The Department of History Faculty is comprised of outstanding teacher scholars. They regularly present their research around the world and appear in print, on radio, television and podcasts. See individual faculty web pages, listed under each entry below, for more details of faculty publications and professional achievements.
Assistant Professor - Latin American History
Ph.D., Rutgers University, Latin American History, minor World History
B.A., Rutgers University , History and Psychology
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-L
Also see the Latin America Page
Courses taught: History of Cuba, Colonial Latin America, Modern Latin America, History of the Caribbean and Central America, History of Brazil, Latinos in the United States.
An assistant professor of Latin American history at Kean University, Frank Argote-Freyre received his Ph.D from Rutgers University in 2004. His first book, Fulgencio Batista: From Revolutionary to Strongman was published in 2006. His second book, A Brief History of the Caribbean, coauthored with Danilo Figueredo, was published in 2008. He was assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Cuba (2003).
Argote-Freyre is involved in many social causes, including the struggle for immigrant rights and social justice. He serves as Chair of the New Jersey Commission on New Americans. Argote-Freyre is the President of the Latino Action Network and Director of the Latino Coalition.
Earlier in his career, he worked as a journalist and columnist for 10 years and as a congressional press secretary.
Professor, Ancient & Medieval History, Church History
Ph.D. Fordham University
M.A. Fordham University
B.A. New York University
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-I
Also see the Ancient Greco-Roman History page.
Courses taught: Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, Athens in the Age of Pericles, Papacy and its History, Ancient City, Roman Revolution, Alexander the Great: History and Legend, Roman Empire, Civil Society in America, Trojan War: History and Legend, Western Civilization I and II, Medieval Europe: History and Civilization I and II, Crusades
Christopher Bellitto, Ph.D., is Professor of History at Kean University in Union, NJ. He is also a frequent public speaker and media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism. He has been quoted in The New York Times, the Washington Post and many other leading publications. He has appeared on The History Channel, CNN, MSNBC, PBS' News Hour, NPR and other local radio and TV stations. Dr. Bellitto is also a member of the Speakers' Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the former chair of Kean's History Department. In 2010-2012, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant to develop a course titled, "Is There Such a Thing as a Just War?"
Bellitto is the author of ten books, including most recently Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible (Paulist Press, 2016), 101 Questions and Answers on Popes and the Papacy (Paulist Press, 2008), The Living Church and Church History 101 (Liguori Publications, 2011, 2008), and the companion volumes, The General Councils: A History of the 21 Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II and Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican II (Paulist Press 2001-2002). He is also the author of Nicolas de Clamanges: Spirituality, Personal Reform, and Pastoral Renewal on the Eve of the Reformations (Catholic University of America Press, 2001). In addition, Dr. Bellitto has co-edited six volumes of collected essays, including Reassessing Reform: A Historical Investigation into Church Renewal (Catholic University of America Press, 2012), The Church, the Councils, and Reform: The Legacy of the Fifteenth Century (Catholic University of America Press, 2008), and Reforming the Church Before Modernity: Patterns, Problems, and Approaches (Ashgate, 2005). His scholarly and outreach articles have appeared in the Catholic Historical Review, Church History, Annuarium historiae conciliorum, Cristianesimo nella storia, Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, America, Commonweal, U.S. Catholic, The Tablet, CNN.com, Reuters, NJ.com and other outlets. His writing has been honored by the American Catholic Historical Association and the Catholic Press Association.
In addition to his own writing, Bellitto has extensive experience as an editor. He is currently Academic Editor at Large for Paulist Press and Editor in Chief of the series Brill's Companions to the Christian Tradition.
Distinguished Professor of History and Education
Ph.D. Rutgers University, American History
M.A. Rowan University, Social Studies
B.A. Rowan University, Social Studies
Office: East Campus 218
Courses taught: History of New Jersey, British Colonies and American Revolution (WE), U S History 1877 to Present, Senior Seminar (WE), History of North American Indians, America in The 1960's: The Turbulent Decade
Frank Esposito, Ph.D., is a specialist in American Indian, Colonial, New Jersey and recent American history. He is the author or co-author of 10 books: Travelling New Jersey (Wise, 1978), Madison: An Intimate History of a Community in Transition (Compton, 1985), Public Schools Choice: National Trends and Initiatives ( New Jersey Department of Education, 1989), Ocean City, New Jersey, two volumes, co-author, (Arcadia, 1995, 1998), My World: New Jersey, textbook, contributing author (Pearson, 2012), Kean University, co-author, (Arcadia, 2017), The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: How Quakers, Hucksters, and Benjamin Franklin Created a Monster and Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). He is also the author of over 100 newspaper and journal articles over the past 30 years. He serves as moderator of the CTB cable network interview show Counterpoint. He has also been featured on major network outlets in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia and on Sirius XM.
