Tag Archives: Academia

33rd Conference on New York State History Announced


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The 33rd Conference on New York State History is an annual meeting of historians, librarians, archivists, educators, and community members who are interested in the history, people, and culture of New York State and who want to share information and ideas about historical research and programming.

Each year the Conference brings together several hundred interested scholars and students at a different location. The 2012 Conference will meet at Niagara University, June 14-16. Continue reading

New-York Historical Announces Fellowships


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The New-York Historical Society has announced five fellowship recipients for the 2012-2013 academic year. New-York Historical offers fellowships to scholars dedicated to understanding and promoting American history. Basing their work on New-York Historical’s museum and library collections of more than 350,000 books, three million manuscripts, and collections of maps, photographs, prints, art objects and ephemera documenting the history of America from the perspective of New York, these scholars extend and enrich their previous work to develop new publications that illuminate complex issues of the past. Continue reading

New Netherland: Kenney Award Applications Due


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The New Netherland Institute is the recipient of an annual grant from the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Trust Fund. This grant enables the Institute to award an annual prize of $1,000 to an individual or group which has made a significant contribution to colonial Dutch studies and/or has encouraged understanding of the significance of the Dutch colonial experience in North America by research, teaching, writing, speaking, or in other ways. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. Persons or groups to be considered for this award can be involved in any pursuit of any aspect of Dutch colonial life in North America. Emphasis is on those activities which reach a broad, popular audience in the same way that Alice P. Kenney’s activities did.

Criteria for Nominations:

* Candidates for the award can be nominated by members of the New Netherland Institute, by historical organizations, or by the general public.

* Nominations should be in the form of a nominating letter or statement (1-2 pages long)detailing how the nominator became aware of the nominee, which of the nominee’s activities led to the nomination, how those activities qualify for the award, and what the perceived impact is of the nominee’s activities.

* Nominations may also include illustrative materials which demonstrate the nominee’s activities such as maps, brochures, photographs of exhibits.

* Nominations may also include up to three one-page letters of support from other persons.

* Three copies of all material must be submitted.

Selection Criteria:

* The winner shall be selected by a four-person committee consisting of the Director of the New Netherland Project, two members of the New Netherland Institute and a representative of the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Trust Fund.

* The committee shall consider (1) if the nominee qualifies for the award, (2) how significant the nominee’s contributions are, (3) how large the audience is, (4) how great the chances are for continued influence, and (5) whether the materials are historically accurate and based on the most recent primary and secondary research.

Send nominations by April 4, 2012 to:

The Alice P. Kenney Award Selection Committee
New Netherland Institute
P.O.Box 2536, Empire State Plaza Station
Albany, NY 12220-0536

E-mail: nyslfnn@mail.nysed.gov

New Netherland: Hendricks Award Submissions


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The Annual Hendricks Award is given to the best book or book-length manuscript relating to any aspect of the Dutch colonial experience in North America until the American Revolution. The Award carries a prize of $5,000 as well as a framed print of a painting by Len Tantillo entitled Fort Orange and the Patroon’s House. The prize-winner, chosen by a five-member panel of scholars, is selected in May or June. The Award is given at a ceremony in conjunction with the annual New Netherland Seminar, held in September. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

Two categories of submissions will be considered in alternate years:

(1) recently completed dissertations and unpublished book-length manuscripts (2012), and (2) recently published books (2013). If there is no suitable winner in the designated category in any particular year, submissions from the alternate category will be considered. In addition, submissions from the previous year will be reconsidered for the Award.

Criteria: Entries must be based on research completed or published within two years prior to submission. Manuscripts may deal with any aspect of the Dutch colonial experience as defined above. Biographies of individuals whose careers illuminate aspects of the history of New Netherland and its aftermath are eligible, as are manuscripts dealing with literature and the arts, provided that the methodology is historical. Co-authored books are eligible, but edited collections of articles are not, nor are works of fiction or works of article length. An entry may be a self-nomination, an outside nomination, or in response to invitations to submit from Hendricks Award readers.

Submissions will be judged on their contribution to the scholarly understanding of the Dutch colonial experience in North America and the quality of their research and writing.

