Over fifty graduate students currently study, teach, and conduct research in the Department of History . The History Graduate Student Organization (HGSO) is an advocacy group for graduate students and sponsors guest lectures, workshops for professional development, and social events. Several recent students have received prestigious Fulbright grants or other fellowships and awards to undertake archival research in Britain, France, Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Italy, Peru, Liberia, and the United States. Students serve as members of departmental and university committees, and administer an active History Graduate Student Organization.
Jack Goodman is a doctoral candidate in medieval history and a recipient of a J. William Fulbright Grant to Italy. Jack spent the 2011-2012 academic year living and researching in Palermo, Italy. It was Jack’s third research trip to the island of Sicily where he examined fourteenth-century Latin documents at the State Archives (Archivio di Stato) of Palermo. During his year in Italy, Jack transcribed and translated highly abbreviated commercial contracts recorded by medieval notaries as he investigated evidence of slavery in late medieval Palermo.
Now in the fourth year of his doctoral program, Jack is analyzing the results of his research and writing his dissertation, “Slavery and Manumission in Fourteenth Century Palermo,” which pursues the lives of medieval slaves (a mixed population of Muslims, Greeks, Tartars, and Sub-Saharan Africans) beyond their period of bondage, examining the process of manumission and the lives these freedmen were able to make for themselves in the Sicilian city to which they were forcibly relocated.
In addition to his research, Jack also teaches a section of “World History to 1500” and currently serves as the Graduate Mentor for the department as well as the president of Western’s History Graduate Student Organization (HGSO).