2021 Department Newsletter

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Kudos
Welcome New Faculty
Class Notes
Donor Recognition


Message from the Chair


Daniel Schwartz





Dear Friends,

Ordinarily, a quiet falls over the GW campus in late December, as students finish their final exams and papers and return home for the winter break. This academic year, sadly, with the pandemic raging and most instruction remote, quiet has been the norm. Nevertheless, the work of the GW History Department continues. Our faculty are working harder than ever to adapt their teaching to an online setting, even as they go on publishing books and articles and presenting papers at virtual conferences. You will find updates about some of what our faculty have been up to do in what follows. 

This is indeed a period of transition for the department. We have seen a wave of retirements in recent years, bidding farewell in 2020 alone to Tyler Anbinder, Dane Kennedy and Richard Stott. Some of you will undoubtedly have memories of studying with one or more of them. Each leaves very large shoes to fill. Fortunately, we have also been replenishing our ranks with a host of outstanding young scholars who specialize in areas including medieval Spain, early modern England, the history of capitalism, modern China and 20th-century U.S. political and intellectual history. We hope to further expand our faculty when the current hiring freeze ends.

As always, we are grateful to you, our alumni, for your generosity and interest. Your contributions help fund everything from guest lectures to undergraduate and graduate student prizes and research travel. We hope we can continue to rely on your munificence going forward. 

Happy New Year!

Daniel B. Schwartz

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Department Spotlights

Anthony Arias


Anthony Arias, BA ’11: An EMT on the Frontlines


Making a Difference: Alumnus EMT Lends Helping Hand

As a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) in Bergen County, N.J., Anthony Arias, BA ’11, was among the many GW alumni who came to the aid of communities during the COVID-pandemic—in their hometowns, across the country and around the world. A financial services entrepreneur, Columbian College National Council member and former history major, Arias was profiled in the CCAS Spotlight magazine.


Students at Mt Vernon examining artifacts in glass cases and a portrait of George Washington on the wall


Students from Denver Brunsman's George Washington and His World class examine artifacts from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana collection.


Students Become Curators of George Washington and His World

Students from Associate Professor of History Denver Brunsman’s George Washington and His World history class researched maps, photographs and artifacts from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana collection to create an exhibition on the founding father’s life. The class was featured in GWToday.



During World War II, Jews in France like Denise Bauman were required to carry identity cards. (Photos Courtesy Ashley Valanzola)


During World War II, Jews in France like Denise Bauman were required to carry identity cards.


Commemorating History’s Dark Chapter

History PhD student Ashley Valanzola researched the stories of six extraordinary Jewish women: Holocaust survivors who worked to honor the memory of lives lost. While conducting interviews, she met Monique Novodorsqui-Deniau, a psychologist who spent much of the war in hiding when her family was sent to Nazi death camps. Their story was featured in the CCAS Spotlight magazine.

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Department Kudos

Eric Arnesen was named director of the National History Center, an initiative of the American Historical Association in 2020. He co-chairs the weekly Washington History Seminar, a joint project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National History Center. This past year's sessions of the seminar can be viewed on Youtube.

Denver Brunsman was featured on the panel "Electing a U.S. President -- Then and Now," as part of the 2020 George Washington Leadership Lecture.

Diane Harris Cline was awarded a $50,000 National Endowment for the Humanities-Digital Humanities Advancement Grant to study the social networks of Athenian potters.

Christopher Klemek contributed the lead essay to a special issue of Washington History, "in which veteran historians and rising scholars revisit their research to consider its relevance to the upheavals of 2020.”

Eric Schluessel published “Exiled Gods: Territory, History, Empire, and a Hunanese Deity in Xinjiang” in Late Imperial China (June 2020). The article is about religion and diaspora identity among Chinese settlers in Xinjiang. He also received a grant from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin to spend two months in summer 2021 studying newly uncovered bilingual Chinese-Uyghur manuscripts.

