Category Archives: Faculty News

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. 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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Dr. Elizabeth Penry wins Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society

Dr. Elizabeth Penry has been awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. The grant will be used to support her new research project titled “The Italian Renaissance in Diaspora: Jesuit Education and Indigenous Modernities.” Her project reexamines early modern Jesuit education in the Viceroyalty of Peru. Congratulations to Dr. Penry!

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Dr. Susan Wabuda publishes essay in new edited volume, “The Cambridge Connection”

Cover of The Cambridge Connection in Tudor England

In The Cambridge Connection, Susan Wabuda’s essay, “‘We walk as pilgrims’: Agnes Cheke and Cambridge, c. 1500–1549” is about the career of Agnes Cheke as a prosperous vitner. She was one of the few pillars of the emerging evangelical establishment in Cambridge in the sixteenth century. Her financial success in selling wine allowed her to advance the career of her son, the famous humanist scholar Sir John Cheke, and her son-in-law William Cecil, the future Lord Burghley, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I. Agnes Cheke died in 1549, much lamented in a sermon by the famous preacher Hugh Latimer, and her resting place is in the University Church, Great Saint Mary’s, where she was a parishioner.

Susan Wabuda’s previous books include Thomas Cranmer in the Routledge Historical Biographies Series (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), and  Preaching during the English Reformation (Cambridge:  University Press, 2002, 2008).

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Dr. Elizabeth Penry wins Prestigious Book Award

Cover of Dr. Penry’s book, The People are King

Dr. Elizabeth Penry, Associate Professor of History and Latin American and Latinx Studies, has won the Conference on Latin American History’s Howard F. Cline Memorial Prize for her book, The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford University Press, 2019). Penry received her award during the American Historical Association’s 135th annual meeting held in New Orleans in January 2022.

The Cline Prize, established in 1976 is awarded every other year “to the book or article in English, German, or a Romance language judged to make the most significant contribution” to the history of indigenous people in Latin America. Affiliated with the American Historical Association, the Conference on Latin American History “is devoted to encourage the diffusion of knowledge about Latin America through fostering the study and improving the teaching of Latin American history.” 

The People Are King re-examines two key moments in history: the massive resettlement of indigenous people in the wake of the Spanish invasion, and the revolutionary movements of the late 18th century. As one reviewer wrote, The People Are King demonstrates how indigenous Andean communities became “grassroots laboratories” for participatory democracy and popular sovereignty, and in doing so “helped establish the foundations of the modern world.” 

The People Are King has previously won four other prizes: the 2020 best book on Bolivia Prize, given by the Bolivian Section of the Latin American Studies Association; the 2019 Flora Tristán Prize for the best book published in any subject that offers a “significant contribution to Peruvian academic knowledge,” given by the Peruvian Section of the Latin American Studies Association; 2019 Murdo J. MacLeod Book Prize for the best book on Latin American History from the Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association (Honorable Mention); and the 2019 Susan M. Socolow-Lyman L. Johnson Chile-Rio de la Plata Prize, awarded biennially for the best book on Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay given by the Conference on Latin American History.

Dr. Penry receiving her award.
Photo by Dr. Stephanie Huezo

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Prof. Magda Teter wins 2 book prizes for book: “Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth”

Professor Magda Teter won two book prizes for her recent publication: Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020). Prize descriptions below:

American Historical Association: George L. Mosse Prize
“The American Historical Association awards the George L. Mosse Prize annually for an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500.” (https://www.historians.org/awards-and-grants/awards-and-prizes/george-l-mosse-prize)

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference: 2021 Bainton Prize for History and Theology
“The Roland H. Bainton Book Prizes are named in honor of one of the most irenic church historians of the twentieth century. Roland H. Bainton was professor of church history at the seminary of Yale University for many years, the advisor of many Ph.D. students, the author of over a dozen important books, and an ardent supporter of early modern studies. 

Four prizes are awarded yearly for the best books written in English dealing with four categories within the time frame of 1450-1660: Art and Music History, History and Theology, Literature, and Reference Works. The prize-winning book in each category is chosen by a committee of three SCSC members appointed by the president of the SCSC who shall also designate one of the three to serve as chair.” (https://sixteenthcentury.org/roland-h-bainton-prizes/)

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Prof. Silvana Patriarca publishes book: “Il colore della Repubblica. ‘Figli della guerra’ nell’Italia postfascista”

Description

Focusing on the experiences and representations of the “brown babies” born at the end of the Second World War from the encounters between Black Allied soldiers and Italian women, this book explores the persistence of racial thinking and racism in post-fascist and postcolonial Italy. Through the use of a large variety of historical sources, including personal testimonies and the cinema, Silvana Patriarca illustrates Italian – and also American – responses to what many considered a “problem,” and analyses the perceptions of race/color among several different actors (state and local authorities, Catholic clerics, filmmakers, geneticists, psychologists, and ordinary people). Her book is rich in details on their impact on the lives of the children. Uncovering the pervasiveness of anti-Black prejudice in the early democratic republic, as well as the presence and limitations of anti-racist sensibilities, the book allows us to better understand Italy’s conflicted reaction to its growing diversity.   

Book cover: Il colore della Repubblica (Einaudi, 2021)

The English edition will be published by Cambridge University Press in February 2022.

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Prof. Asif Siddiqi publishes, “Shaping the World: Soviet-African Technologies from the Sahel to the Cosmos,” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Professor Asif Siddiqi’s new article, “Shaping the World: Soviet-African Technologies from the Sahel to the Cosmos,” was just released in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 41, Issue 1. Below is the article abstract:

Abstract

This article explores the biography of a network of Soviet telescopic cameras stationed across the African Sahel during the Cold War. Through joint Soviet-African cooperative programs, scientists used these advanced cameras in Egypt, Somalia, Mali, the Sudan, and Chad to photograph satellites flying overhead to gather data to produce a new model of the Earth, one that Soviet scientists hoped would be an alternative to Western models. I argue that these technical artifacts in Africa, connected into a single global network, represented examples of “infrastructural irruptions” of Cold War technopolitics into African geography, wherein the superpowers placed networked technologies inside postcolonial spaces for the collection of data. Although these technologies were nominally Soviet in origin, the story could also be read as one of Africans who invested their geography with agency in the production of scientific knowledge. Like the socialist moment in Africa and indeed the Soviet Union itself, this camera network no longer exists, its data compromised and its material imprint disappeared. But this “failure” should not blind us to the immanent power of possibility embedded in this incomplete project. I argue that this combination of unbounded aspiration and incomplete materiality was a powerful manifestation of the African-Soviet Modern.

Asif Siddiqi
Asif Siddiqi

You can follow him on Twitter @historyasif.

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