Category Archives: Grad Student News

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

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

Filed under Grad Student News, Public History, Publications, Undergrad News

History Graduate Student Nicholas DeAntonis Publishes Op-Ed in the Washington Post.

On March 11, 2021, Nicholas DeAntonis, a Ph.D. candidate, published, “Joe Biden is making clear that Saudi human rights violations won’t be ignored,” in The Washington Post.

You can follow him on Twitter at: @NDeAntonis

Comments Off on History Graduate Student Nicholas DeAntonis Publishes Op-Ed in the Washington Post.

Filed under Grad Student News, Graduate Student, Public History

“Retracing Power: Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History,” Fordham History Graduate Student Workshop on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Register here for Zoom link

“Retracing Power:Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History”

Graduate Student Workshop

Sponsored by the O’Connell Initiative for Global Capitalism

Fordham University, Department of History

Friday, March 5, 2021

Zoom

9:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks

David Hamlin (Fordham University)

Panel 1 Authority and Conflict in Law and Medicine

9:30 – 11:00am Grace Shen (Fordham University) – Commentator

“She Behaved as a Doctor”: Empirics and 

Enforcement in the Pastoral Visitations of 

Late Medieval Catalonia

Rachel Podd (Fordham University)

Orientations: Re-Defining the Direction of 

Heterosexual Desire

Sean Cosgrove (Cornell University)

Chemical Conversations: Scientific Investigations

and Medical Punishments in the Soviet Union’s 

Special Hospitals

Garret McDonald (Fordham University)

11:00 – 11:15am Break

Panel 2 Power Struggles of Governance and Citizenship

11:15am-12:45pm Nana Osei-Opare (Fordham University) – Commentator

The Nahaman River Milling Dispute, and the Thirteenth-Century Energy Crisis of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Tobias Hyrnick (Fordham University)

Asantean noumena: The politics and 

imaginary reconstruction of the Asante Palace

Tony Yeboah (Yale University)

12:45 – 2:00pm Lunch Break

Panel 3  Unfree Labor 

2:00-3:30pm Samantha Iyer (Fordham University) – Commentator 

Corvée Labor and the Politics of Popular 

Insurrection in Trois-Rivières, 1760-1776

Richard Tomczak (Stony Brook University)

Choose Your Human Rights Battles Wisely: 

The Kennedy Administration, the United Nations, 

and the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade

Nicholas DeAntonis (Fordham University)

Commerce, Identity, and Mobility in the Dangme 

Littoral of the Eastern Gold Coast, 1850s—1870s 

Ishmael Annang (Georgetown University)

3:30 – 3:45pm Break

Panel 4 Political Cultures

3:45-5:00pm              Amanda Armstrong-Price (Fordham University) – Commentator

Culture Wars: Arnoldian Culture in Late Nineteenth 

and Early Twentieth Century Britain

Jarrett Moran (Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Structuring spontaneity: The twilight of anarchist 

organization in Spain and Italy, c. 1917-1923

William Whitham (Princeton University)

5:00 – 5:15pm Break

5:15-6:15pm Retracing Power, Refiguring History: Haunted Bauhaus

and a New History of Modernism

Dr. Elizabeth Otto (SUNY Buffalo)

6:15-6:30pm Closing Remarks

Asif Siddiqi (Fordham University)

6:30pm Cocktails and Celebration

Comments Off on “Retracing Power: Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History,” Fordham History Graduate Student Workshop on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Filed under Conferences, Faculty News, Fordham News, Global History, Grad Student News, Graduate Student

Ph.D. candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded a Research and Writing Award from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA).

PhD candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded a Research and Writing Award from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA). The award, which is offered to graduate students and contingent faculty, will fund research and writing time for an article entitled “A Star Is Born: Pius VI and the Invention of Papal Celebrity,” which springs from Glauco’s dissertation, “The Catholic Counterrevolution: A Global Intellectual History, 1780s-1840s.” Drawing on recent scholarship that traces the birth of modern forms of celebrity and charisma back to the Age of Revolution, the article intends to show how popes, starting with Pius VI (1775-99), refashioned themselves as charismatic leaders and used their newfound popularity as a political tool in their fight against reforming sovereigns and revolutionary regimes that advanced a secularizing agenda. This eighteenth-century “reinvention” of the papacy, which paralleled the consolidation of papal power within the Catholic church, represents a crucial chapter in the emergence of charismatic forms of power at large—and perhaps helps explain why people by the millions interact with Pope Francis’s tweets today!

