Dr. Benjamin Alpers received his PhD in history from Princeton University in 1994. He joined the faculty of the Honors College in 1998. His primary teaching and research interests concern twentieth-century American intellectual and cultural history, with special interests in political culture and film history. Among the courses he offers in the Honors College are colloquia on World War II in history and memory and film noir, and Perspectives courses on American social thought and politics and culture in the Great Depression. Ben is also affiliated with the History Department and the Film and Video Studies Program.
Ben is currently working on a book on Leo Strauss, Straussianism, and American academic and political life.
He has received grants from the American Philosophical Society and the Gerald Ford Presidential Library in support of his research. He is also completing a shorter project on anti-Nazism in the films of Frank Borzage.
Ben's other interests include cooking, politics (local, national, and beyond), and playing the piano. His wife, Karin Schutjer, is an Associate Professor of German in OU's Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics. Karin and Ben have two children who have been known to put in the occasional appearance at the Honors College.
Dictators, Democracy, and American Public Culture: Envisioning the Totalitarian Enemy, 1920s-1950s (University of North Carolina Press, 2003)
"This is the Army: Imagining a Democratic Military in World War II," Journal of American History 85: 129-63.
Marie W. Dallam's expertise is in the area of American religion and culture. She has earned three degrees in the study of religion: a bachelor's from Hunter College of the City University of New York, a master's degree from the Divinity School of Harvard University, and a doctorate from Temple University. One of the recurrent themes in her work is marginalization; more specifically, she is interested in exploring groups that have become religious and cultural outsiders in the United States, whether by choice or by default. This theme acts as a starting point in her research and also gives shape to the courses she teaches.
Dr. Dallam's first book, published in the NYU Press series on "Religion, Race, and Ethnicity," is a history of the United House of Prayer for All People under its founding bishop, Daddy Grace. Her second book, a co-edited volume called The Way of Food: Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, will be published in 2013 with Columbia University Press. Her current research project focuses on Cowboy Churches of Oklahoma and Texas.
Professor Dallam is an active member of the American Academy of Religion, currently serving as chairperson of the New Religious Movements Group.
To contact Marie W. Dallam: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer. New York University Press, series on Religion, Race, and Ethnicity, 2007.
“Ethical Design of New Religion Field Projects.” Religion Compass 5.9, Sept. 2011.
“Ethical Problems in New Religion Field Research.” Religion Compass 5.9, Sept. 2011.
"Women's Apostate Narratives." Nova Religio 14.4, May 2011.
"Eminem: The Best Emcee Since Jesus." Studies in Popular Culture 29.2, April 2007.
Julia Ehrhardt, Associate Professor of Honors and Women's and Gender Studies, earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1998. Her scholarly work focuses on middlebrow women authors from the turn of the twentieth century through World War Two, and she is currently writing a book about dieting in Jazz Age literature. Professor Ehrhardt's classes reflect her wide-ranging interests in American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. In addition to teaching the Perspectives classe "Food, Culture, and Society"," she offers upper-level colloquia on women's literature, issues in American identity, and the body in American culture. She also teaches classes on American autobiography and the artist in America.
Professor Ehrhardt also runs the Honors in Italy Summer Intersession and the new Honors in Italy Semester Program. In Italy, she teaches courses that explore Italian influences on American art, literature, and culture.
Publications:?Writers of Conviction: The Personal Politics of Zona Gale, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Josephine Herbst, and Rose Wilder Lane. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2004.
"Towards Queering Food Studies: Foodways, Heteronormativity, and Hungry Women in Chicana Lesbian Literature." Food and Foodways: Explorations in the History and Culture of Human Nourishment 14 (2006): 91-109.
"Meeting at a Barbecue: Dorothy Allison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Literary Miscegenation." Critical Essays on the Works of American Author Dorothy Allison. Ed. Christine Blouch and Laurie Vickroy. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004. 71-90.
"Tourists Accommodated-With Reservations: Dorothy Canfield's Writings, Tourism, and the Eugenics Movement in Vermont." Evolution and Eugenics in American Literature and Culture, 1880-1940: Essays on Ideological Conflict and Complicity. Ed. Lois A. Cuddy and Claire M. Roche. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2003. 187-202.
