Robin Fleming (Boston College)
This Friday at 3:00 p.m., Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies and the New York Botanical Garden are pleased to host Professor Robin Fleming of Boston College, recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the “genius grant”), for her talk “Vanishing Plants, Animals, and Places: Britain’s Transformation from Roman to Medieval,” which uses material culture and environmental history to reveal heretofore unknown aspects of early medieval Britain. Due to the paucity of contemporary written sources, Fleming’s alternative approach, part of an emerging trend in research on the period, ought to provide truly novel insight. Appropriately, the talk will take place at the Mertz Library in the New York Botanical Garden and will be followed by an exhibit of medieval and early modern herbals. This opportunity is not to be missed! Event details below:
Vanishing Plants, Animals, and Places: Britain’s Transformation from Roman to Medieval
Humanities Institute, Mertz Library, New York Botanical Garden
Friday, September 30, 3:00 pm
Ceiling Frescoes at Ringsted Abbey, Denmark
During the second half of June, Fordham Faculty Member Nicholas Paul and PhD candidate Christopher Rose to their respective research projects concerning the history of the crusades to conferences in England and Denmark. You can read more about their adventures, which involved the headquarters of a crusading military order, royal Danish castles, and viking ships, below. Continue reading
The participants in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar will be giving 10-12 minute talks this Thursday, May 5th, in the Walsh Library Special Collections Room from 10:00 am until 2:15pm. Lunch will be served at 11:00am. At 11:15, Alisa Beer, Senior Teaching Fellow in the History Department, will be giving a talk about teaching history with physical object. Alisa is already well-respected among students and colleagues for the way she weaves material culture into her classes. Earlier this year we managed to get some video of Alisa in action, talking with students about medieval manuscripts in the Fordham University Library collection:
YouTube / Dr. Nicholas Paul – via Iframely
So if you are interested in learning about how to teach history tangibly, please come along on Thursday May 5 at 11:10 for Alisa Beer’s presentation at 11:15.*
Alisa says about her talk:
As a medievalist and a rare book librarian, I believe strongly that a physical experience of the past can create a visceral connection to the study of history that is not available through the use of a textbook alone. Allowing students to interact directly with primary source objects deepens their understanding of the tangibility of the past and engages them in a way that interaction with a textbook cannot rival. As a participant in the Jesuit Pedagogy Seminar this past semester, I was able to incorporate the Ignatian ideals we learned about into my teaching by developing a hands-on exercise on textile production in which students learned about making cloth in the middle ages by actually using spindles and a small loom.
*Alisa adds that it is perfectly OK if you want to show up only for one presentation and you need not stay for the entire day.
Perforated cooking spoon: eighteenth century
This Fall, Professor Elaine Crane will offer a new course, HIST 4658 Home Sweet Home: the Material Culture of Early America. The course will meet on Tuesdays 3:30-5:30 at the New York Historical Society in Manhattan.
Professor Crane writes:
Home Sweet Home will explore early America through objects in daily use. We will look at candle molds to see how hot wax and string turned darkness into light. We will handle utensils and cooking ware to learn how people produced the food they ate and the beverages they drank without the help of microwave ovens and processors. Wooden plates and porcelain cups will distinguish rich from poor as will the furniture and textiles people passed from one generation to another. Room by room and article by article early Americans will reveal how they lived their lives.