Frank Valadez AHA Spotlight

Frank Valadez, my friend and fellow UIUC graduate History alum, is featured in an American Historical Association spotlight today!

Frank is an amazingly flexible history thinker and practitioner who currently serves as  Director of the Division for Public Education at the American Bar Association. He pursued undergraduate studies in History at Northwestern University and then received an MA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Graduate students in History will be interested in the broad range of positions that Frank has held as writer, editor, and educator. He has served in administrative and leadership roles in historical and humanities organizations such as the Newberry Library, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Metro History Fair. Frank’s career trajectory demonstrates how historians can make a real difference in historical education and public humanities.
Frank’s spotlight is featured on the AHA Persectives website.

Posted in Careers in History, Education Policy, History in the Media, Humanities Education, The Past Alive: Teaching History | Leave a comment

Promoting Diversity in Undergraduate Admissions

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis has published an article presenting new research on diversity in undergraduate admissions.

The article considers the State of Texas’s 10 percent plan, which provides guaranteed admissions into state universities for the top 10 percent of high school graduates in the state. “For the study, Kalena E. Cortes, an associate professor of public policy at Texas A&M University, and Jane Arnold Lincove, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, looked at the records of 146,000 Texas public high school students who graduated in spring 2008 and spring 2009 and who applied to at least one four-year public university in Texas,” according to Inside Higher Ed.

The study finds that “the Texas 10 percent plan, one of the most prominent experiments in guaranteed admissions, made high-talent, low-income students more likely than they historically have been to apply to the flagship universities in Texas.”

Inside Higher Ed emphasizes that the study’s findings demonstrate that flagship state universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, are able to attract more minority and underprivileged students with the 10 percent plan than they previously did. “So guaranteed admissions, the paper argues, can reduce the problem of ‘undermatching,’ in which talented, disadvantaged students apply to few if any competitive colleges — even though in many cases they would be admitted and awarded aid. Given the better graduation rates and (in many cases) significantly greater resources available at the more competitive colleges, many education experts see undermatching as a major problem.”

State universities with declining enrollments may wish to consider adopted guaranteed admission plans such as this to encourage high school graduates in economically distressed areas to apply for university admission. Private universities that have tried other plans for diversifying enrollments may also find the 10 percent plan an effective alternative approach.

The article by Cortes and Licove appears in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. The American Education Resesarch Association (AREA) summarizes the study’s findings at its website. Inside Higher Ed reports on the study and the Texas 10 percent plan.

Posted in Education Policy, Humanities Education | Leave a comment

Femmes à la cour de France. Charges et fonctions, XVe-XIXe siècle

Femmes à la cour de France. Charges et fonctions (XVe – XIXe siècle), ed. Caroline zum Kolk, Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier (Villeneuve d’Ascq, Septentrion, 2018), ISBN-102757423614, has been released.

This collective volume on women at the royal court of France in the early modern period includes interdisciplinary studies in English and French languages on noblewomen and their households, their official and family roles, women and court politics, motherhood and parenting, mistresses and sexuality, and gender and court culture.

I contributed an essay on “« Je ne vis jamais cette cour plus pleine de tourment » : Montmorency Women and Confessional Politics at Court during the French Wars of Religion,” to the volume.

This collective volume is an outgrowth of an engaging conference on Femmes à la cour de France – charges et fonctions (Moyen Âge – XIXe siècle) that was organized by Caroline zum Kolk, Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier, Flavie Leroux, and Pauline Ferrier-Viaud, and held at the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris in October 2015.

Scholars working on early modern women, gender, and sexuality will be interested in this volume, as will historians of the French court and early modern France.

Posted in Court Studies, Cultural History, Early Modern Europe, European History, European Wars of Religion, French History, French Wars of Religion, Noble Culture and History of Elites, Reformation History, Renaissance Art and History, Women and Gender History | Leave a comment

Postdoctoral Fellowships on the European Fiscal-Military System

The Faculty of History at the University of Oxford is seeking six Research Associates to join the team from September 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter, for an ambitious 5-year multi-national research project. ‘The European Fiscal-Military System 1530-1870’ is funded by a €2.5 million European Research Council Advanced Grant, directed by Professor Peter Wilson, and hosted and coordinated by the University of Oxford.