Esposito also served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Education (Saul Cooperman) in Governor Thomas Kean’s administration, and a consultant to the Commissioner of Education (Leo Klagholz) in the administration of Governor Christine Todd Whitman. In these roles, he conducted a national survey of school choice programs and became a principal draftsman of the New Jersey Charter School Act of 1999. In 2009, he was candidate for Lt. Governor of New Jersey on the ticket of Christopher Dagget. The ticket received the larges vote total of any third-party ticket in modern New Jersey history.
Approximately one-half of his academic career at Kean University has been as an administrator where he has served as Acting Dean of Education (twice), Vice President for Academic Affairs, Founding Dean of the Weiss Graduate College, Interim President, and University Ombudsman. Esposito is currently a Distinguished Professor.
Associate Professor - History of Asia
Ph.D., Columbia University, Modern Chinese History
M.A., Columbia University, Modern Chinese History
M.A., University of Wisconsin, History and Education
B.A., University of Wisconsin, History and French
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-A
Also see the Asia History page and World History page.
Courses taught: History of Far Eastern Civilization, Modernization of China and Japan, China in the Twentieth Century, Rise of Modern Japan, The Asian Woman, History of Diplomatic Relations in Asia, Senior Seminar in History, Internship in History, Western Civilization, History of Civil Society in America, History of Modern China, History of Asian Genocide.
Department Duties: Department Chair Fall 2008 to 2012; Coordinator World History Program, 2010-present; Interim Director Asian Studies Program, Fall, 2016; Advisor: KU Historical Society 2002-2005; Coordinator: History Department Public History Internship Program, 2002-2006; Chair, Personnel Committee
Sue Gronewold, Ph.D., has been a member of Kean’s History Department since 2001 and its chair 2008-2011, where she teaches courses on Asian history and is coordinator of the World History Program. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History from Columbia University and is the author of Beautiful Merchandise: Prostitution in China 1860-1936. She has completed her manuscript Encountering Hope: The Door of Hope Mission in Shanghai and Taipei 1900-2000, and has written a number of journal articles, chapters in books, and reviews on subjects related to modern East Asia, particularly women, transnational encounters, and history and memory.
Since 2012 she has been involved with a project at Amsterdam’s International Institute for Social History which chronicles and compares prostitution in 26 cities. Her chapter on the modern history of sex work in Shanghai was published in 2017 in their Brill Press book, Selling Sex in World Cities 1600 to the Present. Active since the establishment of Kean’s Holocaust and Genocide Program, she teaches, writes, and lectures frequently on genocide and human rights in Asia, most particularly on tribunals in the aftermath of atrocity, focusing especially on Bangladesh. S
he has long been involved in teacher training, particularly through Columbia University Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s Asia for Educators Project. With Kean’s Asian Studies Program, she co-directed three international conferences on China in the World, including a successful fashion symposium in March 2017. She is active in many different professional organizations and on the executive boards of both the World History Association and the Asia in Latin America section of the Latin American Studies Association.
Professor, European History, Acting Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Ph.D., Harvard University, European History
A.M., Harvard University
B.A., West Virginia University
Phone: 908 737-5312
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-D
Courses taught: Europe in the Renaissance, Europe in the Seventeenth Century, Europe in the Eighteenth Century, Europe 1789 to 1870, Europe Since 1870, Twentieth-Century France, Revolutionary and Soviet Russia, Worlds of History, Women in History and Witchcraft in the Western Tradition.
Elizabeth Hyde is Professor in the Department of History at Kean University where she teaches courses in European, cultural and women’s history. She is Assistant Chair of the department, and also serves as co-coordinator of the Department of History Honors Program and chair of the Department of History Undergraduate Learning Committee.
Elizabeth Hyde received her Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. Her first book, Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) explores the collection, cultivation, and display of flowers in early modern France and their political appropriation by Louis XIV. The book was the recipient of the 2007 Society of Architectural Historians’ Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Award. She also served as editor and contributor to A Cultural History of Gardens in the Renaissance, 1400-1650 in the series The Cultural History of Gardens (Bloomsbury, 2013).
She is currently writing Of Monarchical Climates and Republican Soil: Nature, Nation, and Botanical Diplomacy in the Franco-American Atlantic World, a book that explores the cultural and political dimensions of trans-Atlantic botanical exchange of plants, trees, and knowledge in the eighteenth century through the work of French botanist André Michaux and his American counterparts. She continues to work on a cultural history of “how-to” books from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.
Professor Kachur is a world-class scholar and teacher. His teaching has been recognized with a Fulbright lectureship at Osaka University, Japan. He creates a webpage for each class, and leads all students on visits to area museums and galleries.
His book, Displaying the Marvelous: Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, and Surrealist Exhibition Installations was recently hailed as “deeply descriptive in the best sense of the word. His comprehensive sketches of each event walk the reader not only through the space and contents of the different exhibitions, but through the planning, publicity, and aftermath of each event… His book remains a significant contribution to both avant-garde studies and the history of exhibitions.” It remains in print with MIT Press. His recent book is Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection. Further research on exhibition histories are in progress.
