The mission of the History Faculty is to promote advanced research and undergraduate teaching in a broad range of fields, including American, Ancient, East Asian, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Russian history. The faculty includes joint appointments in Urban Studies, in Writing, and in Science, Technology, and Society, and it participates in the joint PhD program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology.
Professor John Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (W.W. Norton) won the Osaragi Jiro Rondan Special Prize for the Japanese translation version, awarded by the Asahi newspaper, and the Yamagata Banto prize for promoting Japanese culture abroad, awarded by the Osaka prefectural government in Western Japan.
Professors Pauline Maier and Merritt Roe Smith published Inventing America: A History of the United States (W.W. Norton), a textbook that reconfigures American history by integrating technology and science into the usual
discussions of politics and society. The other authors are Alex Keyssar of Duke University and Daniel Kevles of Yale.
Professor Robert Fogelson's Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950 (Yale University Press) won the Lewis Mumford Prize for the best book on American city and regional planning history, awarded by the Society for American City and Regional Planning History.
Associate Professor Heather Cox Richardson published The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 (Harvard University Press), which demonstrates the importance of class in the post–Civil War struggle to integrate African-Americans into a progressive and prospering nation.
Professor Harriet Ritvo published "Destroyers and Preservers: Big Game in the Victorian Empire" in History Today. Professor Peter Perdue published "Empire and Nation in Comparative Perspective: Frontier Administration in Eighteenth-Century China" in the Journal of Early Modern History. Professor Bruce Mazlish published "Evolving Toward History" in Evolution and History. Associate Professor Anne McCants published "Petty Debts and Family Networks" in Women and Credit (edited by Beverly Lemire). Associate Professor Elizabeth Wood published "The Trial of the New Woman: Citizens-in-Training in the New Soviet Republic" in Gender and History. Associate Professor Jeffrey Ravel published "Gender, Enlightenment, and Revolution in Two Eighteenth-Century Biographies" in French Historical Studies. Assistant Professor Joshua Sosin published "Boeotian Silver, Theban Agio and Bronze Drachams" in the Numismatic Chronicle and "A Missing Woman: Hellenistic Leases from Thespiae Revisited" in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies. Lecturer Mona Russell published "Competing, Overlapping, and Contradictory Agendas: Egyptian Education under British Occupation, 1882-1922" in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and Middle East.
Professor Dower analyzed Japanese and American images of the enemy in World War Two at the Pearl Harbor 60th Anniversary Conference sponsored by the USS Arizona Memorial. Professor Ritvo spoke on "Varieties of Taxonomic Experience" at Cambridge University, England. Professor Wood presented a paper on "Shaming Boys Who Smoke Cigarettes: Agitation Trials in the Late 1920s" at the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Professor Perdue spoke on "From Turfan to Taiwan: Trade and War on Two Chinese Frontiers" at the International Conference of Asian Studies in Berlin. Assistant Professor Meg Jacobs presented a paper on "Pocketbook Politics: Democracy and the Market in Twentieth-Century America" at the Policy History Conference. Professor Mazlish presented a paper on "What Is New about Globalization? An Historian's Perspective" at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Assistant Professor Jonathan Zatlin spoke on "Selling Socialism: Advertising in East Germany, 1971-1989" at the German Studies Association Conference.
Associate Professor Ravel will be promoted to associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2002, on the basis of his research in the cultural history of 17th and 18th-century France, and his contributions to the European history curriculum. After a national search, the History Faculty appointed Christopher Capozzola as assistant professor in the field of 19th and early 20th-century American history. He received his doctorate from Columbia University for a dissertation entitled "Uncle Sam Wants You: Political Obligations in World War I America."
Professors Maier, Mazlish, Perdue, Ritvo, Richardson, Wood, and Jacobs participated in the joint PhD program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology by teaching graduate seminars, setting general examinations, and supervising dissertations. Professors Dower and Ritvo and Professor Philip S. Khoury advised Harvard graduate students in Japanese, British, and Middle Eastern history, respectively. Professors Wood and McCants participated in the inter-university graduate Consortium in Women's Studies.
Professor Dower received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Amherst College. Professor Khoury was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was appointed the first Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Professor Sosin was awarded a fellowship in ancient Greek studies at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Professor Ritvo was awarded a senior fellowship at the National Humanities Center. Professor Zatlin received the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize for his dissertation "The Currency of Socialism: Money in the GDR and German Unification, 1971-1990."
History enrollments totaled 273 in the fall semester and 368 in the spring. Three history majors successfully completed their senior thesis projects: Edward Cotler's "Propaganda on the Home Front: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in World War II," supervised by Professor Zatlin; Kristopher M. Schnee's "America's Crusade: War with the Barbary Pirates, 1789-1805," supervised by Professor Richardson; and Michael C. Won's "Social Darwinism and Educational Reform in Nineteenth-Century Britain," supervised by Professor Ritvo. Nine seniors graduated with minors in history. Two new subjects were offered: 21H.437 European Socialism, 1796-1989 (Zatlin); and 21H.441 Revolutionary Europe (Zatlin).
Two faculty members led freshman advisor seminars: Dean Khoury, "Conflict and Peace in the Contemporary Middle East," and Professor McCants, "You Have to Eat." Professors Jacobs, McCants, Ravel, and Sosin supervised UROP projects.
Professor Perdue served as head of the HASS Overview Committee. Professor Ritvo served on the HSSST Graduate Program Steering Committee. Professor Wood served as chair of the Women's Studies Program Committee. Professor Jacobs directed the Truman Scholarship Committee and served as chair of the newly established History Prize Committee. Professor McCants served as president of MIT's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Two historians were housemasters: Professor McCants of Green Hall, and Associate Professor William Watson of Baker House.
The Sahin Lecture Series for 2001-2002 included the following presentations: William Cronon on "The Portage: A Place in Time (Reading from a Work in Progress)," and Herbert Bix on "Expedient Nationalism and Structural Reform: What Path is Koizumi Forging?" Professor Mazlish, again, jointly organized the monthly meetings of the History and Literature Workshop, and Dean Khoury directed the Bustani Middle East Seminar.
More information about the History Faculty can be found on the web at http://web.mit.edu/history/www/.