Please read the March edition of our newsletter carefully.  In addition to information about upcoming events, you will find crucial information and instructions about registration and advising.
We look forward to seeing you at future events!


Need help writing your papers?  We are holding three writing workshops this semester:  March 5 at 3:15 PM, April 2 at 7PM and April 3 at 3:15 PM.  All workshops are led by department faculty and will be held in Townsend 117.

If you cannot attend a workshop, you will find useful resources on the Department of History website by clicking HERE.


You will not be able to register for classes until you have your advising block removed.  To have this block removed, you can either attend one of our pre-registration advising meetings (see below) or schedule an appointment to meet with your advisor.  See below for details.



Pre-Registration Advising Meetings:
  • Tuesday, March 13, 3:15 PM in Bruce 109 and 
  • Tuesday, March 13, 6:45 PM in Townsend 117.
The Department of History will hold its pre-registration advising meeting on Tuesday, March 13, 3:15 PM in Bruce 109).  For the first time we are also offering an evening advising session:  it is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 at 6:45 PM in Townsend 117.  Faculty members will be on hand to conduct advising, answer your questions, and remove advisement blocks.  Please bring your GUIDESHEETS (up-to-date, please), program evaluations and/or degree audits (from KeanWise), and your questions!  If you need a clean GUIDESHEET, download one from the department website.  Click here for GUIDESHEETS.
If you cannot attend the meeting, you need to schedule an appointment with your advisor.  To do so, first check his/her office hours on KeanWise, then send him/her an email to schedule an appointment.
When you meet with your advisor, bring your GUIDESHEETS (up-to-date, please), program evaluations, degree audits, and any other relevant information.

Have questions about advising?

Start with Advising FAQs:
Please be aware that you can find answers to most of your advising questions on the History Department FAQs posted on the department webpage.  Try looking here first before you see your advisor.

Why do I have a hold on my account?

See University Academic Advisement Policy:

All undergraduate students will be required to receive academic advisement prior to registration. This advisement will be provided by the student’s faculty advisor.  An academic advisement hold will be placed on the student’s account until they have met with their advisor. Students can access their first major advisor information by logging into their KeanWISE account and clicking on the link Search Office Hour by Faculty/Advisor Name. (This link will only provide you with your first major advisor information only)
Students admitted into the following programs (EEO, EPIC, Passport, and Spanish-Speaking) will have an additional hold placed on their account. Students in these special admit programs are required to contact their respective program for removal of this hold prior to registration.

Students with a second major or content area will have a second major advisement hold placed on their account until they have met with their second advisor.  

History Teacher/Cert?

You will need to seek advising and have advising blocks removed by BOTH your history advisor AND your education advisor.  

All history/teacher certification majors should seek education advising from Professor Jerry Weiner in Hutchinson J334E.  He can offer advising and information you need about required education courses and fieldwork.  Please consult KeanWise for Professor Weiner's office hours.  He may be reached by email at jweiner@kean.edu, or by phone at 737-4009.

Specific Education advisors: 

Grades 9-12: Dr. Linda Costanzo Cahir, J-334, lcahir@kean.edu

Grades 5-8: Dr. Frank Osborne, J-334, fosborne@kean.edu

Grades K-5: Prof. Patrick Ippolito, J-330, pippolit@kean.edu

Bilingual Ed: Dr. Gail Verdi, J-330, gverdi@kean.edu

Special Ed: Dr. Barbara Lee, J-317, blee@kean.edu

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification: Dr. Ethel Eaddy, J-102 eeaddy@kean.edu and www.kean.edu/~pbtc



When can I register?

To find out, follow this link to the registrar's "system availability" schedule:  

Have basic questions about registration?

Try the "Preparing for Registration" page on the registrar's website: 

MAHGS Program Events

Master of Arts in Holocaust & Genocide Studies at Kean University is sponsoring a number of important events this spring.

For more information on the Masters in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program, note the April 1 Open House, scheduled for 1-3 at East Campus.  Register at grad.kean.edu to attend.  

March 5, 7-9 p.m. in Little Theatre (University Center)

Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss will be joined by author and playwright Frederic Morton for a staged reading of Morton’s recent play Commandant.

The play, set in a death camp on the brink of liberation, tells the story of an imprisoned actor as he faces the camp’s scheming commander – and the greatest acting challenge of his life. Donations at the door will help support the Hannah Senesh Humanitarian Fellowship for promising students admitted to the MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. To reserve tickets, which are free, call 908.737.4092.