Glauco Schettini

Comments Off on Ph.D. candidate Glauco Schettini was awarded a Research and Writing Award from the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA).

Filed under Grad Student News, Graduate Student, Student Awards

Graduate Student William Tanner Smoot Publishes “Sacred Memory and the Formation of Monastic Identity and Friendship in Eadmer of Canterbury’s Vita S. Oswaldi” in Revue Bénédictine.

Graduate Student William Tanner Smoot published “Sacred Memory and the Formation of Monastic Identity and Friendship in Eadmer of Canterbury’s Vita S. Oswaldi,” in Revue Bénédictine, Vol. 130, Issue 2 (2020).

Below is the Abstract:

Between the years of 1113-1116, Prior Nicholas and the monks of St. Mary’s, Worcester, petitioned Eadmer of Canterbury to re-write the vita of their monastic founder St. Oswald. The years preceding this request were a period of hardship for the community of St. Mary’s, as the brethren coped with the burning of their church, the death of monastic elders, and the installation of a royal clerk as bishop of Worcester. In the face of such trials, the monks of Worcester turned to St. Oswald to justify their continued existence and consolidate their corporate identity. Yet, their decision to solicit Eadmer raises questions about the devotional function of the new Vita S. Oswaldi for the brethren of Worcester. While Eadmer modelled his text on Byrhtferth of Ramsey’s eleventh-century biography, he altered the nature of St. Oswald’s sanctity by subordinating the saint’s virtuous development to the leadership of the archbishops Oda and Dunstan of Canterbury. Eadmer incorporated St. Oswald into a new sacred hierarchy, whereby the saint’s virtuous life served to support Canterbury’s contemporary claims to English episcopal primacy. The monks of Worcester had maintained an amiable relationship with Canterbury since the Norman conquest, and Nicholas’s decision to commission Eadmer likewise reflects how the chapter of St. Mary’s perceived itself in relation to Canterbury. Nicholas and the monks of Worcester hoped to benefit from Canterbury’s predominance in the English Church, especially regarding the preservation of their corporate rights and influence in future episcopal elections. This article explores the reception of sacred history in the community of St. Mary’s, Worcester, and the manner in which the brethren used the memory of their corporate past to reaffirm their place, identity, and continuity as a monastic body. It further argues that the episcopal priories of Worcester and Canterbury maintained a historical support network, in which members of each community recast information about St. Oswald and England’s ecclesiastical past to reaffirm bonds of monastic friendship and share in sacred prestige.

Profile picture for William Tanner Smoot
William Tanner Smoot

Comments Off on Graduate Student William Tanner Smoot Publishes “Sacred Memory and the Formation of Monastic Identity and Friendship in Eadmer of Canterbury’s Vita S. Oswaldi” in Revue Bénédictine.

Filed under Fellowships, Grad Student News, Graduate Student, Publications

Graduate Student Rachel Podd Publishes “Reconsidering maternal mortality in medieval England: aristocratic Englishwomen, c. 1236–1503” in Continuity and Change.

History graduate student Rachel Podd published her first essay, “Reconsidering maternal mortality in medieval England: aristocratic Englishwomen, c. 1236–1503,” in Continuity and Change.

Below is an abstract of the article:

“The characterisation of medieval childbirth as profoundly dangerous is both long-standing and poorly supported by quantitative data. This article, based on a database tracking the reproductive lives of 102 late medieval aristocratic Englishwomen, allows not only for an evaluation of this trope but also an analysis of risk factors, including maternal youth and short birth intervals. Supplemented with evidence from medieval medical tracts and osteoarchaeological data related to pubertal development and nutrition, this study demonstrates that reproduction was hardly the main driver of mortality among elite women.”

You can find the full paper here.

Rachel Podd

Comments Off on Graduate Student Rachel Podd Publishes “Reconsidering maternal mortality in medieval England: aristocratic Englishwomen, c. 1236–1503” in Continuity and Change.

Filed under Grad Student News, Graduate Student, Publications

“Parallels Between Plagues Past and Present Highlighted in Partnership with Bronx Science” – Graduate Student Rachel Podd Featured in Fordham News.

This is a full repost of Patrick Verel’s June 22, 2020, story on Fordham Graduate Student Rachel Podd’s lecture at the Bronx High School.

