Our News Archive contains news articles from previous years.
Reel Talk: History Professor Neil Maher on Oscar-nominated ‘Hidden Figures’
Decades before Mae Jamison climbed aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992 to become the first black woman to launch into space, there were college-educated black women breaking barriers in aeronautical advancement.
They were called human computers: black, female mathematicians who crunched numbers at NASA to calculate trajectories and return paths for crucial space flights while battling racism and sexism.
The lives of these extraordinary women are the subject of the hit biographical film “Hidden Figures,” which is up for three Oscars, won the best ensemble prize at the SAG Awards and has grossed over $100 million at the box office.
In the film, Taraji P. Henson plays physicists and mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations helped launch John Glenn (the first American to orbit the Earth) into space in 1962; Octavia Spencer portrays Dorothy Vaughan, the first black woman to be promoted as a head of personnel at NASA and Janelle Monáe brings to life Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer—who all worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia during the 1960s.
Here, Neil Maher, associate professor of history in the federated history department of the College of Sciences and Liberal Arts at NJIT, puts into perspective the historical achievements of these unsung civil rights heroines, explains why their contributions have been obscured and discusses his new book “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius,” published by Harvard University Press (out March 2017), which examines the intersection of the space program and political and social movements of the 1960s.
What did you think of “Hidden Figures?”
The film does a terrific job of illustrating one of America’s biggest technological success stories, which took place during one of the most problematic racial moments in our history—and they’re completely dependent on each other. It’s really important for people to understand that. It doesn’t decrease the respect you can have for the effort of getting man into orbit; we can still be very proud of that. But I think we can be even prouder that there were people like these three women who fought for what they believed in and fought for racial equality within that system.
These women put their stamp on American history. Why have their contributions been obscured?
Racism. We have to remember that the Mercury Seven astronauts were, in many ways, symbols of a white, male culture. So if it became known that African-American women were key to getting these men into space, it might jeopardize the idea that the space race was this sort of white, male success story. That was threatening at that time.
Did the movie get it right when it came to racial and gender inequality at NASA?
Although racism was prevalent at NASA, there were some ways in which the space agency was actually ahead of the game when it came to trying to implement racial equality. The 1964 Civil Rights Act actually outlawed racial discrimination in the workplace but exempted federal agencies. In 1966, NASA went beyond that Civil Rights Act and established an equal employment policy that tried to make it a more race blind environment in which people could work.
Why were African-American women tapped to do human computer work?
It was a low-paying job, so they had African-American women do it. NASA, at the height of its employment in 1965, employed 3,400 employees and only 3 percent were African-American. So what these women went up against in the movie was very real.
How does your new book, “Apollo in the Age of Aquarius,” examine the impact of the space race on the political movements of the 1960s?
The 1960s was a time of cultural revolt. The summer of 1969 when Apollo 11 took off for the moon was also the summer of Woodstock. You had hippies, civil rights activists, feminists and environmentalists all clamoring for change. My argument is that these moments and the space race are very much interconnected. Apollo 11 was a moment when people could forget about the turmoil and focus on the positive. But it also served as a tool to say, “Look, let’s not worry about what’s out there in space. Let’s turn around and look at problems here on Earth.” People were concerned that the race to the moon was actually siphoning resources, money and capital away from a host of problems back on Earth. My book tells that story.
And we also see this in the film. The women go to work to put men into orbit, while walking by protests in the street over segregation.
In many ways, these women had three jobs. They were incredible mathematical minds that had a job with NASA, calculating the trajectories of giant spaceships. They were civil rights activists, trying to promote racial and gender equality. And not only were these women brilliant and socially active, but after work, they would go home and take care of their families. It was really a triple burden for them, which makes their accomplishments all the more unbelievable.
Sher is one of the editors of the prestigious Yale Boswell Editions, which has been publishing since 1950 the journals, correspondence and other works of the eighteenth-century Scottish biographer and man of letters, James Boswell. He is currently co-editing, with Dr. James Caudle of Yale University, a book of correspondence between Boswell and his banker and literary friend, Sir William Forbes — the tenth volume in the correspondence series. Now nearing completion, it will be published jointly by Yale University Press in North America and Edinburgh University Press in the United Kingdom.
The Yale Boswell Editions is famous for the rigor of its editing and the comprehensiveness of its annotation. For this volume, over the past several years Sher and Caudle have each spent time in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, which holds a huge collection of Forbes’s unpublished manuscripts and the originals of Boswell’s letters to Forbes, as well as in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale, which holds Boswell’s unpublished papers and the originals of Forbes’s letters to Boswell. They are working with a shared Dropbox file, in which Caudle serves as text editor of the letters themselves and Sher handles the annotation.
According to Sher, “This kind of work is not for everyone. The annotation requires both an extremely broad knowledge of a wide range of topics that come up in the correspondence and a sharp eye for detail. It is not uncommon for me to spend several days researching and writing a single, lengthy footnote.” Just coordinating the timing has been a challenge, because the editors cannot work on the shared file at the same time, or else Dropbox creates “conflicted files” that cause confusion. “It helps that Jim is in Edinburgh this fall,” Sher says, “so that he can work on the shared file until 1 p.m. British time, and then I can take over at 8 a.m. each morning, our time. Along with a third, junior member of our team at Yale, Dr. Andrew Heisel, we almost literally work around the clock.”
Sher has also been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Yale Boswell Editions for more than twenty years. He has published widely on topics relating to eighteenth-century Scotland, and earlier this year a thirtieth-anniversary edition of his first book, Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment, was reissued with a new preface by Edinburgh University Press in its series of “Classic Editions.”
Buildings and Meanings — Interpreting Cultural Expression in Architecture
Written by: Dean Maskevich
Buildings and Meanings — Interpreting Cultural Expression in Architecture
Distinguished Professor Zeynep Çelik is an internationally honored interpreter — of buildings. Çelik, who has a joint appointment in NJIT’s New Jersey School of Architecture and the Department of History, is an architectural historian whose career has been dedicated to interpreting the meanings buildings communicate about the cultures that create them.
Çelik joined NJIT in 1991, following a professional path that began at Istanbul Technical University in Turkey, where she earned a degree in architecture. Although she did qualify as a practicing architect, she says that she was especially attracted to architectural history.
“There were many directions for me to follow in architecture, and I had to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up,” she explains with a smile. “My heart was always in history, and the school of architecture I attended had a very strong history department, so the decision was easy.”
