Author Archives: Shawn Ragan

Graduate Student Conference Workshop

The Department of History will be hosting a graduate student conference workshop on Tuesday evening, March 29th, 2016 at 6:00pm in the History Department library. This workshop is aimed at assisting first-, second-, and third-year graduate students who have little or no experience presenting papers at an academic conference. This workshop will be particularly useful for graduate students who will be presenting papers in the spring quarter 2016, but it is open to any graduate student who would like to workshop their conference presentation.

Papers will be the typical twenty minutes in length (approximately ten pages) with a ten-minute feedback session per paper. The discussion period will provide feedback on the content and the presentation, as well as questions that one might expect to be asked during the conference.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Shawn Ragan at: by Tuesday, March 1st, 2016.



5K Run/Walk

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The 9th Annual Spirit of the Tribes 5K Run/Walk will take place at UCR on November 15th as part of UCR’s Homecoming Week.  Interested in running or walking the 5K as part of the HGSA team?  Contact David Chavez to participate as a History graduate student.  If we have enough interest to form a team, there is registration discount.

For more information, see the link below or contact David.

dchav014 @

Meet TOE candidate Matthew Gilbert

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Graduate students are encouraged to meet and talk with TOE candidate Prof. Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert on Thursday, November 13th.  Prof. Gilbert earned his PhD from UCR and is currently a tenured Associate Professor in American Indian Studies and History at the University of Illinois.  He is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. Centering his research and teaching on Native American history and the history of the American West, he examines the history of American Indian education, the Indian boarding school experience, and American Indians and sports. In addition to publishing articles on Hopi history and producing a documentary film — Beyond the Mesas — on the Hopi boarding school experience, he has authored a book entitled Education beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929 (University of Nebraska Press, 2010). Furthermore, he is co-editor (with Clifford E. Trafzer and Lorene Sisquoc) of the anthology The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute (Oregon State University Press, 2012).

The schedule for Thursday is as follows:

11:00-11:45am:  Graduate student session with Prof. Gilbert (History department library).
11:45am: Lunch at the Barn
1:30-3:00pm: Talk by Prof. Gilbert, “The Mother of All Waters: the Hopis and their historical relationship with the Pacific” (History department library).
5:00-6:00pm: Reception/Happy hour at The Spot Sports Bar & Grill in the UV.

Everyone in the department would like as much graduate student support and interaction with Prof. Gilbert as possible.  Please contact Bob Przeklasa or Seth Archer for more information.

Conference Practice Talk: Jeno Kim

Graduate student Jeno Kim will be presenting a paper at the annual conference of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference (SCSC) in New Orleans titled:

Catastrophe in Catholic Reformation Avila: Medieval Responses to the Plague Outbreak of 1519
(abstract below)

A practice presentation is scheduled for this Monday, October 13th, at 6:30pm in the History department library, HMNSS 1303.  Prof. Head has offered to provide light refreshments (i.e. pizza or something similar).  Come and help Jeno prepare for his upcoming conference talk.


News of an outbreak of plague reached the Castilian city of Avila in June of 1519, prompting the municipal authorities to quickly shut the city gates in order to prevent any possible contagion from entering.   As the epidemic continued to wreak havoc on Avila for the following six months, residents utilized time-tested rituals to quell the catastrophe and to relieve the wrath of God.  Through the veneration of miraculously unearthed relics of San Segundo – the first bishop of Avila – and the exposition of a desecrated host in Corpus Christi processions, the faithful embraced specific forms of late medieval piety and tradition in Avila.  Reactions to the outbreak facilitated the continued presence of a tactile, ocular, and sense-oriented faith rooted in the Middle Ages.  The enduring legacy of these medieval practices is of notable importance given that since the late fifteenth century, the Spanish Crown and Church avidly sought to eliminate unsanctioned rituals and any perceived threats to Catholicism, as indicative by the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition and the Expulsion of the Jews.  In this context, this paper reassesses the spiritual atmosphere of the early stages of Catholic Reform in Castile by examining how an outbreak of plague in 1519, acting as an exogenous shock, revitalized medieval rituals.

For more information on the SCSC: