On Friday, May 5 students of the Medieval Political Cultures Conference staged a successful half-day conference presenting the research conducted over the 2016-7 academic year. The students had organized the conference over the past weeks, putting together a program of four panels of papers that drew out common themes across their respective research projects. Each panel consisted of three papers, with ample time for questions at the end of each. They addressed a large audience of their peers from Fordham’s medieval graduate programs, Fordham faculty, distinguished visitors, and their friends and family. For pictures from the conference and commentary that was posted on social media, you can read the storify here or follow it below.
Each year the Seminar course in Medieval History holds a mini-conference to exhibit the works of our medieval history students. This year’s conference will take place on Friday, May from 9:30AM until 2PM in the Campbell Multipurpose Room, Campbell Hall on the Rose Hill Campus. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Come along, all are welcome!
Sessions and papers are as follows:
Panel I: From East to West 9:30-10:30
Meghan Kase – Conditrix Augusta: The Architectural Patronage of the Empress Theophano
Hannah Graham – Space and Demonstrations of Power in the Architecture of the Principality of Achaia
Andrew Kayaian – “Fullness of Power”: The Ecclesiology of Innocent III and Papal Relations with the Armenian Church and State
Panel II: Locality and the Sacred 10:30-11:30
Michael Lipari – “Where the Word of God Does Not Have Root”: The Archbishop of Reims and the Nobility of Champagne in the 13th Century
Jake Prescott – Neither North nor South: The Limousin as a Distinct Cultural Space c. 1220
Martin Nelson – “Such a Splendor of Brightness:” The Establishment of Knud Lavard’s Cult at Ringsted in Religious Narrative
Panel III: Locality and the Secular 12:00-1:00
Stephen Powell – The Pen is Mightier than the Earl’s Sword: The De Laude Cestrie and the Formation of an Independent Cestrian Political Identity
Andrew Thornbrooke – “A Power Above You”: Concepts of Autonomy in the Letters of Pope Innocent III and Guilhem VIII of Montpellier
Sally Gordon – Win the War – Buy Bonds! City-States, Princes, and Sovereign Debt in the Age of Edward I
Panel IV: Borders and Frontiers 1:00-2:00
Michael J. Sanders – Forgotten Roads to Jerusalem: The Iter per Hispaniam According to Ramon Llull and Garcías de Ayerbe
Joseph McKenna – On the Stage of Acre: The Players and Their Roles during the Siege
Rebecca Katharine-Fionna Bartels – Remembering the Truth: The Political Sacrality of Aleppo in 12th Century Islamic Historiography
Congratulations to Fordham alumnus Dr. Ryan Keating for his recent award as “Outstanding Junior Faculty Member.” Dr. Keating received his Ph.D from Fordham in 2013 for his dissertation, “’Give Us War in Our Time’: America’s Irish Communities in the Civil War Era.” He is an assistant professor at California State University San Bernardino in sunny southern California where he received the annual award.
On top of showing his Fordham trained teaching chops, Dr. Keating has become an administrative asset for CSUSB. He was named Dean’s Fellow and charged with coordinating the college’s assessment policies. He also co-chairs the University’s Graduation Initiative.
This does little to detract form his own research it seems, as Dr. Keating has found time to publish two forthcoming books on top of his other projects. The first book, Shades of Green: Irish Reginments, American Soldiers, and Local Communities in the Civil War Era is a social history that traces the soldiers who served in three Irish regiments from Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and moves the historical discussion of 19th century Irish immigration away from major urban centers to illustrate ways in which immigrants across the nation understood their place in 19th century America and the meaning of their service in the Civil War. His second book, The Greatest Trial I Ever Had: The Civil War Letters of Margaret and Thomas Cahill will be an edited collection of letters written by Thomas Cahill, Colonel of the 9th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and his wife, Margaret, during the Civil War. This collection represents the largest corpus of letters written by an Irish-American woman during this period to ever be published. The collection also shows the unique perspective on the war from the 9th Connecticut, an Irish regiment that was stationed in the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana throughout the war, during occupational duty in the south. With these two soon-to-be-published works in his rearview mirror, Dr. Keating has focused on an upcoming study of 500 union veterans who relocated to southern California after their muster out of northern armies.