"`To read these pages is to live again': The Historical Accuracy of The Age of Innocence." The Norton Critical Edition of The Age of Innocence, ed. Candace Waid. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2002. 401-12.
Dr. Steven Gillon graduated from Brown University with a Ph.D. in American History in 1985. His research and teaching interests span topics in American history and culture ranging from the Presidency, Congress, and the function of government. His recent books include The Democrat's Dilemma: Walter F. Mondale and the Liberal Legacy (1992 Columbia Univ. press), Boomer Nation (Free Press 2004), The American Experiment: A History of the United States (2004 Houghton Mifflin), and 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America (2006 Crown). Dr. Gillon has taught at both Yale University and Oxford University and is currently professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. He is Resident Historian at the History Channel, where he hosts a Sunday morning show, HistoryCenter, and Movies in Time.He also appears in numerous TV specials and on National Public Radio.
Dr. Richard Hamerla is the Associate Dean of the Honors College and a Reach For Excellence Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. He holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and degrees from the University of Akron and Kent State University. Dr. Hamerla has worked on topics dealing with the history of American chemistry and physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, scientific apparatus, science during the Cold War, and the history biological weapons. His book, Two Centuries of Progress; A Bicentennial History of the Chemical Industry in Cleveland, 1796-1996 was published in 1996, and his most recent book, An American Scientist on the Research Frontier; Edward Morley, Community, and Radical Ideas in Nineteenth-Century Science, was published in 2006.
Robert Lifset is the Donald Keith Jones Assistant Professor of Honors. Educated at the University of Chicago (A.B.) and Columbia University (Ph.D.), Lifset's research and teaching interests focus on energy history broadly defined. His dissertation, a narrative of an environmental struggle in New York's Hudson River Valley in the 1960's and '70's, explores how rising energy production and consumption played a powerful role in sparking an increase in environmental activism in post-war America. He is currently working on a history of the energy crisis of the 1970's and is preparing an edited volume of essays on American energy policy in the 1970's.
Robert Lifset is also the founding web and list editor of H-Energy (http://www.h-net.org/~energy/), an online, interdisciplinary website devoted to the study of energy history.
Professor Lifset has taught at Barnard, Columbia, the University of North Florida and the University of Houston. He looks forward to offering a wide range of courses examining the history of energy. They include: A Survey of American Energy History, The Atom in American Society, The History of the American Petroleum Industry, 1859-1973, The Oil Curse in 20th Century World History and Readings in the Energy Crisis of the 1970's.
"Energy Conservation in America: The Case of New York," in Mogens Rudiger ed. The Culture of Energy. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
"In Search of Republican Environmentalists." Reviews in American History. Vol. 36, Number 1, March 2008.
"The Environmental is Political: The Story of the Ill-Fated Hudson River Expressway, 1965-1970." The Hudson River Valley Review, Vol. 22, No. 2, Spring 2006.
Daniel Mains received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Emory University. He is interested in issues related to youth, economic development, reciprocity, capitalism, popular culture, time and space, Ethiopia and African studies.
Dr. Mains' book, Hope is Cut: Youth, Unemployment and the Future in Urban Ethiopia, was published by Temple University Press in 2012. Hope is Cut examines the struggles of young men in urban Ethiopia to attain their aspirations in a context of extremely limited economic opportunity. Mains' next book project will focus on large-scale infrastructural development and perceptions of the state in Ethiopia.
Dr. Mains has also worked on a collaborative National Science Foundation funded project in urban and rural Ethiopia that examined the relationship between mental health and aspirations for the future among young people.
In the Honors College Dr. Mains teaches courses related to youth, development, culture, globalization, Africa, and capitalism.
Daniel Mains can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Hope is Cut: Youth, Unemployment and The Future in Urban Ethiopia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012.
Blackouts and Progress: Privatization, Infrastructure, and a Developmentalist State in Jimma, Ethiopia. Cultural Anthropology. 27(1):3-27, 2012.