Here is the link to the full article: https://news.fordham.edu/politics-and-society/parallels-between-plagues-past-and-present-highlighted-in-partnership-with-bronx-science/


“A slide from the presentation that Rachel Podd used in a class she taught to students of Bronx Science High SchoolIn mid-March, Rachel Podd was teaching a course on early modern history to undergraduate students at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus. A little over a mile away, Matthew Clark at the Bronx High School of Science, was preparing to teach a section of his freshman global history class that focused on the Black Death, which is estimated to have killed as many as 200 million people in Europe in the 14th century.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic upended instruction for both classes, but on May 6, the two were able to come together for a one-time collaboration that dramatically expanded the high school students’ understanding of the similarities between the Black Plague and the current pandemic.

Clark e-mailed Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies in April, which connected him to Podd, a Ph.D. candidate in history who had since moved back home to Dallas and was teaching remotely at the time.

Podd, whose dissertation focuses on how medieval people understood disease and how it affected the practice of medicine, recorded a 20-minute lecture for the high school students to watch on their own. She also assigned them reading such as a selection from Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron recounting the author’s experience of plague in Florence, and several current news articles on COVID in New York that focused on areas of commonality, such a rise in xenophobia and a breakdown in the rituals of death and dying.

She’d also taught a class at Fordham in the fall titled Plagues and Peoples: The History of Disease in Medieval Europe and was able to repurpose material for a high school audience. On May 6, she, Clark, and 50 students logged on to Google Meet for a 90-minute Q&A session.

“The major thing I wanted to highlight was that even though the Black Death seems so remote and has nothing to say to us today, with our smartphones and internet, and everything that’s so advanced, in reality communities and societies almost always respond the same way to moments of intense stress,” she said, noting that attacks and wars elicit similar responses.

“The way that societies respond is they harden boundaries that can be geographic, as with quarantines, or social. So the boundaries between who is in and who is out, and who is acceptable and who is not also become harsher. That was true for the Black Death, and it’s true for communities experiencing COVID-19.”

There other parallels as well. Doctors wore masks during the 14th century just as they do today, except theirs had a distinct bird head-like appearance.

“The point was that the beak acted like a reservoir for spices or sponges filled with vinegar, and it was supposed to keep the doctor from having to smell the bodies sick with the plague, because it was thought that that smell was one of the ways that it was transferred,” she said.

“The mask allowed him to keep his hands free while treating people. So, it’s not all that different from today.”

Clark said the idea of inviting a scholar from a local university to address his class came about as he was trying to think of ways to make remote learning more interesting for his students.

“It really was a fortuitous coupling of her expertise with where I was in the curriculum at that time, because she brings a comprehensive knowledge of medicine in the Medieval world in England, and the Black Death,” he said.

“I thought it was awesome that she was able to draw together the past and the current predicament that we’re in.”

The question and answer session on May 6 was the best attended live meeting of the semester, he said.

“It was really valuable for the students to see what a studied person can bring to a dynamic context like a Q&A session, where anything can be thrown at the expert,” he said.

Another major lesson from the plague that Podd emphasized turned out to be especially relevant. Just 19 days after the meetup, George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer ignited worldwide protests against racism. Although the Black Death was immeasurably painful, she noted that it allowed for considerable social reform, including increased female entry into the workforce and rising social mobility.

I am in no way trying to minimize the intense suffering,” she said, “but if we look for a silver lining, there really is one. And that is that these moments of extreme stress are an opportunities for a reevaluation of what our values are.”

The Black Lives Matter protests are so intense she noted, because of the justifiably intense feelings that the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Floyd, and others engendered. But it’s also worth noting that some protestors lost jobs due to the pandemic, and that gave them the opportunity to join protests they might have otherwise not attended.

“It’s kind of hard to see the good in this, but this gives us a chance to lobby for a more just, more equitable world,” she said.

Comments Off on “Parallels Between Plagues Past and Present Highlighted in Partnership with Bronx Science” – Graduate Student Rachel Podd Featured in Fordham News.

Filed under Grad Student News, Graduate Student

Graduate Student James Smith Becomes Dr. James Smith! Dr. Smith Defends, “A Clash of Ideals: Human Rights and Non-Intervention in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1977-1988.”

We would like to congratulate Dr. James Smith on passing his dissertation defense on April 29, 2020. He becomes only the second person in the history of the Fordham’s History Department to pass his dissertation virtually.

Dr. Smith’s dissertation is titled, “A Clash of Ideals: Human Rights and Non-Intervention in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1977-1988.”

