Dr. K has had another busy year. The highlight of it has been the experience of fatherhood! John and Mary traveled to China in March where they met and adopted their daughter. The trip took them through three major cities, each of which they enjoyed immensely: from Beijing in the North, to Wuhan on the Yangtze River in the center of the country, to Guangzhou in the south – near Hong Kong. Fatherhood resulted in Dr. K going on parental leave, which allowed him to thoroughly enjoy being “Mr. Mom.”
In the fall before fatherhood, Dr. K taught the history major’s new course for the first time: Surveying Themes in US History. This class replaces the previous two-semester US surveys and is designed specifically for history majors and future history teachers in the SSTC program. It was a very intense class, as students will attest – but it was a success too. In the Spring, just before going on parental leave, Dr. K managed to do some administrative work around campus, including revamping the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum guide and its accompanying student handbook. He also began the process for the history program’s self study which leads to a thorough review of the history program by an outside historian and the Provost. That should be completed this year – if you would like to comment upon your experience as a history major, minor, or concentrator (for those in the Teacher Certification program), we’d love to hear your thoughts about what was good about the program and what would have made it better given your career/life experiences. Tell us what you are doing now and share your reflections.
Dr. K has written some book reviews, reviewed a manuscript for The Journal of Urban History, managed the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History New Hampshire History Teacher of the Year Award, worked on National History Day with Patrick May and with the other historians, and won a research grant to be used during his sabbatical. Dr. K’s sabbatical is for the fall semester of 2008, which gives him the time to travel for research in various archives – especially in Washington, D.C. He continues to work on his historical biography of Raymond Swing.
So far this year Dr. K’s research has taken him to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s archives, where he examined papers relating to American efforts to rescue artists, intellectuals, and political thinkers targeted by the Nazis for imprisonment. Raymond Swing spearheaded the founding of the Emergency Rescue Committee, which assisted thousands of Europeans; through proving funds, forging documents, presenting US entry visa applications, and smuggling escapees. Some of the more notable who were rescued include: Heinrich Mann, Max Ernst, Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Matisse, and Lion Feuchtwanger.
Dr. K is looking forward to returning to the classroom in the Spring semester! And in the meantime he’d love to hear feedback from you about the history program!