Author Archives: Nicholas Paul

Grad Student Publications, A Summer Series: Pt. 1 Stephen Leccese

PhD student Stephen Leccese, who recently published two journal articles.

Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.

First up is Stephen Leccese, an American historian in the PhD program working with Professor Christopher Dietrich. Leccese has achieved the remarkable feat of publishing two journal articles virtually simultaneously. He wrote to tell us about both:

“John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and the Rise of Corporate Public Relations in Progressive America, 1902-1908,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 16.3 (July 2017): 245-63.

This article is a shortened version of my Master’s research paper, which Prof. Chris Dietrich advised. I became interested in progressivism in Prof. Dietrich’s American Political and Intellectual History since 1877 class, particularly on how the “robber barons” defended themselves against attacks from progressive muckrakers who exposed businessmen’s unethical practices. For a case study, it was natural to look at the Standard Oil Company, the most visible of the great trusts and the subject of muckraker Ida Tarbell’s classic The History of the Standard Oil Company. Since the Supreme Court successfully dissolved Standard Oil in 1911, historians have exclusively considered the company’s response to Ida Tarbell insufficient from a public relations perspective. Yet from what I saw, no historians had actually examined what the company did do. That was how I found my historiographical gap. I decided to go into the archives and tell the story of how Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller attempted to recover their reputations with public statements, official histories, and some of the first professional PR agents in American history. When placed in historical context, this response was groundbreaking – the field of PR was in its infancy, so Standard Oil agents were largely making this up as they went along. Going further, I tied this small study to the Progressive Movement at large. In the Standard Oil case, progressives attacked a corporation, and that corporation defended itself by developing the PR field. This started a trend of other businesses following suit, and by the 1920s the modern public relations field was largely established. Therefore, I argue that the anti-business activities of the progressives inadvertently helped big business establish itself. The editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era liked this provocative argument about progressivism, and it definitely helped get this article published.

 

“Economic Inequality and the New School of American Economics,” Special Issue – Growing Apart: Religious Reflection on the Rise of Economic Inequality, Religions 8.6 (2017): 99-110.

This article began life as my first-year PhD research paper, where I examined how a new generation of American economists argued that consumer spending was key to economic growth, breaking from previous classical economics. After some revising, I presented the paper at the Growing Apart: The Implications of Economic Inequality Interdisciplinary Conference at Boston College in March, 2016. After the conference, the organizers contacted me and said that my paper was among a group that they would like to publish in a special issue of the journal Religions (the conference sponsor was the BC theology department, hence the journal choice). I accepted and expanded the paper into a peer-reviewed piece. In the article, I examine how the various crises of the late nineteenth century – namely economic depression and increasing labor unrest – showed a group of younger economists that economic inequality was harmful to the social fabric. They argued that greater equality would create a working class that had increased spending power, which would lead to economic growth and more stable class relations. My main sources were numerous economic publications and several archival collections that these economists left behind. After establishing this new theory of consumption, I trace how the New Economists tried to put their ideas into practice. Importantly, they formed the American Economic Association in 1885 with the intention of spreading their message among the economic community. I conclude briefly by showing that by the 1890s, the New Economists were influencing public policy by working with politicians – particularly, several directly advised Theodore Roosevelt, first when he was governor of New York and later when he was president. The overall claim is that mass consumption was an aspect of social reform, something that is typically not considered in histories of consumerism.

 

Thanks Stephen, and congratulations on your two articles!

 

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Standing Up to Fear: Kirsten Swinth on Feminism and the Manchester Concert Bombing

Fordham History’s Professor Kirsten Swinth was quoted in a recent article at The Wrap on youth culture, feminism, and the response to the Manchester suicide bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22. The article, which you can read here, was written by Ashley Boucher and published on May 25.

 

 

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Congratulations to our graduates!

The History Department congratulates our 2017 graduates! We’re sad to see you go, but proud of all you have accomplished. Good luck historians!

