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AU News

New Journal Showcases Historical Research

May 11, 2022
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Members of Anderson University’s Alpha Rho Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta published a new journal of undergraduate historical research. Pictured from left are faculty editor Dr. Lynneth Miller Renberg, Claire Grider, Rebekah Teffertiller, Helen Smith, Duncan Fischbach, Johnathan Sorce, Hunter Curlee, Laura Wallace, and Elyse Conley.

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Members of Anderson University’s Alpha Rho Epsilon Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honors society, have published a new journal of undergraduate historical research.

A team of two student editors and a faculty editor put together Res Historica, a showcase of student research. Submissions were accepted from all students, regardless of major or class. The journal has eight undergraduate research articles and includes papers on topics that range from Ancient Mediterranean society to the remembrance of 9/11. 

Students who were published went through a peer-review process with Dr. Lynneth Renberg, assistant professor of history, and student editors Hunter Curlee and Johnathan Sorce. The two student editors selected the papers for the journal, did most of the editorial work in providing feedback and formatting the journal itself, and communicated with the student authors. 

“The journal itself is the first such journal at AU and is a huge accomplishment for our students,” Dr. Renberg said. “Our history students at Anderson are producing excellent historical research and writing, and the chance to showcase their work for a broader audience is something that we as a department have been working towards for the past few years. We’re excited to build on this in the coming years.”

This journal has been a goal for the History department since Curlee, a history and biblical studies major, began his first year at Anderson University. Curlee, now a graduating senior and current chapter president, said, “We have worked on this project throughout the year and are excited to present our research as students in a hard-copy journal. The feeling of seeing your research in print is surreal, and it has been a great opportunity to practice the editing and writing process.”

Helen Smith,  a major in history and English with a concentration in writing and digital studies, echoed Curlee’s sentiment: “Being able to publish my paper in the journal was surreal.” Smith published her research from Dr. Renberg’s Ancient Mediterranean Empires class and is grateful for the contributions of her classmates and also Phi Alpha Theta. As incoming vice president of the Alpha Rho Epsilon chapter, Smith looks forward to writing, editing and publishing next year’s Res Historica

“It was truly an honor to be involved with the initial publication of Res Historica, as both a writer and an editor. On behalf of the editorial team, I would like to say we are very thankful to all who submitted papers this year and look forward to the submissions that come in next year.” said Sorce, a history and creative writing double major and the incoming president of the Phi Alpha Theta chapter. Sorce contributed his own article, “Conquest and Control in Southern Italy: the Normans and the 11th Century.” He’s been fascinated by this relatively obscure aspect of medieval history and saw an opportunity to dig more deeply into his own Sicilian heritage.

“It’s such an honor to be a part of the first publication of Res Historica and I’m thrilled that my first publication is with Anderson University! I’m very thankful to Dr. Renberg and the Res Historica editing team for bringing this journal to life,” said student Laura Wallace, who published her research on Irish Americans living in the Southeast during the Civil War era.

A launch event to celebrate the publication of Res Historica took place April 22 on campus at Rainey Gardens. The event provided the authors an opportunity to pick up their copies, celebrate with friends and have their hard work recognized. The event was sponsored by the Alpha Rho Epsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta and The Liberty Cap Society.

“For more information about the journal, including requests for a physical or digital copy of the publication, contact Dr. Lynneth Renberg by emailing”


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