Professor Manisha Sinha is a 2021 awardee of the James C. Pennington Award, which will be formerly bestowed upon her during the 2022 award ceremony, taking place on June 1, 2022. The James C. Pennington Award, awarded by Heidelberg University’s Heidelberg Center for American Studies and Faculty of Theology, remembers James Pennington, a formerly enslaved pastor from the United States who received an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University, the first known person of African descent to earn one from a European institution. Sinha, a scholar of abolition, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, receives this award alongside Dr. Carol Anderson, a historian of 20th century Black freedom struggles.
The award ceremony will be marked by a discussion with the two fellows on “The Unfinished Work of Reconstruction: The Long and Ongoing Civil Rights Struggle in the United States.” The ceremony will be live tweeted from the Heidelberg Center for American Studies account. More information is available on the Heidelberg University website. Congratulations!
The University of Connecticut’s Office of Undergraduate Research celebrated Jason Chang, Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies, with the annual Mentorship Excellence Award. This award, based on undergraduate student nominations and a selection committee, recognizes the faculty who go above and beyond to support and encourage students in their academic journeys. According to Karen Lau’ 25, Professor Jason Chang inspired them to be “unafraid of the unknown, to dig deeper to learn about my home state’s impact on Asian Americans, and to be bolder in my advocacy in my education reform.” For a professor as committed and compassionate as Jason Chang, this award is well-deserved. We look forward to the continued work that you will do to show students the power of advocacy, representation, and visibility. Congratulations!
Professor Chang received this award alongside Sarah Knutie, Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Mia Kawaida, a Ph.D. student in Animal Science. Please read the full article that details the tremendous impact of these three educators.
The Department is pleased to share that first year doctoral student Kathryn Angelica received a fellowship from the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport to take classes and conduct research this summer. The courses, of which Angelica will choose two, include: “America Goes to Sea,” Maritime History Survey Course, “American Maritime History Seminar,” or an independent research course using materials from the G. W. Blunt White Library. The Cora Mallory Munson Scholarship covers tuition and room/board for the summer.
The Department is very pleased to share that Nicole Breault, a third year PhD student, has won a 2019 American Historical Associaton (AHA) Littleton-Griswold Research Grant. The grant supports research in US legal history and in the broader field of law and society. Nicole will be utilizing the funds to further her dissertation project, “The Night Watch of Early Boston: Law and Governance in Eighteenth-Century British America.”
The History Department is pleased to share that Professors Nu-Anh Tran and Emma Amador are two of the recipients of the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute’s (UCHI) 2019-2020 Faculty Fellowship Awards. The UCHI Fellowship provides scholars with the year-long opportunity to research, write, and collaborate on work “that extends and celebrates humanities scholarship.”
Nu-Anh Tran is an Assistant Professor of History who specializes in Vietnamese history, Southeast Asian history, and nationalism. Emma Amador is an Assistant Professor of History and Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies with a joint appointment between the History Department and El Instituto.
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.”
The 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.”
In November 2018, a fund was established by Heather A. Parker, the first staff academic advisor for the History Department, in order to create the Excellence in Historical Writing Award. The award will be presented to an undergraduate History major, from any campus, who has produced an exemplary specimen of historical writing. The recipient will be recognized for a paper that presents a well-researched historical argument with clarity, coherence, and style, and the award will be given at the History Department’s Prize Day celebration at the end of the semester. Inspired by Parker’s donation, the History Department faculty are making a joint contribution.
Alumni and friends will be able to contribute to the Parker Award in Historical Writing fund during UConn Gives, the University’s 36-hour giving initiative, on March 27-28, 2019. Mark your calendars and find out more at: https://givingday.uconn.edu.
Professor Fakhreddin Azimi was recently awarded the Mahteb Mirzaei Memorial Prize for his article, “An exploration and historical contextualization of the declassified CIA/US Government documents on Iran, 1952-54”, published in the summer 2017 issue of Negah-e Nou, the premier Tehran-based Persian language quarterly. This marks the third time his Persian language scholarship has won this award. Professor Azimi’s brother was on hand in Tehran to accept the award on his behalf on November 29, 2018. In addition to multiple monographs, articles, and chapters on the politics, society, and culture of modern Iran, Professor Azimi teaches courses in medieval and modern Middle Eastern history, and graduate seminars on history and theory in the UConn History Department. Congratulations, Professor Azimi!