Ed McCord attended an international conference in Changsha, Hunan, P.R.C., on “Looking Ahead and Looking Back: Theory and Practice in Research on the History of Chinese Philanthropy,” where he presented a paper (in Chinese) on “Tracing the Development of Western Studies on the Modern History of Chinese Philanthropy.”

David Silverman received the William Hickling Prescott Award for Excellence in Historical Writing from the Massachusetts Society of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America for his book This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019). An article about his research appeared in the CCAS Spotlight magazine. He also received GW's Distinguished Scholar Award from the Office of the Vice President of Research. 

Sara Matthiesen authored the article “How to Stop the Cuts” for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Doctoral student Brittany Lewis was featured by NBC4-Washington in the article “An Artist, Educator, Author and Dean Reflect on What It Means to Be an Ally.”

Christopher Brick received grants totaling $385,460 from the National Archives and Records Administration to support the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project.

Benjamin Hopkins released his book, Ruling the Savage Periphery: Governance and the Making of the Modern State, on May 5, 2020. In the book, he makes a provocative case that “failed states” along the periphery of today’s international system are the intended result of 19th-century colonial design. From the Afghan frontier to the pampas of Argentina, colonial empires drew borders with an eye toward placing indigenous people just close enough to take advantage of them, with lasting ramifications for the global nation-state. The present global order, Hopkins argues, is the tragic legacy of a colonial design.

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Welcome New Faculty


Timothy Shenk and Eric Schluessel

Assistant Professors Eric Schluessel (left) and Timothy Shenk (right)

We are pleased to welcome two new faculty members to the History Department: Assistant Professor Eric Schluessel and Assistant Professor Timothy Shenk.

Professor Schluessel is a social historian of China and Central Asia, and his work focuses on Xinjiang (East Turkestan) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Land of Strangers, his first monograph, uses local archival and manuscript sources in Chinese and Chaghatay Turkic to explore the ramifications of a project undertaken in the last decades of the Qing empire to transform Xinjiang’s Turkic-speaking Muslims into Chinese-speaking Confucians. His current project, Exiled Gods, delves into Han Chinese settler culture and religion to illuminate the history of a diasporic community of demobilized soldiers and their descendants that spanned the Qing empire.

Professor Shenk specializes in 20th-century U.S. history and received his PhD, MPhil and MA in history from Columbia University. He was previously a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cambridge, U.K., and the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Shenk is the author of three books and has been published in, among other media outlets, The Nation, The New Republic, The Guardian and Dissent magazine, where he served as the book editor. He has written and given presentations on topics including the American economy, the origins of “Trumpism” and the transformative influence of Barack Obama’s presidency. Professor Shenk currently holds a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Class Notes

Mohammed Ali, BA ’03, BA ’04, appeared on the game show Jeopardy.

Robin Arteaga, BA ’20, works at Quantico at the Marine Corps History Division as a unit histories special assistant.

Alexandra Brown, BA ’11, works at the Arlington, Va., nonprofit organization EBeauty, helping to provide cancer patients wigs, free of charge.

David Byrnes, BA ’77, is retiring after 22 years as the executive director of Midway Village Museum in Rockford, IL. He has spent a total of 42 years in the museum field and has enjoyed every minute of it.

Elizabeth Charles, PhD ’10, is a historian at the U.S. Department of State. She recently published a Foreign Relations of the United States volume on the Soviet Union 1985-1986.

Frank DeMarco, BA ’69, completed his latest novel, Papa's Trial: Hemingway in the Afterlife—his 15th published book (four of them novels), with two other nonfiction works completed and awaiting publication.

Callan Devery, BA ’20, is using her history degree on TikTok to discuss history from a Gen Z perspective. She has gained 35,000 followers and over 10 million views in just six months.

Laura Donnelly, MA ’78, is teaching history and art history for Johns Hopkins Osher Program after a 40-year career in university administration. Her favorite subjects have been the art of Ancient Egypt and history of the Cathars.

Joe Enright, BA ’70, embarked on a federal government career, working at the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration from 1970 to 1978. He went on to enjoy a 30-year career in international trade.

