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Faculty and Staff

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Office: Capin Hall

Room: 303

Phone: 5704084225

Email: john.hepp@wilkes.edu

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Dr. John H Hepp

Associate Professor/Co-Chair

Global History & Languages

Biography

Dr. John H. Hepp
Associate Professor • History


Growing up just outside of Philadelphia, John Hepp can never remember not being interested in history, in part because he was always surrounded by the physical reminders of the past. Although his path to teaching at Wilkes was far from direct, he thinks that his time spent practicing law helps him be both a better teacher and mentor to his students.

He teaches courses on U.S. and world history that examine the period from about 1850 to the present. His research interests center on the effects of technological and economic change on everyday urban life from about 1800 to the present. He writes and speaks on cities that range in size from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia to London and likes to think about how the past helps define the present in many cities.

Before going to graduate school for history at the University of North Carolina, John Hepp attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School and practiced law in Philadelphia for a large firm for over five years. He practice was a broad one that involved corporate, international and transfer of wealth issues. While a lawyer, he discovered his love of teaching (while presenting seminars to the public and other lawyers) and decided to combine his interests in teaching and urban history and pursue a degree in history.

John Hepp has been at Wilkes since 1999. In 2003, he received the Carpenter Award for Outstanding Teaching and he was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award of Merit in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2012. In addition, he also received, along with Dr. Mark Stine, Wilkes University’s first Interdisciplinary Teaching Award in 2005.

With Dr. Mark Stine, he has coproduced with students historical documentaries since 2002 and led annual study abroad tours to London since 2006. Hepp and Stine were also the founders of what is now the Wyoming Valley History Project in 2008. He finds these chances to collaborate with colleagues and student s exciting and looks forward to additional opportunities in the future.

Hepp is also an active scholar and brings his research directly into his classroom. His first book, The Middle-Class City: Transforming Space and Time in Philadelphia, 1876-1926 was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2003 He co-edited with Leonard Schlup Selections from the Papers and Speeches of Warren G. Harding 1918-1923: The Twenty-Ninth President of the United States of America published by The Edwin Mellen Press in 2008. He is also the author of a number of articles and his most recent, “James Brown Scott and the Rise of Public International Law,” in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era was nominated for the Charles DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History.

 

Publications

John Hepp Publications and Presentations
Publications – Books:

(with Leonard Schlup) Selections from the Papers and Speeches of Warren G. Harding 1918-1923: The Twenty-Ninth President of the United States of America (The Edwin Mellen Press), 2008

The Middle-Class City: Transforming Space and Time in Philadelphia, 1876-1926 (University of Pennsylvania Press), 2003

Publication – Internet Exhibit:

(with Deborah Litwack) “Trolley Tour: An Introduction to the Samuel Gibb Smith, Jr., Collection of Philadelphia Transportation History Photographs,” exhibit at the Free Library of Philadelphia's website from January 1997 to present

Publications – Articles and Chapters:

Entry on George Frederick Baer in Giles R. Hoyt, ed., German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present: From the End of the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era, 1893-1918, vol. 3 (German Historical Institute), forthcoming

“Centennial Celebrations,” in Edward O. Frantz, ed., A Guide to Reconstruction Presidents, 1865-1881 (Blackwell), forthcoming

“James Brown Scott and the Rise of Public International Law,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, April 2008 (nominated for the Charles DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History)

(with Robert P. Wolensky and Thomas J. Baldino) “Remaking Local Government?: Political Culture and Charter Reform in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1968-2001,” Pennsylvania History, Autumn 2006

“Redefining the City: People, Transportation, and Space in Philadelphia, 1876-1901,” in Colin Divall and Winstan Bond, eds, Suburbanizing the Masses: Public Transport and Urban Development in Historical Perspective (Scolar Press), 2003

“‘Such a Well-Behaved Train Station:’ Evolving Spatial Patterns at Philadelphia’s Late-Victorian Central Passenger Depots,” Pennsylvania History, Winter 2003

(with Mark H. Biddle) “Computer Source Code Escrow Agreements: Some Practical Considerations,” in Software Protection, Contractual Issues & the Impact of Tax Reform: An Analysis of Computer Law (Pennsylvania Bar Institute), 1987

Other Publications:

Entries on Commuter Railroads, Public Transportation, Streetcars, Omnibuses, and Subways and Elevateds in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (online and University of Pennsylvania Press), 2012 and forthcoming

 