Three copies of a published book or three clear, readable photocopies of the manuscript must be submitted on or before March 15, with a letter of intent to enter the contest. Copies cannot be returned. Alternatively, submissions may be in pdf format.

Address entries to:

The Annual Hendricks Award Committee
New Netherland Institute
Cultural Education Center, Room 10D45
Albany, NY 12230

Send PDF submissions to nyslfnn@mail.nysed.gov; use ‘Hendricks award’ in the subject line.

Bob Weible: NY’s Historical Golden Age is Coming


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If there is one thing historians should know, it is that “things change.” After all, without change, history would have no meaning. And historians would have no jobs. Face it. Everyone may love history. But the reason some of us collect paychecks, practically speaking, is that we perform the unique and essential service of helping people understand history—not so we can all venerate the past but so that we can change the way things are and make history ourselves. Continue reading

Peter Feinman: Academics and Popular History


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Previous posts here have addressed issues raised at the annual conference of the American Historical Association (AHA) on of the lack of history jobs and the lack of history interest by the press. Related to that, a discussion on a history list last summer focused on the disconnect between the world of academic historians and the general public under the heading of “Scholarly versus Popular History.” The following submission by Lance R. Blyth, University of New Mexico (7/19/11) deserves attention: Continue reading

Peter Feinman: The Debate Rages Over History Jobs


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The American Historical Association (AHA) held its annual conference on January 5-8, 2012, in Chicago. One of the non-academic issues it addressed was the employment situation in the history profession. The impetus for the last-minute session at the conference on the subject was an essay by Jesse Lemisch, Professor Emeritus of History at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York titled “History is Worth Fighting For, But Where is the AHA?“. Continue reading

New Contributor From Hudson River Valley Institute


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Please join us in welcoming our newest contributor, Christopher Pryslopski, Program Director of the Hudson River Valley Institute at Marist College (HRVI) and Associate Editor of the Institute’s The Hudson River Valley Review, a peer-reviewed journal of regional studies.

Chris coordinates projects and programs associated with the core mission of the Institute, the “educational arm of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area,” and also coordinates the development of the HRVI’s Digital Library and Portal Site.

He is a specialist in regional studies and is the author of “Cultivating the Greenhouse Complex at Mills Mansion,” The Hudson Valley Regional Review, March 1999, “A Thoroughly Modern Conundrum: Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Governor Center” The Hudson River Valley Review Autumn 2004, and “Getting to “The Point;” Design No. 26: The L. M. Hoyt House at Staatsburg,” Dutchess County Historical Society Yearbook, 2009. He is co-editor of America’s First River: The History and Culture of the Hudson River Valley.

In addition to contributions from Chris, we’ll begin featuring highlights of new issues of the The Hudson River Valley Review here at New York History as they are released.

CCNY Early-Career Historians Win NEH Awards


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Dr. Gregory Downs, associate professor of history, and Dr. Emily Greble, assistant professor of history at The City College of New York are recipients of faculty research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grants, announced by NEH December 9, will support book projects currently in development.

“The NEH fellowships are extremely competitive; only eight percent of applicants are successful. To have two early-career faculty members in the same department come up winners is remarkable,” said Dr. Geraldine Murphy, acting dean of humanities and the arts at CCNY, in congratulating them.

“Our department has undergone significant growth because The City College administration made a commitment to bring in energetic scholars and teachers,” said Professor Downs, who serves as department chair. “We’ve hired eight new faculty members in nine years and we are seeing that faith pay off.”

“We seem to have become a hotbed of new and innovative scholarship,” added Professor Greble. “We see the product of this intellectually stimulating environment in so many areas of departmental life, from the number of students we have been placing in top doctoral programs to the rigorous publication record of our faculty, to the winning of top academic fellowships like the NEH and the Rome Prize.”

Four Class of 2011 history majors are now in PhD programs at Yale University, Princeton University and University of Michigan. Associate Professor of History Barbara Ann Naddeo received the Rome Prize in 2010 for her scholarship on the city of Naples, Italy. Assistant Professor of History Adrienne Petty is conducting an oral history project on African-American farm owners in the South in collaboration with Professor Mark Schultz of Lewis University supported by an NEH award.

