In 1997, New York’s legislature added Section 57.02 to the state’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Law and 1) designated November as New York State History Month, 2) defined the purpose of the month as the celebration of state history and the recognition of the contributions of state and local historians, and 3) authorized the Education Department to undertake projects to recognize the month (while the legislation failed to identify any specific projects, it did suggest student essay contests as one possibility). Continue reading
The organizers of Researching New York 2013 invite proposals for presentations on any aspect of New York State history from any time period and from any perspective. The conference will take place on November 14 and 15 on the University at Albany campus, Albany, New York.
This annual conference brings together historians, archivists, public historians, graduate students, teachers, documentarians, and multimedia producers, to share their work on New York State history. Especially encouraged are submissions that reflect on the long and complicated history of religion in New York, including the intersections of religion and church history with the secular, civic, and public life of its citizens. Continue reading
The film is presented as part of the Museum’s exhibit An Irrepressible Conflict: The Empire State in the Civil War, a 7,000-square foot exhibition commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War (on display through September 22). The free screening will be followed by a panel discussion with cast and crew. Continue reading
The University at Albany’s Public History Program will be hosting “History Lives!”, a conference celebrating 30 years of the University at Albany’s Public History Program on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the New York State Museum from 9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
This one day conference / celebration will commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Public History Program with networking and a wide variety of session presentations by the program’s outstanding alumni. Continue reading
There are serious issues which need to be addressed and few if any forums for discussion. It is astonishing how many people in the history community are not aware of the Path through History project or who have already given up on it on being anything credible – “an elegant show,” “the fix is in,” “I never heard of it.” In this post, I would like to share some things which are being done and suggest some things which should be done. Continue reading
Governor Cuomo has announced the appointments of Marie Howe to serve as the 10th New York State Poet and Alison Lurie as the 10th New York State Author. Howe and Lurie will serve from 2012 to 2014.
“Marie and Alison represent the rich talent and diversity that New York has to offer,” Governor Cuomo said. “Both of them have inspired New Yorkers all across the state, and their works are major assets to us all. They are truly deserving of this honor, and hopefully their great work will now reach a new and even wider audience.”
Donald Faulkner, Director of the NYS Writers Institute, and ex-officio chair of the review committee for the Walt Whitman Award for State Poet of New York, said, “Seldom have I encountered a poet with such a sense of honesty, intimacy, and candor in her work. Marie Howe writes with refreshing openness about love, loss, and redemption. Hers is a voice that will continue to grow in its magic and sheer bravery.”
William Kennedy, Executive Director of the NYS Writers Institute, and ex-officio chair of the review committee for the Edith Wharton Award for State Author of the State of New York, said, “Alison Lurie is a wise and masterful teller of tales that often center on marital strife, domestic disorder, and academic absurdity–comedies of manners of our time but with a deeply human strain. She is a superior prose stylist with a wickedly satirical talent.”
About Marie Howe, New York’s 10th State Poet:
Marie Howe succeeds Jean Valentine as NYS Poet and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Billy Collins, John Ashbery, Sharon Olds, Jane Cooper, Richard Howard, Audre Lorde, Robert Creeley, and Stanley Kunitz.
Marie Howe said, “I’m honored, surprised, and delighted by this news. New York State has been my life long home: the rivers, the ocean, the maples, the old dismantled elms … I’ve grown up in love with the voices that have been singing from this land: the gorgeous din: the poets who have spoken and the poets to come.”
Marie Howe is the author of three books of poetry and is co-editor of a highly-praised anthology of writing on AIDS. Her poetry is widely admired for seeking answers to metaphysical questions in ordinary day-to-day experience. In Howe’s work, little incidents and inconsequential memories help to shed light on the nature of the soul and self, life and death, love and pain, sin and virtue.
Howe’s first collection, The Good Thief (1988) was selected by Margaret Atwood for the National Poetry Series. In making her selection Atwood described the poems in the volume as “intensely felt, sparely expressed, and difficult to forget; poems of obsession that transcend their own dark roots.” Howe’s second book, What the Living Do (1997), is an elegy to her brother who died of AIDS. Publishers Weekly named it one of the five best poetry collections of 1997. Howe’s third collection, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (2008) was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
In 1994 Howe published an anthology (coedited with Michael Klein) In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic, which presents a wide range of voices speaking out on the impact of the disease.
