Our approximately thirty tenure-track faculty members research and teach in fields stretching chronologically from ancient Mesopotamia to the space exploration programs and geographically through nearly every continent. Their publications are just as varied. Following are a small sample of the academic work produced by the faculty of Auburn University's History Department.
Bureaucrats and Bourgeois Society: Office Politics and Individual Credit, France 1789-1848, by Ralph Kingston, Assistant Professor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
How did the French Revolution change ordinary lives? Bureaucrats and Bourgeois Society asks this question in relation to office clerks working in Parisian administrations. Under new masters, these clerks faced radical changes to work practices as reforming politicians looked to implement new “administrative science.” Many also faced the loss of family inheritances, as positions no longer passed down from father to son. Clerks were now expected to make their career as individuals. In practice, this meant increased job insecurity. Administrators lived under the threat of regular cuts in pay and of personnel. In this situation, some believed that the way to get ahead was by playing office politics. In the early nineteenth century, however, clerks mitigated their situation by modifying occupational practices. Inside the offices, they settled new modes of judging individual merit. Outside, they accumulated other forms of individual credit, in the process helping to define nineteenth-century bourgeois social capital, ideals of emulation, honor, and masculinity. Job insecurity, however, continued to set 'bureaucrats' apart from the bourgeoisie and their social identity came under question during the July Monarchy and 1848 Revolution.
Tohopeka: Rethinking the Creek War and the War of 1812, edited by Kathryn E. Holland Braund, Hollifield Professor of Southern History (University of Alabama Press, 2012)
Almost two hundred years ago, the territory that would become Alabama was both ancient homeland and new frontier where a complex network of allegiances and agendas was playing out. During the American-British War of 1812, Americans quickly joined the war against a faction of the Creek nation known as Red Sticks, turning the civil war into a military campaign designed to destroy Creek power. The battles of the Red Sticks have become part of Alabama and American legend. The fabric of that frontier network stretched and frayed as the Creek Civil War of 1813−14 pitted the Red Sticks against those Creeks who supported the Creek National Council. Tohopeka contains a variety of perspectives and uses a wide array of evidence and approaches, from scrutiny of cultural and religious practices to literary and linguistic analysis, to illuminate this troubled period. New attention to material culture and documentary and archaeological records fills in details, adds new information, and helps disabuse the reader of outdated interpretations.
Fashion Beyond Versailles: Consumption and Design in Seventeenth-century France, by Donna J. Bohanan, Joseph A. Kicklighter Professor of History (Louisiana State University Press, 2012)
As the epicenters of style and innovation, the cities of Paris and Versailles dominate studies of consumerism in seventeenth-century France, but little scholarship exists on the material culture, fashion, and consumption patterns in the provinces. Fashion beyond Versailles fills this historiographical gap by examining the household inventories of French nobles and elites in the southern province of Dauphine. By examining postmortem registries and archival publications, Bohanan reveals the social imperatives, local politics, and high fashion trends that spurred the consumption patterns of provincial communities. In doing so, she reveals a closer relationship between consumer behavior of Versailles and the provinces than most historians have maintained. Far-reaching in its sociological and psychological implications, this book both makes use of and contributes to the burgeoning literature on material culture, fashion, and consumption.
Last Updated: October 10, 2013