Kathryn Hain, December 2016 graduate from the History Department, received an Honorable Mention, in the World History Association Dissertation Prize, an award that placed her work in the top ten percent of the competition. The committee head wrote, “Your ambitious decision to use Afroeurasia as your primary field of investigation, rather than the more traditional 'western civ.' model, caught our attention, and your narrative elegantly related your subject to larger scales and generalizations.”
Kathryn’s research rests on the foundation of a ninth century Arabic geography text which described a transregional slave trade which extended from Spain to India and China. She asked two questions of this text, “How long had this been going on?” and “How did Chinese and Indian consumers use European slave women?” By turning to Indian sources, she found Greek women in Indian harems before Alexander the Great. These “Yavani (Ionic)” women were used in huge retinues, served as armed guards for royal harems, and worked as courtesans and flute girls. The Chinese chronicles describe Seleucid and Roman circus style entertainers given to the Han court as tribute from Central Asian vassals. Hain also covered slave trade of European concubines and eunuchs in the early Muslim period carried on by Persian Jewish and the Norse Rus traders. This trade was aided by political changes wrought by the convergence of the Carolingian, Abbasid, and Tang empires.
Kathryn Hain is currently splitting the research into two future books, Concubines as Commodity: Sex Trafficking in Antiquity and Middle Passage to a Harem; the Medieval Slave Trade of European Women to the Middle East and Asia. She thanks her committee members, Dr. Adams, Dr. Davies, and Dr. Sluglett for their oversight, and especially Dr. Peter von Sivers who gave three layers of close editorial work and guidance to almost 400 pages. Also, appreciation goes to Dr. Thatcher, who fact checked the Han and Tang chapters. A world history dissertation truly takes a “village” to get it right. Congratulations Kathryn!
Most Recent Student News
Sondra Jones traces the metamorphosis of the Ute people from a society of small, interrelated bands of mobile hunter-gatherers to sovereign, dependent nations—modern tribes who run extensive business enterprises and government services.
Professor Durbach's article entitled, "Comforts, Clubs, and the Casino: Food and the Perpetuation of the British Class System in First World War Civilian Internment Camps" has been released as part of OUP's History of Food collection. Read it here!
The story of one SLC doctor's fight against stigma, shame and ignorance at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. The film premiered at the 2018 DTH Film Festival
Ben Cohen, professor of history and Department Chair discusses why historical knowledge is vital to society and why it’s important to understand who we are and where we come from. Listen now!
The University of Utah announced that Stuart K. Culver, associate professor of English, has accepted the appointment as the dean of the College of Humanities. Currently acting as interim dean, Culver will move into his new position immediately.
Lori Wilkinson, a first-year graduate student focusing on 19th and 20th century US History, will have a research paper featured in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Mormon History titled "Scribbling Women in Zion: Mormon Women Emulate Fanny Fern". The paper focuses on the relationship between LDS women on the frontier of Utah and the writings of Fanny Fern, a satirical newspaper columnist with the New York Ledger known for her conversational writing style.
History department graduate student Jeffrey Mahas was recently published in the Journal of Mormon History. His paper introduces the reader to the little-discussed whistling and whittling movement of early Mormonism and its relationship to vigilante violence within the community.
Andrew Smith, U of Utah History alumnus (BA, 2015), is among the latest recipients of the Boren Award, the prestigious and nationally competitive fellowship program that supports service and language learning abroad. He is currently at work in Tanzania and learning Swahili. Tanzania’s Kigoma province has received a majority of the over 400,000 Burundi refugees.
Kathryn Hain, December 2016 graduate from the History Department, received an Honorable Mention, in the World History Association Dissertation Prize, an award that placed her work in the top ten percent of the competition.
Three Humanities students, Jessica Chamorro, Sabrina Dawson, and Kate Mower have won the 2016-2017 Fulbright Awards. The US Fulbright program was established in 1946 to create mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between people in the U.S. and other countries.
Hosted by H-SAC in cooperation with Department staff and faculty, the second annual Futures in History social brings together faculty, students, and alumni to share stories, network, and to explore the rich variety of career pathways open to History undergraduates.
Professor Benjamin Cohen received a 30k grant from the U.S. Consulate, Hyderabad, India, to lead a team of nine Indian and six American students in studying sustainable urbanization in India. He travelled with Stephen Goldsmith (Architecture + Planning) to Hyderabad in December-January where the students conducted interviews, fieldwork, and meetings.
Brad Dennis, who graduated in the Fall of 2015 with his Ph.D. in History from the University of Utah this December, discusses the origins of interethnic and interreligious conflict at the birth of the modern Middle East from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.
Congratulations to Alyssa Victoria Mae Wall for winning one of the two J. Willard Marriott Library Honors awards this year. The title of her thesis was "A Tradition of Appropriation of Culture for Political Gain: Music in Korea," which one in the category of Social Science / Science.