Art Historian Speaks on the Place of Islamic Artworks in Christian Spain

During a visit to New York to attend the College Art Association conference (CAA) Professor Antonio Urquízar Herrera from the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia in Madrid stopped by Fordham’s Rose Hill campus to speak to a group of faculty and graduate students. As the group enjoyed lunch courtesy of the History Department Professor Urquízar-Herrera discussed his forthcoming book Admiration and Awe: Morisco Buildings and Identity Negotiations in Early Modern Spanish Historiography, which examines how Spanish Christian historians of the sixteenth century processed the presence of Islamic architecture at the heart of their cities. Particularly in Andalusia, where the last Muslim controlled towns were conquered by Christian powers in 1492, writers who wanted to describe the glory of their cities had to contend with monumental works of Islamic architecture. How, if at all, did they acknowledge the origins of these buildings, so patently different from their own Gothic cathedrals and palaces? Following a lively talk, the visiting art historian was generous enough to discuss his manuscripts, religious appropriation, and ideas concerning race and identity in Early Modern Spain with several graduate students.

 

The department, and especially the students who stuck around for the discussion, would like to thank Professor Herrera for his illuminating presentation. “Admiration and awe” captures the feelings of the Fordham audience quite nicely!

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Spring 2017 O’Connell Event: Timothy Brook to Speak on March 8

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Upcoming Digital Humanities Workshop with Alisa Beer

Last week was NYCDH Week 2017 — the week each year when the NYC Digital Humanities (DH) community gets together to discuss their projects, run workshops, and bring the NYC DH community together.

One feature of the kick-off meeting on Monday was a series of Lightning Talks: five minute mini-presentations about DH projects in the works. Presentations ranged from personal research to new departmental makerspaces and showed the breadth of DH projects and interests in the greater NYC area!

Fordham History Department Ph.D. student Alisa Beer gave a lightning talk about a DH project she is running at Columbia University as part of her spring 2017 internship with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia.

The workshop, called “Digital Editing and the Medieval Manuscript Roll” will take place on March 24-25 for Columbia University graduate students. Participants will learn the fundamentals of digital editing while tackling the codicological challenges posed by medieval manuscripts. Practical sessions will inform collective editorial decision-making: participants will undertake the work of transcription and commentary, and tag (according to TEI 5 protocols) the text and images of one medieval manuscript roll from the Columbia collection. The workshop will result in a collaborative digital edition of Plimpton Add. Ms. 04, a roll of the Fifteen Oes of Saint Bridget.

Plimpton Add. Ms. 04

Click here for more information on the workshop and its goals, structure, and outcomes.

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Race and Public Education in NYC – A Town Hall Meeting

The Bronx African American History Project will be hosting a town hall meeting on Race and Public Education in NYC, Tuesday, February 21st at Walsh Library, Fordham University. The event will begin at 7pm in the Flom Auditorium with a food and drink reception to follow.

This event will be co-sponsored by the Bronx African American History Project and the Department of African and African American Studies at Fordham University, Bronx Educators United for Justice, ASILI – The Black Student Alliance at Fordham, and The Fordham Club’s Bronx Collaboration Committee.
Please RSVP to the event here.
For additional event information please contact:

Lisa Betty: lbetty1@fordham.edu
Mark Naison: naison@fordham.edu
bronxeducatorsunited4justice@gmail.com

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History Day 2017

Join us tomorrow for History Day! 

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Congratulation to Kirsten Swinth, Winner of Social Sciences Teaching Award

Professor Kirsten Swinth of the Department of History (Right) with her student Noel Wolfe (PhD) at graduation

On Friday at the University’s annual Faculty Day, Professor John Harrington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, presented History Professor Kirsten Swinth with the award for outstanding teaching in the Social Sciences. Dean Harrington’s citation mentioned her her broad range of skills and interests, including the history of women and painting, her experiences working in education abroad, particularly in Mozambique, and work organizing teaching events outside of the classroom. The History Department could not be more proud of Professor Swinth: Congratulations!

