Professor Sinha’s New Article in The New York Review of Books

Professor Manisha Sinha, History Department, University of ConnecticutProfessor Manisha Sinha contributed a new article, titled “The New Fugitive Slave Laws,” to The New York Review of Books. Drawing eye-opening parallels between the humanitarian assistance towards today’s crises, such as migrants arriving in Italy and Dreamers in the US, Today, and the assistance provided to slaves during the antebellum era, Sinha provides a timely argument that states “in criminalizing the provision of humanitarian assistance to migrants we have resurrected the fugitive slave laws of antebellum America.”

Professor McElya Contributes to Boston Review

Micki McElya, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, and in relation to the Democratic contest for presidential candidacy, Professor Micki McElya provides her assessment of whether democratic candidate and South End Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, is the inheritor of Stonewall’s legacy. Published in the Boston Review and titled “Is Pete Buttigieg the Face of Stonewall?,” McElya argues that “Buttigeig’s Stonewall is not that of the fed-up liberationists in the bar and on Christopher Street, but rather of Mattachine leaders’ sanguine next-day appeal to ‘rioters’ to be peaceful and decorous.”

To read more of McElya’s comparison, click here.

UConn Today Highlights Veterans History Project

On May 23, 2019, UConn Today highlighted the important work being done by UConn’s Veterans History Project in an article titled “Preserving Veteran Stores for Future Generations.” Serving as an extension of the Library of Congress’ national initiative, UConn students are assisting in the collection, preservation, and dissemination of U.S. veterans’ personal accounts.

As discussed in the article, the project utilizes a multitude of UConn resources. In addition to being initiated by Veterans Affairs and Military Programs director Alyssa Kelleher ’04 (CLAS), ’17 MS, the project also engages with undergraduate students and professors, such as Fiona Vernal who is an Associate Professor of History and African Studies.

Prof. Kane Recovers Meaning of Text through Early Modern Irish

Brendan Kane, Associate Professor of History and Associate Director of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut

Professor Brendan Kane, specializing in early modern Britain and Ireland, details the recent recovery of an Irish source on The National Archives’ blog. Along with UConn Greenhouse Studios’  and , Professor Kane translated the text of an early seventeenth-century land dispute from the Irish midlands. The text was shared via twitter by the The National Archives’ archivists and came to the attention of Professor Kane and the Greenhouse Studios due to their in-depth involvement with Léamh.org.

To read more about the discovery process as well as the analysis of the document, follow this link.

Professor Peter Zarrow Contributes to History News Network

Peter Zarrow, Professor of History at the University of Connecticut

Professor Peter Zarrow, who specializes in Modern China, contributed an article to the George Washington University’s History News Network titled “How Chinese History Restarted 100 Years Ago.” Centered on the May Fourth movement, Zarrow argues that the movement inspired political action, particularly among the youth, and “revived Chinese politics, which had been left moribund in the wake of the 1911 Revolution.” To read the article, and learn of how “the Tiananmen Square democracy movement” is remembered today, please click here.


The Department also would like to note that Professor Zarrow is serving as a Visiting Professor at L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (School for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences) from May-June 2019.


Prof. Amii Omara-Otunnu to receive South African highest honor

Our Department is extremely happy and proud to announce that Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu, Associate Professor of African History, will be receiving one of South Africa’s highest honors for his contributions in the fight against apartheid. On April 25th, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will present Professor Omara-Otunnu with the Silver Order of the Companions of OR Tambo, one of the National Orders, which the government describes as “the highest awards that South Africa bestows on citizens and members of the international community who have contributed meaningfully towards making the country a free, democratic and successful nation, united in its diversity.” 

Professor Omara-Otunnu told the Black Star News, “I’ve been immensely humbled. Especially by the fact that the honor is bestowed by a national government in the continent that respects democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” and that, “The award indicates that the leadership in South Africa is conscious of the fact that Pan African solidarity in particular and international solidarity in general contributed substantially to both the success of the struggle against apartheid and progressive developments in post-apartheid South Africa.”

Micki McElya’s Clinging to Mammy Quoted in The Nation

Professor Micki McElya‘s book Clinging to Mammy: The Faithful Slave in Twentieth-Century America, published in 2007 with Harvard University Press, was quoted in a recent article by Kali Halloway. Titled “‘Loyal Slave’ Monuments Tell a Racist Lie About American History,” Halloway specifically references McElya’s research on the largest-black newspaper in DC in the 1920s.

Sharon Harris Book Award 2019 Winner: Helen M. Rozwadowski

Vast ExpansesThe Department is happy to announce that Professor Helen M. Rozwadowski has received the Sharon Harris Book Award for the publication of Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (Reaktion Press, 2018).

The award committee notes that: “Prof. Rozwadowski’s book is an engaging overview of the oceans from deep prehistory to the present. It focuses on the relationship between people and an environment that once seemed beyond human influence. The idea of the ocean as a limitless frontier flourished but eventually withered in the late twentieth century, as people began to confront the damage they had done through pollution and overfishing. In order for us now to produce positive environmental change, Rozwadowski concludes, “We must jettison our perception of the ocean as a timeless place, apart from humans.” This concise and readable book demonstrates the value of the humanities in addressing the planet’s looming environmental crisis.”