20 Questions: A sketch of Centre history professor Michael Hamm

RELEASED: April 6, 2006

L-R: Mike Hamm: with grandson Logan; granddaughter Rainie; with granddaughter Sophie (and Ms. Lily Peanut); with Nigel ("the yawning, yet distinguished Corgi"), and Ms. Lily Peanut.

DANVILLE, KY—1. Position/title: Ewing T. Boles Professor of History 

2. Hometown: Stillwater, Minn.  

3. Career highlight: Publication of Kiev: A Portrait, 1800-1917  (Princeton Univ. Press).  

4. Signature class: History 120. Upper-level: Middle East History; Soviet history.

5. Recent publication/exhibition/performance: “Jews and Revolution in Kharkiv. How One Ukrainian City Escaped a Pogrom in 1905,” in The  Russian Revolution of 2005. Centenary Perspectives (2005).  

6. Family details: married to JoAnn Wikoff. Two daughters, Sarah Hamm-Alvarez is a professor of biochemistry at the Univ. of Southern Calif.; Jill Hamm is a professor of adolescent development at UNC- Chapel Hill.  3 grandchildren (Rainie, Sophie, Logan).

7. Hobbies: tennis, birding, travel. I've also been known to follow IU basketball.  

8. Pets: Nigel (a very sweet and intelligent corgi) and Ms. Lily Peanut (an equally sweet, intelligent, and feisty mix of unknown origin).  

9. Prized possession: 82 acres of protected forest in the Knobs.  

10. Last book read: (two) Philip Caputo, Acts of Faith and Khaled Hosseini, The Kite-Runner  

11. Memorable trip/vacation: Wildlife/birding safari in Tanzania and a driving tour of Maramures, Transylvania and Bukovina, Romania.  

12. Favorite movies:  Cold Mountain and Saving Private Ryan.  

13. Favorite musicians: Moody Blues, Phil Collins, Styx. 

14. Favorite food: Alaskan Halibut Olympia; my mother's chicken pie; Hungarian goulash; and hundreds, no thousands—of other dishes.  

15. Favorite smell: Lilacs in bloom.  

16. Person you most admire: Gosh, I don't know.

17. Living figure you’d most like to meet: Ditto.

18. Historical figure you’d most like to meet: Lenin, or maybe Peter the Great. James Madison or George Washington would be kind of neat too.

19. What would you be doing if you weren’t teaching at Centre: Working for some kind of environmental or conservation organization.  

20. Describe yourself in three words: I've really enjoyed teaching at Centre. (I guess that's more than three.)


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