Cynicism and Hope: Urban Youth and Relations of Power During the 2005 Ethiopian National Election. In Contested Power: Traditional Authorities and Elections in Ethiopia. Tobias Hagmann and Kjetil Tronvoll, ed. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2012
Chewing and Dreaming: Youth, Imagination and the Consumption of Khat in Jimma, Southwestern Ethiopia. In Taking the Place of Food: Khat in Ethiopia. Ezekiel Gebissa, ed. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2010
Neoliberal Times: Progress, Boredom, and Shame among Young Men in Urban Ethiopia. American Ethnologist. 34(4):659-673, 2007
Amanda Minks is Associate Professor in the Honors College and is affiliated with the Department of Anthropology and with the programs in Native American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at OU. She earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University in 2006, with research specializations in music-language relations and language socialization. Her courses focus on music, language, and cultural politics in the Americas. She also teaches a course with a global focus on intellectual property and cultural heritage.
Dr. Minks has conducted ethnographic research on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua for over ten years. She has examined the aesthetics and politics of play among Miskitu children living on Corn Island in her monograph Voices of Play: Miskitu Children's Speech and Song on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (University of Arizona Press, 2013). She has also written about Miskitu music and community media in Bilwi, in the northern autonomous region of the Atlantic coast. Most recently, she has been studying inter-American cultural policies of the mid-20th century and their impact on discourses of development in the U.S. and in Latin America.
Dr. Minks has received grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Institute of International Education, among others. Her past publications include articles in the journals Pragmatics, Language and Communication, Ethnomusicology, Yearbook for Traditional Music, and Wani, as well as chapters in several edited volumes.
Associate Professor of Sociology, Human Relations, and Women's Studies
I'm almost always in my office at the Honors College unless I'm attending meetings, conferences, or doing my off-campus teaching for the Advanced Programs.
As a Department of Sociology faculty member, my teaching and research fields were Gender Roles, Family, and Medical Sociology.
I began my tenure-track appointment at OU in 1981 in the Department of Sociology and received tenure in 1987. That same year I received an AMOCO Foundation Good Teaching Award. I served as the Interim Director of Women's Studies Program during the Spring 1994 semester and joined the Honors College in January 1995. Because of my administrative responsibilities, my teaching today is off campus. During the last decade I've taught Human Relations courses in the Advanced Program format in Spain, Portugal, England, Guam, and at various locations in the United States.
I consider myself lucky to have the very best job at OU, beginning with recruiting students to the Honors College and working with them until they attain the cum laude graduation distinction.
My advisory roles are to help Honors College students in curriculum decisions that lead to cum laude graduation. I meet with most Honors College students in their Junior year as they decide on their Reading and Research enrollment, which leads to their Senior Honors Thesis.
I have published in The Journal of Marriage and the Family, Social Science Quarterly, Family Relations, Youth and Society, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Set Roles, Social Psychology Quarterly, Population Research and Policy Review, Teaching Sociology, and Journal of College Student Personnel.
Dr. Andreana Prichard is Wick Cary Assistant Professor in the Honors College. Prichard was an African History major at Kenyon College, and received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University in African History in 2005 and 2011, respectively. Prichard's research focuses broadly on the intersections of gender, politics and religion in 19th and 20th century East Africa. She is particularly interested in the ways in which Africans adopted and adapted Western political and religious discourses--particularly Christianity. Her first project examined a group of refugees from the Indian Ocean slave trade who were educated by the Anglican Church in Tanzania and Zanzibar between 1860 and the 1960s, and argues that the work of the African Christian women in this community were instrumental in creating a sense of supra-ethnic unity that became central to the development of Tanzanian nationalism. Prichard's research for this project was funded by the Fulbright-Hays DDRA grant, and by several other fellowships.
Dr. Prichard's teaching interests include Christianity, religion, gender and politics in Africa. She also enjoys teaching on modern African history, and exploring with students the ways in which the perceptions of people in the West (Europe and America) has and is shaping the lives of Africans. Prichard won a teaching award at Northwestern, and greatly enjoys working with students on their writing and independent research. Prichard has experience advising students applying for major external grants including the Fulbright, Rhodes, Marshall and Truman; she will be serving on the Fulbright interview committee, and anticipates becoming involved with other grants in the future. She also hopes to take groups of students to Africa in the coming years.