At a Cosmopolitan Crossroads
Growing up in Istanbul, a city rich in history, was a major factor predisposing Çelik to architectural history, as well as to her subsequent focus on the architectural identity of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. At its height, this multinational, multilingual empire was a cosmopolitan crossroads of East and West, incorporating territory in Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus and North Africa.
Beginning with her first book, The Remaking of Istanbul: Portrait of an Ottoman City in the Nineteenth Century, Çelik has engaged in a nuanced exploration of the relationship among politics, social issues and built forms. It is a relationship that she has examined over several decades in many subsequent publications, expanding from the Ottoman to the French colonial context. Her publications include five single-authored and four edited books. She has also curated exhibitions at major museums.
Although Çelik says that her blend of interests and disciplines might be considered somewhat atypical for a school such as NJIT, she adds that her work has been enthusiastically endorsed at all levels of the university. And the perspectives on multicultural interconnections that she offers are attracting increasing interest among students — understandable given the critical ways in which the world’s cultures interact today.
Çelik, whose work has garnered significant recognition beyond the NJIT community, has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the recipient of the Vehbi Koç Foundation’s Award for Culture and the George Sarton Medal awarded by Ghent University. She also holds an honorary doctorate from Bogaziçi University.
“I look at cross-cultural exchanges in architecture, in urban forms, in visual culture,” Çelik says. “For me, the important thing is to understand cities and architecture as political constructs and to see them as spaces where social interactions happen, where ideologies are tested, and where power structures manifest themselves. I’ve pursued these themes since my doctoral dissertation, which became my first book, on the urban transformations in 19th-century Istanbul.”
For many years, the conventional view in America and Europe was that the Middle East was averse to the projects representative of modernity that were reshaping the Western world. Not so, says Çelik.
“I think the history of modernity in the Ottoman Empire, in the Middle East, is very much misunderstood. It is not a recent phenomenon. Modernity was there since the 19th century, and I’m not talking about the end of the century. Beginning in the 1830s, there was a very pronounced shift in the administration of the empire, accompanied by modernizing reforms.”
“Modernity,” Çelik says, “accommodates a certain level of comfort for large numbers of people, with the help of new technology. With respect to built forms, it encompasses major infrastructure projects, such as transportation networks, and public buildings that include schools and hospitals.”
Çelik’s recent book, About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, turns to a late 19th century issue that is very much alive today. By the 1890s, as part of its wide modernization initiative, the Ottoman Empire had expanded its Museum of Antiquities in Istanbul and exerted legal control to prohibit the export of ancient artifacts.
Reflective of the positive attitude toward modernity in the Ottoman Empire, the image above is a 19th-century illustration that celebrates the railway connection with Hijaz, a region in the west of present-day Saudi Arabia.
Appropriation of antiquities into the cultural identity of the empire marked a historic shift, and the Ottoman commitment to scientific archaeology underlined its claims to contemporary Western scholarship. Çelik finds a curious parallel between the Imperial Museum in Istanbul and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in that both were new institutions as opposed to their well-established European counterparts. The Imperial Museum, dedicated to archaeology in the city once known as Constantinople, was endowed with a new building in an impressive neoclassical Greek style. It was expanded twice and acquired its final form in 1908.
Just as the architecture of the Ottoman Empire invites social interpretation, so does the built environment of other eras and regions. It’s a discussion that Çelik carries on in both her writing and her classes, ranging from the cityscape of ancient Athens, the great cathedrals of medieval Europe and comparably iconic present-day structures, to the ordinary buildings and everyday spaces created throughout the ages.
In the course of this discussion, she takes a broad, analytical look at modern utilitarian structures as monuments, emphasizing the social and cultural messages they imbue. While Çelik continues to assess this aspect of the Ottoman experience in her scholarship, she applies the same analytical acumen to the “monumental” messages expressed by the U.S. built environment.
Towering buildings dedicated to business and massive venues for casino gambling; new schools, expanding college campuses and gated residential communities: These are some components of the country’s evolving built environment that send diverse, often conflicting signals about our values and aspirations. In Çelik’s words, the national portrait to be discerned underscores that we are a “very big and a very complicated country.”
And like the Istanbul Museum of Antiquities in the 19th century, U.S. museums have special significance for Çelik in the current century, especially those built in recent years or still under construction. In her estimation, examples such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the even newer National Museum of African American History and Culture affirm an attractive cultural trait — our capacity for collective introspection and historical reevaluation.
As Americans, we are even inclined to reassess the meaning of objects that once would have been put on display in a museum in a very different light — for instance, the B-29 bomber “Enola Gay,” the aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Not too long ago, it would have been presented as not only a technological triumph, but also as symbolizing justified retribution against one of the nation’s World War II enemies.
Some ten years ago, the National Air and Space Museum’s announcement that it would display the restored bomber generated intense public debate about the messaging of the exhibit. Many urged that it should convey very mixed emotions, that we should be reminded of the atomic bomb’s toll on the people of Hiroshima and the terrible destructive potential of nuclear conflict.
Such willingness to reconsider the significance of concrete manifestations of our constantly shifting values is clearly a positive characteristic for Çelik. We display objects in one way and then 10 years later we change our minds, she says.
“If there is one generalization that I can make about Americans, it is the flexibility of their thinking. This is one of the best things about American intellectual introspection and reflection. Americans listen to new ideas.”
Contemporary Environmental Movement
Neil M. Maher
Price Auditorium April 22, 2015, 12:30 P.M.. - 1:30 P.M.
Neil Maher’s lecture will trace the roots of the contemporary environmental movement back in time to the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. His talk will highlight the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of Roosevelt’s most popular New Deal programs. During its nine-year existence the CCC put nearly four million young men to work planting trees, halting soil erosion, and building state and national parks across the country. In doing so, Maher argues, the Corps also helped to redefine conservation in ways that fostered environmentalism during the post-World War II period. Throughout his talk Maher will highlight not only the life experiences of Franklin Roosevelt, but also the lived experiences of CCC enrollees who worked across the state of Pennsylvania.
Neil M. Maher is an associate professor of history in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark. His research interests include 20th-century environmental and political history, the history of technology and medicine, and cultural landscapes.
Maher's books include Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement (Oxford University Press, 2008), which received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award in 2009.
During the 2013-2014 academic year Maher was a Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, where he was researching and writing his next book on the environmental and political history of the space race during the 1960s and 1970s.