He has organized three exhibitions with catalogs at Kean, two together with students, most recently Past Pop: Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist Graphics of the 1970s.
Among his dozens of essays, articles and reviews are two commissioned catalog essays from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, most recently Beethoven Symphonies on the Accordion: Georges Braque’s Musical Instruments and Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, NY, 2014. His catalog essay Der Arp ist da: Exhibition Presence and Display Practice, will be published in the catalog The Nature of Arp at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas.
Last November was particularly busy for Kasher, with scholarly lectures in London and Paris. He delivered The “Dalí / Duchamp dialog in the exhibition sphere at a symposium at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, followed by D’Arcy Galleries and New York Late Surrealism: Duchamp, Johns, Rauschenberg, at a symposium at the German Forum for Art History (DFK), Paris.
Kachur has also lectured at the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum, Institute of Education, Musée Picasso Paris and numerous universities.
Kachur teaches courses in Modern art, Contemporary art and the History of Photography. He is coordinator of internships in the arts at Kean.
Advice for students: In today’s visually bombarded media environment, everyone needs approaches to analyzing and understanding visual messages.
Advice for students contemplating a minor in art history: Our program is global and cutting edge. With a strong reputation in the region, Kean art history program graduates have jobs in arts management, galleries, museums, auction houses, cultural centers, corporate collections, and web design, and have gone on to successful graduate work at Montclair, Rutgers, Seton Hall, City University of NY and Hunter College, among others.
 Floyd, Kathryn M. "Writing the Histories of Dada and Surrealist Exhibitions: Problems and Possibilities." Dada/Surrealism 21 (2017): n. pag. Web. http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1327&context=dadasur
Professor of History
Director, Jewish Studies Program
Director, Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Founding Co-Chair, Faculty Seminar on Comparative Cultures
Ph.D., University of Rochester
M.A., University of Rochester
B.A., cum laude, Hobart College
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-G
Dennis B. Klein, Ph.D., is Kean University Professor of History and director of the Jewish Studies program and the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies program. He is the author or editor of five books, including Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (University of Chicago Press, 1985), Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto (Little, Brown in cooperation with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1997), The Genocidal Mind (Paragon, 2005), Survivor Transitional Narratives of Nazi-Era Destruction: The Second Liberation (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Societies Emerging from Conflict: The Aftermath of Atrocity (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017).
He is founding editor in chief of Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies and founding director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Braun Center for Holocaust Studies. He is a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, Phi Beta Kappa and recipient of numerous research awards. Klein is listed in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Dictionary of International Biography and Directory of American Scholars. In 2006 he was a Research Fellow at the University College London and Resident Fellow at Oxford University. He was appointed a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in 2014. His current work on post-atrocity testimonies and forgiveness theory is anthologized in Memory, Narrative, and Forgiveness (Cambridge Scholars Publishing), the 10th anniversary Truth and Reconciliation Commission conference volume, and Jean Améry and the Philosophy of Torture (Lexington Books). He guest-edited a special issue of Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques on witnesses’ accounts of violence and violations, to which he contributed an article on the local theater and subjective accounts of the destruction process. At present he is exploring the reputation of the bystander in history. He frequently presents his research abroad and in the US, speaking in Cape Town, Jerusalem, Oxford, London, New Delhi (by Skype), Poznan, Tel Aviv and Wenzhou, China (by Skype).
Germany: Empire and War, 1850-1920; Germany Before Hitler, 1918-1933; The Nazi Era; Jews in America: The Great Experiment; Jews in Modern Europe: Hope and Tragedy; Freedom: Black and Jewish Perspectives; The Holocaust, Genocide, & Modern Humanity; Justice and Human Rights; Senior Seminar in History; Graduate courses for undergraduates: History of the Holocaust; Survival Strategies in Modern Jewish History; Transitional Justice.
Recent publications and talks
Books: Survivor Transitional Narratives of Nazi-Era Destruction: The Second Liberation (2017); Societies Emerging from Conflict: The Aftermath of Atrocity (2018); The Genocidal Mind (2005); Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto (in collaboration with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum) (1997); Jewish Origins of the Psychoanalytic Movement (1981/1985).
Articles: “Violence and Violations: Betrayal Narratives in Atrocity Accounts, Narratives of Violence and Memory, ed. Rohee Das Gupta. New York: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming
“Forgive and Remember: Jeffrey M. Blustein’s Forgiveness and Remembrance: Remembering Wrongdoing in Personal and Public Life,” Dialogues of Historical Justice and Memory 43 (2014) at http://historicaldialogues.org/2014/11/06/book-review-forgiveness-and-remembrance-remembering-wrongdoing-in-personal-and-public-life/ “Violence and Violations: Voices of the Witnesses,” Guest Editor, Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 39, no. 2 (2013); and “Locality and the Hidden Realities of Genocide,” in Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques, 39, no. 2 (2013), 30-39/ “Resentment and Recognition: Toward a New Conception of Humanity in Améry’s At the Mind’s Limits.” In On Jean Améry: Philosophy of Catastrophe, ed. Magdalena Zolkos. New York: Lexington Books, 2011, 87-107. Reprinted in The Highest Form of Wisdom:Jewish Studies Presented to Saul S. Friedman on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday. New York: Ktav, 2015 ( http://www.ktav.com/index.php/the-highest-form-of-wisdom.html)/“Forgiveness and History: A Reinterpretation of Post-Conflict Testimony,” In Memory, Narrative, and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journey of the Past, ed. Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009:113-29.
