A Recap of History Day at Fordham

On Monday, February 10, 2020, Fordham’s History Department hosted its annual History Day celebration. The event brought together some fascinating research from Fordham undergraduate and graduate students and Fordham faculty. The day’s keynote speaker was Prof. Amanda Armstrong. Below is just a snippet of the fascinating work and images we heard from our participants. You will hear from Brian Chen, Hannah Gonzalez, Grace Campagna, Emma Budd, Christian Decker, and Kelli Finn.

Brian Chen discussed Henry Kissinger’s diplomacy during the South Asia Crisis of 1971. He argued that given the geopolitical constraints of the Cold War and the limits of U.S. influence in the region, his response to the genocide in East Pakistan was not unreasonable. Kissinger’s policy of “quiet diplomacy” improved the prospects of peace between the United States and the Communist world, while also providing necessary humanitarian relief to the Bengali people. 

Hannah Gonzalez’s paper, “Natives, Naturalists, and Negotiated Access: William Bartram’s Navigation of the Eighteenth-Century Southeast,” examined how the naturalist William Bartram negotiated access to native territories and knowledge while constrained by colonial politics and a climate of cross-cultural hostilities. This navigation of the Southeast involved the utilization of imperial and colonial structures, from treaties to white traders. As recorded in Travels, Bartram’s journey demonstrates how naturalists negotiated the cultural landscape on levels beyond the scientific.

You can follow her on Twitter @hannahegonzalez.

Grace Campagna’s presentation, “The Quern: The Biography of a Medieval Object,” traced the lifecycle of an artifact, including its production, operation, and repurposing, using both historical and archaeological methods. The quernstones that archaeologists discovered in the Thames river came from a quarry in Germany in order to undergo the final stages of manufacturing in a London workshop. The presentation examined how communities assign value to everyday items and addressed the challenges of analyzing objects for which there are few primary sources.  You can access the full link to her article here:  https://medievallondon.ace.fordham.edu/exhibits/show/medieval-london-objects-3/quern 

Emma Budd’s presentation analyzed intersecting power dynamics in colonization, humanitarian intervention, and sexual assault. Through the lens of the Algerian War of Independence, she argued that the three aforementioned phenomena are intrinsically connected by their roots in a desire for power without concern for humanity. 

Christian Decker’s presentation talked about Polish immigrant networking from 1900 to 1945. It included discussion of family and labor networks, religious networks, all the way up to the formation of the Polish American Congress.

You can follow Christian Decker on Twitter @PCGamingFanatic

Kelli Finn’s presentation, “We survive. We’re Irish:” An Examination of Irish Immigration to the United States, 1840 -1890,” examined how the systemic poverty that Irish immigrants faced from the 1840s-1880s shaped their immigrant experience. It argued that the extreme poverty that the Irish faced lead to harsh stigmatism of Irish immigrants even in the workforce which in turn lead to poor living conditions for the Irish when they got to America and the highest mortality rates among immigrant groups at the time.

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Filed under Conferences, Department Events, Events, Faculty Profiles, Grad Student News, Undergrad News, Undergraduate Research

Graduate History Workshop: “Retracing Power: Authority, Conflict, And Resistance in History”

The Fordham History Department, through its O’Connell Initiative on the Global History of Capitalism, is accepting abstracts for its Graduate Student Workshop. The workshop will take place on Friday, April 3, 2020 at the Rose Hill Campus. The purpose of this workshop is to provide a space for graduate students to present, read, and receive valuable feedback from other graduate students and Fordham faculty on projects they are planning on publishing.

Our goal is to foster conversations across a wide variety of topics. Concepts such as power, politics, and society can be interpreted broadly across time periods and geographies. Submissions can include topics on race, gender, class, political and social structures as well as economic, cultural, and religious institutions from antiquity to the modern era. We especially welcome papers exploring the following questions: How are culture and political power intertwined? How did gender, race, or class shape involvement in political institutions? How have class and race intersected with political power? How has the authority of religion affected social relations? How did the power structures of trade and colonialism function? What is the relationship between knowledge and power in social domains such as education, science, and/or medicine? Papers can investigate, but are not limited to, the question of power and:

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Ph.D. Candidate Nicholas J. DeAntonis’ article, “The Transnational Fight to End the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade: The British Anti‐Slavery Society, the African American Press, and the American Jewish Congress, 1953‐1960” is Now Out!

Ph.D. Candidate Nicholas J. DeAntonis just published an article, “The Transnational Fight to End the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade: The British Anti‐Slavery Society, the African American Press, and the American Jewish Congress, 1953‐1960” in Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research.