Professor Downs’ project, “The Ends of War: American Reconstruction and the Problems of Occupation,” examines the transition from Civil War to Reconstruction and asks why former slaves, loyal whites, Freedmen’s Bureau agents and northern émigrés became disillusioned. The problems emanated not as much from free-labor ideology or racism as from a sharp reduction of military force in the region, which resulted in a power vacuum, he contends.

At the end of the Civil War, the U.S. government, fearing budget deficits, demobilized at such a rapid pace that within 18 months only 12,000 troops remained in the former Confederacy. As the military withdrew from different areas, hundreds of small wars broke out between former Confederates and organized freedmen.

Professor Downs attributes the situation to a naïve belief among elected officials in Washington that they could expand voting rights in the South at the same time that the federal government was reducing its presence there to cut the budget. “What was needed was not an expansion of democracy, but an expansion of enforcement,” he says. “Both sides figured out that violence was the logical conclusion. By the time they had mobilized it was too late for the government to act.”

The project grows out of an earlier monograph, “Declarations of Independence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1860 – 1908,” published in 2011 by University of North Carolina Press. However, Professor Downs says his thinking has been influenced by recent U.S. experience with occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Seeing how difficult it is to change social power, create new lines of authority and disrupt societies makes me wonder why we were so confident we could do it in the post-war South. Rights need enforceability to make them real,” he adds, pointing to the intervention by federal troops in the Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as an example.

Professor Greble’s project, “Islam and the European Nation-State: Balkan Muslims between Mosque and State, 1908 – 1949,” examines how South Slavic Muslims adapted to six significant political shifts over a 41-year period. In each instance new governments sought – in their own way – to limit, secularize and shape Muslim institutions as the region went from Ottoman to Habsburg control, to liberal nation-states, to authoritarian monarchs, to fascist regimes and to socialist regimes.

Her initial research suggests Muslims proactively adapted the norms and customs of their faith to define Islam in their own terms. Additionally, they sought to become part of the international community of Muslims to confront being dispossessed of property, Sharia law, institutional autonomy and the right to define Islam.

To assert their influence, some Muslims formed political parties and cultural societies that promoted Muslim cultural agendas. More conservative members of the community sought to strengthen and protect local Muslim networks through codification of Sharia law and Islamic society. Others engaged in clandestine activities such as underground madrassas.

Much of Professor Greble’s research will examine the changing role of Sharia courts. Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, these were codified and given jurisdiction over Muslim socio-religious affairs, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Muslim parts of the Balkans, particularly Yugoslavia, retained this legal autonomy between the two world wars and during Nazi and fascist occupation, but lost it after communists came to power and shut down the Sharia courts in 1946.

Books: Selected Rensselaerwijck Papers


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Papers from the New Netherland Institute’s annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar has long served as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.

A Beautiful and Fruitful Place: Selected Rensselaerswijck Papers, vol. 2 (SUNY Press, 2011) includes papers delivered at the seminar from 1988 to 1997 and features New Netherland’s distinctive regional history as well as the colony’s many relationships with Europe, the seventeenth-century Atlantic world, and New England, these cogent and informative papers are an indispensable source toward a better understanding of New Netherland life and legacy.

Leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic critique and offer research on a dynamic range of topics: the age of exploration, domestic life in New Netherland, the history and significance of the West India Company, the complex era of Jacob Leisler, the southern frontier lands of the colony, relations with New England, Hudson Valley foodways and Dutch beer production, the endurance of the Dutch legacy into nineteenth-century New York, and contemporary genealogical research on colonial Dutch ancestors.