Once again, congratulations to Dr. Keating on his outstanding award and we will all be looking forward to his future publications!
This past week Kristin Uscinski successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Recipes for Women’s Healthcare in Medieval England”. Kristin’s mentor was Professor Maryanne Kowaleski, her readers were Professors Wolfgang Mueller and David Myers and Examiners were Professors Claire Gherini and Nicholas Paul.
In addition to defending, Kristin’s research also got a great write-up in Fordham News– go check it out!
Last week the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) held their annual award ceremony for winners of fellowships and prizes administered internally at Fordham. This year’s was a special ceremony, as the GSAS also celebrated its Centennial. GSAS Dean Eva Badowska spoke about the history of the Graduate School and unveiled a digital timeline of its history. Read on to find out more about our award winners in 2016 & 2017.
This last year, the department’s own Professor Rosemary Wakeman published her examination of the twentieth-century new town movement with the University of Chicago Press. Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement tracks the global phenomenon as it ignored traditional political and geographic boundaries as each location strived for its own vision of an idealized city.
Discussing another historian’s work, from its inception to completion and the problems they encounter along the way, personally helps me realize my own research may be more fantastic reality rather than realistic fantasy (you mean I’m not the only one who feels like they spend more time than necessary getting archival permission?). Thankfully, Dr. Wakeman was able to take some time away from her schedule to discuss with me the process and problems for Practicing Utopia.
History Department: So how did the research for this book begin?
Rosemary Wakeman: Like many projects, I begin research while writing on Paris and its postwar development. The housing crisis and new towns in the Paris region led to the overwhelming sources on new towns in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia. It was impossible not to follow the trail.
RM: The book was written during a year-long fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in Wassenaar, the Netherlands. Another 8+ months followed hunting for images and permissions, working with the editors at the University of Chicago Press to put together the final version.
HD: As a book that developed from Paris into a worldwide study, where does this fit into your overall research?
RM: My longstanding interest is in European urban history, especially the second half of the 20th century. The new towns book gave me the chance to explore urban history, architecture and urban planning in central and eastern Europe.
HD: Did exploring these topics then lead you into any new avenues of research?
RM: This has led to a new project on An Urban History of Europe, 1815 to the Present, which will be published by Bloomsbury Press. Another upcoming project speaks to my interest in continuing a global perspective and will examine the connections between Bombay, London, and Shanghai in the mid-20th century.
HD: It sounds like the trail hasn’t ended then. Have there been any bumps in that trail, such as problems that kept you awake at night dreading some aspect of the project?
RM: What kept me up at night was the choice of which new towns and architect-planners to include in the book and how to organize them around an intellectual history. Finding images and permissions was also difficult. Nonetheless, the project was an opportunity to be in contact with archivists and researchers in new towns literally all over the world. This was an immense pleasure and one of the great benefits of doing historical research.
Thanks so much to Professor Wakeman for taking the time to answer our questions.
When she is not away writing wonderful books, Professor Wakeman teaches frequently in the History graduate program and has served as Director of the O’Connell Initiative in the History of Global Capitalism.
Following on from last week’s listing of the graduate courses in History for Fall 2017, we now proudly announce the courses for Spring 2018.
HIST 6256 The History of Torture and Western Culture (Thursday 5:30-8PM)
What does the history of torture look like, when placed in a global perspective? Professor W. David Myers describes his course as follows:
From Greek slaves to deaths by a thousand cuts in China; from Jesuit missionaries in Japan or New France to anti-American insurgents in the Philippines; from anti-French insurgents in Algeria to anti-communists in Argentina; from Rodney King in Los Angeles to Afghanistan, ISIL and home again to Chicago, torture has been a ubiquitous and continuous feature of human culture around the globe. Today, roundly condemned by UN treaty and almost all nations, subject to international oversight, torture still persists on all continents and in all political systems. This course will examine that sad global history, with special attention to the human body as an object of state power, despite the legacy of the European Enlightenment, which proclaimed the autonomy of the individual as a highest good.