Megan Fedorczyk, BA ’08, works for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, planning investigation and recovery missions in Europe to provide the fullest possible accounting of our missing service members from WWII.

Michael Furman, BA ’04, is a radiologist who lives in Providence, R.I., with his wife, Zoe, and four children. His twins, Sivan and Sasha, born in 2019, are named in honor of Howard Sachar, his greatest mentor.

Jessica Hale, BA ’20, is a staff assistant in the district office of Congressman Ted W. Lieu (CA-33).

Jeff Hartgen, MA ’97, is a principal at MultiState Associates in Alexandria, Va., serving clients involved in state and local government relations around the United States.

Tate Jones, MA ’96, is entering his 25th year with the Rocky Mountain of Museum Military History in Fort Missoula, Mont., where he is the executive director. He also serves as president of the Northern Rockies Heritage Center and serves on the board of the Museums Association of Montana.

Stephen Judge, BA ’57, MA ’60, retired after an editorial and marketing career with Oxford University Press.

2LT Daniel Kim, Esq., BA ’11, finished up a tour with the Marines and went on to graduate from Notre Dame Law School in 2019. He is now practicing labor and employment law in Chicago.

Ron Leonhardt II, MA ’16, MPhil ’17, PhD ’20, is an assistant professor of history in the Department of Social Sciences at Albany State University in Albany, Ga.

Dr. Cynthia Little, BA ’67, believes that her history degree enabled her to have a long career in public history; curating exhibitions, creating and implementing large scale public programming and teaching at all levels. She retired in 2019 and now teaches non-credit courses for seniors.

Christel McDonald, BA ’86, is an independent historical researcher, focusing on multi-track diplomacy. She hopes that members of the GW Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, founded in 1938, will join her in the DC Area PBK Association for congenial discussions and fun.

Courtland Ingraham, MA ’20, founded the GW Legal History Society. He has been invited to present research on early American elections at the Society for German-American Studies 2021 Annual Symposium.

Philip Muehlenbeck, PhD ’07, is the author or editor of six books. He is the editor of a new series with Notre Dame Press, titled The Human Cold War, which aims to explore the tensions and cultural trends at work between the United States and the world.

Jerome Nadler, BA ’74, is a Superior Court judge in Silicon Valley and is presently working, under a state grant, as the administrator of a pretrial and bail reform project in Alameda County, California.

Maciej Pawlowski, BA ’04, lives in Luxembourg, where he works as a compliance & legal officer at Royalton Partners, an investment fund manager.

Molly Perkins, BS ’18,  is a third-year medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

George Petrov, BA ’71, retired in 2019 from a tech program management career. In 2020, he restored the unpublished Russian-language typescript of his father's autobiography Soviet Gold by Dr Vladimir Petrov. His father was a professor of international affairs at GW.

Rebecca Rhodes, BS ’18,  works in the pharmaceutical industry.

Hannah Ringheim, BA ’12, is a senior researcher at a university in Zurich and leads excavations in Greece and Egypt.

Philip Runfola, BA ’64, retired from the CIA 24 years ago and has enjoyed living in Florida for the last 23 years.

Ankit Sheth, BA ’10, is an MBA candidate at INSEAD in Singapore with a focus on social finance and impact investing.

Liz Sieck, BA ’13, is a doctoral candidate at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel where her research focuses on Bedouin women.

Stuart Silverman, BA ’73, is a retired guidance counselor and will soon retire as a summer camp director after 40 years.

David Skalkowski, BA ’18, is a paralegal specialist in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General of DOJ's Antitrust Division, where he works on civil compliance, merger and litigation matters in digital markets.

Thomas Steich, BA ’66, is a retired attorney living in Annapolis, Md. He hopes to see the Cleveland Indians win the World Series during his lifetime.

William Taylor, PhD ’10, is the holder of the Lee Drain Endowed University Professorship, previous department chair and associate professor of global security studies in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies at Angelo State University.

Bill Wheeler, MA ’86, is managing partner of Wheeler & Franks Law Firm. He was one of the lead attorneys who successfully sued Iran and Sudan for 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the victims' verdicts.