Talks: “Witnesses on Genocide: Bystanders and the Subversion of the Social Contract,” Yale University (New Haven, CT, 2018); “The Beginning of the Survivor Memoir Tradition: The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial,” 35th Annual Millersville University conference (Millersville, PA, 2018); “Reimagining Holocaust Education on Campus and in the Community,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference (Washington, DC, 2017);
“Witnesses: The Culture of ‘Maybe Again,’” Columbia University Seventh Annual Conference of the Historical Justice and Memory Network (New York, 2017); "Abandonment: The Refugee Crisis, 1938/2017," University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, 2017); “Why Holocaust Survivors Didn’t Forgive (or Did They?),” Temple Tifereth Israel (Cleveland, 2017) at http://ttti.org/resources/2013-09-16-17-34-57/hartzmark-room-live-streaming-2 (Click and click again at “previous broadcasts.” Scroll down and then to 5/26/17 (start at 24:00) and 5/27/17 (start at 11:40); “Longing and Belonging: Betrayal Narratives in Holocaust Witnesses’ Accounts,” Association for Jewish Studies Conference (San Diego, 2016)/"Betrayal: Reading Survivors' Accounts Against the Grain," CUNY Graduate Center (New York, 2016)/ “Moral Survival After Atrocity,” Mass Violence and Memory conference via Skype (New Delhi, India, 2016)/“The Renegotiated Society,” plenary talk at the 34th Annual Millersville University conference (Millersville, PA, 2016)/“Deep Transitions,” Rutgers University Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights symposium, “Reflections in the Aftermath of War and Genocide,” (Newark, NJ, 2015)/“Intimate Killing: Witnesses’ Counter-Narratives of Betrayal and Forgiveness,” International Network of Genocide Scholars conference (Cape Town, 2014)/"The Hard Power of Forgiveness: Reassessing Holocaust Survivors' Memoirs," South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation and University of Cape Town Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (Cape Town, 2014)/“The World Is Not the Same: Narratives of Betrayal in Holocaust Survivors’ Accounts,” Tel Aviv University (Tel Aviv, 2014)/“Betrayal in Historical Context: The Shoah and the Conceptual Revision of Forgiveness,” International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, 2014)/ “Negotiating the Holocaust: Exploring Witnesses’ Accounts in Comparative Perspective,” Annual Scholars Conference (Los Angeles, 2014)/"The Genocidal Encounter: Thoughts on Betrayal and the Human Community," Psychology and the Other conference (invited speaker – respondent: Kitty J. Millet, San Francisco State University) (Cambridge, MA, 2013)/"From Below: What Witnesses Tell Us About Human Rights Protections," Adam Mickiewicz University – Graduate Program in Human Rights and Democratisation (Poznan, Poland, 2012)/"Violence and Violation: The Voices of the Witnesses,” Adam Mickiewicz University - Department of Hebrew, Aramaic and Karaite Studies (Poznan, Poland, 2012)/“The Kovno Ghetto ‘From Within’ and ‘From Below.’” Association for Jewish Studies conference (Washington, DC, 2011)/“‘Intimate Killing’: Reassessing Genocidal ‘Intent to Destroy,’” A Contextual View of Genocidal Intent conference (Leicester, UK, 2011)/“Betrayal: Recognition and Non-Recognition in the Traumatic Encounter,” Psychology and the Other conference – dedicated session with Marilyn Charles (Austen Riggs Center) as respondent (Cambridge, MA, 2011)/“Victims of Proximate Assault: Re-Reading Post-Traumatic Testimonies,” Lorry I. Lokey Lecture at Portland State University (Portland, 2011). Online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULOM-0Ovys4/“Creating Another America: Jews in the Early Motion Picture Industry,” Association for Jewish Studies (Boston, 2010).
Associate Professor - Classical Chinese Literature
B.A., Yanbei Teachers College at Datong University
M.A., Beijing Normal University
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-F
Public Lectures: https://sites.google.com/a/kean.edu/xurongkong-phd/pulic
Xurong Kong is an experienced Chinese teacher, having taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Belloit College, San Diego State University and Columbia University.Kong specializes in classical Chinese literature and culture, but her research interests extend to Chinese painting and modern Chinese culture. She is interested in the connection between the images created or established by poets in poetry and the images presented by scholar-artists in painting, and observing issues of modern culture based on her training in classical literature and art.