HIST 8150 Seminar: Medieval England (Tuesday 2:30-5PM)
The continuation of Professor Maryanne Kowaleski‘s year-long medieval Proseminar/Seminar course. For the first part, which this very blog may have described as “legendary” see here. From the description:
Students continue to work on the research project they defined in the Proseminar to this course. They also learn to design and use a computer database that includes data gathered in the course of research on the final paper, participate in seminars to improve their academic writing and public speaking skills, and familiarize themselves with professional standards for writing a scholarly article, giving a talk at an academic conference, and writing an academic curriculum vitae. They complete the seminar by giving a 20-minute conference paper on their research project and writing a thesis-length original research paper that could be published as a scholarly article.
MVST 5300- Occitania: Language and Power (Friday 2-5PM)
A brand new team-taught Medieval Studies course, a collaboration between Professors Nicholas Paul (History) and Thomas O’Donnell (English). From the description.
This team-taught interdisciplinary course introduces students to the cultural world of a medieval south: Occitania, a region defined by language stretching from the foothills of the Alps to the pathways across the Pyrenees and from the Mediterranean almost to the Loire. Students will study the Old Occitan language and its manifestations in documentary writing, historical narrative, and the poetry of the troubadours from the eleventh until the thirteenth centuries. In order to best understand the context for this literature, course topics will include urban and rural communities, gender and power, the Albigensian crusade and its aftermath, and the the rise of vernacular book production.
HIST 5561 Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe (Tuesday 5:30-8PM)
The seminar will focus on the history and historiography on the construction of “race” and nation in modern Europe (from the Enlightenment onwards) and in particular on the multiple connections and intersections between nationalism(s) and racism(s). As issues of cultural identity and questions of immigration and national belonging have become hotly contested in today’s European societies, the historiography on these subjects has been steadily growing. We will discuss different historical approaches, theories, and methodologies that emerge from the growing body of works addressing these issues and pay particular attention to socio-cultural histories and to transnational and comparative perspectives.
HIST 5575- The United States and the World (Wednesday 2:30-5PM)
Professor Christopher Dietrich is a historian of US Foreign Relations, and in this course he brings that expertise fully to bear. “With an emphasis on the myriad ways in which peoples, cultures, economies, national governments, non-state institutions, and international institutions interact” the course will explore several themes, including “capitalism and economic policy” as well as “cultural relations, domestic politics, and perceptions of the world.” The focus on capitalism and global economy is especially important, as the course is intended to tie-in with the department’s Spring 2018 conference “The United States and Global Capitalism in the Twentieth Century.” Students in the course will get front-row seats, and can expect to be involved, in the planning and execution of a major international academic conference.
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.
For more on Professor Brook’s talk, see here.
We’ve reached that exciting time of year when we can take the wraps off the courses that the History department is planning to offer in 2017-2018.We’ll start this week with our Fall offerings.
Theory and Methods
HIST 5300- The Historian’s Toolkit (Wednesday 5:30-8PM)
One of the department’s newest faculty members, Professor Samantha Iyer, will offer our new introductory course to historical theories and methods, the “Historian’s Toolkit”. Professor Iyer brings her broad expertise as a historian of international political who has worked on the history of the United States, the Middle East, and South Asia. Students can expect an introduction to a wide range of historical approaches and methodologies grounded in a thoroughly global perspective.
HIST 6078- Crusader States: the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1291 (Friday 2:30-5PM)
While the history of the crusades has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity among students of the Middle Ages, few courses explore in any detail the society of the crusading frontier in the eastern Mediterranean. This is the second outing of Professor Nicholas Paul‘s course dedicated to the society, politics, and culture of the Frankish Levant (1099-1291). For an introduction to the crusader states (via the Crusader States Podcast) and to see the previous course syllabus and materials, visit the course website.
HIST- 7150 Medieval England (Tuesday 2:30-5PM)
Professor Maryanne Kowaleski’s year-long Proseminar/Seminar class is legendary, and with good reason. Students enrolled with Professor Kowaleski receive a rigorous training in social history grounded equally in the archival sources of English history and research methods such as database building.
