Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition: September 6, 2001
Carnegie Mellon News Online Edition
In This Issue
Where The Girls Are

McCullough Leads MCS

Wall Street Executive Heads GSIA

Internet Study

Class of 2005 At A Glance

Diversity Recruiting

Robot's Success

Summer News Round-Up

Getting Their Kicks

International Visitors

Trotter Heads History Department

John Anderson Reappointed To CIT

Cell Phones Distract Drivers

New Director of Campus Security

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Joe Trotter African American History Scholar Joe Trotter Selected History Department Head

Joe W. Trotter Jr., a leading scholar in the field of African American history, has been named the new head of the History Department in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS). He succeeds Steve Schlossman, who will resume teaching and research after eight years as department head.

Trotter joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1985, gained full professor status in 1990 and was named the Mellon professor of history in 1996. He is director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy and coordinator of the History Department's Black Scholars Speakers Series.

Trotter's course offerings reflect his research in African American history and the growth and changes experienced by the American working class.

Trotter has written several highly regarded books including the two-volume "African American Experience." He also is the author of "River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley," "Coal, Class and Color: Blacks in Southern West Virginia," "Black Milwaukee: The Making of An Industrial Proletariat" and "African Americans in Depression and War, 1929-1945."

Trotter has been an adviser for three films -"The Promised Land," a BBC documentary, "Kings on the Hill," an African American Baseball League documentary prepared by the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, and "One Shot," a documentary about the contributions of Teenie Harris, a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier.

"Joe is in an excellent position to further expand the Department of History's national reputation in social and cultural history, anthropology and history, and history and policy and to help develop college-wide initiatives in the humanities," said H&SS Dean John Lehoczky. "He has a strong understanding and appreciation for the exciting interdisciplinary research carried on throughout the department. Under his guidance, I am sure the department also will continue its proud tradition of excellence in teaching."

"The History Department-defined by its scholarly achievements in research and writing, its broad interdisciplinary interests and its abiding commitment to excellence in teaching-has played an important role in Carnegie Mellon's mission as a major research institution," Trotter said.

"Under my leadership, I hope we will be able to reinforce, deepen and expand upon the department, college and university's achievements."

Trotter, who said he was "delighted" to become head of the department, called the department's faculty, graduate and undergraduate students "extraordinarily energetic and enthusiastic able scholars of history." He praised the support staff as being a "key and indispensable ingredient" in every facet of the department's activities.

"Working together-faculty, staff and students-I believe we will succeed," he said.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Trotter has played a role in many university-wide initiatives including the university's Strategic Planning Committee and the Commission on the Status of Underrepresented Minorities.

Off campus, Trotter is a leader in several professional organizations and associations. He is president-elect of the Labor and Working Class History Association and has served on the executive council and the program and nominating committees of the Organization of American Historians. He will be the American Historical Association's program chair for its annual conference in 2004.

Trotter is a past member of the executive council for the Southern Historical Association and a member of the executive board of the Immigration History Society. He also is a member of the American Historical Association, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Urban History Association, the Pennsylvania Historical Association and the American Studies Association. He is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Center for Social History.

Trotter is also a member of the steering committee for the National History Project, a new initiative aimed at strengthening history education in schools and colleges throughout the United States.

Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, Trotter was an associate professor at the University of California at Davis. He spent the 2000-01 school year at Stanford University, where he was a fellow in the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences.

He earned his bachelor's degree in history from Carthage College and his master's and doctor's degrees in U.S. history from the University of Minnesota.

Teresa Sokol Thomas

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