Some of her publications include,
Trans. Selections from the History of the Later Han 後漢書. Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局, forthcoming. (with Sujane Wu)
“Fu Chungu ji 傅鶉觚集” and “Fuzi 傅子.” Early Medieval Chinese Texts: A Bibliographic Guide. Ed. Albert Dien. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, forthcoming.
Trans. Selections from Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government 資治通鑒選譯. Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2015.
“Wenxuan and the Third Century Literature 文选和三世纪文学.” In “Jinfan: Sinology Column 梵净国学栏目,” Journal of Tongren College 铜仁学院学报 4 (Oct. 2014).
梵净国学栏目,” Journal of Tongren Collge 铜仁学院学报 4 (Oct. 2014).
“Just War? A Matter of Heaven’s Will.” Comparative Cultures (E-book). Vol. 9. Just War:
Theory and Case Studies, ed. Dennis Klein. Kean University Faculty Seminar on Comparative Cultures, https://sites.google.com/a/kean.edu/facultyseminar, 2012.
“To See a World in a Flower: A Sustainable Way of Studying Classical Chinese Literature.” China Review International 18.3 (2011): 342-346.
“Origins of Verisimilitude: A Reconsideration of Medieval Chinese Literary Thought.” Journal of American Oriental Society 131.2 (2011): 267-288.
“Tao Yuanming” 陶渊明 (365-427). Classical Chinese Writers in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Columbia, South Carolina: Bruccoli Clark Layman, 2009.
“Still Life.” Education About Asia 13.1 (Spring 2008): 61-62. (With Sue Gronewold)
“Military Uniform as Fashion During the Cultural Revolution (1966-976).” Intercultural Communication Studies XII.2 (2008): 176-193.
“Future of the Past: What Can One See from Still Life." Education About Asia 13.1 (Spring 2008): 61-62. (With Dr. Sue Gronewold).
Douji yu Zhongguo wenhu (Translation of Robert Joe Cutter, The Brush and The Spur: Chinese Culture and the Cockfight). Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 2005. (With others).
“The Yongwu fu of Fu Xuan (217-278),” PhD Dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005
Assistant Professor (with tenure), Art History Coordinator – Latin American and Pre-Columbian Art History, Architectural History, Sacred Space and Sacred Landscape
Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, Latin American Art History
M.A., The University of Texas at Austin, Art History
Graduate work in Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin
B.A., Austin College, Microbiology and German
Office: Vaughn Eames 425
Courses taught: Survey of Art History: Prehistory to the Renaissance; History of Western Architecture; Modern Latin American Art and Architecture; Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture of the Americas; Sacred Space and Sacred Landscape
Marguerite Mayhall is an Assistant Professor at Kean. She serves as Art History Program Coordinator and is the BFA Studio Arts Photography Option adviser, and has served as Fine Arts Department chair and assistant chair, in addition to several university committees.
Mayhall began her academic life as a scientist, concentrating in molecular biology as an undergraduate at a liberal arts college in north Texas, and then doing graduate work and laboratory research on bacteriophage T7 at The University of Texas at Austin. After leaving the biology program, she worked as an unpaid intern in photographic and manuscript conservation at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center while supporting herself working in just about every public and university library in Austin, earned the equivalent of a second bachelor’s in studio art and art history with the goal of becoming an art conservator, and finally settled in the graduate program in art history at Texas.
Her past research has focused on the arts in Venezuela in the 20th century, with publications in encyclopedias of Latin American art and architecture and journals on Latin American issues. Since the failure of democracy in Venezuela, her research has focused on sacred space and sacred landscape, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and, most recently, material culture and class in the United States in the 19th century.
She was inducted into the Kean chapter of Phi Kappa Phi in 2009 and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016. In 2007 she was awarded an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) summer stipend for a book project titled Venezuelan Art and National Identity, 1930-1960.
Mayhall’s current research projects include a university-funded grant project at Liberty Hall Museum working with students on material culture and class and a book on sacred space and sacred landscape.
Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Colonial and Revolutionary America, New Jersey History, the American South
Ph.D. in American History – Emory Univeristy (2000)
B.A. University of Richmond
Office: CAS405 (Office of the Dean)
Courses Taught:US History I and II, Colonial and Revolutionary America, The Early Republic (American 1787-1830), Pirates and the Atlantic World, NJ History
Jonathan Mercantini, Ph.D., is Acting Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Associate Professor in Kean University’s Department of History where he has taught since 2007. He teaches a wide variety of courses: Colonial and Revolutionary America, The New Nation, Pirates in the Atlantic World, New Jersey History, and the Civil War and Reconstruction to name just a few. Prior to his appointment at Kean he taught at the University of Miami and Canisius College. He has also taught at Princeton University. He earned his Ph. D. in American History from Emory University.
