Part of Fordham’s rigorous PhD program is its mandatory Teaching Tutorial. This class uses one-on-one training with a member of Fordham History’s professoriate to give PhD candidates valuable pedagogical training and classroom experience. The tutorial transitions PhDs from their first two years of coursework into their upcoming teaching assignments mandated by the PhD program’s funding package. We caught up with Michael Sanders, a PhD candidate who is finishing his second year at Fordham and recently completed his tutorial with Dr. Héctor Linda-Fuentes, to get his perspective on the experience.
Category Archives: Teaching
Fordham University is excited to welcome Dr. Marc Herman as the first joint Rabin-Shvidler Post-doctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at Fordham and Columbia. Dr. Herman received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation on rabbinic jurisprudence in the medieval Islamic world. His presence will add new dimensions to the teaching of the medieval period in Jewish history, to comparative legal studies, and the intersection of Jewish life and Islamic jurisprudence. At Fordham he teaches the courses “Ancient and Medieval Jewish History” and “Islam and Judaism: Law and Religion.”
The fellowship and awards are made possible by the Stanley A. and Barbara B. Rabin Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund at Columbia University and the Eugene Shvidler Gift Fund at Fordham University. Continue reading
The History Department’s own blog contributor and MA student, Martin Nelson, spent the beginning of his summer helping the Fordham Classics Department guide a study tour that explored ancient Roman sites in Naples, Ostia, Herculaneum, Pompeii, and, of course, Rome. As part of the blog’s Postcard series, he had this to say about the experience… Continue reading
Congratulations to Fordham alumnus Dr. Ryan Keating for his recent award as “Outstanding Junior Faculty Member.” Dr. Keating received his Ph.D from Fordham in 2013 for his dissertation, “’Give Us War in Our Time’: America’s Irish Communities in the Civil War Era.” He is an assistant professor at California State University San Bernardino in sunny southern California where he received the annual award.
On top of showing his Fordham trained teaching chops, Dr. Keating has become an administrative asset for CSUSB. He was named Dean’s Fellow and charged with coordinating the college’s assessment policies. He also co-chairs the University’s Graduation Initiative.
This does little to detract form his own research it seems, as Dr. Keating has found time to publish two forthcoming books on top of his other projects. The first book, Shades of Green: Irish Reginments, American Soldiers, and Local Communities in the Civil War Era is a social history that traces the soldiers who served in three Irish regiments from Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and moves the historical discussion of 19th century Irish immigration away from major urban centers to illustrate ways in which immigrants across the nation understood their place in 19th century America and the meaning of their service in the Civil War. His second book, The Greatest Trial I Ever Had: The Civil War Letters of Margaret and Thomas Cahill will be an edited collection of letters written by Thomas Cahill, Colonel of the 9th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and his wife, Margaret, during the Civil War. This collection represents the largest corpus of letters written by an Irish-American woman during this period to ever be published. The collection also shows the unique perspective on the war from the 9th Connecticut, an Irish regiment that was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana throughout the war, during occupational duty in the south. With these two soon-to-be-published works in his rearview mirror, Dr. Keating has focused on an upcoming study of 500 union veterans who relocated to southern California after their muster out of northern armies.
Once again, congratulations to Dr. Keating on his outstanding award and we will all be looking forward to his future publications!
We’ve reached that exciting time of year when we can take the wraps off the courses that the History department is planning to offer in 2017-2018.We’ll start this week with our Fall offerings.
Theory and Methods
HIST 5300- The Historian’s Toolkit (Wednesday 5:30-8PM)
One of the department’s newest faculty members, Professor Samantha Iyer, will offer our new introductory course to historical theories and methods, the “Historian’s Toolkit”. Professor Iyer brings her broad expertise as a historian of international political who has worked on the history of the United States, the Middle East, and South Asia. Students can expect an introduction to a wide range of historical approaches and methodologies grounded in a thoroughly global perspective.
HIST 6078- Crusader States: the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1291 (Friday 2:30-5PM)
While the history of the crusades has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity among students of the Middle Ages, few courses explore in any detail the society of the crusading frontier in the eastern Mediterranean. This is the second outing of Professor Nicholas Paul‘s course dedicated to the society, politics, and culture of the Frankish Levant (1099-1291). For an introduction to the crusader states (via the Crusader States Podcast) and to see the previous course syllabus and materials, visit the course website.
HIST- 7150 Medieval England (Tuesday 2:30-5PM)
Professor Maryanne Kowaleski’s year-long Proseminar/Seminar class is legendary, and with good reason. Students enrolled with Professor Kowaleski receive a rigorous training in social history grounded equally in the archival sources of English history and research methods such as database building.
From the course description:
This is the first half of a year-long course that focuses on the social, economic and administrative history of England from the 11th through 15th centuries. Special emphasis is placed upon: how to identify and exploit a wide variety of primary sources (such as wills, cartularies, court rolls, account rolls, chronicles, among others); how to use major historical collections (such as the Rolls Series, VCH, Record Commissioners, Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Ordnance Survey, Selden Society, and others); and gaining an awareness of the regions and landscape of medieval England, as well as the contributions of historical geography. Besides treating thematic issues such as the church and society, law and the legal system, the growth of government and administration, maritime trade, and industry in town and country, the weekly discussions will also consider society and economy among the peasantry, townspeople and the landowning elite.
HIST 5290 Luther and Reformation (Monday 5:30-8PM)
Marking the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s 95 theses, Professor Susan Wabuda will offer a brand new course Luther and the Reformation in Early Modern Europe.
