Brendan Kane a professor in the Departments of History and of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, is also the Director of the Democracy and Dialogues initiative (DDI) at the Dodd Center for Human Rights. In 2017 he pioneered the Encounters dialogue series that created a model for community dialogues across Connecticut. A recent National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant and the Connecticut Humanities Council enabled Kane to expand his previous work into a new conversation series, “Dialogues for Common Ground: American Identity and Connecticut’s Civic Reconstruction.” which allows community members to work through primary source documents in small groups, discuss later in a larger group, and then finish with an expert Q&A.
Read more about this program in “Dodd Impact Team Seeks ‘A More Perfect Union’ Through Community Conversation” a recent article by UConn Today.
UConn History Alum Kate Aguilar, now an Assistant Professor in History at Gustavus Adolphus College, contributed a thought-provoking piece to the Washington Post about race and football ahead of the first contest between two Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl, “It took until 2023 for two Black QBs to start in a Super Bowl. Here’s why.” The article explores how narratives about Black people during slavery “being athletically superior but intellectually inferior” have impacted where white owners and white coaches have allowed Black players to participate on the football field. Her hope is that the attention to this historic moment will draw attention to the barriers placed on Black athletes historically and in the present, which will “help fans better understand how slavery — and the noxious, racist ideas that came with it — still affect how we see race, sports and leadership in the 21st century.”
Kate Aguilar’s research focuses on the intersection of Black student activism and the Black athlete at the University of Miami (Fla.)
Prof. Manisha Sinha, the James L. James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History, and a leading scholar on the history of slavery and abolition, will be participating in a program through the National Constitution Center on “Liberty and Slavery at America’s Founding.” The program will take place Tuesday, February 28th, and will run from at 7pm ET.
Prof. Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition will join historians Harold Holzer, author of several books on President Abraham Lincoln, including Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America and Edward Larson for a discussion on Larson’s recent book American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation, 1765-1795. They will explore the paradox of liberty and slavery between Revolutionary America through the Civil War.
The National Constitution Center is hosting this free event and online registration is open.