Among his major publications are: Who Shall Rule at Home: The Evolution of South Carolina’s Political Culture, 1748-1776 (Univ. South Carolina Press, 2007), The Stamp Act of 1765, Broadview Sources Series (Broadview Press, 2017), and essays on slavery in South Carolina and New Jersey. His current research projects include: Make History@Kean: William Livingston’s World – an exploration of the 18th Century Atlantic World funded by a Humanities Initiatives Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In 2014, he worked with the New Jersey Historical Commission to plan activities for the 350th Anniversary of New Jersey. He received Emmy Nominations from the New York Region and the Mid-Atlantic Region for his work on It Happened Here – New Jersey, a weekly series on New Jersey History topics featured on New Jersey Public TV and online. He has received external grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies to support his research on the history of New Jersey and of South Carolina in the 18th and 19th Centuries. A popular speaker on topics including military history, NJ History, the American Revolution, and the history of baseball, Mercantini engages audiences with the American past.
Associate Professor, Department Chair.
American, Irish, Women's History
Ph.D., Drew University
M.Phil. Drew University
M.A. University College Dublin
B.A. University College Dublin
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-J
Courses taught: Worlds of History, US History to 1865, Ireland 1801-Present, Europe Since 1870, Women’s History, Labor History, History of Religion in America, History of New Jersey, The American West, America in the 1920’s, America in the 1960’s, History of Israel, Middle East History, Senior Seminar, Graduate Research Seminar in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
An Associate Professor of History at Kean University, C. Brid Nicholson received her Ph. D. from Drew University. She is the author of Emma Goldman: Still Dangerous (Black Rose Press, 2010) and has edited Conflicts in the Early American Republic (Manly Publishers, 2010). In 2017 Emma Goldman: Still Dangerous was published in Turkish. Her next book on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (with ABC Clio) will be published in November 2018.
She was the recipient of the Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Kean in 2010, and was inducted into the Kean Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi; in 2011 she was appointed a Fellow of the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy. She received a Faculty Seed Grant for AY 2021 for her work on “Recovering Lost Voices: The Enslaved at Liberty Hall.” A presentation on this work can be seen here. Nicholson combined this research work into a class which was reported on by the student newspaper The Tower.
Nicholson has also produced history documentaries: The Black Eagle of Harlem, George Washington: The Farewell Address, Washington Irving: An American Original, and Ken Forsse: Come Dream With Me Tonight. Her IMDB page can be found here.
Associate Professor - Oral History, Legal History, African American History
Ph.D., Temple University, U.S. History
J.D., Temple University
Graduate Certificate, Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Documentary Writing
A.B., Bryn Mawr College, Sociology (creative writing minor)
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-K
Courses taught: 20th Century Black History, Pre-1900 Black History, Public History, Oral History, 20th Century US History, Emergence of Law in Society, American Law and Liberty, Postcolonial Africa, Worlds of History, Post-1877 US History
Abigail Perkiss is an Assistant Professor of History at Kean. Her first book, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia (Cornell University Press, 2014), examines the creation of intentionally integrated neighborhoods in the latter half of the twentieth century. She is currently directing Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore, an oral history project documenting the impact and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in three neighborhoods along the Sandy Hook Bay. This project was developed in the classroom with Kean undergraduate students in 2013. An outgrowth of this work, Staring out to Sea: Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore, is forthcoming with Cornell University Press in 2019. Also forthcoming, her co-authored Reacting to the Past manuscript, Changing the Game: Title IX, Gender, and Athletics in American Universities (W.W. Norton, 2019).
Perkiss completed a joint J.D./Ph.D. in U.S. history at Temple University. She is the Managing Editor of the Oral History Review and Vice President of Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Previously, she earned a graduate certificate from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.
Associate Professor - History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Ph.D., M.Phil., MA., Drew University, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Modern History and Literature, concentration in the History of Science
B.A., Kean University, History
FLS, Fellow Linnaean Society of London
Office: Liberty Hall Academic Center 212-E
Courses taught: History of Science, History of Medicine, Human Evolution in Modern Society, Industrial Revolution, History of Medicine in America, History Senior Seminar, American Civil Society, History of Alchemy and the Origins of Modern Science, Charles Darwin: a Life and Times, History of Pseudoscience in America, and the History of Religion in America
Brian Regal, Ph.D., is an historian of science with a specialty in human evolution and its relationship to religion, politics, culture and American national origin theories. He is interested in ideas and belief systems in the dubious realms of fringe and pseudoscience and questions whether these terms are legitimate. In his research and writing he takes an intellectual historical approach—history of ideas—to these topics. He has written and lectured on the evolution/creation controversy, racial anthropology, and eugenics at conferences in the US, UK and Europe. He has done reviews for Isis and has reviewed human origins proposals for the NSF.
Regal’s first book, Henry Fairfield Osborn: Race and the Search for the Origins of Man (2002) was nominated for the 2003 Pfizer Award and won the 2005 Bela Kornitzer Award for best book by a Drew graduate. His Human Evolution: A Guide to the Debates (2005) was profiled in a live Air America Radio interview with host Janeane Garofalo. He wrote the introduction to the Autobiography of Charles Darwin (2004) and the Darwin Compendium (2006). He is the senior editor and contributor to the two volume Icons of Evolution (January, 2008). Among others, he is the author of Entering Dubious Realms: Grover Krantz, Science and Sasquatch in the journal Annals of Science, and Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia (2009).