Born in Rochester, Howe worked as a reporter for a Rochester newspaper and taught high school English before taking up poetry as a serious pursuit at the age of thirty. She is a member of the writing faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the recipient of the Lavan Younger Poets Prize of the American Academy of Poets as selected by poet Stanley Kunitz in 1988, and National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships.
Of her work, Stanley Kunitz, the first named State Poet of the State of New York, wrote, “Marie Howe’s poetry is luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch with the sacred.”
The advisory panel that recommended Howe as state poet included poets Sydney Lea (Poet Laureate of the state of Vermont), poet Mark Doty, former state poet Jean Valentine, and poet and Writers Institute Director, Donald Faulkner.
For more information on Marie Howe, visit www.mariehowe.com
About Alison Lurie, New York’s 10th State Author:
Alison Lurie succeeds Mary Gordon as NYS Author and joins a group of eminent authors who have served in the position, including Russell Banks, Kurt Vonnegut, James Salter, Peter Matthiessen, William Gaddis, Norman Mailer, E. L. Doctorow, and Grace Paley.
Alison Lurie said, “I am delighted and honored by this award from the state where I have spent most of my life, a state that has been the home of so many great writers as well as enthusiastic and dedicated readers.”
Alison Lurie is the author of ten novels, a short story collection, and several children’s books and works on nonfiction. She is widely regarded as the Jane Austen of contemporary American letters for her nuanced understanding and lifelike portrayal of social customs and the relationship between the sexes. Lurie’s witty and satirical novels examine middle class life, particularly of characters from an academic milieu in small college towns. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt declared in the New York Times that Lurie “has quietly but surely established herself as one of this country’s most able and witty novelists.”
Lurie is best known for her novels The War Between the Tates (1974), which was hailed as a classic of its time and place, and Foreign Affairs (1984), which received the Pulitzer Prize. Her other acclaimed novels include Love and Friendship (1962), Real People (1969), The Last Resort (1998) and Truth and Consequences (2005).
A champion of children’s literature, Lurie has also written both children’s books and scholarly nonfiction works examining the importance of children’s literature to global literacy and culture.
Lurie grew up in White Plains, NY and graduated from Radcliffe College. She taught at Cornell University from 1968 until her retirement as the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of American Literature in 1998.
The advisory panel that recommended Lurie as state author included the present laureate, novelist Mary Gordon, novelists Dave Eggers and Lorrie Moore, and novelist and Executive Director of the New York State Writers Institute, William Kennedy.
For more information on Alison Lurie, visit www.alisonlurie.com.
About the State Poet and Author:
The State Poet and Author are selected for two-year terms by the NYS Writers Institute, located at the University at Albany, SUNY. The choice for State Author and Poet is based on a substantial body of work of notable literary merit.
The NYS Writers Institute of the State University of New York, located at the University at Albany, was established as a permanent state-sponsored organization through legislation signed into law in 1984. The Writers Institute provides a milieu for writers, both renowned and aspiring, from all over the world to come together for the purpose of instruction and creative exchange.
In 1985 the governor and state legislature empowered the Institute to award the Edith Wharton Citation of Merit for Fiction Writers (State Author) and the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit for Poets (State Poet) to authors whose career achievements make them deserving of New York State’s highest literary honors.
Upon the recommendation of two advisory panels of distinguished writers convened under the aegis of the Institute, the governor awards the citations every two years to one fiction writer and one poet of distinction. Throughout their two-year terms the state laureates promote and encourage fiction writing and poetry throughout New York by giving public readings and talks within the state. The State Author and Poet are not paid, and there is no cost to the state for the designation.
NYS Poets and their terms of service are listed below.
- Jean Valentine, 2008-2010
- Billy Collins, 2004-2006
- John Ashbery, 2001-2003
- Sharon Olds, 1998-2000
- Jane Cooper, 1995-1997
- Richard Howard, 1993-1995
- Audre Lorde, 1991-1993
- Robert Creeley, 1989-1991
- Stanley Kunitz, 1986-1988
NYS Authors and their terms of service are listed below.
- Mary Gordon, 2008-2010
- Russell Banks, 2004-2008
- Kurt Vonnegut, 2001-2003
- James Salter, 1998-2000
- Peter Matthiessen, 1995-1997
- William Gaddis, 1993-1995
- Norman Mailer, 1991-1993
- E. L. Doctorow, 1989-1991
- Grace Paley, 1986-1988
More information on the NYS Poet and Author and the NYS Writers Institute can be found at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/
Photos: Alison Lurie (left) and Marie Howe.