Entry on Philadelphia from 1896 to 1929 in Cities in American Political History (C.Q. Press), 2011                                   

Entries on John Wanamaker Stores and Saks Fifth Avenue in the Dictionary of American History (Charles Scribner’s Sons), 2009

Entry on Railroads in the Historical Dictionary of the1940s (M.E. Sharpe), 2006

“Some Thoughts on Teaching the Gilded Age in the Digital Age,” Newsletter of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Spring 2004

Essays on the Centennial Exposition, Colleges and Universities, Franklin B. Gowen, George Roberts, J. Edgar Thomson, John Wanamaker, and Frank W. Woolworth in the Historical Dictionary of the Gilded Age (M.E. Sharpe), 2003

Essays on the Pennsylvania Railroad's development of the Main Line, Main Line stations, and Alexander Cassatt for The First 300: The Amazing and Rich History of Lower Merion (Lower Merion [Pennsylvania] Historical Society), 2000

Biographic essays on Austin Corbin, Franklin B. Gowen and William L. McLean for the American National Biography (Oxford University Press), 1999

“The Standard Railroad of the World Looks at the True Line,” The True Line (Journal of the Caledonian Railway Association), March 1997

Book reviews for American Historical Review, Commonwealth, H-URBAN and the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

Conference Presentations:

Commentator on the panel “Building Businesses and Keeping Them Going in Pennsylvania History,” at the Pennsylvania Historical Association annual meeting, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 2012

(with Vernon Harper and KarenBeth Bohan) “Developing and Assessing General Education Student Learning Outcomes,” panel discussion at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania’s Assessment Workshop, Harrisburg, August 2012

 

“The Metropolitan Railway as an urban model: The demand for subways in late-Victorian Philadelphia and Glasgow,” presentation given at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting, New York, February 2012

                  Abstract                  Slideshow
 

“London as an urban model since 1666,” paper given at LONDONICITY 2011, University of London, London, July 2011

                  Abstract                  Slideshow
 

"Restoration London as an urban model: William Penn's Philadelphia and its American legacy," presentation for the Restoration London conference, London, September 2010

                  Programme                  Abstract                  Slideshow
 

Commentator on “Transportation, Politics and the Nineteenth Century City” panel at the “Reconsidering the City” conference, Fredonia, N. Y., April 2010

 

(with Mark Stine) poster presentation entitled “Oral History and Beyond: An Interdisciplinary Model for Creating Oral History Documentaries in Undergraduate Classes” at the National Council on Public History annual meeting, Portland, Oregon, March 2010

 

Chair/commentator on “Mid-Atlantic Merchants” held at the Pennsylvania Historical Association annual meeting, Chester, Pennsylvania, October 2009

 

(with Robert P. Wolensky and Thomas J. Baldino) “Toward a Theory of Urban Political Development” paper given at the First Annual Joint Urban Studies Center Faculty Research Symposium, Wilkes-Barre, April 2008

 

(with Robert P. Wolensky and Thomas J. Baldino) “When Just Any Government Won’t Do: Fitting a Form of City Government to a City’s Political Culture, the Case of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania” delivered at the Northeastern Political Science Association, Philadelphia, November 2007

 

“Museums as venues for teaching the history of technology to undergraduates,” given at the “Transport and Communication Museums in a Changing Environment” conference, York, England, June 2007

 

“The Victorian industrial metropolis in comparative perspective: Philadelphia and Glasgow as ‘Workshops of the World,’” presented at “The Global Victorians: Interdisciplinary and Transnational Approaches to the Victorian Era,” Calgary, Alberta, Canada, November 2006

 

“Urban morphology and Wilkes-Barre: Using the Wyoming Valley as a case study of how small cities differ in cultural landscape from their larger counterparts,” paper given at the Small Cities Conference, Wilkes-Barre, October 2006

“Imagining the Victorian industrial metropolis: Philadelphia, the ‘Workshop of the World,’” presentation given at the University of Glasgow’s Second Cities Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland, May 2004

(with Bonnie Culver and Doug Lynch) poster session entitled "The Freshmen Experience: From Required to Signatory" at the annual conference of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Chicago, April 2004

Co-leader (with Andrea Franz and Mark Stine) of a short course entitled “Past Meets Future: An Interdisciplinary Model for Integrating Documentary, Research, and History in the Communications Classroom,” given at the Eastern Communication Association annual meeting, Boston, April 2004

“‘One great big stretch of middle class:’ Middle-class housing patterns in metropolitan Philadelphia, 1880-1925,” paper given at the American Historical Association annual meeting, Washington, January 2004

