Fordham History PhD Darryl Brock
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!
Seventeenth Century Judgment of the Jurors of Romney Marsh Concerning the Sale of Soil for Sea-Wall
Huntington Library Battle Abbey Collections 56 A
Photograph by Tobias Hrynick
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.
Munger Research Center, Huntington Library
Photograph by Tobias Hrynick
Secretary of State Robert Lansing (far left) in Washington, D.C., no date (between 1916 and 1918), Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Greetings from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.! I am here doing research in the Robert Lansing and Charles Evan Hughes papers. Lansing was Secretary of State for Woodrow Wilson during the Paris negotiations for the peace treaty to World War I. In his papers, I am looking at the correspondence relating to the founding of the League of Nations and the ideas of sovereignty and self-determination for oppressed peoples in Central Europe and, to a lesser extent, the former Ottoman Empire. Hughes was Secretary of State from 1921 to 1925. In his papers, I am examining what was known as “The Mandates Controversy,” which was essentially a debate in the United States about the secret treaties between the British and French governments, both during and after the war, to divide up the rich oil-producing areas of the Middle East. How would the League of Nations monitor the “trustee powers” of Britain and France, as they ostensibly managed the Mandates of Mesopotamia and Syria for their own benefit? What would be the role of the United States, which had not joined the League of Nations but still maintained its right, as a participant in the Allied victory in the war, to representation in the Mandates? How would the trustee powers respond to American entreaties to open up their economies to American, in particular Standard Oil, investment? I am finding a lot of interesting information and, as a nice surprise, also found an old friend, who has just accepted a job at King’s College in London, in the Reading Room.
In the evenings, I am taking my 7-year-old son around the Capitol Hill area and giving him contemporary civic lessons. “Look, son, there’s Congress. That’s where petty lawmakers have tried to gut education spending and prevent major social welfare advances for our most disadvantaged citizens,” and that sort of thing. I hope everyone is having an equally fantastic summer!
History PhD students Louisa Foroughi (left) and Rachel Podd help to lead the Annual Fordham Camino de Santiago trip
Fordham History graduate students Louisa Foroughi and Rachel Podd were delighted to serve as chaperones accompanying the Camino study tour led by Fordham History Professor David Myers and Dr. Alex Egler of Fordham’s Religious Education Program. The Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage route dating back to approximately the ninth century, when the body of St. James was discovered near the sea by a monk led there by divine inspiration. Almost immediately, pilgrims flocked to the shrine of the saint, and over the course of the high and late middle ages men and women, nobles and paupers, kings and queens traveled routes all the way from England, Paris, Northern Africa, Constantinople, and Rome. Today the most famous route begins in St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, at the border between France and Spain, and cuts through the Pyrenees, across the flatlands of Castille and Leon, and into mountainous Galicia, to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. The Fordham Camino program begins in Leon, halfway through this route, and lasts two weeks, from mid-May to early June, during which time 23 students walked 311 km together with their fearless leaders. Rachel and Louisa had an amazing time walking the road, instructing students in the finer details of medieval art and history, and bandaging blisters. Particular highlights include the 12th century Romanesque church in Rabanal, the fog over the mountains just past the Cruz de Ferro, and unbelievable pulpo in Melide. To learn more about this year’s Camino tour, see the course blog at Mapping the Camino. Buen Camino!
The whole Fordham Camino team arrive in Santiago de Compostela
Eastbridge Pilgrim Hospital, Canterbury
The next postcard in our series about the summer wanderings and adventures of Fordham historians sees PhD candidate Lucy Barnhouse undertake a medievalist’s version of the Grand Tour, presenting papers at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, at Canterbury, and in Paris. Lucy reports:
“Leeds felt like something of a marathon on its own, and I was glad of the company of fellow Fordhamites Esther Cuenca and Louisa Foroughi. From our shared apartment we struck out for long but productive days of conferencing. Besides specialized panels galore, we got to enjoy medieval-inspired street food. It made good fortification for a series of panels on the social identities of medieval lepers.