Below is the article abstract:

This article examines the transnational efforts of the British Anti‐Slavery Society to end the Saudi Arabian slave trade, highlighting the liveliness of human rights activism throughout the 1950s. The Society’s abolitionist efforts both succeeded and failed at the UN’s Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery in 1956. The Society failed to pass effective enforcement to end the slave trade, due to the growing concern for sovereignty amid decolonization throughout the Global South. Ironically, as decolonization spread, the Society’s abolitionist efforts were hampered. The Society’s own government avoided assisting them, fearing the imperialist perception of such actions. Nonetheless, the Supplementary Convention internationalized the cause and produced essential allies across the Atlantic: the African American press and American Jewish Congress. In the ensuing years, these journalists and activists denounced the burgeoning US–Saudi alliance and assured the continuity of the abolitionist message in the United States and globally. Although it is beyond the scope of this article, significant evidence exists that this new critical coalition helped shape human rights policy in the Kennedy administration.

Here is the link to the article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pech.12395

Peace & Change publishes scholarly and interpretive articles on the achievement of a peaceful, just, and humane society. International and interdisciplinary in focus, the journal bridges the gap between peace researchers, educators, and activists. It publishes articles on a wide range of peace-related topics, including peace movements and activism, conflict resolution, nonviolence, internationalism, race and gender issues, cross-cultural studies, economic development, the legacy of imperialism, and the post-Cold War upheaval.

Nicholas J. DeAntonis

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Filed under Global History, Grad Student News, Publications

“Unsettled Feeling & Critical Insight”! Graduate Class on Race and Gender

A group of graduate students studying at Fordham University has come together to analyze and provide insight into complex issues of both race and gender. Graduate students, in a course entitled, “Race and Gender” in the fall of 2019, led by Professor Kirsten Swinth, discussed race and gender in modern America.

As a final project, they each wrote several blogs, original pieces, and a comprehensive lesson plan that discusses a specific issue related to race and gender and/or a key historical insight that they obtained after completing the course.

Their publications are available on their student-designed public website (https://ufci2019.ace.fordham.edu ). Each blog post (written by one of the class members) tackles either race or gender through the incorporation of both secondary and primary sources.

It was their mission to use the knowledge obtained through spending a semester studying these social constructions in great detail to provide valuable insight into each discussion. In each blog post or lesson plan, the students selected a particular topic and offered their research and insights based on the knowledge they had accumulated over the course of the semester.

Students of all levels of higher education, professors, and history enthusiasts are welcome to interact with the information presented within each post. They are invited to consider questions that arise in handling these topics, and consider how their own insights could expand upon these ideas.

List of Contributors:

William Hogue 

William Hogue is a PhD student in History at Fordham University interested in the international intellectual and political history of US imperialism and its relationship to American Christianity. His research examines the history of multinational organizations, religious institutions and policy institutes, the politics of international order, and the connections between foreign and domestic policy. In particular, he focuses on the influence of liberation theology in Latin American revolutions and the US domestic human rights reaction to US foreign policy in Central America. 

Benjamin Van Dyne 

Benjamin Van Dyne is a PhD student in theology at Fordham University, where his work focuses on white and Christian supremacy and social solidarity in the face of violence and suffering. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and worked as a community organizer in Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, New York City and Long Island before attending Union Theological Seminary, where he graduated in with his Master of Divinity. He lives in the Bronx with his two children.

Katie Shine 

Katie Shine is a first-year doctoral candidate in modern history at Fordham University. Her academic interests include the First and Second World Wars, 20th century Italy, U.S.-Italy foreign relations, memory studies, race and nationalism, and Fascist society in western Europe. Having previously worked in higher education, tutoring, and program management in the career development and financial services spaces, she has had many valuable (and treasured) learning and teaching moments.

Grace Campagna 

Grace Campagna is an undergraduate Senior at Fordham University studying History, Anthropology, and Medieval Studies. She will graduate in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in History. Her academic interests include medieval England and women’s history. She has enjoyed tackling new topics and time periods during this course on Race and Gender in Modern America.

David Marchionni 

David Marchionni will complete his Masters’ degree in History from Fordham University in August 2020. His MA Thesis will focus on the Stonewall Riots, and its impact upon lesbian and gender non-conforming people of color.

Megan Stevens 
Owen Griffis Clow

Owen Griffis Clow is a doctoral student in the Fordham University Department of History. He researches modern American history with a focus on the late twentieth century (1970-2000), violence, and the American South. He is a graduate of Lawrence University (B.A.) and Columbia University (M.A.).

