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Faculty Projects

Contact History  


702 Wayne Hall
West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-436-2201
Fax: 610-436-3069

Carole Marciano
Departmental Secretary
Office: 702 Wayne Hall
Phone: 610-436-2201
Fax: 610-436-3069

Dr. Robert Kodosky
Departmental Chairperson
Office: 704 Wayne Hall
Phone: 610-436-2288
Fax: 610-436-3069

Dr. Karin Gedge
Social Studies Coordinator
Office: 729 Wayne Hall
Phone: 610-436-2971

Brenda Gaydosh
Acting Graduate Coordinator
Office: 721 Wayne Hall
Phone: 610-436-0734

Jonathan Friedman
Director, Holocaust-Genocide Studies
Office: 723 Wayne Hall
Phone: 610-436-2972

Faculty Projects

Young People

Janneken Smucker

Associate Professor Janneken Smucker published a guest post "New Audio Archive Gives Voice To Philly Immigration History" on the local historical preservation and architecture blog, Hidden City Philadelphia. She shared the collaborative project created with history undergraduate and graduate students, Honors College students, and Professor Charles Hardy. Her post includes audio excerpts with Philadelphians who emigrated from Europe around the turn of the twentieth century, recalling the smells, sounds, and sites of the city. In Spring 2019, WCU will partner with the Free Library of Philadelphia to conduct new oral history interviews in contemporary immigrant communities, creating the next layer of the Philadelphia Immigration digital project. In 2020, students will work on a new wave of digital storytelling projects that compare and contrast immigrant life experiences separated by 100 years—in the early 1900s and early 2000s


Robert Kodosky

Associate Professor Robert Kodosky recently served as a guest expert on the PBS39 podcast, "The War is Still With Us," recorded in conjunction with the airing of the acclaimed documentary series, The Vietnam War, by directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. In this podcast episode, Dr. Kodosky discusses the general inability and unwillingness to accept lessons from the Vietnam War.


Jonathan Friedman

From April to June 2016, Dr. Friedman was a visiting research scholar at Oxford University's Centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies. The purpose of his research was to address the identity of, and challenges facing, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in England, focusing mainly on the largest community which is in London. This community within a community (estimated to comprise at most a couple thousand out of Britain's total Jewish population of over 270,000) confronts the reality of being a "double minority," one of religion and ethnicity as well as one of sexual orientation and gender identity. Thus, it is a community that has to address not only homophobia from both gentiles and Jews, but also antisemitism from the straight and gay worlds.

Featured Faculty

Lisa Kirschenbaum

Dr. Kirschenbaum published her third book, International Communism and the Spanish Civil War, providing an intimate picture of international communism in the Stalin era. Exploring the transnational exchanges that occurred in Soviet-structured spaces - from clandestine schools for training international revolutionaries in Moscow to the International Brigades in Spain - the book uncovers complex webs of interaction, at once personal and political, that linked international communists to one another and the Soviet Union. The Spanish civil war, which coincided with the great purges in the Soviet Union, stands at the center of this grassroots history. For many international communists, the war came to define both their life histories and political commitments. In telling their individual stories, the book calls attention to a central paradox of Stalinism - the simultaneous celebration and suspicion of transnational interactions - and illuminates the appeal of a cause that promised solidarity even as it practiced terror.


Brenda Gaydosh

On July 12, 2015, in Yerevan, Armenia, Dr. Brenda Gaydosh presented a paper at the Twelfth Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. In her presentation, "Forgiveness or Forbearance: Rwanda, Twenty Years after the Genocide," Dr. Gaydosh discussed how the Rwandan people have been able to move their nation forward following the genocide of 1994. Through the use of traditional Gacaca courts, cooperatives, and community leadership, Rwandans have shown the world that forgiveness at all levels (true, step-by-step, motivated) is needed to reunite a nation following severe conflict.


Brent Ruswick

Dr. Ruswick published an article in The History Teacher about the semester-long project my HIS 150 students did in the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. They teamed up to create databases and Google Maps that documented the people, subjects, and places referenced in their assigned textbook and a variety of K-12 texts, in order to evaluate just whose history it is that gets included in our American history classes. "What Does it Mean to be an American? Training History Students and Prospective Teachers to See the Assumptions in their Textbooks." The History Teacher 48, no. 4 (August, 2015), 667-692.


Faculty Win Rosenzweig Award for Innovation in Digital History

The American Historical Association and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University honored Professors Charles Hardy and Janneken Smucker, along with external partner Doug Boyd from the University of Kentucky as the 2016 recipient of the Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History for their work with WCU students on Goin' North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia. Read more about the project in the Philadelphia Inquirer article, "Dusty Tapes to Innovative Website, Tales from African Americans' Great Migration."


OHA Award Recipients

Professors Charles Hardy and Janneken Smucker were co-recipients, along with Doug Boyd from the University of Kentucky Libraries Nunn Center for Oral History of the 2015 Oral History Association Non-Print Format Award for outstanding use of oral history for their work on Goin' North: Stories from the First Great Migration to Philadelphia, a course they first co-taught in Fall 2014 and will reprise in Spring 2016.

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