On November 29, Professor Manisha Sinha contributed another excellent historical analysis to the New York Times’ Opinion section. Titled “Donald Trump, Meet Your Precursor,” Professor Sinha compares the racism and “impeachment-worthy subterfuge” of Presidents Donald Trump and Andrew Johnson. Sinha writes, “Historical parallelism rarely works in a simplistic manner. But it does work when historians discern broad similarities and patterns that link our present moment to the past. Many fallible men have inhabited the office of the presidency. Only a handful have been so oblivious to the oath they took that they have met the constitutional standard for impeachment.”
To read more, click here.
On November 19, members of the History Department joined the broader UConn community to further the discussion of how to improve the University’s support of racial justice. The Dialogue on Race and Community – a two hour gathering that included a moderated dialogue, the sharing of personal stories, and small group discussions – hoped “that such listening can lead to understanding, and from understanding can come actions that make UConn a more just, equitable, and inclusive community.”
The event was hosted by Glenn Mitoma, Neag/Director of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and co-moderated by Dominique Battle-Lawson, Neag, and Brendan Kane/History, Director of the Dodd Center’s Democracy and Dialogues Initiative. For more information about the event, click here. A statement from Director Mitoma can be found here.
On Friday, November 8 at the UConn School of Law, a panel discussion will take place to honor and celebrate the career of Professor R. Kent Newmyer. The celebration will include a panel discussion with Prof. Mary Bilder from Boston College Law School and Prof. Jed Shugerman from Fordham Law School. The theme will be “Story’s Children: The Rule of Law in an Age of Political Disruption – From Jacksonian to America to Our Times”. The event will take place from 11-12:30 pm in the Reading Room of Starr Hall.
Newmyer has been a Professor of Law and History at the UConn School of Law since 1997 where he taught a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses in American history, specializing in the political, constitutional and legal history of the early national period. Prior to teaching at the law school, he taught American History at UConn from 1960-1977. He has received two awards for teaching and in 1988 was named a Distinguished Alumni Professor for excellence in teaching and scholarship, the highest faculty honor bestowed by the University.
As an author, Professor Newmyer is best known for Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story: Statesman of the Old Republic (1985) and John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court (2001). A second edition of his short volume on The Supreme Court Under Marshall and Taney was published in 2006. Professor Newmyer’s books have been reviewed in various history journals and law reviews, as well as in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Republic. He has appeared on C-Span’s “Booknotes,” and most recently was a commentator in a National Public Television documentary (produced by Channel 13 in New York City) on the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Newmyer’s latest book is The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr: Law, Politics and the Character Wars of the New Nation (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His article on the Burr trial appears in the May/June 2013 issue of Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Professor Alexis Dudden, Professor of Modern Japan, Korea, and International History, recently published an op-ed in The Guardian. Titled “Japan’s rising sun has a history of horror. It must be banned at the Tokyo Olympics,” Dudden argues that the Japanese rising sun flag takes part in a “collective effort to cleanse the history of imperial Japan’s aggression” during WW2 and thus also causes “intentional harm” to those who suffered under Japanese rule. Dudden highlights South Korea as a specific example and writes that it is “unsurprising that the South Korean government is first to raise objections to the flag” being waved at the 2020 Olympics.
Associate Professor Fiona Vernal recently was interviewed by the Time to Eat Dogs podcast in an episode titled “The City Built by Travel.” Following the creation of her exhibit, “From Human Rights to Civil Rights: African American, Puerto Rican, and West Indian Housing Struggles in Hartford County Connecticut, 1940-2019″ at the Hartford Public Library, Prof. Vernal discusses the various travel experiences of Hartford’s communities.
On October 31, Associate Professor and Department Head Mark Healey was interviewed by Historias, the official podcast for the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS). Listed as Episode 64 and titled “Mark Healey and Ernesto Semán on Argentina’s presidential election,” the participants discussed the evolution of Argentina political culture and the emergence of today’s radicalized center-right political movement. To listen, click here.
On Friday, October, 18, large demonstrations erupted across Chile after a fare increase occurred in the capital of Santiago – resulting in the largest popular demonstration in the country’s history. In UConn Today, Mark Healey, Associate Professor and head of the History Department, provided a Q&A that historicizes the protests and situates the unrest within a wider frame of the South American region. According to Healey, “[i]t’s important to understand that present-day democratic Chile remains the child of the dictatorship that ended in 1990″ and that, throughout the region, “[t]here are lots of worrisome echoes of the past right now, most obviously the images of presidents standing in front of generals that have become ubiquitous in the last few weeks.”
To read the article, please click here.
UConn History Associate Professors Fiona Vernal and Walter Woodward, and graduate Student Megan Fountain, are among the recipients of the UNH-Mellon seed grant. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Center for the Humanities’ annual Summer Institute is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to “train humanists to work in the public realm and embrace community engagement”. Winners of the 2019 seed grants include 14 graduate students and faculty members ranging from across New England.
Below are the listed projects of the UConn recipients:
Fiona Vernal, UConn Associate Professor of History
“A Caribbean Museum”
Community-based archival collecting to lead to an oral history initiative including one-week traveling pop-up exhibits, a migration exhibit to launch the Caribbean Museum, and salons (panel discussions) about public housing, mobility, and migration
Community Partners: Connecticut Humanities Council (CHC), The Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library, The West Indian Social Club (WISC), and El Instituto: The Institute of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American Studies (ELIN) at UConn, Hartford Public Schools, CREC (Capital Region Education Council)
Walter Woodward, UConn Associate Professor of History and Connecticut State Historian
“Doing Public Humanities: An Audio Field Guide”
A multi-episode web-based podcast as an audio roadmap into how to practice engaged public humanities
Community Partners: case history participants (faculty doing public humanities)
Megan Fountain, UConn graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Latino and Latin American Studies
“The Guatemala-Connecticut Community History Project”
Documenting and archiving oral histories of Guatemalan immigrants and their families in Guatemala
Community Partners: A committee of Guatemalan immigrants and community activists including Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA), a grassroots organization; a team of public historians and New Haven Public Schools teachers; Columbia Center for Oral History Research; and Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change.
Jeffrey O.G. Ogbar, UConn Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music, was recently interviewed by “In Vivo” podcast, which shares the fascinating stories of researchers at UConn. In the process of drawing attention to how UConn is a “pioneer of research and innovation,” In Vivo discussed with Professor Ogbar how his work furthers our understanding of black nationalism, social justice, and the sociopolitical evolution of hip hop. Additionally, the episodes features a discussion of Ogbar’s next book that is a history of the rise of political power in Atlanta (from the Antebellum period to the present).
Assistant Professor Ricardo Salazar-Rey of the UConn-Stamford campus recently shared his experience participating in the Folger Institute‘s selective yearlong colloquium on “Finance, Race, and Gender in the Early Modern Atlantic World”. Calling the colloquium a “triumph,” Professor Salazar-Rey had the opportunity throughout the year to participate in “robust and informative” discussions and enhance his research, particularly by deepening his awareness of the special role and agency of Afroiberian women in the the Caribbean world.
To partake in this opportunity, Professor Salazar-Rey received funding from the Folger Institute and a travel award from the UConn Early Modern Studies Working Group. Salazar-Rey also notes the support he received from the UConn community, specifically his “eagle-eyed mentor” Mark Healey and Professor Brendan Kane. To read more about his experience, please click here.