Category Archives: Publications

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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PhD Student Matt Mulhern publishes his article “Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Arc of Crisis and the Origin of U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan” in The Graduate History Review.

PhD Student Matt Mulhern publishes his article “Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Arc of Crisis and the Origin of U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan” in The Graduate History Review. Congratulations Matt!

Below is the abstract:

Zbigniew Brzezinski misrepresented Soviet motivations in their Afghan invasion to pursue his own geo-political agenda in the “arc of crisis” region that became a primary focus for the shift in strategic planning during the Carter administration. Based on State Department documents released in December 2018, in addition to former Soviet-era primary sources from the Cold War International History Project, the article describes how Brzezinski misread Soviet intentions and facilitated a response that later metastasized into something the U.S. could not control once the Reagan administration continued Carter’s arming of the most radical elements of the Afghan rebellion. Despite Brzezinski’s efforts to increase the U.S. footprint in the Middle East having such a consequential impact on American foreign policy during the past 40 years, scholars are only beginning to understand the full weight of these moves during the final years of the Carter administration.

Cover image of the Graduate History Review featuring the side profile of a woman at a desk reading a book
Cover image of The Graduate History Review

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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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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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Filed under Faculty News, Faculty Profiles, Publications

Prof. Magda Teter wrote “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review of Books.

On April 29, 2021, Prof. Magda Teter published, “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review Books. Below is an excerpt of Teter’s debut NYRB piece.

“The questions about poverty and charity we are facing now, in the middle of a major economic and public health crisis, are not new. They reflect our moral values as well as our social, legal, and political structures. (Tellingly, in the US, charitable giving is intertwined with tax codes.) To be sure, these values do change over time and vary across regions and cultures. In Judaism, tzedakah—roughly, charity—is a moral obligation, a mitzvah. (Although a mitzvah is also considered a good deed, in Hebrew it means a religious precept or commandment.) “Formal institutions for poor relief,” not just individual almsgiving, Kaplan writes, were already

“prescribed” in the Mishnah and the Tosefta—ancient Jewish texts from the second and third centuries CE. Zakat, or almsgiving, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

In Christianity, by contrast, charity is not a commandment or a pillar of religious practice, though Jesus’ teachings about poverty and wealth have played an important part in the development of Christian views on charity and on the role of the poor within society. In Christian medieval communities, for example, poverty was not considered shameful. Quite the opposite: poverty as a voluntary way of life was seen as a manifestation of piety, embodied most famously by Saint Francis of Assisi and the members of mendicant orders. In the seventh century Saint Eligius reportedly said, “God could have made all men rich, but He wanted there to be poor people in this world, that the rich might be able to redeem their sins.” The poor begging at church entrances were a common sight, offering the wealthy an opportunity to give alms. Even the word for “hospice” suggested an aura of holiness. In Paris, it was Hôtel-Dieu, and among Jews of Northern Europe it was called a hekdesh, related to the Hebrew root for “holy,” k-d-sh.

Then, Kaplan notes, echoing the historian Thomas Max Safley, “something happened to charity in early modern Europe.” In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, crop failures led many of the rural poor to move to cities. Frequent epidemics overwhelmed local hospices, and religious individuals and institutions alike were unable to provide adequate support to the sick and the poor. More formal solutions were needed, and almsgiving and poor relief became increasingly regulated. Now the poor were no longer seen as a means of redemption for the rich but as a public nuisance and a social burden, and perhaps as a vector of disease.

The cities began to define who was deserving and undeserving of aid. Public begging was increasingly banned, poverty was gradually criminalized, and residency was required to qualify for poor relief. In 1516, for example, Paris banished “vagabonds.””

You can follow Prof. Magda Teter on Twitter @MagdaTeter.

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Filed under Faculty News, Faculty Profiles, Public History, Publications

Graduate Student Lisa Betty is Featured in the Fordham Ram, discussing Veganism, and White Supremacy.