Edited by Elisabeth Paling Funk and Martha Dickinson Shattuck, the newest volume of papers includes chapters from Rensselaerswijck Seminars on domestic life in New Netherland, the Age of Leisler, New Netherland and the Frontier, The Persistence of the Dutch after 1664, The Dutch in the Age of Exploration, Manor Life and Culture in the Hudson Valley, Family History, Relations between New Netherland and New England, The West India Company and the Atlantic World, and more.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Strengthening NY’s Historical Enterprise


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Anyone who follows this website, New York History: Historical News and Views From The Empire State, knows the close to astonishing amount of historical activity going on in our state. New York’s history, I believe, has more variety, interest, and potential for us to draw insights today, than the history of any other state. We have hundreds of historical programs and officially designated local historians. But we also know that the state of the historical enterprise is not as strong as it ought to be. Continue reading

NY Folklore Society Graduate Student Conference


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For over 65 years, the New York Folklore Society (NYFS) has held an annual conference, typically with guest speakers, such as master artists and academic scholars, who have addressed a particular theme. This year, in collaboration with Binghamton University’s English Department, NYFS invites graduate students to present their work on legends and tales. In this way, students will be given a platform at a local conference to share their work and connect with other young academics from around the state. The NYFS seeks to encourage young scholars to continue their studies and become active contributors to the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and more. This conference presents students with the opportunity for feedback on works-in-progress and mentorship from the academy.



Theme: Legends and Tales

Legends and tales present characters under duress in extraordinary circumstances. They preserve cultural patterns and facilitate social change. Legends such as “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” and “The Killer in the Back Seat” have a kernel of truth; tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Armless Maiden” are clearly fictional but have complex layers of meaning. When legends and tales inspire literature and films, they bring richly resonant traditions to the minds of readers and viewers.

This multidisciplinary conference welcomes papers about legends and/or tales from graduate students in literature, folklore, anthropology, American studies, cultural studies, film studies, ethnic studies, gender studies, social and cultural history, and other fields. The conference organizers especially encourage papers related to the cultural traditions of New York State.

The NY Folklore Society Graduate Student Conference will be held November 12, 2010

at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

Students are encouraged to submit proposals by August 15; the final deadline for submission is September 15.

More information can be found online.

New Academic Book Takes on ‘Mad Men’


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Since it premiered in July 2007, the AMC cable network’s “Mad Men” series has won many awards and been syndicated across the globe. Its imprint is evident throughout contemporary culture—from TV advertisements and magazine covers to designer fashions and online debate. Its creator, Matthew Weiner, a former executive producer on “The Sopranos,” has again created compelling, complex characters, this time in the sophisticated, go-go world of Madison Avenue of the 1960s, with smoking, drinking, and the playing out of prejudices and anxieties of an era long neglected in popular culture. As editor Gary R. Edgerton and a host of other well-known contributors demonstrate in this new title, Mad Men: Dream Come True TV, Mad Men is a zeitgeist show of the early twenty-first century.

Edgerton, who is Chair of the Communications and Theater Arts Department at Old Dominion University in Virginia, has edited this book to provide an academic yet still engaging read that sheds light on the appeal and attraction of the television series, as well as it’s cultural import.

Mad Men: Dream Come True TV features essays that analyze and celebrate the cutting edge TV series. It also includes an interview with the show’s Executive Producer Brett Hornbacher and an episode guide. The book presents essays under five parts: Industry and Authorship, Visual and Aural Stylistics and Influences, Narrative Dynamics and Genealogy, Sexual Politics and Gender Roles, Cultural Memory and the American Dream.

The book is part of the Reading Contemporary Television Series which offers a variety of intellectually challenging responses to what is happening in television today. Other books in the series have tackled CSI, Deadwood, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Sex and the City, The L Word, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Doctor Who, 24 and more.

Gary R. Edgerton’s previous books have included The Essential HBO Reader (with Jeffrey P. Jones) and The Columbia History of American Television. He is co-editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Historic Huguenot St Creates New Scholarship Fund


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In 1689, when the founders of New Paltz hired Jean Tebanin as the first schoolmaster in the small settlement, they set a precedent for the community. This focus on education continues today at Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) in both the programs and scholarships offered by the New Paltz organization.

Earlier this month, the organization received a bequest from Lucille Stoeppler Baker. The funds were given with the stipulation that they be used for scholarship assistance. Ms. Baker’s intent was to provide financial help to undergraduate students majoring in historical anthropology.

