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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History

Recent Faculty Books


Luxurious Networks examines Huizhou salt merchants in the material world of High Qing China to reveal a dynamic interaction between people and objects. The Qianlong emperor purposely used objects to expand his influence in economic and cultural fields. Thanks to their broad networks, outstanding managerial skills, and abundant financial resources, these salt merchants were ideal agents for selecting and producing objects for imperial use. In contrast to the typical caricature of merchants as mimics of the literati, these wealthy businessmen became respected individuals who played a crucial role in the political, economic, social, and cultural world of eighteenth-century China. Their life experiences illustrate the dynamic relationship between the Manchu and Han, central and local, and humans and objects in Chinese history. 




Reasserting America in the 1970s co-edited by David J. Snyder, brings together two areas of burgeoning scholarly interest. On the one hand, scholars are investigating the many ways in which the 1970s constituted a profound era of transition in the international order. The American defeat in Vietnam, the breakdown of the Bretton Woods exchange system, and a string of domestic setbacks including Watergate, Three-Mile Island, and reversals during the Carter years all contributed to a grand reappraisal of the power and prestige of the United States in the world. In addition, the rise of new global competitors such as Germany and Japan, the pursuit of détente with the Soviet Union, and the emergence of new private sources of global power also contributed to uncertainty.At the same time, within diplomatic history proper, the study of 'public diplomacy' has generated searching reappraisals of many of the field's certitudes. This scholarship has now begun to move into a new conceptual maturity with a developing theoretical base underwriting its institutional narratives, borrowing to a great degree from the literature on 'Americanization' and the role of American culture abroad in various national and regional settings. Reasserting America in the 1970s brings together these two areas of topical scholarly interest, to study how American public diplomats at home and abroad struggled to maintain American cultural preeminence in a world of shifting challenges to American power.


While pre-modern Europe is often seen as having an 'enchanted' or 'magical' worldview, the full implications of such labels remain inconsistently exploredWitchcraft, demonology, and debates over pious practices have provided the main avenues for treating those themes, but integrating them with other activities and ideas seen as forming an enchanted Europe has proven to be a much more difficult task. This collection offers one method of demystifying this world of everyday magic. Integrating case studies and more theoretical responses to the magical and preternatural, the authors here demonstrate that what we think of as extraordinary was often accepted as legitimate, if unusual, occurrences or practices. In their treatment of and attitudes towards spirit-assisted treasure-hunting, magical recipes, trials for sanctity, and visits by guardian angels, early modern Europeans showed more acceptance of and comfort with the extraordinary than modern scholars frequently acknowledge. Even witchcraft could be more pervasive and less threatening than many modern interpretations suggest. Magic was both mundane and mysterious in early modern Europe, and the witches who practiced it could in many ways be quite ordinary members of their communities. The vivid cases described in this volume edited by Kathryn A. Edwards should make the reader question how to distinguish the ordinary and extraordinary and the extent to which those terms need to be redefined for an early modern context. They should also make more immediate a world in which magic was an everyday occurrence.


Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Middle Ages were divided in many ways. But one thing they shared in common was the fear that God was offended by wrong belief. Medieval Heresies: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is the first comparative survey of heresy and its response throughout the medieval world. Spanning England to Persia, it examines heresy, error, and religious dissent - and efforts to end them through correction, persuasion, or punishment - among Latin Christians, Greek Christians, Jews, and Muslims. With a lively narrative by Christine Caldwell Ames that begins in the late fourth century and ends in the early sixteenth century, Medieval Heresies is an unprecedented history of how the three great monotheistic religions of the Middle Ages resembled, differed from, and even interrelated with each other in defining heresy and orthodoxy.



The Bible and Natural Philosophy in Renaissance Italy explores the reciprocal relationship between biblical interpretation and natural philosophy in sixteenth-century Italy. The book augments our knowledge of the manifold applications of medical expertise in the Renaissance and of the multiple ways in which the Bible was read by educated people who lacked theological training. Andrew D. Berns demonstrates that many physicians in sixteenth-century Italy, Jewish and Christian alike, took a keen interest in the Bible and postbiblical religious literature. Berns identifies the intellectual tools that Renaissance doctors and natural philosophers brought to bear on their analysis of the Bible and assesses how their education and professional experience helped them acquire, develop, and use those tools. The Bible and Natural Philosophy in Renaissance Italy argues that the changing nature of medical culture in the Renaissance inspired physicians to approach the Bible not only as a divine work but also as a historical and scientific text.

In this expansive history of South Carolina's commemoration of the Civil War era, Thomas Brown uses the lens of place to examine the ways that landmarks of Confederate memory have helped white southerners negotiate their shifting political, social, and economic positions. By looking at prominent sites such as Fort Sumter, Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery, and the South Carolina statehouse, Brown reveals a dynamic pattern of contestation and change. He highlights transformations of gender norms and establishes a fresh perspective on race in Civil War remembrance by emphasizing the fluidity of racial identity within the politics of white supremacy. Despite the conservative ideology that connects these sites, Brown argues that the Confederate canon of memory has adapted to address varied challenges of modernity from the war's end to the present, when enthusiasts turn to fantasy to renew a faded myth while children of the civil rights era look for a usable Confederate past. In surveying a rich, controversial, and sometimes even comical cultural landscape, Brown illuminates the workings of collective memory sustained by engagement with the particularity of place.

