MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


Most of the History faculty continued work on their large-scale research manuscripts during the year, in addition to keeping active in teaching and Institute service. Professor John Dower appeared frequently in the U.S. and Japanese media in connection with the fiftieth-year anniversary commemorations of the end of World War II.


Associate Professor Christian Appy; William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Pauline Maier; Professor Bruce Mazlish; Professor Peter C. Perdue; Associate Professor Douglas J. Forsyth; and Assistant Professors Heather Cox Richardson and Elizabeth Wood participated in the joint Ph.D. program in the History and Social Study of Science and Technology, by teaching graduate seminars, supervising general exams, or conducting tutorials. Luce Professor John W. Dower and Dean Philip S. Khoury advised advanced graduate students at Harvard in Japanese and Middle Eastern history, respectively.

Enrollments in history courses were 474 in Fall, 1995 and 493 in Spring, 1996. 6 students majored and eleven students minored in history. The most popular subjects included: 21H102 Emergence of Modern America (34), 21H116J Civil War and Reconstruction (37), 21H301 Ancient World: Greece (61), 21H302 Ancient World: Rome (68), 21H433 The Age of Reason (48), 21H522 Japan in the Age of the Samurai (35), 21H546 World War II in Asia (33), 21H921J Ideas of the World Order (50).

Freshman advisor seminars were taught by Professor Appy on "National Insecurity," Associate Professor Arthur D. Kaledin on "The End of the World," and Professor Khoury on "Conflict and Peace in the Middle East." Associate Professor William B. Watson, Professor Appy, Associate Professor Anne E. C. McCants, and Professor Perdue supervised UROP projects.

Visiting Lecturer Emma Jinhua Teng began two new subjects in Asian-American History and Asian- American Women's Studies that drew substantial student interest; we plan to continue to offer subjects in this field in the future.

Five students wrote senior theses in History: Thomas M. Callaghan, on "Hitachi Corporation, July 1937 to April 1952"; Jonora K. Jones, on "Creoles of Color in Louisiana during the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries"; Ximena Leroux, on "Chiapas: Structural Conditions of Peasant Rebellion"; Justin E. Manley, on "A Characterization of Romano-Celtic Religion: Religious Interaction in Roman Britain"; Scott W. Seago, on "The Development of Uniformity and Roman Use in Early Anglo-Saxon Liturgy".


Professor McCants won the Edgerton Award of 1996 for outstanding research, teaching, and service to the Institute by a junior faculty member. The History Faculty is very proud of her achievement. In addition to her highly regarded research and teaching, she has served as Housemaster of Green Hall and chaired the Truman Fellowship competition.

Professor Dower will become the first holder of the Elting E. Morison Chair in the Humanities on July 1, 1996. The professorship recognizes outstanding contributions of distinguished faculty members in the Humanities at MIT. Professor Perdue won the Wade Award for innovation to support his new project developing a video internet archive of materials on modern Chinese history. Associate Professor Jon E. (Ted) Lendon was nominated for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 1996 U.S. Professors of the Year Program.


Professor Wood was promoted to Associate Professor on the basis of her forthcoming manuscript discussing the role of gender in the early period of the Russian Revolution, and she won the Levitan Prize for her new project examining the impact of agitation trial literature on the formation of early Bolshevik culture. She also organized a conference at MIT which gathered younger scholars in the field of Soviet history together to present papers on their new research.

Associate Professors Kaledin and David Ralston were promoted to Full Professor and retired after over thirty years of active service to the MIT community. Professor Kaledin will continue working on his long-standing interest, the Thought of Alexis de Tocqueville. Professor Ralston has published several books in European and comparative military history, and he plans to remain active in his field. Friends and colleagues join in expressing their appreciation for all they have done for the History Faculty and the Institute.


Dean Philip S. Khoury published several articles, including "The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria". He also chairs the McMillan-Stewart committee in the Study of Women in the Developing World, which has interviewed several senior scholars of the Middle East for a possible appointment next year. Professor Maier has begun to write her chapters for the Sloan Foundation History of the United States, a major project funded by the Sloan Foundation, which will produce an American History that incorporates the history of science and technology.. Professor Merritt Roe Smith is the project's director; the other participants are Professors Daniel Kevles of California Institute of Technology and Alex Keyssar of Duke University. Professor Maier completed her manuscript currently titled "Sacred Scriptures: Making the Declaration of Independence". Professor Bruce Mazlish coedited with Leo Marx a volume entitled Progress: Fact or Illusion, and organized a panel on "Global History: A New Perspective", at the American Historical Association meeting in Atlanta. Associate Professor Anne McCants published "Fertility, Marriage, and Decline: Demographic Processes among Norwegian Immigrants to the Rural Middle West" and "Meeting Needs and Suppressing Desire: Consumer Choice Models and Historical Data." Professor Harriet Ritvo published "Border Trouble: Shifting the Line between People and Other Animals", "Barring the Cross: Miscegenation and Purity in 18th and 19th Century Britain", and "The Natural Order: Constructing the Collections of Victorian Zoos."


Associate Professors Ted Lendon and Anne McCants served on the Committee on the Undergraduate Program; Associate Professor Christian Appy served on the Committee on Curricula; Professor Peter C. Perdue served on the new MIT International Council and the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid; Professor John Dower served on the Library Committee.


Professor Richardson directed the Kenan Sahin lecture series, which presented talks "From Civil War to Civil Rights: The First and Second Reconstructions in American History" by Professor Eric Foner of Colombia University and "`Americans Must Rule America:' Anti-immigrant Sentiment in American History" by Assistant Professor Tyler Anbinder of George Washington University. Professor Mazlish again jointly ran the History and Literature Workshop series, and Dean Khoury directed the Bustani Middle Eastern Seminar.

The History Faculty will continue to make every effort to increase its representation of women and minorities especially as it embarks next year on three tenure-track searches for European and American historians.

Professor Pauline Maier will serve as Acting Head during the Fall term of 1996, while Professor Perdue is on sabbatical leave.

Peter C. Perdue

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96