University of Scranton History Alum Helps Anchor NBC’s Coverage of the Papal Visit

12043149_954538807918580_7536644578463540888_nNotre Dame Professor Kathleen Sprows Cummings, University of Scranton Class of 1993, recently appeared on NBC and MSNBC along with Chris Matthews to offer coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. Professor Cummings is an associate professor of American studies and the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism.


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Applications for the 2016 Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program Now Open

haupt3-600x360Students interested in pursuing graduate work in History or International Studies are encouraged to look into the Smithsonian Fellowship Program.  Also as a reminder for those students applying to graduate programs most deadlines are less than two months away.  Feel free to stop by the History Department if you need assistance or have any questions.



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Dr. Kennedy on Boston (in the New York Times)

14cityhall-01-master675Dr. Lawrence Kennedy was recently quoted in a New York Times article entitled “By Rolling Out the Green Carpet, Boston Enlivens City Hall Plaza.”  Dr. Kennedy’s research on Boston includes his book Planning the City upon a Hill: Boston since 1630.  The full article can be found here.

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Dr. Shaffern Celebrates Twenty Years at the University with a New Publication


This past spring Dr. Robert Shaffern was inducted into the Order of Pro Deo et Universitate for having completed 20 years on our faculty.  Shortly thereafter his article, “Death and the Afterlife in the Middle Ages,” has now been published in a volume entitled The Routledge History of Medieval Christianity, 1050-1500. This volume is edited by Robert N. Swanson, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Birmingham, UK.  Clearly after 20 years he’s still got it.  Congratulations Bob!

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Dr. Shaffern addresses the German Historical Institute in Rome

Dr. Robert Shaffern addressed the German Historical Institute in Rome on June 9. This institute, founded by the Prussian government in 1888, is the oldest of its kind in Europe. His lecture, entitled “Tetzel and the Mendicant Orders,” was part of an international assembly recalling the 600th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Also the German ambassador to the Holy See hosted a dinner honoring the conferees. The evening included a concert of late medieval Italian church music.

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A Summer Trip to Italy

Drs Roy Domenico and Robert Shaffern led twenty-two intrepid students of the University of Scranton on their biannual visit to Italy, June 2-27. The group first toured Pompeii and Naples, then spent a week in Rome, where they saw the Colosseum, St. Peter’s and the Forum, among other sites. They also visited Florence, Assisi and Venice. The tour wrapped up with visits to Milan and beautiful Lake Orta, in the foothills of the Alps.



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Spring Semester Presentations

This Spring Dr. Shuhua Fan presented her paper “Francis Knight’s Scheme and the Harvard Chinese Class, 1877-1882,” at the “Taiwan and China in the World” International Conference sponsored by the University of Scranton’s Asian Studies Programs.

Dr. Susan Poulson recently presented “Redefining Home and Motherhood in the Progressive Era: Jane Addams, Charlotte Perkins G. Gilman and Ida B. Tarbell” at the Popular Culture Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Dr. Sean Brennan presented a paper on the activities of Catholic Relief Services in Poland and Hungary from 1955 to 1962 at the spring meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association in South Bend, IN at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. David Dzurec delivered a presentation at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Slovakia on the American Revolution and its legacies.

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Dr. Shuhua Fan at the AHA in NYC

ahaDr. Shuhua Fan presented a paper titled “Preserving Chinese Scholarly Personnel: John King Fairbank and the Rescue Mission of the Harvard-Yenching Institute in Wartime China” at a panel she organized titled “Preserving China’s Human Resources: War, Everyday Resistance, and National Survival (1937-1945)” at the 2015 (Jan. 2-5) American Historical Association Annual Conference (AHA) in New York City.

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Dr. Brennan Back in (what was once) the USSR

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA:  WORLD WAR II/PERSONALITIESDr. Sean Brennan will be presenting a paper entitled: “The German and Austrian Question at Yalta and Beyond” at a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Yalta summit on February 25.  The meeting, held in Moscow, is sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow State Institute for International Relations.  Who doesn’t love a late-February trip to Russia?  Stay warm Sean.

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Things get Medieval in Chicago


On Saturday, October 18, Dr. Robert Shaffern delivered a paper entitled, “Indulgences, Syon Abbey, and the Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden,” at the Midwest Medieval Conference, which was hosted by Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Dr. Shaffern’s paper discussed the relationship between the granting of indulgences and Bridgettine spirituality. He also managed a visit with his family and a Bears game!

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