On November 7, 2017, Fordham students gathered for the second annual women’s liberation teach-in at Rodrigue’s Coffee House, on the Rose Hill campus. Part of Professor Kirsten Swinth’s Modern U.S. Women’s History, students in the teach-in emulated women’s liberation groups of the 1960s and 1970s. The teach-in is a valuable tool Dr. Swinth has used to move students from the pages of their textbooks into the lived experience of the subjects they study. Here’s what some of the students had to say about that experience. Continue reading
Category Archives: Courses
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.
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.
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.
HIST 5561 Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe (Tuesday 5:30-8PM)
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.
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.
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.
Work in Progress: Jason McDonald Talks Through Images, War and Propaganda for the History Graduate Colloquium
Recently, we posted about our Graduate Colloquium conference, wrapping up the semester’s hard work by graduate students. As part of the process of the colloquium, students meet to make presentations about their progress, discuss problems in their research, and exchange papers to work collaboratively on writing. In this year’s colloquium, Jason McDonald made this excellent video about his project. As well as highlighting his abilities as an historian and videographer, the video gives an excellent sense of the process through which students work through their final research papers.
Jason’s research on image, war, and propaganda ultimately resulted in his final research paper: “Japanese Teeth and Skulls in American Newspapers, 1884-2012”. You can read more about Jason’s work on World War II images in general here. Great work, Jason!
The Fordham History Department is proud to announce the History Colloquium Conference for 2016. The conference takes place this Thursday morning in Flom Auditorium on the lower floor of the Walsh Library. Once again, our students will present on a diverse range of topics using a variety of approaches and sources material. Click on paper titles to find abstracts of these presentations.
Session I: Recovering Lost Lives from the Archives (10:00-10:40)
Amanda Haney, “Thomas Boleyn, A Man of Power in his Own Right”(Abstract)
Damien Strecker, “Edler Hawkins and the Formation of St. Augustine (Abstract)
Session II: Conflict, Identity, and Society (10:40-12:00)
Sajia Hanif, “The Marketplace of Death: the Crusade of Varna 1444” (Abstract)
Robert Effinger, “’Pursue One Great Decisive Aim with Force and Determination’: Prussian and Russian State, Economic and Military Reform, 1806-1815″ (Abstract )
Jason McDonald, “Japanese Teeth and Skulls in American Newspapers, 1884-2012” (Abstract)
Giulia Crisanti, “‘Balkanism’ and ‘Balkanization’ in Western Media During the Yugoslav War of the 1990s” (Abstract)
Session III: Culture and Politics in the 20th Century US (12:15-1:15)
Nicole Siegel, “Cantors On Trial: The Jazz Singer, Its Responses, and the American Jewish Experience 1927-1937″ (Abstract)
Grace Healy, “Swamp or Climax Region? Congressional Perceptions of the Everglades, 1947-1989” (Abstract)
Michael McKenna, “Heads We Win, Tails You Lose: Television and the Rise of the New Right, 1964-1976” (Abstract)
Lunch will be served for all participants and their guests at 1:15 in the History Department
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.
A new conversation has started within the History Department at Fordham. Under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Paul, graduate students in his Crusader States class are developing podcasts as a means to initiate discussion. The course, “charts the social, political, and cultural history of the feudal principalities (sometimes called “Crusader States” “the Latin East” or the ‘Frankish Levant”) that were established by Latin Christians in the Eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the First Crusade.” The podcasts, in turn, each focus on a specific theme within the current scholarship, from the background to the First Crusade in the Eastern Mediterranean, to the relationships between Latin Europeans and eastern Christians and Muslims, through the cultural, social, and political development of the Crusader States themselves
What are the advantages of the podcast format? Tom Schellhammer, a student in the course, commented that, “Historical scholarship must also embrace the current trend towards technological interaction,” as “Technology allows us to reach a wide audience, and this idea is a fantastic intro to anyone interested in learning more about the Crusader States. A podcast can build interest by succinctly covering the important discussion points on any one topic, and highlighting the importance of the topic and asking intriguing questions that spark even more debate and scholarship.”
For Tom, and all of the students in The Crusader States, further and broader discussion about the aftermath of the First Crusade is the ultimate goal, and they believe that using podcasts promotes that within and beyond their seminar. Tom says, “I think that as a class we have come up with some thought provoking questions which might benefit a larger community studying the Crusader States. I find the material challenging and want to hear outside comments upon the work that we are doing, so I appreciate the opportunity to be heard and receive feedback on our discussions. On a topic that has interest in such widespread and diverse communities, the podcasts truly help reach outside thoughts and opinions and ignite those same thoughts to be shared here at Fordham.”
Check out all the podcasts and listen to Tom address issues faced by the Crusader military and debate whether the creation of new states was inevitable in the aftermath of the First Crusade. History is about so much more than the sources analyzed and papers written– it is about sharing what we learn with others in hopes of creating an atmosphere of inquiry, debate, and ultimately, understanding.