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Larry and Lynne Brown Create Professorship in McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Larry and Lynne Brown Create Professorship in McCourtney Institute for Democracy

Larry and Lynne Brown

Longtime Richards Center supporters Larry ('71) and Lynne ('72) Brown have endowed a professorship in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. The professorship follows the Browns' 2014 endowment of the Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal, enabling the McCourtney Institute to establish an annual lecture series. Read more about the Browns' leadership gift here.

Blair Receives SCWH Lifetime Achievement Award

Blair Receives SCWH Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Marten, Bill Blair, Steve Engle

Congratulations to William Blair, Walter L. And Helen P. Ferree Professor of Middle American History and Director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, Penn State.

On Friday, November 9, the Society of Civil War Historians recognized Bill’s service to the society with their lifetime achievement award. President Nina Silber and society officers Jim Marten and Steve Engle presented Bill with the award during the organization’s Tom Watson Brown Book Award dinner at the Southern Historical Association’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama. Since the society’s revival in 2006, the Richards Center has served as its organizational home, planning the biennial conferences and the annual Watson Brown Book Award dinners. In that time, the society’s membership has risen from fewer than 200 to approximately 650, and the Journal of the Civil War Era, which Bill founded in 2011 as the society’s official journal, has established itself as a leading academic periodical in its field.

Blankenhorn Brings Love of History to Internship

Blankenhorn Brings Love of History to Internship

Richards Center intern Eva Blankenhorn

Eva Blankenhorn ('21), is a second year student serving as the Richards Center's digital humanities intern for the Fall 2018 semester. She is pursuing a major in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management and a minor in History. During her internship, Eva has been hard at work assessing and transcribing some of the papers of James Addams Beaver to assist the Richards Center and the University Libraries in determining which of the Beaver Papers should be digitized and made more widely available to the public. Beaver commanded the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War and subsequently served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1887 to 1891 and acting president of Penn State from 1906 to 1908. Eva is focusing her research on Beaver's papers related to his work as a trustee and president at Penn State, as well as his role in the creation and installation of the memorial honoring Andrew Gregg Curtin (Pennsylvania's governor during the Civil War) and Union soldiers and sailors that has graced the entrance to the courthouse in Bellefonte for over 100 years. Eva is excited to share her passion for history through digital platforms, particularly when it comes to the history of the Civil War or the history of her native Schuylkill County. Shortly before returning to campus for this academic year, she created her first "Hometown History" vlog about the historic Pioneer Coal Tunnel in Ashland. Check out her vlog and stay tuned for more "Hometown History" installments from Eva!


Undergraduate Summer Jobs

Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 

Deadline:  Monday, January 28, 2019

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 historic sites during the summer of 2019: 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. This intern also periodically designs and participates in living history programs that educate the public on life in the 19th century.

Museum services: The museum services intern will learn fundamental skills of archival and museum management. He or she will assist with inventorying and conserving the park’s vast historical collections, which include diaries and letter collections from soldiers and civilians, as well as material objects from the battle, such as flags and banners, uniforms and weapons, and paintings and prints, among other items.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Education division internship: This internship is especially useful for future teachers, though you do not need to be an Education major to apply. The intern develops and leads a living history program, clothed in period dress, for middle school students participating in the Washington, D.C.-based National Youth Leadership Council. The intern uses the outdoor environment at Harpers Ferry as their classroom. Other duties also consist of 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 from Harpers Ferry’s unique history, such as Thomas Jefferson’s survey of the area, John Brown’s raid, the founding of Storer College (one of the nation’s first colleges to admit African Americans), 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 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, January 28, 2019. Letters of recommendation can follow.

Direct all application materials to Matt Isham, Richards Center Managing Director at For more information, see the Richards Center Web site:, or contact Dr. Isham directly. (pdf file - call for applications)

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


Acclaimed historian to deliver 2018 Brose lectures

Dr. Stephen Kantrowitz, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will deliver three lectures on Citizenship and Civilization: A Ho-Chunk History of the Civil War Era for the 2018 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series. Taking place on November 1, 2, and 3 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.

How did Native Americans shape the emergence of national citizenship in the 1860s, and how did national citizenship reshape Indian life? How were jurisdiction and allegiance in the Civil War era mediated by notions of “civilization”? Citizenship and Civilization explores these questions through the removal, diaspora, defiance, and creativity of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk people, the settlers who sought to displace them, and the officials and politicians who oversaw the confusing and often violent world of the mid-nineteenth-century Midwest.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 6:00 p.m. Thursday, November 1:  Hiding in Plain Sight: Native Americans and the History of American Citizenship
  • 6:00 p.m. Friday, November 2: “The Habits and Customs of Civilization”: Citizenship and Belonging in the Ho-Chunk Diaspora
  • 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 3: Conquered Citizens: Ho-Chunks and Settlers in Post-Removal Teejop

Dr. Kantrowitz is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his scholarship and teaching focus on race, politics, and citizenship in the nineteenth century. His work includes 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; Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (UNC Press, 2000), which won several scholarly awards and was a New York Times Notable Book; articles in The Journal of American History, Boston Review, and other periodicals; and an edited collection on the history of African American Freemasonry, All Men Free and Brethren (Cornell University Press, 2013). He has been a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and an OAH Distinguished Lecturer. He is currently a Senior Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities.

For more information, contact the Richards Center at 814-863-0151 or visit the website at

Postdoctoral Scholar, African-American History, Job #83060

The Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral scholar in African-American history, beginning July 1, 2019. All research interests spanning the origins of slavery through the Civil Rights movement will receive favorable consideration. Proposals that mesh 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. He or she 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. 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 November 15, 2018 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  Please direct questions about the process via e-mail to Applications must be submitted online at

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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.