Tag Archives: graduate students

Exploring race and racism, gender and misogyny: History 5410 Race and Gender in Modern America

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments is an exploratory, experimental history of the lives of young black women in northern cities in the early twentieth century. Its author, Saidiya Hartmann, had just won a MacArthur “genius” grant for her innovative scholarship when we sat down to discuss the book earlier this month. I think that it was at this moment that the seven students in History 5410 Race and Gender in Modern America really gelled. The day’s student seminar-leaders guided us through a provocative, wide-ranging discussion about how Hartmann’s method beautifully evoked the inner worlds of women largely invisible in the historical record where they mostly appear as statistics in sociologies of the ghetto, names on police blotters, or case files of detention centers. We considered what Hartmann taught us about these young women’s lives with her method that we might not have understood otherwise and discussed whether or not this was a method that graduate students in history might want to embrace.

Hartmann’s book is among a set of histories of race and gender in the U.S. since 1877 that the course includes. We have read about miscegenation, farmworkers and migrants, and women’s employment and “economic citizenship” and are moving on to civil rights, conservative politics of the family, and mass incarceration. Katie, a first-year doctoral student in the department, comments that “I have never explored race and gender exclusively in a course and the well-selected readings and discussions have forced me to re-evaluate my preconceived notions of both of these concepts. This class has challenged me to really understand how race and gender construct one another in today’s world.” Grace Campagna, a senior history major, echoes the point, observing that “The biggest takeaway from the class so far has been seeing the range of ways that those in power have used race and gender to construct and uphold social, political, and economic systems.”

The seminar is based in a student-centered pedagogy. Will Hogue, a second-year doctoral student, says that “Dr. Swinth’s commitment to experimenting with new and more democratic pedagogical methods has been very rewarding.” He adds, “The collaborative syllabus model gives the students not only the chance to tailor the course to their personal needs and goals, but also the chance to practice some lesson planning and course construction. In all, it has been helpful for our development both as scholars and teachers.” In fact, the class just completed a collaborative process to set the topics for the last four weeks of the seminar, all chosen by students to reflect their interests and to pursue questions that have arisen in the first part of the course.

At its most basic, this course investigates the ways that race and gender have shaped what it is like to live in the United States today. It draws upon the field of history and the skills, talents, and creativity of committed graduate students (and an accompanying professor) to explore the key categories and mechanisms that have made race and gender “tick” in American culture and society since Reconstruction. In many it is a traditional graduate readings seminar. Course readings analyze how these key, intersecting categories shaped American politics, economy, culture, state, and criminal justice system. But beyond that, the seminar’s deeper goal is to follow the class’s collective interests. What do class members, as individuals, and the class, as a group, want to understand better and more deeply about the history of race and gender in the U.S.? This course is as an opportunity to figure out why learning about this topic matters to comprehending U.S. history, why it matters to students (personally, professionally, as citizens/contributors), and why it matters to the larger world, future students, and other audiences we have yet to identify.

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Congrats to Alumnus Dr. Noël Wolfe

Dr. Noël Wolfe (PhD, Fordham, 2015)  recently accepted a tenure-track position at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York as an Assistant Professor of History and the Program Director for the Legal Studies Program. Dr. Wolfe completed her dissertation, “A Community at War: the Bronx and Crack Cocaine” in 2015.

For the past two years, Dr. Wolfe has been the Helen and Agnes Ainsworth Visiting Assistant Professor of American Culture at Randolph College. In this position, she designed a 12-credit semester-long experiential program that examines the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class and law through the lens of drug cultures in America. Through course work, discussion, travel and guest lectures, students explored the racialization and ethnicization of narcotics in the U.S. and investigated how racial and ethnic bias influenced popular opinion and drug-related public policy and law. You can find more information about Dr. Wolfe’s program at https://rcamericancultureprogram.wordpress.com. Dr. Wolfe also taught courses on incarceration, African-American history, and law while at Randolph.

