Thanks to the History Department’s Leahey fellowship for summer travel, graduate student and medievalist Louisa Foroughi was able to spend five weeks in June and July visiting archives in England and Scotland (with a very brief Welsh detour!). Louisa’s dissertation focuses on the origins and social significance of the English “yeomen,” a group situated at the mid-point of the social scale, who made their first appearance in the early fifteenth century and quickly rose to prominence under the Tudors. She spent ten days in London and Chester tracking down a yeomen family from a small town near Chester, during which time she snuck in a quick jaunt across the Welsh border, a mere 30 minute walk from the city walls! She spent a further two weeks gathering probate records in local record offices in Norwich, Bury St. Edmunds, and Ipswich, all favorite haunts. She is now in possession of c. 377 wills and inventories produced by husbandmen, yeomen, and gentlemen from 1348-1538, one of the three main document times upon which her dissertation will be based. While in England, Louisa also presented a paper on Archbishops’ Registers at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds and attended the Anglo-American Seminar with Professor Maryanne Kowaleski. She is happy to be back in the US, and looks forward to finally being able to answer the question, “what is a yeomen?”
9/30/16 (Friday!!): Robin Fleming Presents “Vanishing Plants, Animals, and Places: Britain’s Transformation from Roman to Medieval”
This Friday at 3:00 p.m., Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies and the New York Botanical Garden are pleased to host Professor Robin Fleming of Boston College, recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the “genius grant”), for her talk “Vanishing Plants, Animals, and Places: Britain’s Transformation from Roman to Medieval,” which uses material culture and environmental history to reveal heretofore unknown aspects of early medieval Britain. Due to the paucity of contemporary written sources, Fleming’s alternative approach, part of an emerging trend in research on the period, ought to provide truly novel insight. Appropriately, the talk will take place at the Mertz Library in the New York Botanical Garden and will be followed by an exhibit of medieval and early modern herbals. This opportunity is not to be missed! Event details below:
Vanishing Plants, Animals, and Places: Britain’s Transformation from Roman to Medieval
Humanities Institute, Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden
Friday, September 30, 3:00 pm
The History Department has collaborated with the English, Art History, Music, and Communications & Media Studies Department to invite acclaimed British music journalist and cultural critic Simon Reynolds to discuss his upcoming book, Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century (Harper Collins, 2016), on October 17th at the Pope Memorial Auditorium at our Lincoln Center Campus. The talk will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Asif Siddiqi, who discusses the event below:
Reynolds is among the most respected and famous pop culture critics in the world and has left a deep imprint on the history of pop music in particular. A writer for The Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, etc., he has published many award-winning and critically acclaimed books on the history of pop culture, including The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion, and Rock’n’Roll and Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture.His new book Shock and Awe is a provocative historical exploration of 1970s pop culture, from David Bowie to disco, and touches on issues of gender fluidity, authenticity, sexual decadence, and star-making in the late 20th century. The book’s release is timely in a number of ways, not least in its conjunction with the death of David Bowie earlier this year.
On Thursday October 6 12:00-1:00PM in Duane Library 140 (Theology Conference Room) the History Department will hold the first of our 2016 O’Connell lunchtime seminars. In our first meeting, we will discuss Rebecca Spang’s Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (Harvard, 2015). Spang’s new history highlights the crucial role of money in the creation of a gulf between political deals and daily life at the time of the French Revolution, artfully restoring economic considerations to the heart of the Revolution and modern history. A recent reviewer writes that it asks “a penetrating set of questions about the general issue of how we should understand social experience and its political consequences in the French Revolution, and beyond.” Please come and join us for a stimulating discussion of this book the issues that it raises for the global history of capitalism.
Members of the Fordham community who would like to take part in the seminar and would like a copy of the book are asked to RSVP to ndeantonis at fordham dot edu by September 23. Copies will also be available for loan in the History department office.
Below, Professor Susan Wabuda discusses the Sixteenth Century Society Conference held in Bruges this summer, as well as her adventures in the historic Belgian city, in the latest installment of our Summer Postcards series. Read on to learn more about the city’s intellectual and aesthetic delights. Continue reading
From July 8th to 11th Fordham Professor Maryanne Kowaleski and graduate student Louisa Foroughi attended the XIIth Annual Anglo-American Seminar on the Medieval Economy and Society, held this year in Stirling, Scotland. The Anglo-American Seminar is a long-standing gathering of some of the most distinguished economic and social historians in England and America. This year’s presentations drew attention to new directions in research, while its panel discussion featured lively debate about the relationship between government policy and England’s economy in the late middle ages. Professor Kowaleski closed the conference with a fascinating paper on the political participation and consciousness of mariners in late medieval England, part of her larger work on England’s seamen and coastal communities. A highlight of this year’s Seminar was a (rainy!) walking tour of the town of Stirling, all the way from the castle at the top of the hill to the fish stews at its base, led by Professor Richard Oram, who also opened the conference with an excellent talk on the environmental history of Scotland and its neglected relationship to political history. Louisa especially benefited from the opportunity to meet and talk over her thesis with experts in their field, such as Prof. Bruce Campbell, who was also honored with the presentation of a festschrift at the conference.