March 26, 5-7 p.m. in the Human Rights Institute

“Genocide and Women,” a workshop, based on the March 9th Human Rights

Conference at Kean, on conditions for women under circumstances of genocide and other circumstances of assault, women’s voices as witnesses, and how the study of genocide and women revises our understanding of both.   Two professional development hours available ($5 at the door).


March 27, 5 p.m. in STEM Auditorium

“Doctors on the Dark Side,” a symposium on the involvement of physicians and psychologists in state-sponsored torture of terrorism suspects; includes NJ premiere of a documentary with the same title by director Martha Davis, who will join the panel. Two professional development hours available.


March 29 Two lectures on just war theory and practice by Michael Walzer, one of America’s foremost political thinkers and Professor Emeritus of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ.

• 2 p.m. in STEM Auditorium, “When is War Just?”

• 7:30 p.m. in STEM Auditorium “Can the Good Guys Win? Justice, Gaza, and Asymmetric War.” Includes sign-language interpretation.


April 1, 1-3 p.m. on the East Campus

MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies Information Session at the Graduate College Open House for anyone interested in earning a Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Register at grad.kean.edu.


April 17, 7:30 p.m. in Kean Hall

“Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” a lecture by Yale University historian Timothy Snyder

on the greatest moral and demographic catastrophe in the history of the West–the mass murder of some 14 million people between Berlin and Moscow in the years 1933-1945. Two professional development hours available.


April 24-25 MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies graduate faculty and degree candidates explore new developments in this protean field of study.

• April 24, 11 a.m. in STEM, 6th Fl, “Why Is It So Difficult to Define Genocide?,” a University Research Day interdisciplinary panel featuring MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies faculty Drs. Ruth Griffith (on Ukraine), Sue Gronewold (on Asia), Dennis Klein (on Europe) and Jay Spaulding (on Africa).

• April 25, time/location TBD (email or call for details), “Exploring Different Genocides,” a panel of advance graduate students looking at Bangladesh and post-WWII Poland.


Master of Arts in  Holocaust & Genocide Studies  

908.737.0256 • www.kean.edu/mahgs • www.facebook.com/mahgs

mahgs@kean.edu • www.tinyurl.com/mahgs to subscribe for free email updates


March 5:  Writing Workshop, T111, 3:15PM
March 5:  Richard Dreyfuss, The Commandant, Little Theatre,         7PM
March 13:  Pre-Registration Advising Meeting, Bruce 109, 3:15
March 13:  Pre-Registration Advising Meeting, T111, 6:45PM
March 15:  Lecture, Dr. Robert Mayer, "Our Enduring             Fascination with the Civil War," Carriage House, 3:15PM
March 29:  Lecture, Michael Walzer, "When is War Just?," STEM             auditorium, 2PM
March 29-30:  War and Peace Symposium
April 1:  MAHGS, Graduate School Open House, East Campus,         1-3PM
April 2:  Writing Workshop, T111, 7PM
April 3:  Writing Workshop, T111, 3:15PM
April 9:  Kean Ocean Phi Alpha Theta Reception, 6PM
April 17:  Book Club Discussion, T111, 3:15PM
April 17:  Lecture, Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands, Kean Hall,                 7:30PM
April 19:  Phi Alpha Theta Initiation Reception, Carriage House,         7PM
April 24-25:  Kean University Research Days

History "Book Club" Selection

This spring Phi Alpha Theta will hold a book club discussion on April 17 at 3:15 PM.  The book club selection for this spring is Linda Colley's The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh.  The book's description follows: 

"In this remarkable reconstruction of an eighteenth-century woman's extraordinary and turbulent life, historian Linda Colley not only tells the story of Elizabeth Marsh, one of the most distinctive travelers of her time, but also opens a window onto a radically transforming world.Marsh was conceived in Jamaica, lived in London, Gibraltar, and Menorca, visited the Cape of Africa and Rio de Janeiro, explored eastern and southern India, and was held captive at the court of the sultan of Morocco. She was involved in land speculation in Florida and in international smuggling, and was caught up in three different slave systems. She was also a part of far larger histories. Marsh's lifetime saw new connections being forged across nations, continents, and oceans by war, empire, trade, navies, slavery, and print, and these developments shaped and distorted her own progress and the lives of those close to her. Colley brilliantly weaves together the personal and the epic in this compelling story of a woman in world history." 