                  Slideshow                  Paper

Panelist discussing “Interpreting Community,” a Middle Atlantic American Studies Association sponsored session at the Pennsylvania Black History Conference, Scranton, May 2003

Panelist discussing “Is ‘New’ Necessarily ‘Improved?:’ Teaching the GAPE in the Electronic Age,” a Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era affiliated session at the Organization of American Historians’ annual meeting, Memphis, April 2003

“National Images: Representations of America’s Past and Future at the Centennial Exhibition,” paper given at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, Millersville, October 2002

“Exhibiting America: Images of the United States at the Centennial Exhibition,” paper presented at the Middle Atlantic American Studies Association annual meeting, Philadelphia, March 2002

“From Private To Public Action: Middle Class Attempts To Stop Neighborhood Change in Early-Twentieth-Century Philadelphia,” paper read at the Society for City and Regional Planning History conference, Philadelphia and Camden, November 2001

“Trolleys not Trains, Neighborhoods not Suburbs: Middle-Class Residential Patterns in Metropolitan Philadelphia, 1890-1920,” presentation given at the Social Science History Association annual meeting, Pittsburgh, October 2000

“Manufacturing Passengers: Philadelphia Railroads and Advertising, 1850-1920,” paper presented at the Middle Atlantic American Studies Association annual meeting, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, April 2000

“Iron, Glass, Coal, Steam: Modernity as Spectacle at the Centennial Exposition,” paper read at the Nineteenth Century Studies Association meeting, Philadelphia, March 1999

“Redefining the City: People, Transportation, and Space in Philadelphia, 1876-1901,” paper presented at the “Suburbanising the Masses” conference, York, England, November 1997

“Reading the Newspaper: Reflections of Cultural Change on the Pages of the Philadelphia Press, 1880-1925,” paper given at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, Philadelphia, November 1997

“Before Thirtieth Street: A Century of Pennsylvania Railroad Passenger Terminals in Philadelphia, 1833-1933,” paper read at the Pennsylvania State Railroad Museum’s symposium on the history of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Strasburg, Pennsylvania, October 1996

“‘Such a Well-Behaved Train Station:’ The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and Its Passenger Terminals in Central Philadelphia, 1830-1900,” paper given at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, Sacramento, California, June 1996

Community and Other Presentations:

Presentations for Wilkes University “VIP Day,” 2000-2012. Titles include:

·       “Restoration London as an urban model: William Penn's Philadelphia and its American legacy” (2011-12)

·       “Study history where it was made: London” (2010)

·       “America’s First World’s Fair”(2009)

·       “The Victorian Internet” (2000-8)                 

“What is oral history and why is it a useful method?,” Project History, Wilkes University, September 2011

“What is oral history and why is it a useful method?,” Northeastern Pennsylvania Oral History Workshop, Wilkes-Barre, May 2011

“Restoration London as an urban model: William Penn's Philadelphia and its American legacy,” presentation for Wilkes University Faculty Forum, October 2010

“Trains,” a presentation for children, given at the Osterhout Free Library, Wilkes-Barre, April 2009 and April 2005

“The Pennsylvania Railroad and the suburbanization of Bala and Cynwyd,” a slide presentation given to the Lower Merion Historical Society, November 2008

Presentation on my research given to the Urban Studies Seminar, Villanova University, April 2008

(with Kyle Kreider) “The limits of dissent during war time,” Wilkes University Constitution Day Program, September 2006

“The Middle-Class City,” slide show for the Kutztown University History Club, February 2005

Delivered commencement address, Wilkes University, January 2004

“America's First World's Fair: The 1876 Centennial,” slide show given at the Wyoming Valley Torch Club, Wilkes-Barre, November 2003

“The Rise and Decline of the Anthracite Railroads,” slide presentation given at Eckley Miners' Village, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, September 2003

“Building the Future by Mining the Region’s Past,” presentation given to Leadership Wilkes-Barre, September 2001

“Technology and the American Civil War,” program for the Hazleton Area Public Library, April 2001

 

“Victorian Modernity,” talk given to the Wyoming Valley Torch Club, Wilkes-Barre, December 2000

“The Realities of Soldier Life in the American Civil War,” program for the Hazleton Area Public Library, November 2000                 

“Trolleys on the Internet,” discussion before “Explorations: A Graduate Student Working Group in Historical Presentation” at the University of North Carolina, September 1995

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