Monthly Archives: May 2015

History Department at Commencement 2015

Megan Monahan, PhD with her mentor Professor Kirsten Swinth

Megan Monahan, PhD with her mentor Professor Kirsten Swinth

The Fordham History Department congratulates the Class of 2015. Fordham History Faculty were present at graduation to witness the degree ceremony for our graduates from the undergraduate colleges of Rose Hill and Lincoln Center and to participate in the special ceremony for the conferral of MA and PhD degrees in History. Keep reading for some photographic highlights.

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History MA Ruth Whaley Wins Essay Prize in Medieval Studies


At the annual Spring Party hosted by the Center for Medieval Studies, prizes were announced for the best essays written by graduate students in the past year. The judges of this year’s competition were visiting fellows David Wrisley, PhD of the American University in Beirut and Helen Birkett, PhD of the University of Exeter. They awarded the O’Callahan prize to Tobias Hrynick–his paper was detailed in an earlier post on this blog when it won the Loomie Prize from the History Department– and they awarded the First Year Essay Prize to Ruth Whaley.  Ruth completed her MA in History at Fordham in August 2014, concentrating in Medieval History. The award winning essay “Story-Telling at Sea: Changes in the Crusade Chronicle”, compared two crusade chronicles written by crusaders who traveled by sea. These sea-borne narratives are, compared with what Whaley calls “terra-narratives”, little studied, and have notably evaded the attention of the recent literary-critical and narratologically-inflected studies of crusade chronicles. Whaley’s paper also introduced a novel methodology for reading and comparing the two texts- one based on the unique challenges and perspectives associated with the experiences of travelling by sea. This experiential approach highlights the unfamiliarity of most medieval Europeans with the sea and the extreme and transformative effect of sea travel among those unaccustomed to it.

Whaley currently lives in New York where she enjoys being a member of NYC Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) and meeting lots of current educators and museum professionals. Since graduating in August 2o14 she has attended numerous events and conferences hosted by various NYC institutions as she pursues museum education and informal learning in cultural institutions more broadly. Congratulations Ruth!


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Alex Novikoff to Speak at Pirenne Institute in Gent, Wednesday May 19

Screenshot 2015-05-15 22.02.34

Professor Alex Novikoff will be speaking at the Medieval Seminar Series at the University of Ghent’s Henri Pirenne Institute of Medieval Studies onTuesday, May 19. The Medieval Institute, named in honor of Belgium’s most famous historian of the Middle Ages, brings established international scholars and pairs their lecture with presentations from doctoral students from the University of Ghent. Dr. Novikoff’s talk, “The Ars Disputandi and the ‘Art’ of Disputation,” reprises a lecture delivered at Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies in September and as plenary speaker at the University of California at Berkeley’s Medieval Studies Conference in April.



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In Memoriam Louis B. Pascoe, SJ (1930-2015)

Louis Pascoe SJ photo


We reproduce here the obituary for the late Louis B. Pascoe, SJ written by his former students and friends Christopher M. Bellito and Daniel Marcel La Corte.

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Johnathan Pettinato (PhD Fordham, 2014) to Teach at The College of Wooster

Dr. Johnathan Pettinato

Dr. Johnathan Pettinato, a May 2014 graduate of the Fordham History Department’s doctoral program, has recently accepted an appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of British History at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  He will be teaching five courses over the next year.  Three of these courses will be traditional lecture courses on western civilization, Tudor and Stuart Britain, and Modern Britain.  The two remaining courses will be first-year, writing-intensive seminars on the British Empire.  Every student at Wooster must take one of these seminars in which they initiate, develop, and complete an individualized research project.  In addition to his teaching duties, he will mentor several seniors throughout the year as they write their theses.  Each senior at Wooster must complete a thesis as part of the Independent Study Program.  These theses are then presented at a day-long, college-wide research symposium at the end of the spring semester.  He will also act as reader on other theses being mentored in the department.  Following his graduation last May, Johnathan held two full-time appointments at Fordham University: as Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in the History Department for Fall 2014 and as Lecturer in the English Department for Spring 2015.

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Fordham History Major Selected for Fulbright Award

PendersCongratulations to Jake Penders, FCRH, on being selected for a prestigious Fulbright award. Jake is a History and Political Science double major and a Humanitarian Affairs minor. He is also the Treasurer on Phi Alpha Theta, as well as a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (the Political Science National Honor Society) and Phi Beta Kappa. He is also the Captain of the Fordham Men’s Rowing Team, a Eucharistic Minister, and an Eagle Scout. He has been selected for a 2015-2016 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to the Slovak Republic. While there, he will be an English Teaching Assistant (ETA) for one year in a Slovakian secondary school teaching English and helping students develop conversational skills in English. Jake is teaching at Spojená skola Nováky, a secondary school located in Nováky, Slovakia. His grant period is 10 months long and he will leave in late August and return in June.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the United States. Jake will be representing the United States as a cultural ambassador while he is overseas, helping to enhance mutual understanding between Americans and the people in the Slovak Republic. He will be joining over 100,000 Fulbright U.S. Student Program alumni who have undertaken grants since the program began in 1948.
On behalf of the History Department and Phi Alpha Theta, well done Jake!

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