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Did you know that TCU houses over one hundred pre-Columbian artifacts? And that a former university employee stole over 100 of them?

In their article recently published in the Texas Observer titled, "Anatomy of a Pre-Columbian Art Heist in Fort Worth,"  Dr. Alex Hidalgo and students from his graduate-level class provide the in-depth story of the theft, including which artifacts were never recovered and what could have happened to them.

Congratulations to Dr.Hidalgo and also to graduate students Michael Fung, Sofia Gomez Pichardo, Jack Hines, Tony Peebler, Leonel Rodriguez, Meghan Scott-Chaber, and Jack Emery on becoming published authors!


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The 2024 LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium will air on CSPAN’s American History TV on Saturday, May 11, 2024! If you weren’t able to attend, want to see it all again, or want to look for yourself in the audience, all three panels will air beginning at 3:25 PM and will run through 7:00. They will also be available online the following week.


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Dr. Leah LaGrone Ochoa (c/o 2021) will be the featured speaker at the third annual Lone Start Lecture Series held at Angelo State University. Her talk titled “Sex Wages: Race, Respectability and Minimum Wage Policies in Texas” will explore gender, race and sexuality in early 20th century Texas with an emphasis on the Texas-Mexico border. Moreover, the address will examine women’s minimum wage legislation in Texas (1919-1921) and how such laws connected low wages to sex work. 
Dr. LaGrone is an assistant professor of history at Weber State University. Her current book project, “A Woman's Worth: How Race and Respectability Politics Influenced Minimum Wage Policies,” demonstrates the politics around race and the minimum wage for women drove conversations among labor, politicians, and progressive reformers about the future of white supremacy in Texas.
Click here for more information on Dr. LaGrone and the Lecture Series.
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Dr. Brennan Gardner Rivas (c/o 2019) has been appointed Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for the Study of Guns and Society (CSGS) at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. According to its website, the CSGS is "the first academic center in the U.S. dedicated to interdisciplinary humanities study and teaching on the social and cultural history of firearms."

This two year position will allow Dr. Rivas to complete her debut book titled, The Revolver Must Go: The Rise and Fall of a Gun Control Movement. Dr. Rivas describes her book as a scholarly monograph exploring the rise of a gun control movement in nineteenth-century Texas and the regulatory strategies which it embraced. Widespread acceptance of strict, ambitious gun control laws in the “Wild West” belies current assumptions about Texas and challenges the reigning interpretation of the Second Amendment as a guarantor of expansive gun rights. The book is under contract with Yale University Press.


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Dr. Matthew Arendt was featured on a CSPAN panel featuring historians discussing British and Canadian perspectives on American slavery and the U.S. Civil War. The Society of Nineteenth Century Historians hosted this event as part of its symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression.

Dr. Arendt is a visiting lecturer for the 2023-24 academic year and is also a graduate of TCU (c/o 2023).

Click here to view the panel.

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Dr. Leah LaGrone was recently featured on the Yeah, I Got an F#%*ing Job With a Liberal Arts Degree Podcast to discuss her career after graduating from TCU with her Ph.D. in 2021. The Yeah, I Got an F#%*ing Job With a Liberal Arts Degree Podcast is a show that explores the liberal arts as an educational system emphasizing inquiry, personal development, and innovation that is foundational to healthy, inclusive, and progressive society.

Here is a summary of Dr. LaGrone's episode: Episode #12 features a conversation with Dr. Leah LaGrone, Assistant Professor of History at Weber State University. Dr. LaGrone's research examines state legislation and the discourse on minimum wages for women, specifically the connections of sex work with low wages. Her current book, "A Woman's Worth: How Race and Respectability Politics Influenced Minimum Wage Policies," demonstrates that the politics around race and the minimum wage for women drove conversations among labor, politicians, and progressive reformers about the future of white supremacy in Texas.

This episode unpacks the importance (and perceived danger by some) of the history as an academic pursuit and emphasizes the fact that history can be weaponized and used to gain power, often maliciously.

As mentioned in the podcase, Dr. LaGrone is a part of the Refusing to Forget team. Refusing to Forget is a multifaceted project that seeks to incite public conversatons through efforts such as: museum and online exhibits, historical marker unveilings, lectures, and curricular materials for public school teachers.

Click here to listen to Dr. LaGrone's episode.




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The October issue of The Impacts of Innovative Institutions in Higher Education featured an article co-authored by Dr. Jerry Garcia. The article, titled “El Colegio Chicano Del Pueblo: Decolonizing Chicano Education and the Search for Self-Determination” provides "a historical overview of the challenges and obstacles the Mexican American community faced in the early twentieth century, paying particular attention to education." Click here to read the article.


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Jorden Pitt was recently published in Perspectives on History, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. His article is titled "Staleness: The Psychological Consequences of Aerial Combat in World War I". Pitt's research focuses on the intersections between military history and disability and gender studies. He is currently an instructor of history at the United States Air Force Academy. Click here to read his article. 


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Two members of the graduate class of 2019 have recently had articles published in "The Panorama", the blog associated with the SHEAR's Journal of the Early Republic. SHEAR stands for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Brennan Gardner Rivas and Jennifer McCutchen both completed their Ph.D.'s in the spring of 2019. 

