PhD candidate Glauco Schettini is awarded The Ellis Dissertation Award

Fordham PhD candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded the 2022 John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award by The American Catholic Historical Association for his “promising, but not-yet-completed” dissertation “The Catholic Counter-Revolution: A Global Intellectual History, 1780s–1840s.”

According to the prize committee, consisting of Robert W. Shaffern (Scranton University), James McCartin (Fordham University), and Mary Dunn (St. Louis University):
“We are delighted to bestow the John Tracy Ellis Award 2022 upon Glauco Schettini, a graduate student at Fordham University. His dissertation, ‘The Catholic Counter-Revolution: A Global Intellectual History, 1780s–1840s,’ examines the Catholic responses to the intellectual turmoil released by the enlightenment and French Revolution in Iberian Europe and the Americas, regions that until now have received little attention in the historiography. Schettini plans on using the award to visit the archives of Augustin Barruel, a key antirevolutionary polemicist, and Henri Gregoire, a bishop in the French Constitutional Church.”

Glauco Schettini

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PhD Student Spencer Tompkins to participate in Society for the History of Technology’s 2021 Conference

PhD Student Spencer Tompkins will participate in the Society for the History of Technology’s Annual Conference (“SHOT”) on November 20, 2021, from 4:30–5:30pm (CST) online. Spencer will give his presentation, “From Autonomous Electronic Data Processing to Statewide Information System: Lockheed Missiles and Space Company’s Analysis of California’s Earthy Problems”, as part of a panel titled “Computational Infrastructures”.

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Prof. Magda Teter wins 2 book prizes for book: “Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth”

Professor Magda Teter won two book prizes for her recent publication: Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020). Prize descriptions below:

American Historical Association: George L. Mosse Prize
“The American Historical Association awards the George L. Mosse Prize annually for an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500.” (https://www.historians.org/awards-and-grants/awards-and-prizes/george-l-mosse-prize)

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference: 2021 Bainton Prize for History and Theology
“The Roland H. Bainton Book Prizes are named in honor of one of the most irenic church historians of the twentieth century. Roland H. Bainton was professor of church history at the seminary of Yale University for many years, the advisor of many Ph.D. students, the author of over a dozen important books, and an ardent supporter of early modern studies. 

Four prizes are awarded yearly for the best books written in English dealing with four categories within the time frame of 1450-1660: Art and Music History, History and Theology, Literature, and Reference Works. The prize-winning book in each category is chosen by a committee of three SCSC members appointed by the president of the SCSC who shall also designate one of the three to serve as chair.” (https://sixteenthcentury.org/roland-h-bainton-prizes/)

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Prof. Silvana Patriarca publishes book: “Il colore della Repubblica. ‘Figli della guerra’ nell’Italia postfascista”

Description

Focusing on the experiences and representations of the “brown babies” born at the end of the Second World War from the encounters between Black Allied soldiers and Italian women, this book explores the persistence of racial thinking and racism in post-fascist and postcolonial Italy. Through the use of a large variety of historical sources, including personal testimonies and the cinema, Silvana Patriarca illustrates Italian – and also American – responses to what many considered a “problem,” and analyses the perceptions of race/color among several different actors (state and local authorities, Catholic clerics, filmmakers, geneticists, psychologists, and ordinary people). Her book is rich in details on their impact on the lives of the children. Uncovering the pervasiveness of anti-Black prejudice in the early democratic republic, as well as the presence and limitations of anti-racist sensibilities, the book allows us to better understand Italy’s conflicted reaction to its growing diversity.   

Book cover: Il colore della Repubblica (Einaudi, 2021)

The English edition will be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2022.

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Prof. Asif Siddiqi publishes, “Shaping the World: Soviet-African Technologies from the Sahel to the Cosmos,” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Professor Asif Siddiqi’s new article, “Shaping the World: Soviet-African Technologies from the Sahel to the Cosmos,” was just released in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 41, Issue 1. Below is the article abstract:

Abstract

This article explores the biography of a network of Soviet telescopic cameras stationed across the African Sahel during the Cold War. Through joint Soviet-African cooperative programs, scientists used these advanced cameras in Egypt, Somalia, Mali, the Sudan, and Chad to photograph satellites flying overhead to gather data to produce a new model of the Earth, one that Soviet scientists hoped would be an alternative to Western models. I argue that these technical artifacts in Africa, connected into a single global network, represented examples of “infrastructural irruptions” of Cold War technopolitics into African geography, wherein the superpowers placed networked technologies inside postcolonial spaces for the collection of data. Although these technologies were nominally Soviet in origin, the story could also be read as one of Africans who invested their geography with agency in the production of scientific knowledge. Like the socialist moment in Africa and indeed the Soviet Union itself, this camera network no longer exists, its data compromised and its material imprint disappeared. But this “failure” should not blind us to the immanent power of possibility embedded in this incomplete project. I argue that this combination of unbounded aspiration and incomplete materiality was a powerful manifestation of the African-Soviet Modern.

Asif Siddiqi
Asif Siddiqi

You can follow him on Twitter @historyasif.

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PhD candidate Glauco Schettini receives the Farrar Memorial Award of the Society for French Historical Studies.

PhD candidate Glauco Schettini is the winner of a Farrar Memorial Award of the Society for French Historical Studies. The award, which consists of a prize of $5,000 and recognizes outstanding dissertations that deal with French history broadly conceived, will support research for Glauco’s in-progress dissertation project, titled “The Catholic Counterrevolution: A Global Intellectual History, 1780s-1840s.” In his dissertation, Glauco looks at networks of counterrevolutionary Catholic intellectuals spanning from Europe to Latin America to trace the emergence of Catholicism as a new, distinct ideology in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Glauco’s “exciting doctoral research,” write the members of the Society’s Award Committee, which included Profs. Daniel Sherman, Rebecca Spang, Robin Mitchell, and Paul Cohen, “will change how we teach both the history of ideas and the history of religion.”