From the course description:
This is the first half of a year-long course that focuses on the social, economic and administrative history of England from the 11th through 15th centuries. Special emphasis is placed upon: how to identify and exploit a wide variety of primary sources (such as wills, cartularies, court rolls, account rolls, chronicles, among others); how to use major historical collections (such as the Rolls Series, VCH, Record Commissioners, Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Ordnance Survey, Selden Society, and others); and gaining an awareness of the regions and landscape of medieval England, as well as the contributions of historical geography. Besides treating thematic issues such as the church and society, law and the legal system, the growth of government and administration, maritime trade, and industry in town and country, the weekly discussions will also consider society and economy among the peasantry, townspeople and the landowning elite.
HIST 5290 Luther and Reformation (Monday 5:30-8PM)
Marking the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s 95 theses, Professor Susan Wabuda will offer a brand new course Luther and the Reformation in Early Modern Europe.
From the course’s description:
October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of one of the great cultural moments that shook the History of the world: the release of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses. Luther disturbed the political, social, and religious structures of Western Europe. Until his death in 1546, he challenged the papacy, the Catholic Church, the Holy Roman Empire, and Henry VIII. The Reformation he began both inspired and outraged. It represented the triumph of technology through the printing press. After Luther, nothing was exactly the same ever again.
HIST 5913- Golden Age Spain and America (Wednesday 2:30-5PM)
Professor S. Elizabeth Penry, whose research concerns the Spanish empires of the Atlantic, offers a course that truly brings early modern Europe into a global perspective. From the course description:
The Spanish Hapsburg Empire was the first of Europe’s globalized empires and the first modern archival state. But even the citizens of Latin American nations came to regard “modernity” as something that needed to be imported from France, England and the United States. Their understanding and ours of the (un)importance of the Spanish colonial project for the modern world was shaped by Spain’s eclipse by England and the creation of an anti-Spanish & anti-Catholic ‘rise of the west’ narrative in the American academy. The recent scholarship we will examine rethinks Spain’s role in world history to challenge this Black Legend perspective. The course begins with the end of the ‘Reconquista’ and the formation of the hybrid socio-cultural order at the end of the 15th century and concludes with the collapse of Spain’s mainland American empire and the rise of nation states there in the early 1800s. Topics may include: the importance of urban life for Spain and its empire; the rise of the inquisition and the promotion of the homogenous Spanish national subject; and the practices of everyday life embodied in concepts of gender, sexuality, honor, popular religiosity, death and the afterlife.
HIST 5645- Readings in Early America (Tuesday 5:30-8PM)
Also new to the History Department is Professor Claire Gherini, who will be offering a readings course in Early American history. Early America, especially with reference to its Atlantic history, is Professor Gherini’s area of research. She writes that the course
will provide students with an introduction to the historiography of early America from contact through the era of revolutions. Major themes include the contesting and connecting of geographical areas across the continent, the everyday experiences of work across lines of race, class, and gender, and the rise and fall of Atlantic empires.
HIST 5563- Readings in North American Environmental History (Thursday 5:30-8PM)
Perhaps no element of the human story is receiving as much attention right now as our impact on the environment and the planet. Renowned historian of US environmental history Professor Steven Stoll will introduce students to the scholarship on the history of this relationship between human society and the environment. If you want to learn more about Stoll, his work, and the work of an environmental historian more generally, you can read the profile we did about him on this blog last Spring.
During a visit to New York to attend the College Art Association conference (CAA) Professor Antonio Urquízar Herrera from the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia in Madrid stopped by Fordham’s Rose Hill campus to speak to a group of faculty and graduate students. As the group enjoyed lunch courtesy of the History Department Professor Urquízar-Herrera discussed his forthcoming book Admiration and Awe: Morisco Buildings and Identity Negotiations in Early Modern Spanish Historiography, which examines how Spanish Christian historians of the sixteenth century processed the presence of Islamic architecture at the heart of their cities. Particularly in Andalusia, where the last Muslim controlled towns were conquered by Christian powers in 1492, writers who wanted to describe the glory of their cities had to contend with monumental works of Islamic architecture. How, if at all, did they acknowledge the origins of these buildings, so patently different from their own Gothic cathedrals and palaces? Following a lively talk, the visiting art historian was generous enough to discuss his manuscripts, religious appropriation, and ideas concerning race and identity in Early Modern Spain with several graduate students.
The department, and especially the students who stuck around for the discussion, would like to thank Professor Herrera for his illuminating presentation. “Admiration and awe” captures the feelings of the Fordham audience quite nicely!