In addition to being a UConn history professor, he is also the director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music. He has written and taught extensively on the role of hip-hop in the United States with his book, Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap, and his popular course, “Hip-Hop, Politics, and Youth Culture in America.”
Prof. Andy Horowitz is the new Connecticut State Historian. He is a historian of the modern United States. His research focuses on disasters and the questions they give rise to about race, class, community, trauma, inequality, the welfare state, extractive industry, metropolitan development, and environmental change. As a public historian, he aims to support communities as they “engage in acts of collective autobiography.”
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.”
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.”
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.
University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History, Frank Costigliola‘s recently published biography Kennan: A Life between Worlds. His work 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.
UConn History Professor and founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music, Jeffrey Ogbar participated in a two page ad that appeared in both the New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled “Protect Black Art.” The ad calls for restrictions on artists’ lyrics and other forms of creative expression including visual arts, film, writing, etc. from being used against defendants in courtroom and emphasizes their right to creative freedom and expression. Prof. Ogbar joins artists, scholars, organizations and companies in the call for protective legislation that allows artists to express their creativity without the threat of it being used against them in the courtroom. The ad was published in the New York Times andThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution on November 1, 2022.
Prof. Ogbar’s scholarship focuses on 20th century African American history in the United States with a focus on Black nationalism and social movements. He has written on varied subjects including the New Negro Renaissance, mass incarceration, civil rights struggles, and hip-hop.
UConn History Professor Manisha Sinha draws connections between the conditions leading up to the 1866 midterm election and the 2022 midterm elections in her piece for CNN, “Why I hope 2022 will be another 1866,” to provide both context and hope when American democracy is at stake. Prof. Sinha explores similar themes between the 1866 and upcoming midterms including a rise in armed paramilitary groups, racial violence, and the dangerous attempts at power grabs. It is her hope that 2022 will be another 1866 and that Americans will rise to defend democracy as they had in 1866. Read the full article on CNN.
In light of loosened Covid-19 restrictions, UConn Professor of History Micki McElya wanted to understand the changing gendered significance of masking through the lens of Positive Psychology. In an article for The Boston Review “Just Wear Your Smile,” McElya explains that the gender politics of Positive Psychology (the idea that happiness is tied to individual behavior) and its glorification of the nuclear family and heterosexual monogamy. “Positive Psychology embraces a neoliberal logic that shifts the onus of unhappiness and inequality away from larger systems onto individual behavior,” McElya emphasizes. Read the full article in The Boston Review.
Professor McElya is currently at work on No More Miss America! How Protesting the 1968 Pageant Changed a Nation where she explores similar themes.
In a recent podcast episode from the American Historical Review series, “History in Focus,” UConn History Professor Alexis Dudden looks to soil of Okinawa, Japan as a site of memory, struggle, and persistence. Professor Dudden joins graphic artist Kim Inthavong to tell a visual story of the politics of ecology and military intervention. You can listen to the full episode on the American History Review website.
Stay tuned for more information about a September 27 event on Okinawa.