“Retracing Power: Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History,” Fordham History Graduate Student Workshop on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Register here for Zoom link

“Retracing Power:Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History”

Graduate Student Workshop

Sponsored by the O’Connell Initiative for Global Capitalism

Fordham University, Department of History

Friday, March 5, 2021

Zoom

9:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks

David Hamlin (Fordham University)

Panel 1 Authority and Conflict in Law and Medicine

9:30 – 11:00am Grace Shen (Fordham University) – Commentator

“She Behaved as a Doctor”: Empirics and 

Enforcement in the Pastoral Visitations of 

Late Medieval Catalonia

Rachel Podd (Fordham University)

Orientations: Re-Defining the Direction of 

Heterosexual Desire

Sean Cosgrove (Cornell University)

Chemical Conversations: Scientific Investigations

and Medical Punishments in the Soviet Union’s 

Special Hospitals

Garret McDonald (Fordham University)

11:00 – 11:15am Break

Panel 2 Power Struggles of Governance and Citizenship

11:15am-12:45pm Nana Osei-Opare (Fordham University) – Commentator

The Nahaman River Milling Dispute, and the Thirteenth-Century Energy Crisis of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Tobias Hyrnick (Fordham University)

Asantean noumena: The politics and 

imaginary reconstruction of the Asante Palace

Tony Yeboah (Yale University)

12:45 – 2:00pm Lunch Break

Panel 3  Unfree Labor 

2:00-3:30pm Samantha Iyer (Fordham University) – Commentator 

Corvée Labor and the Politics of Popular 

Insurrection in Trois-Rivières, 1760-1776

Richard Tomczak (Stony Brook University)

Choose Your Human Rights Battles Wisely: 

The Kennedy Administration, the United Nations, 

and the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade

Nicholas DeAntonis (Fordham University)

Commerce, Identity, and Mobility in the Dangme 

Littoral of the Eastern Gold Coast, 1850s—1870s 

Ishmael Annang (Georgetown University)

3:30 – 3:45pm Break

Panel 4 Political Cultures

3:45-5:00pm              Amanda Armstrong-Price (Fordham University) – Commentator

Culture Wars: Arnoldian Culture in Late Nineteenth 

and Early Twentieth Century Britain

Jarrett Moran (Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Structuring spontaneity: The twilight of anarchist 

organization in Spain and Italy, c. 1917-1923

William Whitham (Princeton University)

5:00 – 5:15pm Break

5:15-6:15pm Retracing Power, Refiguring History: Haunted Bauhaus

and a New History of Modernism

Dr. Elizabeth Otto (SUNY Buffalo)

6:15-6:30pm Closing Remarks

Asif Siddiqi (Fordham University)

6:30pm Cocktails and Celebration

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Prof. Magda Teter’s book, Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Anti­se­mit­ic Myth Libel, wins National Jewish Book Award.

The Jewish Book Council awarded Prof. Magda Teter‘s book, Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Anti­se­mit­ic Myth Libel, the JDC-Herbert Katzki Award. Prof. Teter is the Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies and Professor of History.

Magda Teter
Magda Teter

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Ph.D. candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded a Research and Writing Award from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA).

PhD candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded a Research and Writing Award from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA). The award, which is offered to graduate students and contingent faculty, will fund research and writing time for an article entitled “A Star Is Born: Pius VI and the Invention of Papal Celebrity,” which springs from Glauco’s dissertation, “The Catholic Counterrevolution: A Global Intellectual History, 1780s-1840s.” Drawing on recent scholarship that traces the birth of modern forms of celebrity and charisma back to the Age of Revolution, the article intends to show how popes, starting with Pius VI (1775-99), refashioned themselves as charismatic leaders and used their newfound popularity as a political tool in their fight against reforming sovereigns and revolutionary regimes that advanced a secularizing agenda. This eighteenth-century “reinvention” of the papacy, which paralleled the consolidation of papal power within the Catholic church, represents a crucial chapter in the emergence of charismatic forms of power at large—and perhaps helps explain why people by the millions interact with Pope Francis’s tweets today!

Glauco Schettini

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Prof. Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History, published “What today’s Second Amendment activists forget: The right to not bear arms” in The Washington Post.

On January 18, 2021, Prof. Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History, published “What today’s Second Amendment activists forget: The right to not bear arms” in The Washington Post.

Prof. Saul Cornell
Prof. Saul Cornell

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Dr. Esther Liberman Cuenca, who earned her Ph.D. in medieval history at Fordham in 2019, has been awarded the 2021 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America, which recognizes a first article in the field of medieval studies of outstanding quality.

Dr. Esther Liberman Cuenca, who earned her Ph.D. in medieval history at Fordham in 2019, has been awarded the 2021 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America, which recognizes a first article in the field of medieval studies of outstanding quality. The prize, for her article, “Town clerks and the authorship of custumals in medieval England,” Urban History 46:2 (2019): 180-201, was established by the Medieval Academy of America in 1971 and consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $500. It will be presented at the Academy’s 2021 Annual Meeting, hosted online by Indiana University, Bloomington. She is one of two winners of the award this year. The prize committee submitted the following citation.

In her perceptive and finely-crafted essay Esther Liberman Cuenca examines the expertise and duties of clerks in medieval English towns, and particularly their roles in creating custumals, or collections of written customs. She highlights and traces two fundamental aspects of clerks’ authorship, their legal and administrative expertise, and their roles in transmitting urban laws to posterity. Urban historians of the Middle Ages are familiar with custumals, documents found in almost every medieval towns that regulated the lives of their citizens, from markets and commerce to administration, social mores and hygiene. While historians usually locate and frame analyses of the documents within the history of urban politics and “normalization”, they rarely study who actually drafted them. Cuenca’s innovative article engages the historiography of urban literacy, and of the anonymous professionals who supported literacy within an urban institutional framework. Her careful analysis of their oaths and administrative practices, which often adapted older materials, reveals that town clerks played critical roles in transmitting customary law to future generations of administrators. Clerks were usually left in the shadow of their superior, and the vital contribution of Cuenca’s work is to bring these individuals to light by focusing on the creation, organization, and preservation of urban custumals, and most of all on their authorship. Were these clerks scriptores, compilatores, or commentators? By showing that they fulfilled all of these roles, Cuenca reaffirms their existence in urban memory.

