Faculty News


Congratulations to Professor Max Fraser who published Hillbilly Highway. The Transappalachian Migration and the Making of a White Working Class with Princeton University Press. Hillbilly Highway tells the largely overlooked story of one of the largest and most consequential demographic events in recent American history. Between World War I and 1970, around 8 million poor and working-class white southerners left Appalachia and other parts of the rural South and migrated to the cities of the industrial Midwest, along what has long been known within the region as the “hillbilly highway.”  Max Fraser’s book sheds new light on this historic event, and its far-reaching impact on American politics and culture in the twentieth century and into our own moment.

Interview about the book with the NPR news show Here & Now:


A new open-access special issue edited by our very own, Professor Dominique Reill has just come out with the Journal of Austrian-American History dedicated to the historiographical influence of Istvan Deak, including contributions by Eliza Ablovatski (Kenyon), Holly Case (Brown), Gábor Egry (Insitute of Political History- Budapest), Jennifer Foray (Purdue), Alison Frank Johnson (Harvard), Benjamin Frommer (Northwestern), Paul Hanebrink (Rutgers), Pieter Judson (EUI), Rebekah Klein-Pejšová (Purdue), Norman Naimark (Stanford), Cynthia Paces (College of New Jersey), Dominique Reill (U of Miami), Máté Rigó (LMU- Munich), Marsha Rozenblit (U of Maryland), Nancy Wingfield (Northern Illinois), and Larry Wolff (NYU).  It is really quite an extraordinary collection.  https://scholarlypublishingcollective.org/psup/austrian-american-history/issue/7/1

Congratulations to Dr. Krista Goff! Krista Goff, an associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a 2023 recipient of the prestigious Dan David Prize for her work in illuminating the past in bold and creative ways. As a testament to her work, Goff was honored with the $300,000 prize to help support future research. 

Podcast with Dr.Dominique

Congratulations to Dr. Dominique Reil! Stephen V. Bittner invited Dr.Dominique to talk on a Kritika Journal and New Books Network-sponsored podcast. The podcast included Dr.Dominique and Professor Joshua Sanborn to reassess the fall of the Russian and Habsburg empire by questioning several core assumptions: national state-building precipitated the end of the empire, and politics of nationalist grievance were paramount amount the post-imperial peoples of central Europe.

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Congratulations to Dr. Dominique Reill! She has been named Honorable Mention for the Barbara Jelavich Book Prize for her book The Fiume CrisisAwarded by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, it identifes her book as one of the best monographs published on any aspect of Southeast European or Habsburg studies ince 1600, or nineteenth- and twentieth century Ottoman or Russian diplomatic history. 

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Congratulations to Dr. Krista Goff....again! She has won the 2021 Reginald Zelnik Book Prize in History from the Association for Slavic, Eastern European & Eurasian Studies! It identified her book Nested Nationalism as the outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe, or Eurasia in the filed of history. 

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Congratulations to Dr. Krista Goff on winning the 2021 Rothschild Prize from the Association for the Study of Nationalities! The committee identified her book, Nested Nationalism (Cornell University Press, 2021) as "a bold and highly original treatment of the Soviet Union’s management of non-titular groups." The committee continues to say that "Goff’s book is destined to become the standard reference work on the topic of non-titular nationalities in the Soviet Union, an outstanding achievement considering the fundamental role that multiethnicity played in shaping the Soviet state.  Along the way, the book also offers key insights into the politically charged issue of ethnic minorities in the Caucasus today." 



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Congratulations to Professor Don Spivey who published Racism, Activism and Integrity in College Football. 

This is the first and only book-length account of the protests that occurred at NYU that helped to change college sports forever. It is the story of Len Bates and the seven brave students who did not compromise in their fight against Jim Crow in college football. The study is based on extensive and exclusive interviews with Len Bates and the Bates 7 and in-depth research into the movement and the era.

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Congratulations to Professor Edmund Abaka who with Kwame Osei Kwartegn has published The Asante World with Routledge Press.  

The Asante World provides fresh perspectives on the Asante, the largest Akan group in Southern Ghana, and what new scholars are thinking and writing about the "world the Asante made."

 By employing a thematic approach, the volume interrogates several dimensions of Asante history including state formation, Asante-Ahafo and Bassari-Dagomba relations in the context of Asante northward expansion, and the expansion to the south. It examines the role of Islam which, although extremely intense for just a short time, had important ramifications. Together the essays excavate key aspects of Asante political economy and culture, exemplified in kola nut production, the kente/adinkra cloth types and their associated symbols, proverbs, and drum language. The Asante World explores the Asante origins of Jamaican maroons, Asante secular government, contemporary politics of progress, governance through the institution of Ahemaa or Queenmothers, epidemiology and disease, and education in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Featuring innovative and insightful contributions from leading historians of the Asante world, this volume is essential reading for advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars concerned with African Studies, African diaspora history, the history of Ghana and the Gold Coast, the history of Islam in Africa, and Asante history.

Cuba Memory Wars Congratulations to Professor Michael Bustamante who has published Cuba Memory Wars with University of North Carolina Press. For many Cubans, Fidel Castro’s Revolution represented deliverance from a legacy of inequality and national disappointment. For others—especially those exiled in the United States—Cuba’s turn to socialism made the prerevolutionary period look like paradise lost. Michael J. Bustamante unsettles this familiar schism by excavating Cubans’ contested memories of the Revolution’s roots and results over its first twenty years. Cubans’ battles over the past, he argues, not only defied simple political divisions; they also helped shape the course of Cuban history itself. As the Revolution unfolded, the struggle over historical memory was triangulated among revolutionary leaders in Havana, expatriate organizations in Miami, and average Cuban citizens. All Cubans leveraged the past in individual ways, but personal memories also collided with the Cuban state’s efforts to institutionalize a singular version of the Revolution’s story.

Drawing on troves of archival materials, including visual media, Bustamante tracks the process of what he calls retrospective politics across the Florida Straits. In doing so, he drives Cuban history beyond the polarized vision seemingly set in stone today and raises the prospect of a more inclusive national narrative.

Ruggerio Cover Congratulations to Professor Guido Rugggerio who has published Love and Sex in the Time of Plague with Harvard University Press. Amid the devastation of plague in Europe, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron was born. One of the masterpieces of world literature, the Decameron has captivated centuries of readers with its vivid tales of love, loyalty, betrayal, and sex. Despite the death that overwhelmed Florence, Boccaccio’s collection of novelle was, in Guido Ruggiero’s words, a “symphony of life.”

Love and Sex in the Time of Plague guides twenty-first-century readers back to Boccaccio’s world to recapture how his work sounded to fourteenth-century ears. Through insightful discussions of the Decameron’s cherished stories and deep portraits of Florentine culture, Ruggiero explores love and sexual relations in a society undergoing convulsive change. In the century before the plague arrived, Florence had become one of the richest and most powerful cities in Europe. With the medieval nobility in decline, a new polity was emerging, driven by Il Popolo—the people, fractious and enterprising. Boccaccio’s stories had a special resonance in this age of upheaval, as Florentines sought new notions of truth and virtue to meet both the despair and the possibility of the moment.

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Congratulations to Professor Krista Goff who has published Nested Nationalism with Cornell University Press! It is a study of the politics and practices of managing national minority identifications, rights, and communities in the Soviet Union and the personal and political consequences of such efforts. Ranging from the early days of Soviet power to post-Soviet ethnic conflicts, Nested Nationalism explains how Soviet-era experiences and policies continue to shape interethnic relationships and expectations today. Reviewers have called it a “methodologically innovative book” that offers “copious new insights” into Soviet history.


Professor Guido Ruggiero has been given the Senior Scholar Citation by the Society for Italian Historical Studies. Awarded to a leading scholar, the Citation recognizes Professor Ruggiero's lifetime of accomplishments as a scholar, teacher, and institution builder. 

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In January 2021, Professor Hugh Thomas has published his book Pleasure and Power with Oxford University Press. It is based on extensive royal records and it discusses how court life under King John, 1199-1216, produced both power and pleasure for rulers and their courtiers. It placed King John's court in a broad context, showing showing similarities with contemporary courts in Europe and the Islamic world and suggesting gradual but cumulatively radical change over the long term in the development of courts. 

Heerman NEH

Congratulations to Professor Scott Heerman who has been awarded an NEH Faculty Fellowship. He will use the year to work on his book manuscript Carried Back: Capitivty and Belonging in the Age of Atlantic Emancipations which looks at instances of free Black people who were kidnapped internationally and and illegally enslaved. These cases, thousands in all, will help shed new light on the process of ending slavery in the Americas. 

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JPMorgan Chase has announced a grant of $500,000 to the University of Miami Office of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) to create The Climate and Equity Mapping Platform (CAMP). This two year project will allow CCE to build on their Miami Affordability Project (MAP) tool, which offers users a data-driven platform to identify areas of need for affordable housing investment. Just this month, the Office unveiled the latest iteration of MAP, which features elevation levels across Miami-Dade County, projected sea level rise, projected storm surge, and how these conditions will impact our affordable housing stock. Merging data about affordable housing and climate change in an interactive map will engage a wider audience of participants in discussions about livability, equity, and responsible growth.  The newest grant from JPMorgan Chase will further expand MAP’s capabilities to address the next critical issue of concern: heat impacts and the need for safe and equitable access to outdoor spaces. CAMP will add heat-related data such as tree canopy, permeable surfaces, extreme temperature data, and other relevant factors. Once added to the MAP tool, users will be able to overlay urban heat island data with the locations of assisted and public housing developments to present a more complete picture of climate risk-associated socioeconomic impacts for Miami's vulnerable populations. “This new grant will allow us to enhance our affordable housing mapping tools so that planners, policy makers, and advocacy groups can develop sustainable strategies for equitable housing development as we confront the broad impacts of climate change in South Florida,” said Dr. Robin Bachin, Assistant Provost of the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement and Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History.

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Congratulations to Dr. Dominique Reill, who has just published The Fiume Crisis: Life in the Wake of the Habsburg Empire with Harvard University Press. It recasts what we know about the birth of fascism, the rise of nationalism, and the fall of empire after World War I by telling the story of the three-year period when the Adriatic city of Fiume (today Rijeka, in Croatia) generated an international crisis. Reviewers have called it "a superb book, smartly conceived and beautifully written."

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The American Historical Association has published its biography of Professor Mary Lindemann, who is currently chair of this prestigious organization. Its principle authors were alumni of our program: Stephen A. Lazer and Erica Heinsen-Roach. It is a fitting tribute to a singular career. 

Bachin Talk

Congratulations to Dr. Robin Bachin on being awarded a U-LINK grant as a team member on "Early childhood system integration to promote community resilience and equity for children of color project team." The project aims to understand the most beneficial strategies to support children younger than age five in achieving school readiness. Recently, the group created an interactive mapping tool called the neighborhood risk index, which weighs children’s resilience by measuring their own neighborhood risks with kindergarten readiness skills. This allows the group to analyze early childhood data at the street level. Despite areas of risk in low-income neighborhoods like Little Havana and Little Haiti, many pockets of children in these communities fared well on the risk index. So, now researchers want to unpack what led to this resilience, seen as a key indicator of future childhood success. They will also apply a racial and equity lens to the data, so that they can share the gaps in support and resources with community leaders in Black neighborhoods to help future children get the support that they need.

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The Department congratulates Dr. Don Spivey on his appointment as Special Advisor to the President on Racial Justice. A distinguished member of our Department, the University, and the professsion, Dr. Spivey will play an important role in shaping the discussions about racism and inequality on campus. 