Dr. Rivas' essay is titled "Reflections on the American Gun Control Culture" and Dr. McCutchen's essay is titled "What a Historical Analysis of Gunpowder Can Teach Us about Gun Culture in the United States". Both essays are part of a roundtable called "A People Armed". Dr. Rivas is a historian and indpendent scholar and Dr. McCutchen is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of St. Thomas.

Click here to read both articles.


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Dr. Alex Hidalgo guest edited a forum in the October 2023 issue of Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture. Speaking about his contribution Dr. Hidalgo said, "I am especially proud of this collection because it pushed me into a new subject area, time period, and methodology. Contributors include historians, archeologists, art historians, and museum curators who examine the way historical actors shaped ideas about the pre-Columbian past by publishing facsimiles of pictorial records made by Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica." 

According to its website, Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture is "a quarterly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing the most current international research on the visual culture of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as that created in diaspora. A defining focus of the journal is its concentration of current scholarship on both Latin American and Latinx visual culture in a single publication. The journal aims to approach ancient, colonial, modern and contemporary Latin American and Latinx visual culture from a range of interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives."

Click here to read Dr. Hidalgo's introduction.


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Dr. Amanda Bresie, a graduate from the class of 2014, has published her first book titled Veiled Leadership: Katarine Drexel, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and Race Relations. According to the Catholic University of American Press website, Bresie's book "examines the lives of Mother Katharine and her congregation within the context of larger constructs of gender, race, religion, reform, and national identity. It explores what happens when a non-dominant culture tries to impose its views and morals on other non-dominant cultures."

Dr. Bresie is the current President of the Texas Catholic Historical Association and teaches at the Greenhill School in Addison, TX.

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Dr. Sam Davis has been awarded a fellowship for academic year 2023-2024 as a Mellon Scholar in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. The fellowship will support Sam’s work on his manuscript, Antislavery Conquest: Colonization, Removal, and Free-Soil Politics.

The Library Company, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731 and located in Center City Philadelphia, holds over half a million rare books and graphics that are capable of supporting research in a variety of fields and disciplines relating to the history of the United States and the Atlantic world in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The fellowship program began in 1987 and now has more than a thousand alumni. A list of past fellows and their topics is available here along with a list of publications resulting from their fellowship research.

Click here for the full list of 2023-2024 Research Fellows.

Dr. Kara Vuic recently published a blog post in Process, the blog of the Organization of American Historians, The Journal of American History, and The American Historian. Process is dedicated to exploring the process of doing history and the multifaceted ways of engaging with the U.S. past.

Click here to read Dr. Vuic's post that discusses the legacies of women who served in combat in The Iraq War.

Back in March (2023), C-SPAN was on hand to record the keynote lecture for the 2023 LCpl Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium on War, Conflict, and Society. The lecture was given by Thomas Guglielmo,  Associate Professor of American Studies at George Washington University. His address drew from his prize-winning book, Divisions: A New History of Racism and Resistance in America’s World War II Military (Oxford UP 2021), to discuss the topic of race and World War II. 

Click here to view the full lecture on the C-SPAN website.

Dr. Alex Hidalgo's newest article has been published in the May edition of the Hispanic American Historical Review. The article, entitled "The Echo of Voice after the Fall of the Aztec Empire", forms part of a double special issue between HAHR and the William and the Mary Quarterly that features new work on the early Americas. Click here to read the article.

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Dr. Hanan Hammad will deliver the keynote remarks at the The Egyptian Constitution of 1923 Conference at NYU on Friday, March 12th. According to the website, this conference seeks to "investigate the limits and opportunities of the decades of constitutionalism and 'democracy'", since the promulgation of the first Egyptian constitution in 1923. The conference is being held in person and can also be attended virtually via Zoom. Click here to RSVP for in person or virtual attendance.

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Dr. Hanan Hammad was invited to give the 2023 Hassan (Husni) Haddad Memorial Lecture at the University of Chicago earlier this month. Dr. Hammad lectured on her latest book, Unknown Past Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt.

Click here to read the review of Unknown Past Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt. Since 1897 the Forward has been a leading source of news, opinion, culture, and more through a Jewish lens.

The Náñez-Woodward Collection of Panamanian Popular Art  includes photographs by Peter Szok donated in honor of Dr. Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr. and Dr. Guillermo Náñez Falcón.

This is an enhanced monograph digital scholarship collection, complementing and supplementing the book Wolf Tracks: Popular Art and Re-Africanization in Twentieth-Century Panama from the University Press of Mississippi.


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Read Dr. Alex Hidalgo's essay for the international magazine, PopMatters. The article is titled Never Mind the Sex Pistols: 'Never Mind the Bullocks' at 45. PopMatter's mission is "to educate as well as entertain, our scope is broadly cast on all things pop culture and we are the largest site that bridges academic and popular writing in the world".

Read Ph.D. Candidate Cecilia Hill’s recently published article in the Fall Issue of the Journal of Social Studies and History Education. The article is titled, "Disrupting the Master Narrative: Mexican Americans in the Borderlands".


