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News - Department of History, Illinois State University News


Kyle Sessions

There will be a memorial service for Dr. Kyle C. Sessions, Professor Emeritus, Renaissance and Reformation History, Illinois State University Friday, July 10, 2015, 5-7p at the Illinois State Alumni Center, Room 116, 1101 North Main Street, Normal, Illinois.

Emeriti faculty member Kyle Sessions, 80, most recently of Dayton, Ohio, passed away Saturday, December 27.  Born July 6, 1934 in Idaho, Kyle attended the Ohio State University, where he received his bachelors, masters, and finally Ph.D in History in 1963.   Click on Title for further information.

In 1968 Kyle accepted a teaching position in the history department at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois and remained there until retiring in 1999.  His teaching career also included two sabbaticals spent at the University of Salzburg, Austria and two teaching exchange semesters with Peking University, Beijing, China.

Highlights of his 31 year career at ISU included directing ISU’s Honors Program from 1973 to 1978; the publication of Pieta Pietas Et Societas: New Trends in Reformation Social History (1985), a collection of essays to commemorate the life and work of his mentor, Dr. Harold J. Grimm; and writing a 75th anniversary history of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society for which he served as Grand Historian from 1994 to 2004 and as chapter advisor at ISU for most of his career.  However, as he often remarked, his greatest professional achievement was teaching, pure and simple, where he encouraged his students to think critically, helped to hone their historical research and analysis skills, and urged them to question, always question!





Dr. Issam Nassar participates in a PBS national broadcast


nassar pbs

Once Arabs and Jews lived together relatively peacefully in Palestine.
How and why that changed…

Issam Nassar was an advisor and interviewee for, “1913: Seeds of Conflict,” a documentary film about late Ottoman Palestine that PBS will air on Tuesday, June 30 @ 8 PM. More about the film can be found on its website: Dr. Nassar was one of three of the historians interviewed for the project who also participated in a conversation about Palestinian historiography:

Professor Ross Kennedy to appear on BBC episode of their series on World War One

Ross 03



The BBC World Service and their partners, the British Council, are staging public events in key countries which took part in the war and exploring how it affected particular aspects of culture.

These programs give an international perspective on a war which has en enduring effect on how we live now.  Each program has a panel of two historians and a local cultural figure who delivers an essay on the theme of the particular edition.  The events are all recorded with local audiences and broadcast around the world on the BBC World Service and by BBC Radio Three in the UK.

Dr. Kennedy will be participating in the event at the United States Library of Congress on June 1st, 2015 where he will be one of the two expert historians who will discuss the theme of ‘Isolationism’, and how the war changed America.

They have so far staged events in nine cities: Sarajevo; Dresden; London; Istanbul; Delhi; St Petersburg; Paris; Dar es Salaam and Sydney.  In each location they discuss the legacy of the war for that region and explore a related theme of the war – you can listen to the broadcast here.

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Department of History
Normal, Il 61790-4420
Phone: (309) 438-5641
Fax: (309) 438-5607