The 24th Annual Student History Conference

Thursday, March 11

8:45-9:00 AM: Welcome and Opening Remarks

Introduction by Emily Johnson and Scott Stephan, Department of History



9:00-10:30 AM: Contested Freedom in the American Civil War Era

Max Felker-Kantor, Chair & Commentator

Ka’vonne Dixon (Ball State): Who Freed the Slaves? An Examination of Emancipation Proclamation

Jaime Reeder (Ball State): What “Freedom” Meant for Laboring Freedmen in Louisiana

Dimitri Napoleon (Ball State): The Implications of Guerrilla Warfare on the Kansas-Missouri Border


9:00-10:30 AM: Witches and Demons

Rachael Smith, Chair & Commentator

Katrina Rexing (Hanover University): Pagan Ritual, Demons, and Witchcraft: Transformations throughout the Middle Ages: ca. 500-ca. 1500 A.D.

Aaron Larson (Ohio State University): Protestants Protesting Catholic Exorcisms

Caitlin Smith (Ball State): Witch Came First? An Exploration of the Chronology of Witch Characteristics and the Implications Thereafter


11:00-12:30 PM: Memory and War in the Twentieth Century

Carolyn Malone, Chair & Commentator

Lucas Cauley (Ball State): Politics and Patriotism: The Creation of the Indiana World War Memorial

Kristin Newine (Ball State): On the Holocaust: Notes from the Sociological Lens

Grace Babcock (Ball State): Survival as Storytelling Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz: If This is a Man and the Powerful Humanity of the Narrative


11:00-12:30 PM: Marriage and Divorce in Gas Boom Muncie

Jennifer DeSilva, Chair & Commentator

Haley Biggerstaff (Ball State): The Impact of Divorce on Professional Women in Early Twentieth Century Muncie

Virginia Carter (Ball State): Carrie Gillenwaters: Marriage, Divorce, and Domestic Violence in Racially-Charged Print Culture

Kara Nahrwold (Ball State): The Deviance & Social Stigmas of Divorce in Muncie: Kate Phinney’s Story: 1870-1920


1:00-2:30 PM: Early Europe’s Political and Religious History

Fred Suppe, Chair & Commentator

Ryan Heckman (Ball State): The Life of Frederick Barbarossa: Patriarch of the German Nation

Zachary Weinland (Ohio State University): The Mythos of Father Race and the Battle of Norridgewock: Three Historical Perspectives, Their Difference, and Their Origins

Martin McKew (University of Dayton): Construction of a Man; Nationalism, Identity, Vercingetorix, and the Gauls


1:00-2:30 PM: Marriage and Family

Shiau-Yun Chen, Chair & Commentator

Ally Fleckenstein (Ball State): As Strict as Can Be: A Comparison of Japan and China’s Family and Social Hierarchies Pre-1500 Era

JunRu Wu (University of Western Ontario): The Curious Caste of Chinese Courtesans in Imperial China

McKenna Crews (Ball State): Cassare Marriages on the Gold Coast: The Relationships that Memorialize Danish Men on the Gold Cost in the mid-1800s


3:00-4:30 PM: Reformation-era Religion

Emily Johnson, Chair & Commentator

Catherine Kerton-Johnson (Ball State): Domestic healing manuals as sign-posts of shifting ontologies in Post-Reformation England

Juliana Bluhm (Ball State): Childhood in Puritan Massachusetts, 1620-1689

Emily McGuire (Ball State): Mary Stuart & the Modern Opinion


3:00 PM: Navigating the Challenges of Women’s Public History

Wendy Soltz, Chair & Commentator

Gwyneth Harris, Sophia Hoffert, & Dorien Scheets (Ball State): Navigating the Challenges of Women’s Public History

Friday, March 12

9:00-10:30 AM: Intellectual and Political Histories of Nineteenth-century Europe

Christopher Thompson, Chair & Commentator

Ariel Davis (University of Western Ontario): Examining the Financial System of Britain’s Informal Empire in the 19th Century

Jade Sears (University of Western Ontario): Montesquieu’s Influence on Tocqueville

Lucy Washington  (Western University): Victoria Crosses to a “Painted Pantaloon”: The Impact of Press Reporting on the Crimean War


9:00-10:30 AM: Perspectives on the Memory of the American Civil War

Nicole Etcheson, Chair & Commentator

Sarah Rozmin, Cayla Harter, & A.J. Koroly (Ball State): Perspectives on the Memory of the American Civil War

11:00-12:00 PM: Keynote Address

Introduction by Jessica Reuther

Dr. Brett Shadle (Virginia Tech University): Exiles Defending their Empire: Ethiopian Refugees and the Continuity of Independent Ethiopia during Italian Occupation, 1936-1941


1:00-2:30 PM: Notable Women of Muncie: Agency and Action, 1870-1920

James Connolly, Chair & Commentator

Samuel Steck (Ball State): Josephine Jones Pierson: Notable Women of Delaware Country Project

Anna Osborne & Linda Laws (Ball State): Carrie Gillenwaters

Lauren Latham (Ball State): Dr. Anna Lemon Griffin: Disgraced Muncie Doctor


1:00-2:30 PM: Empire and Identity

Jessica Reuther, Chair & Commentator

Maya Peterson-Womack (Butler University): Empire and the United States’ Federal Courts

Nicholas Woronchuk  (Allegheny): A Brief History of the Mabo Decision: Examining the History and the Legal Magnitude of the 1992 Ruling

Emma Cieslik (Ball State): Dance Wand or Bone Dagger: Ethnographic Object Research at the David Owsley Museum of Art


3:00-4:30 PM: Reflective Inquiry in the Community

Ronald Morris, Chair & Commentator

Cory Baleknbusch, Haley Carlson, Sam Helm, Molly Hollcraft, Julian Price, Evan Rogers, Astra Sisson, & Shania Marie Swigler (Ball State): Reflective Inquiry in the Community


3:00-4:30 PM: Military and Political Histories of the U.S. Civil War

Scott Stephan, Chair & Commentator

Thomas Scaer (Ball State): Why Lincoln Won the Midwest

Jake Biller (Ball State): Brave Men of the Valley: A Historiographical Examination of the Stonewall Brigade

Kaitlyn Morris (Ball State): George B. McClellan as Commander of the Union Army


4:45-5:15 PM: Reception and Awards Ceremony

Maureen McCarthy and Abel Alves


*Faculty are from the Ball State History Department unless otherwise noted.