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History Department at Lehman College

News and Announcements


New Faculty: Rhiannon Dowling


Rhiannon Dowling
The History Department is pleased to welcome Rhiannon Dowling, who will start teaching this fall as an Assistant Professor of Modern European History. Prof. Dowling received her Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley and since then has held prestigious postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Columbia's Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies.  She is presently completing a book, The Soviet War on Crime, which explores how ordinary Soviet citizens, in the course of fighting crime at the behest of the state, came to agitate against corruption and inequality.  Based on a treasure-trove of archival evidence, her work promises to transform our understanding of the changing social and political landscape of the USSR during its final decades.  Prof. Dowling is also active in prison education: she helped found the Louisiana Prison Education Coalition in 2015, and before that taught at San Quentin while working on her Ph.D.


New Faculty: Benjamin Holtzman


Benjamin Holtzman

The History Department is pleased to welcome Benjamin Holtzman, who will start teaching this fall as an Assistant Professor of Modern American History. Prof. Holtzman received his Ph.D from Brown University and since then has taught at Brown and Duke University.  This spring he is in his final year of a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, MA.  He is presently completing a book, The Long Crisis: New York and the Path to Neoliberalism, which traces the efforts of neighborhood associations and activists to adjust to the city's budget shortfalls during the 1960s and 1970s by forging partnerships with the private sector.  He argues that this response became the "new normal" around the country, as politicians reshaped the social contract in urban America.  Prof. Holtzman has also blogged and written extensively on housing and homelessness in New York.

Faculty Fulbright Award


William Wooldridge
William Wooldridge, Associate Professor of History at Lehman, has been awarded  a Fulbright Scholarship to research his second book project, on temple restoration in late-19th century and early-20th century China. Prof. Wooldridge, who has been teaching East Asian and World history at Lehman since 2008, will use the grant to spend the fall semester in Taiwan, where he's presentely spending his faculty fellowship leave. His book, tentatively titled Cultures of Repair in Chinese Religion: Temples, Infrastructure, and Environment in Taiwan, explores both the day-to-day custodial work associated with temples and the symbolic significance of "repair" in Chinese religious rituals.

In Memoriam, Cindy Lobel (1970-2018)


Cindy Lobel
Cindy Lobel, an Associate Professor in the History Department, surrounded by her family, passed away at the Sloan Kettering Hospital on October 2, 2018, due to complications from Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Prof. Lobel started teaching at Lehman in Fall 2005, after teaching at Barnard College and Connecticut College. She received her PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2003 under the supervision of Carol Berkin. At Lehman, she taught many courses including the History of New York City and State, the Peopling of New York (Macaulay Honors College), and US History and Historiography. She served as Deputy Chair of History at Lehman in 2009-10, co-coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program and was active in the MALS program at Lehman and the Graduate Center. She was a devoted teacher and shared her historical expertise with various New York museums and educational initiatives. She was the Membership Secretary of Urban History Association, who have posted a remembrance on the Metropole blog.  Her first book, Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York, won the Dixon Ryan Fox Best Manuscript Prize in 2013. She was working on a popular biography of Catherine Beecher and a monograph focusing on Thomas Downing, the African-American oyster mogul and civil rights activist.  Friends and colleagues remember Cindy with love and admiration for her courage, wisdom, humor, and zest for life, and for her willingness to step up to make things better for us all.  She leaves behind her husband Peter, her sons Jonah and Ben, her mother Kaaren and her sisters Jodi, Susan and Debbie.

Past News

Jacob Judd received a Doctorate of Humane Letters at Lehman’s commencement ceremony in June, 2018. Professor Judd taught in the History Department at Lehman (and before that at Hunter College in the Bronx) from 1967 until his retirement in 1998. He served as the department’s chair for twelve years and has also served as acting Dean of Arts and Humanities at Lehman and as chair of the Retirees Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress. The History Department salutes our former chair, who is well-deserving of this honor.

Prof Robyn Spencer served as Visiting Endowed Chair of Women's Studies at Brooklyn College for 2018-19. She returned to the History faculty at Lehman last fall.

Students: check out these useful resources! Click the "Information for Students" tab on the left for tips on how to create proper footnotes and bibliographies, a guide to writing theses and long research projects, and more!

Please visit our new Alumni Page. We're currently collecting information on the exciting careers of our former students, and will be posting them as they come in!

Visit History on Facebook!

FacebookThe History Department now has a facebook presence: Learn more about its programs and events, and to join faculty and students in conversations about the past.

Read about Faculty recognition award recipients in History (2010-11).