Department News


Comings and Goings

Ruff JuliusJulius Ruff, who has taught at Marquette University since 1980, was named Professor Emeritus. He will begin a three-year “phase-out” retirement plan in fall 2016, but continue to research and teach classes on Crime and Punishment, French History, and the First World War.  As most readers of this newsletter know, Julius is a well-known historian of early modern France, particularly violence and crime. In addition to two monographs, Julius has been co-author of the popular textbooks, Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence, which has gone through seven editions!  He received the Rev. John P. Raynor, S.J., Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 1993 and was co-President of the Society for French Historical Studies in 2002-2003.


J. Patrick Mullins joins the department as a tenure-track assistant professor.  He comes to us from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Patrick specializes in late colonial and early national America, with an interest in religious and intellectual history. His first book, Father of Liberty: Jonathan Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution, will be published the University Press of Kansas in 2017. Among other things, Patrick will be responsible for our public history and internship programs.


Fr. Stephen J. Molvarec, a recent recipient of a PhD in medieval history from the University of Notre Dame, will begin his two-year Regency placement in the department this fall. In addition to working with the Jesuit Community, he will teach two history courses per semester. His research explores the Carthusian Order in late medieval France.


Distinguished Visitors

Sharon Leon will join us for the fall semester as the Association of Marquette University Women Chair.Sharon is the Director of Public Projects at the Center for History and New Media and Associate Professor in the History and Art History Department. Her book, An Image of God: the Catholic Struggle with Eugenics was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2013. She is  currently doing research on Catholicism in the United States after Vatican II, and working on a project on digital public history. Sharon will teach a course on digital history and participate in a workshop on digital scholarship that the history department is co-sponsoring with the library. She will also deliver the annual Boheim Lecture on September 21, 2016; check our Facebook page for more details later in the year.


Sergio Gonzalez, a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is one of two Mitchem Fellows coming to Marquette this year. In addition to writing his dissertation—entitled “’I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me’: Latino Immigration, Religion, and Community Formation in Milwaukee, 1920-1990”—he will teach an undergraduate readings course in the spring. 


Fr. Michael Guzik, SJ, the 2016-2017 Wade Chair, will continue working on his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is writing a dissertation on Catholicism in Poland.


Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities: The department introduced digital humanities projects in several ways:


First, An A & S Mellon grant-funded an October event, held in conjunction with Raynor Memorial Libraries, that brought nationally known experts on digital humanities to a one-day workshop.  Jeffrey McClurken of Mary Washington University, a historian, also held meetings with five history faculty members who planned digital projects for classes to be offered in 2016 and 2017. Students in Jim Marten’s Civil War Era class, for instance, combined the 1890 Union Veterans’ Census and other primary sources, social media, and mapping programs, to flesh out the lives of veterans in late nineteenth century Milwaukee. Students in Tim McMahon’s modern Ireland class examined aspects of the era of Irish revolution and civil war through mapping, while Bryan Rindfleisch had his class on Native American history explore texts in the MU special collections related to American Indians.


Internships and Public History Internships and Public History: The department made a concentrated effort to provide more opportunities for internships.  Standing internship agreements were signed with several local museums and archives and the MU special collections unit, and the history department developed several internal opportunities, including a social media internship.  During the spring semester, ten students took internships, far above past norms.  One researched the  Milwaukee County Historical Society’s collection of papers and uniforms of a WWI soldier, while another helped create an exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum on weaponry, another worked at Old World Wisconsin, and yet another created a number of entries on historic points at Marquette University for the history app “The Clio” (click here for the entry on the Old Gym).  Two interns worked on social media for the history department (check out their Twitter feed and Instagram account), while another pair did historical research for the Near West Side Partners project, a major initiative undertaken by Marquette and other prominent institutions and companies in the neighborhood.  Check out the internships page on our website at


We also established a relationship with the Milwaukee County Historical Society in which we will coordinate our Applied History class with their spring exhibit every year (this will entail offering the course every year rather than once every two years); this year’s course created digital complements to the Brew City MKE exhibit. You can see the results of their work at  





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Department of History
Sensenbrenner Hall, 202A
1103 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881 (USPS); 53233 (courier)
(414) 288-7217 | (414) 288-5099 (FAX)