Engineering & Society Chair Wins Unprecedented Two Sally Hacker Prizes
Professor W. Bernard Carlson, chair of the University of Virginia Department of Engineering and Society, has earned a Sally Hacker Prize and a William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award for his book, Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age.
He is the only author to achieve two Sally Hacker Prizes since the Society for the History of Technology established the award in 1999 to honor exceptional scholarship appealing to a broad audience. Carlson first earned the award in 2008 for his book, Technology in World History.
The William and Joyce Middleton Electrical Engineering History Award is bestowed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Princeton University Press, which published Tesla, says: “Nikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America's first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius. Even at the end of his life when he was living in poverty, Tesla still attracted reporters to his annual birthday interview, regaling them with claims that he had invented a particle-beam weapon capable of bringing down enemy aircraft.
Plenty of biographies glamorize Tesla and his eccentricities, but until now none has carefully examined what, how, and why he invented. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time, and focusing on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. “
Tesla has been translated into eight languages and has sold more than 45,000 copies.
Carlson’s accomplishments also include establishing a strong network for support for UVA students interested in entrepreneurship, and his efforts helped lead to the Faculty Senate’s approval last spring of a University-wide entrepreneurship minor.
If you make it to this year’s History Film Forum, in Washington DC, be sure you make it to the live show by Brian Balogh and the rest of the Backstory Boys!
Information about the Forum is HERE.
For those of you following the political contest in the GOP, you may be interested to read Brian Balogh’s analysis of the branding exercise that is happening at the same time!
Read the article HERE.
The Nau Center for Civil War History, which promotes scholarship, teaching, and public outreach regarding the United States in the era of the Civil War, launched this October. The Center‘s expansive program will include support for graduate and undergraduate research, funding for lectures and conferences designed to reach academic and lay audiences, a book prize for superior scholarship in the field, a postdoctoral fellowship, and undergraduate internships at public historical sites and institutions.
Visit the Center's website to learn more:
The Hartford Courant makes important use of Andrew Kahrl’s work on the closure of the Connecticut shore by private building, and unusual level of notice paid to an article in the Journal of American History.
Read the op-ed HERE.
Those of you following the place of history in thinking about the meanings of Katrina will be interested in this piece on one African American beach transformed by the storm. It features discussion by Andrew Karhl, Assistant Professor in the Department.
Read the article HERE.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a recent article remembering the distinguished life of Julian Bond.
Read the article HERE.
The Department mourns the death of Professor Emeritus Julian Bond.
Read Phyllis Leffler's tribute to his life, work, and character.
Allison Elias, PhD ’13, who is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell, was interviewed for the CNN documentary program, "The Seventies", that ran weekly in June and July. Elias discussed the shift in gender roles of the time and the resulting opportunities afforded to women, among other changes that the feminist movement brought in the 1970s.
Watch clips on CNN's website.
James Ambuske, PhD candidate in the Department, was named a King George III fellow by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and King’s College London.
The Georgian Papers Program is a partnership of King’s College and the Royal Collection Trust. Omohundro Institute fellows are funded through the Lapidus Initiative, and will spend a month each in the archives of the Georgian monarchs, conducting their own research, assisting the Archives staff in the initial stages of planning for digitization of the collections and cataloguing, and participating in academic exchange with colleagues at King’s.
Read more about the program and its fellowships HERE.
Congratulations to Cecilia Márquez, graduate student in the Department, who was awarded a Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2015-16.
The announcement, and more about Cecilia's work, can be read HERE.
The Department is delighted to announce that Professor Libby Thompson has been named a fellow of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, an award that will allow her to continue her exciting work on liberalism in the Middle East.
Mary Barton, a PhD candidate in the Department, has published an article in Diplomatic History, the flagship journal of that field.
The article is titled “The Global War on Anarchism: The United States and International Anarchist Terrorism, 1898-1904.”
Read the full text of the article HERE.