Tag Archives: Academia

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.

Met Archives Make Art History Collection Available


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives has announced that a newly processed collection is now open for scholarly research, The Henry Gurdon Marquand Papers, 1852-1903 (bulk, 1868-1903). New York financier Henry Gurdon Marquand (1819-1902) was a member of the Provisional Committee to establish a museum of art in New York City (1869), an early Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1871-1902), Treasurer (1883-1889), and its second President (1889-1902).

For over three decades Marquand spent his fortune carefully acquiring artwork to decorate his Madison Avenue mansion and to enlarge the Metropolitan’s then modest holdings. The Henry Gurdon Marquand Papers contain correspondence with artists and dealers, receipts, inventories, and notes that document his activity as an art collector and patron of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The bulk of the correspondence is with the British artists George Henry Boughton and Frederic Leighton, and dealers, Martin Colnaghi, Charles W. Deschamps, Wolfgang Helbig, Robert Jenkins Nevin, John Charles Robinson, H. Herbert Smith, and Thomas Humphry Ward. Most dates from 1868-1898, Marquand’s most active period of commissioning and collecting works of art for his home and for eventual donation to the Metropolitan.

The Finding aid is available online as a pdf.

The objective of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives is to collect, organize, and preserve in perpetuity the corporate records and official correspondence of the Museum, to make the collection accessible and provide research support, and to further an informed and enduring understanding of the Museum’s history. Archives holdings include Board of Trustees records, legal documents, Museum publications, office files of selected Museum staff, architectural drawings, press clippings, and ephemera. The Archives is accessible to Museum staff and to qualified scholarly researchers at the graduate level and above. Requests for access should be sent via email, and should include a brief summary of the research project, an outline of sources already consulted and a curriculum vitae or resume. Access is granted at the discretion of Archives staff, and certain materials may be restricted. The archives can be contacted via e-mail at: archives@metmuseum.org.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

@metmuseum.org>

Canal Society Symposium Announced


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The Canal Society of New York State’s (CSNY) daylong 2011 Winter Symposium, will be held March 5th, 2011 at the Monroe Community College campus in Rochester, New York. The Symposium covers topics that are directly or indirectly related to historic or operating New York State Canals, canals and inland waterways worldwide, and the communities through which they run.

This year’s symposium will include a presentation, “Clinton’s Ditch and Enlarged Erie Aqueduct Survey” by Capt. Rob Mangold, Vice President, CSNY; “An Exploration of the Burlington and Desjardins Canals by Robert W. Sears, of the Canadian Canal Society; “Managing NYS Canal Infrastructure in Difficult Economic Times” by Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation; “Geographic Resources for the Erie Canal”; “Three Generations on the Erie Barge Canal: A Photographic Chronicle” by “High Canals and Deep Rivers—Southern Germany Waterways Tour” and more.

CSNYS membership is not a requirement to attend. Pre-registration cost prior to February 23rd is $40 per person.

Contact:

David L. Kipp
61 Thistledown Drive
Rochester, NY 14617

The $40 per person cost covers a continental breakfast, coffee break, lunch, parking and speaker fees. Provide Davd Kipp with the names of the attendees and a telephone number. A check for $40 should be made payable to: Canal Society of New York State

Registration can be made on the day of the seminar at $50 per person.

A downloadable program can be found at the society’s website.

Pennsylvania Historical Association Seeks Journal Editor


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The Pennsylvania Historical Association (PHA) invites creative individuals to apply for the position of editor of its quarterly journal, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies.

The editor is responsible for supervising the entier editorial process: soliciting articles, editing, and shaping each individual issue. Assisted by an associate editor, book review editor, and editorial board, the editor is appointed by and works closely with the PHA’s governing council. The editor receives an honorarium and office and travel support to advance the interests of the journal. Modest institutional support is necessary.

Qualifications: The editor should be a practicing historian with an established publication record and familiarity with the current state of the field. They should also be experienced in historical writing and editing and able to work cooperatively with and give direction to the editorial team.

