Congratulations to our History Faculty Members!

Dear Colleagues:

Three of our colleagues have added to the great reputation of our department with a number of accomplishments:

Sean Kheraj has received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in the full-time tenured category.  The Dean's letter states that Sean's "teaching emphasizes the relationship between teacher and learners; you understand the need for relevance and bring it into the classroom in meaningful ways; and you are committed to the idea that pedagogy must reach beyond the walls of the classroom."

Not long after, I got another letter from the Dean informing me that Joan Judge has received the 2016-2017 Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Award for Distinction in Research.In her letter to Joan, the Dean states that "the evidence in your file signifies the impact of your work within and beyond academic communities, as well as demonstrates your commitment to engaging undergraduate and graduate students in your research."

Last, but certainly not least, our new colleague Edward Jones-Imhotep, just gave me, hot off the press, a copy of his new book intriguingly titled, The Unreliable Nation: Hostile Nature and Technological Failure in the Cold War (Cambrige, MA, MIT Press, 2017).  Here is a brief description:  "The Unreliable Nation explores how two powerful and persuasive ways of understanding the modern nation — the natural and the technological — mapped onto and shaped each other in the two decades after World War II. It argues that the practices and ambitions that created the nation as a natural order were allied with attempts to understand it as a technological space, and specifically as a grouping of interconnected machines and machine behaviors. Focusing on anxieties about radio failures in the cold-war Canadian North, the book examines how cold-war scientists and technologists articulated the links between a distinctive “Northern” natural order of violent magnetic storms and spectacular auroral displays on one hand, and widespread radio disruptions throughout the Northern regions on the other. Drawing on previous unpublished archival documents, declassified materials, scientific images, clandestine maps, and machine architectures, the book illustrates how government scientists naturalized Canada’s technological vulnerabilities as part of a program to reimagine the postwar nation. The real and potential failures of machines came to define the nation, its ‘hostile' Northern nature, its cultural anxieties, and its geo-political vulnerabilities during the early Cold War. In this way, the book illustrates the surprising role of technological failures in shaping contemporary understandings of both nature and nation."

Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on these wonderful achievements.

Thabit Abdullah