Workshop Series in History and Sociology of Science, Medicine and Technology
Stephen G. Pemberton
Prof. Stephen Pemberton will present
“The Fix Is In: How Gene Therapy for Hemophilia is Challenging Our Notions of Cure”
to the HSS Workshop of the History and Sociology of Science Department, 337 Claudia Cohen Hall, University of Pennsylvania, 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA on Monday, April 6, 2015 from 3:30 PM - 05:30 PM .
The Federated History Department's Lisa Nocks presented a paper on online courses at the Sixth Annual Rutgers Online and Hybrid Learning Conference this year, offered in partnership with NJIT, Ocean County College, Pearson Online Learning Services, and NJEDge. This popular conference serves as a cross-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information on research, development, and applications of all topics related to online and hybrid learning.
Dr. Nocks' presentation was on Thursday, January 15th.
Keywords: Innovation, Online Program Administration, Student Retention
Dr. Nocks, historian of science, technology, and media culture began teaching in 1989 and moved to NJIT in 2007, where she is senior lecturer in the Federated department of history. She has developed and taught college courses in history, media studies, and the arts in a traditional classroom environment, and began teaching online for the New School in 2010. She consults on historical points for books and documentary projects and is currently working on a book about humanoid robotics. She has authored articles and essays including "That Does Not Compute" in Science Fiction and Computing (McFarland), "T.H. Huxley: The Evolution of the Bulldog" in Icons of Evolution (Greenwood), and "Frankenstein in a Better Light" (Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems.) She is the author of the Choice Outstanding Title The Robot: The Life Story of a Technology (Johns Hopkins University Press).
On-line class size and the Reality of Humanities Teaching and Learning
Online space is not unlimited space. High online course enrollment poses challenges to student retention and success. To inspire straightforward discussion about the real cost of this trend, I describe specific humanities course experience, and encourage creative thinking about managing courses that are discussion and writing intensive.
Gabrielle Rejouis (center) is pictured with Lois Chipepo and Dawn Klimovitch of the Albert Dorman Honors College.
May 2015 NJIT students get into the nation’s top law schools. Gabrielle Rejouis, for instance, was accepted at Georgetown Law School, where she’ll begin her studies in the fall.
She is going to law school, she says, to learn to use the law to promote social justice. She’s not going to enrich herself. It’s therefore important to her to graduate with as little debt as possible.
And thanks to the Law, Technology and Culture (LTC) accelerated pre-law program, students like Rejouis can graduate from NJIT in three years and start law school a year early.
That in turn allows them to save money and start their careers sooner. LTC is a degree program offered through the Federated History Department of NJIT and Rutgers University-Newark, and the accelerated program is run in partnership with Seton Hall Law School.
Rejouis said she loved her major: history. It gave her the freedom to take classes in the history of music, theater and American culture as well as in science and technology. She belonged to the Albert Dorman Honors College and was also part of the Pre-Law Society and the Student Senate, which schooled her in public speaking. Overall, she received a well-rounded education and a strong training in pre-law. And that’s the combination that helped her get into Georgetown.
“I’m going to Georgetown because I want to use the law to help people,” said Rejouis. “My parents were born in Haiti and I come from a Christian home, so a sense of social justice is important to me. I want to change laws or create laws that make society more just, more humane. Lawyers should not focus on making money. They should use the power of the law to change the legal system to help people.”
Monica Doss entered the Albert Dorman Honors College as a biology major; she intended to become a doctor of optometry. But even as a freshman, she had an interest in how the law relates to medicine. And when she heard about the pre-law program, she had an epiphany -- she could enroll in LTC, attend law school and become an attorney who specializes in a health care field. And now, three years later, she’s well on her way to doing just that. In the fall, she’ll begin her studies at Vanderbilt Law School, another of the nation’s top law schools.
Of her time at NJIT, Doss summed it up in a word: “awesome.”
“The Honors College has really been a support in my years at NJIT, “she said. “I also have had a huge amount of support from my major department, History. I wouldn't have been able to start my legal interests or pursue my major without the professors and staff in that department, especially Professor Alison Lefkovitz and Maureen O'Rourke, the academic coordinator.”
Doss commuted to NJIT, which she said allowed her to have the best of two warm-hearted worlds. She lived at home with her loving and supporting family. And at school, she was a big part of her second family, the Coptic Orthodox community at NJIT. She’s anxious about leaving home, but that’s precisely why she chose Vanderbilt.
“I'm headed to Vanderbilt because the environment of the law school is extremely supportive,” she said. “I'm honestly pretty terrified about leaving home. I'm a homebody. I love New Jersey and I love the North. I've never lived away from home and I was a happy commuter throughout my college years. Coming home to a happy, silly family is going to be something I miss a lot. I'll miss my friends at NJIT the most -- I'm Coptic Orthodox and the Coptic community at both NJIT and Rutgers-Newark is a huge family. Their support and endless jokes when I was stressed about school was one of the best things throughout my time here.”
Still, Doss said she’s also excited about moving to Nashville. She said the diversity in her law class will be wonderful -- with southerners coming from states like Texas, Alabama and Georgia, a contingent of northerners like her, and a group of international students from around the world.
“The class size is small -- Nashville is a beautiful city,” she said, “and I have been lucky to get to know the city since my brother lived in Nashville for the four years he was in medical school.”
Another recent Honors College grad, Sarah Rizk, has really accelerated her education: Instead of taking seven years to get an undergraduate and a law degree, she’ll have both degrees in just five years. Rizk did the accelerated pre-law program at NJIT and this summer she’ll start a two-year accelerated program at Brooklyn Law School.
Like Rejouis, she too is interested in social justice. She chose to attend Brooklyn Law, she said, “because of its focus on public interest law, where my interest remains.”
At NJIT, she majored in LTC and minored in business. She credits the Honors College for giving her opportunities that made her college years a joy.
“I attribute a lot of my successes to the Honors College,” Rizk said. “The college allowed me to participate in service projects throughout Newark, and allowed me to mentor other students, which was a fulfilling experience. It also provided me with financial assistance through its scholarship program.”
One of the great attractions of NJIT’s pre-law program is that it offers students the chance to work internships and co-ops. Rizk, for instance, spent two summers interning at local law offices. Those internships confirmed her interest in the law.
At NJIT, she also took a mix of classes -- history, math, humanities and science -- that made her an appealing candidate to law schools.
“The interviewers I met at the law schools where I applied reacted positively to the combination of courses I had at NJIT,” she said. “Those classes helped me to understand both the technology involved in areas like media and the Internet as well as the social issues involved.”
NJIT has one of the few pre-law programs in the country that offers students training in technology and science and law as well as an understanding of social sciences and the humanities, said Alison Lefkovitz, an assistant professor of history who directs the LTC program.
