Faculty News

Megan Brankley Abbas joined the Geneseo faculty in Fall 2015 as the department's new historian of the Islamic world. She teaches a range of courses on Islamic history as well as an INTD 105 writing seminar entitled "Reason and Religion." She looks forward to launching two new courses for the 2016-2017 academic year: a global history class on Religion and Empire and an upper-level history elective entitled "The U.S. and the Islamic World since 1945." In addition to her time in the classroom, Megan is revising the manuscript for her first book, which examines the entangled history of Western academia and modern Islamic thought. She is also in the early stages of planning for two new research projects: one on the politics of family planning in Indonesia and Pakistan and the second on the career of renowned anthropologist Clifford Geertz. On a more personal note, Megan is thoroughly enjoying her first year at Geneseo and especially getting to know the students and faculty at the College. (Updated 2016)

Cathy Adams continues to serve on the board of trustees of the Livingston County Historical Society. She has also presented a number of local workshops and talks, including a roundtable on “The History of Agriculture in Livingston County”. (Updated 2013)

Justin Behrend recently published his first book, Reconstructing Democracy: Grassroots Black Politics in the Deep South after the Civil War with the University of Georgia Press. He gave a talk on his book in February at Roberts Wesleyan College. In April, he will give the keynote lecture for the 2015 Teachers' Day, entitled "Six Things New Yorkers Should Know About the American Civil War." In the Fall 2014, he participated in a panel discussion on the historic context of William Trost Richards’ Seascape painting, he spoke at a Constitution Day Panel on the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights legislation, and he spoke at student gatherings on police brutality and the historical background of the Ferguson, Mo. uprisings. During the spring 2015 semester, he is on sabbatical leave. (Updated 2015)

Joe Cope continues to serve as History Department Chair and teaches courses on the history of the British Isles and early modern Europe. Over the last several years, he has developed new interdisciplinary courses on the literature and history of Northern Ireland in collaboration with Rob Doggett in the English Department, including a team-taught course on historical memory and the 1916 Easter Rising to be taught next fall.  Cope and Doggett have also organized alumni trips to Ireland, New York City, and a four week summer course for students featuring stops in Dublin, Galway, Derry and Sligo. Cope is working on a long term research project exploring faith healers in the 17th century British world and an essay on historians' approaches to climate change related disasters based on his course development of the “Experience of Disaster” courses at Geneseo. (Updated 2016)

Emilye Crosby is a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow for 2015-16, working on “Anything I was big enough to do’: Women and Gender in SNCC (the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). She recently coauthored "Rethinking and Un-teaching Entrenched Movement Narratives: A Virtual Roundtable" with Nishani Frazier, Wesley Hogan, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, and Robyn Spencer, for a special issue "Expanding the Narrative: Exploring New Aspects of the Civil Rights Movement Fifty Years Later," ed. by Zoharah Simmons and AnneMarie Mingo in Fire! The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies. Her interview with Ekwueme Michael Thelwell for the Civil Rights History Project was published, with minor edits, in the Dec. 2015 edition of The Journal of Pan African Studies. This interview and others (transcripts and video) are available at the Library of Congress’s website (http://www.loc.gov/collection/civil-rights-history-project/). For the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the Library of Congress invited Crosby to give a talk on Teaching Bottom-Up history. Also for the anniversary, Crosby developed "A Documents-Based Lesson on the Voting Rights Act: A Case Studyof SNCC's work in Lowndes County and the Emergence of Black Power," available through Teaching for Change, and co-authored, with movement activist Judy Richardson, "The Voting Rights Act: 10 Things You Should Know," for Teaching for Change and Zinn Education Project. Crosby continues to work with the SNCC Legacy Project and Duke University on a collaborative project now called the “SNCC Digital Gateway: Learn from the Past, Organize for the Future, Make Democracy Work.” One Person, One Vote, the pilot for this project, launched in March 2015. Crosby is chairing the session, “Remembering  Julian Bond,” at the upcoming Organization of American Historians meeting in Providence. She will also participate in a panel at Vanderbilt in March, “Lost Voices from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement:  The Women of Selma.” (Updated 2016) 

After taking a year of sabbatical leave, Tze-ki Hon returned to teach in Geneseo in the fall of 2012. During the sabbatical leave, he completed his second single-author book on the debate of Chinese modernity during the first decade of the twentieth century. The book, entitled “Revolution and Restoration: Guocui xuebao and the China’s Path to Modernity, 1905-1911,” will be published by Brill in Netherlands in March of 2013. After returning to Geneseo, he developed two new courses. He taught a new section of HIST 220 (global capitalism) in the fall semester of 2012, and he is teaching an upper-level experimental course on capitalism and the modern world in the spring of 2013. By teaching the two new courses, he is preparing to write his third single-author book about the 20th century Chinese concept of space after China was integrated into the Eurocentric global system of nation-states. (Updated 2013)

Jordan Kleiman is currently revising his book manuscript entitled "The Appropriate Technology Movement in American Political Culture", which will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is also finishing an article examining the intersection of alternative technology and environmental justice activism in the South Bronx during the 1970s and eighties. This semester, Jordan is teaching a new INTD 102 course entitled “Fracking 101: The History, Politics, Science, & Technology of Unconventional Gas Development”. In designing and teaching this course, Jordan has been able to draw not only on his scholarly interest technology and the environment, but on his experience as co-founder of Rush Citizens Concerned About Hydrofracking, which is currently pursuing a one year moratorium in the Town of Rush. He has also given two public presentations on the subject in the past several months and is scheduled to give two more this Spring. Meanwhile, the Geneseo Food Project, which Jordan cocoordinates with Ken Cooper of the English Department, is heading into its fifth growing season. The Project includes a campus community garden, a speaker series, a studentrun Community-Supported Market program, and a “head-and-hands” American Studies course entitled “American Garden” (co-taught by Jordan and Ken). In the Fall, Jordan will be offering a new INTD 388/HIST 388 course entitled “Building an Alternative Food System in the Greater Rochester Area: Past, Present, Future”. (Updated 2013)

Kathy Mapes has been acting as department internship coordinator, chair of the US History Core Committee, and co-chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Community at Geneseo. Last spring, Kathy was one of 60 faculty nationwide selected to participate in the American Historical Association's "History Tuning Project", a "nationwide faculty-led project to articulate the disciplinary core of historical study and to define what a student should understand and be able to do at the completion of a history degree program". Professor Mapes is continuing work on a book manuscript on land, labor and immigrants. (Updated 2013)

Michael Leroy Oberg recently published his sixth book, Professional Indian: The American Odyssey of Eleazer Williams with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Peacemakers: The Iroquois, the United States, and he Treaty of Canandaigua, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in the summer of 2015. He is currently working as part of the international editorial team producing the first-ever scholarly edition of Richard Hakluyt the Younger's Principall Navigations, and on the much-delayed second edition of his textbook, Native America: A History, for Wiley Blackwell. He is teaching courses in the Humanities, early American history and Native American history. (Updated 2015)

Jim Williams continues to teach Greek and Roman History and Humanities I, taught U.S. Military History last fall, and looks forward to teaching his course on the Age of Alexander the Great next spring. His oldest daughter is a librarian near Philadelphia, his middle child finishes her Master's degree in educational administration this May, and his youngest child has graduated from college summa cum laude, finishes the army's Officer Candidate School in April of 2015, and aspires to attend Law School once his Army duties allow. Jim continues to read widely and work out regularly. He serves as chair of the Elders Board of Christ Community Church, chairs the school board for Genesee Country Christian School, and assists in internet evangelism for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. (Updated 2015)

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