Rachel Yakobashvili, BA ’20, is currently completing a Master of Public Administration in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She also works for GW and Dinah, a domestic violence organization.

Benjamin Young, PhD ’18, will publish his book Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World in spring 2021 by Stanford University Press.

Tsing Yuan, Ph.D., BA ’60, MA ’62, remembers with great fondness the courses taught by Professors Charles Herber and Roderic Davison. He retired in 1999 after teaching at Swarthmore College and Wright State University.

Tsing Yuan, BA ’60, MA ’62, is now retired, having taught at Swarthmore and Wright State University, where he also served as History Department chairman. Tsing is living in the Princeton area, taking advantage of the Princeton History Department's speakers and special events.

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Donor Recognition

The History Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.

+ Faculty/Staff | # Parent | ~ Student | * Friend



A&E TV Networks
Benevity Community Impact Fund
Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Ervand Abrahamian *

Anna Smith *

Rob Adams *

Angie Allen *

James Amelang *

Virginia Anderson *

Sheila Anthony *

Archie Bailey *

Brianna Bailey, BA ’17

Ann Banks *

James Banner *

Suzanne Barnett *

Robert Barrows *

Maurine Beasley, PhD ’74

Brent Beaty *

Nicholas Beck *

Thomas Bender *

Barron Biederman *

Edwin Bilof *

Carol Boten *

Randal Brown *

Pamela Brubaker *

Denver Brunsman, Ph.D. +

Jon Bulter *

Desmond Butler  *

Kathleen Cande *

Peter Capell  *

Graham Carpenter  *

Stephen Case *

Dr. Malcolm Clark, BA ’53, MA ’59

Myles Clowers *

Burt Cohen *

Lizabeth Cohen *

Dr. George Colburn *

John Colhoun *

Peter Collins, MA ’81

M G Conklin *

John Connor *

Catharine Crockett *

Cynthia Cupples *

Terence Curran *

Lawrence Davis *

Neil DeHaan, BA ’70

Jeffrey Deiss *

Bert Deixler, BA ’73

James Donnelly *

Tom Dougherty *

Andrew Dunaway, BA ’07

Patrick Dwyer *

Jonathan Eisenberg *

Caryl Esteves *

Susan Farnsworth, MA ’83

John Fausz *

Christina Firpo, BA ’00

Dr. LuAnn Fletcher #

Dr. Robert Fletcher #

Bryan Foran ~

Lora Ford *

Dr. Lee Formwalt *

Gaines Foster *

Barbara Fox, MA ’07

Donald Fraser *

Ferdinand Frassinelli, BA ’80

James Frost *

Blaine Gaustad *

Marianne Geiger *

Michael Genovese *

John Gleason *

Ilana Goldfus, BA ’10

John Goldsmith *

Lewis Goodkin *

Warren Gould, BA ’51, MA ’55

Mariusz Grabek, BA ’99

Emily Grabelsky #

Dr. Stephen Grabelsky #

Daniel Graf *

Richard Grasso, BA ’09

Sylvia Gray *

Robert Green *

Dr. Brian Greenberg *

Sallie Greenwood, BA ’65

Carl Guarneri *

Paul Halpern *

Ken Hammer *

Paul Hanson *

Katherine Hardwick, BA ’11

James Harris *

David Harscheid *

Alora Hasson, MA ’16

Susan Hayase *

Cynthia Helton, MA ’72

William Helton *

Dr. Charles Herber +

Joan Herber *

Alfred Herrera, BA ’79

Audrey Hertzberg, BA ’18

Evelyn Higginbotham *

Martin Hlpern *

Paul Hoffman *

Robert Hogopian *

