About the History Program

The study of history develops out of the perennial interest that people have about their past. History explores the events that shape societies. Studying the record of the past opens insights into what happens today, and what may happen tomorrow. The fundamental importance of history explains why it is among the most venerable of the liberal arts, and why it continues to attract new scholars.

Drury University offers a History Major and a History Minor.

Department of History news: February-October 2013

Fall 2013 Newsletter

Departmental Events
Professors Ray Patton and Shelley Wolbrink embarked on a “first annual” academic immersion trip to Kansas City with 30 history students to tour the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and the World War I National Museum.

Dr. Leah Blakey is presenting a paper, “Preparing Tomorrow’s Social Studies Teachers; How Are We Doing? What Should We Be Doing? A Case Study”, for the  9th annual Critical Questions in Education Conference to be held October 14-15 in San Antonio, Texas.  The paper explores the traditional approaches to social studies education and analyzes how that correlates to core standards in today’s public school classroom.

Dr. Hue-ping Chin, Professor of History, attended three conferences during her sabbatical (spring 2013), presented two papers and submitted one article for publication.  She continues her on-going project, translating Master Sheng-yen’s masterpiece, Inquiries of Buddhism and Its Practices, into English. While in Taiwan attending an international conference on religion and ethics, she paid a visit to the DDM headquarter and Nong-chan monastery in Taipei, conducting background research on the theory and practice of Engaged Buddhism.

Dr. Dan Livesay has completed several chapters for his forthcoming book, Children of Uncertain Fortune: West Indians of Color and the Atlantic Family, 1750-1820, under contract with the University of North Carolina Press for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. The book examines the movement of mixed-race individuals from the Americas to live with white relatives in Britain in the eighteenth century.  It shows how ideas of race were strongly connected to ideas of family in the Atlantic World during this period.

Dr. Ray Patton, Assistant Professor of History, presented a paper on “The Global Punk Crisis and the End of the Age of Three Worlds” at the 2013 National Popular Culture & American Culture Conference, March 2013, in Washington D.C. The paper argues that punk not only transcended the Cold War division of the world into "capitalist," "communist," and "postcolonial" blocs – but also contributed to the collapse of those blocs and the boundaries between them.

Dr. Greg Renoff, Associate Professor of History, is hosting and blogging for the New Books in Popular Music (newbooksinpopmusic.com) which is part of the New Books Network. The site features podcast interviews with music writers and scholars about their recent books. Dr. Renoff has several hour-long interviews, including Steve Roby, author of Becoming Jimi Hendrix: From Southern Crossroads to Psychedelic London (De Capo Press, 2009). The podcasts are available for streaming or download through the website or through Itunes.

In May 2013, Dr. Greg Renoff partnered with Barking Irons, a clothing company in New York, to bundle his book, The Big Tent with a limited edition t-shirt featuring circus slang. Read more here: http://ugapress.blogspot.com/2013/06/hey-rube.html

Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, Professor of History, reviewed  Giunta Bevegnati’s The Life and Miracles of Saint Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297), edited by Thomas Renna, for the Renaissance Quarterly 66.3 (2013).

Dr. Shelley Wolbrink’s article, “Necessary Priests and Lay Brothers: Male-Female Cooperation in the Premonstratensian Women’s Monasteries of Meer and Füssenich, 1140-1255,”  was published in  Partners in Christ: Men, Women, and Religious Life in Germany, 1100 - 1500, ed. by Fiona J. Griffiths and Julie Hotchin (Brepols Press, 2013). Using surviving property charters, papal confirmations, witness lists, and episcopal grants, the article examines the leadership, administration, organization and membership of two women’s monasteries in medieval Germany.  

Student news

Beth Tally and Sadie Ford were honored with Outstanding New History Major Awards in May 2013.
Ashley Witt was honored with Outstanding Leadership in History Award in May 2013 for her work with Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary.

Jenn Kervian, History/Asian Studies/Medieval and Renaissance Studies spent her spring semester in Beijing, China at Tsinghua University. While there she studied Mandarin, and Xi’an to see the Terracotta soldiers
Kelly Teel, History, studied abroad in Rome, Italy, during the month of June, where she visited numerous ancient monuments and medieval churches, and Renaissance palazzos.

Alumni news
Matt Frierdich, History ’10, graduated from Vanderbilt Divinity School in May 2013. Upon graduation, he received the W. Kendrick Grobel Award, presented to the degree candidate, who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in Biblical studies. He also received the Nelly May Overby Memorial Award preented to the degree candidate who has received a grade of Honors in field education and who, in the judgment of the field education faculty, has enriched the life of a congregation or has offered significant service through a community agency.