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, UConngraduate 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.
On October 15, UConn Today’s “Meet the Researcher” spotlight featured UConn-Stamford Honors Student, Isabella Ferrante ’19, whose passion for history has led her to researching “shell shock” before and after WWI. A History major with two minors in English and Psychology, Ferrante’s research endeavors garnered her a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) grant from UConn’s Office of Undergraduate Research to research at the British National Archives this past summer. According to Ferrante, the opportunity was “incredible” for her academic research and personal growth. The grant helped further an already impressive project that combines archival research with contemporary psychology publications and the memoirs of veterans.
To read more about Ferrante and her research, click here.
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).
UConn History Ph.D. alums Mary Mahoney and Allison Horrocks were featured in the Hartford Courant with an article titled, “These two women developed their love of history while studying at Trinity and UConn. Now, they’re bringing it to life through a podcast about the American Girl dolls.” As the article explains, Mahoney and Horrocks’ love for history and interest in using it as a conduit to connect with others has led them to launching the “American Girls” podcast. The article shares the large interest that the podcast has garnered, especially since receiving a very complimentary NYT review, quotes from Mahoney and Horrocks, and the importance of friendship as an underlying theme for the episodes.
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.
Although she is missed in Wood Hall, the UConn History Department is happy to share that Dr. Amy Sopcak-Joseph, who defended her dissertation in the spring of 2019, has settled well into her new home in the Global Cultures Department of Wilkes-Barre University. On September 24th, an interview with Professor Sopcak-Joseph was published in Wilkes-Barre’s The Beacon. To read about her first semester experience thus far, please click here.
On September 23rd, Professor Alexis Dudden published an op-ed, titled “America’s Secret History in East Asia,” in the New York Times. The article explores the history behind the history of the trade disputes between South Korean and Japanese officials and places blame in the hands of U.S. diplomats. Professor Dudden writes: “Neither South Korean nor Japanese officials point a finger at the United States for their dispute, and yet they should…the historical moment they are fighting about, more than a half-century later, was fundamentally shaped by America’s involvement. Even as it claimed to help resolve Japan’s and South Korea’s longstanding grievances with the 1965 treaty, Washington used one ally over the other out of expedience, to advance its own interests.”
To read more about the ongoing trade dispute and Washington’s past involvement, click here.
This Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, UConn-Hartford will be hosting the “Key Texts in Modern Chinese Political Thought: Late Qing to Republican China” conference.
The conference focuses on selected “key texts” in Chinese political thought from roughly the first half of the twentieth century. Conference papers will analyze texts in terms of their sources and argumentation, their position in the discursive field, and their contribution to political theory. The conference as a whole asks what counts as political theory, what political theorists might learn from China, and how to construct a larger list of key texts from China.
Alongside Thomas Fröhlich (Universität Hamburg), Professor Peter Zarrow (UConn) has organized the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and the University of Connecticut.
All are invited to attend, but space is limited, so registration is required, and the conference organizers will get back to you. The registration webpage also links to the conference program. Registration and program can be found here.
Professor and State Historian Walt Woodward joined Mary Donohue in interviewing Governor Ned Lamont for Woodward’s podcast, Grating the Nutmeg. In addition to sharing Lamont’s speech, “100 Years of Fake News and Fake and Real Wars,” the podcast also includes a discussion with the Governor regarding the importance of the liberal arts and history. To stream the episode, go to this link or search for Grating the Nutmeg on your preferred podcast app.
On Saturday, September 21st, Professor Manisha Sinha contributed a Saturday Essay to the Wall Street Journal titled “The Long History of American Slavery Reparations”. The article considers “the bitter legacy of bondage and racial oppression [that] has sparked demands for compensation”. To read online, please click here.