College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


Department News (Fall 2017)


During the summer, Dr. Mahmood Ibrahim successfully led a Fulbright Group Project Abroad (funded by a competitive grant awarded by the U. S. Department of Education) to Morocco. The group included educators from Cal Poly Pomona and neighboring secondary institutions, and gave participants the chance to study Arabic and North African history in Morocco.

The group at the Madrasa Bouananiya, Fes, Morocco,  where the famous Historian Ibn Khaldun stayed and taught.

Madrasa Bouananiya

The partially excavated Roman city of Volubilis, near Meknes:



We are saddened to share the news that Dr. Bill Evans (pictured at far right, below), who taught Civil War and Reconstruction at Cal Poly Pomona for many years, passed away on October 1, 2017, at the age of 94. Dr. Evans, who began his career at Cal Poly Pomona in 1968, was a wonderful teacher, a nationally renowned scholar of Reconstruction, and a passionate advocate for racial justice. Those who knew him will miss him dearly.  

 Dr. Bill Evans (far right)

(Emeritus faculty (from left) David Smith, Stephen Englehart, Anthony Brundage, David Levering, and the late Bill Evans)


The Ahimsa Center, directed by Dr. Tara Sethia, invites campus and community members to attend a special conference, India@Seventy: Building a More Inclusive Democracy. It will be held on campus, November 3-5, 2017 in the Ursa Minor ballroom of the Bronco Student Center. The conference schedule and other information is available at the following link:


Dr. Eileen Wallis and Dr. Anne Wohlcke will be leading an exciting off-campus study program to Ireland during Spring Break (2018). Participating students will sign up for HST 421: The Scientific Revolution (C4 or D4; 4 units) in the winter quarter. This group will travel to Dublin during Spring Break and will sign up for HST 499: Digital History in spring quarter (4 units). Click here for the program flyer!


The History Department is delighted to welcome Dr. David DeVore, our new assistant professor for ancient Mediterranean and medieval European history. Having grown up in Santa Barbara, Dr. DeVore earned his B.A. at UC Davis and his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Before coming to Cal Poly he taught for three years at Ball State University in Indiana. Although he has taught courses on subjects ranging from ancient Middle Eastern cities to native American mythology to the musical Hamilton, David's research interests are Christianity under the Roman Empire and the origins of historical writing. He has done archaeological work in Israel and Greece and presented his research in Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Canada as well as the US. He is thrilled to be taking a position in Southern California with such an outstanding History department. 


Faculty News (Fall 2017) (New projects, conferences, invited talks, books, etc.)


Dr. Steve Campbell's book manuscript, provisionally entitled Banking on the Press: Newspapers, Financial Institutions, and the Post Office in Jacksonian America, 1828-1834, was accepted for publication by the University Press of Kansas. He anticipates that it will be published in late 2018 or early 2019.


Dr. Charles Delgadillo's biography of William Allen White will be published by the University Press of Kansas in the spring of 2018.  In related news, he will be interviewed by a filmmaker in Kansas who is currently making a documentary about White (a documentary which will air on PBS at some point in the future!)


Dr. Paivi Hoikkala has been selected to serve on the Contingent Faculty Committee for the Western History Association.


Dr. Rob Lewis gave an invited talk at the Musée Municipal d’Art et d’Histoire (the Municipal Museum of Art and History) in Colombes, France (a suburb outside Paris) on June 26, 2017. The talk, entitled “Les Jeux Olympiques de 1924: Anticipations, réalités et consequences” (The 1924 Olympic Games: Expectations, realities and impact) was one of a series of events put on by the museum to commemorate the 1924 Games.


Dr. John Lloyd organized a two-day Alternative Transportation Conference last November. Co-sponsored by CLASS and ENV, the conference featured a panel of academic experts and transit officials who discussed the past, present, and future of Cal Poly transit connectivity, as well as an interactive transit workshop for students featuring the group BUSted Los Angeles. He was also recognized by Bike San Gabriel Valley and the City of El Monte for his contributions to making the region more bike-friendly. In a similar vein, he was appointed by President Coley as a Presidential Fellow for 2016-17 to advise the university on alternative transportation improvements. 


Dr. Amanda Podany will be giving an invited talk: "Royal Statues, Their Treatment and Uses in Syro-Mesopotamia During the Second Millennium BCE," at the meeting of the Friends of Ancient History, November 18, 2017. She is also preparing a Great Courses lecture series, “The Cradle of Civilization: The Cultures of Mesopotamia," which she will tape in December in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Rachel Van wrote an article, "Cents and Sensibilities:  Fairness and Free Trade in the Pacific," that is forthcoming (Winter 2017) in Diplomatic History.


As part of her own research on the history of Pomona’s Lanterman Development Center, now CPP Campus South, Dr. Eileen Wallis supervised the construction of a website by the students in her History 391S (Introduction to Public History) in Fall 2016. The website is available at the following link:


Dr. Elise Wirtschafter presented a paper, “Russian Diplomacy as Enlightenment Project: The Holy Alliance and the Vienna Settlement, 1815-1822,” at the international conference “What is Enlightenment? New Answers to the Old Questions,” Kuskovo Estate Museum, Moscow (June 2017).  During summer 2017, Dr. Wirtschafter spent six weeks working in Russian archives, the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire (AVP RI) and the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts (RGADA). This research will allow her to begin the writing of her seventh book, tentatively titles “Russia in Concert: Tsarist diplomacy and European politics, 1815-23.” And from October 2017 to March 2018, Dr. Wirtschafter will be a visiting professor at the Institute for East European History and Cultural Studies of the University of Tübingen (Germany). Sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), she will teach courses on Russian history and the Holocaust.


Faculty News (2016)

 All members of the department engaged in ongoing research and professional development activities (many of which are noted on their CVs or reflected in the recent news above). But the Department's finest hour belonged to Dr. Mahmood Ibrahim, who was awarded the 2016 George P. Hart Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership at Fall Conference 2016, the annual year-opening set of events on the Cal Poly campus. This prestigious award has been given annually since 1996 to one faculty member at Cal Poly Pomona who has demonstrated exceptional leadership. Dr. Ibrahim is the second History Department faculty member to receive the award, after Emeritus Professor John Moore received it in 2007. 



Student News

Check with the department office for information on student internships and other news. And check the Cal Poly Pomona History Club Facebook page for up-to-date info on student activities!