Category Archives: Faculty News

Amir Idris, Professor of History, publishes an op-ed entitled “Recognizing and Mitigating the Risk of Expansion of Sudan’s Conflict to South Sudan”

Amir Idris, Professor of History, has published an op-ed entitled “Recognizing and Mitigating the Risk of Expansion of Sudan’s Conflict to South Sudan” in Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker. You can find the op-ed at this link.

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Scott G. Bruce, Professor of History, and W. Tanner Smoot, PhD Candidate, publish an article entitled “The Social Life of an Eleventh-Century Shrine in the Miraculorum sancti Maioli libri duo (BHL 5186)”

Scott G. Bruce, Professor of History, and W. Tanner Smoot, PhD Candidate, published their article entitled “The Social Life of an Eleventh-Century Shrine in the Miraculorum sancti Maioli libri duo (BHL 5186)” in Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies 12 (2023): 27-51. Congratulations, Scott and Tanner!

Below is the abstract:

The early eleventh-century Miraculorum sancti Maioli libri duo narrated accounts of more than four dozen miracles that took place at the shrine of Maiolus of Cluny in the town of Souvigny, where the abbot died in 994. This article examines the evidence of this little-known source to reconstruct the social life of a popular pilgrimage destination at the turn of the first millennium. It presents a profile of the kinds of people who visited Maiolus’s tomb, including their names, genders, and occupations. Next, it analyses the maladies for which these pilgrims sought relief through the healing power of the saint. Finally, it explores the social networks that facilitated the movement of pilgrims with motor and sensory disabilities from their homes to the abbot’s shrine.

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Dr. Bruce, Professor of History, and Dr. Lucy Barnhouse, Fordham history department alum, published in American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History

Dr. Scott Bruce, Professor of History, and Dr. Lucy Barnhouse, Fordham history department alum (2017) and currently Assistant Professor of History at Arkansas State University, both had featured articles appear in the February issue of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. Both their articles deal with the theme of ghosts.

Both articles are available to read for free.

You can read Dr. Bruce’s article “Hope in the Dark: History and Ghost Stories” here.

You can read Dr. Barnhouse’s article “Phantom Encounters: Building a Course around Ghosts” here.

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Dr. Kirsten Swinth publishes an article entitled “Debating the Fate of the Homemaker: The ERA and the Death of the Family Wage” in the journal of Gender & History

Dr. Kirsten Swinth, Professor of History, published her article entitled “Debating the Fate of the Homemaker: The ERA and the Death of the Family Wage” in the journal of Gender & History. Congratulations Dr. Swinth!

Below is the abstract of the article:

This article revisits the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution to argue that amendment adversaries fought over the future of women’s economic security. Post-war US economic growth stalled in the 1970s, bringing the family-wage ideal of male breadwinning and female homemaking down with it. In these unsettled years, how female economic dependence would be addressed was an open question: would it be by propping up male breadwinning, as ERA opponents wanted, or by combining good jobs with fairly compensated domestic labour and government assistance, as supporters believed the ERA promised? A revisionist interpretation of the ERA battle, this article shifts attention from conflict over gender identity and cultural values to economics and capitalist transformation. It examines arguments presented in pamphlets, the media and to Congress about how homemaking women could achieve security in the face of changing economic reality. The ERA’s defeat was a Pyrrhic victory for conservatives. The threat to government-sanctioned male breadwinning appeared to have been vanquished. But the family-wage system was truly on the rocks, and supporters’ vision of a working-family norm, with roles based on function, not gender, won out. Without the ERA, however, working mothers shouldered the consequences.

Cover of Gender & History

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Professor Wolfgang P. Müller is a guest on New Books Network podcast about his recent book, Marriage Litigation in the Western Church, 1215-1517 (2021)

Professor Wolfgang P. Müller was interviewed for the New Books Network podcast about his recent book Marriage Litigation in the Western Church, 1215-1517 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). You can listen to the 10-minute podcast here.

You can read a description of Dr. Müller’s book below:

From the establishment of a coherent doctrine on sacramental marriage to the eve of the Reformation, late medieval church courts were used for marriage cases in a variety of ways. Ranging widely across Western Europe, including the Upper and Lower Rhine regions, England, Italy, Catalonia, and Castile, this study explores the stark discrepancies in practice between the North of Europe and the South. Wolfgang P. Müller draws attention to the existence of public penitential proceedings in the North and their absence in the South, and explains the difference in demand, as well as highlighting variations in how individuals obtained written documentation of their marital status. Integrating legal and theological perspectives on marriage with late medieval social history, Müller addresses critical questions around the relationship between the church and medieval marriage, and what this reveals about both institutions.

Book cover of Marriage Litigation in the Western Church, 1215-1517

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Dr. Bruce and PhD Student Ben Bertrand publish their article entitled “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

Dr. Scott G. Bruce, Professor of History, and Benjamin A. Bertrand, PhD Student in History, co-authored their article “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” which was published in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies. Congratulations Dr. Bruce and Ben!

