Tag Archives: US History

History Major Katherine DeFonzo on Her Internship at the Smithsonian

History major Katherine DeFonzo in the Archives Center at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Earlier this summer, History major Katherine DeFonzo reached out to faculty member Christopher Dietrich about the work she was doing at her internship at the Archives Center at the American Museum of National History (a part of the Smithsonian Institution). Katherine wrote: Continue reading

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Filed under Postcards, Public History, Undergrad News, Undergraduate Research

History Colloquium Conference: Tuesday May 16 4PM McNally Amphitheater, Lincoln Center Campus

The History Department is Proud to Announce our 2017 History Colloquium Conference, to be held on Tuesday May 16  from 4-8PM in the McNally Amphitheater, Lincoln Center Campus.

The schedule will be as follows:

Panel 1: Twentieth Century Transnational Human Rights & Migration (4:00-5:00)

Lisa Betty, “‘Jamaiquinos en Cuba’: The Transregional Migration of Jamaicans to Cuba in the 20th Century”

William Hogue, “Proxy-Wars of Religion: US Neoliberal Theology and Central American Revolutions”

Nicholas DeAntonis, “The International Struggle to End the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade: The British Anti-Slavery Society, the United Nations, and the African-American Press, 1953-1960”

 

Panel II: Culture and Politics in Twentieth Century New York (5:00-5:45)

Jordyn May, “Votes for Women: The Visual Culture of the Suffrage Movement in New York”

Nicole Siegel, “God of Vengeance: Indecent?”

 

Break: 5:45-6:00

 

Panel III: State & Society (6:00-7:00)

Thomas Schellhammer, “The Evolution of the Third Republic and its Army: French Military Reforms and Society, 1871-1914”

Patrick Nolan, “Crimes and Punishments: Hanjian Trials After the Second Sino-Japanese War.”

Scott Brevda, “In the Eyes of My Father: Germany, Armenia, and the Morgenthau Plan”

 

Panel IV: Eighteenth-Century Politics and Culture (7:00:7:45)

Micheal Wootton, “French Perceptions of the American Revolution and Early Republic.”

Glauco Schettini, “Between Reform and Revolution: Jews, Public Utility, and National Belonging in Late Eighteenth-Century Italy.”

 

Reception to follow.

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Filed under Department Events, Grad Student News

Saul Cornell to speak on “A Well Regulated Militia” at Fordham Law School (11/16 4:15PM)

cornell-book-series

The 2nd Amendment in an Age of Terror
A conversation with two Fordham professors

Nicholas Johnson, author of Negroes and the Gun
Saul Cornell, author of A Well-Regulated Militia

Moderated by Eric Sundrup, S.J., of America magazine

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
4:15 p.m. | Room 2-01A

Fordham Law School
150 W62nd Street, NYC

Refreshments will be served.

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Filed under Events, Faculty News, Public History

Second O’Connell Lunchtime Seminar: Thursday Nov 3. 12:00-2PM at Fordham Lincoln Center

oconnell

The first of the three Fall O’Connell lunch seminars was a great success. Faculty and graduate students engaged in a spirited discussion of Rebecca Spang’s Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution and the role money played in creating a gulf between political ideals and daily life. Join us for the second lunch seminar on Thursday, Nov. 3, 12:00pm-2:00pm (LC, 12 th floor, President’s Dining Room) to discuss James R. Fichter’s So Great a Profit: How the East Indies Trade Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism.

oconnell-lunchtime

A mix of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates discuss Rebecca L. Spang’s book “Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution” at the first O’Connell lunchtime seminar

 

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Filed under Events, O'Connell Initiative

Postcard: An Afternoon with Creighton Berry

Creighton Berry and Damien Strecker

Creighton Berry (left) and History PhD student Damien Strecker

Continuing our Summer Postcards series, PhD student Damien Strecker tells us about an interview he conducted as part of his research on the history of St. Augustine Church in the South Bronx with Creighton Berry, a former member of its congregation. Read Damien’s account of his illuminating trip below. Continue reading

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Filed under Grad Student News, Postcards

Summer Postcard: Chris Dietrich’s Hunt for Sovereignty in the Library of Congress

