Department of History Homepage

History Faculty
History Major
History Courses
Schedule of Courses
Department News
Department Address

Phi Alpha Theta

January 2006


The University Press of Kentucky will soon publish a new textbook by JIM KLOTTER (coauthored with his wife, Freda), Faces of Kentucky.  The book is a history of Kentucky for elementary school students.  Also this spring, three of his books will make their first appearance in paperback editions:  The Breckinridges of Kentucky, Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900-1950, and Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, And American Manhood: Understanding the Life And Death of Richard Reid.


ELLEN EMERICK is on sabbatical for the Spring Semester 2006.


December 2005


State Historian JAMES C. KLOTTER, professor of history at Georgetown College, is the recipient of the 2005 Thomas D. Clark Kentucky Archives Week Award. The award, announced by the Kentucky State Historical Records Advisory Board during the annual Kentucky Archives Week celebrations, recognizes distinguished contributions to the work of archives and archivists.

The award was presented to Dr. Klotter by State Archivist Richard Belding, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, at the fall meeting of the Kentucky Council on Archives at Northern Kentucky University.

Dr. Klotter was recognized for his leadership as a former executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society; for distinguished scholarship, based on research in Kentucky archival repositories; for his service as State Historian and as a teacher of history; and for his many contributions as mentor and colleague, providing encouragement and counsel to those who work with historical records in Kentucky.

The author, coauthor, or editor of over a dozen books, he most recently edited The Human Tradition in the New South, which was published earlier this year by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, December 2005, p. 1.)


LIYAN LIU presented a paper entitled, “Modernization and Moral Cultivation: Yang Changji’s role in nourishing the spirit of his students,” at the 11th ACPSS 2005 conference (Oct. 28-30) in Los Angeles, California. She also presented another paper entitled, “Planting the Seeds of Revolution: Modern Educators and China’s Revolutionary Transformation, 1910-1949,” at the 47th Annual Conference of the American Association for Chinese Studies in Nashville, Tennessee, which was held Oct. 21-23.  (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, December 2005, p. 2.)


Harold Tallant’s review of the collected writings of the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy, His Brother’s Blood: Speeches and Writings, 1838-64 (edited by William F. Moore and Jane Ann Moore), appeared in the Journal of Southern History. Additionally, earlier this fall he participated in an interactive book review session on the H-Net Discussion Network of his book Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, December 2005, p. 4.)


October 2005


CLIFF WARGELIN was recently asked by Scribner's to contribute a scholarly entry on the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk for an upcoming Encyclopedia of European History. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, October 2005, p. 2.)


JIM KLOTTER gave seven historical talks to various groups—the Civil War Preservation Trust’s national teachers’ meeting, the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Bell County Historical Society, Ward Hall Foundation, the Johnson Family Reunion, and a Lexington book club. Talk topics ranged widely, from frontier Kentucky to the commonwealth in the Civil War to trends across time in the state’s history. He also wrote a summary of Thomas D. Clark’s life for the August 2005 Organization of American Historians’ Newsletter. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, October 2005, p. 3.)


LIYAN LIU’s article, “The Man Who Molded Mao: Yang Changji and the First Generation of Chinese Communists,” has been accepted for publication in the journal Modern China. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, October 2005, p. 4.)


May 2005


History Majors Honored


One of them will be spending a year in Germany on a Fulbright grant. The second will take her triple major to the University of Massachusetts to pursue her Ph.D. These winners of the Dean’s Honor Award for 2005 would be the pride of any college in the nation.  And, they are also history majors, MICHAEL PUGLISI and WHITNEY PURCELL.  They joined Chemistry major Michael Newcomer as this year’s recipients of Georgetown’s highest academic honor.


Michael Puglisi: Fulbright Bound

Dean’s Honor Award winner Michael J. Puglisi, Jr., who will graduate in May with a double major in history and political science, has recently been awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in Germany during the 2005-06 school year. He will spend a year helping to teach English in the German schools and working on his thesis for his masters degree.

