Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


History Students Present at the Weekend of Excellence

On Saturday, April 18, the research of eleven history undergraduate and five graduate students will be featured in posters and presentations at the Weekend of Excellence, a research and engagement symposium. All are welcome to attend the symposium.


SESSION 1 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Poster 23

Technology and Globalization in Transmission and The Diamond Age

Sherezaad Anwar, History (2015), Research Mentoring Program

Mentored by Sean O’Brien, English

Science fiction narrative and hypothetical society help us understand the larger, globalized world outside of the pages through the use of advanced technology and world-building. Books like The Diamond Age and Transmission achieve this by exploring different characters and their interactions with technology, often leading them on epic journeys through places such as NeoShanghai and modern day Los Angeles. Nell in The Diamond Age discovers a “Young Lady's Illustrated Primer,” while holds the answers for technology to surpass that of nanotechnology, while Arjun in Transmission creates a computer virus out of rage, which devastates the world and creates serious repercussions.

Poster 30

After the Insurrection: Progress towards gender equality following the Salvadoran civil war

Lillian Osborne, Political Science and History (2016), Social Justice Fellowship

Mentored by Peter Sanchez, Political Science

Women were vital to the popular and revolutionary movements of the serious political upheavals that gripped El Salvador in the1970s and 1980s. Despite intense political repression, a loosening of the rigidity of traditional gender roles allowed women to make important sociopolitical and economic advances during the civil war. However, following the peace accords in 1992 that ended the war and created democratic institutions, Salvadoran women continue to face marginalization and violence at some of the highest rates in the world. This project analyzes how democratization has not delivered a more gender-equitable state in contrast to traditional scholarship on the potential of democratization.

Poster 78

Teacher Professionalization in Chicago Charter Schools

Jennifer Burghard, History and Global and International Studies (2015), Research Mentoring Program

Mentored by Beth Wright, Education

Charter schools were initially created with the intention of empowering teachers to implement school and classroom strategies in accordance with their educational expertise. However, charters are also known to have higher rates of teacher turnover and fewer numbers of credentialed, experienced teachers. In the context of shifting and contested notions of teacher professionalism, this study seeks to determine how charter schools have lived up to their theoretical promise for teacher professionalization. The study examines conceptualizations of teacher professionalization in over forty charter schools in Chicago via an analysis of school documents. Mission statements, employment information, student handbooks, and school policy documents were collected and analyzed with the use of a coding software in order to search for themes and patterns in the way particular topics pertaining to teacher professionalization were expressed. Overall, recognition of teacher autonomy and expertise appears to vary widely, and may be influenced by the bureaucratic structures of the schools' governance.




Genocidal Motives: A False Sense of Normalcy and Community

Joseph Karamanski, History (2015)

Mentored by Patricia Mooney-Melvin, History

How does a small group of sadistic leaders convince the average citizen to participate in genocide? A comparative historical and psychological analysis of the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide and contemporary North Korean concentration camps attempts to shed light on one of the darkest aspects of humanity.

Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project

Evan Thompson, History (2015), Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage (CCIH) Research Fellowship, Provost Fellowship;

and Zachary Davis, Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage (CCIH) Research Fellowship

Mentored by Kyle Roberts, History

The presentation will be an overview of our project's goal of reconstructing the original Saint Ignatius College Library while researching the various pieces of provenance found within.



The Ellacuría Tapes: A Martyr at Loyola

Albert Salatka, History and Philosophy (2015), Social Justice Fellowship

Mentored by Dina Berger, History

On November 16, 1989, six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter were murdered in their home on the grounds of Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador, El Salvador. Among them was Father Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., a liberation theologian who was unafraid to publicly criticize the Salvadoran government for its brutality against its own people. I will speak on my role as lead content writer and co-designer in the creation of “The Ellacuría Tapes: A Martyr at Loyola”, a digital exhibit created in conjunction with Ignatian Heritage Month that documents Ellacuría’s time in Chicago and at Loyola.

Active and Passive Making of the Martyr: Women's Suffrage in Britain and America

Elyse Voyen, History and Global and International Studies (2015)

Mentored by Kyle Roberts, History

While women's suffrage in Britain and America both radicalized in the 20th century, that radicalization manifested differently. The British movement became desperately violent while the American movement developed new peaceful protest techniques. These two movements had entirely different qualities that can be examined through the lens of martyrdom, for women on both sides of the Atlantic were shaping that identity as a means of galvanizing the public.

