History Faculty


Adjunct Faculty

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Allan W. Austin, Ph.D.
Professor of History
Phone: 570 674-6793

B.A., M.A., Bowling Green State University
Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Classes taught: Post-1945 United States History/Film and History/Race and Graphic Narrative in United States History/Seminar on History (Twentieth-Century United States Historiography)/Research Seminar/National Security/ Immigration and American Ethnic History/Modern United States History through Popular Culture/United States History survey

Allan Austin is an immigration historian primarily interested in investigating the contested meanings of race and American identity, especially in the 20th-century United States. He has explored these issues in his books, From Concentration Camp to Campus: Japanese American Students and World War II (University of Illinois Press, 2004) and Quaker Brotherhood: Interracial Activism and the American Friends Service Committee, 1917-1950, as well as in articles in various scholarly journals and anthologies. Dr. Austin has also published Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (M.E. Sharpe, 2010, with Huping Ling) and Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (McFarland, 2010, with David Wright Jr.).

Dr. Austin received the Louis and Barbara Alesi Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2006 and 2013, and he continues to pursue a number of research interests. He is currently researching and writing All New, All Different?: A Graphic History of Race and the American Super Hero, which examines comic books and other forms of superhero popular culture in exploring how Americans have struggled in the past and continue to wrestle today with vexed issues of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism.

The recipient of the Max and Tillie Rosenn Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008 and 2014, Dr. Austin teaches a variety of courses at Misericordia, with an emphasis on hands-on learning at all levels. Dr. Austin has encouraged students to develop historical skills through on-site experiences in Service Learning courses at Misericordia. He has also received several grants that allowed undergraduates to serve as research assistants on his AFSC project, providing important opportunities for students to enhance their research skills. Dr. Austin’s past work as Book Review Editor for the Journal of American Ethnic History also opened additional opportunities for students to get first-hand experience in the field of United States history.

Dr. Austin’s office is located at 306 Mercy Hall. He can also be reached by phone at (570) 674-6793 or via email at

For Dr. Austin’s complete CV, click here.

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Jennifer M. Black, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Phone: 570-674-1491

B.A., M.A., Western Michigan University
Ph.D., University of Southern California

Classes taught: US History I & II, American Visual Culture, University Writing Seminar, History of the Gilded Age & Progressive Era, US Women’s History

Jennifer Black is a historian of visual and material culture, with a particular specialty on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States. She holds a PhD in American History and Visual Studies from the University of Southern California, as well as an MA in Public History and a BA in Art History. Her research examines ways in which people interact with images and objects, and the power of visual and material culture to influence trends in politics, the law, and society.

Dr. Black’s teaching interests include the Histories of Popular and Visual Culture, Public History, Film as History, Advertising and Consumption, American Women’s History, Icons and Trademarks, Intellectual Property and Forgery, and the History of Citizenship and Belonging in the United States, with a particular focus on the visual exclusion of particular groups.

Dr. Black also has several years’ experience working as a public historian, including work for large and small public institutions such as the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. Her work as a historical consultant has included clients such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Cengage Learning, Inc. Dr. Black is the author of “Corporate Calling Cards: Advertising Trade Cards and Logos in the US, 1876-1890” (Journal of American Culture, 2009), and “‘The Mark of Honor’: Trademark Law, Goodwill, and the Early Branding Strategies of National Biscuit” (in We Are What We Sell, ed. Danielle Sarver Coombs and Bob Batchelor [Praeger / ABC-CLIO, 2014]). Her most recent public history project was a commissioned book, Machines that Made History: Landmarks in Mechanical Engineering (ASME Press, 2014), which highlighted the contributions of mechanical engineers to global modernization and social life since the seventeenth century. Dr. Black is currently working on a book manuscript, Branding Trust, which examines the impact of trademark-centered advertising in the US by looking at material culture use and practices after 1870.

Dr. Black’s office is located at 316 Mercy Hall.

For Dr. Black’s complete CV click here.

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Brian F. Carso, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Phone: 570 674-6395

Assistant Professor of History
and Pre-law Program Director

B.A., M.A., University of Rochester
J.D., SUNY Buffalo School of Law
Ph.D., Boston University

Classes taught: The American Founding, 1620-1789/ The Presidency/ The Civil War/ The American West/ Constitutional Law I & II/ Introduction to American Law/ The Trial in American Life/ U.S. History survey

Brian Carso is interested in how political, intellectual, and legal ideas developed throughout the American experience, and in how these ideas came to be expressed in broadly accessible political discourse and popular American culture. In his book, “Whom Can We Trust Now?”: The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution through the Civil War (Lexington Books, 2006), Dr. Carso examines notions of loyalty and allegiance in a democratic republic and their legal manifestation in the law of treason. While this necessarily involves criminal statutes and court cases, Dr. Carso is interested not only in how treason is conceived by lawyers and judges within the courthouse, but also in how treason is perceived outside the courthouse by citizens in all walks of life. Accordingly, he studies treason not only as it appears in legal doctrine but also in literature, sermons, political cartoons, orations, editorials, and artwork.

