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We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter below.


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Best regards, 


Matt Isham 

Managing Director 

The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center 

Penn State

May 2021 Newsletter
Center News
Emma Teitelman to Join Richards Center as Associate Director
We are pleased to announce that Emma Teitelman will join the Department of History and the Richards Center in July as the center's first-ever associate director. She will work closely with center director Rachel Shelden in shaping and executing the center's strategic plan for the future, which includes expanding the postdoctoral fellowship program.
Emma’s research interests include the Civil War and Reconstruction, as well as the history of labor, inequality, and capitalism. Her current book project explores transformations in capitalism and the state after the Civil War, focusing especially on the histories of the South and the West. It argues that the fall of southern slavery brought profound change not only to the lives of enslaved people but also to national patterns of economic development, government activities, and colonial practices. These structural shifts were rooted in the federal government’s changing relationships to cohorts of northeastern businessmen and philanthropists. Faced with enormous political challenges in the wake of the war, federal authorities searched for allies, ultimately forging dynamic relationships with members of an increasingly politicized capitalist class. Joining together around the politics of emancipation, colonialism, and industrial capitalism, these postbellum forces steered the economic integration of the United States at a moment of dramatic uncertainty. In the process, northeastern capitalists and U.S. authorities foreclosed possibilities for alternative forms of life, incorporating Native peoples, the formerly enslaved, smallholding farmers, and landless workers into an increasingly coherent capitalist society. Dr. Teitelman's writing has appeared in the  Journal of American History and  New Labor Forum, among others, and her work has been supported by the Huntington Library and the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy. Prior to joining Penn State and the Richards Center, she was the Mellon Research Fellow in American History at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  
Incoming Richards Center Associate Director Dr. Emma Teitelman
Davis Named Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader and Harrington Felow
Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history and African American studies, has been named a 2021 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation's Institute for Citizens and Scholars. The Mellon awards "support junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars." Dr. Davis also was named a 2021–22 Harrington Faculty Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. The residential fellowship will allow her to pursue research and collaborations with colleagues in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and across the university.
Dr. Amira Rose Davis
Alumni Awards

Hal (’71) and Sandy (’71) Rosenberg were honored with the Chaiken Leadership Award in recognition of their long record of philanthropy to Penn State. The Rosenbergs have hosted several events for the College of the Liberal Arts and have been longtime supporters of the Richards Center, where Hal serves as chair of the Board of Visitors. They have made generous contributions to the Howell and Sondra Rosenberg Director’s Fund in the Richards Center, the Dr. William A. Blair Leadership Fund, and the Richards Center Board of Visitors Discretionary Endowment, among other gifts.


John M. Taylor (’87) received the Outstanding Liberal Arts Alumni Award from the College of the Liberal Arts. John has established a scholarship in the Department of History for outstanding undergraduate students. He also contributes to the Richards Center's Catto-LeCount Fellows Program for Equity and Inclusion, a mentoring program for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in pursuing graduate education in history.

Faculty News
Crystal Sanders, associate professor of history, will receive the 2021 Dr. James Robinson Equal Opportunity Award from Penn State. The award recognizes her many efforts to promote equal opportunity and cross-cultural understanding at the University. In announcing the award, the University noted that her nominators praised Dr. Sanders as "a fierce proponent of the history of black education and also an advocate for expanding opportunities for minorities in the field." Sanders has initiated many programs, symposia, and other events to promote inclusion and collaboration among faculty and students. Among those initiatives is the Richards Center's undergraduate Catto-LeCount Fellows Program for Equity and Inclusion.
Amy Greenberg, George Winfree Professor of American History, has been elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS). Founded in 1812, the AAS is a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS promotes research into American history and culture through 1876.
Jacob Lee, assistant professor of history, received a Best of Illinois History Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for his book, Masters of the Middle Waters (Harvard University Press, 2019). He also participated in the roundtable, "Beyond the Treaty of 1821: Enduring Midwestern Indigenous Histories and Presence," at the Organization of American Historians' annual meeting in April 2021.
In addition to being named a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader and a 2021–22 Harrington Faculty Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin (see above), Amira Rose Davis participated in a roundtable, "On the Experiences of Black Historians," published in the March 2021 issue of the journal, Modern American History. She contributed an article, "New Directions in African American Sports History: A Field of One's Own" to the spring 2021 special issue of The Journal of African American History. Dr. Davis also was named to the advisory board of the Arthur Ashe Legacy Foundation at UCLA.
Postdoctoral Fellow News
Jonathan Jones, postdoctoral Fellow in Civil War history, reviewed Sarah Handley-Cousins's  Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North, in the April 2021 issue of  The Journal of Military History.
Maryam Aziz, Richards Center and Africana Research Center postdoctoral Fellow in history, contributed an article to a special issue of  The Journal of African American History. Dr. Aziz's article is titled "They Punched Black: Martial Arts, Black Arts, and Sports in the Urban North and West, 19681979." The issue, "New Directions in African American History," was published this spring.
Postdoctoral Fellow Alumni News
Jessica Johnson's first book, Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World, won the 2020 Kemper and Leila Williams Prize for Louisiana History, awarded by The Historic New Orleans Collection and the Louisiana Historical Association. It also was named Honorable Mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, given by the Organization of American Historians, and is a finalist for the Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History, awarded by the African American Intellectual History Society. Dr. Johnson is assistant professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. She was the Richards Center’s inaugural postdoctoral Fellow in African American history during the 2012–13 academic year. During her fellowship, she developed the manuscript for Wicked Flesh.
Graduate Student News
Cecily Zander, a doctoral candidate in history, earned a prestigious two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. She plans to complete her dissertation this summer and will begin the fellowship in August.
Undergraduate Student News
Elinor Farber (’21) was selected as the history major student marshal for spring commencement. She earned this honor in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements, as well as her extensive service to local, state, and global communities. Elinor graduated with a triple major in History, Economics, French and Francophone Studies, as well as a minor in Jewish Studies. She also was recognized as one of the winners of the Best Schreyer Honors Thesis award. In 2019, Elinor was the Richards Center’s interpretive operations summer intern at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
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. LBS 21-602

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