His recent book is an examination of the world of 20th century monster hunting and its place in the history of science published by Palgrave-Macmillan in 2011 as Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads, and Cryptozoology.
Regal's latest book, written with Frank J. Esposito, is The Secret History of the Jersey Devil: How Hucksters, Quakers, and Benjamin Franklin Created a Monster. It is published by Johns Hopkins University Press (2018).
He encourages students interested in these areas to contact him.
Assistant Professor of Art History, History Department
Ph.D., University of Chicago, Late Antique and Byzantine Art History and Material Culture
M.A., The State University of New York at Stony Brook, Art Theory and Criticism
B.A., University of Virginia, Philosophy and Art History
Office: Vaughn-Eames 431
Courses Taught: Ancient and Medieval History of Magic, Ancient Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, Byzantine Art and Architecture, Medieval European Art and Architecture, Renaissance Art and Architecture, Art History Capstone Course, Pre-historic through Medieval Art, Renaissance through Contemporary Art.
Jacquelyn Tuerk-Stonberg received her Ph.D. in the history of Byzantine art and material culture from the University of Chicago, where she focused on the ancient and medieval history of so-called “magic”: the power of words, images, and performances to shape human experience by shaping interpretations of it. Currently she is completing a book entitled Medieval Magic: How to do Things with Words and Images in Byzantium which focuses on the use of amulets (small personal objects with word and images on them) as they were used in medicine, ritual power, pilgrimage and religion to affect human experience directly. She has also compiled an extensive annotated catalogue of 340 late antique and medieval archaeological objects related to the history of magic. Tuerk-Stonberg has published numerous articles on magical amulets, holy icons, magical thinking, narrative, and hierotopy (the study of sacred space), with entries in The Oxford Handbook on Byzantine Art and Architecture, and in The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. She has conducted art and archaeological research in 41 different museums across 10 countries.
Beyond ancient and medieval art, Tuerk-Stonberg has written on contemporary art topics including its relationship to medieval precedence (an exhibition catalogue entitled The Temperature of Light: The Encaustic Paintings of Janise Yntema which is available on amazon.com), art and cultural inclusivity (a booklet published by Kean University and a short film entitled We Are US: A True Cultural Mosaic in conjunction with her students), art and social conditions for peace (edited an e-book of essays from the Kean Faculty Seminar Roundtable entitled Peace: Its Conditions and Conceptions), and art and gender. She has curated art exhibitions on the early American paintings and the history of slavery in the US, contemporary art from the war zone in Sri Lanka, modern-Gothic encaustic paintings, contemporary art and the Holocaust, and feminist contemporary artwork.
Tuerk-Stonberg is a Jewish Studies affiliate faculty, a member of the MALS graduate faculty, has taken Kean students to Spain as a travel-learn course and has directed projects in Women’s Studies. Her teaching accomplishments include being named as “Teacher Who Impacted Educational Growth” by the Dean of Students at Gettysburg College, and being nominated for Excellence in Teaching Award in the Division of Humanities at Ohio State University.
Tuerk-Stonberg continues to regularly attend and deliver papers at academic conferences and symposia and she has participated in service and committee work on the Retention and Tenure Committee, the Distance Learning Committee, the General Education Committee, the Department Curriculum Committee, as the Chair of the Exhibitions Committee and as co-organizer of art history student recruitment and retention programs. She currently serves as the Art History Program Assessment Coordinator.
Above all, she values the interactions with her students, fostering and supporting intellectual curiosity and growth with attention to individual student needs and interests.
Medieval Magic: How To Do Things With Words and Images in Byzantium. Book in draft.
Powerful Words and Images from the Late Antique Levant: An Annotated Catalogue of Minor Objects. Catalogue of 340 archaeological objects. Book in draft.
We Are US: A True Culture Mosaic, booklet and film, written, designed, printed, and filmed in collaboration with students in the Art History Capstone Course, Kean University, Union, NJ, 2017.
“Magic Amulets and Magical Thinking in Early Byzantium,” Oxford Handbook on Byzantine Art and Architecture, edited Ellen Schwartz, Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017.
“Re-Collections: The Artwork of Julie Harris,” The James Howe Gallery, Kean University
5 September - 28 October 2016. Curated art exhibition.
The Temperature of Light: The Encaustic Paintings of Janise Yntema. The Dryfoos Gallery, Kean University. October 2015. Curated art exhibition and catalogue written in conjunction with students in Art History Capstone Course, published by Kean University, Union, NJ. Sold on amazon.com.
“Ashes, Ashes: Artists' Reactions to the Holocaust: Drawings by Jo Jochnowitz, Poems by Susanna Rich,” The James Howe Gallery, Kean University, 4 November – 22 December 2015. Curated art exhibition.
