What do Historians do in the Summertime? Postcards from the History Faculty

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Many people unfamiliar with the world of scholarship assume that the summer break between the Spring and Fall semesters is a time for holidays and relaxation. But for historians, the respite from teaching and classes means that summer is often the time when research, writing conference going, and travel to archives, kicks into high gear. Here are some postcards from members of the Fordham faculty with news of their summer adventures.

Historian’s postcard #1: Maryanne Kowaleski

Heythrop College

Heythrop College, Main Entrance

While in England doing archival work this summer, Prof. Maryanne Kowaleski visited Fordham’s London campus at Heythrop College. Located in posh Kensington Square, Heythrop is the Jesuit college of the University of London and the site of Fordham study abroad programs in business, drama, and liberal arts.

Inner Courtyard, Heythrop College

Inner Courtyard, Heythrop College

Prof. Kowaleski will be the faculty director of Fordham’s liberal arts program in Spring 2015, when she will be teaching the interdisciplinary capstone course, MVST 4654: Medieval London, a course that counts towards major and minors in both History and Medieval Studies. The course uses London as a classroom in focusing on the archaeology and history of medieval London from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Wars of the Roses. Students will compare, contrast and coordinate documentary and archaeological evidence on particular aspects of London’s medieval past, such as the domestic life and working conditions of artisans and merchants; life course rituals (birth, marriage, and death); and the urban environment (including the role of the Thames). The class includes excursions to the Museum of London, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the city of Canterbury, an archaeological excavation, and a Thames river cruise. For a copy of the syllabus and application information, click here.

Historian’s Postcard #2: Daniel Soyer

Screenshot 2014-08-07 11.10.45This summer Professor Daniel Soyer has spoken before academic audiences at the NEH Summer Intitute for College and University Teachers on America’s East Central Europeans: Migration and Memory at Columbia University, and at the Multinational Institute of American Studies program on US Culture and Society: The Reconciliation of American Diversity with National Unity at NYU. He has also participated in public programs at Temple Beth Israel, Port Washington, Long Island, the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston, and the Institute for Living Judaism, Brooklyn. In addition to mentoring two undergraduates who won Fordham College research fellowships and reading dissertation chapters of doctoral students, Dr. Soyer has continued research and writing for a book on the Liberal Party of New York State.

Historian’s Postcard #3: Alex Novikoff



Alex Novikoff with Dame Averil Cameron, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine History, who invited him to her conference at Oxford University this summer

In early July, Alex Novikoff gave an invited talk at Keble College, Oxford University. The talk came at the invitation of Dame Professor Averil Cameron, who acted as the co-organizer of a two-day conference, co-sponsored by the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research and the Central European University, entitled “…But How Shall We Converse? Dialogues and Debates from Late Antiquity to Late Byzantium (July 4-5, 2014)






Historian’s Postcard #4

Beth at Villalonzo CastleBeth Penry, along with Juan Cobo Betancourt (University of Cambridge), co-organized three panels on “Confraternities in the Iberian Atlantic World” for the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies annual meeting which took place in Modena, Italy in June. The ten participants came from the US, Canada, the UK, Argentina, Peru, Germany, Poland, and Spain to discuss lay religious brotherhoods in colonial Latin America and contemporary Spain. A follow-up conference is scheduled for May 2015, with plans for an edited volume of the conference papers. 


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