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Sacred Heart History Professor Awarded Fellowship in Germany

David K. Thomson will work with graduate students under Obama Fellowship

Professor David Thomson

David K. Thomson, assistant professor of history at Sacred HeartUniversity, recently received a 2019 Obama Fellowship at the Obama Institutefor Transnational American Studies at theJohannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Mainz, Germany.

Thomson will spend time at the Obama Institute working with graduate students and will give a public lecture. While in Mainz, he will speak about 19th-century American finance and its transatlantic implications. Some of this material ties into Thomson’s work for his first book—Bonds of War: The Evolution of Global Financial Markets in the Civil War Era—as well as his second project on the larger evolution of the American economy in the 19th century. Bonds of War identifies the Union bond drives of the Civil War as a key moment in the development of global financial markets and the American state.

Thomson’s work has drawn on archives from seven U.S. states and seven countries, funded through 12 fellowships, including awards from the Harvard Business School, the Huntington Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Rothschild Archive London, the New York Public Library and the Harvard Center for History and Economics. Additionally, Thomson has received financial support from SHU through a University Research and Creativity Grant.

Thomson’s research derived from English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German sources. He has spoken on American finance in the Civil War era at the United States Treasury and on campus. Internationally, Thomson also has presented at various conferences in Europe.

The Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz offers a dynamic and wide-ranging program in research and teaching for all students interested in topics related to the Americas in a global context. With a special focus on interculturality, transnationalism and interdisciplinarity, the institute’s expertise lies in early American studies, indigenous studies, life writing/life sciences, political and intellectual history, film and media studies, religion and American culture and materiality. Through the Obama Fellowship program, the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies invites outstanding international scholars to lecture and work at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The fellowship offers financial support, office space and facilities for visiting scholars. Only up to five fellowships are available each year. Fellows spend a significant amount of time at the Obama Institute pursuing their individual research, but they are expected to participate in graduate teaching, offer a public lecture and make themselves available to postgraduate students.