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Faculty News and Updates

In 2017, Margaret Andersen read a paper at the Société d’histoire coloniale française in Aix-en-Provence. While in France, she also worked in archives in Strasbourg and Paris for her current book project. She is spending the 2017-18 academic year as a fellow at the UT Humanities Center.

Kristen Block brought eight students to Cuba for a May-term course: Slavery in Cuba and the Atlantic World. They toured historic Old Havana, the walls and fortresses built by enslaved labor, and the site of a major slave uprising in Matanzas province in 1844. Block remained an additional month to conduct research in Cuba’s National Archive.

Daniel Feller contributed the lead chapter to the Oxford book, When Life Strikes the President: Scandal, Death, and Illness in the White House. In 2017, he gave sponsored lectures at Central Michigan University, Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, Vanderbilt University, and the White House Historical Association in Washington, DC.

Jacob Latham celebrated his tenure and promotion to associate professor by finally offering a course on the City of Rome from Romulus to Charlemagne. He published an essay in Studia Patristica and finished an essay for the Oxford Handbook of Early Christianity Ritual, while continuing to work on his next book project.

Vejas Liulevicius helped organize the Echoes of War exhibit by UT Libraries Special Collections. Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interviewed him on World War I. He is proud of his student Brad Nichols, who won the Fritz Stern Prize for best dissertation in German history at a North American university.

Tore Olsson celebrated the birth of his second daughter, Johanna Elise, in August 2017. When not napping to regain lost sleep, Olsson has been traveling to give lectures on Agrarian Crossings (2017) and working on his next book, The Global Hillbilly: How American Country Music Traveled – and Transformed – the Twentieth-Century World. Moreover, his book, Agrarian Crossings, was recognized by major book awards from the Agricultural History Society, the American University Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Laura Nenzi spent one year at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan, where she offered graduate seminars and organized two international symposia. She also gave the keynote speech at the Sixth Japanese History Workshop at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, with a paper titled “After Dark: The Night in Nineteenth-Century Japan.”

Lynn Sacco taught Dolly’s America once again, a course that continues to garner a great deal of attention. The strategic tagging of Dolly Parton developed into an award for the best higher education digital marketing campaign of 2017. Sacco enjoyed a luncheon with Knoxville’s Andrew Bogle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Alison Vacca published “Conflict and Community in the Medieval Caucasus,” which is a first foray into her new book project. This year, she also travelled to conferences in St. Petersburg (Russia), Fresno, and Tbilisi (Georgia) and organized this year’s Marco Institute symposium on multilingualism and Arabization in early Islam.