Interested individuals should send a letter of intent that includes a statement of purpose and editorial vision, along with a current CV, to:

Dean Marion W. Roydhouse, School of Liberal Arts, Philadelphia University, School House Lane and Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19144.

Review of applications will begin on March 1st, 2011. For questions, e-mail roydhousem@philau.edu.

U.S. Intellectual History Conference Announced for NYC


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The 2011 U.S. Intellectual History Conference and the Annual Meeting of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History will be held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, November 17-18, 2011. The event is co-sponsored and hosted by the Center for the Humanities. This year’s theme is “Narratives,” and Pauline Maier will deliver the keynote address. The call for papers is below; the submission deadline is June 15, 2011.

The Conference Committee of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) invites paper and panel proposals for its fourth annual conference, to be held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, on November 17-18, 2011. S-USIH is very pleased to announce that the keynote address will be delivered by Pauline Maier of MIT, author of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 and American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.

This year’s conference theme is “Narratives.” The theme highlights the fact that stories are essential to the study of American thought. Intellectual historians catalogue and interpret the narratives used by the figures they study, and construct narratives themselves in composing their own accounts of the past. The committee invites participants not only to reflect on narrative itself, but to compare and contrast it with other forms of expression, such as argument or declaration. While proposals that relate to the theme are particularly welcome, the conference committee encourages all submissions that are relevant to any aspect of U.S. intellectual history.

The most typical panels will feature three academic papers and one commentator, who will also serve as the panel chair. But submissions for sessions that will use other formats are also invited. Varieties of alternate sessions might include: roundtables (a series of ten-minute extemporaneous presentations on a topic followed by discussion among the panel and audience), discussion panels (in which the papers are circulated online in advance of the conference and the entire session is devoted to discussions of them), brownbags (one-hour long, lunchtime presentations), “author meets critics” events, retrospectives on significant works or thinkers, interviews, or performances. The conference organizers are happy to consider any proposed format that will fit a two-hour long session slot or a one hour-long lunch session (though session organizers should be aware that there are fewer of the latter than the former).

Submissions of both individual papers and complete panels (or alternate-format sessions) will be accepted, as well as applications from those who would be interested in moderating a session. Paper submissions should feature a 200-word abstract of the paper itself, and a one-page CV. Panel proposals must include an abstract of each presentation, a separate description of the panel itself, and one-page CVs for all participants. Submissions for alternate-format sessions must also include a full description of the proposed format. Those interested in chairing a session or commenting should send a CV indicating areas of expertise and interests. All submissions must include a postal and email address, and phone number for each participant. Individual papers in traditional panels should last no more than twenty minutes. All persons appearing on the program will be required to register for the conference and to become members of S-USIH.

All submissions must be emailed as attachments in MS Word or Google docs format. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Send all submissions to S-USIH 2011 Conference Committee (usih.2011@gmail.com). Other queries should be directed to Conference Committee Chair
Mike O’Connor at oconnor@gsu.edu.

University Courts Online History Audience


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Historians at The University of Texas at Austin have introduced what they are decribing as a “first-of-its-kind Web site to help the public learn more about Texas, American and world history.”

Developed by the History Department, “Not Even Past” is expected to showcase new articles each month from history professors writing about the time periods and areas of history they study. The inaugural article by Professor Jacqueline Jones focuses on life in Savannah, Ga. during the Civil War.

The site is also expected to include book recommendations, movie clips and podcasts, links to historical documents and artifacts, virtual courses, a daily ‘fact checker’ designed to “debunk historical myths.”

“‘Not Even Past’ is our effort to offer history to a wider audience. All of our former students and literally anyone interested in history will find something interesting on our site,” says Professor Joan Neuberger, who studies Russian history.

Visitors to “Not Even Past” will be able to take the virtual courses beginning this semester with Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands, who will offer a course on American leaders; Charters Wynn, who will offer a course on World War II on the Eastern Front; and Frank Guridy, who will offer a course on Cuban-U.S. relations. Each professor will assign three great books to their virtual students and lead a live chat devoted to each book during the semester.