Oddvar Hoidal *

Howard Holter *

Daniel Horowitz *

Jay Hotchkiss *

Dr. Mary Sue Howlett #

Thomas Howlett #

Tim Hrastar *

Robert Huddleston *

Karen Hurley, Esq., JD ’88

Daniel Jares *

Julie Jeffrey *

Mitch Kachun *

Walter Kamphoefner  *

Ronald Karr  *

Kathleen Kean *

Andrew Keaveney, BA ’92

Gina Keel *

Kate Kelly *

Dr. Dane Kennedy # +

Kathel Kerr *

Alice Kessler-Harris *

Kerry Kleiber *

William Klossner, BA ’71

Benjamin Klubes, Esq., BA ’87

David Klubes, BA ’90

Dr. Philip Klubes +

Samuel Knapp ~

Lawrence Koblenz, M.D. #



Cynthia Koch *

Diana Kohn *

Prof. Richard Kohn *

Gary Kornblith *

Richard Labunski *

Alan Lagod *

Jeff LaLande *

Lester Langley *

William Larter *

Charles Lawson *

Bernice Lerner *

Robert Levering *

Victor Lewis *

Bonnie Lilenfeld *

Jim Lindstrom *

Dr. Kai-Ming Lo #

Karen Lund *

Dominic Lusinchi *

Kathryn MacKay *

Linda Maguire *

Gloria Main *

Nicholas Marino *

Christopher Martin *

Matthew Mason, PhD ’13

Linda Mathews *

James McCall *

Eleanor McCalla *

Wendy McClure *

Jonathan McLeod *

Anne Meisenzahl *

Charles Middleton *

Deborah Miller *

Howard Miller *

Kristie Miller *

Gerald Morris *

Linda Morse *

Walter Moss *

John Murphy *

Louise Nelson

Sau-Ling Ng #

Gail O'Brien *

Jim O'Brien *

Martha Olmsted, BA ’68

Sean O'Neill ~

Beverly Palmer *

Frank Palmeri *

Fern Parkin #

Larry Parkin #

Sydney Parkin ~

Elaine Pascu *

David Patten *

Justus Paul *

Linda Peck, Ph.D. +

Karl Pederson, BA ’19, MA ’20

Andrew Pegoda *

Pamela Pennock *

Robert Perez *

Lynn Perkins *

Robin Pokorski, BA ’14

John Pote *

Ben Profeta *

Joyce Pulver *

Philip Racicot *

Ruth Ratliff *

Karen Reap, BA ’64

Barney Rickman *

Donald Ritchie *

Richard Robbins *

David Roberts *

Phoebe Roosevelt *

Dr. David Rowley +

Elaine Rowley *

John Rutt *

Eliana Sachar, Esq., BA ’66

Paulla Sanders *

Richard Scebbi *

Michael Schoenberg *

Dr. Katrin Schultheiss +

Dr. Daniel Schwartz +

Donald Schwegler *

Richard Shenkman *

Richard Sher, BA ’70

Daniel Sherman, BA ’01

John D. Sherwood, Ph.D., MPhil ’93, PhD ’95

Darina Sherwood *

Robert Silver *

Arlene Sindelar *

Douglas Slaybaugh *

Eugenia Smith *

Mark Smith *

Patrick Smith, BA ’15

Scott Smith *

Raymond Smock *

Edna Southard *

Scott Stabler *

Peter Stansky *

Marc Stein *

Hal Stern, BA ’72

JC Stiassni, BA ’14

Landon Storrs *

Donald Stryker *

Walter Suellen *

Martha Swan *

Merwin Swanson *

Rev. James Swarts ~

Dr. Marcia Synnott *

Nancy Taniguchi *

Julianne Thomas, M.D., BA ’67

Joseph Thomas *

Barbara Tischler *

John Transue, DS ’72

Michael Tune, MA ’17

Nancy Unger *

Stephen Vlastos *

Michael Weeks +

Edward White *

August Widmaier *

Rosa Wiener, AA ’54, BA ’56

Laurence Wildrick *

Craig Wilson *

Leigh Wilson *

Edward Wilz *

Edward Witt, SJ *

Spencer Wong, BA ’18, MA ’20

Harold Woodman *

Peter Yackel *

James Young *

Michael Youngren *

Patricia Zelman *

Jonathan Zich, BA ’71

Gregory Zieren *

Jonathan Zimmerman *


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