WAUKESHA, WIS.— The second annual Midwest World History Association Conference, held at Alverno College in Milwaukee Sept. 16-18, 2011, featured presentations by several Carroll University researchers among its undergraduate, graduate student and faculty presenters from institutions across the nation. The Carroll paper presentations were on Sunday, Sept. 18. They included two senior history majors and a history professor.
Kelly A. Scott of Minocqua, Wis., presented “Carving Out a Space for Freedom: Virginity and Widowhood in the Middle Ages,” based on her summer 2011 Pioneer Scholars research with Dr. Scott Hendrix, assistant professor of history. Kelly and Hendrix studied written works from Saint Paul, Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine, who helped lay the foundation for the church doctrines and treatises during the Middle Ages, including development of the female identity and gender roles. Kelly explained that female behaviors were motivated by a desire to build a closer relationship with God, as well as acquire both independence and equality in the midst of a persistent patriarchy.
Amy L. Williams of Neosho, Wis., wrote “Death Come Quickly! A Study of Various Socioeconomic Impacts of the Black Death in Europe and the Middle East.” Amy included disease as an important influence in the debate of why the West ascended in the early modern period at the expense of the East. The plague had far-reaching effects, including population loss, how society viewed and coped with the disease, and immediate and long-term economic recovery.
Dr. Kimberly Redding, associate professor of history and European studies, presented “When Stories and Histories Collide: German Memories of Expulsion.” Her paper examined how Eastern European Germans cultivated a distinct identity after their forced expulsion from Poland, Czechoslovakia and other newly “liberated” nations of central Europe in 1945-46. She said this population challenged Cold War-era narratives of World War II on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Redding conducted oral history interviews with expellees, asking how expulsion informed their life narratives, and if their memories could strengthen the emergence of collective European identity.
The Midwest World History Association is an affiliate of the World History Association and promotes the study of world history through the encouragement of research, teaching and publication. It also promotes activities that will increase historical awareness, understanding among and between peoples, and global consciousness. Members include K-12 teachers, college and university professors, independent scholars and students.