Conference of the Kansas Association of Historians to feature four Newman student presentations

Mar 29, 2018

Four Newman history students will make a special appearance at the conference of the Kansas Association of Historians from April 6 to 7 at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

Anthony Hamersky, Dakota Heard, Courtney Klaus and David Reed were all chosen to present their papers at the conference.

history presenters
(l to r) Anthony Hamersky, Dakota Heard, Courtney Klaus and David Reed

Klaus is a sophomore working toward both a communication and history major. Her paper is about the evolution of men’s portrayal of women in dystopian literature. Her thesis centers around how “fictional female characters change as the rights and social standing of women [in reality] change.” The paper draws from literature and historical sources.

“I love history because I love learning people’s stories; I also like to learn about why the world is the way it is,” Klaus said.

Concerning the presentation of the paper, Klaus stated she is nervous but excited. “It’s an honor to get to present,” Klaus said. “I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned.”

After graduation, she hopes to attend law school.

Dakota Heard is a sophomore as well. His paper is called “Tacitus and the Germani’s Military.”

Heard explained, “(My paper explores) the Roman historian Tacitus’ work, ‘Germania,’ which is essentially an anthropological study of the ancient Germani people. Using this text, I look at specific sections that offer perspective on how the Germani would have operated militarily.”

Ever since Heard was young he loved studying history. When he entered college, studying history was the logical fit and a passion he was able to enrich. He said his interest in history is specifically targeted toward military history including “the advancement of weaponry and tactics over the ages.”

Heard said presenting the paper “offers me a great opportunity to gain experience giving presentations and I enjoy the recognition that my work is interesting to other historians.”

After graduation, Heard plans to either be a high school teacher or take a library or archival internship while earning a master’s degree.

David Reed has been working on completing a paper for his history senior seminar. He will present a portion during the conference. The paper is tentatively titled “Seeking Justice at Tokyo.”

The subject of Reed’s research centers on Justice Radhabinod Pal of India who sat on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, better known as the Tokyo Trial. The cases focused on the trial of Japanese war criminals from World War II. On strictly legal reasons, Pal wrote dissenting opinions that the criminals could not be held culpable and should be acquitted. Reed examines this controversial opinion, Pal’s legacy and how it shaped the contemporary international criminal law.

Through studying history, Reed found “the past informs the present. We can better understand how our world was shaped and hopefully avoid making some of the same mistakes.”

Receiving constructive feedback at the conference, Reed hopes, will enhance the quality of his final paper.

After graduation, he hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the classics.

“I love Greek and Latin as well as the history and culture surrounding Ancient Greece and Rome,” Reed said.

Anthony Hammersky was unavailable for comment.

With a range of diverse topics they, in fact, all speak of a common message: examining the past helps society form a better future. The four Newman students are looking forward to presenting with peers and achieving a fuller knowledge of history.