Dear Faculty, Student and Alumni Colleagues,

Halfway into the fall semester I must reflect on the fact that in a world of limited space and resources filled with 7.7 billion people, and subject to constant natural and cultural changes, we all need to “run very fast” and adapt in order to survive. It is also true however, that trying to do this alone is a recipe for disaster. We all need the diverse talents and possibilities that we as individuals bring to the mix. We are social animals; and whether we like it or not, we need each other, and, as a history department, it is our mission to reflect on how humans in the past have succeeded and failed at the project of living together. I can only hope that the Burkhardt Building’s downstairs lounge, the activities of the History Club and our frequent events and talks help you to find community among your fellow historians.

Just recently, on October 10, Professor Sergei Zhuk gave his well-attended sabbatical talk.

On Friday, October 11, the Ball State Vietnam Moratorium Committee 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference was held, with journalist and author David Harris as keynote speaker.

Professor Fred Suppe gave his sabbatical talk on “The Significance of Medieval Welshmen Nicknamed ‘Irish’.”

Then, on November 14, Professor Kathleen Myers of Indiana University’s Spanish and Portuguese Department will help us to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the entrance of Tlaxcalans and Spaniards into Aztec Tenochtitlan with a talk entitled “Between Nation and Self: Oral History and Narrating the Conquest of Mexico Today.”

We are busy, and there will be multiple opportunities where you can reflect on history with others.

In the midst of that, we are also searching for tenure-track positions in public and African American history, with plans for public history candidates coming to campus this semester.

Students eating in the Burkhardt lounge at Ball State University.

Students often study, grab a bite to eat, or hold group meetings in the Burkhardt student lounge.

You are part of our community, too.

All these events, and even the Burkhardt student lounge on the first floor, are reminders of community and mutual interdependence. The lounge is for students of any discipline, although you will probably find it frequented by History, Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies students any hour of the day. Professor Zhuk’s talk and the Vietnam Moratorium Conference were co-sponsored events, with History as one of the participating sponsors, and Professor Myers’ upcoming talk will be of interest to Anthropologists and Spanish faculty and students as well as historians.

We are in this business of academia together, and we are stronger together—a diverse and healthy, interactive ecosystem. In fact, this newsletter would not even be possible without sponsoring help from the Office of the Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities and the assistance of good friends and allies in the Department of English.

We thrive in community, and we are grateful for that. We must give thanks for that.

I can only wish you the very best as we start to think about the end of the semester and all the activity that brings.

All the best,
Abel Alves