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History Colloquium Conference: Tuesday May 16 4PM McNally Amphitheater, Lincoln Center Campus

The History Department is Proud to Announce our 2017 History Colloquium Conference, to be held on Tuesday May 16  from 4-8PM in the McNally Amphitheater, Lincoln Center Campus.

The schedule will be as follows:

Panel 1: Twentieth Century Transnational Human Rights & Migration (4:00-5:00)

Lisa Betty, “‘Jamaiquinos en Cuba’: The Transregional Migration of Jamaicans to Cuba in the 20th Century”

William Hogue, “Proxy-Wars of Religion: US Neoliberal Theology and Central American Revolutions”

Nicholas DeAntonis, “The International Struggle to End the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade: The British Anti-Slavery Society, the United Nations, and the African-American Press, 1953-1960”

 

Panel II: Culture and Politics in Twentieth Century New York (5:00-5:45)

Jordyn May, “Votes for Women: The Visual Culture of the Suffrage Movement in New York”

Nicole Siegel, “God of Vengeance: Indecent?”

 

Break: 5:45-6:00

 

Panel III: State & Society (6:00-7:00)

Thomas Schellhammer, “The Evolution of the Third Republic and its Army: French Military Reforms and Society, 1871-1914”

Patrick Nolan, “Crimes and Punishments: Hanjian Trials After the Second Sino-Japanese War.”

Scott Brevda, “In the Eyes of My Father: Germany, Armenia, and the Morgenthau Plan”

 

Panel IV: Eighteenth-Century Politics and Culture (7:00:7:45)

Micheal Wootton, “French Perceptions of the American Revolution and Early Republic.”

Glauco Schettini, “Between Reform and Revolution: Jews, Public Utility, and National Belonging in Late Eighteenth-Century Italy.”

 

Reception to follow.

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Big News from History’s Own Dr. Louie Valencia-García (PhD ’16)

We’ve got lots of big news to announce from our recent alumnus, Dr. Louie Valencia-García! Louie wrote to let us know that he has just been appointed Assistant Professor of Digital History at Texas State University.  Texas State is located about 25 minutes south of Austin in San Marcos, Texas. He will be be teaching in the Department of History, and the Public History Program, teaching graduate students and undergraduates digital methodologies and European history.
For the past year, Louie has been a Lecturer on History of Literature for the Committee on Degrees on History and Literature, an Honors concentration at Harvard University. Louie writes
My time at Harvard has been absolutely fabulous. I have had the chance to work with amazing colleagues, students, and have taken advantage of all the resources available to faculty members. While the contract was renewable for up to three years, I decided to jump at the opportunity at Texas State.
My book, Antiauthoritarian Youth Culture: Clashing with Fascism, is under contract with Bloomsbury Academic, and will be published in 2018 (the cover of my book and a photo is here: http://scholar.harvard.edu/valencia/about). I’m particularly excited to start moving my own research to a focus on knowledge creation, youth culture, and activism in the digital age by researching HIV/AIDS research and knowledge distribution in Europe in the 1980s/90s.  Currently, I am also a Research Editor for the new monthly digital journal of the Council for European Studies at Columbia University, EuropeNow (europenowjournal.org). I am expecting articles to be published in Contemporary European History and European Comic Art, amongst others. I am also contributing an article to Asif Siddiqi and Simon Reynold’s upcoming volume, One-Track Mind.

Louie Valencia-García’s new book, forthcoming from Bloomsbury.

The new job means a lot to Louie: he graduated from Texas State University in 2007 with degrees in the European Studies and Spanish Literature, as well as minors in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and International Studies. He was the student commencement speaker, and he is “beyond excited to come home.” Of course we’re beyond excited too, and proud of our graduate. Way to go Louie!

 

 

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Medieval Seminar Class Stages Successful Conference

On Friday, May 5 students of the Medieval Political Cultures Conference staged a successful half-day conference presenting the research conducted over the 2016-7 academic year. The students had organized the conference over the past weeks, putting together a program of four panels of papers that drew out common themes across their respective research projects. Each panel consisted of three papers, with ample time for questions at the end of each. They addressed a large audience of their peers from Fordham’s medieval graduate programs, Fordham faculty, distinguished visitors, and their friends and family. For pictures from the conference and commentary that was posted on social media, you can read the storify here or follow it below.

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Medieval Political Cultures Conference: Friday May 5, 9:30AM-2PM Campbell Multipurpose Room

Each year the Seminar course in Medieval History holds a mini-conference to exhibit the works of our medieval history students. This year’s conference will take place on Friday, May from 9:30AM until 2PM in the Campbell Multipurpose Room, Campbell Hall on the Rose Hill Campus. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Come along, all are welcome!

Sessions and papers are as follows:

Panel I: From East to West 9:30-10:30

Meghan KaseConditrix Augusta: The Architectural Patronage of the Empress Theophano

Hannah Graham – Space and Demonstrations of Power in the Architecture of the Principality of Achaia

Andrew Kayaian – “Fullness of Power”: The Ecclesiology of Innocent III and Papal Relations with the Armenian Church and State

Panel II: Locality and the Sacred 10:30-11:30

Michael Lipari – “Where the Word of God Does Not Have Root”: The Archbishop of Reims and the Nobility of Champagne in the 13th Century

Jake Prescott – Neither North nor South: The Limousin as a Distinct Cultural Space c. 1220

Martin Nelson – “Such a Splendor of Brightness:” The Establishment of Knud Lavard’s Cult at Ringsted in Religious Narrative

Panel III: Locality and the Secular 12:00-1:00

Stephen Powell – The Pen is Mightier than the Earl’s Sword: The De Laude Cestrie and the Formation of an Independent Cestrian Political Identity

Andrew Thornbrooke – “A Power Above You”: Concepts of Autonomy in the Letters of Pope Innocent III and Guilhem VIII of Montpellier

Sally Gordon – Win the War – Buy Bonds! City-States, Princes, and Sovereign Debt in the Age of Edward I

Panel IV: Borders and Frontiers 1:00-2:00

Michael J. Sanders – Forgotten Roads to Jerusalem: The Iter per Hispaniam According to Ramon Llull and Garcías de Ayerbe

Joseph McKenna – On the Stage of Acre: The Players and Their Roles during the Siege

Rebecca Katharine-Fionna Bartels – Remembering the Truth: The Political Sacrality of Aleppo in 12th Century Islamic Historiography

 

 

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Congratulations to Kristin Uscinski!

(l-r) Wolfgang Mueller, Kristin Uscinski, David Myers and Maryanne Kowaleski

This past week Kristin Uscinski successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Recipes for Women’s Healthcare in Medieval England”. Kristin’s mentor was Professor Maryanne Kowaleski, her readers were Professors Wolfgang Mueller and David Myers and Examiners were Professors Claire Gherini and Nicholas Paul.

In addition to defending, Kristin’s research also got a great write-up in Fordham News– go check it out!

 

 

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History 2016 Award Winners Honored at GSAS Celebration

 

GSAS Award Winners 2016: (l-r) Jonathan Wood (Alumni Dissertation Fellowship), Sal Cipriano (Senior Teaching Fellowship), Melissa Arredia (GSAS Summer Fellowship), Jeffrey Doolittle (Research Fellowship), Michael Sanders (ACHA Assistantship), Elizabeth Stack (Higher Education Learning Junior Fellow), Christopher Rose (Vice President, Graduate Student Association)

Last week the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)  held their annual award ceremony for winners of fellowships and prizes administered internally at Fordham. This year’s was a special ceremony, as the GSAS also celebrated its Centennial. GSAS Dean Eva Badowska spoke about the history of the Graduate School and unveiled a digital timeline of its history. Read on to find out more about our award winners in 2016 & 2017.