I am a cultural geographer with a keen interest in the geopolitics of representations mediated by visual technologies. My research focuses on authoritative scientific, lucrative commercial and oppositional ‘popular' visualizations of indigenous peoples, places, and practices in the Americas. Favorite frameworks for analysis include post-colonial cultural theory, critical geopolitics, and feminist studies of technoscience.
Most recently I spent four years undertaking ethnographic inquiry into the production of videos made by, with, and for indigenous individuals and organizations in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. I examined the intersections among indigenous activism,
academic advocacy, and neo-liberal restructuring. This project provided insight into 1) the transnational geographies of access and collaboration that facilitate indigenous video production, and 2) the oppositional cultural politics that characterize contemporary indigenous movements in Latin America.
Currently I am drawing on this research to write articles that (among other things) critique the geographic metaphor of network, explore the gendered geographies of indigenous development initiatives, and highlight the potential of video technologies to amplify historically-marginalized actors' articulations and assessments. I am also transforming my dissertation into a monograph titled Advocating Indigenous Video in Oaxaca, Mexico. And I am also formulating a follow-up project that will take me back to Mexico in order to explore audience reception of the oppositional cultural politics that distinguish most indigenous videos.
I am delighted to be part of the Honors College (I am also faculty in OU's Geography Department (http://geography.ou.edu/). With Professor Hamerla, I am co-teaching the "What is Science?" course, which comprises an exciting, multi-faceted return for me since I earned a MA in the History of Science from the University of Oklahoma before embarking on a PhD in the University of Kentucky's Department of Geography. While I have a list of courses I would like to teach in the near future (examples include classes concerned with cities, development aid & advocacy, and indigenous media), I would like to hear from Honors College students whose curiosity was piqued by any the above. What would you like to learn about? Kindly contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobilizing indigenous video: The Mexican Case. The Journal of Latin American Geography vol. 5(1): 113-128 (2006).
The Search for Well Being: Placing Development with Indigenous Identity. pp. 87-107, In Mobilizing Place, Placing Mobility: The Politics of Representation in a Globalized World. eds., Tim Cresswell and Ginette Verstraete. Amsterdam: Rodopi Press (2003). Reprinted in the forthcoming volume Global Indigenous Media: Cultures, Practices, and Politics, eds., Pamela Wilson and Michelle Stewart. Durham: Duke University Press.
The "cultural turn" in the classroom: Two examples of pedagogy and the politics of representation. The Journal of Geography vol. 101: 240-249 (2002).
Chips off the old ice block: Nanook of the North and the relocation of cultural identity. pp. 94-122, In Engaging Film: Geographies of Mobility and Identity, eds., Tim Cresswell and Deborah Dixon. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.
Sarah W. Tracy began teaching at the Honors College in 1999. She is an historian of medicine whose research extends into the related disciplines of food studies, medical sociology, and biography. Her research focuses on the diet-health nexus, particularly as it pertains to chronic disease in the United States between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries.
Tracy is currently writing a biography of nutritional physiologist and cardiovascular epidemiologist Ancel Keys (1904-2004). Although Keys is best known as a stalwart champion for the diet-heart hypothesis in the generation of cardiovascular disease, he also organized the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935; developed the U.S. Army's K-Ration; and conducted the famous Minnesota Starvation Experiment. A subject in I.Q. psychologist Lewis Terman’s longitudinal study of 1500 “gifted” children, Keys felt the weight of high expectations throughout his life. As the nephew of silent screen star Lon Chaney, Keys also filmed all of his scientific work and was a first-rate publicist, frequently writing for popular audiences. In 1959, he and his wife Margaret Chaney Keys published a best-selling cookbook, Eat Well and Stay Well. This volume was revised and re-published as Eat Well and Stay Well the Mediterranean Way in 1975 and was among the first books to popularize the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Tracy’s biography Health Revolutionary: The Life and Science of Ancel Keys is on schedule for completion in early 2014.
