Departmental History: French

This post summarizes changes noted in the French Department by examining the Catalogue of Courses. Course catalogs from 1851-1954 are available online; the rest are available in print in the University Archives.

  • There is no evidence of any French courses until 1871 but then it was not offered as part of the main courses of study. In the 1871-72 course catalog, it is stated that “classes will be organized whenever desired in either of all of them,” which includes French, Italian, and Spanish. This course was offered by a Professor Merriman. However, this only lasted for two school years and ended in 1873.
  • French was offered again in the 1879-80 academic year during student’s sophomore year. Students could take French, German, Greek, or Latin. Taught by Professor Reymond.
  • In 1881, French is offered as a post-graduate area of study, or could replace Greek, German, or Latin courses. No instructor was listed.
  • The 1889-90 academic year French was offered again and then was consecutively offered until present day, with an exception of the 1922-23 academic year where no French was offered.
  • Often French was accompanied by/interchangeable with German, but there was a much heavier emphasis placed on German. For instance, in the course descriptions, the German department would receive almost a full page of description whereas French would receive 2-3 sentences. Also, German would have 5+ courses offered whereas French would only have 2 courses.
  • The February 1, 1889 Elite Journal (p. 12) notes students interests in having French courses offered.

Titles of French Departments:
1889-1895: French (courses)
1895-1899: French and German
1899-1910: Modern Languages (included both French and German, with subheadings for
both)
1910-1918: Department of French
1918-1921: Romance Languages (French and Spanish)
1922: No French offered
1923-1939: Modern Languages (French, German, and Spanish)
1939-1995: Foreign Language Department (Classical and Modern languages subheadings)
1995-2005: French Department
2005-Present: French and Francophone studies

Department Chairs/Heads:
1871-1873: Professor Merriman
1879-1880: Professor Reymond
1889-1891: Professor Wait
1891-1892: Professor Steele (head of Modern Languages and Latin)
1892-1895: Professor Heidel
1895-1896: Professor Snyder
1896-1899: Madame de Blumenthal (listed as instructor)
1899-1900: Ms. Shephard
1900-1905: Ms. Smith
1905-1908: Ms. Mitchell
1908-1909: Professor Graham
1909-1911: Professor Eggert
1911-1913: Professor Corstvet
1913-1914: Parlin (listed as instructor)
1914-1916: Professor W. Ferguson
1916-1918: Laitem (listed as instructor)
1918-1921: Professor Norton
1923-1934: Professor W. Ferguson
1934-1944: Professor C. Ferguson and Professor W. Ferguson
1944-1951: Professor C. Ferguson
1951-1952: Professor Norwood and Professor Bettger
1952-1955: Professor Norwood
1955-1957: Professor Labarthe (Professor Norwood on leave)
1957-1959: Professor Deitz
1959-1966: Professor Bettger
1966-1971: Professor Holm
1971-1976: Professor Troyanovich
1976-1979: Professor Moretto
1979-1984: Professor Huseman
1984-1988: Professor McDonald
1988-1990: Professor Fajardo
1990-1993: Professor Klingenberg
1993-1999: Professor Matthews
1999-2002: Professor Callahan
2002-2013: Professor Sheridan
2013-Present: Professor Matthews

Alumni stories: Edelbert Rodgers, Class of 32

This entry marks the start of a new series in this blog: stories of IWU Alumni that emerge during research with the collections in the University Archives.

Rodgers' Senior Class photo from the 1934 Wesleyana

Rodgers’ Senior Class photo from the 1934 Wesleyana

The Argus editor in 1932 posted a summary of sociology research completed by Senior Edlebert Rodgers.
January 13, 1932 Argus headline: WESLEYAN SENIOR MAKES
CIVIC SURVEY OF HIS PEOPLE

“In  a  survey  of the  Social and  Economic progress of Negroes in  Bloomington  and Normal Edelbert  Rogers has found that the negro population of these two  cities  is  804.  This number makes up 2.8  percent of  the  entire  population of these  two  cities.  The  negroes  of Champaign make up 7.8  percent  of the population  while  4.7  percent  of  the people in  Springfield are negroes….”

