Greetings from the Richards Center! 


Welcome back to the 2021–22 academic year; I hope you have had a good and relaxing summer. As many of you know, I recently joined the center as its new associate director. In this role, I’ll be working with Rachel to cultivate and expand the intellectual community here at the center. I’m looking forward to getting to work and seeing many of you soon.


We’ve got an exciting set of events planned this term. Please enjoy our first newsletter of the year to learn more and to check out the recent accomplishments of our community.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the Richards Center, please click here!


All my best,


Emma Teitelman 

Associate Director 

The George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center 

Penn State

August 2021 Newsletter
Center News

The Richards Center said goodbye in June to its longtime managing director Matt Isham, who will be focusing exclusively on his role as managing editor of the Journal of the Civil War Era. We thank Matt for his years of service and for playing such an important role in the center’s development. Among his many accomplishments, Matt has been key to the success of the center’s undergraduate summer internship program with the National Park Service. Although he will happily be close by at the Journal, we will miss him and wish him the best of luck in this next chapter!

Fall Events
The Richards Center is excited to announce its schedule for the fall 2021 semester, which will kick off with an outdoor Welcome Back Lunch on Wednesday, August 25. This semester we will launch a new series of RCWEC Manuscript Workshops. The aim of this series is to create a space to engage with precirculated article and chapter drafts written by members of the center’s intellectual community. In addition, expanding on our lunchtime Zoom series from last year, we will also be hosting a series of Lunchtime Discussions with scholars in various fields, inviting them to reflect on their methods and practices as historians in academia and beyond. Finally, we’ll be resuming our Zoom Writing Group on Monday afternoons (for a Zoom link, please register at this link; consistent attendance is not required!).


Mark your calendars for the Richards Center fall events and stay turned for more details!



Wednesday, August 25, 12:301:30 p.m.: Welcome Back Lunch



Mondays, 2:004:00 p.m.: Zoom Writing Group

Wednesday, September 8, 7:00 p.m.: Boalsburg Civil War Round Table: Leslie Gordon (University of Alabama) To attend this virtual event, please follow this link.

Friday, September 10, 12:302:00 p.m.: Manuscript Workshop: Jonathan Jones (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Tuesday, September 21, 4:00 p.m.: Co-Sponsored Lecture Event: Carol Anderson (Emory University) To register, please follow this link.

Wednesday, September 22, 12:301:30 p.m.: Lunchtime Discussion: Alaina Roberts (University of Pittsburgh)



Mondays, 2:004:00 p.m.: Zoom Writing Group

Wednesday, October 6, 1:303:00 p.m.: Workshop and Discussion: Editors of Made by History

Thursday, October 14Saturday, October 16: Brose Lectures with Sarah E. Gardner (Mercer University)

Thursday, October 21, 12:301:30 p.m.: Lunchtime Discussion: Whitney Martinko (Villanova University)



Mondays, 2:004:00 p.m.: Zoom Writing Group

Wednesday, November 10, 12:302:00 p.m.: Manuscript Workshop: Emma Teitelman (Faculty)

Thursday, November 18, 12:301:30 p.m.: Lunchtime Discussion: Heather Ann Thompson (University of Michigan)



Mondays, 2:004:00 p.m.: Zoom Writing Group

Wednesday, December 1, 4:00–5:15 p.m.: Virtual Book Launch and Discussion:  Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery featuring Sasha Turner (Johns Hopkins University) as moderator, and comments from editors Sean Morey Smith (Humanities Research Center, Rice University), Christopher D.E. Willoughby (Charles Warren Center, Harvard University), and contributors Deirdre Cooper Owens (University of NebraskaLincoln), Rana Hogarth (University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign), and Elise A. Mitchell (New York University)

Faculty News

Amira Rose Davis, assistant professor of history and African American studies, has been featured on several news outlets and podcasts giving commentary about the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. She was a guest on the MSNBC podcast Into America with Trymaine Lee , on the Slate podcast The Waves, and on American Voices with Alicia Menendez on MSNBC, among others. 

Dr. Davis also recently spoke with seven Black women Olympians, all members of Team USA, about the racial politics of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Black women athletes’ efforts to advance change in their respective sports, and what it means to prepare for the Olympics amidst the ongoing pandemic. Dr. Davis’s interview appeared in Slate in July 2021. 