Through six case studies (one for each appointee), this project will detail the extent to which co-operative processes were intrinsic to the growing scale of warfare and the rise of the European states system.

You will conduct independent research on one of the project’s six case studies, in libraries and archives in the UK and abroad. You will collaborate with the wider project team, take part in meetings, workshops and conferences, and contribute to public engagement work.

You will hold a doctorate in a relevant field (or show evidence that a doctorate is imminent), have sufficient knowledge of the languages relevant to your case study, and outstanding spoken and written English. You will have excellent communication and data handling skills, a demonstrable capacity for independent research and be capable of working to strict deadlines.

These posts are fixed-term for up to 3 years. For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Professor Peter Wilson:

For Further Particulars and how to apply, visit

This announcement was posted on H-Net.

Posted in Archival Research, Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, Empires and Imperialism, European History, Grants and Fellowships, History of Violence, Reformation History, Renaissance Art and History, State Development Theory, Strategy and International Politics, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | Leave a comment

Featured Review on War and Culture in American Historical Review

I am happy to report that my review essay on three new books on war and culture in early modern Europe has been published in the American Historical Review (AHR).

The books under review are:

Ilya Berkovich. Motivation in War: The Experience of Common Soldiers in Old-Regime Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. xii, 280. $29.99.

Christy Pichichero. The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2017. Pp. xi, 301. $49.95.

Thomas Dodman. What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion. (Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018. Pp. xi, 275. $35.00.

This review essay was selected to appear as a featured review in the latest issue of AHR. Here is the full citation: American Historical Review 123:5 (December 2018): 1629-1633.

The review essay is available online at the AHR website on Oxford Academic.


Posted in Early Modern Europe, European History, French History, French Revolution and Napoleon, History of Violence, Revolts and Revolutions, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | Leave a comment

Newberry Library Early Career Fellowships

Center for Renaissance Studies, Newberry Library

Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2019-2020

Application Deadline: January 4, 2019

The Center for Renaissance Studies (CRS) at the Newberry Library is pleased to announce an Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship for recent PhDs from one of our CRS consortium schools. Applicants must have the PhD in hand by June 2019 or have recently completed the PhD in 2018. Half of the fellow’s time will be devoted to research of her/his choosing and half time to working with the CRS on projects related to the activities of a lively Renaissance research center, including curatorial work, digital humanities initiatives, programming, paleography studies, and collection presentations of rare books and materials. Applicants are invited from all fields of the humanities whose work is particularly well connected to the Newberry’s medieval and early modern collections.

Due date: 11:59 PM CST on January 4th, 2019

Stipend amount: $4,200 a month plus health insurance

Eligibility: PhD from a CRS consortium university in 2018 or by June 2019

Requirements: letter of interest, project description, CV, 3 letters of recommendation (one from the PhD advisor)

Duration: 10 months starting September 3, 2019

Applications will be accepted online only. For a step-by-step guide for preparing to submit your application, visit

Please direct all inquiries regarding the fellowship to

Posted in Digital Humanities, Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, European History, Graduate Work in History, Grants and Fellowships, Reformation History, Renaissance Art and History | 1 Comment

Early Modern War and the Formation of Europe

The Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis hosted an interdisciplinary conference on Early Modern War and the Formation of Europe this weekend (16-17 November 2018).

The conference included diverse perspectives on war, culture, and society in the seventeenth century from historians, art historians, musicologists, and literary scholars. I was pleased to be able to participate in the conference and present new research on the concept of religious warfare and the language of “troubles” in early modern France.

Mary Lindemann delivered a keynote lecture on “The Ecological and Environmental Consequences of the Thirty Years’ War: Longue durée and histoire événementielle” at the conference.

The conference Program is available as a .pdf file.

Posted in Conferences, Cultural History, Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, Empires and Imperialism, European History, European Wars of Religion, French Wars of Religion, History of Violence, Mercenaries, Noble Culture and History of Elites, Reformation History, Religious Violence, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | 1 Comment