There are only a few mentions* of Rodgers in The Argus at different points in his campus career, but the story above is the only substantive information from his IWU days that we know of at this time. All the stories linked below only share his debate team activities. Other information is available during his only known return to campus.

Edelbert Rodgers at Founders' Day Convocation 2001. Provost Janet McNew is pictured on the left.

Edelbert Rodgers at Founders’ Day Convocation 2001. Provost Janet McNew is pictured on the left.

The quote that follows is from a Press Release for Founders’ Day 2001 (similar wording appears in an Argus Article about the event). At that event Dr. Rodgers was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

“Edelbert Rodgers, class of 1933, IWU’s oldest living minority alumnus, retired professor, Flint Junior College (now Mott Community College) in Michigan. Rodgers also was a practicing psychologist. He will meet with a group of students at 4 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Cartwright Room, IWU Memorial Student Center, 104 E. University St. Rodgers also will meet with psychology faculty and students in C009B of the Center for Natural Sciences, 201 E. Beecher, at 9 a.m. on Feb. 21.”

The stories related during Rodgers’ visit had an impact on then-Dean of Students Jim Matthews. In a Fall 2007 IWU Magazine story, Matthews recounts the visit and his decision to use Rodgers’ picture as one of the focal points for visitors in the newly-remodeled Hansen Student Center.

Next time you’re in Hansen, stop by the front desk and take a moment to consider the life of Edlebert Rodgers.

*Other Argus stories Rodgers is mentioned in. Note: Spelling in these stories is for Rogers without a “d.”

Debate team activity described on page 1 of the issue at 1931-12-15.

“James Hidden and Edelbert Rogers argued the question [not specified] with a team of men from the same school” (see p2 at 1932-02-24).

The story on p8 of 1932-04-27 is for another debate. Rogers was timer for one “section” of the competition.

And on p3 of 1932-05-04, Rogers is listed with Titan Varsity Debate team: “During the season Edelbert Rogers, and James Hidden also saw action. The debaters wish to thank the fraternities and sororities of Wesleyan for their splendid cooperation in entertaining visiting teams during the season. Teams from eight different schools were taken care of overnight at the various houses. With the majority of the debate squad returning to school next year the outlook for another successful season is very bright.”

Departmental History: Religion

This timeline tracks changes listed in the Catalogue of Courses for the Department of Religion and Religious course offerings at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1851-2000. Course catalogs from 1851-1954 are available online; the rest are available in print in the University Archives.

1850s

  • In the very first catalog, from 1851, there were only a few courses that were taken that were related to religion; Evidences of Christianity, taken during the first quarter of a student’s senior year, Natural Theology, taken during their junior year, and a few Greek and Mythology classes taken freshman year, and a Greek Testament course taken fourth quarter senior year. There were no mentions of any departments or course descriptions.
  • No records of catalogs from 1852-1856
  • From 1857 until 1859 there were only Natural Theology courses

1860s

  • 1860 and 1861 there were no religious courses in the scientific course study, but a course called Natural Theology for those in the classical course study.
  • From 1862 until 1865, there was only a Greek Testament course being offered
  • From 1866 till 1869, students in the scientific course study were required to take Evidences of Christianity, listed as an Ethical Sciences, and all students were required to attend a lecture called Relation of Natural to Revealed Religion, under the ethics category, where the lecture eventually disappeared towards the end of the decade.
    • It is noted in the Course of Study description that the Scientific course had been rearranged so that it was more similar to that of the Classical course, in order to make them more well-rounded.

1870s

  • Throughout the 1870s, the courses offered remained the same as they were in the previous decade
  • In 1874, the University offered to make special arrangements for those aspiring to join the Christian ministry, and offering to arrange a special theological course if needed.