From the course’s description:
October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of one of the great cultural moments that shook the History of the world: the release of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses. Luther disturbed the political, social, and religious structures of Western Europe. Until his death in 1546, he challenged the papacy, the Catholic Church, the Holy Roman Empire, and Henry VIII. The Reformation he began both inspired and outraged. It represented the triumph of technology through the printing press. After Luther, nothing was exactly the same ever again.
HIST 5913- Golden Age Spain and America (Wednesday 2:30-5PM)
Professor S. Elizabeth Penry, whose research concerns the Spanish empires of the Atlantic, offers a course that truly brings early modern Europe into a global perspective. From the course description:
The Spanish Hapsburg Empire was the first of Europe’s globalized empires and the first modern archival state. But even the citizens of Latin American nations came to regard “modernity” as something that needed to be imported from France, England and the United States. Their understanding and ours of the (un)importance of the Spanish colonial project for the modern world was shaped by Spain’s eclipse by England and the creation of an anti-Spanish & anti-Catholic ‘rise of the west’ narrative in the American academy. The recent scholarship we will examine rethinks Spain’s role in world history to challenge this Black Legend perspective. The course begins with the end of the ‘Reconquista’ and the formation of the hybrid socio-cultural order at the end of the 15th century and concludes with the collapse of Spain’s mainland American empire and the rise of nation states there in the early 1800s. Topics may include: the importance of urban life for Spain and its empire; the rise of the inquisition and the promotion of the homogenous Spanish national subject; and the practices of everyday life embodied in concepts of gender, sexuality, honor, popular religiosity, death and the afterlife.
HIST 5645- Readings in Early America (Tuesday 5:30-8PM)
Also new to the History Department is Professor Claire Gherini, who will be offering a readings course in Early American history. Early America, especially with reference to its Atlantic history, is Professor Gherini’s area of research. She writes that the course
will provide students with an introduction to the historiography of early America from contact through the era of revolutions. Major themes include the contesting and connecting of geographical areas across the continent, the everyday experiences of work across lines of race, class, and gender, and the rise and fall of Atlantic empires.
HIST 5563- Readings in North American Environmental History (Thursday 5:30-8PM)
Perhaps no element of the human story is receiving as much attention right now as our impact on the environment and the planet. Renowned historian of US environmental history Professor Steven Stoll will introduce students to the scholarship on the history of this relationship between human society and the environment. If you want to learn more about Stoll, his work, and the work of an environmental historian more generally, you can read the profile we did about him on this blog last Spring.
On Friday at the University’s annual Faculty Day, Professor John Harrington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, presented History Professor Kirsten Swinth with the award for outstanding teaching in the Social Sciences. Dean Harrington’s citation mentioned her her broad range of skills and interests, including the history of women and painting, her experiences working in education abroad, particularly in Mozambique, and work organizing teaching events outside of the classroom. The History Department could not be more proud of Professor Swinth: Congratulations!
The participants in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar will be giving 10-12 minute talks this Thursday, May 5th, in the Walsh Library Special Collections Room from 10:00 am until 2:15pm. Lunch will be served at 11:00am. At 11:15, Alisa Beer, Senior Teaching Fellow in the History Department, will be giving a talk about teaching history with physical object. Alisa is already well-respected among students and colleagues for the way she weaves material culture into her classes. Earlier this year we managed to get some video of Alisa in action, talking with students about medieval manuscripts in the Fordham University Library collection:
So if you are interested in learning about how to teach history tangibly, please come along on Thursday May 5 at 11:10 for Alisa Beer’s presentation at 11:15.*
Alisa says about her talk:
As a medievalist and a rare book librarian, I believe strongly that a physical experience of the past can create a visceral connection to the study of history that is not available through the use of a textbook alone. Allowing students to interact directly with primary source objects deepens their understanding of the tangibility of the past and engages them in a way that interaction with a textbook cannot rival. As a participant in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar this past semester, I was able to incorporate the Ignatian ideals we learned about into my teaching by developing a hands-on exercise on textile production in which students learned about making cloth in the middle ages by actually using spindles and a small loom.
*Alisa adds that it is perfectly OK if you want to show up only for one presentation and you need not stay for the entire day.
Right now, all over the country, college campuses are the sites of debate and protest over questions of history, identity, privilege, and inclusion. The timing could not be better for a graduate course in the History department which addresses these questions head-on. That is why we are particularly excited to announce that this coming Spring semester Professor Kirsten Swinth will be teaching a new course entitled “Race and Gender in Modern America,” Professor Swinth sat down with us and talked about her ideas for the course, including the book that will be the starting point for the conversation, and her “student-led” approach to the development of the course themes and readings. You can watch her comments below. We found it incredibly inspiring to hear someone speak so passionately and eloquently about the role that history can play in confronting some of the greatest challenges to our society. We bet you will too.
Professor Durba Mitra‘s graduate class, Gender and History, had a discussion about gender and sexuality in the landscape of New York City next to the statue of J. Marion Sims, the so-called “Father of Gynecology” in Harlem. From 1845-1949, Sims carried out experimental surgeries on slave women to address the issue of persistent fistula after protracted labor in childbirth. He conducted these procedures on slave women without the use of anesthetics, believing that slave women did not need anesthesia for pain relief. While he is memorialized in a statue at 103rd Street and 5th Avenue for his innovative surgical techniques and his contribution to NYC medical institutions, his commitment to slavery and his use of slave women for experimentation is less well known. The memorial bears no marks of this history.