When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, he had broader aims than simply rallying a war-weary nation. Lincoln realized that the Civil War had taken on a wider significance—that all of Europe and Latin America was watching to see whether the United States, a beleaguered model of democracy, would indeed “perish from the earth.”

In The Cause of All Nations, distinguished historian Don H. Doyle explains that the Civil War was viewed abroad as part of a much larger struggle for democracy that spanned the Atlantic Ocean, and had begun with the American and French Revolutions. While battles raged at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, a parallel contest took place abroad, both in the marbled courts of power and in the public square. Foreign observers held widely divergent views on the war—from radicals such as Karl Marx and Giuseppe Garibaldi who called on the North to fight for liberty and equality, to aristocratic monarchists, who hoped that the collapse of the Union would strike a death blow against democratic movements on both sides of the Atlantic. Nowhere were these monarchist dreams more ominous than in Mexico, where Napoleon III sought to implement his Grand Design for a Latin Catholic empire that would thwart the spread of Anglo-Saxon democracy and use the Confederacy as a buffer state.

Hoping to capitalize on public sympathies abroad, both the Union and the Confederacy sent diplomats and special agents overseas: the South to seek recognition and support, and the North to keep European powers from interfering. Confederate agents appealed to those conservative elements who wanted the South to serve as a bulwark against radical egalitarianism. Lincoln and his Union agents overseas learned to appeal to many foreigners by embracing emancipation and casting the Union as the embattled defender of universal republican ideals, the “last best hope of earth.”

A bold account of the international dimensions of America’s defining conflict, The Cause of All Nationsframes the Civil War as a pivotal moment in a global struggle that would decide the survival of democracy.



Harrison, Carol E.  Romantic Catholics: France’s Postrevolutionary Generation in Search of a Modern Faith (Cornell University Press, 2014).


Hendricks, Wanda.  Fannie Barrier Williams: Crossing the Borders of Region and Race (University of Illinois Press, 2014).


Johnson, Ann and James Rodger Fleming, eds. Toxic Airs: Chemical and Environmental Histories of the Atmosphere (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014).


Smith, Mark M.  The Smell of Battle, the Taste of Siege: A Sensory History of the Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2014).


Smith, Mark M. (co-authored with Susan Cutter, Christopher T. Emrich, Jerry T. Mitchell, Walter W. Piegorsch, and Lynn Weber).  Hurricane Katrina and the Forgotten Coast of Mississippi (Cambridge University Press, 2014).



Childs, Matthew and James Sidbury, Jorge Canizares-Esguerra, eds.  The Urban Black Atlantic during the Era of the Slave Trade (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).


Coenen Snyder, Saskia.  Building a Public Judaism: Synagogues and Jewish Identity in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Harvard University Press, 2013).


Kuenzli, E. Garbielle.  Acting Inca: National Belonging in Early Twentieth-Century Bolivia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013).


MacKenzie, S.P.  The Imjin and Kapyong Battles, Korea 1951 (Indiana University Press, 2013).


Schulz, Constance B.  Maryland in Black and White: Documentary Photographs from the Great Depression and World War II (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).


Snyder, David J. and Robert Cohen, eds.  Rebellion in Black and White: Southern Student Activism in the 1960s (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).


Synnott, MarciaStudent Diversity at the Big Three: Changes at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton since the 1920s (Transaction Publishers, 2013).



MacKenzie, S.P.  British Prisoners of the Korean War (Oxford University Press, 2012).


November, Joseph A.  Biomedical Computing: Digitizing Life in the United States (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012).


Schulz, Constance B.  The Papers of Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry Digital Edition (University of Virginia Press, Rotunda Digital Imprint, 2012).


Spruill, Marjorie J., Valinda W. Littlefield and Joan Marie Johnson, eds. South Carolina Women: Their Lives and Times, 3 volumes (University of Georgia Press, 2009, 2010, 2012).



Brown, Thomas J.  Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).


Elfenbein, Jessica, et. al., eds.  Baltimore ’68: A Case Study of an American City (Temple University Press, 2011).


Germany, Kent B., and David Carter, eds., Mississippi Burning and the Passage of the Civil Rights Act: The Presidential Recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson, Volume 8. June 23-July 4, 1964. (W.W. Norton, 2011).

Schor, Adam M.  Theodoret’s People: Social Networks and Religious Conflict in Late Roman Syria (University of California Press, 2011).


Smith, Mark M.  Camille, 1969: Histories of a Hurricane (University of Georgia Press, 2011).



Doyle, Don H. ed.  Secession as an International Phenomenon: From America’s Civil War to Contemporary Separatist Movements (University of Georgia Press, 2010).


Clements, Kendrick.  The Life of Herbert Hoover: Imperfect Visionary, 1918-1928 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).


Germany, Kent B., ed., LBJ and Civil Rights, one of three volumes in Lyndon B. Johnson: The Presidential Recordings, Digital Edition (University of Virginia Press, Rotunda Digital Imprint, 2010),  

Osokina, Elena. translator and editor of the Russian language edition of Lynne Viola. The Unknown Gulag. The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements (Russian title. Krestianskii Gulag. Mir Stalinskikh Spetsposelenii) (Rosspen, 2010).


Smith, Mark. M and Robert Paquette, eds.  The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2010).