In the Fordham History Department the month of August is often a quiet time, but the department came back to life with excitement as two doctoral students defended their dissertations after years of research, writing, and revision. The History blog congratulates Elizabeth Kuhl and Jonathan Woods, who both successfully defended in the past few weeks. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Early Modern European History
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.
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!
Congratulations to Susan Wabuda, Contributor to Award Winning Volume on the Bible in Early Modern England
The History Department congratulates faculty member Susan Wabuda, who contributed the opening essay to a volume awarded the Roland H. Bainton Prize (Reference Category) by the Sixteenth Century Society. The book, The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c. 1530-1700 (Oxford University Press, 2015) was edited by Kevin Killeen, Helen Smith, and Rachel Willie, and resulted from an international conference held at the University of York (UK) in 2011.
The 2o11 conference was held to mark the 500th anniversary of the famous King James Bible (first published in 1611), but Wabuda’s essay entitled “‘A Day after Doomsday’: Cranmer and the Bible Translations of 1530s” discussed earlier trends in Bible translation in England. The King James version relied upon these earlier translations, especially because of the work of the great translator William Tyndale (d. 1536). Wabuda reports that one goal of the essay was to understand the problems of making a good Bible translation in English, but she also hopes that it helps to illuminate another issue: that the Bible was originally intended as a teaching tool. Although modern readers might think of a a Bible rendered into English as an opportunity for personal reading and study, this was not the intention of the translators. In fact, King Henry VIII and archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer both believed in withholding the Bible from the people if they would not behave: “Scripture was one of the great treasures of the church, but because it was so sacred (like the sacrament of the altar) it would be withheld from people depending on the circumstances.”
The Roland H. Bainton prize is given in memory of the great Reformation historian who taught at Yale University. Susan Wabuda laments never having met Bainton, who she identifies as one of the first scholars to seriously explore the role of women in the Reformation.
Congratulations once more to Dr. Wabuda and the team behind this great volume!
On Thursday, October 13 at 6:15 a chill will fall over the Fordham Rose Hill campus. Scott G. Bruce, professor of medieval history at the University of Colorado at Boulder will bring us into the shadows with his collection of historical ghost stories. The stories, published in the prestigious Penguin Classics series as The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters. Bruce will read selections from his spooky collection at 6:15PM between the cemetery and the the university church. A reception at Rodrigue’s Coffee House will follow, where signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. In the case of inclement weather, the event will take place at Rodrigue’s Coffee House.
Ring in the Halloween season with the scariest event ever held at Fordham… Continue reading
Below, Professor Susan Wabuda discusses the Sixteenth Century Society Conference held in Bruges this summer, as well as her adventures in the historic Belgian city, in the latest installment of our Summer Postcards series. Read on to learn more about the city’s intellectual and aesthetic delights. Continue reading
“Created by the Department of History to identify particularly impressive history majors and offer them an intensive introduction to research and writing history papers,” the History Department’s Mannion Society invites students to join in their sophomore or junior year. By their senior year, therefore, Mannion Society members have had extensive training and supervision assisting them with their final projects. We reached out to graduating members of the Society to ask them about their projects. Here’s what they said:
My project explored the ramifications of the introduction of the Stinger missile by the United States government to the mujahidin during the Soviet-Afghan War. During the war, the United States ran the largest covert operation in history, supplying the mujahidin with weapons with which to fight the Soviets. I argue that the introduction of the Stinger missile was the turning point in the war, as it had a great impact militarily, psychologically, and diplomatically. The Stinger allowed the mujahidin to effectively counter Soviet aerial attacks, punctured the Soviet aura of invincibility, and, most importantly, ended American plausible deniability. The Stinger proved American involvement in the war, which could have provoked an extreme Soviet response. The Stinger missile changed the course of the war, and marked a departure from conventional Cold War tactics regarding plausible deniability.
