019 interns

Do you have an interest in preserving our nation’s history and sharing it with the public? Do you want to put your knowledge of history to good use this summer?

The Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State invites applications from qualified Penn State undergraduate students for four paid positions at National Park Service historic sites during the summer of 2020: two at Gettysburg National Military Park and two at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The internships provide students hands-on experience in the work of public history. These non-credit internships come with a $3,500 stipend and free housing at the national parks.

Gettysburg National Military Park

  • Interpretive operations: The interpretive operations intern designs historical presentations for the public and puts on programs for park visitors that interpret the history of the town and the battle, highlighting the experiences of civilians and soldiers alike. This intern also periodically designs and participates in living history programs that educate the public on life in the nineteenth century.
  • Museum services: The museum services intern will learn fundamental skills of archival and museum management. Interns help to install museum exhibits and to inventory and conserve the park’s vast historical collections. These collections include diaries and letter collections from soldiers and civilians, as well as material objects, such as flags and banners, uniforms and weapons, and paintings and prints, among other items.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

  • Education division: The education division intern develops and leads a living history program for middle school students, centered on John Brown’s Raid and the conflict over slavery that led to the Civil War. The intern uses the outdoor environment at Harpers Ferry as their classroom. Other duties include educating visitors about different aspects of Harpers Ferry’s long history.
  • Visitor services: The visitor services intern develops public presentations and walking tours on a variety of topics, including but not limited to, Thomas Jefferson’s survey of the area, John Brown’s Raid, the founding of Storer College (one of the nation’s first HBCUs), and the birth of the Niagara Movement, the forerunner to the NAACP. The internship involves working at the park’s visitor center, the John Brown Museum, and other locations throughout Harpers Ferry.

Each year, Richards Center interns play a crucial role in the National Park Service’s mission to preserve the nation’s history and help connect Americans to their shared past. If you would like the opportunity to support this mission and gain valuable skills in historical interpretation and public education, we encourage you to apply, following the directions below.

Application Process: Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average at Penn State University Park and have not graduated by the time of the internship. Applicants should submit a one-page statement of interest detailing why they would like to work at one of these national parks and how they think the experience will further their education. They must also provide a résumé, one letter of recommendation from a faculty member (email is acceptable), and an unofficial transcript (it is not necessary to provide a certified official Penn State transcript). Statements of interest and transcripts must be received by Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. Letters of recommendation can follow.

Direct all application materials to Matt Isham, Richards Center Managing Director, at mri113@psu.edu. For more information, visit the Richards Center website at richardscenter.la.psu.edu, or contact Dr. Isham directly.

Funding is made possible through the generous support of Larry and Lynne Brown and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

(call for undergraduate summer internships pdf)

Call for Applications for Editor, Journal of the Civil War Era

The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center seeks applicants for Editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era for a five-year term beginning January 2020. The Editor is supported by a team of associate editors, as well as a managing editor housed at the Richards Center. The position requires support from the Editor’s home institution, which generally includes course release time and some level of administrative assistance. In return, the RCWEC provides a stipend and recognition of the Editor’s home institution as a sponsor of the journal.

The Journal of the Civil War Era is published by UNC Press in association with the RCWEC. It publishes the most creative new work on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the country’s signal conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century. The journal offers a unique space where scholars across the many subfields that animate nineteenth-century history can enter into conversation with each other. Besides offering fresh perspectives on the military, political, and legal history of the era, the journal covers such disparate subjects as slavery and antislavery, labor and capitalism, popular culture and intellectual history, expansionism and empire, and African American and women’s history. For additional information please see: https://www.journalofthecivilwarera.org/.

Qualifications. Previous editorial experience and tenure are recommended. Other qualifications include:

  • A strong vision for the future of the journal and the field
  • Good organizational and managerial skills to oversee the editorial cycle, meet deadlines, and work with publishing professionals
  • The ability to attract established scholars in the field as contributors and reviewers
  • The ability to collaborate with members of an editorial team

Major Responsibilities. The Editor is responsible for the intellectual content, quality, and timeliness of the journal issues as well as the overall success of the journal. Specific duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Providing clear direction for the journal and its online presence
  • Working collaboratively with the Associate Editors and Managing Editor to create content and keep deadlines
  • Working closely with the team at UNC Press
  • Soliciting high-quality manuscripts from a diverse pool of potential authors
  • Selecting a sufficient pool of competent peer-reviewers and managing the peer review process
  • Appointing an Editorial Board to provide advice and counsel
  • Representing the journal on the Board of the Society of Civil War Historians
  • Representing the journal in outside venues and conferences

Application. Applicants should submit a CV, two letters of recommendation, and a proposal (5pp. maximum) that contains:

  • An assessment of the intellectual strength of the Journal of the Civil War Era as it now stands
  • A vision for the journal describing the challenges and opportunities it faces, future plans for the journal, continued development of online presence, and objective milestones for evaluation.
  • A description of institutional resources that addresses the feasibility of serving as Editor. Preliminary statements of institutional support from the applicant’s Chair and/or Dean are requested.

Search Procedure. Interested parties should request further information from the Director of the Richards Center by writing to rshelden@psu.edu. Review of applications by the Richards Center Academic Advisory Board will begin November 15, 2019. Members of the Board and Director will conduct Zoom interviews in early December. The Board will make a recommendation to the Director thereafter. The successful candidate will be required to provide a letter from the sponsoring institution on its commitment of resources to the journal’s success.