“What our students learn in their classes is important in preparing them to get into top law schools,” said Lefkovitz. “And after law school, they’re perfectly suited to work in the fascinating fields such as patent law, intellectual property, product liability and health care. If you are interested in getting a well-rounded pre-law education, NJIT is the university for you.”
By Robert Florida (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assistant Professor Alison Lefkovitz Contributes to New Website on Child Custody Issues
NEWARK, Oct 7 2014
Alison Lefkovitz, assistant professor of history, recently wrote a framing essay for the newly launched Child Custody Project website. The site explores child custody issues nationwide within a broad historical and legal context with the goal of providing an impartial, interdisciplinary resource for scholars, practitioners and the public at large.
The framing essays are central to the site, authored by leading scholars and practitioners on key issues in the complex field of child custody. Essays address topics such as the history of child custody in Virginia, the definition of family and child custody issues, child custody in the media, alternative dispute resolution, and the “best interests of the child” standard.
Click here to read Lefkovitz’s essay.
Tagged: federated department of history, Alison Lefkovitz, child custody issues
Neil M. Maher Receives Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for 2009
The Forest History Society has awarded NJIT history professor Neil M. Maher the 2009 Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Award for his book Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement (underlined) (Oxford University Press, 2008). Awarded annually since 1976, the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award is given to the author of the best book published on conservation and forest history.
Congratulations to Neil Maher!
Richard Sher elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
NJIT Professor Richard Sher was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters. The Society has included among its Fellows the economist Adam Smith, the novelist Sir Walter Scott, the physicists James Clerk Maxwell and Niels Bohr, and the biologist Charles Darwin.
Professor Sher is also a Fellow of the London-based Royal Historical Society, and he was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh for his lifelong contributions to scholarship on the history and culture of eighteenth-century Scotland and its relations with America.
Photo of Professor Sher signing the roll book.
Annette Gordon-Reed Named Rutgers Board of Governors Professor of History
(Newark, NJ) — For Annette Gordon-Reed, professor of history, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University in Newark, the past eight months have been filled with prestige, honors and accolades. In November 2008, she received the National Book Award for nonfiction for her landmark account of an American slave family, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). This groundbreaking work painstakingly and eloquently chronicles and explores the history of the Hemings family, including the intimate relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his house slave Sally Hemings and their progeny.
The Hemingses of Monticello also garnered Gordon-Reed the Pulitzer Prize in history in April 2009 and the George Washington Book Prize in May 2009. Also in April 2009, Gordon-Reed received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her achievements and promise for continued success.
Today Gordon-Reed added a new honor to her growing list: Rutgers Board of Governors Professor of History.
“Because Rutgers Board of Governors professorships recognize excellence in scholarship, research and teaching among our most distinguished faculty, it is highly fitting for Annette Gordon-Reed to receive this much-deserved honor for her landmark achievement in American history,” said Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick.
“Annette Gordon-Reed continues to bring critical acclaim and distinction to Rutgers University,” commented Steven J. Diner, chancellor of Rutgers University, Newark. “Her contribution to American history extends far beyond U.S. borders to leave an indelible imprint on the world.”
In addition to her post at Rutgers University in Newark, Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School. The legal scholar and historian is also the editor of Race On Trial: Law and Justice in American History , and co-author with Vernon Jordan of Vernon Can Read: A Memoir . She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
Contact: Helen Paxton or Ferlanda Fox Nixon
July 14, 2009
Neil Maher wins the Robert W. Van Houten Award for Teaching Excellence at NJIT
This prestigious award recognizes outstanding teaching by tenured faculty at the university. Recipients are chosen annually by alumni who have graduated within the last five years. Dr. Maher won the award for his outstanding undergraduate courses on environmental and urban history.
Annette Gordon-Reed receives 2009 George Washington Book Prize
Annette Gordon-Reed has achieved a triple-win, having received another extremely prestigious book prize for her groundbreaking work, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, she has been awarded the George Washington Book Prize.
See link below for an interview with Professor Gordon-Reed in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/28/AR2009052803559.html?hpid%3Dmoreheadlines&sub=AR
Call for Contributions to Rethinking History: A Journal of Theory and Practice
“History as Creative Writing, Creative Writing as History”
The editors of Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice invite contributions to an issue entitled ‘History as Creative Writing,” the first of several issues, to be published over several years, intended to highlight the journal's longstanding interest in experiments in the literary dimensions of historical writing. (See, for example, Alun Munslow and Robert A. Rosenstone, eds. 2004. Experiments in Rethinking History.)
What we continue to look for is evidence of a struggle not just with evidence or argument but also with language and with form. That struggle might lead to some unusual structure, or plot, or voice (or voices), or point of view (or points of view). It might lead to some uncommon (for academic history) use of metaphor, imagery, or rhythm. It might push a writer to the outer limits of the universe of non-fiction writing—or out of that universe altogether. It might produce, in the name of historical understanding, a memoir, poem, or piece of a play. We welcome contributions from writers at any stage in their careers, at work in any field, and engaged with the past in any imaginable way. We expect pieces of various lengths, but hope that none will be a word more or less than it needs to be.
For more information, please contact US editor James Goodman, email@example.com.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2009!
The Department would especially like to acknowledge this year's graduating recipients of our undergraduate Departmental Awards: (Rutgers) Vanessa Lynch, selected for The David Robert Friedlander Memorial Award; Jon Rivero, selected for the Edward H. Zabriskie Memorial Award; Sidra Sheikh, selected for the Sydney Zebel Award; (NJIT) Victor Bertini for Outstanding Professional Service; and Daniel Santos for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Also, we acknowledge this year's inductees to Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society: Marvin Chochotte, Natasha DiGenio, Brittany S. Hale, Victor P. Harris, John L. Hoffman III, Christopher Patrick Kienel, Steven G. Kuza, Vanessa Lynch, Silvia Mendes, Daniel Niesyn, Jon Rivero, Luis Rodriguez, Daniel G. Santos, Sidra Sheikh, Kevin A. Spencer, Michael C. Woyce, and Mehvish Zaidi. Congratulations to you all on your accomplishments!
End of Year Luncheon and Phi Alpha Theta Induction, April 27, 2009
Annette Gordon-Reed Receives 2009 Pulitizer Prize in History
(Newark, N.J., April 20, 2009) – Rutgers University History Professor Annette Gordon-Reed has been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in history for her landmark work, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W. W. Norton, 2008). The award was announced this afternoon by the Pulitzer board. In its citation, the board praised The Hemingses of Monticello as “a painstaking exploration of a sprawling multi-generation slave family that casts provocative new light on the relationship between Sally Hemings and her master, Thomas Jefferson.” The history Pulitzer is awarded for a “distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States.” The Pulitzer carries a $10,000 award.
"Everyone at Rutgers is thrilled to congratulate Annette Gordon-Reed for winning the Pulitzer Prize in history, an honor she most richly deserves," said Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick. " The Hemingses of Monticello is a groundbreaking work from a truly original and supremely gifted scholar and writer."
This is the second major national honor for The Hemingses of Monticello ; the book received the National Book Award for non-fiction in the fall of 2008. The work focuses on the Hemings family, beginning with Sally's mother and ending with Jefferson's death . The Hemingses of Monticello was Gordon-Reed's second examination of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship, which she first detailed in her 1997 book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy .
In addition to her post at Rutgers University, Newark, Annette Gordon-Reed is a professor of law at New York Law School. The legal scholar and historian is also the editor of Race On Trial: Law and Justice in American History , and coauthor with Vernon Jordan of Vernon Can Read: A Memoir . Gordon-Reed is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
Although Sally Hemings is best known for her intimate relationship with Thomas Jefferson, and as the mother of seven of his children , The Hemingses of Monticello, says Gordon-Reed, is about far more than a relationship between the Hemings family and Jefferson. In her words, it is “a window into the world of slavery, an illumination of our past, a past that brought us to where we are today.”
Gordon-Reed is currently at work on a second volume of history of the Hemings family, extending the story to the 20 th century descendants who have played a vigorous role in gaining official recognition as relatives of Thomas Jefferson; and on a biography of Jefferson.
Contact: Helen Paxton
Contact: Carla Capizzi
Beryl Satter Wins Rutgers University Leader in Diversity Award
Beryl Satter has been selected as a 2009 recipient of the Rutgers University Leader in Diversity Award. This award program recognizes members of the university community who are promoting diversity through their research, teaching, or service.
She will be presented with the award on May 15, 2009.
Annette Gordon-Reed Wins Guggenheim Fellowship
Annette Gordon-Reed has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her project, Monticello Legacies in the 'New Age' http://www.gf.org/news-events/List-of-2009-Fellows-United-States-and-Canada.
Newark Open House Registration
Interested in the History MA or MAT degree at Rutgers-Newark? Join us at Open House on Saturday, April 18, 2009!
Meet with the History Department graduate director and program administrator at the open house offered on the Rutgers-Newark Campus. All Graduate specific programs and tours will be held between the hours of 10:30am-1:30pm. For more information on the schedule of events, and to register for Open House, please visit: www.openhouse.rutgers.edu/newark
Gabor Vermes Awarded Medal by Hungary's National Academy of Sciences
Gabor Vermes, Rutgers-Newark professor emeritus, will be awarded a medal for his contributions to scholarship. The medal is being bestowed by Hungary's National Academy of Sciences, and the ceremony will take place in May in Budapest. Dr. Vermes will be delivering two papers in Budapest as part of the ceremonies.
Beryl Satter Wins Rutgers University Human Dignity Award
Beryl Satter has been selected as a 2009 recipient of the Rutgers University Human Dignity Award. This award program, sponsored by the Rutgers Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes and the President's Office, is intended to recognize the commitment, passion, and tireless efforts of people whose actions demonstrate a dedication to promoting a diverse and culturally enriching environment for those who call Rutgers and its surrounding communities home.
Professor Satter was selected for the award because of her tremendous work in creating and sustaining a more welcoming atmosphere for LGBT communities at Rutgers-Newark.
She will be presented with the award on April 16, 2009.
Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths
FEMINISM FOR THE PLANET: 5th Annual Rutgers Newark Women’s Studies Symposium
Thursday, March 26, 2009
9:00 am- 4:00 pm
Paul Robeson Campus Center
Rutgers University, Newark
350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
- 9:15-9:45 am Breakfast and Registration
- 9:45-11:30 am Opening Panel: "Expendable Lives? Women's Responses to Military Conflict and Displacement"
Natalie Jesionka, International Journalist & Lecturer, Rutgers, "On the Frontline-Women and the Human Rights Repercussions of War."
Robyn Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Rutgers New Brunswick, "Transnational Working Class Feminisms: Women Migrant Workers in Asia and Beyond"
- 11:45 am-1:30 pm Keynote Panel, Performance, and Luncheon: "Feminist Indigenous Activism and Comparative Post-Colonial Studies"
Nilanjana Deb, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India "(Post) Colonial Indians and American Cousins: Women's Indigenous Activism and the Rethinking of Democracy"
Hortensia and Elvira Colorado, Coatlicue Theatre Company, Performance and Discussion of "Women in Resistance-Women Weaving Struggles"
- 1:45-3:30 pm Closing Panel: "Queer Studies in an International Frame: Thinking the Global through the Local"
June Dowell-Burton, Executive Director, Newark Essex Pride Coalition, Inc.,"The Sakia Gunn Murder: A Catalyst for Renewal of LGBT Activism in Newark."
Darnell L. Moore, Activist and Lecturer at Rutgers New Brunswick, "Among but not a Part: Examining the Black Presence in the Queer Studies Project."
Carlos Ulises Decena, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Rutgers, "Eso se Nota: Scenes from Queer Childhoods."
Discussant: Loretta Fitzgibbons, President, RU Pride
All events to be held in Essex Room, Rutgers-Newark, Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102. For additional symposium details please visit http://womenstudies.newark.rutgers.edu and/or call (973) 353-1026 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsored by the Rutgers Newark's Women's Studies Program and the Committee to Advance our Common Purposes. Cosponsored by the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Division of Global Affairs, the Departments of English, History and Political Science, the Graduate Program in American Studies, Office of Campus Life and Leadership, the Center for the Study of Genocide & Human Rights, AWARE, RU-Pride, Spectrum-NJIT, Femworks and Minuteman Press.
Reception and Sisterhood Dinner featuring an original choreography entitled "Transformations," by Kory Saunders and performances by JOSH. 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Paul Robeson Campus Center, Room 255-257, Rutgers-Newark Sponsored by the Office of Campus Life and Leadership, to RSVP, or for more information call 973.353.5300.
