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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.

Congrats to Sean Trainor!

Congratulations to Sean Trainor (Ph.D. 2015) who has accepted a position as a Lecturer in the Management Communication Center at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business where he will be teaching graduate courses in professional writing to UF business students.

Richards Center welcomes Dara Walker

The Richards Center would like to welcome Dara Walker to Penn State as the 2018-19 Richards Center/Africana Research Center Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr. Walker holds a PhD in History from Rutgers University. Her research and teaching expertise include African American history, urban history, 20th century U.S. history, public history, and the digital humanities. She received her B.S. in African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University in 2009 as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar as well as a M.A. in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University in 2011. Dr. Walker is currently writing her book manuscript which examines the role of the high school organizing tradition in the development of black radical politics of the Black Power era. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation’s Dissertation Fellowship, the Walter P. Reuther Library’s Albert Shanker Fellowship for Research in Education, and Rutgers University. She has presented her research at several national conferences, including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the American Historical Association (AHA), and the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS). In addition to her research, teaching, and mentoring, Dr. Walker is a regular contributor to Black Perspectives, the blog site for the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS).

A Muster Roundtable on the Fourteenth Amendment by Martha S. Jones

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[1] On July 9, 1868, one of the Reconstruction Era’s boldest innovations became law. Birthright citizenship, equal protection of the laws, and voting rights entered the constitutional pantheon, pointing the way forward for a nation that had been deeply scarred by slavery, racism, and a war that wrought nothing less than a revolution. An unparalleled experiment in interracial democracy was underway.

Here, in 2018, we have not the luxury, however, of looking back to 1868 with collective nostalgia or national self-congratulation. Today, the Fourteenth Amendment is under attack by those who see in its terms unwelcome or overtrod paths to belonging, equality, and the dignity of all persons in the United States. Calls for its repeal or to otherwise radically narrow its interpretation are coming from quarters both refined and popular: at podiums, on placards, in law reviews, via Tweets, and on the op-ed page.

Historians have a role to play, and this week Muster has assembled four scholars, all of whom take the view that to engage the present we must understand the past. Their research permits us to examine closely the Fourteenth Amendment, its purpose, and its effect in its own time. And as we appear fated to revisit the amendment in political and policy terms in the coming months and years, they propose that we enter this debate well equipped with a sense of the history out of which it emanated.

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

Congratulations to Evan Rothera!

Congratuations to Evan Rothera (PhD 2017) who has accepted a position as Lecturer in the Department of History at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

Congratulations to Alaina E. Roberts!

Congratulations to Alaina E. Roberts, the Richards Center 2017/2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, who has accepted a Dietrich Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh!