Department of History Newsletter

Greetings all!  Please read the final newsletter of the semester for details on upcoming events and important information regarding registration.
 Do not forget to check the website (http://history.kean.edu/) frequently, "like" us on facebook, and follow us on Twitter @KeanHistory!

Registration for Winter and Spring 2013 

Registration for Winter Session and Spring 2013 has begun.  If you have not already seen your advisor to have your advising block removed, please do so immediately.  Email your advisor to set up an appointment.  And be sure to take your guidesheet to your advising session.  We cannot advise you effectively if we do not know what courses you have already taken!

Petitions and History Courses

Some of you may have encountered difficulties registering for 3000- and 4000-level history courses.  If KeanWise told you that you needed a petition for any upper-level history course other than HIST 3000 or HIST 4990, the system told you that by mistake.  These faulty petition requests should no longer be in the system.  So if you gave up, please try again!  If you continue to encounter the problem, please email Dr. Bellitto at cbellitt@kean.edu with the course name and number for which you are trying to register.

News from Holocaust and Genocide Studies program (HGS)

Juniors and Seniors interested in getting a jump on Kean's compelling MA degree program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program (HGS) can take advantage of its new 5-Year BA/MA degree option and start  taking graduate courses as early as this spring. For details, contact Dr. Klein, dklein@kean.edu.


For December graduates only: December 1 is the deadline for applying to Kean's Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program this spring. Join 23 graduate students from all over the US and some 20 graduate faculty serving as mentors in exploring the historical dynamics of genocide in our time. Email Dr. Klein at dklein@kean.edu for more information.


Join the HGS study delegation to Poland and Former Yugoslavia this July and explore the local origins and memory of genocide in comparative perspective, sponsored by Kean's Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies in association with the International Network of Genocide Scholars. Email Dr. Klein for information about travel subsidies and course credits, including HGS course credits.

Library Resources for History Students

Please see below for our latest installment on resources in Kean University's library of use to the history major!


Social Explorer


Are you looking for current and historical demographic data, including the US Census from 1790 to 2000, with 2010 census data available as released?  Do you want to create a PowerPoint presentation that shows, visually, how a census geographic area has changed from one census to another?  Would you like to use a tool that allows you to create a map of a state, county, town (place), census tract or block group that visual represents one of the variables gathered in a census (such as marital status, educational levels, travel time to work, or ancestry) for a geographic area?   


If you are, then look no further than the Library website.  The Library has recently begun subscribing to Social Explorer, an online research tool designed to provide quick and easy access to current and historical census data and demographic information.   You can find in Social Explorer the following content:  

    • The entire US Census from 1790 to 2000, plus the 2010 census data as released.
    • All annual updates from the American Community Survey.
    • InfoGroup data on religious congregations for the United States for 2009, including maps for counties, and special census areas, as well as point maps of the actual congregation locations (to be updated yearly).
    • The Religious Congregations and Membership Study (RCMS) from 1980 to 2000, with an update  in 2012.
    • Carbon Emissions Data for 2002 from the Vulcan Project.
    • Perhaps what is more impressive about Social Explorer is that it allows you to create thematic and interactive maps that make it easy to visually explore all historical and modern US census data across the centuries and even down to street level detail where available.  Social Explorer also allows you to create reports at all geographic levels including the state, county, census tract, block group, zip code and census place (where the data exist).


    Among other features of Social Explorer is the ability to download data for processing offline using any statistical package, the ability to visualize data through the user-friendly maps, and the ability to export, save, and print maps and reports for professional-looking reports, presentations and graphics. High-resolution images are available and any slideshow can be exported directly to PowerPoint.


    If you are looking for an electronic resource that allows you to really make sense of census and other types of geographic data, then we encourage you to use Social Explorer.  There is a link to it on the Library’s Articles and More page.  Like all library databases, it can be used from off-campus with a Library barcode.


    To see one of the things you can do with Social Explorer, then click the link that follows and run the slide show to see the changes in the percentage of blacks in New York from 1910 to 2000:  http://www.socialexplorer.com/pub/maps/map3.aspx?g=1&initSS=1.71.2


    If you have any questions about Social Explorer, please contact the University Librarian’s Office at 7-4600.


    The Department of History presents: The Last Panel You’ll Ever Go To!

    “The End is Here: 2012 and the Apocalypse”

    A panel discussion on the upcoming end of the world, the historical, religious, and political context of mass belief and hysteria

    Dr. Chris Bellitto (Apocalyptic Belief and the Church)
    Dr. Frank Argote-Freyre (The Mayan Connection)
    Dr. Brian Regal (Historical End Timers)

    Thursday, November 29, 3:15-4:30PM

    Carriage House, Liberty Hall Museum, Morris Avenue, Union, NJ

    Free admission, open to the public
    For more info see

    Writing Workshops

    Papers due?  Learn ways to make writing easier and improve your grades at the final Department of History Writing Workshop.  The workshop is scheduled for:  

        Tuesday, November 27, 7PM, Townsend 111

    In the meantime, note that you can always get help with writing with the resources available on the Department of History website at http://history.kean.edu/resources/how-to-cite-sources-research.

    History Honors Program

    The Department of History is pleased to announce that it is launching a new Honors Program.  
    • Are you considering graduate school?
    • Are you considering law school?
    • Do you want the opportunity to do original historical research?
    • Do you want to be challenged as a historian?
    If your answer to any one of the above questions is "yes," then you should strongly consider applying. Honors degrees tell graduate admissions committees and potential employers that you are a high achieving and hard working student and that you therefore deserve their consideration.

    The History Honors Program can be completed in the same number of credit hours as the B.A. in history.  It entails taking Honors Readings Seminars in US, European, or World history, completing an Honors section of Senior Seminar, and completing an Honors thesis in which you will be guided through the research and writing of a piece of original historical research.

    The first Honors Course, History 4900:  Honors Seminar in American History, will be offered in Spring 2013 by Dr. Mercantini.

    Admission to the program is by application (click here for admission application and further information).  Eligible students should have a minimum GPA of 3.75 and have completed 12 credit hours in history.  Students whose GPA is lower than 3.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    If you have questions about the program, contact Dr. Hyde and Dr. Mercantini via honorshistory@kean.edu.

    Banned Book Club and KUHS Meeting

    The final KUHS Meeting of the semester is scheduled for Thursday, December 6 at 3:30 PM in Townsend 111.  The meeting will begin with a reading of Dr. Suess's Green Eggs and Ham, followed by a discussion of the book as a banned book.  The event will serve as the launch of the spring Banned Books Club, for which The Great Gatsby has been chosen.  

    The meeting will also include planning for the spring Banned Books Club event around The Great Gatsby and a possible trip with Student Affairs to the Presidential Inauguration, as well as additional events in the Spring.

    Mark your Calendars

    November 18: Lecture, Dennis Klein, “Change and Continuity in Modern Jewish History,” 1PM, Union YM/YWHA, 501 GreenLane, Union

    November 27: Writing Workshop: 7PM, Townsend 111

    November 29: “The End is Here: 2012 and the Apocalypse,” Brian Regal, Chris Bellitto, Frank Argote-Freyre, 3:15 PM, Carriage House

    December 3: Lecture, Doris Bergen, U of Toronto, “Witnesses to Atrocity: Religious Morality, German Military Chaplains, and the Holocaust,” 7PM, Wilkins Theatre

    December 6:  KUHS Meeting and Banned Books Club:  Green Eggs and Ham, 3:30 PM, Townsend 111