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Filed under Courses, Faculty Profiles, Public History, Teaching

Ph.D. Candidate Louisa Foroughi to Start a Tenure Track Position at Lafayette College

Louisa Foroughi, a 2020 Ph.D. candidate, will be starting a tenure track job in Medieval and Early Modern History in the history department at Lafayette College (Eaton, PA) beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. 

Working under Professor Maryanne Kowaleski, Louisa Foroughi specializes in the social and cultural history of late medieval England. Her dissertation, “What Makes a Yeoman? Status, Religion, and Material Culture in Later Medieval England,” explores identity construction among the English peasantry, c. 1348-1538. The yeomen were a group of affluent farmers who appear throughout English records from the early fifteenth century onward, but who have previously attracted little attention from medievalists. As Foroughi argues, the documentary records and manuscripts yeomen left behind provide rare insight into how medieval English peasants crafted and expressed their sense of self. Her analysis focuses on material culture, religion, office holding, and literacy as key aspects of yeoman identity, and integrates methods drawn from anthropology, archaeology, literary criticism, and religious studies in order to access the activities and mentalité of this little-studied group. 
Foroughi is also eager to share her wide-ranging interests in gender studies; material culture theory; food history; medieval medicine; fiber arts; and household books and miscellanies with the students at Lafayette College. She can’t wait to join the faculty in August.

Congratulations, Louisa!

Louisa Foroughi

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Professor Magda Teter Receives NEH Senior Scholar Fellowship at the Center for Jewish History

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Fordham historian Magda Teter is a recipient of the 2020-2021 NEH Senior Scholar Fellowship at the Center for Jewish History. 

Below is a description of her fascinating project.

Magda Teter

Project Title: “The Dissemination and Uses of the Jewish Past: The Role of The Present in The Production and Politics of History.”  

Project Description: As historian Michel-Rolph Trouillot noted in his groundbreaking book on the production of history, Silencing the Past, “history is always produced in a specific historical context.” Trouillot’s work distinguished between “what happened”—the historical events, and “what is said to have happened”—how historians, professional or not, recount historical events. Thus, not just the context of the historical events matters, but also the historical context of the time in which historians do their work. The overarching questions that loom over my project concern the impact of the present on the study of the past and the compounding effects on the shaping of the field—beyond the known connections with political emancipation, i.e., the acquisition of equal rights by Jews, religious reform, and nationalism that played an important role in shaping the works of Jewish history. When Jewish Studies emerged in the nineteenth century, the field and its scholars were excluded from the academy, but they formed scholarly societies and institutes, published scholarly books and journals. The topics that interested these early scholars were inflected by their own personal interests related to the social and political position of Jews in Europe. They were concerned with current events. Many journals related to Jewish Studies, in fact, devoted a separate section to contemporary events, and allowed for a more rapid response to the current events by publishing not only studies but also primary sources from the archives. These primary sources, in turn, influenced generations of scholars and scholarly projects. And yet, modern scholars have sometimes used these sources uncritically, neglecting to examine how these primary texts and images entered circulation, what might be missing, and of what conversation these sources were a part. My project will explore that.

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Fordham Historian Professor Kirsten Swinth was Featured in the New York Times

New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller published an article, “Why Mothers’ Choices About Work and Family Often Feel Like No Choice at All,” that features our own Dr. Kirsten Swinth. Here is a snippet of what Dr. Swinth stated: “What’s implicit in the conservative logic is that good mothers make the right choice, and the right choice is to prioritize your family.”

For further reading, here’s the link to the New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/upshot/mothers-choices-work-family.html

You can follow Dr. Kirsten Swinth on Twitter @kswinth

Kirsten Swinth

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Two History Faculty Members Awarded The Prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Fordham historians Scott Bruce and Yuko Miki are recipients of the 2020-2021 NEH fellowship. Below is a description of their fascinating projects.

Scott Bruce’s project is entitled, The Lost Patriarchs Project: Recovering the Greek Fathers in the Medieval Latin Tradition. Yuko Miki’s project is entitled, Brazilian Atlantic: Archives and Stories of Illegal Slavery.

The Lost Patriarchs Project: The influence of Greek patristics on western European thought and culture remains an important, but largely overlooked, aspect of the history of medieval Latin literature. The goal of my project is the creation of an instrument of reference called The Lost Patriarchs: A Survey of the Greek Fathers in the Medieval Latin Tradition.  This book will present a catalogue of the deep, largely untouched, reservoir of medieval Latin texts that have Greek Christian origins, both those known directly from surviving manuscript copies and those known indirectly from medieval library catalogues. It will provide an alphabetically arranged handbook that presents a series of concise accounts (500 to 10,000 words) of the manuscript tradition and transmission of Greek Christian literature in the medieval Latin tradition.  A reference tool of this kind would gather all this is known about these texts in current scholarship, allowing future researchers to begin the work of charting their influence in western Christian doctrine and devotional practices.