Eastridge Pilgrim Hospital (interior)
From Leeds, I went directly to Canterbury, where the conference of the Society for the Social History of Medicine was hosted. The conference organizers gave us the chance to tour local sites of interest. Having predictably chosen to visit the pilgrim hospital of Eastbridge, I and some other medievalists proceeded on a self-guided tour of more of Canterbury’s historical architecture. After the conference—at which I presented alongside historians of the antebellum American South and twentieth-century England on the shared theme of hospitals in urban communities—I hiked out to Harbledown to see the twelfth-century leper hospital.
The last stop on the Grand Tour was Paris, where I attended my first meeting of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing. I got to spend time with Alisa Beer, to meet new scholars, and to hear many interesting papers. Conference delegates also got free admission to the exhibits at the Bibliothèque Nationale, where we were hosted. Paris being Paris, I also consumed a truly alarming quantity of delicious pastries, and the conference wine-and-cheese reception was a gastronomic tour-de-force. Arguably more important was the fact that I got lots of encouragement to develop the paper I presented for a possible postdoc project. Now it’s back to the considerably less glamorous work of editing the dissertation!”
Thanks Lucy! And to all those Fordham historians on their summer adventures: keep those postcards coming!
Ceiling Frescoes at Ringsted Abbey, Denmark
During the second half of June, Fordham Faculty Member Nicholas Paul and PhD candidate Christopher Rose to their respective research projects concerning the history of the crusades to conferences in England and Denmark. You can read more about their adventures, which involved the headquarters of a crusading military order, royal Danish castles, and viking ships, below. Continue reading
Professor Kirsten Swinth was recently interviewed by Fordham News to talk about her work on American feminism of the 1960s and 1970s. She told them the story of how mothers finally achieved the legal right to have a job in 1971.
This story is part of her forthcoming book from Harvard University Press, For Work and Family: A Real Feminist History of “Having it All”
Congratulations to Laurence Jurdem, who received his PhD in History at Fordham, for publishing an article in the National Review.
Recently, we posted about our Graduate Colloquium conference, wrapping up the semester’s hard work by graduate students. As part of the process of the colloquium, students meet to make presentations about their progress, discuss problems in their research, and exchange papers to work collaboratively on writing. In this year’s colloquium, Jason McDonald made this excellent video about his project. As well as highlighting his abilities as an historian and videographer, the video gives an excellent sense of the process through which students work through their final research papers.
Jason’s research on image, war, and propaganda ultimately resulted in his final research paper: “Japanese Teeth and Skulls in American Newspapers, 1884-2012”. You can read more about Jason’s work on World War II images in general here. Great work, Jason!
O’Connell Award winner Grace Healy with her mentor Professor Steven Stoll
This year, in conjunction with the department’s O’Connell Initiative, the History Department awarded a $250 O’Connell Research Award for the most original graduate student research on the history of global capitalism. This year’s winner was MA student Grace Healy, who won for her final research paper entitled “Swamp or Climax Region? Congressional Perceptions of the Everglades, 1947-1989” We asked Grace for details of her research, and she reports:
My project focused on the Everglades in South Florida, specifically the way in which members of Congress have thought about that landscape over the course of the second half of the twentieth century. As the people who mark the boundaries of land that will be preserved, I believe that congressmen’s perceptions of land, ecosystems, and the environment in general are an important aspect of conservation history.
I became interested in the Everglades because I enjoy analyzing the contradictory (or balanced, based on your perspective) way that Americans have managed land. For example, large portions of the Everglades are being protected because of its distinct environment. At the same time, however, vast tracts of the Everglades have been altered and manipulated for commercial reasons. I think that attempting to understand why certain types of landscapes are managed in these divergent forms is not only important to a historical understanding of the United States but also relevant to the environmental movement going forward.
Professor Stoll was an excellent mentor throughout this project. At times he pushed me to think more critically about certain aspects, at other times he knew exactly what text I should read to gain more insight. I think he was most helpful when I was I was still developing my ideas. It can be really difficult to find the right project that can be completed in about a semester and half. Professor Stoll really helped me tailor my ideas so I could deeply investigate this one important aspect of the Everglades.
Congratulations on the O’Connell Prize Grace!