You can access their article here. Below is the abstract:

Monastic reading communities in early medieval Europe had a voracious appetite for the works of the Greek church fathers in Latin translation. This article examines the evidence for the availability of translated Greek patristics in western abbeys from the fifth to the ninth centuries through a survey of surviving manuscripts and monastic library inventories. While there was not yet a canon of officially recognized ‘fathers of the eastern church’ in early medieval Europe, this article shows how western monks favoured five of the six Greek patriarchs singled out as authoritative in the sixth-century Decretum Gelasianum. In terms of genre, they strongly preferred the homiletical writings of eastern Christian authors over their polemical works, because sermons and biblical homilies had greater utility as tools for teaching and preaching. Lastly, this article highlights the fact that the most widely copied Greek church father in early medieval Europe was also the most notorious and suspect thinker in the eastern church: Origen of Alexandria, whose skill as an author of biblical commentaries outweighed his notoriety as a condemned theologian in the eyes of western monks.

Cover of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

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Dr. Turan a guest on the BBC’s The Forum Podcast on Süleyman the Magnificent

Dr. Ebru Turan, Assistant Professor of History, was an expert guest on the BBC podcast The Forum, the episode was entitled, “Süleyman the Magnificent: longest-reigning Ottoman sultan.”

You can listen to the full 39 minute podcast here. Below is the description of the episode:

“The 46-year reign of Süleyman the Magnificent across central Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East was defined by territorial expansion and economic growth, as well as a flowering of art, architecture and culture.

The epithet ‘magnificent’ invites us to believe the Ottoman sultan could do no wrong. But he broke with precedent on several occasions and his private life came in for criticism. So how much does he owe his reputation to his advisers?

Bridget Kendall is joined by Gábor Ágoston, professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington DC and author of many books on the Ottomans, including The Last Muslim Conquest: The Ottoman Empire and Its Wars in Europe; Ebru Turan, assistant professor of History at Fordham University. She’s writing a book entitled Last World Emperor: The Origins of Ottoman-Habsburg Imperial Rivalry in the Apocalyptic Mediterranean, 1516-1527; and Marc David Baer, professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He’s published widely on the Ottoman empire, including The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars and Caliphs, which was published in 2021.”

Episode description take from The Forum website.
Image of Süleyman the Magnificent from Wikipedia Commons

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Dr. Penry awarded a Rome Prize

Dr. Elizabeth Penry was recently awarded a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for her project “The Italian Renaissance in Diaspora: Jesuit Education and Indigenous Modernities.”

Dr. Penry (second from left, middle row) with Rome Prize winners

From the announcement: 
“The American Academy in Rome announced today the winners of the 2022–23 Rome Prize and Italian Fellowships. These highly competitive fellowships support advanced independent work and research in the arts and humanities. This year, the gift of “time and space to think and work” was awarded to thirty-eight American and four Italian artists and scholars. They will each receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus on the Janiculum Hill in Rome, starting in September 2022.

Rome Prize winners are selected annually by independent juries of distinguished artists and scholars through a national competition. The eleven disciplines supported by the Academy are: ancient studies, architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, medieval studies, modern Italian studies, music composition, Renaissance and early modern studies, and visual arts. The selected candidates were ratified by the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Rome.

Nationwide, the Rome Prize competition received 909 applications, representing 47 US states and territories and 19 different countries. Thirty-three Rome Prizes were awarded to 37 individuals (four prizes are collaborations), representing an acceptance rate of 3.6 percent.” 

For more information on the American Academy in Rome and the Rome Prize, click here.

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Dr. Nana Osei-Opare awarded two fellowships

Dr. Nana Osei-Opare received the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies Mellon Fellowship for Assistant Professors in the School of Historical Studies for the 2022–2023 academic year. He also received the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Fellowship for their Scholars-in-Residence Program for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Dr. Nana Osei-Opare

His book project, Socialist De-Colony: Soviet & Black Entanglements in Ghana’s Decolonization and Cold War Projects, is described as “the first monograph to unpack, rethink, and tie Ghana’s Cold War and political-economic projects within larger socialist and Marxist debates from multiple ideological and geographic vantage points.” More information about the project can be found on Dr. Osei-Opare’s faculty profile. Congratulations!

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Dr. Penry wins Best Book Prize from the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies

The “Best First” Book Prize Committee for the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies has voted unanimously to award this year’s prize, which considered first monographs published between 2019 and 2021, to S. Elizabeth Penry’s The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). Drawing on an impressive array of documentation from a long list of archives on both sides of the Atlantic, The People Are King advances a convincing and timely revisionary examination of the processes by which Andean peoples within the viceroyalty of Peru strategically submitted to, collaborated with, and resisted Spanish imperial institutions from the sixteenth-century conquests through the age of revolutions and independence into the modern day. Via an exploration of the long-term development of five Andean highland towns and the ways in which their local populaces forged the social institution of the común to identify and assert their common interests and attain greater agency, Penry brilliantly demonstrates how indigenous peoples appropriated, refashioned, and repurposed Christian and Spanish ideas of natural rights and sovereignty, blending them with pre-conquest Andean principles of community obligation, in order to navigate the legal landscape and manipulate power structures within the Spanish-ruled administrative framework. Her expertly crafted book exhibits a rare level of erudition and historical craftsmanship for a first monograph and promises to serve as both an essential reference work for those working in the field and an aspirational exemplar for all historians.

Congratulations, Dr. Penry!

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