Professor Colley is Professor of History at Princeton University and she will be our speaker at this year's Phi Alpha Theta Initiation Ceremony on April 19 at 7PM.  Those of you who participate in the book discussion will be invited to hear Professor Colley speak at the Phi Alpha Theta reception.  You can order a copy of Colley's book through Professor Hyde for $5 (shipping incl.):  fill out the form below and pre-pay $5 to Professor Hyde by March 6 at 4PM  (via her mailbox in Townsend 117).  Colley's book is also available in paperback on Amazon.com for $11.53 + shipping and in hardcover at www.daedalusbooks.com for $3.98 + shipping.  So order a copy and plan to join Dr. Hyde, Dr. Mercantini, and other members of the department faculty for discussion of the book on April 17.    

Book Club Order Form

WAR and PEACE:  The Kean University History Forum, 29-30 March 2012

Dr. Bellitto's exploration of the concept of "Just War" will continue with a symposium scheduled for March 29 and 30.  The symposium examines "Just War" in context of historical and modern conflicts, including the Crusades, the American Civil War, and the modern Middle East.  The symposium brings to campus major scholars, including Michael Walzer and Eric Foner.  

Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, is one of America's foremost political thinkers.  He has written to considerable acclaim on political theory and moral philosophy, including political obligation, just and unjust war, and nationalism and ethnicity.  Walzer will present a lecture specially for students on Thursday, March 29, at 2PM in STEM auditorium and will offer the Keynote Address to students and the public on Thursday evening at 7:30 PM in STEM auditorium.

Eric Foner,
 the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of the most important scholars of the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and America in the nineteenth century.  His 2011 book, The Fiery Trial:  Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, won the Pulitzer Prize.  Foner will offer the keynote address on Friday, March 30, at 11:30 AM. 

You should do your best to take advantage of the opportunity to see these scholars here at Kean University.

Thursday-Friday, March 29-30, 2012

“Just War and Lasting Peace: Developing Ideas, Challenging Events”


Thursday, March 29, 2012

7:30-9pm, STEM Auditorium, Kean University

“Just War’s History and the Modern Middle East:

Global and Local Perspectives”

co-sponsor: Kean University Jewish Studies Program

Chair:                          Dr. Dennis Klein, Kean University

Keynote Address:       “Can the Good Guys Win? Justice, Gaza, and Asymmetric Wars”

Dr. Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Friday, March 30, 2012

9:30am-1pm, STEM Auditorium, Kean University

9:30-11am       “Just War and Jihad on Trial: The Past Faces the Present”

Chair:                          Dr. Christopher Bellitto, Kean University

Presentation:               “The Crusades: Historical Lessons”

Dr. Jill Claster, New York University

Presentation:               “Just War Today: Where Does the Discussion Stand?”

Drew Christiansen, S.J., America magazine


11:30-1pm       Keynote Address

Chair:                          Dr. Jonathan Mercantini, Kean University

Keynote Address:       “Was the Civil War a Just War? North, South, and New Jersey in                                        the Middle”

                        Dr. Eric Foner, Columbia University, 2011 History Pulitzer Prize


Kean University commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an exhibit on the Civil War at Liberty Hall, and a series of lectures scheduled for this spring.   

The next lecture in the Civil War series takes places on March 15 at 3:15PM in the Carriage House at Liberty Hall. Dr. Robert Mayer will present a lecture entitled “Our Enduring Fascination with the Civil War.”

The exhibit, "The Wounded and the Weary:  72 Hours in the Life of a Civil War Nurse," examines the experiences of Christine Kean Griffin, a 35-

year-old widow from Elizabeth who volunteered to serve as a battlefield nurse with the U.S. Sanitary Commission.  The "Weary and the Wounded” highlights some of the truly remarkable documents and artifacts in the Liberty Hall Museum collection.  These include the letters of Christine Kean Griffin written during the Battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks – never before published or made available; invitations to Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Ball, newspapers announcing battles and the end of the war, mourning ribbons worn following his assassination, official maps of the War and other pieces compiled for the exhibit and now on display.  


Doing History

The article below is the inaugural piece in what we hope will become a regular feature in the Department of History newsletter:  an interview, conducted by a Kean history major, with a member of our faculty about his or her approach to history, research, and writing.  As you will see below, your history professors do not just teach history:  they conduct research and write about what they find.  And they necessarily wrestle with questions about methodology and historiography.  You will see, then, that the historiographical questions you are studying in Hist 4990 are not just abstract theories:  they are questions that we all must think about when we are doing history. 