Below is his dissertation abstract:

The dissertation argues that Carter, Reagan, and other domestic and international actors deployed the ideals of universal human rights and state sovereignty as a political language. The protean meanings they assigned to the terms of that language were contingent upon calculations of political and strategic interests. The discourse of rights and sovereignty in domestic and international politics served as a means to justify or check political change, rather than as nonideological, moral, and legal imperatives. In short, Carter, Reagan, and others used morality and law as political strategy. The study proceeds from an analysis of records from the Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan presidential libraries. The personal papers of Patricia Derian, Barry Goldwater, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, and Donald Fraser provide additional context for the political uses of rights and sovereignty. So too, the papers of William Casey, Warren Christopher, and many of their contemporaries archived at the Hoover Institute enriched this analysis. The author also analyzed digital and other published collections of primary documents, interviewed and corresponded with former public officials, and reviewed memoirs, diaries, interview transcripts, and Congressional hearings and reports. While the dissertation probes the official mind of Washington in the manner of traditional diplomatic history, it also broadens that perspective by assessing how competing domestic and international actors deployed the conflicting ideals of rights and sovereignty. The dissertation builds upon the secondary literature by examining how Carter and others deployed human rights and non-intervention in the 1970s and 1980s. It connects that discourse to the history of U.S. foreign relations, domestic politics, international law, and the movement for economic decolonization. Then, after examining Carter’s embrace of rights and non-intervention as a campaign strategy and the contentious transformation of that rhetoric into policy, the dissertation employs as case studies U.S. relations with Panama, Nicaragua, and Iran. Finally, the dissertation assesses continuity and change in Reagan’s use of the ideals of rights and sovereignty in a foreign policy marked by anti-communism and democracy promotion.

You can reach Dr. James Smith at jwalkersmith511@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more about this fabulous dissertation.

Dr. James Smith

Comments Off on Graduate Student James Smith Becomes Dr. James Smith! Dr. Smith Defends, “A Clash of Ideals: Human Rights and Non-Intervention in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1977-1988.”

Filed under Alumni News, Dissertation Defense, Grad Student News, Graduate Student

Fordham Medievalist Grad Student, Rachel Podd, Lectures on Pandemics to Students at the Bronx High School of Science

As students all over the world and from pre-K to graduate school experience disruption to their educational lives, Fordham doctoral candidate Rachel Podd took some time to discuss the differing ways societies respond to pandemics with some students of the Bronx School of Science. One of the great teachers there, Mr. Matthew Clark, reached out to Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies looking for a lecturer, and connected with Rachel. She crafted a twenty-minute recorded lecture, including slides, for the students to explore, based on comparing societal responses to two pandemics, the Black Death of the fourteenth century and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Students read a selection from Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron recounting the author’s experience of plague in Florence, as well as several current news articles on COVID in New York, focusing specifically on areas of commonality, including a rise in xenophobia and a breakdown in the rituals of death and dying. Students were also asked to consider how the experience of a pandemic is at least partially determined by social class and economic status.

On Wednesday the 6th, Rachel and about forty BSS students gathered on Google Meeting for a question and answer session lasting about an hour and a half. Discussion was wide-ranging and lively, as the students probed how ideas about disease causation – the miasma theory of the Middle Ages versus today’s germ theory – determined the ways governments sought to prevent or reduce the spread of disease, as well as how the medical establishment, past and present,  has responded to moments of intense stress. Finally, Rachel, Matthew and the students discussed how pandemics result in fundamentally changed societies. Though immeasurably painful and demographically catastrophic, the Black Death allowed for considerable social reform, increased female entry into the workforce, and rising social mobility, fundamentally changing the way medieval Europeans lived. How, exactly, COVID-19 will change our own lives remains, as of yet, unknown.

Comments Off on Fordham Medievalist Grad Student, Rachel Podd, Lectures on Pandemics to Students at the Bronx High School of Science

Filed under Grad Student News, Teaching

Graduate Student Amanda Racine receives the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.

Amanda Racine (PhD student, Medieval History) has received a Fulbright Fellowship to France for 2020/21. She will be affiliated with Centre d’études supérieueres de civilization médiévale (CESCM) at the Université de Poitiers working with Professor Martin Aurell. Over the course of the year she plans to study extant oaths and customs  spread across several archives in France: the Société Archéologique de Montpellier in Montpellier; the Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône, the Archives municipales de Marseille, and the Bibliothèque municipale d’Arles, all in and around Marseille; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris. Amanda has also been awarded a grant from the American Numismatic Society for the 66th Annual Eric P. Newman Graduate Summer Seminar in 2020 (delayed due to COVID-19). She plans to study the text and iconography of Frankish, Fatimid, Ayybuid, and Mamluk coins from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @AMNerbo.

Amanda Racine

Comments Off on Graduate Student Amanda Racine receives the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.

Filed under Fellowships, Grad Student News