In light of loosened Covid-19 restrictions, UConn Professor of History Micki McElya wanted to understand the changing gendered significance of masking through the lens of Positive Psychology. In an article for The Boston Review “Just Wear Your Smile,” McElya explains that the gender politics of Positive Psychology (the idea that happiness is tied to individual behavior) and its glorification of the nuclear family and heterosexual monogamy. “Positive Psychology embraces a neoliberal logic that shifts the onus of unhappiness and inequality away from larger systems onto individual behavior,” McElya emphasizes. Read the full article in The Boston Review.
Professor McElya is currently at work on No More Miss America! How Protesting the 1968 Pageant Changed a Nation where she explores similar themes.
In a recent podcast episode from the American Historical Review series, “History in Focus,” UConn History Professor Alexis Dudden looks to soil of Okinawa, Japan as a site of memory, struggle, and persistence. Professor Dudden joins graphic artist Kim Inthavong to tell a visual story of the politics of ecology and military intervention. You can listen to the full episode on the American History Review website.
Stay tuned for more information about a September 27 event on Okinawa.
The July 8, 2022 tragic assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe sent shockwaves throughout the world. UConn History Professor Alexis Dudden reflected on the life and legacy of Shinzo Abe, whose tenure in office transformed the role of East Asia in international politics. In one of the first interviews about the impact of Shinzo Abe, Prof. Dudden reveals to journalist Isaac Chotiner that:
“It is the irony overlaying his career because, at its fundamental core, making Japan “beautiful” is quite anti-American. And yet, on the surface, he’s seen as the person who tried so hard to make Japan’s alliance promises to the United States stronger. But these are solely in security terms, and have led to greater insecurity in the region. The standoff with Korea, the increasingly frozen ties with China are a result of Abe’s determination to make Japan great again. And it therefore really comes down to: What is the meaning of “great” for Abe, and for the legacy of Abe? Because, again, most Japanese have come to have a different understanding.”
Below are several articles in which Prof. Dudden has continued to explain the influence of Shinzo Abe on history and diplomacy:
UConn Today has also highlighted the contributions that Prof. Dudden has made to news coverage on Shinzo Abe. For more on Shinzo Abe, Japanese politics, and national identity, please browse the work of Prof. Dudden throughout these news outlets.
Professor Manisha Sinha is a 2021 awardee of the James C. Pennington Award, which will be formerly bestowed upon her during the 2022 award ceremony, taking place on June 1, 2022. The James C. Pennington Award, awarded by Heidelberg University’s Heidelberg Center for American Studies and Faculty of Theology, remembers James Pennington, a formerly enslaved pastor from the United States who received an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University, the first known person of African descent to earn one from a European institution. Sinha, a scholar of abolition, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, receives this award alongside Dr. Carol Anderson, a historian of 20th century Black freedom struggles.
The award ceremony will be marked by a discussion with the two fellows on “The Unfinished Work of Reconstruction: The Long and Ongoing Civil Rights Struggle in the United States.” The ceremony will be live tweeted from the Heidelberg Center for American Studies account. More information is available on the Heidelberg University website. Congratulations!
On April 29, the History Department closed out the semester with a celebration of our graduate students. We congratulate you!
Hugh M. Hamill Graduate Fellowship in Latin American History
Daniela Itzel Domínguez Tavares
Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award
Harry J. Marks Fellowship
Bruce M. & Sondra Astor Stave Prize in Recent American History
Albert E. & Wilda E. Van Dusen Award
Thomas G. Paterson Graduate Fellowship in the History of U.S. Foreign Relations
Sandra Rux Award
On April 29, the History Department celebrated the outstanding achievements of our students. We congratulate you!
Undergraduate History Excellence Award
Tyler Joseph Sciortino
Maddalena and Joseph Perrella Scholarship Fund
Tyler Joseph Sciortino
Allen M. Ward Prize in Ancient History
Karl Z. Trybus Undergraduate Award for Exceptional Work in Modern European History
Luca Di Cicco
Roger N. Buckley Award
Heather A. Parker Excellence in Historical Writing Award
Connecticut Celebration 350th Scholarship
Sandra Rux Award
UConn Today featured double History and Political Science major Mehdi Namazi’22 in a recent issue. Feeling led toward activist work, Namazi found the blend of history and political science to serve his intellectual and professional interests. He has decided to pursue a career in advocacy or policy work and is open to wherever those paths may lead. , Namazi hopes that his passion for coffee shops will sustain him as he explores life post-graduation. Congratulations and we look forward to following your journey!
The full UConn Today profile reveals more about Mehdi Namazi’s UConn experiences–from extracurricular activities to advice for first-year students.
The University of Connecticut’s Office of Undergraduate Research celebrated Jason Chang, Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies, with the annual Mentorship Excellence Award. This award, based on undergraduate student nominations and a selection committee, recognizes the faculty who go above and beyond to support and encourage students in their academic journeys. According to Karen Lau’ 25, Professor Jason Chang inspired them to be “unafraid of the unknown, to dig deeper to learn about my home state’s impact on Asian Americans, and to be bolder in my advocacy in my education reform.” For a professor as committed and compassionate as Jason Chang, this award is well-deserved. We look forward to the continued work that you will do to show students the power of advocacy, representation, and visibility. Congratulations!
Professor Chang received this award alongside Sarah Knutie, Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Mia Kawaida, a Ph.D. student in Animal Science. Please read the full article that details the tremendous impact of these three educators.
On April 7, 2022, the Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the 180 recipients of the Guggenheim Fellowship. Established in 1925, the Foundation intends to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions.” The Foundation honored UConn History Professor Manisha Sinha, the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History, as one the scholars whose work exemplifies this promise. We celebrate this momentous accomplishment! She is the fifth UConn History faculty member to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship, following Richard D. Brown in 1998, Frank Costigliola in 1995, Thomas G. Paterson in 1991, and Karen Spalding in 1988.
Professor Manisha Sinha is an expert on the history of slavery, abolition, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. She is currently working on a book on the “Greater Reconstruction” of U.S. democracy after the Civil War, a follow up to her previous award-winning works on slavery in South Carolina and the history of abolition.
We encourage you to read the full press release and list of new Fellows, which spans across 51 academic and artistic disciplines and 81 institutions. UConn Today profiles Professor Sinha, her research, and this fellowship in their latest issue.
Connecticut State Historian and UConn History Professor Walter Woodward announced his retirement last fall. As 1 of only 5 CT state historians, Woodward has contributed to a new history of how educators and students imagine, remember, and study the stories of the past. In a UConn Today article written by writer Kimberly Phillips, Woodward reflects on the immersion, creativity, and dedication that characterize the work of the State Historian. He describes his mission to “connect the people of Connecticut with the fascinating and fabulous history of this state in ways that don’t come naturally in our educational system.” He achieved this mission through podcasting, outreach initiatives, K-12 engagement–activities grounded in communication, collaboration, and commitment.
Woodward’s interview, titled “State Historian Walter Woodward Considers the Past as He Looks to the Future,” is insightful, enriching, and illuminating read.