Good things are happening in the world of New York history. Maybe not as many as we would like, but at least some signs of change are in the air. In this post, I would like to mention three events at the state, regional, and local level all in the Capital District that represent positive actions on the New York history front. Continue reading
Any visitor to Albany has to consider the unique architecture styles that define the city. New York History had the recent opportunity to talk with Andrew Alberti, the program manager for Lakes to Locks Passage, about Albany’s architecture. Alberti studied the history of Albany’s architecture when he was a Masters student at the University at Albany’s public history program. Continue reading
The organizers of the 14th annual Researching New York Conference invite proposals for panels, papers, workshops, roundtables, exhibits, and documentary and multimedia presentations on any aspect of New York State history -in any time period and from any perspective. Researching New York brings together historians, archivists, museum curators, graduate students, teachers, documentarians, and multimedia producers, to share their work on New York State history. Presentations that highlight the vast resources available to researchers, as well as scholarship drawn from those resources, are encouraged. This year’s conference will be held November 17th & 18th, 2011 at the State University of NY at Albany.
Anniversaries are a means to recall, celebrate, or commemorate significant milestones in history. Often forgotten is what came next. Examining the aftermath of momentous events in both the short and long-term enlarges historical understanding, whether viewed from a political, cultural, social, legislative, or other perspective. 2011 marks a number of anniversaries: 9/11, the Attica Prison Uprising, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, and the beginning of the Civil War, among others. For Researching New York 2011 we encourage submissions that not only explore how we remember, commemorate, and create meaning from these and other notable events in New York State history, but that also consider what came next.
Proposals are due by July 1, 2011. Complete panels, workshops, media presentations, or sessions are preferred; they will consider partial panels and individual submissions. For complete sessions please submit a one-page abstract of the session, a one page abstract for individual presentations, and a one-page curriculum vita for each participant. For individual submissions, include a one-page abstract and one-page vita. Submissions must include name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Please submit electronically to email@example.com. All proposals must detail any
anticipated audiovisual needs or time constraints. All conference participants are expected to register for the conference.
They also seek commentators for panels. If you would like to comment on a panel, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating your area of expertise, along with a one-page vita.
For additional details and future conference updates, visit the Researching New York website.
Researching New York is sponsored by the University at Albany History Department and History Graduate Student Organization and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust.
The 1776-1777 Northern Campaigns of the American War for Independence and Their Sequel: Contemporary Maps of Mainly German Origin by Thomas M. Barker and Paul R. Huey is the first, full-scale, presentation in atlas form of the two, abortive British-German invasions of New York – events crucial to understanding the rebel American victory in the War for Independence. The book includes 240 pages with 32 full-color illustrations.
The bulk of the maps are from the German archives. The material has previously been little used by researchers in the United States due to linguistic and handwriting barriers. The volume includes transcriptions, translations, and detailed textual analysis of the naval and land operations of 1776 and 1777. It is written from a novel military-historical perspective, namely, British, German, loyalist, French Canadian, and First American.
The attack of Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery on Québec City, the colonial assailants’ repulse and withdrawal to the Province of New York and the Hudson River corridor, prior actions in the adjacent St. Lawrence-Richelieu river region of Canada, the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain, the forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and the Battles of Bennington and Saratoga all receive detailed attention. The last section of the atlas deals with the less known, final phase of combat, in which the Britons, Germans, refugee tories, Québec militia, and Amerindians kept the insurgents off balance by mounting numerous small-scale expeditions into New York.
The significance of the publication is highlighted by Russell Bellico, author of Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime History of Lake George and Lake Champlain. He writes that Barker’s and Huey’s tome is “a superb work of scholarship based on exhaustive research on both sides of the Atlantic.” J. Winthrop Aldrich, New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation, states that the maps “are of significant help now as we continue to build our understanding of what happened in our war for independence, and why. This rediscovered treasure and the illuminating commentary and notes superbly advance that understanding.”
Dr. Thomas M. Barker is emeritus professor of history, University of Albany, State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of numerous books about European military history, especially the Habsburg monarchy, Spain, World War II as well as ethnic minority issues. Dr. Paul R. Huey is a well-known New York State historical archeologist and also has many publications to his credit. He is particularly knowledgeable about the locations of old forts, battlefields, colonial and nineteenth-century buildings, and/or their buried vestiges. He works at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation Bureau of Historic Sites office on Peebles Island in Waterford, New York. The book is co-published with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
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