In an article titled “UConn Historian: South Vietnam Archives Provide New Insights into War,” UConn Today interviews Associate Professor and UConn Humanities Institute Fellow Nu-Ahn Tran regarding the opening of South Vietnamese archives and it’s impact on her research. By utilizing official documents from the National Archives Center II in Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon), as well as newspapers, periodicals and other Vietnamese-language publications, Tran seeks to adjust our understanding of Vietnamese elite politics by introducing what she calls the development of “anticommunist nationalism.” Her forthcoming book, with the working title of “Disunion: Anticommunist Nationalism and the Making of the Republic of Vietnam, 1954-1963,” will explore the tenure of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and the debates surrounding how to govern the nation.
To read the spotlight on Professor Tran’s excellent research, please click here.
Among the list of 2020 award recipients of the Brigham Young University (BYU) Charles Redd Center for Western Studies is UConn’s Erik Freeman. With a project titled, “The Mormon International: Communitarian Politics and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830–1890,” Freeman received the Charles Redd Fellowship Award in Western American History. He is one of five recipients, and competed against other doctoral students from departments of history, english, political science, and languages and literature.
The award will enable Freeman to spend up to one month researching in the Center’s Special Collections. The Special Collections has 14 full-time curators and more than 9,000 manuscripts. Additionally, the collection houses almost 1 million photographic images, more than 300,000 rare books, and extensive manuscript materials documenting 19th and 20th century Western American history.
Our Department is pleased to see Caesar Valentín featured in a recent article of UConn Today. Caesar has been a wonderful addition to the Wood Hall family – serving as an impressive undergraduate student worker and graphic designer. Caesar will be graduating UConn with two majors in political science and philosophy, as well as a minor in human rights. We are happy to learn that Caesar intends to return to UConn by pursuing a joint Master’s degree in Latino Studies and Public Administration.
To read the UConn Today spotlight, please click here.
The Department is pleased to share that history major, Christopher Choi ’20, has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF-GRFP). Choi will be graduating this spring with dual bachelor’s degrees in history, and materials science and engineering. After UConn, he will be headed to sunny California to begin his doctoral studies in biomaterials research at Stanford. Congratulations on these outstanding academic accomplishments, Christopher!
UConn Today’s feature on Christopher is listed below. For the full article, click here.
Christopher Choi ’20 (ENG), of Storrs, is graduating with dual bachelor’s degrees in history and materials science and engineering. He has been involved in a range of research activities and labs at UConn, focusing on topics from thermoelectrics to archaeological materials. In addition to receiving the NSF-GRFP, Choi is a member of the honors program, a recipient of a Summer Undergraduate Research Fund award, and was one of the student speakers at the 2018 School of Engineering Scholarship Award Ceremony. Choi has been a member of UConn Model UN for four years, serving as a committee director from fall 2017 to fall 2019, and was involved in the Engineering Ambassadors for four years, serving as the group’s president from spring 2018 to spring 2019. In the fall of 2020, he will begin his doctoral studies at Stanford, where he hopes to contribute to biomaterials research.
UConn Student Affairs, alongside other departments, has launched the new U-Kindness initiative, which is intended to inform, engage, and connect with students throughout the University during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department is thrilled to announce that our grant application to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a new joint undergraduate minor with Digital Media & Design in Digital Public History has been funded. This is a planning grant for $35,000, with the aim of applying for a larger implementation grant down the road. For NEH’s announcement, please click here.
Congratulations to co-Pis Fiona Vernal and Tom Scheinfeldt for all their hard work in bringing this together. Alongside the DMD Department Head Heather Elliot-Famularo, our Department is looking forward to the wonderful courses and undergraduate projects we can build together!
The History Department is proud to announce that five members of Wood Hall will take part in the UConn Humanities Institute‘s (UCHI) 2020-21 cohort of fellows. Professors Melanie Newport, Helen Rozwadowski, and Sara Silverstein will serve as UCHI Faculty Fellows. Doctoral students Nicole Breault and Shaine Scarminach will join the cohort of UCHI Graduate Dissertation Fellows. Congratulations to you all!
The Department would like to congratulate Matt Guariglia for receiving the 2020 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS)! A well-deserved honor for his excellent dissertation, titled “The American Problem: Race, Empire, and Policing in New York City, 1840-1930.” An additional congratulations to his dissertation chair, Micki McElya, and committee members Peter Baldwin and Jelani Cobb.
This year’s IEHS Outstanding Dissertation Award goes to Matthew Guariglia, whose excellent dissertation makes visible the deep connections between the development of policing, immigration, race, and American empire. Well-researched and methodologically expansive (connecting multiple fields and disciplines), Guariglia shows how the early militarization of New York’s police force was shaped by U.S. colonial experiences in the Philippines and Cuba, and how NY officials translated imperial practices abroad into the domestic policing of immigrants and black Americans. Representing some of the exciting new directions for the study of immigration and ethnic history, Guariglia’s dissertation speaks in powerful ways to current debates about the carceral state, surveillance, and the policing of racialized communities in the United States today.
Committee: Julian Lim (Chair), Aldo Lauria, Laura Madokoro
A huge congratulations to Aimee Loiselle, who just won the Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. Women’s History from the Organization of American Historians!
The OAH announcement follows below:
Aimee Loiselle, Smith College (dissertation completed at the University of Connecticut, under the direction of Micki McElya with Christopher Clark and Peter Baldwin). “Creating Norma Rae: The Erasure of Puerto Rican Needleworkers and Southern Labor Activists in a Neoliberal Icon” is a stunningly successful combination of original scholarship, compelling prose, and sophisticated argumentation. The iconic 1979 film Norma Rae, starring Sally Field as union organizer Crystal Lee Sutton, is Loiselle’s point of departure. The movie depicts Sutton, a white woman, as a courageous underdog who spearheads the unionization of southern textile workers. Analyzing the gendered, racialized, and colonial narratives embedded in the film, Loiselle shows that American popular culture defines “the working class” as white and prefers mythic tales about heroic individuals to true stories about multiracial collective action. She then highlights the work and activism of Puerto Rican needleworkers in the Northeast; these women unionized and battled to stay afloat economically during the 1970s and 1980s, as industries increasingly sought cheaper labor wherever available to compete in the global marketplace. By employing a transnational framework and a cross-disciplinary lens, Loiselle challenges the centrality of white southern mill workers in our histories and interrogates how culture shapes neoliberal political economy. Her dissertation’s contributions to the fields of labor, gender, and cultural studies make it a fitting recipient of the Lerner-Scott prize.
The work of Professor Jason Oliver Chang, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute, recently was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In an article titled “Coronavirus Is Prompting Alarm on American Campuses. Anti-Asian Discrimination Could Do More Harm,” Emma Dill highlights Professor Chang’s initiative in tracking incidents of racism against Asian Americans since the outbreak of the coronavirus. While he is not aware of any incidents occurring at UConn, he recognizes the need to document instances of discrimination at universities across the United States.