Dr. Troy Paddock, chair of the History Department, has been named as the recipient of the 2014 Faculty Scholar Award.
Paddock, who is an expert on German history, was chosen by a committee of his peers for his book, Creating the Russian Peril: Education, the Public Sphere and National Identity in Imperial Germany, 1890-1914.
Rex Gilliland, chair of the Faculty Scholar Award Committee, said committee members were impressed by Paddock’s “breadth of scholarship and the innovative methodology that he developed and employed.
“We also noted the fact that he addressed a neglected issue in historical research and questioned widely-held assumptions about the development of public attitudes in Imperial Germany,” Gilliland wrote. “The importance of his work for the field was evidenced by several detailed and fascinating reviews of his book.”
Paddock’s book — published in March 2010 by Camden House of Rochester, N.Y. — explores the German perception of Russia in the years before World War I, which is a topic of some debate. Drawing on extensive scholarly research conducted in several German cities, his work explores how Russia was presented in various books, newspapers, and academic writings.
Several reviewers praised Paddock’s contribution to an important topic that has been little-discussed in the English-speaking world.
As Andrew Donson, a University of Massachusetts Amherst scholar, wrote in The American Historical Review: “The book’s main argument – that the image of Russia created by German historians and journalists was largely a foil for their own concerns about Germany, their reflection in a panoptic mirror – is sharp and illuminating. It is commendable that, rather than writing a purely intellectual history, Paddock traces the transmission of this image from experts to school textbooks and the press.”
As a result of his book, Paddock has been invited to participate in a multivolume project, Russia in the Great War and Revolution. He also edited World War I and Propaganda, published by Brill in 2014, and the 2004 book, A Call to Arms: Propaganda, Public Opinion and Newspapers in the Great War, published by Praeger.
Paddock, who has taught at Southern since 1998 and was promoted to full professor in 2008, was the recipient of that year’s Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees Research Award.
This year there were 13 applicants for the 2014 Faculty Scholar Award, the largest applicant pool in several years, reflecting the breadth and quality of scholarly endeavors by Southern faculty.