Tracy’s first book was a biography of a disease, alcoholism. Alcoholism in America from Reconstruction to Prohibition was published in 2005 (paperback in 2007) by Johns Hopkins University Press. This project, like her study of Ancel Keys, grew out of Tracy's long-standing interest in the intersecting histories of diet and chronic disease. In 2004, Tracy co-edited with Caroline Jean Acker a collection of essays entitled Altering American Consciousness: The History of Alcohol and Drug Use in the United States, 1800-2000 (University of Massachusetts Press). Most recently, she has co-edited with Australian historian Alison Bashford a special issue of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine (Winter 2012) devoted to the evolving relationship between climate and human health. Her essay on Ancel Keys and the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935 features in this issue.
Tracy teaches courses for honors students and medical students on historical and ethical issues in American medicine and public health, the history of alcohol and drug use in the United States, the sociology of science, biography in American science and history, food in American culture, and the evolution of global food systems.
Sarah Tracy earned her Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the Honors College, she taught at the Universities of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Yale. In 2008, she was a visiting professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. Working with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tracy built and continues to direct the University of Oklahoma Medical Humanities Program, which features both a minor in the medical humanities and an 8-year combined BA-MD Medical Humanities Scholars Program.
Tracy has received numerous awards and fellowships, including those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Library of Medicine, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institute for Mental Health, the New York Academy of Medicine, the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard’s Countway Medical Library, and the American Association of University Women. She is a former council member of the American Association for the History of Medicine and a former chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs.
A former bike racer and an avid hiker, Tracy traveled to the Chilean Andes in 2011 to retrace the footsteps of Ancel Keys and the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935.
"Something New Under the Sun? The Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Health," New England Journal of Medicine, 4 April 2013, 368: 1274-1276.
“Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology, Hugh Slotten, ed., New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming, 2013).
“Introduction” with Alison Bashford, “Modern Airs, Waters, and Places” special issue, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Winter 2012, 495-514.
“The Physiology of Extremes: Ancel Keys and the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935,” “Modern Airs, Waters, and Places,” special issue, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Winter 2012, 627-660.
“The Scope and Variety of Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs in the United States,” Eaglen, RH, Tracy, SW et al., Academic Medicine, November 2012, 1600-1608.
“Alcohol: History of Drinking in the United States,” Pamela Korsmeyer and Henry Kranzler, eds., Encyclopedia of Drugs and Addictive Behavior, Vol. 1, Third Edition, Gale Cengage, Farmington Hills, MI, 2008, pp. 96-101.
“Prohibition of Alcohol,” Encyclopedia of Drugs and Addictive Behavior, Pamela Korsmeyer and Henry Kranzler, eds., Vol. 3, Third Edition, Gale Cengage, Farmington Hills, MI, 2008, pp. 303-307.
“Medicalizing Alcoholism 100 Years Ago,” Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 15, (2), March/April 2007.
Download Dr. Tracy's Curriculum Vitae
In 2000, the University of Oklahoma Honors College and the College of Medicine created a partnership to further the study of humanities in relationship to medicine. Today, at the Honors College there are two programs for students interested in pursuing study in the medical humanities: the Medical Humanities Scholars Program (a highly competitive academic and extracurricular program for graduating high school seniors who know they wish to attend medical school) and the Medical Humanities Minor (a stimulating and flexible interdisciplinary curriculum open to any honors-eligible student at OU; the minor is administered by the Honors College alone). The first three classes of Medical Humanities Scholars have now graduated from the OU College of Medicine, where the new Curriculum 2010 has integrated medical humanities courses into the first two years of medical school. Likewise, dozens of students have taken advantage of the Medical Humanities Minor, concentrating their studies in the history of medicine, literature and medicine, cross-cultural perspectives on health and disease, bioethics and medical ethics, music therapy, and health care policy. Please take a moment to learn more about the exciting venues for studying "the art of medicine" at OU and at other institutions by exploring our new web site: