Faculty & Staff
"Dr. Lauren Araiza joined the faculty at Denison in the spring of 2007. She teaches survey courses in African-American history and the U.S. since 1865. She also offers seminars on the Civil Rights Movement, the intellectual history of Black Power, the American West, and comparative social movements. Her other teaching interests include labor history, comparative race and ethnicity, and oral history.
Dr. Araiza's first book, To March for Others: The Black Freedom Struggle and the United Farm Workers, was published in the fall of 2013 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her book examines the complexities of multiracial coalition building in Amerian social movements by examining the relationships between the major organizations of the black freedom struggle and the UFW, a union of primarily Mexican American farm workers. Dr. Araiza has also published in the Journal of African American History and has contributed an essay to the edited collection, The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations During the Civil Rights Era (University of Nebraska Press, 2011).
Dr. Araiza received her BA from Williams College and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley."
Adam Davis is Associate Professor and William T. Utter/Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Professor of History. A historian of medieval Europe, Davis has wide-ranging interests in medieval church reform and religious life, medieval charity, and the history of learning. He teaches survey courses on late antiquity and medieval Europe, as well as seminars on religion and society in medieval Europe; the Crusades; Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages; the twelfth-century Renaissance; and the history of the liberal arts.
Adam Davis's research explores the interplay between medieval ideas and institutions, social values and practices. His first book, The Holy Bureaucrat: Eudes Rigaud and Religious Reform in Thirteenth-Century Normandy (Cornell University Press, 2006), explored the impact of a learned elite on the daily life of the medieval church. The book brought together the intellectual and theological world of the University of Paris with the administrative and moral challenges a Franciscan archbishop faced while trying to reform the French clergy and laity. Davis is currently working on a book on the rise of the hospital and the formation of a charitable society in 12th and 13th-century Champagne. He received a year-long Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2014-15 to work on this book. His recent publications include “The Social and Religious Meaning of Charity in Medieval Europe,” History Compass 12.12 (December 2014); “The Economic Power of a Hospital in Thirteenth-Century Provins,” in Center and Periphery: Studies on Power in the Medieval World in Honor of William Chester Jordan, ed. Katherine L. Jansen, G. Geltner, and Anne E. Lester (Brill, 2013); and a special issue of French Historical Studies he co-edited (with Bertrand Taithe), “Towards a French History of Universal Values: Charity, Human Rights and Humanitarianism” (2011). Forthcoming is “Hospitals, Charity, and the Culture of Compassion,” in Handling Poverties: Complexities, Contradictions, Transformations, c.1100-1500, ed. Sharon Farmer (Brepols, expected 2015); and “Eudes Rigaud et Louis IX: une relation étroite fondée sur des idéaux religieux et politiques similaires,” in Eudes Rigaud en son temps, ed. E. Lalou (Publication des Universités de Rouen et du Havre). Davis has been the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Bourse Chateaubriand (given by the French Embassy), a Robert C. Good Fellowship, as well as grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Lilly Endowment.
Adam Davis received his B.A. from Yale University (1995) and his Ph.D. (2001) from Princeton University. Prior to coming to Denison in 2003, he taught as a Lecturer in the History Department at Yale.
Catherine Dollard is a historian of modern Europe with particular interest in the history of Imperial Germany. She teaches courses on modern Europe, modern Germany, gender history, World War I, Eastern Europe, and Myth & Personality in 19th-century Europe. Professor Dollard’s research engages historical questions related to gender, social movements, cultural identity, and the impact of war upon society. Her first book, The Surplus Woman: Unmarried in Imperial Germany, 1871-1918 (Berghahn, 2009), examines the ways in which anxiety over female marital status served as a central leitmotif in the culture and society of the Kaiserreich.
Dr. Dollard has published articles in German Studies Review, Women's History Review, and Women in Germany.She is currently working on a comparative analysis of the World War I correspondence of German and American soldiers. Dr. Dollard has been the recipient of a Chancellor’s Fellowship and a Renewal Grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a Robert C. Good Fellowship, a Lilly Faculty Foundation Fellowship, and a Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Grant.
Dr. Lauren Hammond is a historian of the African Diaspora in Latin America and the United States, with a focus on the Dominican Republic. Her research interests include racial identity formation, diasporic practice, U.S. empire, dictatorship, the island of Hispaniola, and African-American—Dominican relations. She offers survey courses on colonial and modern Latin America and upper level courses on the African Diaspora.
Her current research project examines African-American interventions in U.S.-Dominican relations from Reconstruction to the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The work shows how African-American elites, moved by the African ancestry they shared with Dominicans, sought to use their limited influence in U.S. foreign policy circles to attempt to shape U.S. policy in the Dominican Republic. In doing so, the project also highlights the limits of Afro-diasporic politics, particularly between African-descended groups who identify as black and those whose histories preclude them from doing the same.
Dr. Hammond is from Richmond, VA. She received her B.A. in History and African and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to Denison, she taught at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.
Dr. Hannah Weiss Muller is a historian of Britain and the British Empire with particular interests in the long eighteenth century and the intersections of law, monarchy, identity, and subjecthood. She teaches survey courses on early modern and modern Britain, the British Empire, Modern Europe, and Britain and South Asia. Her upper level seminars focus on global wars and revolutions in the eighteenth century, literature of empire, and colonial and post-colonial studies.
Dr. Muller’s current book project, provisionally entitled Subjects and Sovereign: Bonds of Belonging in the British Empire, argues that subject status served as an organizing and contested principle of the eighteenth century and that the bond between monarch and subject was integral to the coherence of the British Empire. She examines particular debates and struggles that surfaced in Grenada, Quebec, Minorca, Gibraltar, and Calcutta to document the range of peoples who shaped the contours of subjecthood and the array of rights that became associated with British subject status. Her recent article, “The Garrison Revisited: Gibraltar in the Eighteenth Century,” appeared in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (2013) and focuses on the profound inter-dependencies between the garrison at Gibraltar and its surrounding environment. It revisits the anxieties said to haunt isolated garrison societies and explores the range of interactions between colonial and local populations. Dr. Muller regularly presents papers and serves as a commentator at national and international conferences.
Dr. Muller received her A.B. from Harvard University (2000) and her Ph.D. from Princeton University (2010). She was a recipient of the ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship in 2009-2010 and was a Golieb Fellow at the New York University School of Law in 2010-2011. Prior to coming to Denison in spring 2014, she taught as a Lecturer in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard University.
Frank “Trey” Proctor teaches courses in the history of Latin America and the Atlantic World. His research and teaching interests focus on Mexico, colonial Latin America, and Comparative Slavery.
Proctor’s research focuses on the lived experience of slaves of African descent and master-slave relations in Spanish America. His first book, “Damned Notions of Liberty”: Slavery, Culture, and Power in Colonial Mexico, 1640-1769 (University of New Mexico Press, 2010) explores those issues in Mexico. His next book project will explore similar questions from the perspective of the Spanish Empire in an attempt to move away from “national” histories. His work has appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review and The Americas and he has contributed chapters to the edited volumes Black Mexico (University of New Mexico, 2009) and Africans to Spanish America (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).
In 2005, Proctor joined the Denison faculty after teaching at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA for two years. Professor Proctor earned his BA from University of California at Davis, his MA from the University of Arizona, and his PhD from Emory University.
Mitchell Snay teaches courses in American history from the colonial period through Reconstruction. These classes include the first half of the introductory survey course in U.S. History, historiographical seminars on Puritan New England and Southern history, and upper level courses on the Jeffersonian, Jacksonian, and Civil War eras.
A Chicago native, Snay was educated at the University of Michigan and Brandeis University, where he received his Ph.D. in the History of American civilization. Before coming to Denison in 1986, Snay was a Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. His research and writing focuses on the political and intellectual history of the United States between 1815 and 1877. He is the author of three books: Gospel of Disunion: Religion and Separatism in the Antebellum South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites: Race and Nationality in the Era of Reconstruction (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007), and forthcoming in August 2011 Horace Greeley and the Politics of Reform in Nineteenth-Century America (Rowman & Littlefield). He is also the co-editor of Religion and the Antebellum Debate over Slavery (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998). Dr. Snay has published numerous articles and reviews on nineteenth-century American history
Karen Spierling joined the Denison faculty in 2010. She teaches courses on early modern European topics, including the Renaissance and Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, riots and revolutions, the era of the great “witch hunts,” and European travelers in their increasingly global contexts. In her teaching, Dr. Spierling is especially interested in the transformation of religious ideas as they were put into practice, the development of discussions about authority and individual rights, and the complicated dynamics of European expansion and intercultural global exchanges in the early modern period.
Dr. Spierling’s research interests focus on the history of the Reformation, in particular the interplay among religious, social, and political concerns in the development and spread of Reformed (Calvinist) Protestantism. Her first book, Infant Baptism in Reformation Geneva: The Shaping of a Community, 1536–1564 (Ashgate, 2005; paperback–Westminster John Knox, 2009) examined the ways that negotiations among reformers, civic leaders, and church members influenced the Reformed practice of baptism, a fundamental ritual in any Christian society. Her current work focuses on the perpetuation of Protestant-Catholic relations in sixteenth-century Geneva, which was reputed to be the most strictly reformed city in Europe, and on the daily workings of such a “Reformed” society. Her recent publications include: “Putting ‘God’s Honor First’: Truth, Lies, and Servants in Reformation Geneva,”Church History and Religious Culture 92 (2012); “Reformation Understandings of Women, Marriage, and Family,” in David M. Whitford, ed., The T&T Clark Companion to Reformation Theology (London: T&T Clark, 2012); “Putting Order to Disorder: Illegitimate Children, Their Parents and the Consistory in Reformation Geneva,” in Raymond A. Mentzer and Françoise Moreil, eds, Dire l’interdit: the vocabulary of censure and exclusion in the early modern Reformed tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2010); and Defining Community in Early Modern Europe, co-edited with Michael Halvorson (Ashgate, 2008).
Dr. Spierling received her B.A. in Renaissance Studies from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to coming to Denison, Dr. Spierling was an Associate Professor of History at the University of Louisville and a Visiting Associate Professor at The Ohio State University.
Jo Tague is a historian of Sub-Saharan Africa with particular interests in refugee settlement, international humanitarianism, rural development, and African independence movements. She teaches survey courses on Pre-Colonial Africa and Africa After 1800, as well as upper-level courses on Gender and Africa, Comparative African Liberation Movements, Southern Africa, and 19th and 20th Century Eastern and Central Africa.
Dr. Tague’s research explores the relationship between refugee settlement and rural development in decolonizing Africa. She is currently revising her dissertation, titled “A War to Build the Nation: Mozambican Refugees, Rural Development, and State Sovereignty in Tanzania, 1964-1975,” for publication.
Dr. Tague received her B.A. from George Washington University (1998), her M.A. from Ohio University (2003), and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis (2012). Prior to joining the faculty at Denison in the fall of 2012, she taught courses at California State University, Sacramento, as well as at California State University, Chico.
Shao-yun Yang studies the intellectual history of medieval China (between 300 and 1500 CE), with particular interest in Chinese perceptions of and interactions with other ethnocultural groups. At Denison, he teaches a two-part survey of East Asian history and upper-level courses on the history of Chinese identity; China under the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE); Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Chinese history; and the representation of modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean history in film.
Dr. Yang has published in the journal Tang Studies and contributed essays to two forthcoming edited volumes: Chang'an 26 BCE: An Augustan Age in China? (University of Washington Press, 2014) and Political Strategies of Identity-Building in Non-Han Empires in China (Harrasowitz Verlag, 2014). His first book project, provisionally titled Reinventing the Barbarian: Rhetorical and Philosophical Uses of the Chinese-Barbarian Dichotomy in Mid-Imperial China, explores the various ways in which the medieval Chinese interpreted and utilized the so-called "Chinese-barbarian dichotomy" - a longstanding belief that the peoples of the world were fundamentally divided between superior Chinese and inferior barbarians. The book demonstrates that during a period stretching from the ninth century to the thirteenth century, understandings of this dichotomy became less centered on ethnic or cultural differences and more interested in interpreting barbarism as a universal moral problem that the Chinese were also susceptible to.
A second-generation descendant of Chinese immigrants to Singapore, Dr. Yang received his BA (2005) and MA (2007) from the National University of Singapore and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley (2014).