Dr. Baker, who held degrees from the College of St. Vincent, Fordham University and Cornell University, was devoted to the field of education. She served for twenty-four years as Professor of Sociology at Tompkins Cortland Community College in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She was awarded the college’s first Professor Emerita status in March 1993. The Dr. Lucille S. Baker Learning Commons on campus is named in her honor. Dr. Baker’s interest in Huguenot history grew from a friendship with Kenneth Hasbrouck, the long-time director of HHS, and members of the LeFevre Family Association. She is interred at the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.

The funds given by Dr. Baker will be used to create the Lucille Stoeppler Baker Memorial Scholarship Fund. With the creation of this fund, Historic Huguenot Street will now have five distinct scholarship funds. Scholarships are offered on an annual basis in collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association.

The deadline for scholarship applications is quickly approaching. Submissions must be received by August 31, 2011. More information and guidelines are available at www.huguenotstreet.org or by calling (845) 255-1660.

New Yorker Named A National Sporting History Fellow


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The National Sporting Library and Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg, Virginia, has announced seven John H. Daniels Fellows for 2011-2012 including one to Judith Martin Woodall, a New York City writer and former manager of Claremont Riding Academy, for
“Witching the World with Noble Horsemanship: Riding in New York City, 1770-2007.”

The fellows program began in 2007 in honor of sportsman and book collector, John H. Daniels (1921-2006), a longtime supporter of the National Sporting Library. Since 2007, the fellowship has supported thirty-eight researchers-in-residence at the NSLM from all regions of the United States and ten foreign countries.

The full list of winners includes:

Marcia Diane Brody, Middletown, MD, writer and breeder of Cleveland Bay horses, “Alexander Mackay-Smith: Pioneering the Future of the Cleveland Bay Horse in North America.”

Michael Del Vecchio, Egmondville, ON, Ph.D. candidate, Univ. of Western Ontario, “The Scientific Angler: A Conservation Identity Forged through the Market.”

Carolee Klimchock, Ph.D. candidate, Yale University, “The Theatrics of Coach Driving in Late 19th-Century America.”

Andrew G.F. Lemon, Victoria, Australia, author of the three volume History of Australian Thoroughbred Racing, “The Steeplechasing Mind.”

Earl Parker, Ph.D., Orange, Texas, writer, “The U.S. Remount Service: Stallions Distributed Across America.”

Corey Piper, Curatorial Assistant for the Mellon Collections, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, “The Cast and Characters of the British Sporting Ring,” a scholarly essay for “Catching Sight: The World of the British Sporting Print,” upcoming exhibition catalogue, VMFA.

Judith Martin Woodall, New York, New York, writer and former manager of Claremont Riding Academy, “Witching the World with Noble Horsemanship: Riding in New York City, 1770-2007.”

The National Sporting Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the
literature, art, and culture of horse and field sports. Founded in 1954, the institution has over 17,000-books dating from the 16th-21st centuries. In the fall of 2011, the newly renovated and expanded historic building on the campus will open to house exhibits of American and European fine sporting art. Information is shared through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications, and special events. The NSLM is open to researchers and the general public. Admission is free.

CCNY History Majors Garner Top PhD Fellowships


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The City College of New York history department launched a research colloquium in the spring 2010 semester that would give its top students a “writing sample they can use to apply to graduate school.” A year later, the effort has paid off handsomely as four graduating seniors have been admitted to top PhD programs on full, five-year fellowships.

The four students and the schools that have admitted them are: Diana Sierra, University of Michigan; Fidel Tavarez, Princeton University; Michael Hattem and Rodion Kosovsky, Yale University. Three of the four also benefited from the City College and Mellon Mays Fellowship programs, which provide support to students interested in academic careers. In addition, two students transferred to CCNY from community colleges in the CUNY system.

“There has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in history at City College,” said Dr. Clifford Rosenberg, the department chair, who added that the number of history majors at CCNY has climbed from 35 to 225. The increase made it possible to offer the research colloquium, which requires a 3.6 or higher GPA to enroll, as well as more upper-level courses that apply toward the major and are taught by professors.

Students in the colloquium produce a journal-quality article of original research in a workshop environment where they critique one another’s work. “To do this, you not only have to work with primary source materials but also master the secondary literature,” said Professor Darren Staloff, who taught the course for the spring 2011 semester.