Dr. Carso’s interests spread throughout the American experience and incorporate legal, intellectual, political, and cultural history. He is currently working on two projects: one concerns espionage during the American Revolution (a natural offshoot of his treason research), while another involves 20th century war photography. Dr. Carso is also keenly interested in American government and politics, from the first partisan presidential election of 1796 through today’s political campaigns.

In addition to teaching classes in history, Dr. Carso directs MU’s Pre-law program for those students interested in a career in law, government, or a related field. Dr. Carso brings a wealth of legal and governmental experience to MU that he is happy to share with his students. He has worked as an attorney at a large New York law firm, as well as running his own private practice, and he is admitted to the bar in the State of New York and before the United States Supreme Court. In addition, he has been twice elected to public office and most recently served in the administration of former New York Governor George Pataki.

Dr. Carso’s office is located at 363 Mercy Hall. His office phone number is (570) 674-6395, and his email address is

For Dr. Carso’s complete CV, click here.

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Thomas Hajkowski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Phone: 570 674-8083

Assistant Professor of History
and Associate Director, Honors Program

B.A., Seton Hall University
M.A., Villanova University
Ph.D., Northwestern University

Classes taught: Western Civilization I and II, History of Early-Modern England, History of Modern Britain, History of Modern Latin America, History of Nazi Germany, Cultural Geography

Thomas Hajkowski is an historian of twentieth-century Britain whose research interests lie at the intersection of media history, nationalism and national identity, and imperialism. His book manuscript, The BBC and National Identity in Britain, currently under contract with Manchester University press, argues that before the loss of its monopoly in 1954, the British Broadcasting Corporation was the most important arena in British society where regional cultures interacted with a normative English culture, helping to create the hybrid dual identities of contemporary Britain. The BBC tried to unite people across the United Kingdom into a community of British listeners, regardless of ethnicity. Yet, in its policies and programs, the BBC also created spaces for the expression of alternative national identities in Britain. Using the "four nations" approach to British history, The BBC and National Identity in Britain explores the changing contours of modern representations of Britishness.

Dr. Hajkowski’s research continues to be focused on the relationship between media and national identity, and he is beginning a research project that explores how the British mass media interpreted and represented decolonization. This project will provide valuable insights into the impact of decline on British identity and culture and the relationship between the mass media and the British government in the twentieth century.

Dr. Hajkowski has a broad range of teaching interests. In his classes, Dr. Hajkowski prioritizes active learning and student engagement with primary source materials. In addition to knowing “what happened,” Dr. Hajkowski tries to instill in his students an understanding of what historians do and why history matters.

Dr. Hajkowski also serves as Associate Director of Misericordia University’s Honors Program, an interdisciplinary learning community based in a common sequence of enriched and intensified core curriculum courses. For more information about Misericordia University’s Honors program visit:

Dr. Hajkowski’s office is located at 303 Mercy Hall. He can also be reached by phone at (570) 674-8083 or via email at

For Dr. Hajkowski’s complete CV, click here.

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Christopher Stevens, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Phone: (570)-674-1446

Classes taught: Global Politics, Comparative Politics, International Law, War in World Politics, National Security II and III

Dr. Christopher A. Stevens is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Government and teachings in the Government, Law, and National Security program. Dr. Stevens specializes in U.S. national security, international relations, and the politics of the former Soviet Union. He arrived at Misericordia University in the Fall 2013 after teaching at the College of the Holy Cross, the University of Vermont, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Dr. Stevens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandies University, and is currently working on a manuscript that explores Russia’s strategic relations with other republics of the former Soviet Union. His research has taken him all over the former USSR, including Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine. His work has been supported with grants from the International Research and Exchanges Board, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the American Political Science Association.

Dr. Stevens is the author of “Identity Politics and Nuclear Disarmament: The Case of Ukraine,” which was published in the Nonproliferation Review (March 2008).

Dr. Stevens’s office is located at 364 Mercy Hall.

For Dr. Stevens’s complete CV, click here.

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David Wright, Ph.D.


