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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Professors Yuko Miki and Laurie Lambert have started a Faculty-Graduate working group called Narrating Slavery: Archives, Poetics, Politics.
The purpose of the group is to create a collaborative space for faculty and graduate students working on questions related to slavery to share work and receive feedback on their research-in-progress over the course of two meetings per semester.
The first meeting is on Thursday, October 3, from 12 pm – 1:30 pm, at Plaza View Room, Lowenstein, Lincoln Center Campus. Refreshments will be served.
We will be discussing the recent issue of the New York Times Magazine “The 1619 Project,” remembering the landing of the first Africans in Virginia. You can access the essays here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html
Their second meeting will be on Thursday, November 14, from 12 pm – 1:30 pm at the Plaza View Room. They will discuss an article in progress by Prof. Miki.
Please feel free to share this with any colleagues or graduate students whom you think might be interested. All are welcome, including faculty from other institutions in the area.
Please RSVP to Prof. Laurie Lambert at email@example.com or Prof. Yuko Miki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.
Louisa’s work puts two heretical tracts from fifteenth-century England into their social and religious context. These two tracts were likely written as part of a series of debates over bible translation that took place at Oxford in the late fourteenth century, sparked by the reformer John Wyclif. His ideas and the English bible produced by his followers were both condemned as heretical by Archbishop Arundel in 1407, but, as Louisa’s work shows, interest in and desire for an English bible continued through the end of the fifteenth century.
The story of how Louisa came to write this piece is a tale of true interdisciplinarity, and it underscores the dynamic nature of medieval studies at Fordham. Louisa found these tracts, one of them previously unknown to scholars, during a manuscript studies class led by Dr. Susanne Hafner that she took in the first semester of her master’s degree at Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies. She subsequently presented a talk about the tracts at a conference organized at Fordham by J. Patrick Hornbeck II of Fordham’s Department of Theology and Michael van Dussen of McGill University, and her work was published in the peer-reviewed edited collection of papers that developed out of that conference. Louisa’s archival research on the owners of the tracts during summer 2014 led her to develop a dissertation project that explores the tastes and self-construction of yeomen in late medieval England, a project that has been generously funded by Fordham’s History Department and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Congrats, Louisa! We look forward to reading about more exciting discoveries from the archives.
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The “Long Room” at Trinity College Dublin. Researcher perk: going behind the ropes.
In addition to holding prestigious external awards, such as the Fulbrightfellowship, the Schallek Fellowship of the Medieval Academy of America, or awards associated with particular regions and countries, and in addition to Fordham’s own Distinguished Fellowships, the History Department offers funding for a semester’s work in the archives that we call the Archival Research Assistantship. This year’s inaugural holder of the Archival Research Assistantship is Sal Cipriano. A historian of universities and the state in the Early Modern period, Sal wrote to us from Dublin, where he is on the second leg of his overseas journey, to tell us about his work in the archives and libraries of Scotland and Ireland.
View from the Edinburgh University Library special collections reading room
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.
Our first postcard this summer comes from PhD student Salvatore Cipriano. Supported by a Fordham GSAS Research Support Grant and a Graduate Student Association Professional Development Grant, Sal has been in Scotland since June 1.
Ricky Bordelon (FCRH ’15) at the Landesarchiv in Berlin
This summer, thanks to a research grant from the Fordham College Dean’s Office, Ricky Bordelon (FCRH ’15), a double-major in History and Political Science was able to travel to Berlin to do research for his History senior thesis. Ricky wrote to us with some details of his fascinating project and the archives and sites that he visited in Berlin.