Puglisi is also already a student in the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, under a cooperative program that allows select Georgetown College seniors to begin work on an M.A. in diplomacy while they are still undergraduates.

His path to a career in diplomacy grew in part out of a summer study trip he took to Germany. While there, he conducted an independent study on Green Party politics in Bavaria. A former member of the Green Party originally promised him 15 minutes, but ultimately gave him 45 “because his questions were so good,” said Dr. Ellen Emerick, a professor of history at the college.

His work with German politics helped inspire his decision to become a diplomat, and his desire to gain further international experience inspired him to apply for a Fulbright Grant.

Puglisi credits close relationships with his professors for the degree of his academic success, particularly citing the infuence of Dr. Michael Cairo and Dr. Sigrid Suesse.

But he also indicates how important it is to challenge oneself in the classroom. “I think rigorous course loads help students better prepare for high-stress jobs in the real world. Of course, the best way to prepare is to take courses that interest the student, but that are also very challenging.”

Puglisi pushed himself in academic matters (he is a member of the Honors Program and is currently completing an Honors Thesis in history on the law of manumission in early Virginia), but he pushed himself equally hard in extracurricular activities. Some of the diplomatic skills that Puglisi has developed through his academic studies came in handy during his year as editor-in-chief of the college’s student newspaper, The Georgetonian. Puglisi continues to write for The Georgetonian and serves as the paper’s managing editor. He is also a Writing Center tutor, a member of Phi Alpha Theta (history honorary), Delta Phi Alpha (German honorary), Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honorary), Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta.

In January of 2004, Puglisi made his national scholarly debut, presenting a paper at the national conference of Phi Alpha Theta, an honor society for history scholars. His paper, “A New World on Their Own Terms,” discussed Italian immigration to American in the early 20th century.


Whitney Purcell: Stretching the Envelope

In announcing Whitney Purcell’s Dean’s Honor Award, Provost Rosemary Allen recognized her for her success in taking on academic challenges.

“For most students the basics for graduation (a major, minor and 120 hours) is enough,” said Allen. “This student’s Georgetown career included a triple major, 157 hours of credit, two terms at Oxford University, and an Honors Program degree.”

Purcell is an Honors Program triple major in English, History and American Studies. She also participated in the college’s innovative cooperative program with Regent’s Park College of Oxford University, where she studied history in the university’s individualized tutorial instruction format. She was able to work one-on-one with a leading expert in Anglo-Saxon history.

Purcell’s academic achievements have earned her other recognition as well. In 2004, she received the Coleman Arnold Award for Excellence in Research from the English department for her work on Renaissance dramatists, and she is currently working on an Honors thesis involving the novels of Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding. She also aided Dr. Roger Ward, associate professor of philosophy, by helping create the index for his book, Conversion in American Philosophy.

Purcell also stays involved outside of the classroom. She is a member of Phi Mu, as well as a Brown Scholar, a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and a Dean’s Ambassador. She participated in the Mock Trial Team and was part of the Chapel Leadership Team.

Purcell also served as copy editor for Inscape, the college’s student literary magazine, and was president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honorary that sponsors the magazine. She was also for many years the student secretary for the English department.

“I know that Whitney will make a great teacher someday,” said Allen, who is director of Purcell’s Honors thesis. “She’s creative, and she never stops learning. She also has this uncanny ability to recall just about everything she hears or reads. It’s disconcerting to realize that although she never takes notes in class, she always remembers everything I say.”

Purcell has always wanted to be a teacher, and this fall she will get her wish when she takes up her teaching fellowship at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, where she will be pursuing a Ph.D. in English Literature. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, May 2005, p. 2.)

April 2005

In April 2005, Georgetown’s Student Life Office inaugurated the LINDSEY APPLE Student Life Appreciation Award. The award was named in honor of the recently retired chair of the History Department in appreciation of his 36 years of service to Georgetown College (seven as Dean of Students).  According to Dr. Todd Gambill, Dean of Students, “Dr. Apple has spent his career contributing to the growth and development of Georgetown students both in and out.” The award, funded by AGS and the Student Life Office, will be presented each year to “a faculty member that has supported Student Life and the co-curricular endeavors of our students." The $500 award is equally divided between the recipient and the recipient’s academic department. “It is the hope of AGS and the Student Life team that this small gesture will demonstrate our appreciation to perhaps the most student-centered faculty in Kentucky,” said Dr. Gambill.  The first recipient of the award, given at the spring Student Life Honors Day, is Dr. Karyn McKenzie of the Psychology Department. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, April 2005, p. 1.)

JAMES KLOTTER spoke in January 2005 on the history of rural electrification in Kentucky to a state REA meeting, and then spent a week of research, on Henry Clay, at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, courtesy of a Breaux Fellowship. He has also had a book review published in Journal of Social History. Recently, he spoke to 4th, 5th, and 8th grade classes in morning and then to the whole school in afternoon at Adairville School in Logan County. (He reports that some of the more interesting questions--supposedly on Kentucky History--were: “Define civilization”; “Who invented gold?”; “How many caves are there in Kentucky?”; and “How big is a buffalo’s stomach?”) He also appeared on “Comment on Kentucky” on KET. (Click here to watch the program.) During his 2005-06 sabbatical year, Dr. Klotter conducted research at the Virginia Historical Society. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, April 2005, p. 2.)

February 2005

LIYAN LIU was elected as the Board director of the Association of Chinese Historians in the United States at the 2005 American Historical Association conference in Seattle in January 2005. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, February 2005, p. 2.)

HAROLD TALLANT’S book, Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky, was the featured book on KET’s “bookclub@ket” program in February 2005. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, February 2005, p. 2)  Click on this link to view the program or this link to view an interview with Dr. Tallant by Bill Goodman, host of "bookclub@ket."

December 2004

LIYAN LIU gave a talk on “Development of Chinese Buddhism” at Crane House, Louisville, on November 11. Her paper, entitled “The First Generation of Chinese Communists and the Hunan First Normal School,” presented at the American Historical Association conference in Washington, D.C. in January 2004, has also been accepted by the 18th International Association of Historians of Asia Conference, which will be held in December 2004 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, December 2004, p. 4.)

October 2004

ELLEN EMERICK attended a five-day conference in Palo Alto on the theme of promoting critical thinking in the classroom, run by the Critical Thinking Institute. She is also a member of the board (as past-president) of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History [KATH] and helped put on their annual conference in Louisville. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, October 2004, p. 3.)

JAMES KLOTTER gave talks to two different University of Kentucky history classes, one to teachers at Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, two to Kentucky Council for the Social Studies meeting, one at Frazier Museum in Louisville, and one to National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also had article published, “Duty, Honor, and Family: The Breckinridges of Kentucky,” in Kentucky’s Civil War and five chapters authored by him appeared in the revised edition of Kentucky’s Governors (University Press of Kentucky, 2004), edited by Lowell Harrison. He also just submitted the final manuscript for his new book, The Human Tradition in the New South (Rowman & Littlefield), and finished gathering images for another book, Faces of Kentucky, to be out in June. (Scholars Developing Scholars Newsletter, October 2004, p. 3.)

July 2004

Department Chair LINDSEY APPLE is retiring.  Click here to read the story.

March 2004

JAMES KLOTTER and HAROLD TALLANT have published new books:  Klotter’s Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood: Understanding the Life and Death of Richard Reid and Tallant’s Evil Necessity: Slavery and Political Culture in Antebellum Kentucky.  Click here to read the full story.

November 2001

The History Department sponsors its first annual Chinese Cultural Festival, under the leadership of LIYAN LIU Click here to read the story.

This page was last updated on October 01, 2008.
Send e-mail to the Department of History.

Georgetown College