You can follow him on Twitter at @GlaucoSchettini.

Glauco Schettini

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Prof. Magda Teter wrote “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review of Books.

On April 29, 2021, Prof. Magda Teter published, “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review Books. Below is an excerpt of Teter’s debut NYRB piece.

“The questions about poverty and charity we are facing now, in the middle of a major economic and public health crisis, are not new. They reflect our moral values as well as our social, legal, and political structures. (Tellingly, in the US, charitable giving is intertwined with tax codes.) To be sure, these values do change over time and vary across regions and cultures. In Judaism, tzedakah—roughly, charity—is a moral obligation, a mitzvah. (Although a mitzvah is also considered a good deed, in Hebrew it means a religious precept or commandment.) “Formal institutions for poor relief,” not just individual almsgiving, Kaplan writes, were already

“prescribed” in the Mishnah and the Tosefta—ancient Jewish texts from the second and third centuries CE. Zakat, or almsgiving, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

In Christianity, by contrast, charity is not a commandment or a pillar of religious practice, though Jesus’ teachings about poverty and wealth have played an important part in the development of Christian views on charity and on the role of the poor within society. In Christian medieval communities, for example, poverty was not considered shameful. Quite the opposite: poverty as a voluntary way of life was seen as a manifestation of piety, embodied most famously by Saint Francis of Assisi and the members of mendicant orders. In the seventh century Saint Eligius reportedly said, “God could have made all men rich, but He wanted there to be poor people in this world, that the rich might be able to redeem their sins.” The poor begging at church entrances were a common sight, offering the wealthy an opportunity to give alms. Even the word for “hospice” suggested an aura of holiness. In Paris, it was Hôtel-Dieu, and among Jews of Northern Europe it was called a hekdesh, related to the Hebrew root for “holy,” k-d-sh.

Then, Kaplan notes, echoing the historian Thomas Max Safley, “something happened to charity in early modern Europe.” In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, crop failures led many of the rural poor to move to cities. Frequent epidemics overwhelmed local hospices, and religious individuals and institutions alike were unable to provide adequate support to the sick and the poor. More formal solutions were needed, and almsgiving and poor relief became increasingly regulated. Now the poor were no longer seen as a means of redemption for the rich but as a public nuisance and a social burden, and perhaps as a vector of disease.

The cities began to define who was deserving and undeserving of aid. Public begging was increasingly banned, poverty was gradually criminalized, and residency was required to qualify for poor relief. In 1516, for example, Paris banished “vagabonds.””

You can follow Prof. Magda Teter on Twitter @MagdaTeter.

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Graduate Student Lisa Betty is Featured in the Fordham Ram, discussing Veganism, and White Supremacy.

Fordham University undergraduate Abby Delk wrote the featured piece. Delk writes in part: “Lisa Betty, a Ph.D. candidate and teaching fellow in Fordham’s history department, has put a great deal of time and energy into her research on modern health and wellness movements and their ties to colonialism and white supremacy. Much of her research focuses on critiquing the modern veganism movement for its inherent racism.”

You can find Lisa Betty’s full article in the Medium here.

You can follow Lisa Betty on Twitter @almostdrlisabetty

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Prof. Asif Siddiqi Creates a New Digital Archive Collection on Yuri Gagarin, the First Human to Travel Into Space on April 12, 1961.

Prof. Asif Siddiqi curated, selected, and annotated documents to comprise a new Digital Archival collection on Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, for the Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project. The first human to travel into space, fifty years ago, on April 12, 1961. You can click this link to access more information.

Prof. Siddiqi writes: Collectively these 20 declassified documents provide an extraordinary peek into the preparations and implementation of the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet cosmonaut, who flew into space in his Vostok spaceship on April 12, 1961.

The documents come from a variety of archives including the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF) and the archive of the Energiya Rocket-Space Corporation. Most of these have been published in collections of documents published in Russia including: V. A. Davydov, ed., Pervyy pilotiruyemyy polet: sbornik dokumentov v dvukh knigakh, kn. 1-ya (Moscow: Rodina MEDIA, 2011).

You can follow Prof. Asif Siddiqi on Twitter @historyasif

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Prof. Nana Osei-Opare’s article, “If “‘If You Trouble a Hungry Snake, You Will Force It to Bite You’: Rethinking Postcolonial African Archival Pessimism, Worker Discontent, and Petition Writing in Ghana, 1957-66,” is now out on via the Journal of African History.

Prof. Nana Osei-Opare’s article, “‘If You Trouble a Hungry Snake, You Will Force It to Bite You’: Rethinking Postcolonial African Archival Pessimism, Worker Discontent, and Petition Writing in Ghana, 1957-66,” is now available on the Journal of African History 62(1)(2021). Below is the article’s abstract:

My aim is twofold. Highlighting the value and importance of African archives in the construction of postcolonial African histories, I first reject what I call ‘postcolonial African archival pessimism’: the argument that postcolonial African archives are too disorganized or ill-kept to be of much, if any, value in configuring postcolonial African histories. Second, primarily through petition and complaint letters, I examine how Ghanaian workers protested racist and abusive workplace environments, government malfeasance, stagnating wages, and unfair dismissals in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana. These archival gems illuminate how workers made claims to and performances of citizenship and reminded the state of their importance, politically and practically, to building the Ghanaian project. From Ghanaian and British archives, I seek to complement histories that highlight the centrality of African workers — through their letters and feet — in articulating the contradictions and aspirations of postcolonial African states.

You can follow him on Twitter @NanaOseiOpare

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