Being able to give and take criticism is also crucial to success in the class. “Students need to be tough without being personal,” he explained. When being critiqued, “don’t justify (yourself). Write it down. If you immediately defend yourself, you’re not listening.”

Every word of a draft gets parsed. For example, in one recent class students questioned a colleague’s use of “moderate” to describe Benjamin Franklin during the pre-Revolutionary period. Professor Staloff suggested instead that Franklin be called “a man of compromise. If it’s not critical, it’s not worth fighting about.”

“The process helps you better understand how to organize issues and strengthen your argument as a writer, says Ms. Sierra, a Columbian immigrant who plans to study Latin American history at the University of Michigan.

“The research colloquium is the best thing the department has done,” added Mr. Hattem, a 35-year old high school dropout and father of two who transferred to CCNY from Borough of Manhattan Community College and is now bound for Yale.

“We’d pass around drafts of our papers and get feedback. I was surprised at how good the other students in the program were. It was somewhat intimidating to read these impressive papers and get this impressive feedback and have scholarly interaction with other people who were just as serious about history.”

Mr. Tavarez, who transferred to CCNY from LaGuardia Community College and will now study Latin American history at Princeton, credits the colloquium with helping him gain acceptance to graduate school. “After that class, I had a solid senior thesis that I used as a writing sample.”

“Top PhD programs want a writing sample, and this is the best kind of sample you can have,” added Professor Staloff.

City College’s support for its aspiring academicians goes beyond the research colloquium. Through the City College Fellows and Mellon Mays programs, students receive mentoring and academic support in addition to financial assistance that helps them to conduct independent research.

“Admission to top graduate schools is all about research,” said Dr. Susan Besse, professor of history and director of the two fellowship programs. “It is virtually essential to spend at least one summer doing research.”

Mr. Kosovsky, a City College Fellow, was able to spend a summer in London doing archival research and Mr. Tavarez, a Mellon Mays Fellow, published a paper based on archival research he conducted in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Sierra is a Mellon Mays fellow, as well. The two programs have different admission criteria but are run together.

“Without support to do archival research, it is hard for a student to get the kind of experience that will make him or her stand out,” Professor Besse explained. In past years, fellows have traveled to France, Germany, Poland and Brazil, she noted. One student interested in health went to Guatemala for a summer to improve his Spanish and meet graduate school foreign language proficiency requirements.

“Being in the Mellon Mays program helped me meet living expenses and allowed me to dedicate time to my studies,” Ms. Sierra said. “It tries to mimic the relationships of graduate school, such as the mentoring process and doing primary source research. I was able to get immersed in my field and get a sense of what academia is like and what your discipline is about.”

“As a Mellon Mays Fellow, I started looking at my classes in a different way,” Mr. Tavarez said. “When I’d write papers, I wouldn’t write papers I would then throw out. I’d write papers that I could develop further research on.

For a class on 19th century American history, taught by Professor Greg Downs, he wrote about how ideas on race influenced President Grant’s unsuccessful effort to annex the Dominican Republic. He continued working on that theme in a class on modern imperialism taught by Professor Barbara Brooks.

Heritage Organization Announces Scholarships


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Historic Huguenot Street, the museum and National Historic Landmark District in New Paltz, New York, announced today the availability of scholarships for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The Hudson Valley organization administers four scholarship funds in collaboration with the Hasbrouck Family Association. Brothers Abraham and Jean Hasbrouck were among the Huguenot founders of New Paltz.

To be eligible, a student must be a sophomore, junior or senior in good academic standing as of September 2011. Applicants must be of documented Huguenot descent or be working toward a degree in historic preservation, art history or architecture at Columbia University, the State University of New York at New Paltz or Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Some funding may also be available for either graduate or undergraduate students studying the impact of American Huguenot immigrants and descendants on American culture and/or language, or on the history of Ulster County, New York, during the period 1600 to 1800.

The Huguenots that founded New Paltz were part of the Huguenot Diaspora, a movement that forced French Protestants out of their homeland to settle in America and throughout the globe. Of prior recipients that were Huguenot descendants, many descended from Huguenots that founded New Paltz. Others have been descendants of Huguenots whose ancestors immigrated to places as far away as South Africa.