The Nonviolent Cross(ing): The Catholic Left, Christian Nonviolence, and “The Four of Us”

Melanie Zagorski, History and Secondary Education (2016)

Mentored by Kyle Roberts, History

In 1971, four Loyola University students, calling themselves “The Four of Us,” raided a Selective Service office in Evanston, Illinois, and destroyed hundreds of draft records by covering them with blood. The Four stayed around and let themselves get arrested afterwards. This paper attempts to situate this daring action within the context of the Catholic Left, a distinctly Catholic anti-Vietnam war movement, as the movement increasingly deviated from a nonviolent framework of surrender and sacrifice. “The Four of Us” evoked a pure form of nonviolent activism and represented the Catholic Left at its best, even amid a declining movement.


Chicago Outdoor Education

Thomas Baran, Secondary Education and History (2016)

Mentored by Kelly Garbach, Institute for Environmental Sustainability

This semester, I am volunteering at North Park Nature Village Center as part of the engaged learning aspect of Environmental Sustainability. I have been working there since February assisting a park staff member with youth and family programs. Most of the programs focus on outdoor education. For my presentation, I would describe the emphasis that NPNVC places on outdoor education in an urban setting and how their practices align with the values of environmental sustainability.



Poster 50

Sex Trafficking – "The Bottom Girl Phenomenon"

Shamere McKenzie, Criminal Justice and Criminology (2015), Social Justice Fellowship

Mentored by John Donoghue. History

Language, norms and roles are the basic elements of culture. The ‘life’ or the ‘game’ is the subculture of sex trafficking. Within this subculture, prostitution is one of the obvious norms and the language would not be understood by someone outside of this culture. Terms like wife-in-law, tricks or ‘bottom girl/bitch’ are common within the forced commercial sex industry. In almost all cultures, roles and responsibilities are divided and many times labeled: senator, professor, laborer. There are also different roles in pimp-controlled culture. The pimp is the top of the hierarchy and is the only one who profits. He defines the roles, makes the rules, and administers punishment when deemed necessary. Everyone must obey him and do whatever he says. The bottom girl is the pimp’s most trusted girl; she usually has been with the pimp the longest and knows the rules of ‘the game’. She is often times prosecuted and seen as a criminal instead of a victim. 

Poster 62

Fostering Authentic Historical Inquiry with Technology: An Analysis of the Chicago Metro History Fair

Jennifer Burghard, History and Global and International Studies (2015), Provost Fellowship Mentored by Charles Tocci, Education

This research study aims to examine how high school students engage in authentic, historical inquiry-based learning as students participate in the Chicago Metro History Fair. This project specifically analyzes how computer technologies are integrated into the History Fair learning experience to facilitate productive interactions, aid and transform the research process, and impact students' final presentations. The study has been conducted via case study observations and interviews with students and teachers presently participating in the 2015 Chicago History Fair. It additionally draws on secondary research examining how computer technologies can be used in more innovative ways to specifically promote the learning of history. This project aims to contribute to the spread of effective classroom-based technology practices, as technology continues to proliferate in school environments.



Quinlan Life Sciences Building

9 – 11 am  

Room 412  

Kyle Banks, “Women’s Activism and the Equal Rights Movement This project is an oral history of women who were involved in the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment through the Illinois legislature. The project utilizes both archival sources and oral interviews conducted by the author, and the presentation will emphasize the usefulness of oral interviews for the study of the past, but also acknowledge their weaknesses, and ways those weaknesses can be addressed through the use of other sources. Methods: The oral history research takes place in the form of an audio recorded interview between the participants and the researcher. Interviews are conducted one-on-one, participants are asked the same questions, and interviews generally run from one to two hours. Following the interviews, the audio recording is used to make a complete transcription.

Liam Brew, “Question of Coal: German Economic and Environmental Reconstruction History”

Earlier this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans to decrease Germany’s carbon footprint by increasing the role of wind and solar energy sources in the nation’s electrical grid. However, Merkel’s audacious plan masks the reality. Regardless of political rhetoric suggesting environmentalism remains a crucial political issue, a significant portion of German electricity continues to be generated by extensive coal mining in the Ruhr Valley and German-Polish corridor, and recent reports indicate that German coal-mining is increasing faster than the nation’s integration of solar-and-wind power plants into its infrastructure. Yet for the vast majority of environmentalist organizations, Germany symbolizes the successful transition of an industrial economy towards environmental sustainability. This paper seeks to understand the apparent hypocritical nature of German environmentalism which is concurrently shameful of coal mining yet does little to mitigate this practice. This paper will integrate spatial analyses through GiS systems with a traditional political analysis to understand the nature of German environmentalism and provide visual evidence of coal mining within the country. My tentative conclusion suggests that economic modernity became West Germany’s defining national characteristic in the 1950s and has remained central to the German national identity. Coal mining provides the sufficient energy necessary for continuing Germany's’ economic hegemony in Europe during the Eurozone crisis, therefore explaining the superficiality of German environmental policy and the rampancy of coal mining in modern Germany.

1:45 – 3:45 pm

Room 312

Pamela Johnson, “Saint Thérese: Making the Unremarkable Extraordinary”

My work centers on Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a woman who despite leading a rather unremarkable life at the end of the nineteenth century in France, still today has millions of followers in Catholicism around the world. She was born in France on January 2, 1873 and died September 30, 1897; she lived just twenty-four years on this earth. Her short lifespan was plagued with illness and filled with small acts of love, such as helping her neighbors and not complaining about her sickness. Yet, in 1923 Pope Pius XI called her “the greatest saint of modern times.”

Rather than simply repeat what is already known about Thérèse, when I began my work, I wanted to understand how someone who seems unremarkable, ordinary even, could become such an extraordinary part of Catholic history and contemporary practices? To accomplish this goal, I chose to do a textual analysis of Thérèse’s autobiography, The Story of a Soul. I discovered that Thérèse emphasizes her “suffering” over and over again throughout her writing. By doing a close reading of this historical document, I concluded that Thérèse created a world in her writing that challenged the trope of “suffering” in popular Catholic tradition (generally characterized by some form of severe persecution) by highlighting every day acts of selflessness as true accounts of suffering. Martyrdom may not be realistic for the average person; but simple acts of love are accessible to us all.

Devin Leigh, “The Power of Names: ‘Caesar’ and a Hidden History of Anglo-American Slavery, 1688-1761”

“The Power of Names” examines hidden meanings behind the classical slave name “Caesar” among planters and slaves in the early-modern, Anglo-Atlantic World. Like other classical slaves names, Caesar is typically attributed as an act of one-dimensional mockery on the part of white slave owners. 

In order to circumvent inherent source difficulties, this study has drawn upon a wide range of historical material. These materials include maps, plays, novellas, short stories, fugitive slave advertisements, manifests, journals, memoirs, census records, inventories, newspapers, trial records, political cartoons, and, of course, rosters of names.

Primary research has revealed that more slave conspiracies, plots, rebellions, revolts, and uprisings in the early modern, Anglo-American Atlantic world were associated with slaves named Caesar, or featured slaves named Caesar among their leadership, than slaves by any other name. There are at least 35 Caesars from 23 different historical incidents that fit this criteria between the years 1706 and 1860.
This essay has successfully challenged previous ideas that planters bestowed the classical name Caesar upon slaves as an act of one-dimensional mockery. Rather, planters were engaging in a process that was far more serious, collaborative, and complex. They were creating signifiers for the unique and rebellious personalities of their slaves in a society that was deeply self-conscious and precarious. They were reading the behavior of their slaves—many of whom were kings, nobles, and warriors in their former nations—and they were bestowing upon them names that corresponded to well-established tropes and well-founded fears.

Room 412

Eliot Pope, “African Americans and the Korean War: A Comparative Analysis between Public and Private Memories”

Often labeled the “forgotten war,” many historians have ignored the Korean War. They have not covered the war extensively because US involvement in the war lasted for only a short period, and neither the North Koreans and Chinese nor South Koreans and Americans emerged as clear victors. My dissertation, African Americans and the Korean War: A Comparative Analysis between Public and Private Memories, aims to fill that void within the historical narrative on African Americans and the Korean War. Interviewing African Americans soldiers who served in the Korean War has provided key sources for my dissertation. Their perspectives vary. Personal one on one interviews are the primary means in which data has been gathered to represent the private memories of these men. Their personal perspectives give insight into what it was like to be African American soldiers in the Korean War. Some African American soldiers relied upon their faith to cope with stress related to the war. Others stated positive experiences with Whites as the US military desegregated the military. Others, however, experienced injustice due to the poor quality of weapons given to them by the US military. Some interviewees stated that the Korean War gave them access to the GI Bill, which helped them pay for college.

While the Korean War only lasted for three years, it affected African American soldiers and the US military in a meaningful way. The war gave some African Americans an opportunity to display heroic feats on the battlefield, dispelling myths that African American soldiers were incapable of being good fighters. The war provided a source of income for some African American soldiers by giving them access to educational opportunities and better jobs. And, in spite of some prevailing racism, some African American and Caucasian soldiers formed lasting relationships.