“The students will have the chance to do some great reading with award-winning teachers who are experts in their fields — with no tests,” says Neuberger. “At the end of each semester, they’ll be honored at commencement with virtual certificates.”

The Web site draws its name from American novelist William Faulkner, who once said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Professors and graduate students in the university’s History Department developed the site and will produce most of its content.

“During these difficult budget times, we have developed and plan to maintain this Web site with our existing resources thanks to the hard work of our professors and students,” says History Department Chair Alan Tully, a scholar in early American political culture. “No other university is doing anything like this. We view it as a way to connect the acumen of our History Department faculty with the inquisitiveness of historically minded members of the general public.”

New Netherland Research Residencies


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The Quinn Library Research Residency consists of specialized research in Dutch-related documents and printed materials at the New York State Library. Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the special Cunningham Grant of $2,500.

The Quinn Archives Research Residency consists of up to one year in Albany, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives.

Researchers interested in the history of New Netherland and the Dutch Colonial Atlantic World are also encouraged to apply for the research residency, which carries a stipend of $2,500.

The Quinn Library Research Residency Award application must be postmarked by January 28,2011 and is due January 29,2011. The Archives Research Residency Award application is due January 15,2011. Each award is for $2,500 and the successful candidate has a year from the time the awards are announced to complete his/her research.

A panel of scholars and library staff will review proposals. The panel’s decisions will be announced by April 14, 2011.

More information and the application link can be found at http://www.nnp.org/nni/Research%20&%20Education/quinn.html

If you’d like to discuss the suitability of your research topic for one of these awards, contact cgehring@mail.nysed.gov or jvenema@mail.nysed.gov or mdshattuck@gmail.com

SUNY Cortland Historian William Sharp Retiring


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William Sharp, who served SUNY Cortland for 16 years as a senior administrator and teacher, will retire on Dec. 31, 2010. He has been designated professor emeritus of history.

Sharp joined the College in 1994 as a professor of history and provost and vice president for academic affairs. He was provost for seven years before returning to the classroom in the College’s History Department.

As provost, he oversaw all academic programs and faculty personnel matters. He played a key role as the College underwent its 10-year review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. During his term as second-in-command, he was instrumental in capturing a $1.75 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the project aimed at strengthening the School of Arts and Sciences programs. He shepherded through to approval many new and revised degree programs.

Prior to his employment at SUNY Cortland, Sharp was dean of Temple University’s Japan Campus in Tokyo, with its 2,250 students and 160 faculty members from 1988-94. He opened the campus and served as its first director from 1982-85. Between those two appointments, he directed Temple’s Institute for Languages and International Studies in Philadelphia and also served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Sharp became part of Temple’s History Department faculty in 1969, teaching courses in Latin American history and helped develop curricula in Latin American Studies, Black History, and Asian Studies. Sharp also directed the Honors Program for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Before joining Temple, he was a visiting associate professor of history at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and was an instructor of English as a Foreign Language at Centro Colombo/Americano in Bogota, Columbia.

A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Sharp earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from Stanford University and served two years in Colombia with the Peace Corps.

He received master’s and doctoral degrees in Latin American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While studying for a doctorate, he minored in American history and political science.

A past president of the Northeast Region National Collegiate Honors Council, he was chair of the American Association of Colleges and Universities in Japan for many years, often representing American universities in Japan’s educational, business and governmental circles. He was a past president of the Temple University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

A past member of Rotary International, Sharp served on the boards of Cortland Repertory Theater and the Cortland Country Club as vice president and, until recently, as chair of the Cortland/Tompkins County Habitat for Humanity.

He and his wife, Elizabeth Sharp, live in Cortland and plan to remain actively involved in the local community, where Liz served as president of the YWCA Board of Directors and on the board of the Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture. They have three grown children, Michael Sharp, Christopher Sharp and Heather Sharp; and four grand-children.