Continue reading

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Announcing History Graduate Courses for Spring 2018

Following on from last week’s listing of the graduate courses in History for Fall 2017, we now proudly announce the courses for Spring 2018.

Global History

HIST 6256 The History of Torture and Western Culture (Thursday 5:30-8PM)

What does the history of torture look like, when placed in a global perspective? Professor W. David Myers  describes his course as follows:

From Greek slaves to deaths by a thousand cuts in China; from Jesuit missionaries in Japan or New France to anti-American insurgents in the Philippines; from anti-French insurgents in Algeria to anti-communists in Argentina; from Rodney King in Los Angeles to Afghanistan, ISIL and home again to Chicago, torture has been a ubiquitous and continuous feature of human culture around the globe. Today, roundly condemned by UN treaty and almost all nations, subject to international oversight, torture still persists on all continents and in all political systems. This course will examine that sad global history, with special attention to the human body as an object of state power, despite the legacy of the European Enlightenment, which proclaimed the autonomy of the individual as a highest good.

Medieval History

HIST 8150 Seminar: Medieval England (Tuesday 2:30-5PM)

The continuation of Professor Maryanne Kowaleski‘s year-long medieval Proseminar/Seminar course. For the first part, which this very blog may have described as “legendary” see here. From the description:

Students continue to work on the research project they defined in the Proseminar to this course. They also learn to design and use a computer database that includes data gathered in the course of research on the final paper, participate in seminars to improve their academic writing and public speaking skills, and familiarize themselves with professional standards for writing a scholarly article, giving a talk at an academic conference, and writing an academic curriculum vitae. They complete the seminar by giving a 20-minute conference paper on their research project and writing a thesis-length original research paper that could be published as a scholarly article.

MVST 5300- Occitania: Language and Power (Friday 2-5PM)

A brand new team-taught Medieval Studies course, a collaboration between Professors Nicholas Paul (History) and Thomas O’Donnell (English). From the description.

This team-taught interdisciplinary course introduces students to the cultural world of a medieval south: Occitania, a region defined by language stretching from the foothills of the Alps to the pathways across the Pyrenees and from the Mediterranean almost to the Loire. Students will study the Old Occitan language and its manifestations in documentary writing, historical narrative, and the poetry of the troubadours from the eleventh until the thirteenth centuries. In order to best understand the context for this literature, course topics will include urban and rural communities, gender and power, the Albigensian crusade and its aftermath, and the the rise of vernacular book production.

European History

HIST 5561 Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe (Tuesday 5:30-8PM)

We’ve done a blog post about this course by Professor Silvana Patriarca before, where we described it as follows:

The seminar will focus on the history and historiography on the construction of “race” and nation in modern Europe (from the Enlightenment onwards) and in particular on the multiple connections and intersections between nationalism(s) and racism(s).  As issues of cultural identity and questions of immigration and national belonging have become hotly contested in today’s European societies, the historiography on these subjects has been steadily growing.  We will discuss different historical approaches, theories, and methodologies that emerge from the growing body of works addressing these issues and pay particular attention to socio-cultural histories and to transnational and comparative perspectives.

US History

HIST 5575- The United States and the World (Wednesday 2:30-5PM)

Professor Christopher Dietrich is a historian of US Foreign Relations, and in this course he brings that expertise fully to bear. “With an emphasis on the myriad ways in which peoples, cultures, economies, national governments, non-state institutions, and international institutions interact” the course will explore several themes, including “capitalism and economic policy” as well as “cultural relations, domestic politics, and perceptions of the world.” The focus on capitalism and global economy is especially important, as the course is intended to tie-in with the department’s Spring 2018  conference “The United States and Global Capitalism in the Twentieth Century.” Students in the course will get front-row seats, and can expect to be involved, in the planning and execution of a major international academic conference.

 

 

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