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Congratulations to Dr. Martin Nesvig! His book, Promiscuous Power, has recieved the honorable mention for the 2020 Howard F. Cline Award from the Latin American Studies Association. The award recognizes an "author of an outstanding book of major importance to the development of the field of Mexican history, published in English or Spanish." Read more about the prize, and about Dr. Nesvig's book here 


Bachin Talk

Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education, has announced Robin Bachin, Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement and Charlton W. Tebeau Associate Professor of History at the University of Miami, as a Finalist for the 2019 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award.

The award is bestowed annually to recognize one faculty member and up to four finalists for exemplary leadership in advancing student civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal partnerships, building institutional commitments to engagement, and enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good. The award is named in honor of Thomas Ehrlich, former chair of the Campus Compact board of directors and president emeritus of Indiana University, and is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation. 

Reviewers were impressed by Bachin’s integration of teaching, scholarship, and engaged action in service of positive change in South Florida and beyond. That she has found ways to contribute in a substantive way on issues—affordable housing, equitable community development, and urban resilience-- that do not lend themselves to direct service approaches was seen as especially notable. Her work, the committee noted, exemplifies engagement on a cluster of the most pressing public policy issues of our time.

Bachin and the other finalists will have the opportunity to speak on their work at an awards reception to be held as part of the Compact20 national events in Seattle in March of 2020.


antillean visions cover Antillean Visions; or, Maps and the Making of the Caribbean: An Exhibition of Cartographic Art at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami has received a 2019 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab "American Books Prices Current" Exhibition Award. The exhibition and catalogue were co-curated and co-authored by Professor Ashli White. Anna Chen, chair of the prize committee, praised the book for its "sensitive treatment of conquest and contested dominance, achieved through an interdisciplinary diversity of voices and perspectives," and "for its accessible and thought-provoking presentations of maps in both informational and aesthetic ways, as well as its use of multiple languages to underscore its arguments about the international impacts of cartography.” 
max fraser The Department of History is pleased to welcome Dr. Max Fraser, who will be joining the department in Fall 2020 as an assistant professor of American history.  Dr. Fraser is currently a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College.
Professor Martin Nesvig's Promiscuous Power: An Unorthodox History of New Spain (University of Texas Press, 2018) has received honorable mentions for two book prizes, the Alfred B. Thomas Award given by the Southeast Council for Latin American Studies and the Bandelier-Lavrin Prize in Colonial Latin American History given by the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies.

ashli white Professor Ashli White has been awarded a year-long ACLS grant for her project Revolutionary Things: Politics and Material Culture in the Late Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World.
beck Professor Hermann Beck has co-edited a new book with Larry Eugene Jones: From Weimer to Hitler: Studies in the Dissolution of the Weimar Republic and the Establishment of the Third Reich, 1932-1934 (Berghahn, 2018)

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement, headed by Professor Robin Bachin, has unveiled a new GIS mapping tool that allows user to identify vacant and underused land in Miami-Dade County. Read more here.

Professor Edmund Abaka appeared on CNN's "Inside Africa," sharing his expertise on "Stepping through Ghana's 'Door of No Return."  Watch here.
Prof. Krista A. Goff has co-edited a new book with Lewis H. Siegelbaum, Empire and Belonging on the Eurasian Borderlands (Cornell University Press, 2019)
Professor Don Spivey has been awarded the Faculty Senate Teaching Award, the university's highest teaching honor, in recognition of his outstanding commitment and skill as a teacher.
Professor Mary Lindemann has been elected President-Elect of the American Historical Association. She will serve as President of the AHA in 2020.
Professor M. Scott Heerman, The Alchemy of Slavery: Human Bondage and Emancipation in the Illinois Country, 1730-1865 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).
Professor Robin Bachin delivered a 2018 'Cane Talk on "Youthquake - A New Politics for a New Generation" See the talk.
Professor Edmund Abaka's 1988 article "Eating Kola" has been republished in the most recent issue of Ghana Studies, along with comments by Prof. Abaka and Abena Dove Osseo-Asare. Visit Ghana Studies 
Professor Kate Ramsey has received an Andrew W. Mellon CREATE Grant for a project entitled "Afro-Caribbean Religion: Healing and Power" through UM Libraries and the Lowe Art Museum.  Learn more