Gabrielle Foreman, Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history, and Jim Casey, assistant professor of African American studies, history, and English and the managing director of the Center for Black Digital Research, spoke at Penn State Alumni Association’s “Why Didn’t I Know? Nineteenth Century Conventions and the Long History of Black Organizing” virtual speaker session this past spring. Drs. Foreman and Casey are co-editors of The Colored Convention Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century, which was published by the University of North Carolina Press in March 2021.

Amy Greenberg, George Winfree Professor of American History, delivered the presidential address, titled “Cuba and the Failure of Manifest Destiny,” to the annual conference of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic in July. Also in attendance were Julie Reed, associate professor of history, who served on the program committee and as a panel commentator, center director Rachel Shelden, who also gave comments on a panel, and former postdoctoral Fellow Alaina Roberts, who participated in a roundtable on histories of Black citizenship.

Zachary Morgan, associate professor of Latin American history and African American studies, published an article in the June 2021 issue of the Journal of Black Studies. Dr. Morgan’s article, Soldier and Scholar: Abdias Nascimento and the Origins of Afro-Latin American Studies,” explores the military experiences of Abdias Nascimento, an Afro-Brazilian scholar, artist, and activist whose work had a formative impact on the development of Afro-Latin American studies as a discipline. Earlier this year, Dr. Morgan also contributed a piece to the Oxford Reach Encyclopedia in Latin American History about the conscription and corporal punishment of free Afro-Brazilians at the hands of the Brazilian state. 

Dara Walker, assistant professor of African American studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and history, and a former center postdoctoral scholar, has been named a postdoctoral Fellow for 2021 by the National Academy of Education (NAEd), an honorary educational society whose mission is to improve education policy and practice by advancing high-quality research. Dr. Walker is one of twenty-five scholars selected from a competitive pool of 249 applicants. During the nonresidential fellowship, she will work on her upcoming monograph, High School Rebels: Black Power, Education, and Youth Politics in the Motor City, 19661973.
Graduate Student News

Doctoral candidate Edward Green earned a Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Award from the Penn State University Libraries to support his scholarly research. Green is a historian of the nineteenth century United States and its relationship with Native Americans. His current research project is titled “Changing Conceptions of Justice in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, 1830–1900.”

Doctoral candidate Mallory Huard will receive her doctorate in August 2021 and will accept a tenure-track position starting in fall 2021 as assistant professor of history at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Huard is a historian of American imperialism, trade, and women and gender. Her dissertation is titled “America’s Private Empire: Gender and Commercial Imperialism in 19th Century Hawai’i.”  

Doctoral candidate Heather Walser was awarded the Louis Leonard Tucker Alumni Fellowship from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Norton Strange Townshend Fellowship from the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, and the 2021 Friends Research Grant from the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. A historian of the nineteenth-century United States, Walser’s research explores the roots of the amnesty crisis that occurred at the conclusion of the American Civil War.

Cecily Zander, who successfully defended her dissertation earlier this summer, recently contributed to Emerging Civil War, a blog featuring the writing of leading scholars in the field of the Civil War era. Zander’s essay explores Confederate General Braxton Bragg and the early days of the Civil War in Pensacola, Florida, a key harbor town on the Gulf Coast.

Postdoctoral Fellow Alumni News
was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, one of the most coveted awards for the study of the African American experience. Wicked Flesh was published last summer by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Dr. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University) was the Richards Center's inaugural Fellow in African American history in 201213. During her fellowship, she developed the manuscript for Wicked Flesh from her dissertation.
2021 SCWH Conference

The Society of Civil War Historians hosted its seventh biennial conference on June 1718, 2021. It featured twenty-four panels and workshops, all held virtually. Richards Center director Rachel Shelden chaired a panel, while Penn State graduate and postdoctoral alumni Antwain K. Hunter (’15 Ph.D.), Evan C. Rothera (’17 Ph.D.), Alaina E. Roberts (201718 postdoctoral Fellow), and Nicole Myers Turner (201516 postdoctoral Fellow) all presented papers at the conference.


The SCWH promotes the integration of military, social, political, and other fields of history in the Civil War era while bringing together historians, graduate students, and professionals who interpret history at a variety of public institutions. 

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 22-021

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