March 26, 2009
29th ANNUAL MARION THOMPSON WRIGHT LECTURE SERIES Commemorates NAACP Centennial, Lincoln Bicentennial
Saturday, February 21, 2009
9:30am - 3:30pm
Paul Robeson Campus Center
Rutgers University, Newark
350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
Two significant anniversaries in the history of the American republic will be commemorated at the 29th annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, one of New Jersey's oldest and most highly esteemed Black History Month events, on Saturday, February 21, 2009. The conference will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Paul Robeson Campus Center on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
The 2009 conference, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: Lincoln, the NAACP, and the World They Created will acknowledge the significance of the bicentennial anniversary of President Lincoln's birth and the centennial anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The keynote Marion Thompson Wright Lectures will be given by Deborah Gray White, Board of Governors Professor of History, Rutgers University and Bob Herbert, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. Afternoon speakers include Professor James Oakes, The City University of New York and Professor Kenneth Mack, Harvard Law School. The afternoon presentations will be followed by a reception in the Paul Robeson Gallery, featuring entertainment by the Bradford Hayes jazz trio.
The complicated resonance of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in many ways set the stage for the urgency and activism that marked the formation of the NAACP in 1909, according to Dr. Cement Price, director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience and a distinguished service professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark.
"Abraham Lincoln's decision to make the emancipation of the South's slaves an objective of the Union's triumph over the Confederacy was his shining hour as president,” explains Dr. Price. “And the decision by African Americans and white progressives in 1909 to give a deeper meaning to black freedom by starting the NAACP was arguably among the most important decisions of the last century. Lincoln and the NAACP are linked by the precious and mystical cords of history, memory and freedom in American life."
The lecture series was co-founded in 1981 by Dr. Price and Giles R. Wright, from the New Jersey Historical Commission. Over the past 28 years, the conference has drawn thousands of people to the Rutgers-Newark campus in observance of Black History Month, and has attracted some of the nation's foremost scholars and humanists who are experts in the field of African and African American history and culture. One of the oldest and most prestigious events of its kind, the MTW lecture series offers a forum for scholars and non-academicians to share their thoughts and exchange ideas and sustains wide public interest in history, the humanities and life-long learning.
The annual conference was named for East Orange native Dr. Marion Thompson Wright, a pioneer in African American historiography and race relations in New Jersey, who served for many years on the faculty of Howard University. An honors graduate of Newark's Barringer High School and Columbia University's Teachers College Class of 1938, she was the first professionally trained woman historian in the United States.
The program is being mounted as an important Rutgers University resource for public scholarship and civic discourse in greater Newark and is sponsored by the Institute; the Federated Department of History, Rutgers-Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State.
For additional information about the program contact Marisa Pierson, Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, 973.353.3896, or email@example.com .
Robeson Campus Center is wheelchair-accessible, as is the Rutgers-Newark campus. Rutgers Newark can be reached by New Jersey Transit buses and trains, the PATH train and Amtrak from New York City, and by Newark City Subway. Metered parking is available on University Avenue and at Rutgers Newark's public parking garage, at 200 University Ave. Printable campus maps and driving directions are available online at: http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/maps/index.php
"A Once and Future Newark" with Clement Alexander Price now online
Clement Price Appointed to Prominent Transition Post by President-Elect Obama
Clement Alexander Price, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History at Rutgers University in Newark, has been appointed to a key role on President-Elect Barack Obama's transition team. Price, who has earned national distinction for his many leadership roles in higher education, the arts and humanities, will chair the Obama transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
"The NEH is a public trust that is committed to a broad and deep investment in public knowledge,” Price commented. “I expect President Obama, despite the financial crisis now facing the nation, will want to continue its mission and its service to the principles of the American Republic.”
Steven Diner, Chancellor of Rutgers University, Newark, said “Clement Price is known widely for his pioneering efforts in using the humanities to build civic culture and to empower communities. Professor Price is uniquely qualified to identify the ways the Obama administration can draw upon the humanities as a vital part of its agenda.”
Price is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, at Rutgers University in Newark. A long-time resident of Newark, NJ, he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Bridgeport and the Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Price is the foremost authority on the black New Jersey past by virtue of his Freedom Not Far Distant: A Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey (1980). He is a widely published author and commentator on a range of subjects, including New Jersey arts and humanities, civic culture, public policy, and New Jersey's ethnic and racial history.
As a leading public intellectual, Price has been the recipient of many awards for academic and community service, including New Jersey Professor of the Year by The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in 1999; in 2006, he was inducted into the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni. He, along with his wife, Mary Sue Sweeney Price, received the 2006 Ryan Award for Commitment to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The award-winning documentary film, “The Once and Future Newark,” hosted by Price, has been broadcast frequently on PBS.
Indicative of his outstanding record of public service, Price is a trustee of the Urban Libraries Council and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, president of the Newark Public Schools Foundation, and a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. He is the most senior member of the Board of Trustees of the Newark Public Library and serves on the Steering Committee of the Newark Black Film Festival. In April 2008, he became a member of The New Jersey State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. At the request of New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, Price chaired the Newark Public Schools Superintendent Search Committee during the spring of 2008. Price serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship . He was recently appointed to the advisory council for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Along with Giles R. Wright, he is the 1981 co-founder and co-organizer of the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious conferences in observance of Black History Month in New Jersey.
November 17, 2008
An Evening with Annette Gordon-Reed, Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Dana Room, 4th floor John Cotton Dana Library
185 University Avenue, Newark, NJ
We are pleased to invite the community to meet Rutgers-Newark History Professor Annette Gordon-Reed, who will speak about her stunning new book, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family and be interviewed by Rutgers-Newark professor Jan Ellen Lewis, herself a noted Jeffersonian scholar. Professor Gordon-Reed will sign copies of her book, which will be available for sale. A reception will follow. This free event is open to all. For directions to the campus, please visit http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/maps.
The Hemingses of Monticello brings to life not only Sally Hemings and her intimate relationship with Thomas Jefferson but the entire Hemings family in what Joseph J. Ellis says is "the most comprehensive account of one slave family ever written." The book has been hailed as "monumental and original" (Washington Post), "commanding and important (New Yorker), and "compulsively readable" (Newsweek).
A printer-friendly invitation can be accessed at http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/pdf/gordon-reed.pdf.
October 21, 2008
Latino Arts Festival - Before and Beyond: Celebrating the Indigenous and African Herencias of Latino/a Culture
October 1 & 8, 2008
Rutgers University has joined hands with the City of Newark's Division of Recreation/Cultural Affairs during Hispanic Heritage Month to host a Latino/a Arts Festival, Before and Beyond: Celebrating the Indigenous and African Herencias of Latino/a Culture. This two-day festival on October 1 and 8, 2008 , will commemorate and celebrate the African and indigenous roots of Latino/a culture, and is the first event of its kind on the Rutgers-Newark campus. Admission to the Festival is free and open to the public.