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979
B.A., Kenyon College, History, 1973


History of Western Civilization I and II
Modern French History
Contemporary French Culture (interdisciplinary)
Modern European Cultural Movements
History Seminar (Modern European Intellectual History)
Film and History
Research Seminar
Soviet History
Atomic Age America


Misericordia University Strategic Initiative Grant for an innovative interdisciplinary course: Contemporary French Culture, 2003-2004
Misericordia University Summer Research Grants, 1993, 1995, 2002, and 2005
Phi Alpha Theta, 1999
Misericordia University Faculty Development Committee Travel Award, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship, Cornell University, 1992
Dane County (Wisconsin) Cultural Affairs Grants, 1981 and 1984
Wisconsin Humanities Committee Grants, 1982 and 1983
University of Wisconsin - Madison, History Department Foreign Travel Grant, 1978


Modern French History
Modern Intellectual History
Urban History
Film and History
Social Movements
Contemporary Popular Culture


Conference Presentations

"Space and (Social) Place in Gibson's Neuromancer," Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, San Diego, 2005.

"On the Origins and Significance of Jean-Marie Le Pen and the French National Front," Society for French Historical Studies, Ottawa, Canada, 1998

"Agony, Wounds, and Salvific Mission: Edward T. Gargan's France," Society for French Historical Studies, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1996

Panel Commentator, French Historical Studies, Wilmington, Delaware, 1994

"The Transformation of Socialist Politics in Twentieth-Century France," Western Society for French History, Santa Barbara, California 1990

"Socialist Party Leadership in Limoges during World War I and the Post-War Years," Western Society for French History, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1989

"Socialists in City Hall: What Difference for the People of Limoges?" Society for French Historical Studies, Columbia, South Carolina 1988

"Refashioning a Community: Socialist Governance of Inter-War Limoges," Western Society for French History, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 1987

"Racism and Anti-racism in French Popular Culture," Popular Culture Association, Montreal, Canada

"Reform Socialism in the Early Third Republic," Western Society for French History, Baltimore, Maryland, 1986

"Generational Change and the Socialists of Twentieth-Century Limoges," Society for French Historical Studies, Quebec, Canada, 1986

"The Deployment of Tolerance: The Anxiety of Male Elites and Regulation of Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France," European Studies, Omaha, Nebraska, 1985

"The Pattern of Prostitution in Third Republic France," Social Science History Association, Toronto, Canada, 1984

Other Academic Presentations

Guest Lecturer, French Studies, Wellesley College, 1998
Guest Lecturer, French Studies, Pennsylvania State University, 1995

Community Presentations

Faculty Favorites Film Series, Introduced and led discussion of "Bladerunner," Spring 2002

"French Intellectuals Conceptualize Space and Gender," Misericordia University Faculty Development Committee Presentation, Spring 2003 (A PowerPoint presentation)

"Michel Foucault," Misericordia University Faculty Workshop Series on Contemporary Theory, Spring 1998

Presentation (using slides) on women in American History, Women's History Week, Pennsylvania State University - Lehman, Spring 1989


Book Reviews

Review Essay: "How the Paris 'Red Belt' became Red," French Politics and Society, Fall/Winter 1991, (Vol.9, Nos. 3 and 4).

John Merriman, The Red City: Limoges and the French Nineteenth-Century, Contemporary French History, Fall/Winter 1987, (Vol. XI, No.1).

Jill Harsin, Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Social History, January 1987, (Vol.12, No.1).

Dictionary Entries

Dictionary Entries: "Leon Betoulle," "Government: municipal administration and politics," "Marceau Pivert," 'Politics: clubs and political life," "Adrien Pressemane," "Prostitution," "Socialism: municipal," and "Jean Zyromski" in the Historical Dictionary of the French Third Republic, Patrick H. Hutton, ed., (New York: Greenwood, 1986).

Campus Service (Misericordia University)

Chair, History Department, 2003 - present
Chair, Faculty Scholarship, then Awards, Committee, 2000 - present
Faculty Development Committee, 1998 - present, Chair, 1999 - present
Mary Kintz Bevivino Library, Public Services Manager Hiring Committee, 2003
Middle States Governance Committee, 2003
History Department Search Committees, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2003
Foreign Studies Advisor, 1995 - 1999
Home Improvement Task Force, 1997-1998
General Studies Advisor, 1989 - 1998
Honors Program Director, 1994-1998
Presidential Scholarship in the Humanities Committee, 1995-1997
Curriculum Committee, 1991-1996
Technology Integration Task Force, 1994
Middle States Assessment Committee, 1994
Foreign Languages Task Force, 1992
Core Review Committee, 1991-1992
Faculty Senate, 1989-1991
International Club Advisor, 1989-91

Recent Community Service

Wyoming Valley Montessori School, Board of Trustees, 2000 - present, member of the Executive Board, 2003-present, member of Head of School Hiring Committee, 2004

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Irene Wisnieski
Adjunct Faculty


M.A., Marquette University
B.A., Misericordia University


U.S. History to 1865
U.S. History since 1865
American National Government
Global Politics