History Department Faculty in 2014









L-R:  Hayton, Bruce, Henry, Torbenson, Weems, Owens, Price, Klunder, Hundley, Dehner, Loftus, and Dreifort.  Courtesy Keith Wondra and Garrick Enright.


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Travis Bruce:  travis.bruce@wichita.edu 978-7746
Assistant Professor: Medieval, world
Ph.D., Western Michigan University, 2010 and Université de Toulouse, 2009

Before joining the History Department, he most recently worked for the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in France on a project entitled “Imperial Government and Authority in Medieval Western Islam”. He will continue to collaborate with the project team analyzing documents from the Almohad chancellery, and their current work focuses on Almohad relations with the Italian port of Pisa. His dissertation from the Université de Toulouse is being published at the end of the year by the CNRS under the title La Taifa de Denia et la Méditerranée au XIe siècle, and Brill is publishing his translation of Governing the Empire: Provincial Administration in the Almohad Caliphate in early 2013. Dr. Bruce is working on a new manuscript based on his 2010 dissertation entitled Rethinking the Medieval Mediterranean and the Islamic Maritime State: The Case of the Taifa of Denia. He has also contributed book reviews this year to the Bulletin Critique des Annales Islamologiques and Medieval Encounters. Dr. Bruce will be teaching courses on world, medieval, and Islamic history.


George DehnerGeorge Dehner: george.dehner@wichita.edu 978-7734
Associate Professor: World, Environmental
Ph. D., Northeastern University, 2005

Professor Dehner is a world environmental historian who examines the intersection of humans and disease in the modern era. His first book Influenza: A Century of Science and Public Health was published in April 2012 by the University of Pittsburgh Press.  His second book Global Flu and You: A History of Influenza was published in December 2012 by Reaktion Press.   His article “WHO Knows Best? National and International Responses to Pandemic Threats and the ‘Lessons’ of 1976” published in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences received the 2011 Margaret T. Lane/Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award by the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable.  He is currently beginning a research project on Legionnaires’ Disease.

John DreifortJohn E. Dreifort: john.dreifort@wichita.edu 978-7742
Professor: France, 19th and 20th century Europe
Ph.D., Kent State University, 1970

Professor Dreifort is a specialist in Modern European Diplomacy and the history of Baseball. He is the author of Yvon Delbos at the Quai d'Orsay: French Foreign Policy During the Popular Front, 1936-1938, Myopic Grandeur: The Ambivalence of French Foreign Policy toward the Far East, 1919-1945, and Baseball History From Outside the Lines. His articles have appeared in such journals as The Journal for Contemporary History, The Historian, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, and Research Studies. He is currently working on a book manuscript on the wartime relationship between Generals Eisenhower and de Gaulle.

Dr. Jeff HaytonJeff Hayton. jeffrey.hayton@wichita.edu
Assistant Professor:  Modern Europe.
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2013. 

A modern Europeanist with a speciality in Germany, his current research is Culture from the Slums: Punk Rock, Authenticity, and Alternative Culture in East and West Germany.  He will be teaching courses in World Civilizations and upper division European History.

Robin HenryRobin Henry: robin.henry@wichita.edu 978-7741
Associate Professor: Legal, Gender and Sexuality, American West
Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2006

Professor Henry specializes in interactions among sexuality, law and the American West. She has recently completed her book, Criminalizing Sex, Defining Sexuality: Sexual Regulation and Masculinity in the American West, 1850-1927. In addition to teaching courses on constitutional history and women and gender history, she has introduced and continues to teach a graduate course on Gender and Sexuality in U.S. History.  Dr. Henry also served on the Committee on the Status of Women for the Organization of American History from 2009-2011. She is also a guest speaker for KMUW's Past and Present Series

Helen HundleyHelen Hundley: helen.hundley@wichita.edu 978-7745
Assistant Professor: Russia, Soviet Union, Modern Britain
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1984

Professor Hundley teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, Eastern Europe, modern English History and imperialism. Her article, "George Kennan and the Russian Empire: How America's Conscience became an Enemy of Tsarism," appeared in Kennan Institute Occasional Paper (Kennan Institute, 2000) and "The London Missionary Society's Mongolian Missions: British Insights into the 'Great Game' in Asia," was included in Splendidly Victorian, Essays in Honor of Walter l. Arnstein.

KlunderWillard Carl Klunder: will.klunder@wichita.edu 978-7747
Associate Professor: Early 19th century America, Civil War, American diplomatic,  American military
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1981

Professor Klunder specializes in early nineteenth-century American history.  He is the editor and transcriber of The Story of My Life by Frederic Finnup; and the author of Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation, 1782-1866. The Cass biography was the runner-up in The Society of Midland Authors annual awards competition. Dr. Klunder regularly contributes a range of book chapters, journal and encyclopedia entries, and book reviews for scholarly publications, generally focusing on political, biographical, and/or military history from the antebellum era through the Civil War.  Professor Klunder served as the W.S.U. Faculty Senate president during the 2000-2001 and 2004-2005 academic years. 

