By James Marten, Department Chair
Although we tend to think of our department as a dozen-and-a-half men and women who come to Marquette as young PhDs, earn tenure, and stay happily ever after, that isn’t, of course, entirely accurate. It’s true that we have fewer adjunct faculty than any other history department I know, and that we also have much less turnover among the tenure-track faculty than most departments—several members of the department have been at Marquette for over thirty years, while several more have been here over twenty!
But there are other ways of coming to the department, and this year, more than ever, we have a number of visiting faculty who have taken less-traditional routes to Marquette. So, in this first blog of the 2016-2017 academic year, I’d like to welcome a number of historians who join us this year.
First up is J. Patrick Mullins, who is actually a new tenure-line faculty member. Patrick comes to us after teaching for a decade at Marymount University in Virginia. A specialist in the intellectual and religious history of the American Revolutionary period; his first book, Father of Liberty: Jonathan Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution, will be published by the University Press of Kansas in 2017. Among other things, Patrick will lead our public history and internship programs.
We also have three distinguished visitors for at least part of this year. Sharon Leon of George Mason University is the Association of Marquette University Women’s Chair in Humanistic Studies. In addition to teaching a course on digital history and participating in the digital scholarship symposium we are co-sponsoring with the library on September 29, Sharon will deliver the annual Boheim Lecture on September 21 at 6:00 in the Beaumier Suites BC (the lower level of the Raynor Library). She will speak on “Re-Presenting the History of Jesuit Slaveholding in Southern Maryland.”
The department also has the pleasure to host an Arnold L. Mitchem Dissertation Fellow, Sergio Gonzalez, who is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mitchem Fellows provide time for emerging scholars to finish their dissertations, obtain professional mentoring, and gain experience teaching. Sergio’s dissertation is “’I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me’: Latino Immigration, Religion, and Community Formation in Milwaukee, 1920-1990.” In spring 2017 he will teach an undergraduate readings course on race and citizenship.
The department will host another dissertator, Michael A. Guzik, SJ, who as a Wade Professor will spend most of his time finishing his dissertation on Catholicism in Poland at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. But he will also teach a western civilization course in the spring. Wade Professors—all of whom are Jesuits—can be a junior scholar, like Michael, or they can be a distinguished senior scholar like the department’s last Wade Professor, Oliver P. Rafferty, SJ, who taught Irish history her a few years back.
A second Jesuit colleague will begin his two-year regency this fall. Fr. Stephen J. Molvarec, a recent recipient of a PhD in medieval history from the University of Notre Dame, will be a Postdoctoral Fellow. He will teach two sections of the Western Civilization survey and two sections of HIST 2001, our course for honors students, in the spring. He will also revise his dissertation, which explores the Carthusian Order in late medieval France. After completing his Regency here at Marquette, Steve will go on for additional theological training, and then go on the job market.
Finally, Sam Harshner will be Assistant Director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach, which is currently housed in the History Department (under acting director James Marten). In addition, Sam—who is one of our own PhD students, studying early American history with Kristen Foster—will teach an American history survey and run the internship program in the Department of Political Science.
We’re delighted that Marquette is part of these new colleagues’ professional journeys, however long or short their stays in the department will be.