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The Professor and the Process: Dr. Richard Gyug and The Bishop’s Book of Kotor

Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City
The Bishop’s Book of Kotor (Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN, F. no. 200).
ISBN: 978-0-88844-204-8

The History Department was lucky enough to catch up with its very own Prof. Richard Gyug to discuss his newest book, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop’s Book of Kotor (Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN, F. no. 200). Prof. Gyug has recently returned to campus after a semester’s leave. He has been research fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (PIMS) where he continued work on his long-running funded project the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana. Our interview with Prof. Gyug will hopefully give hope and insight to many scholars, especially those starting out like the Fordham MA students now beginning their spring projects, as we discussed the process: how does a project move from an idea to a finished product like a book?

History Department: First thing’s first I suppose, how did the project begin?

Dr. Richard Gyug: The present volume is a study and edition of a medieval manuscript. A much shorter version of the study and two of the four parts of the edition were my doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto (1984). The manuscript on which the edition is based is cited several times before 1800 when it was still in Kotor in Montenegro, where it was written and used in the middle ages. After that it disappeared until being noted again by Ljudmila Kisseleva of the Academy of Science in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad). Because the manuscript is written in Beneventan script, which was used in southern Italy and Dalmatia from 800 to 1300 or so, after Kisseleva’s note Virginia Brown listed the manuscript in her 1980 revised edition of E.A. Lowe’s The Benventan Script (original edition 1914). I was then at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, where Brown was, and her colleague, Roger Reynolds, introduced the manuscript to me in a seminar. I continued to work on it, and made it my dissertation.

Plate 4 from Gyug, Liturgy and Law. This is fol. 70v in the Pontifical of Kotor (St. Petersburg, RASL, F. 200) and is part of the dedication of a church with notated antiphons and an added communal document. The photograph is by Alexander Karnachov © Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN.

HD: After finally being introduced to the manuscript, how long was the process and its different stages?

RG: Very long! In preparing that dissertation, I noted which parts of the manuscript had music, but did not study them, an omission typical of liturgical editions then and now. At the defense, Andrew Hughes, a distinguished musicologist, noted this lack and stressed how important the music was for understanding the composition and use of the book. Of course, he was correct, so before continuing work on the present book, I edited a missal from Dubrovnik in which music was a major component. After that book came out, I worked on other similar manuscripts associated with a long-term grant-funded project, the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana, of which I was a member with the late Virginia Brown and Roger Reynolds. I picked up the present manuscript again in the mid-1990s and have been working on it off and on since over several research leaves.

 

HD: This manuscript seems like a regular in your research. Where does the book and this research fit in to your broader research questions?

RG: It’s a liturgical manuscript in Beneventan script. Such manuscripts are the principal topic of the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventan project, so it’s been a key part of the team project.

 

HD: Did your research on this book lead you into any immediate upcoming projects? If so, would you care to share what those are?

RG: I have continued to work on Beneventan manuscripts from Italy and Dalmatia, and thanks to the comparisons needed for the edition, also on liturgical manuscripts in other scripts from the region. So, it has led to several projects:

(1) a partial edition and study of a Beneventan manuscript containing Breviary and Ritual, which is priest’s manual. This manuscript is extraordinary because it was written in the fourteenth century, late for Beneventan, for use in Albania, which was outside the Beneventan zone, and the manuscript contains a Franciscan liturgy, rare in Beneventan, which is usually Benedictine and monastic. This study was begun and almost completed by my late colleague Virginia Brown, and I am finishing it at her request.

(2) a study of the relationships between Benevetan manuscripts with similar contents (i.e., the services proper to a bishop) and several related non-Beneventan manuscripts from Norman-Sicily, Bari in southern Italy, and Dubrovnik and Trogir in Dalmatia.

(3) the cataloguing of liturgical and other fragments at Montecassino

 

Thanks to Professor Gyug for taking the time to talk with us, and congratulations on this handsome book!

 

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Holiday Parties, Congratulations, and a New Year.