Brazilian Atlantic: This project is a narrative history of illegal slavery in the nineteenth-century Atlantic World. Through four intertwined stories about a slave ship and its captives, two West African men, a financier, and a Kongolese prince, it investigates how illegal slavery thrived throughout the Atlantic World in general, and in Brazil in particular, in the very midst of the “Age of Emancipation.” In paying attention to the lived experiences of women, men, and children forced into, or who profited from, illegal slavery, this project challenges the predominant, sweeping narratives of the nineteenth-century as the triumph of abolition, free trade, and liberal freedom. Through an ethnographic reading of the archives of illegal slavery, this project weaves together the past and present, historical characters and archival encounters to propose a new way of writing about the ambiguous histories of slavery and freedom that centers the suffering and afterlives of the enslaved.

** Yuko Miki’s photo was taken by Margarita Corporan Photography **

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by | January 16, 2020 · 2:41 am

Professor Magda Teter’s New Book, “Blood Libel: On the Trail of An AntiSemetic Myth” (Harvard, 2020) is Now Out.

About the Book:

“A landmark history of the antisemitic blood libel myth—how it took root in Europe, spread with the invention of the printing press, and persists today. Accusations that Jews ritually killed Christian children emerged in the mid-twelfth century, following the death of twelve-year-old William of Norwich, England, in 1144. Later, continental Europeans added a destructive twist: Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood. While charges that Jews poisoned wells and desecrated the communion host waned over the years, the blood libel survived.

Initially blood libel stories were confined to monastic chronicles and local lore. But the development of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century expanded the audience and crystallized the vocabulary, images, and “facts” of the blood libel, providing a lasting template for hate. Tales of Jews killing Christians—notably Simon of Trent, a toddler whose body was found under a Jewish house in 1475—were widely disseminated using the new technology. Following the paper trail across Europe, from England to Italy to Poland, Magda Teter shows how the blood libel was internalized and how Jews and Christians dealt with the repercussions. The pattern established in early modern Europe still plays out today. In 2014 the Anti-Defamation League appealed to Facebook to take down a page titled “Jewish Ritual Murder.” The following year white supremacists gathered in England to honor Little Hugh of Lincoln as a sacrificial victim of the Jews. Based on sources in eight countries and ten languages, Blood Libel captures the long shadow of a pernicious myth.”

Book Reviews:

“An intellectual tour de force. This authoritative study of the blood libel and its ramifications in early modern Europe will become a classic.”—Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, author of Trent 1475: Stories of a Ritual Murder Trial

“A work of wide-ranging research, great insight, and remarkable erudition. This will be the definitive book on blood libel for a long time to come, equally important for readers of Jewish history and Christian history in early modern Europe.”—Larry Wolff, author of Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment

“In this deeply researched and meticulously argued book, Magda Teter offers the first comprehensive study of the origins and afterlife of one of the most virulent and harmful of all anti-Jewish accusations. But Blood Libel is far more than a narrative history. By highlighting the central role of printed books, broadsheets, and images in the dissemination of the libel, Teter illuminates the mechanisms by which hate can be generated, and offers a powerful and sobering lesson for our own time.”—Sara Lipton, author of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography

Magda Teter

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Filed under book history, Faculty News, Faculty Profiles

Awards & High Recognitions Continue to Pour in for Yuko Miki’s Monograph!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Fordham Historian Yuko Miki has received 3 honors across 3 different fields at the 2020 American Historical Association (AHA) for her book, Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil. She received the AHA’s Wesley-Logan Prize for African Diaspora History and the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH)’s Warren Dean Memorial Prize in Brazilian History. Moreover, she received an Honorable Mention from CLAH for the Howard F. Cline Prize in Latin American Ethnohistory. Frontiers of Citizenship was also a 2019 Outstanding First Book Award Finalist, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD). We are so thrilled by her successes. Please congratulate Yuko Miki when you see her.

Below is the list of honors Frontiers of Citizenship has received so far:

  • 2019 Wesley-Logan Prize for the Best Book in African Diaspora History, American Historical Association (AHA)
  • 2019 Warren Dean Memorial Prize for the Best Book in Brazilian History, Conference on Latin American History (CLAH)
  • 2019 Honorable Mention, Howard F. Cline Prize for the Best Book in Ethnohistory, Conference on Latin American History (CLAH)
  • 2019 Honorable Mention for Best Book Prize, Latin American Studies Association 19th-Century Section
  • 2019 Outstanding First Book Award Finalist, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)

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