Greetings from the Richards Center! 


We are happy to share our first newsletter of 2021 with you.


Interested in becoming a member of the Richards Center? Click here!


Best regards, 


Matt Isham 

Managing Director 

The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center 

Penn State

February 2021 Newsletter
Spring Happy Hours
The Richards Center is excited to continue its virtual Happy Hours in 2021. Dr. Cathleen Cahill will give our first Happy Hour talk via Zoom on Thursday, February 11 at 5:00 p.m. Her talk, "'Hurl Back the Defamation': Carrie Williams Clifford & Black Women's Political Activism in the Early 20th Century," will introduce us to Carrie Williams Clifford, a Black poet, activist, and suffragist. Clifford argued in her writings, especially her poetry, that a true accounting of American history had to include the stories of African Americans, and especially African American women. Register here for Dr. Cahill's Happy Hour talk.
Our next virtual Happy Hour will take place Thursday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m., again via Zoom. Dr. Christina Snyder, McCabe Greer Professor of the American Civil War Era, will join us to discuss a collaborative project between Penn State and Florida State to translate and historically analyze Choctaw Nation court records from nineteenth-century Indian Territory. This project will result in a dictionary commissioned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and a series of articles on topics including gender, culture, and the law. Register here for Dr. Snyder's Happy Hour talk.
Dr. Cathleen Cahill (L) and Dr. Christina Snyder (R)
Shelden Discusses Disputed Elections in  American History
Richards Center director Rachel Shelden coauthored an article in the January 6 issue of The Washington Post with fellow historian Erik B. Alexander. The article, "Ted Cruz thinks 2020 is like 1876. He's right, but not for the reason he thinks," challenged Cruz's claim that the disputed election of 1876 was a suitable precedent for his call to appoint an electoral commission to adjudicate the 2020 election. Shelden also discussed the disputed 1876 election on the January 28 episode of The Alarmist podcast.
Additionally, Dr. Shelden was scheduled to participate in a January 6 talk organized by the Massachusetts Historical Society, titled "'At Noon on the 20th Day of January': Contested Elections in American History." The appalling Capitol riot caused the postponement of the talk to January 9, when Dr. Shelden joined other distinguished political historians to discuss historical threats to the peaceful transfer of presidential power.
Jones to Publish Article in  North Carolina Historical Review
Dr. Jonathan Jones, the Richards Center postdoctoral Fellow in Civil War history, will publish an article in the July issue of  North Carolina Historical Review. The article, "The Life and Death of Frank Clewell, Confederate Veteran: Microhistory and the Civil War Era-South," examines Clewell's life to illustrate the longterm impact of morphine addiction on Civil War veterans.
Former Postdoctoral Fellows to Speak at Library Company of Philadelphia
Dr. Jessica Johnson and Dr. Sasha Turner will participate in a roundrtable talk at the Library Company of Philadelphia on February 17. The talk, "Body and Soul: a Conversation with Jessica Johnson About Slavery, Gender, and the Atlantic World," will take place from 5:30–7:00 p.m. E.T. Attendees can register for the talk at the link above. Johnson was the Richards Center's first postdoctoral Fellow in African American history for the 2012–2013 academic year. Turner succeeded her as Richards Center Fellow for 2013–2014.
Dr. Jessica Johnson (L) and Dr. Sasha Turner (R)
In Print
Dr. Amira Rose Davis has authored a chapter in the book, 42 Today: The Legacy of Jackie Robinson. Her chapter is titled, "'The Female Jackie Robinson' and the Legacy of Support for Black Women Athletes."  42 Today will be published this month by New York University Press.
Sasha Turner, 2013–2014 Richards Center and Africana Research Center postdoctoral Fellow in African American history, has contributed a chapter to the edited volume, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 16192019. Edited by historians Ibram X. Kendi and former Africana Research Center postdoctoral Fellow Keisha Blain, the book will be published by Penguin Random House this month.
Graduate Student News
Doctoral candidate Heather Walser recently published a book review in  The Civil War Monitor. She reviewed Thomas Curran's  Women Making War: Female Confederate Prisoners and Union Military Justice, which was published in 2020 by Southern Illinois University Press. Curran's book examines how Union military forces in St. Louis, Missouri investigated, prosecuted, and imprisoned Confederate-sympathizing women who sought to undermine the Union war effort. You can read Walser's review online at The Civil War Monitor.
Doctoral candidate Moyra Schauffler recently was interviewed by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine about her research on nineteenth century prosthetics. Schauffler's research explores Civil War veterans’ welfare. She is interested in how veterans’ homes, pensions, and prostheses impacted individuals and families following the war. You can watch her interview here. Schauffler also published an article drawn from this research in the December issue of the museum's biennial journal, Surgeon's Call.
Undergraduate Internships
It might be winter, but the Richards Center already is planning for its summer undergraduate internships at Gettysburg National Military Park and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The pandemic caused the cancellation of in-person internships in 2020. However, Katelyn Robbins ('20) was able to take part in a "virtual" internship with Gettysburg NMP. Meeting with the park's rangers over Zoom, she learned methods of historical research and techniques of public history. Robbins developed short programs for the park's YouTube channel and Facebook page. Here you can see Robbins's Hometown History series presentation on the funeral of General John Reynolds. Reynolds famously was killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, while rallying troops to defensive positions around the town.
This publication is available in alternative media upon request. 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. U.Ed. 

Richards Civil War Era Center | 108 Weaver Building | University Park, PA 16802

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