College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


This page highlights some recent activities and accomplishments of faculty, staff and students in the Cal Poly Pomona History Department. For more timely information on department events and activities, please visit the History Department office and the Facebook pages for the Cal Poly Pomona History Department and the Cal Poly Pomona History Club!



Fall 2018 News

Spotlight: CPP history students awarded HACU internships 

 Two CPP history graduates from the class of 2018 have received prestigious internships through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Amanda Martinez and Alejandro Martinez will both be interning at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. for Fall 2018 (August-December). At CPP, both Amanda and Alejandro participated in the Model Organization of American States program, led by Dr. Pablo Arreola. Please join us in congratulating Amanda and Alejandro!!


Photo 1: Amanda Martinez (at left)

 Amanda Martinez


Photo 2: Alejandro Martinez (second from left)

Alejandro Martinez 


New book releases for Cal Poly Pomona History faculty 

Dr. Charles Delgadillo's new book, Crusader for Democracy: The Political Life of William Allen White (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2018), was published in Spring 2018. It was the subject of a lengthy (and favorable) review on July 30 in the Wall Street Journal (article is behind a paywall). 

Crusader for Democracy

Congratulations to Dr. Delgadillo!


Dr. Amy Essington's new book, The Integration of the Pacific Coast League: Race and Baseball on the West Coast (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018), was published on June 1. It was also included on the New York Times Book Review's Summer Reading List.  


Integration of PCL
Congratulations to Dr. Essington!  


Faculty news and activities

Cal Poly Pomona history faculty have been busy over the past academic year! Here are some highlights:


Dr. Steve Campbell

Dr. Campbell finished revisions on his book, The Bank War and the Partisan Press: Newspapers, Financial Institutions, and the Post Office in Jacksonian America, which is forthcoming in Winter 2019 from the University Press of Kansas.


Dr. Amanda Podany

Dr. Podany recorded a 24-part video/audio series for the Great Courses, called Ancient Mesopotamia: Life in the Cradle of Civilization. It is accessible at


Dr. Rachel Van

Dr. Van had an article published: “Cents & Sensibilities:  Fairness & Free Trade in the Nineteenth-Century,” Diplomatic History 42, no. 1 (January 2018):  72-89.


Dr. Elise Wirtschafter

After teaching for a semester as a DAAD guest professor at the University of Tübingen in southwest Germany, Dr. Wirtschafter returned to CPP, where, as of June 2018, she has been Professor Emerita. In July Wirtschafter participated in the X International Conference of the Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia. Held in Strasbourg, the conference commemorated the study group’s 50th anniversary. Wirtschafter’s paper, “Consciousness, Concepts, and Agency in Eighteenth-Century Russia: From histoire totale to histoire croisée,” was part of a panel devoted to the changing practices of Russian history over the past 50 years.


Since returning from France, Wirtschafter has begun work on an editing project that grew out of a workshop she co-organized in Tübingen. She will edit a cluster of 6 articles, including one of her own [“The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818) and Russia’s Proposal for a Treaty of Guarantee”], that will be published in 2019 in the Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography under the forum title “Russia as a European Power in the Age of Enlightenment.”


Over the next year or so, Wirtschafter will publish two additional articles, and has signed a contract with Northern Illinois University Press for the publication of her seventh book, currently being written and tentatively titled “Russia in Concert: Tsarist Diplomacy and European Politics, 1815-23.” Wirtschafter will present a chapter from this book to a workshop at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in February 2019, and she plans to go to Moscow in spring 2019 to complete archival research for the book at the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire (AVP RI). She will be teaching at CPP during fall semester and for the Prison Education Project in the spring.


Dr. Warren Wood

Dr. Wood had an article published last spring, entitled: "Fraud and the California State Census of 1852:  Power and Demographic Distortion in Gold Rush California."  Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 100, No. 1, pp. 5–43. The article focuses on the 1852 California State Census schedules for San Francisco County, which Wood argues reveal a fraud that inflated the white male population by 30% and the total population by 25%.  The fraud was a part of the intense competition for political power between San Francisco and other parts of the state.  In its complexity, that competition contradicts the usual rendering of Gold Rush politics as a contest of north versus south, free labor versus slave labor, or David Broderick versus William Gwin.  The census schedules contain much data that is at odds with what most historians have understood about Gold Rush San Francisco.  The study also finds that the proportion of women and families in San Francisco was greater than heretofore realized, which calls for a re-evaluation of the city’s social history. In addition, the census was inflated by counting Chinese residents as white, affecting historians’ understanding of the city’s racial composition. Wood calculates the degree of miscount for future reference.


2017-2018 News

Spotlight: Dr. Ibrahim leads Fulbright trip to Morocco

 During the 2017 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.


Photo 1: The group at the Madrasa Bouananiya, Fes, Morocco,  where the famous Historian Ibn Khaldun stayed and taught.

Madrasa Bouananiya


Photo 2: The partially excavated Roman city of Volubilis, near Meknes:



Other 2017 news (click to expand)


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 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. 



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.



2016-2017 News


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.