1880s

  • Until 1883, there was only one class related to religion: Christian Evidences,
  • In 1884 students were still required to take Christian Evidences, but there was also the first appearance of the Department of Ethics and Metaphysics
    • In the description it reads that: “This department embraces a course of instruction in the external, internal and experimental evidences of Christianity”
  • In 1888 the department description changed. Instead of the previous statement, there is a description of the Evidences of Christianity
  • 1889 the description changed again to a professor giving instruction in Christian Evidences

1890s

  • From 1890 until 1893, the description and classes remained the same as it was from 1889
  • In 1894 there were sections under the Department of Ethics and Metaphysics called Philosophy of Theism and Christian Evidences
  • From 1895 until 1897,there was the Department of Ethics and Metaphysics (for philosophy majors), where there were sections called Theism and Philosophy of Theism
  • In 1898 Department of Ethics and Metaphysics included one section called Theism and Christian Ethics

1900s

  • From 1899 until 1907, there was the first sighting of a religion department, although it was grouped together with philosophy to make the Philosophy and Religion Department. Under the philosophy department, students still took a course on religion, Theism and Christian Evidences. Students were still required to take religion courses that varied depending on the year of the student, whether or not they majored in Philosophy and Religion. The number of courses offered under the department started out with very small and increased over the years.
  • In 1908 the Philosophy and Religion Department was combined with the education department, split into two parts
  1. Philosophy and Education
  2. Religion
  • In 1909 the department separated philosophy, education, and religion into three categories under one department.

1910s

  • The departments remained the same until 1914, where a new department was added called The Department of English Bible and Religion
  • In 1915, under the section, Graduation Requirements, students were required to complete four semester hours in the department of English Bible and Religion
  • In 1919 the four course hours of English Bible and Religion was changed to “four hours of biblical literature.” The Department of English Bible and Religion disappeared, and was replaced with two new departments: The Department of Biblical Literature and The Department of Religious education, where they shared the same courses. In the course descriptions, it states that there are classes in other departments that are related to this department, and that students would be required to take.

1920s

  • In 1920, the department changed to the Department of Religion
  • In 1923, this department was replaced with the department of Bible and Christian Missions, although the department of Education and Religious Education was still there
  • In 1929, the department returned to being called the Department of Religion, with the two subtopics being English Bible and Christian Missions.

1930s

  • These departments remained the same until 1931, where the two subgroups under the department of religion disappeared.
  • In 1932 the departments were broken up into divisions, where religion was grouped together with philosophy and psychology. The latter were grouped together under a subheading and religion was by itself. Under religion was also the subgroup religious education.
  • In 1933 the religion requirement for graduation was reduced from four hours to three hours
  • In 1935, religion was grouped under the division of the humanities, along with art, languages, English, music, philosophy and psychology, and speech.
  • In 1939, religion was still under the division of the humanities, but grouped together with philosophy.

1940s

  • The departments and divisions remained the same until 1946, where religion remained under the division of humanities but was separated from philosophy.
  • In 1944, a concentration is offered under religion that prepares young women for the church.

1950s

  • No changes

1960s

  • Churchmanship Training Program introduced; a program that trains students to become members of the church, gone by 1964.
  • No other changes
  • Pre-ministerial training is offered in 1963, a more detailed version of concentrating in religion and includes a half-tuition grant.

1970s

  • The departments and divisions remained the same until 1972, where there were no more divisions and the department of religion was an individual department

1980s-2000

  • No change

Departmental History: German

The evolution of the German Department as seen in the Catalogue of Courses. Course catalogs from 1851-1954 are available online; the rest are available in print in the University Archives.

Not listed in 1851-52 catalog and no other catalogs available until…

1857-65: German and French listed as electives in the “Classical” degree track (the only other track available was “Scientific”) for Junior year.

1892-1893: German and French languages taught together, but a more in-depth time and practice are spent on German even briefly letting students “in which the instructor uses the German language in order the better to familiarize the pupils with ordinary idioms, not necessarily met with in their reading” (16). Also includes an advanced class that studies the works like Goethe’s Hermann und Dorothea and Sesenheim; Freytag’s Journalisten, and Scheffel’s Ekkehard (30).