As the Fall Semester ebbed away and the occasional flurry of snowflakes blanketed Keating Hall, the History Department was busy letting off some end-of-semester stress with the annual holiday party in McGinley Hall. Bellies were filled with food and refreshments while hearts were broken in a rapacious white elephant gift exchange. Merrymaking and revelry aside, following department tradition the party was also the venue for the announcement of the 2015-6 Loomie Prize. This year Tobias Hrynick won for his project entitled, “Docke and Recordane: The Case Study of a Milling Dispute in the Latin East.” Congrats Toby!

Dr. David Myers (left) and Dr. Nicholas Paul (right) present Tobias Hrynick (center) with the 2015-6 Loomie Prize.

Dr. David Myers (left) and Dr. Nicholas Paul (right) present Tobias Hrynick (center) with the 2015-6 Loomie Prize.

Giulia Crisanti poses with her white elephant gift: a brown monkey mug.

Giulia Crisanti poses with her white elephant gift: a brown monkey mug.

Being the victim of constant white elephant thievery doesn't keep Dr. Mark Naison's holiday spirits down.

Being the victim of constant white elephant thievery doesn’t keep Dr. Mark Naison‘s holiday spirits down.

The History Department would like to welcome back faculty and students as the winter break ends and the new year begins. Congrats to everyone for making it through 2016, and congrats once again to Toby on his Loomie Prize!

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Congratulations to Susan Wabuda, Contributor to Award Winning Volume on the Bible in Early Modern England

9780199686971The History Department congratulates faculty member Susan Wabuda, who contributed the opening essay to a volume awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize (Reference Category) by the Sixteenth Century Society. The book, The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c. 1530-1700 (Oxford University Press, 2015) was edited by Kevin Killeen, Helen Smith, and Rachel Willie, and resulted from an international conference held at the University of York (UK) in 2011.

The 2o11 conference was held to mark the 500th anniversary of the famous King James Bible (first published in 1611), but Wabuda’s essay entitled “‘A Day after Doomsday’: Cranmer and the Bible Translations of 1530s” discussed earlier trends in Bible translation in England. The King James version relied upon these earlier translations, especially because of the work of the great translator William Tyndale (d. 1536). Wabuda reports that one goal of the essay was to understand the problems of making a good Bible translation in English, but she also hopes that it helps to illuminate another issue: that the Bible was originally intended as a teaching tool. Although modern readers might think of a a Bible rendered into English as an opportunity for personal reading and study, this was not the intention of the translators. In fact, King Henry VIII and archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer both believed in withholding the Bible from the people if they would not behave: “Scripture was one of the great treasures of the church, but because it was so sacred (like the sacrament of the altar) it would be withheld from people depending on the circumstances.”

The Roland H. Bainton prize is given in memory of the great Reformation historian who taught at Yale University. Susan Wabuda laments never having met Bainton, who she identifies as one of the first scholars to seriously explore the role of women in the Reformation.

Congratulations once more to Dr. Wabuda and the team behind this great volume!

 

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History Hosts Samuel Moyn for Human Rights Discussion at Lincoln Center

the_last_utopia_by_samuel_moyn-460x307More than 150 students gathered on November 30, 2016, to have a conversation about the place of human rights in post World War II world with the world’s leading scholar on the subject — professor Samuel Moyn The Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law and Professor of History at Harvard University.  Moyn did not lecture.  After briefly telling the students what drew him to study human rights he engaged them in a dialogue in which our own undergraduates distinguished themselves and our university by asking nuanced sophisticated questions that demonstrated both mastery of Moyn’s work, which they read in preparation for the visit, and command of world’s affair.

moynThe event with the students was followed by a dinner discussion with professor Moyn in which diverse faculty from different departments and both campuses discussed the fundamental challenges of human rights policy and diplomacy such as the articulation of human rights, the distinctions between human rights, civil rights, and social and economic rights, the place of the nation state in promoting and protecting human rights, and the pitfalls of humanitarian intervention. (thanks to Doron Ben Atar for this blog post)

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