Awards are generally between $1,000 and $2,000. Applications must be received by August 31st. For more information about scholarships at Historic Huguenot Street, visit www.huguenotstreet.org and click on “learn” or call (845) 255-1660.

Troy Underground Railroad Conference This Weekend


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The annual Capital District Underground Railroad Conference will be held this weekend in Troy, NY on April 8, 9 and 10th at the Russell Sage Campus in celebration of the conference’s tenth year presenting workshops, music, and stories about the historic struggle to escape slavery.

In the words of the conference founders, Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, the conference activities are, “a fresh interpretation of an Old Story. “ This is the story of the heroic men, women and children who escaped from slavery and who traveled to new, free, lives along the Underground Railroad.

The international conference is titled, “Abolishing Slavery in the Atlantic World: the ‘Underground Railroad’ in the Americas, Africa and Europe, and its relationship with us today.” Several hundred attendees are expected at workshops, art exhibits, and musical events. The conference is organized by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., (URHPCR) co-sponsored by Russell Sage College and the College’s Department of History and Society. Several non-profit groups are collaborating: Rensselaer County Historical Society, Museumwise, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

On Friday April 8th, 2011 the Opening Address will be given by Dr. Robin Blackburn at 7:00 pm, Bush Memorial, Russell Sage College, Troy, NY, “The International Struggle to End Slavery and the Slave Trade and Its Ramifications Today.” Dr. Blackburn, Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex in England and Visiting Professor of Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research in New York, will describe the international slave trade which fueled the American Colonial economy and he will explore the ramifications for today of the struggle to end slavery. Performing are Kim and Reggie Harris.

Blackburn has taught in England at King’s College, Cambridge University, FLACSO (Latin American Social Science Faculty); in Ecuador, and at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He has studied and taught at the London School of Economics and Oxford University. He is the author of many books and scholarly articles on historical sociology and critical social theory. Two of his most important books are The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800, and The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848. In recent years he has written several influential articles on slavery and resistance. He is the founding editor of The New Left Review and an editor at Verso Books. Blackburn’s Opening Address at the conference will bring a high level of scholarship and an international perspective to discussions about the historical struggle for freedom from slavery in the United States.

The Underground Railroad Conference in Troy is a venue for African American art exhibits, storytelling, history workshops, and programs for educators and people of all ages. A Workshop for Educators on Friday April 8th is followed on Saturday April 9th with speakers, workshops, a raffle, art exhibit, reception and evening award ceremony. Keynote speakers on Saturday are Dr. Franklin Knight, Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, speaking about slave societies. His talk opens the conference at 9:00 am and is titled, “Of Slavery and Abolitions: Perspectives from the World of Slaves.” After the morning workshops at 1:00 pm Tony Burroughs, internationally known lecturer on genealogy, a guest speaker on many television talk shows, will participate in a panel discussion called, “Heritage Preservation Through Genealogical Research, Song and Storytelling.” Joining him on the panel are singer, MaryNell Morgan and storyteller, Miki Conn. Saturday afternoon workshops conclude at 5:00 pm followed by an evening reception and art exhibit held at the Rensselaer County Historical Society located at 57 Second Street, Troy, NY.

The conference continues on Sunday April 10th at 2:00 pm in Russell Sage College’s Bush Memorial Hall with programs devoted to music and performance. There will be performances by the Hamilton Hill Dancers, Garland Nelson, MaryNell Morgan, Eshu Bumpus, Magpie, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Graham and Barbara Dean, the musical group Peter, Paul and George, the Hamilton Hill Dancers, and the Hamilton Hill Drummers.

The conference is possible thanks to leadership from co-founders Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, the contribution of volunteers with the URHPCR, Inc., and conference donors and supporters: M & T Bank, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Russell Sage College, Kate Storms, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region’s Standish Family Fund, The Alice Moore Foundation, Museumwise, the Arts Center of the Capital Region, New York Council for the Humanities, Pioneer Bank and Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation.

Find conference information and register online at www.ugrworkshop.com. Contact Paul Stewart at (518) 432-4432.