Ariel Loftus

Ariel Loftus: ariel.loftus@wichita.edu 978-7790
Associate Professor: Ancient, Women in antiquity, Papyrology
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1992

Dr. Loftus specializes in ancient history. Her areas of interest include Athenian democracy, the social history of Egypt and women in the ancient world. She has published in Zeitshrift fur Papyrology und Epigraphy and co-authored a chapter in P.Mich. Koenen, vol 18, Festschrift for Ludwig Koenen (1996). She also is co-author of an ancient Greek textbook, Greek for Reading (University of Michigan Press, 1994). Professor Loftus is currently working on a transcription and translation of a papyrus fragment of a 2nd century set of farm accounts that was recently purchased by the Ablah Library at Wichita State University. She is currently working on a book length project on the Periclean Citizenship Law in fourth century BC Athens.

Owens close upRobert M. Owens: robert.owens@wichita.edu 978-7794  To hear an interview with Dr. Owens, click here
Associate Professor: Colonial, Early U.S., Graduate Program Coordinator
Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 2003

Spring 2015 office hours: T-R 12:30-1:30, W 2-3, & by appointment

Dr. Owens specializes in Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early American History, particularly Indian Affairs. He has published articles in the Journal of the Early Republic, Indiana Magazine of History, Ohio Valley History, and the Journal of Illinois History. His first book, Mr. Jefferson's Hammer:  William Henry Harrison and the Origins of American Indian Policy, was published by University of Oklahoma Press  in 2007. His second book, Red Dreams, White Nightmares: Pan-Indian Alliances in the Anglo-Amerian Mind, 1763-1815, is forthcoming (March 2015) from University of Oklahoma Press. His current research project explores intercultural murder, crime, and conflict resolution in early America.

Jay PriceJay Price: jay.price@wichita.edu 978-7792
Professor: Public History, American culture and religion, Public History Program Director
Ph.D., Arizona State University, 1997

Now serving as department chair, Jay M. Price directs the Public History Program at Wichita State University. His publications include Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks, Wichita, 1860-1930, Wichita's Legacy of Flight, and El Dorado!: Legacy of an Oil Boom.  His work on the El Dorado boom became the basis for a KPTS-produced documentary called "Oil Dorado:  Life and Times of an Oil Boom."  His book, Wichita’s Lebanese Community, has become the subject of a  Sunflower Journeys segment.  His most recent books are Wichita 1930-2000 and Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley. He is currently on the board of the Kansas Humanities Council, the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum, and the Kansas Association of Historians.  He is also an alternate board member for the University Press of Kansas.  His latest book, Temples for a Modern God: Religious Architecture in Postwar America, from Oxford University Press, has just come out. He is also a guest speaker for KMUW's Past and Present Series

Craig TorbensonCraig L. Torbenson: craig.torbenson@wichita.edu 978-7795
Associate Professor: U.S., Geography, Family history, Undergraduate Coordinator
Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1992

Craig Torbenson teaches Human and World Geography as well as several regional geography courses and Family History.  He recently contributed two chapters in his co-edited Brothers and Sisters: Diversity Within College Fraternities and Sororities that was published in spring 2009. His other workse include A Common Heritage: The Descendants of Ole Torbjornsen Leine and Anna Johannesdatter Bergen. He volunteered at the LDS Family History Library and helping individuals do their own family history research.  He was a co-author in the book, Kansas: In the Heart of Tornado Alley. Dr. Torbenson serves as undergraduate advisor.

Robert WeemsRobert Weems:  robert.weems@wichita.edu  978-7740
Willard W. Garvey Distinguished Professor of Business History:  African American History, African American Business History, and U.S. History.
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

The recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Weems is the author of three books, co-editor of another, and has published almost three dozen journal articles and encyclopedia entries. His most recent book is Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century (New York University Press, 2009). Weems’ current research project is a biographical study of Anthony Overton, an important African American businessman in early twentieth-century Chicago.  For more information about his work documenting African American business in Wichita, see this article .  He is also a guest speaker for KMUW's Past and Present Series

Emeritus Faculty

Jim DuramJames Duram
American constitutional
Family history
Ph.D., Wayne State University


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Judith Johnson
20th Century U.S.
Latin America
Viet Nam Conflict
Ph.D, University of New Mexico


JPEG ImagePhilip Thomas
Science and Technology
Ph.D, University of New Mexico


Bill UnrauWilliam E. Unrau
American West
Indian/White relations
Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder









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