Fordham University undergraduate Abby Delk wrote the featured piece. Delk writes in part: “Lisa Betty, a Ph.D. candidate and teaching fellow in Fordham’s history department, has put a great deal of time and energy into her research on modern health and wellness movements and their ties to colonialism and white supremacy. Much of her research focuses on critiquing the modern veganism movement for its inherent racism.”

You can find Lisa Betty’s full article in the Medium here.

You can follow Lisa Betty on Twitter @almostdrlisabetty

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Prof. Asif Siddiqi Creates a New Digital Archive Collection on Yuri Gagarin, the First Human to Travel Into Space on April 12, 1961.

Prof. Asif Siddiqi curated, selected, and annotated documents to comprise a new Digital Archival collection on Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, for the Wilson Center’s Cold War International History Project. The first human to travel into space, fifty years ago, on April 12, 1961. You can click this link to access more information.

Prof. Siddiqi writes: Collectively these 20 declassified documents provide an extraordinary peek into the preparations and implementation of the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first Soviet cosmonaut, who flew into space in his Vostok spaceship on April 12, 1961.

The documents come from a variety of archives including the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF) and the archive of the Energiya Rocket-Space Corporation. Most of these have been published in collections of documents published in Russia including: V. A. Davydov, ed., Pervyy pilotiruyemyy polet: sbornik dokumentov v dvukh knigakh, kn. 1-ya (Moscow: Rodina MEDIA, 2011).

You can follow Prof. Asif Siddiqi on Twitter @historyasif

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Prof. Nana Osei-Opare’s article, “If “‘If You Trouble a Hungry Snake, You Will Force It to Bite You’: Rethinking Postcolonial African Archival Pessimism, Worker Discontent, and Petition Writing in Ghana, 1957-66,” is now out on via the Journal of African History.

Prof. Nana Osei-Opare’s article, “‘If You Trouble a Hungry Snake, You Will Force It to Bite You’: Rethinking Postcolonial African Archival Pessimism, Worker Discontent, and Petition Writing in Ghana, 1957-66,” is now available on the Journal of African History 62(1)(2021). Below is the article’s abstract:

My aim is twofold. Highlighting the value and importance of African archives in the construction of postcolonial African histories, I first reject what I call ‘postcolonial African archival pessimism’: the argument that postcolonial African archives are too disorganized or ill-kept to be of much, if any, value in configuring postcolonial African histories. Second, primarily through petition and complaint letters, I examine how Ghanaian workers protested racist and abusive workplace environments, government malfeasance, stagnating wages, and unfair dismissals in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana. These archival gems illuminate how workers made claims to and performances of citizenship and reminded the state of their importance, politically and practically, to building the Ghanaian project. From Ghanaian and British archives, I seek to complement histories that highlight the centrality of African workers — through their letters and feet — in articulating the contradictions and aspirations of postcolonial African states.

You can follow him on Twitter @NanaOseiOpare

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Prof. Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History, published “What today’s Second Amendment activists forget: The right to not bear arms” in The Washington Post.

On January 18, 2021, Prof. Saul Cornell, the Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History, published “What today’s Second Amendment activists forget: The right to not bear arms” in The Washington Post.

Prof. Saul Cornell
Prof. Saul Cornell

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Prof. Christopher Dietrich publishes “Erasing the Marks of Domination: Economic Sovereignty, Decolonization, and International Lawmaking in the 1950s and 1960s” in Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d’histoire du droit international.

Prof. Christopher Dietrich publishes “Erasing the Marks of Domination: Economic Sovereignty, Decolonization, and International Lawmaking in the 1950s and 1960s” in Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d’histoire du droit international.

Below is the abstract:

This article tells a legal and intellectual history of oil and decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s through the projects of international institutions including the UN Permanent Sovereignty Commission and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the work of anti-colonial lawyers Hasan Zakariya and Nicolas Sarkis. It examines the ideas and infrastructure of decolonization as they related to the question of how international law could be used to win economic sovereignty.

Christopher Dietrich
Christopher Dietrich

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