Continuing our Summer Postcards series, PhD student Damien Strecker tells us about an interview he conducted as part of his research on the history of St. Augustine Church in the South Bronx with Creighton Berry, a former member of its congregation. Read Damien’s account of his illuminating trip below. Continue reading
So far our series of summer postcards has highlighted how Fordham historians used the summer months to visit archives, go to conferences, and work on projects. In this installment, Professor Magda Teter tells us about how she used her summer time to bring her knowledge and teaching skills to her community, visiting an elementary school in Harlem and teaching two classes for 6-9 year olds about the history of the book. As Professor Teter writes: “Books are more than text, they are also objects. How did book come to have title pages? Beautiful colors and eye-catching binding. The two sessions covered the history of the book, from the ancient scrolls to modern books. The book, as we know it, is a historical artifact that changed over long centuries in format and content. We looked at Jewish and Christian books printed and in manuscript, on parchment scrolls and on paper. Students touched books that were printed hundreds of years ago, even in the 1460s. Technological advancements, like the introduction of paper and the moveable type, and local contexts have influenced the way information was preserved and accessed. We looked at books as an object and examined the influence of the material aspect of the book for the transmission and access to information. The young students touched real history.”
Fordham History Alum Darryl E. Brock Appointed Assistant Professor at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College
Fordham History Ph.D. graduate Darryl E. Brock (2014) has been appointed an Assistant Professor of Latino Studies starting fall semester 2016 at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). He will work in the Center for Ethnic Studies, a program that focus on Latino, African-American and Asian studies. At Fordham his primary advisor was the late Dr. Christopher Schmidt-Nowara with his dissertation committee also containing Drs. Hector Lindo-Fuentes and Asif Siddiqi. Darryl’s dissertation is under contract with the University of Alabama Press for publication in 2017 as Botanical Monroe Doctrine and American Empire: The Scientific Survey of Puerto Rico. At BMCC he looks forward to working with study abroad programs and undergraduate research, including expansion of his research program to look at how Puerto Ricans mediated U.S. colonial science into broader Latin America.
Since graduating from Fordham, Darryl has received the Taiwan Fellowship which entailed his spending five months last year researching under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Taiwan’s public diplomacy in Latin America. That work led to publications in Eurasia News and the Taiwan Review. Since then, he has received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach at the National University of Singapore (NUS) during Spring Semester of 2017. As an NUS Senior Visiting Fellow, Darryl will teach two courses of his creation, “Science, Technology and Imperialism in Global History,” and “May Fourth to Mao: Science in Modern China.” The latter course, in large part, will be based on his co-edited work Mr. Science and Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution (Lexington, 2013).
Many congratulations Darryl, we are all very proud of you!
Our latest postcard comes courtesy of PhD student Tobias Hrynick:
This July, I was able to attend the Mellon Summer Institute in English Paleography at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. The Institute consisted of a month of afternoon course-work on reading early modern handwriting, lead by Dr. Heather Wolfe, of the Folger Library. In the mornings, I was able to explore the Huntington’s extensive collection of manorial records of Battle Abbey, a Benedictine foundation in Sussex. The research opportunities and training provided by the Institute have contributed to my ongoing research project on the drainage and agricultural exploitation of south-eastern English marshes, since the Battle Abbey collection at the Huntington contains extensive documentation of Battle’s lands on Pevensey Marsh with occasional reference to other marshes in the region, and because an understanding of early modern hands is a key tool in unraveling the early modern scholarship through which our understanding of medieval marshes has been mediated.
Texts from Battle Abbey reveal a number of peculiar features of wetland charters. Notable is the occasional use of the slightly larger Flemish acre to measure wetland holdings, suggestive of influence from the Low Countries in medieval English wetland exploitation. Also interesting is the careful attention given to responsibilities toward marsh drainage when wetlands were being transferred – one gift of marsh to Battle Abbey specified not only that it would be the monks who were responsible for maintaining the drainage ditch on the edge of the property, but even onto which side of the ditch they were to cast dirt when they dredged it.