This festival opens Wednesday, Oct. 1 beginning at 2:30 p.m . with a screening of Henry Chalfant's documentary, From Mambo to Hip Hop, which explores the African and Latino origins of this music in the Bronx. The screening also features a question-and-answer period with co- producer Elena Rivera, and takes place in room 313 Bradley Hall, 110 Warren Street, Newark.
One week later on Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m ., internationally acclaimed performers and community members will educate and entertain attendees at the festival's main event, which takes place on the Norman Samuels Plaza , located in front of the Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, on the Rutgers-Newark campus.
Hosted by Nuyorican poet and performer extraordinaire, Caridad de la Luz, aka La Bruja, the afternoon will feature the award-winning puppeteer Laurencio Ruiz of Mexico, performing "Quenonamican," a Pre-Hispanic puppet show that represents what it means to be Mexican in North America. The puppet show will be followed by Puerto Rican/Cuban salsa, and Peruvian Afro-indigenous dances, called marinera and festejo negro . La Bruja and a regional step team from a Latino fraternity, LSU, will wrap up the afternoon of performances.
The festival also features a Community Resources Fair. Health-related student organizations at Rutgers-Newark and organizations in the surrounding community will provide information on health issues that affect the Latino/a community,
"Before and Beyond" looks toward a future in which Latino/as will play a decisive role in the future of the United States. The festival draws on culture to promote future leadership and to open a dialogue about Latino identity within the US American context. “ This festival represents a long overdue first for Rutgers Newark,” according to Laura Lomas, professor of English and American Studies, and the event organizer . “Latino/a culture is a dynamic force in the Americas and in the world, and this festival celebrates the roots of this culture that preceded the arrival of the Spanish to this hemisphere.
Other Rutgers-Newark sponsors for this event include: the departments of English, History, Modern and Classical Languages Departments, Program in Women's Studies, The Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, the Paul Robeson Campus Center, the Office of Campus Life and Leadership, Cultural Programming Fund, the Office of Student and Community Affairs, Office of the Chancellor, and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Additional cosponsors are Councilmember Aníbal Ramos, Jr., Citibank, and the Newark Public Library.
For more information about the festival, please contact Karla Ramos and Luz Costa, Latino/a Arts Festival Press Coordinators at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF 2008!
The Department would especially like to acknowledge this year's graduating recipients of our undergraduate Departmental Awards: Marlene Moreira, selected for The David Robert Friedlander Memorial Award; Michael DeBerjeois, selected for the Edward H. Zabriskie Memorial Award; and Keely McManus, selected for the Sydney Zebel Award. Also, we acknowledge this year's inductees to Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society: Marisa Carey, Roman Damaso, Michael DeBerjeois, Ishandev Hiremath, Emilia Kata, Alexandra Marcus, Jorge Moore, Marlene Moreira, Amanda Pierson, Piotr Rapciewicz, Isabel Restrepo, Nichole Spampinato, Joseph Tartaglia, and Tania Zubaly. Congratulations to you all on your accomplishments!
WHITE RIOTS: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF WHITE “RACE RIOTS” IN THE URBAN NORTH, 1946-1962
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; 2:30 PM
Paul Robeson Gallery
When black people rioted, the television cameras rolled. What happened when white people rioted?
Professor Beryl Satter explains the difference between media coverage of white and black riots – and why this difference matters.
4th Annual Women's Studies Symposium: "Women Redefining the Politics of Power"
Friday, March 28, 2008; 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Paul Robeson Campus Center Rooms # 255, 256, 257
Nia Gill (State Senator, New Jersey)
Cynthia McKinney (Former Congresswoman, Georgia)
Tanya K. Hernandez (George Washington University Law School)
Nia H. Gill has been serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 2002, where she represents the 34th Legislative District. She is the Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. Gill is recognized as being one of the leading abortion rights advocates in New Jersey politics. She took opposition to override the then-Governor Christie Whitman's veto of the New Jersey Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 in the New Jersey Assembly. Gill received a B.A. in History/Political History from Upsala College and was awarded a J.D. from the Rutgers University School of Law. She is an attorney with the firm of Gill & Cohen, P.C. together with fellow Assembly member Neil M. Cohen.
Cynthia A. McKinney served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, and from 2005 to 2007, representing Georgia's 4th Congressional District. She left the Democratic Party in 2007 and created an exploratory committee for a Green Party presidential campaign. McKinney is Georgia's first African-American Congresswoman and the only woman serving in the state's congressional delegation. She advocates for voting rights, human rights and the strengthening of business ties between Africa and the U.S. McKinney earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and is currently working to complete her dissertation in international relations at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Tanya K. Hernandez earned an A.B. in sociology from Brown and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She joined the George Washington University Law faculty in 2007, after a decade of teaching at Rutgers University Law-Newark, and St. John's University School of Law. She teaches courses on property, trusts and estates, critical race theory, and race and the law. Hernandez's scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations, and her work has been published in the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and many other publications.
Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.
"ISLAM AND THE AFRICAN: From Ethiopia to Timbuktu to America"
February 18, 2008; 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Paul Robeson Campus Center Essex Room (231)
Abdullah Hakim Quick will be visiting Rutgers-Newark to discuss “Islam and the African: From Ethiopia to Timbuktu to America”, on Monday, February 18, 2008 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Essex Room (231), which is located on the second floor of the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers University Newark.
Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia and holds a Masters Degree and a Doctorate in African History from the University of Toronto in Canada. Shaykh Abdullah has contributed to the religious page of Canada’s leading newspaper for three years and is presently a senior lecturer on the history of Islam in Africa at The International Peace University South Africa in Cape Town and a member of the Muslim Judicial Council, Cape Town, South Africa. For more information, please visit www.hakimquick.com.
The introduction will be given by Michael Nash, a full-time professor in the Division of Humanities/Department of History at Essex County College and a part-time lecturer in the Department of African-American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. He is also the author of Islam Among Urban Blacks: Muslims in Newark, NJ, A Social History.
This presentation is sponsored by the Department of African-American and African Studies and the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience with support from Masjid As-haabul Yameen, East Orange, NJ and Masjid Warithideen, Irvington, NJ.