“La Lumière Gothique,” (in French and English) in the art exhibition catalogue Janise Yntema, Cadogen Gallery, London, 2010, unpaginated.
“Living Fibers, Living Forms: The Work of Jappie King Black,” Surface Design Journal, vol. 34, issue 3, April 2010, pp. 36-39.
“Painting,” “Ampulla,” “Plotinus,” and “Tympanum,” The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages, ed. Robert Bjork, 2010.
Peace: Its Conditions and Conceptions, Editor, Faculty Seminar E-Book Series, volume on the Faculty Seminar Roundtable Kean University, held on 6 April 2009.
“Introduction,” in Still, Cadogan, London, 2009, pp. 3-4.
“Early Byzantine Amulets: Unorthodox, yes; Incorrect, no,” The Journal of Modern Hellenism, “Byzantium” issue, fall 2009, pp. 103-129.
“Hierotopy, Narrative, and Magical Amulets,” “ИЕРОТОПИЯ, НАРРАТИВНОϹТЬ И МАГИЧЕϹКИЕ АМУПЕТЫ,” (in English and Russian) Comparative Hierotopy: Studies in the Making of Sacred Space, vol. 2, ed. Alexei Lidov, Research Centre for Eastern Christian Culture, Moscow, 2008, pp. 84-109.
“Art Once Stolen by Nazis, Now Enjoyed by Us,” Comparative Cultures Journal, Faculty Seminar on Comparative Cultures E-Book Series, Kean University, Spring 2008, pp. 30-41. <http://www.kean.edu/~orsp/online_journal/comp_journal.htm>
“From Amulets to Icons in Byzantium,” Faith and Transformation: Votive Offerings and Amulets from the Alexander Girard Collection, edited by Doris Francis, Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2007, pp. 62-63.
“The Process of Gender: The Fiber Arts of Jappie Kind Black,” The Dryfoos Gallery, Kean University, February 2007. Curated art exhibition.
“Breaking through the Picture Plane: Icons, Verbal Performance, and Magical Amulets,” Hierotopy: Studies in the Making of Sacred Space, vol. 1, ed. Alexei Lidov, Research Centre for Eastern Christian Culture, Moscow, 2005. These are published abstracts of symposium proceedings.
“Byzantine Models for Post-Modern Architecture and Iconography,” The St. George’s Herald, Nov 2003.
“Art from the War Zone in Sri Lanka,” Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA. 29 January – 22 February 2003. Curated art exhibition.
“A Review of Georgia Franks’ The Memory of the Eyes,” Peregrinations 2, 2002, pp. 6-8.
“Chronology” and “Glossary” in Symphonic Poem: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, The Columbus Museum of Art, Harry N. Abrams, Columbus, 2002.
“An Inscribed Byzantine Amulet and Its Narratives,” Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 23, 1999, pp. 24-42.
“The Paintings of William Henry Mount,” Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages (formerly The Museums at Stony Brook), Stony Brook, NY. Spring 1994. Exhibition curated.
Lecturer / Senior Fellow: Film & History, Military History
Ph.D., Louisiana State University (History)
B.S., M.A., St. Louis University (History)
Office: Gateway Building, Room 417 (Ocean County College campus)
Phone 732 255-0400 x2375
Courses taught: Modern American History in Film, The Civil War and Reconstruction; World War I; World War II; The Vietnam War; The Cold War; The Rise and Fall of the British Empire; Tudor - Stuart England; and the Senior Seminar.
Frank Wetta, Ph.D., is a former Leverhulme British Commonwealth, United States Visiting Fellow in American Studies, Keele University, United Kingdom. He is active in the Society for Military History, having served on the society’s book prize committee and the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Military History.
His publications include Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi: How Hollywood Turns Military Defeat into Moral Victories (Routledge, 2016) with Martin Novelli; The Long Reconstruction: The Post- Civil War South in History, Film, and Memory (Routledge Press, 2014) with Martin Novelli; The Louisiana Scalawags: Politics, Race, and Terrorism During the Civil War and Reconstruction (Louisiana State University Press, 2012); Celluloid Wars: A Guide to Film and the American Experience of War(Greenwood, 1992) with Stephen J. Curley. “World War I Films.” Oxford Online Annotated Bibliographies (Oxford University Press, 2016);“On Telling the Truth about War: World War II and Hollywood’s Moral Fiction, 1945-1956” with Martin Novelli in Why We Fought: America’s Wars in Film and History (University of Kentucky Press, 2008); "Romantic, isn't it, Miss Dandridge,” in American Nineteenth Century History: The Vistas of American Military History (2006) with Martin Novelli; and "Now a Major Motion Picture: War Films and Hollywood's New Patriotism" in The Journal of Military History (2003), with Martin Novelli. He is currently working on a book-length study of the image of Abraham Lincoln in film. Wetta oversees the history department's Ocean campus program.
Publications Website: https://fwetta.wixsite.com/website