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Dec. 30, 2005
Contact: Jonathan Earle, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

KU professor Jonathan Earle named one of eight top young historians

LAWRENCE -- Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history and associate director for programming at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, was recently named one of eight top young historians by the History News Network, an influential Web site and discussion list associated with George Mason University. Earle is joined on the list by three professors from Yale University, two from Harvard University, one from the University of South Carolina and one from McGill University.

Earle, who joined KU's faculty in 1997, was noted for his books Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854 and The Routledge Atlas of African American History. He is currently working on a book about John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. He won the 2005 SHEAR First Book Prize, given by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and was a co-winner of the 2005 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Prize for best book by a Kansas author, given by the Hall Center for the Humanities at KU. He also won a W.T. Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003.

"It's really an honor," Earle said of being named to the HNN's list. "It's always nice to receive recognition from your colleagues."

Earle, who received a doctorate from Princeton University in 1996, was nominated for the list by his former professor and dissertation adviser, Sean Wilentz.

"Professor Earle was the only young historian that Professor Wilentz knew that he believed 'worthy' enough to be included on our list. We at HNN agreed and found professor Earle's contributions to the historical profession sufficiently exceptional to be included on our final list," said Bonnie Goodman, a graduate student at Concordia University and assistant editor at HNN.

At KU, Earle teaches a number of history classes. One of the most popular is "Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American History."

"Most of my teaching revolves around politics and American history," Earle said.

At the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, he is responsible for coordinating public events, such as the "Contenders" lecture series, which earlier this year brought Delaware Sen. Joe Biden to KU, and the "First Woman President" lecture series, which will bring former presidential candidate Carol Moseley-Braun to the Lawrence campus in early 2006.

HNN's feature about Earle can be found on the Web at http://hnn.us/roundup/49.html. It features information on his teaching position, areas of research, education, major publications, awards, a personal anecdote and quotes by and about Earle.

Earle said he has received recognition not only from HNN but also from former teachers, colleagues and students about the honor.

"I've received e-mails from colleagues and professors both congratulating and ribbing me," he said with a laugh.

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