My research seeks to understand how the AFL-CIO’s power in Congress diminished during the Nixon administration. I explore this question by examining the differences between the union’s successful lobbying campaign against the Supreme Court nominations of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell Court in 1969 and 1970 and the organization’s failure to block the nomination of William Rehnquist in 1971. I contend that the Rehnquist proceedings reflect larger social changes that split the AFL-CIO from its allies and discredited the organization’s testimony against Rehnquist. While the AFL-CIO criticized the conservative stances of Haynsworth, Carswell, and Rehnquist on civil rights, its opposition to the Philadelphia Plan and its failure to address affiliates’ discriminatory practices undermined the AFL-CIO’s relationship with the NAACP. Further, the apparent contradiction between the organization’s avowed stances and its own pervasive discrimination opened the organization’s testimony to criticisms, which the union could not deflect without NAACP support. In addition, the law and order issue, largely absent in the Haynsworth and Carswell hearings, predominated the Rehnquist proceedings. The AFL-CIO condemned Rehnquist’s conservative stances on such civil liberties issues as wiretapping and the right to protest. However, the union’s arguments seemed to contradict the average worker’s growing concerns about crime, particularly as Nixon deliberately tied the issue with the rise of the New Left to divide the working class from the Democrats. Meanwhile, as radical antiwar elements gained influence in the Democratic Party, the AFL-CIO chose to abandon the party rather than promote compromise reforms. AFL-CIO leaders thus became more closely tied to the Nixon administration and offered their full-fledged support for the president’s decision to invade Cambodia. During the Rehnquist proceedings, then, former allies such as Americans for Democratic Action lost credibility by adopting unpopular stances regarding civil liberties issues, while the AFL-CIO’s condemnation of Rehnquist’s law and order views and his support for expanded executive power were, like its civil rights testimony, dismissed as illegitimate.
“The Golden Apple: Pietro Andrea Mattioli’s Influence on the Usage of the Tomato in Renaissance Italy,” tells the story of the Sienese herbalist and physician, Pietro Andrea Mattioli. In 1544, Mattoli published his seminal work, I discorsi. This groundbreaking herbal included the first description of the tomato in European literature. Its subsequent editions (the 1554 updated edition in particular) included the first European name for the tomato, pomi d’oro, and a detailed illustration of the plant, which reflected its increased cultivated in the Italian peninsula in the decade between the initial publication and the updated edition. Mistakenly believed to be a relation of the controversial mandrake, the tomato was generally condemned or ignored by Europeans. An extended research project for the Mannion Society, this research demonstrates the mutability of culture and the invaluableness of Mattioli’s writing; it was this audacious herbalist who, against convention, encouraged the usage of the tomato as a culinary ingredient. As a result of Mattioli’s influence, European herbalists, botanists, and physicians from John Gerard to Rembert Dodoens echoed Mattioli’s observations that would dominate herbal literature in almost every major European language for centuries. As a result, the tomato’s association with Italians overshadowed the tomato’s true colonial origins, cementing the tomato’s exalted position in the Mediterranean diet and Italian cuisine.
The Fordham History Department is proud to announce the History Colloquium Conference for 2016. The conference takes place this Thursday morning in Flom Auditorium on the lower floor of the Walsh Library. Once again, our students will present on a diverse range of topics using a variety of approaches and sources material. Click on paper titles to find abstracts of these presentations.
Session I: Recovering Lost Lives from the Archives (10:00-10:40)
Amanda Haney, “Thomas Boleyn, A Man of Power in his Own Right”(Abstract)
Damien Strecker, “Edler Hawkins and the Formation of St. Augustine (Abstract)
Session II: Conflict, Identity, and Society (10:40-12:00)
Sajia Hanif, “The Marketplace of Death: the Crusade of Varna 1444” (Abstract)
Robert Effinger, “’Pursue One Great Decisive Aim with Force and Determination’: Prussian and Russian State, Economic and Military Reform, 1806-1815″ (Abstract )
Jason McDonald, “Japanese Teeth and Skulls in American Newspapers, 1884-2012” (Abstract)
Giulia Crisanti, “‘Balkanism’ and ‘Balkanization’ in Western Media During the Yugoslav War of the 1990s” (Abstract)
Session III: Culture and Politics in the 20th Century US (12:15-1:15)
Nicole Siegel, “Cantors On Trial: The Jazz Singer, Its Responses, and the American Jewish Experience 1927-1937″ (Abstract)
Grace Healy, “Swamp or Climax Region? Congressional Perceptions of the Everglades, 1947-1989” (Abstract)
Michael McKenna, “Heads We Win, Tails You Lose: Television and the Rise of the New Right, 1964-1976” (Abstract)
Lunch will be served for all participants and their guests at 1:15 in the History Department
In addition to holding prestigious external awards, such as the Fulbright fellowship, 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.