Announcing the 2015-2016 CPH Writing Fellow

AtesThe CPH Writing Fellow for the Spring of 2016 is Professor Sabri Ates, Associate Professor of History in the William P. Clements Department of History at SMU.  Professor Ates is completing a manuscript on the first Kurdish revolt, its attempt to establish a Kurdish nation-state, and its aftermath. The revolt started in the last months of 1880, when tens of thousands of Iranian and Ottoman Kurds marched on northwestern Iran, and ended in failure in early 1881. By writing a history of this revolt, Dr. Ates aims to answer the question of how the Kurds responded to the age of nationalism, and ultimately failed, only to be described as the world’s largest ethnic group without a state.

The CPH supports scholars at its home institution of Southern Methodist University who are working on projects in the field of presidential history, broadly defined. This Writing Fellowship provides an SMU scholar in the final stages of their project with a one-semester sabbatical from teaching.

Two Forthcoming Books from CPH

The Center For Presidential History will be releasing two books in the near future: The Four Freedoms: FDR and the Evolution of An American Idea (Oxford University Press), and Faith in the New Millennium: The Future of Religion and American Politics(Oxford University Press). CPH will be hosting a book release and signing at our final semester event on December 9. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Further details on the event and how to register can be found here.

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Post-Doctoral Fellowship Position at CPH

The Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University invites applications for a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship, to begin in September 2016. The successful candidate will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their contributions to the Center’s Collective Memory Project, a wide-ranging oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency.  Fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits, funds to support independent research, and are initially appointed for one year with expectation of renewal for a second year in residence. For more details on the position or to submit an application, please click here.

The Center for Presidential History’s Interim Director

dr. thomas knockThe CPH is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Knock has been appointed the Interim Director of the Center for Presidential History for the Fall 2015 semester. Dr. Knock is currently an Associate Professor of History and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor of Foreign Relations at SMU. He has published several distinguished works, including his book To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order. His next book, The Life and Times of George McGovern (Princeton UP), will appear in February 2016. During his career, he has received SMU’s “M” Award (1998), Willis Tate Award (1995), and the Warren F. Kuehl Prize (1993) and the Godbey Series Author’s Award (1993). The CPH is looking forward to a great semester of partnership with Dr. Knock.

Meet Our New Post-Doctoral Fellow

Evan D. McCormick joined the Center for Presidential History in August 2015. His research examines the history of U.S. – Latin American relations during the Cold War, with a focus on the intersection of U.S. development policies, Latin American democracy, and human rights.Evan McCormick

Before joining CPH, Evan was a dissertation fellow at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, and an Eisenhower/Roberts Fellow of the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. He was the recipient of the University of Virginia’s Albert Gallatin Graduate Research Fellowship and a junior fellow in the University of Virginia Society of Fellows.

Evan received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2015. His dissertation, “Beyond Revolution and Repression: U.S. Foreign Policy and Latin American Democracy, 1980-1989,” explored the history of U.S. efforts to promote democracy amidst Latin American civil conflicts during the Reagan years. Evan earned an M.A. in international relations from Yale University (2007) and a B.A. in international relations from Boston University (2003). Before returning to academia, he served as a policy analyst at the Department of Homeland Security where he specialized in U.S.-Latin American security issues.

Upcoming Events at the Center for Presidential History

The Center for Presidential History will be hosting several academic forums in the near future. All events are open to the public and free to attend. Forum topics range from the lives of presidents and first ladies to music and politics in the founding era. Make sure you don’t miss any upcoming CPH events by downloading a complete list of our 2015-2016 events here.



New Sources in the Election of 2004 Collective Memory Project

The CPH‘s Election of 2004 website has been updated with the newest resources, including interviews with Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush-Cheney senior speechwriter John McConnell.  You can read SMU’s full news release here.  Some highlights from these unique interviews of 2004 insiders include:

  • cheneyVice President Dick Cheney’s scathing assessment of former U.S. Senator and Democratic primary candidate for president John Edwards as a man unworthy of respect
  • Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi’s description of collusion between other Democratic primary campaigns to knock Dean out of the race before the Iowa Caucuses
  • Senior Democratic campaign advisor Robert Shrum’s description of the fierce competition for campaign staff among primary contenders – including John Edwards’ angry reaction (“I’ll never forget…even on my deathbed”) to Shrum’s decision to work for eventual nominee John Kerry
  • George W. Bush campaign chairman Ken Mehlman’s determination that the last 72 hours of the 2004 campaign would not reflect the mistakes he considered crucial to Bush’s loss of the popular vote in 2000.

Two-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the CPH

The Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University invites applications for its two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship program. The successful candidate will couple their own research and publishing agenda with their contributions to the Center’s Collective Memory Project, a wide ranging oral history of the George W. Bush Presidency.  Fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits, funds to support independent research/travel, and are initially appointed for one year with expectation of renewal for a second year in residence.

Primary duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Individual research within the fellow’s own area of interest leading to publications in scholarly and/or public history venues.
  • Contribute to Collective Memory Project of the George W. Bush Presidency;

Applicants from all fields and topics pertaining to the presidency and executive power are welcome, but are anticipated to derive from the disciplines of history, political science, economics, sociology, or communications.  The Center defines “Presidential History” in the broadest terms possible.

Fellows must be in residence at SMU during the 2015-2016 academic year and must have successfully defended their doctoral dissertation before the appointment begins. Preference will be given to applicants for whom additional time and resources will culminate in the completion of a publishable book-length manuscript. Fellows seeking additional teaching experience may have opportunity to offer courses in their field of expertise.

For full consideration, applicants must submit the following: CV, letter of interest outlining applicants’ research agenda and proposed contribution to the Collective Memory Project, chapter-length writing sample, and three letters of reference.  All documents should be submitted (as one long running document) through the website of SMU’s Department of Human Resources at

If the writers of the applicants’ recommendation letters prefer, they may email letters directly to the Center for Presidential History at

Full review of applications will begin on December 1, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Further information on this CPH fellowship and the Collective Memory Project may be found at

To Apply: Please visit our website to access the online application. Click on Staff Career Opportunities and apply to Job ID#: 900656

SMU will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

2014-2015 Events with the SMU Center for Presidential History

After a Summer of planning the SMU Center for Presidential History is pleased to announce its schedule of events for the 2014-15!
Our events – all free and open to the public – will:

Explore the presidency from First Lady Luisa Catherine Adams, to Abraham Lincoln, to Ronald Reagan;
Highlight fascinating subjects, including religion, military, law and diplomacy;
Feature world-renowned scholars and political leaders, including recent winners of the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes;
Display our partnerships with our colleagues at SMU, Dallas-area institutions like the Dallas Museum of Art, George W. Bush Presidential Library, and World Affairs Council, and educators like Washington University in St. Louis and Mississippi State University.

To receive email updates on events, sign up for our mailing list here
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CPH 2014-2015 Events List, v7