Category Archives: O’Connell Initiative

O’Connell Initiative Lunch!

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O’Connell Initiative: “Unveiling Money” with Dr. Johan Mathew

On October 17th, Dr. Johan Mathew, Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University gave a talk at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus based on research from his prizewinning book, Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism Across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016). The talk, titled “Unveiling Money: Counterfeits, Arbitrage, and Finance across the Arabian Sea,” analyzed the influence trafficking and smuggling had on monetary policies across a region that included Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Mathew spoke about his sources, explaining to his audience that trafficking creates detailed records of trade. This rich source of records includes contracts and family papers from ‘diasporic archives.’ Dr. Mathew explained how the nature of money was changed by merchant networks, by the multiplicity of them and the instability within them. In his lecture, Dr. Mathew defined ‘capitalism’ as a loose system of analysis that covers free labor, private property, and monetary exchange. 

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O’Connell Initiative Event!

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Twilight Capitalists: The Global Cold War and the Unmaking of Post-War Capitalism

On the evening of Thursday, March 8th, the History Department opened its O’Connell Initiative Annual Conference titled “The United States and Global Capitalism in the Twentieth Century” with Dr. Vanessa Ogle as it’s keynote speaker. Dr. Ogle is a professor of History at University of California-Berkeley with a focus on late-modern Europe. Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students alike filled the McNally Amplitheatre to hear Dr. Ogle’s talk, titled “Twilight Capitalists: The Global Cold War and the Unmaking of Post-War Colonialism”. Continue reading

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O’Connell Initiative Book Launch Event: Yuko Miki

Tuesday, February 27th, the History Department celebrated the launch of Dr. Yuko Miki‘s new book, Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil. Dr. Miki, an Assistant Professor in the History Department, is an expert on Brazil and teaches classes on Latin America at the Lincoln Center Campus. The event was sponsored by the O’Connell Initiative on the Global History of Capitalism. Dr. Miki’s book, published by Cambridge University Press, demonstrates that to understand modern Brazil one must understand the histories of the African Diaspora, as well as those of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
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O’Connell Initiative Event on March 8th, 2018

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O’Connell Initiative on the Global History of Capitalism

The O’Connell Initiative on the Global History of Capitalism hosted their first event of the semester on January 26. On the fourth floor of Walsh Library, members of the History Department met for an informal lunch and to hear two of their fellow faculty members, Dr. Samantha Iyer and Dr. David Hamlin, speak about their research that was supported by the O’Connell Initiative.  Continue reading

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Dr. Christopher Dietrich and the Oil Revolution

Last Tuesday, Dr. Christopher Dietrich sat down with Dr. Toby C. Jones of Rutgers University and Fordham’s own Dr. Asif Siddiqi to discuss Dr. Dietrich’s new book, Oil Revolution: Anticolonial Elites, Sovereign Rights, and the Economic Culture of Decolonization (Cambridge University Press, 2017). The event quickly became standing-room only as undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and reporters filled the South Lounge at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus. According to Dr. Dietrich, Continue reading

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Upcoming O’Connell Initiative Event: Book Launch for Dr. Christopher Dietrich

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Timothy Brook Delivers O’Connell Lecture on Capitalism and the Law of the Sea in 17th Century Java

Fordham University was honored to host Professor Timothy Brook this last Wednesday in the McNally Auditorium as part of the O’Connell Initiative on the Global History of Capitalism. Prof. Brook has spent his prolific career studying cultural and social history in Southeast Asia. From the Ming Dynasty in 14th to 17th century China to the Japanese occupation of China during WWII, Dr. Brook has authored numerous monographs, including the acclaimed Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (London: Profile Books, 2009) and, most recently, The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010).

Prof. Brook’s presentation, an ongoing research project titled “What to do when Chinese Try to Burn Down your Warehouse: Legal Plurality in Trading Ports at the Turn of the 17th Century,” was a captivating collection of stories and theories regarding the burgeoning role of capitalism in the Southeast Asian port city of Bantam. Eyebrow-raising title aside,  Brook’s pithy and poignant ideas on capitalism gave the gathered crowd much to discuss in the following Q&A. During both the presentation and resulting discussion, Brook maintained that, “capitalism may have emerged in Europe, but only because of Europe’s engagement with the rest of the world.” Brook elaborated his examination of the legal troubles that plagued the Europeans’ imperialist endeavors through four stories culled from the diary of the early 17th century English trader Edmund Scott. Such legal troubles may have hampered immediate European imperialism in each specific case, but they may have also formed a framework by which the European powers could then apply when trading with other plundered nations. Such legal cases after all gave rise to Huig de Groot’s Mare Liberum and the ensuing legal debate on the law of the seas.

The History Department would like to extend its sincerest thanks to Professor Timothy Brook and the O’Connell Initiative for taking the time to present his insightful and illuminating research.

For more on Professor Brook’s talk, see here.

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