Doing History, part 1 

by Joshua Robinson

It may not be a surprise to many students of History that Dr. Elizabeth Hyde, a self-professed Francophile, has a thing for flowers. Her book, Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIVwhich won the 2007 Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Award for Architectural Historians. Kean History students and faculty were treated to a special lecture by Dr. Hyde regarding her upcoming article “Arboreal Negotiations:  André Michaux, William Livingston, and the Cultural Politics of Trees in the Atlantic World” in March of 2011. What may shock many history students is that Dr. Hyde’s current research project, an ambitious look at the roots of the ‘How-To’ literary genre, was an extension of her previous work with horticultural history.

“In order to understand how flowers were used in the gardens, aesthetically… I went to seventeenth- century flower gardening manuals that were being written in ever-larger numbers. There are some publishers that even specialize…in publishing garden books,” said Dr. Hyde when we sat down on February 9. As she began to dig deeper into these types of books, Hyde began to realize that the seventeenth century saw a great burgeoning in the growth of ‘How-To Books.’ What Dr. Hyde demonstrates is that research may lead to additional inspiration. The work we’ve already done could inspire an entirely different path. Of course, when dealing with a topic this large, an entire genre of books, the first problem to approach is the breadth of the materials.

Dr. Hyde employs a variety of techniques for dealing with the large nature of her subject. “What I’ve tried to do is look at manuals from different thematic approaches.” Additionally, she’s been looking at illustrations in ‘How-To’ manuals and its use in disseminating information as a means for narrowing down her scope and categorizing material. Most interestingly, she has been looking at the cultural changes that have worked in concert to make the use of ‘How-To Books’ a viable option. There is also the challenge of limiting the project chronologically. For the purposes of this project, Dr. Hyde has chosen the publication of Diderot’s Encyclopedie’ in the middle of the eighteenth century.  “To me, that marks a distinct moment in the politicization of the access to knowledge,” says Hyde of her choice to limit her project. In general, Hyde thinks picking an endpoint has to “…take into account the context of the project.” Additionally, Dr. Hyde cautions against dictating the dimensions of a project based solely on your own tastes. “I have to fight the impulse to think only about France,” mentions Hyde, whose specialization is French History. In order to combat this, Hyde has made a concerted effort to seek out examples of instructional literature, such as sword-fighting and fortifications, that don’t necessarily appeal to her in an attempt to acknowledge the breadth of the subject.

So how do you timeline a project so massive? For Hyde, who admits that all writers have their own methodology, she tries to build smaller deadlines that keep her moving forward. She does this by presenting smaller works at conferences which slowly build toward the larger project. In much the way that her research on the ‘How-To’ genre grew out of her dissertation work, projects tend to build out of other ideas. “Depending upon the amount of research that you need to do, where the resources are located… it can take years and years to do a research project,” Hyde confides, warning that sometimes access to sources will be limited. In her own research, a rare book telling the history of Louis XIV through flowers was not made available. After months of trying to find connections to the Grande Reserve in Paris, she was finally grated access to the book- for only three hours. 

Where does a project like this go? The goal is always publication. Dr. Hyde graciously gave me a ‘How-To’ introduction into the world of Academic publishing, emphasizing the importance of peer-review even before submission. In terms of a large-scale project, the first goal should always be to publish a journal article, 20-30 pages of dense scholarly work, that not only serves as a starting point for the researcher, but also acts as a sort-of ‘staking claim’ to the topic and the project. These articles get submitted to peer-review journals, which include a blind evaluation for feedback from other professionals in the field. Then, the article is either accepted for publication, returned to the writers with suggestions for revisions for subsequent re-submission, or the article is deemed not suitable for the publication. She also warns that academic publishing, like many fields of the current economy, is in a state of crisis. Despite that, she encourages seeking out publishers and publications that would be receptive to your work. The negotiating process can be endless, with different publishers utilizing different submission procedures. 


Additional resources for keeping track of all things history at Kean include our website, updated regularly, at http://www.kean.edu/~history, and our facebook page.  To locate the facebook page, go to facebook and search for "Kean History" or click on the following link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kean-University-History-Department/157431547631762 and be sure to "Like" us!  You will find information about history related events and activities at Kean and beyond.