Dr. Wolfe is very excited to begin her new position at Nazareth College, which will allow her to explore her research and teaching interests in history and law, as well as put to use her practical experience as a trial attorney. At Nazareth, Dr. Wolfe will teach courses in U.S. and African-American history, as well as courses on law, drugs, and incarceration.

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Medieval England Conference Recap

On April 24th and 25th, the History Department sponsored the Medieval England Conference that showcased the research done in the Graduate ProSeminar Course led by Dr. Maryanne Kowaleski. This conference included papers by members of the History Department, as well as the Center for Medieval Studies. Patrick DeBrosse, Rachel Podd, Amanda Racine, and Ron Braasch were the 3 doctoral and master’s students, respectively, that presented their research. See a list of all the presentations, as well as some pictures, below. Continue reading

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From History, To Business

An article recently published by the American Historical Association, titled “History at the Office: How a Business Analyst Uses Her History Degree”, shows the way in which the author, Stephanie Fulbright, used her degree in History to garner success outside of the world of academia. To read about the ways in which a degree in History can prepare one for the business world follow the link below:

History at the Office: How a Business Analyst Uses Her History Degree

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History Day 2018

Come join us on Monday, February 12th, 2018! Continue reading

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2016 Fordham History Graduate Colloquium Conference- Thursday April 28

 

Screenshot 2016-04-23 22.42.33

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)

Coffee: 12:00-12:15

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

 

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‘Footnoting History’ Goes from Strength to Strength

 

Footnoting History

We previously reported how The Canadian Broadcasting Company included the podcast “The Royal Teeth of Louis XIV“, an episode of Footnoting History by  Christine Caccipuoti, on their list of “10 History Podcasts You Need to Hear.”  The episode, produced by Fordham graduate alumna Christine Caccipuoti, went viral, and  was downloaded more than 8,000 times.   Right now, Footnoting History is the featured podcast on History Podcasts and on March 19, Footnoting History podcasters will be hosting an AMA (“Ask me Anything”) on Reddit.

Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge is a Fordham Doctoral candidate and producer of Footnoting History

Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge is a Fordham Doctoral candidate and producer of Footnoting History

Footnoting History was conceived of by Fordham Doctoral candidate Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge and the podcasts began in 2013. She told the Fordham News that “she started the series as a sort of “career plan B,” in case the coveted job of university professor eludes her upon graduation.”  New episodes are released biweekly, and the various speakers bring to life quirky and interesting aspects of history that are often over looked.  Some of their most recent episodes include: Apples in America, The Great Medieval Canon Law Forgery, and Sherlock Holmes in Popular Culture.

Footnoting History also offers five unique on-going ‘Special Series’. For those who love ‘man’s best friend’ you might enjoy the Doggy History series which includes episodes like Dogs: The Final Frontier and Mush! A Short History of Dog Sledding.  The on-going specials also include Film History (with episodes like The Birth of the Blockbuster)  Running History  (the third episode is titled The Origin of the Marathon: Linking Past to Present),  Revolutionary History (Empress Eugenie in Exile Part II: Life After Empire) and Medieval  Conspiracy Theories (which features episodes like The Husband Killing She-Wolf of Naples).

The image above is used for the the Mush! Short History of Dog Sledding episode.

The image above is used for the the Mush! Short History of Dog Sledding episode.

Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge told the Fordham News, “We see ourselves as everyone’s quirky friend who always has a historical anecdote/reference whenever out socializing.” She credits the success of Footnoting History with the podcasts friendly conversational tone. She explains the team strives “not to sound like teachers” and that podcasters speak  on a level that is understandable and yet not condescending to their audience.  History podcasts and blogs are now a popular source for information and entertainment for students in secondary school and hobbyist historians.

Footnoting History is an exciting example of  presents a unique and exciting opportunity for academic historians to share their love and passion for history with friends and family.

 

 

Congratulations to Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge,  Christine Caccipuoti and the entire Footnoting History team on a job well done. We certainly look forward to following their insightful podcasts.

Listen to Footnoting History here.

Click here to read the Fordham News article about Footnoting History 

 

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