Hartford Lecture Series brings local organizations and their histories to light. UCONN’s Fiona Vernal, Director, Engaged, Public, Oral and Community Histories (EPOCH), convened the series in collaboration with CT State Community College, the Hartford Heritage project, and series founder Bill Hosley. Vernal will deliver her lecture (in person and live stream) on Hartford’s ethnic heritage on October 5th at 5:45 p.m. at CT’s Old State House.
For streaming information, please see the attached poster.
Prof. Micki McElya provides meaningful commentary and historical context on the removal of and plans for the Arlington Memorial’s Confederate statue in the Washington Post article, “Youngkin directs VMI to accept controversial Confederate statue.” The piece, written by Joe Hein and Ian Shapiro, discusses Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s request for the Virginia Military Institute to accept responsibility for the placement at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.
McElya’s book, The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Ceremony (a Pulitzer Prize finalist) highlights the role of Arlington Cemetery as the most influential site of politicized national identity formation in the United States. Her scholarly work provides important context for understanding the removal and the continued education necessary to clarify, as McElya noted, “the toxic misrepresentations of slavery, the Confederacy, and the Civil War the monument represents.”
Prof. Alexis Dudden was featured in last week’s top picks for imperial and global history by the University of Exeter, as part of a larger project on “Mapping China’s Strategic Space,” for her piece, “Mental Maps, Territorial Imaging, and Strategy: Thinking about the Japanese Empire,” which analyzes how Japanese leaders used mental maps and territorial imagining as global communication to reinforce existing territories and later, expand their empire.
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History, Frank Costigliola‘s biography Kennan: A Life between Worlds, offers a new picture of historian and diplomat George Kennan, whose foreign policy of containment of the Soviet Union fueled the Cold War but who later would spend the next fifty years trying to end it.
He recently appeared on Faculti to discuss his work and Kennan, find the interview here.
Professor Nu-Anh Tran’s recent book, Disunion: Anticommunist Nationalism and the Making of the Republic of Vietnam, examines factionalism among anticommunists and the political culture of authoritarianism and democracy during the presidency of Ngô Đình Diệm in the Republic of Vietnam. The RVN has typically been portrayed as a French creation and later the United States “puppet,” but Tran demonstrates that distinct anti-French resistance in South Vietnam made it a heir to a revolutionary tradition, but was ultimately plagued with disunity and authoritarianism for much of its brief existence.
Professor Nu-Anh Tran spoke about her book on the New Books Network Podcast, “New Books in Southeast Asian Studies.”
Her book earned an Honorable Mention for the Sharon Harris Book Award.
Prof. Melanie Newport won the Sharon Harris Book Award for, This Is My Jail: Local Politics and the Rise of Mass Incarceration, an analysis of Chicago and Cook County jails in the late 20th century that served as models around the nation for criminal justice reform. The Sharon Harris Book Award “recognizes scholarly depth and intellectual acuity and highlights the importance of humanities scholarship.”
The University of Pennsylvania Press called This Is My Jail, a “sweeping history of urban incarceration,” that centers jails as “critical sites of urban inequality that sustain the racist actions of the police and judges and exacerbate the harms wrought by housing discrimination, segregated schools, and inaccessible health care.”
Prof. Newport talked about her book on the recent podcast, “This Is My Jail: A Conversation with Melanie D. Newport.”
A huge congratulations to Prof. Dexter Gabriel on the release of his new book, Jubilee’s Experiment: The British West Indies and American Abolitionism, which examines how the emancipated British Caribbean colonies entered into the debates over abolitionism and African American citizenship from the 1830s through the 1860s to argue that the success of the formerly enslaved in the West Indies served as a focal point for North American struggles against slavery.
Prof. Gabriel also appeared on the Why We Argue podcast for a discussion on, “Seeing Truth in the Speculative,” where he discusses his relationship to truth and memory in both his fiction and non-fiction writing,
The UConn Avery Point Campus will host a special screening of the film, Nuchi nu Miji – Okinawa’s Water of Life at the Avery Point Campus in the auditorium on March 21st from 3-6 pm, organized by UConn History Prof. and Maritime Studies Affiliate Faculty member, Alexis Dudden. The film portrays Okinawans’ struggle for justice in one of the worst environmental catastrophes in modern Japanese history, where since 2016 nearly one-third of the population’s drinking water has been contaminated with military PFAS “Forever Chemicals.” It features interviews, archive footage and documents obtained via the US Freedom of Information Act, to uncover the truth of what has been happening in Okinawa, and the struggle of residents who feel ignored by both Tokyo and Washington.
Both of the filmmakers, Shimabukuro Natsuko and Jon Mitchell, will also be present to meet.
- Shimabukuro Natsuko is a director with Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. Her documentaries about Okinawan history, politics, and environmental problems have won Japan’s top TV prizes, including the prestigious Galaxy Award. She is a member of Waseda University’s Institute for the Next Generation of Journalism and Media.
- Jon Mitchell is a correspondent with Okinawa Times and the author of four books about Okinawa’s environment, including Poisoning the Pacific (Rowman & Littlefield), a winner in the 2021 US Society of Environmental Journalists’ book awards. He is a visiting researcher at Meiji Gakuin University’s International Peace Research Institute, Tokyo.
Prof. Dudden’s research includes work on modern Japan, modern Korea, and international history and she is currently writing a book, The Opening and Closing of Japan, 1850-2020, about Japan’s territorial disputes and the changing meaning of islands in international law.
Find more information about the event here.
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.
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.