On January 27th, Inside Higher Ed helped recognize the first year of Contingent Magazine, an online history publication written and edited by trained historians for the public, by publishing an article titled “1 Year Down“. The feature highlights the inspiration behind the creation of Contingent Magazine, the experience of its first year, and where the magazine is heading. As described by Inside Higher Ed, “Contingent Magazine had a lot of doubters when it debuted 12 months ago. But it’s still going strong and earning a reputation as a place where historians can engage the public with the ideas that have always interested them.”
The detailed feature includes interviews with UConn History Ph.D. Erin Bartram and Ph.D. Candidate Marc Reyes. Bartram serves as Contingent‘s co-founder and Reyes an editor. According to Bartram, an “advocate for the field she loves,” but not the larger structural problems, she asked herself in 2018: “‘What can I do? I can start a magazine with my friends and edit and pay scholars for their work… I don’t necessarily think it will change things structurally, but it matters to the people who get $250 per piece.”
According to Reyes, he is most “proud of the types and topics of the articles we have run so far, including features, photo essays, and a cartoon. Most recently, in parallel with the 2019 release Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Contingent released Star Wars-inspired features, “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Batuu” and “Sacred Objects,” which investigates how the medieval era inspired the Star Wars universe. In December, during the release of the Star Wars features, the website received 23,000 views. Funded entirely by its loyal readers through small donations, Contingent continually has provided enticing, intellectually provocative features and “postcards” from conferences.
To read more about Contingent Magazine and its successful first year, please click here.
Matthew McKenzie, Professor of History at UConn-Avery Point, recently presented as a speaker in the World Fish Migration Day Lecture Series (sponsored by The Wildlands Trust) in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Professor McKenzie’s talk was titled “Old Friends in a New World: Early English Settlers’ Annual Calendars of New England Fish Arrivals.” Although World Fish Migration Day is not until May 16th, there is no question that Professor McKenzie’s lecture and research helped kick off the celebrations!
A video recording of his lecture can be found here.
On January 22, Draper Chair and Professor Manisha Sinha was interviewed by Democracy Now! to discuss the similarities between President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate and historical similarities to President Andrew Johnson. An 18 minute recording of the interview can be found here with the title of “‘Andrew Johnson Was A Lot Like Trump’: Echoes of 1868 in Trump’s Impeachment Trial”.
Contingent Magazine recently featured Nick Hurley, UConn History B.A. ’13 and M.A. ’15, in his fascinating role as Curator at the New England Air Museum. As part of the magazine’s series on how trained historians “do history,” Nick shared what a “typical day” is like for him (hint: it varies greatly and can include inspecting donated aircraft) and shared how his family’s German origins sparked his interest in history.
Nick also shares how his historical training in Wood Hall and at the UConn Archives & Special Collections helped prepare him for this role. He says: “I knew very little about aircraft and aviation history before starting this job. What I did have, however, was a firm grasp on the fundamentals of historical research thanks to my work in graduate school, as well as an understanding of collections management, access, and care thanks to my time with UConn Archives & Special Collections. Put simply, I knew how to read, write, and speak effectively, and I could draw on my own experiences from both sides of the reference desk to help figure out what visitors (to both our research library and the museum itself) expected and wanted to see.”
On December 25, 2019, Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) featured an interview with American Girls Podcast hosts (and UConn PhDs) Mary Mahoney and Allison Horrocks. The feature, titled “How The American Girl Dolls Inspired a Cult Podcast,” shares the history behind the podcast, the creation of the American Girl empire, and the large impact that the podcast is having on its loyal listeners. To read, or listen, to the feature, click here.
Four of the twenty-three students named to UConn’s 2020 University Scholars are History majors or working closely with History faculty. Congratulations are in order for Jenifer Gaitan, Shankara Narayanan, Alexander Mika, and Shanelle Jones! Wood Hall would like to thank Professors Sara Silverstein, Joel Blatt, Frank Costigliola, and Alexis Dudden (among others) for their dedication to assisting and mentoring these students. See below for details of each student:
Major:History Project Title:Voces: First-Generation Latinx Students Discuss Their Support Networks Committee:Laura Bunyan, Sociology (Chair); Ingrid Semaan, Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Joel Blatt, History
Major:Political Science and Human Rights Project Title:Untold Stories of the African Diaspora: The Lived Experiences of Black Caribbean Immigrants in the U.S. Committee:Charles Venator-Santiago, Political Science (Chair); Virginia Hettinger, Political Science; and Sara Silverstein, History and Human Rights
Major:English Project Title:An Exploration of Nationalism and Jingoism through Drama Committee:Ellen Litman, English (Chair); Evelyn Tribble, English; and Frank Costigliola, History
Major:Political Science and History Project Title: The Logic of Rising-Power Strategy: China, Imperial Japan, Imperial Germany, and the United States Committee:Alexis Dudden, History; Alexander Anievas, Political Science; and Frank Costigliola, History
Ph.D. student Philip Godutihas been named the Connecticut Outstanding Teacher of American History for 2020 by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The award is given to a teacher that demonstrates excellence in: readily sharing an incisive knowledge of American History, being committed to their students, fostering a spirit of patriotism and loyal support of our country, relating history to modern life and events, and requiring high academic standards at all times from their students.
Phil has gone beyond the call of teaching duty to demonstrate these attributes in the classroom and inspire his students at Somers High School. Phil will be competing for the national DAR award this spring. Good luck!