Esther Liberman Cuenca

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Prof. Kirsten Swinth’s work featured in The New Yorker.

Prof. Jill Lepore’s January 11, 2021, article, “What’s Wrong With the Way We Work,” featured Prof. Kirsten Swinth’s work. Lepore writes, “Plenty of people still feel that way about their jobs. But Terkel’s interviews, conducted in the early seventies, captured the end of an era. Key labor-movement achievements—eight hours a day, often with health care and a pension—unravelled. The idea of the family wage began to collapse, as Kirsten Swinth points out in ‘Feminism’s Forgotten Fight: The Unfinished Struggle for Work and Family’ (Harvard).”  

Kirsten Swinth

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Prof. Christopher Dietrich publishes “Erasing the Marks of Domination: Economic Sovereignty, Decolonization, and International Lawmaking in the 1950s and 1960s” in Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d’histoire du droit international.

Prof. Christopher Dietrich publishes “Erasing the Marks of Domination: Economic Sovereignty, Decolonization, and International Lawmaking in the 1950s and 1960s” in Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d’histoire du droit international.

Below is the abstract:

This article tells a legal and intellectual history of oil and decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s through the projects of international institutions including the UN Permanent Sovereignty Commission and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the work of anti-colonial lawyers Hasan Zakariya and Nicolas Sarkis. It examines the ideas and infrastructure of decolonization as they related to the question of how international law could be used to win economic sovereignty.

Christopher Dietrich
Christopher Dietrich

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Prof. Asif Siddiqi publishes “Whose India? SITE and the origins of satellite television in India” in History and Technology: An International Journal.

Prof. Asif Siddiqi publishes “Whose India? SITE and the origins of satellite television in India” in History and Technology: An International Journal.

Below is the abstract:

This essay explores the origins of the Satellite Instructional Technology Experiment (SITE), a project that used a NASA satellite to beam educational programs to over two thousand villages in India in the mid-1970s. Touted as a major success in using advanced technology for the purposes of poverty alleviation, the results of the project remain contested. I argue that the causes of its ambiguous outcome can be traced to the late 1960s when Indian and American scientific elites mobilized support for this project by uniting a coalition of diverse actors that each imagined a different ‘India’. Although each of these ‘Indias’ represented a starkly different vision of the nation, they were consonant for a brief historical moment, thus enabling SITE to come to reality. Their ability to do so depended on framing as monolithic and passive, the one population central to the project, the ‘poor and illiterate’ of India.

Asif Siddiqi
Asif Siddiqi

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Congratulations! Prof. S. Elizabeth Penry’s Book Receives Susan Socolow-Lyman Johnson Prize from the Conference on Latin American History.

Prof. S. Elizabeth Penry’s The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics received the Susan Socolow-Lyman Johnson Prize. The People Are King has also been awarded the Flora Tristán Prize.

The People Are King

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Graduate Student William Tanner Smoot Publishes “Sacred Memory and the Formation of Monastic Identity and Friendship in Eadmer of Canterbury’s Vita S. Oswaldi” in Revue Bénédictine.

Graduate Student William Tanner Smoot published “Sacred Memory and the Formation of Monastic Identity and Friendship in Eadmer of Canterbury’s Vita S. Oswaldi,” in Revue Bénédictine, Vol. 130, Issue 2 (2020).

Below is the Abstract:

Between the years of 1113-1116, Prior Nicholas and the monks of St. Mary’s, Worcester, petitioned Eadmer of Canterbury to re-write the vita of their monastic founder St. Oswald. The years preceding this request were a period of hardship for the community of St. Mary’s, as the brethren coped with the burning of their church, the death of monastic elders, and the installation of a royal clerk as bishop of Worcester. In the face of such trials, the monks of Worcester turned to St. Oswald to justify their continued existence and consolidate their corporate identity. Yet, their decision to solicit Eadmer raises questions about the devotional function of the new Vita S. Oswaldi for the brethren of Worcester. While Eadmer modelled his text on Byrhtferth of Ramsey’s eleventh-century biography, he altered the nature of St. Oswald’s sanctity by subordinating the saint’s virtuous development to the leadership of the archbishops Oda and Dunstan of Canterbury. Eadmer incorporated St. Oswald into a new sacred hierarchy, whereby the saint’s virtuous life served to support Canterbury’s contemporary claims to English episcopal primacy. The monks of Worcester had maintained an amiable relationship with Canterbury since the Norman conquest, and Nicholas’s decision to commission Eadmer likewise reflects how the chapter of St. Mary’s perceived itself in relation to Canterbury. Nicholas and the monks of Worcester hoped to benefit from Canterbury’s predominance in the English Church, especially regarding the preservation of their corporate rights and influence in future episcopal elections. This article explores the reception of sacred history in the community of St. Mary’s, Worcester, and the manner in which the brethren used the memory of their corporate past to reaffirm their place, identity, and continuity as a monastic body. It further argues that the episcopal priories of Worcester and Canterbury maintained a historical support network, in which members of each community recast information about St. Oswald and England’s ecclesiastical past to reaffirm bonds of monastic friendship and share in sacred prestige.

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William Tanner Smoot

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