Focus still on ancient languages of Greek and Latin

1895: First year as a major. Separate listing of German as Course C of language after Greek and Latin. It is also described as adding a third year compared to the previous two year policy and a detailed description of this third year of study consists of reading of historical prose and the study of German Literature. The catalogue says that “German will be largely the language of the classroom throughout the year, and the student will be encouraged to continue in private the study of a most valuable language, which these three years of training ought to make easy and attractive” (28).

1900: Classified as a Modern Language (rather than Ancient language) and has 12 classes of study listed.

1910: Still offered as a three year program, but is more specifically divided into three sections of work. First Year: Mastery of the essentials of grammar, composition, conversation and pronunciation, and 150 pages of easy prose.

Second Year: Advanced grammar and syntax when writing German. Reading of more difficult authors covering 250 to 300 pages.

Third Year: Reading of selected poetical and historical prose works.

1920: German classes increase from general study of the language to more specific categorical classes such as The German Novel of the Nineteenth Century, The Drama of the Nineteenth Century, Goethe and Schiller, History of the German Language, Scientific German.

1930: Direct Listing of Major and Minor Status-Major 24 semester hours and Minor 12 semester hours-Same listing of classes.

German Club Present in 1930 catalogue-Described as “The German Club meets the needs of students of this language in providing extra-curricular opportunity for personal contacts and for attaining proficiency in conversation”(112). Club helped by Professor Ferguson-see next page

1940: Additional classes of Survey of German Literature and German Conference added to German course of classes and it is also in this catalog that Spanish appears as an additional modern language of study.

1950: Only listing of German as a foreign language and only First and Second Year German taught-So only 4 sections of basic language study and small compared to French and Spanish department.

1960: Return of 100 to 400 level German Language classes-Additions of German Composition and Conversation, Goethe’s Faust, Senior Review, and History of German Literature. Ferguson not listed-Emeritus- died on May 9, 1944.

1970: German interestingly is now placed before either Greek or Latin in the catalogue listing. Also a few more classes included such as Survey of German Literature Before 1700, Survey of German Literature After 1700, Contemporary German Literature, Independent Study in German Literature, The German Novelle, German Classicism, German Romanticism-obviously close ties to English department studies

1980: German major alongside the other languages of French and Spanish are divided into three major tracks of major sequence in Applied Modern Language, Modern Literature, and Foreign Language Education. With these divisions the courses expand to carter to these areas, but what is interesting is for the first time the mentions of Travel/Study Abroad classes and internships are listed in the catalogue.

1990: Relatively the same set-up of classes, but looks like there is an increase in studying the effect of translation to language studies, etc.

2000: German Department listing and courses offered officially takes up two full pages of content in the 2000 catalogue showing its serious growth and number of classes for students. The same format is still carried in the modern day, 2014.

Further research of the descriptions and images of the German study/club in the past Wesleyana yearbooks and past Argus issues might also be of interest.

Wesleyana digital collection homepage http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/index_iwu_yearb.php?CISOROOT=/iwu_yearb

Argus and earlier digitized news sources homepage http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/index_iwu_argus.php?CISOROOT=/iwu_argus

Here are a few interesting facts: According to Argus perusals, etc. enrollment in the German Programs nationwide definitely decreased during the years of World War II, but also most likely during the years of World War I as well. This is due to obvious reasons of conflict, but at least after the official end of WWII, the departments including IWU did begin to resurface and flourish even only 3 or so years after the war ended-article of German Professor expressing these thoughts-So look at German Department during the War years

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/u?/iwu_argus,16320

Also an interesting focus was looking at the progression of the professorship of Wilbert Ferguson- He was teaching mainly Greek, but also began teaching German on campus in 1894, but he did not identify himself as a German instructor (in the catalogue) officially until 1901. Slowly as one examines the catalogue, it is seen that Ferguson began to take the reins of the department and he became the head Professor of German on campus until his death in 1944. So he is a large contributor and Professor of interest specifically for the IWU German Department. The University has a large scrapbook of Professor Ferguson, but I have also featured here a 1941 Wesleyana Picture(Picture present in earlier editions as well) of Ferguson

http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/u?/iwu_yearb,2279

Check out the Museum class exhibits!

Four groups of students prepared exhibits for ANTH 270 this semester. This project required them to become familiar with artifacts on a topic, research it using primary and secondary sources, and create a visually appealing and informative display.

One of the groups used ethnographic material collected by Dr. Rebecca Gearhart. Their exhibit, titled Rhythms of the East African Coast is located in a display case by the Anthropology department on the second floor of CLA.

The remaining three groups used materials from the University Archives. The exhibit titles and locations are as follows:

The Long Lost Fame of the IWU College of Law, 1st Floor, John Wesley Powell Rotunda

     –photographs and documents related to the Bloomington law School and IWU College of Law.

Turbulent Titans: Student Issues from 1970-1971, 1st Floor, across from Circulation

     –an analysis of issues tackled by the student publication “Rhetoric and Propaganda.”

The Center of the University: Its Rise and Its Demise, 3rd Floor, outside Thorpe Center

     –photographs, an architectural plan and documents surrounding the history of Old Main/Hedding Hall/Duration Hall.

Great job, ANTH 270!

Selected mysteries, part one

Special Collections houses a number of mysteries some enterprising researcher may be able to mine for treasures. Here are a few items and what little information we have about them:

Five photo albums from the 19th Century, some with people identifed, some not, and only one with clues about the people’s relationship to IWU.

Barry Lennon Farm Records, 1842-52

Correspondence and photos from World War I soldiers

Correspondence from several World War II servicemen to Nell (Carmichael) Livingston

Notes, reports and ephemera of Henry Filip, physicist at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in the 1970s

A journal with some ledger-type of entries (1842-45) but mostly a beautiful, albeit dense handwriting. The name that appears the most is Thomas Storm Hubbard. Interestingly, on one page where he writes his names several times there also appears, in large letters, the word “Fearlessness.”

Conduct of Life

The collection we call “Conduct of Life” holds over 200 books from secular and religious perspectives dating from 1560. The topics include moral, social and practical considerations aimed at youth of both sexes and women. French, Latin and English seem to the the languages represented in this collection, but you can browse the entire list from our online catalog by following the directions on this guide.

Note: A few of the titles in the catalog are also held in the Main Stacks.

Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, and I thought I’d mention a few places where poetry can be found in our vaults.

Special Collections

We have a growing collection of Beat Generation material. This is primarily poetry in book and magazine/journal review format but biographies and some criticism is held here, too. More of the primary and secondary source material is available in the main library stacks. A title list is available, but each title is also cataloged and so they’ll turn up if you search in our online holdings, too.

Individual titles in special collections are usually accompanied by an inscription or autograph of an author such as 39 Poems by John Ciardi; The Unicorn and Other Sonnets by Thomas S. Jones, jr.; For My People by Margaret Walker, Threads by Dorothy Quick.

Archives

We hold various incarnations of IWU student-compiled journals containing poetry from the literary societies of the late 19th century through to today’s Tributaries and material on the Tounge & Ink conferences.

Powell and the American West

Special Collections has four collections of material for researchers interested in John Wesley Powell and the western U.S. 

  • a manuscript collection of correspondence and articles written by researchers who have contacted IWU for information on Powell over the years,
  •  a collection of books by and about Powell and the American West,
  • a wide range of material collected by Marcia Thomas during two years of research for the award-winning volume John Wesley Powell: An Annotated Bibliography, and
  • a web-based collection of images providing access to the John Wesley Powell Collection of Pueblo Pottery.  The physical collection is located on the first floor of the library.

Anyone interested in using these collections is welcome to contact me or visit the archives.