Secretary of State Robert Lansing (far left) in Washington, D.C., no date (between 1916 and 1918), Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Secretary of State Robert Lansing (far left) in Washington, D.C., no date (between 1916 and 1918), Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Greetings from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.!   I am here doing research in the Robert Lansing and Charles Evan Hughes papers.  Lansing was Secretary of State for Woodrow Wilson during the Paris negotiations for the peace treaty to World War I.  In his papers, I am looking at the correspondence relating to the founding of the League of Nations and the ideas of sovereignty and self-determination for oppressed peoples in Central Europe and, to a lesser extent, the former Ottoman Empire.  Hughes was Secretary of State from 1921 to 1925.   In his papers, I am examining what was known as “The Mandates Controversy,” which was essentially a debate in the United States about the secret treaties between the British and French governments, both during and after the war, to divide up the rich oil-producing areas of the Middle East.  How would the League of Nations monitor the “trustee powers” of Britain and France, as they ostensibly managed the Mandates of Mesopotamia and Syria for their own benefit?  What would be the role of the United States, which had not joined the League of Nations but still maintained its right, as a participant in the Allied victory in the war, to representation in the Mandates?  How would the trustee powers respond to American entreaties to open up their economies to American, in particular Standard Oil, investment?  I am finding a lot of interesting information and, as a nice surprise, also found an old friend, who has just accepted a job at King’s College in London, in the Reading Room.

In the evenings, I am taking my 7-year-old son around the Capitol Hill area and giving him contemporary civic lessons.  “Look, son, there’s Congress.  That’s where petty lawmakers have tried to gut education spending and prevent major social welfare advances for our most disadvantaged citizens,” and that sort of thing.  I hope everyone is having an equally fantastic summer!

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Filed under Faculty News, Postcards

Kirsten Swinth Discusses Mothers and American Feminism in the 1960s and 1970s

 

 Professor Kirsten Swinth was recently interviewed by Fordham News to talk about her work on American feminism of the 1960s and 1970s.  She told them the story of how mothers finally achieved the legal right to have a job in 1971.

This story is part of her forthcoming book from Harvard University Press, For Work and Family: A Real Feminist History of “Having it All”

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Filed under Faculty News, Faculty Profiles

Recent Fordham PhD Laurence Jurdem published in the National Review

 

Congratulations to Laurence Jurdem, who received his PhD in History at Fordham, for publishing an article in the National Review.

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Filed under Alumni News, Grad Student News, Publications

Grace Healy Wins 2016 O’Connell Research Prize

O'Connell Award winner Grace Healy with her mentor Professor Steven Stoll

O’Connell Award winner Grace Healy with her mentor Professor Steven Stoll

This year, in conjunction with the department’s O’Connell Initiative, the History Department awarded a $250 O’Connell Research Award for the most original graduate student research on the history of global capitalism. This year’s winner was MA student Grace Healy, who won for her final research paper entitled  “Swamp or Climax Region? Congressional Perceptions of the Everglades, 1947-1989” We asked Grace for details of her research, and she reports:

 

My project focused on the Everglades in South Florida, specifically the way in which members of Congress have thought about that landscape over the course of the second half of the twentieth century. As the people who mark the boundaries of land that will be preserved, I believe that congressmen’s perceptions of land, ecosystems, and the environment in general are an important aspect of conservation history.
Everglades map
I became interested in the Everglades because I enjoy analyzing the contradictory (or balanced, based on your perspective) way that Americans have managed land. For example, large portions of the Everglades are being protected because of its distinct environment. At the same time, however, vast tracts of the Everglades have been altered and manipulated for commercial reasons. I think that attempting to understand why certain types of landscapes are managed in these divergent forms is not only important to a historical understanding of the United States but also relevant to the environmental movement going forward.
Professor Stoll was an excellent mentor throughout this project. At times he pushed me to think more critically about certain aspects, at other times he knew exactly what text I should read to gain more insight. I think he was most helpful when I was I was still developing my ideas. It can be really difficult to find the right project that can be completed in about a semester and half. Professor Stoll really helped me tailor my ideas so I could deeply investigate this one important aspect of the Everglades.
Congratulations on the O’Connell Prize Grace!

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Filed under Grad Student News, O'Connell Initiative, Student Awards

The Mannion Society: Seniors and their Final Projects

“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:

James Berrigan

James Berrigan

James Berrigan

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.

Melanie Sheehan

Melanie Sheehan

Melanie Sheehan

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.

Cristina Iannarino

Cristina Iannarino

Cristina Iannarino

“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.

Congratulations to our Seniors on their original and fascinating projects!

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Filed under Mannion Society, Undergrad News, Undergraduate Research