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Drs. Hall, Palmer, & Woell Win URC Grants in Spring 2009

May 5, 2009

Three members of the WIU History Department faculty have been awarded University Research Council (URC) Grants in the Spring 2009 university-wide competition. Dr. Greg Hall, Dr. Scott Palmer, and Dr. Edward Woell, all Associate Professors of History, will receive URC Grants to help support their historical research during the coming year. WIU's University Research Council holds the semi-annual grant competition to provide seed money for new faculty research projects.

Dr. Hall's research project, "Jay Fox: The Life and Writings of An American Working-Class Radical," focuses on the life and accomplishments of early-twentieth-century working-class writer Jay Fox and will help provide a greater understanding of the lives of American industrial workers in the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries. Jay Fox's life and writings provide a window on the world of men and women who were not labor union leaders or nationally known organizational leaders, but who dealt each day with American industrial capitalism. This URC Grant will allow Dr. Hall to travel to various university and state archives in Washington State, Michigan, and Illinois, in order to examine the documentary records required to complete his research and eventually produce a book-length study on Fox.

Dr. Palmer's research project, "Frontlines of the Modern," examines the origin and diffusion of new technologies in twentieth-century Russia, with a particular focus on daily life and representations of modernity in the urban setting, and Russian contributions to cross-cultural technological development. Employing a transnational, comparative, and interdisciplinary approach to examining the interaction of technological innovation, urbanization, and cultural adaptation in Russia, his research aims to shed new light on an important but long-neglected aspect of twentieth-century world history. The grant will allow Dr. Palmer to travel to Russia in order to conduct archival research in support of a future book-length study. As in the past, Dr. Palmer's research will enrich the Department of History's undergraduate and graduate course offerings. Next fall, he will be directing a graduate seminar (History 541) on "Technology and Culture in Comparative Perspective: Russia and the United States." In Spring 2010, he will offer, for the first time, his new course, History 312: "Technology, Culture, and Society."

Dr. Woell's research project, "Religious Revolution and Resistance in Small-Town France: The Crossroads for Democratic Culture and Catholic Belief, 1789-1801," examines the regional complexity of the religious conflict in French towns during the era of the French Revolution. This URC Grant will allow Dr. Woell to travel to various archival collections located in the French cities of Clermont-Ferrand, Rouen, and Nancy, in order to examine the documentary records required to complete his research, which will ultimately result in a book-length study that is national in scope, based on a representative sampling of the diverse forms of religion in different regions of France. Dr. Woell's research will analyze the ways in which ordinary people experienced and were transformed by revolutionary developments. This is Dr. Woell's second URC Grant, and as in the past, he will bring new insights from his research to the courses he teaches, including History 427(G), "French Revolution and Napoleon," which he will be offering in Spring 2010.

Other URC grant recipients in the History Department in recent years include Associate Professors Dr. Lee Brice, Dr. Virginia Jelatis, and Dr. Walter Kretchik, and Assistant Professors Dr. Richard Filipink, Dr. Jennifer McNabb, and Dr. Febe Pamonag.

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