TCU Ph.D. Jeff Wells has accepted the appointment as the Dennis & Vaune Johnson Endowed Chair in US History at Dickinson State University. 

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Congratulation to Jorden Pitt on being awarded the AHA-NASA  Fellowship in the History of Space Technology to work on his dissertation, “The Traumatic Blue Sky: The Psychological Consequences of Aerial Combat in the Twentieth Century.”

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Congratulations to Dr. Jodi Campbell! Jodi has been invited to give the Luis Martín Lecture series in the Humanities at the Meadows Museum. There will be four Friday morning lectures (April 1, 8, 22, and 29) that are both in-person and virtual.

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Photo of Layla Murad StampHere is the story: a female singer becomes a movie star, has a tumultuous personal life, finds herself engulfed in scandal and political intrigue but through it all, becomes a cultural icon, relevant through the present day.

While this might sound like the plot of a 2023 Academy Award nominee, it is actually a rough outline of the life of Layla Murad, an Egyptian singer and actor of Jewish heritage who converted to Islam, and the subject of Hanan Hammad, Ph.D.’s latest book, Unknown Past: Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2022).

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Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D., professor of history and director and co-founder of the Center for Texas Studies, was named as Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D.
Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D.

Established by the USNA Class of 1957, the Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage is a 10-month appointment to the Academy’s history department and is responsible for developing future Navy and Marine officers’ appreciation for naval history.

“I am excited about my return to Annapolis, MD to return as the Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair of Naval Heritage,” Smith said.

Smith, who previously served as Distinguished Chair for 2013-2014, brings decades of experience as a scholar of naval history, the War of 1812 and early American territorial expansion.

The NEH fellowship will support his book project, Mexican Soundscapes of the Colonial Era. Dr. Hidalgo is  one of just 13 Texans, and one of 200 scholars nationally, to receive one of these prestigious awards from the NEH. Congratulations on this achievement!

Congratulations to Dr. Kara Vuic, who has been selected as the inaugural Cokie Roberts Women’s History Fellow by the National Archives Foundation. The fellowship will provide support for her book project, Drafting Women; you can read more about the fellowship here.

We are delighted to announce that our department has landed not one, but two – TWO! – Summer Stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Dr. Alex Hidalgo for his project, “Mexican Soundscapes of the Colonial Era,” and Dr. Kara Vuic for her project, “Drafting Women.” Well done, Alex and Kara – we are so proud! This is a major accomplishment, as Kara and Alex are two of just six scholars in the state, and of 92 nationally, who received these grants this year. Please join me in congratulating Alex and Kara on their fine work.


Image of The People's Revolt Book CoverDr. Gregg Cantrell's book, The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism , has been chosen as the recipient of the Kat Broocks Bates Award for 2020.  The Kate Broocks Bates Award was established in 1976 in the name of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas by her children, Kate Harding Bates Parker and C. Elisabeth Bates Nisbet. The award honors Mrs. Bates, a dedicated member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who was committed to the study of Texas history. The Bates Award is given annually for a significant piece of historical research dealing with any phase of Texas history prior to 1900.

Dr. Gregg Cantrell

Congratulations to Dr. Gregg Cantrell, the Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History and Director of Graduate Studies (History), who is the winner of the 2021 AddRan Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Dr. Cantrell was selected for his exceptional work, The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism (Yale University Press, 2020).  As described by Dr. Karl Jacoby (Columbia University), Dr. Cantrell’s work is “[d]eeply researched and beautifully written [and] restores the Populists to their rightful place at the leading edge of American liberalism through his close attention to the experiences of African Americans, ethnic Mexicans, and women in the crucible of Texas politics.” Dr. Cantrell will deliver his distinguished faculty lecture in the spring.


Dr. Max Krochmal, Associate Professor of History, has been named the winner of the 2020 Diversity in Research Prize for his research “Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Hidden Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas”


drawing of Cecilia HillTexas schools have an opportunity to embrace a culturally diverse history curriculum and TCU History doctoral candidate Cecilia Hill is leading the charge. Read the full story in the latest issue of TCU Magazine.

For updated information on how COVID-19 is impacting our campus, please visit our site.
We had three winners in the AddRan 3MT Contest. Gerardo Rodriguez won second place. Justin Jolly and Peter Porsche tied for Audience Favorite. Congratulations to all!
Dr. Kara Dixon Vuic Selected as AddRan Distinguished Faculty Lecture Speaker
The collection is edited by Leanna Schooley of the Center for Texas Studies, and includes contributions from current and former TCU historians Jensen Branscombe, Kendra DeHart, Michael Green, Jamalin Harp, Meredith May, Bill Meier, Amanda Milian, Bob Oliver, Brennan Rivas, Gene Smith, Jessica Webb, and Brooke Wibracht.

Wanted in America Posters Collected Book Cover

Laska Anderson Rhodes Scholar Finalist

This seminar-style course will use the past to explain the present of Brexit. By using the lens of History, we can enlarge our understanding of how Britain arrived at this moment and why Brexit has been so difficult to achieve.