"Private Grief and Public Mourning in African American Life and History"
February 16, 2008 at 9:30 AM
Paul Robeson Campus Center
One of New Jersey’s oldest and most highly esteemed Black History Month events, the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, will mark its 28th anniversary, Saturday, February 16, 2008 by examining Private Grief and Public Mourning in African American Life and History. The conference will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Paul Robeson Campus Center on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
The one-day free public program will acknowledge the deep sadness and enduring commemorative efforts associated with post-World War II African American history, especially as that history relates to the 1968 death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the loss of so many others imperiled during the years of the modern Civil Rights Movement. The fortieth anniversary of Dr. King’s death in 1968 affords historians an opportunity to shed light on how that singularly tragic event is connected to a larger narrative of the emotional grief and commemoration of the Movement and those who made a sacrifice in its behalf.
The keynote Marion Thompson Wright Lecture will be given by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Professor Emerita of history at American University and a scholar and artist in African American cultural history and music. Afternoon speakers include Professor John Vlach, George Washington University, Washington, DC; Professor Kim Lacy Rogers, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA; and Dr. Juanita Moore, president and CEO, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI. Performances by violinist, Regina Carter and the Bradford Hayes Trio.
For more information visit http://ethnicity.rutgers.edu.
"Pakistan's Ongoing Emergency: Media and Modalities of Protest at Home and Abroad"
November 30, 2007
Dana Room, fourth floor of the Dana Library, Rutgers University, Newark
On Friday, November 30th, from 2-3:30 in the Dana Library, fourth floor, there will be a panel discussion on Pakistan's Ongoing Emergency: Media and Modalities of Protest at Home and Abroad. In the past five years, Pakistan's public sphere and civil society have dramatically increased in their geographical and social scope. As this new public sphere has become more important, it has spilled beyond the borders of Pakistan to include overseas communities directly too, making overseas Pakistanis strong real-time participants in social and political debates within Pakistan. This newly assertive public sphere and civil society have recently faced a strong crackdown recently, as they have mobilized against the military government's latest attempts to curb the independence of the judicial branch. That is, the public sphere and the various ways it is mediated have become powerful social forces in their own right, a new situation in the context of Pakistan which will certainly affect the outcome of this 'Emergency'. What are some of the features of this public sphere, its forms of civil protest, and its mediation through satellite channels, internet technologies, print media, and mobile phones? How are rapidly mushrooming protests in Pakistan linked to similarly growing numbers of protests in the US? We shall explore these questions through an interactive panel discussion between five young academics and activists, and our audience. All are invited for discussion and light refreshments.
Maria Khan (graduate student, University of Pennsylvania)
Bilal Tanveer (graduate student, Columbia University)
Dr. Saadia Toor (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work College of Staten Island)
Rubab Qureshi (Lecturer, Urdu, University of Pennsylvania)
James Caron (Instructor, History, Rutgers Newark)
This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of History and Political Science at Rutgers Newark.
Welcome Ruth Feldstein, a new faculty member in the Department of History and the Graduate Program in American Studies
Ruth Feldstein will join the Newark Faculty of Arts and Science in the fall of 2007 as a tenured Associate Professor of History. She will offer courses in the Department of History as well as the Graduate Program in American Studies.
Dr. Feldstein is the author of Motherhood in Black and White: Race and Sex in American Liberalism, 1930-1965 (Cornell, 2000), and has written articles and reviews for the Journal of American History, the Journal of Cold War Studies, Reviews in American History, Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, and (the forthcoming), Race, Nation, and Empire in American History. Her article, "'I Don't Trust You Anymore': Nina Simone, African American Activism, and Culture in the 1960s," was awarded the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Prize, Association of Black Women Historians, for Best Article on Black Women's History.
Her current research focuses on internationally famous black women entertainers who participated in the American civil rights movement. Her book-in-progress, Do What You Gotta Do: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), explores links between feminism, a global mass culture, black activism, and anti-colonial internationalism. She will teach general courses in American history, as well as focused seminars on women's and gender history, cultural history, and African American history, and research seminars in American Studies.
Welcome James Caron and Avraham (Avi) Picard, visiting scholars for the 2007-2008 academic year
Dr. Avi Picard will join the Department as the Schusterman Visiting Professor, funded by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. His expertise is in the study of ethnicity and he will teach courses on the history of Israel and of Zionism.
Also joining us in the fall will be James Caron, a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of South Asia Studies. He is completing a dissertation on the social and cultural history surrounding the cross-class formation of Pashtun ethnic identity in mid-20th century Afganistan. Mr. Caron's work engages not only a trans-regional South and Central Asian history but also ethnohistory broadly conceived, as well as some areas of Midde East history. He will teach courses on South Asian history and will also present public lectures/events on that topic.
We welcome them to the Rutgers-Newark campus!
Congratulations to the Class of 2007!
Pictured from left to right: (front) N. Bedrossian, I. Boneva, T. Spence, O. Ibrahim; (back) D. Cribeiro, I. Abbasi, W. Heske, J. Dwyer, R. Harry
The Department would especially like to acknowledge this year's graduating recipients of our undergraduate Departmental Awards: Olivia Ibrahim, selected for the Clement A. Price Award; Joseph Dwyer, III, selected for The David Robert Friedlander Memorial Award; Rick Harry, selected for the Edward H. Zabriskie Memorial Award; and Willow Heske, selected for the Sydney Zebel Award. Also, we acknowledge this year's inductees to Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society: Issa Abbasi, Natalie Bedrossian, Iskra Boneva, Dennis Cribeiro, Joseph Dwyer III, Anna Ferreira, Alexis Gomez, Rick Harry, Willow Heske, Olivia Ibrahim, Janalina Lake, Gabriel Pena, Tynslei Spence, Edward Wilk, and Ashley Woodruff. Congratulations to you all on your accomplishments!
Senior Awards Night, May 15, 2007
“Constructing Charisma: Fame, Celebrity and Power in 19th Century Europe” conference, April 12-14, 2007
We are pleased to announce: “Secular Anointings: Fame, Celebrity, and Charisma in the First Century of Mass Culture,” a Keynote Lecture by Leo Braudy on April 12, 2007. Dr. Braudy is University Professor at the University of Southern California, and a distinguished scholar of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English literature, film history, American culture and the history of fame. The lecture will be held at Rutgers-Newark on April 12, 2007 from 5:30-7:00 pm in the Dana Room, 4th Floor of the John Cotton Dana Library, 185 University Avenue.
Please rsvp to email@example.com.
Leo Braudy’s lecture is the “kick-off event” of a three-day conference, “Constructing Charisma: Fame, Celebrity and Power in 19th Century Europe,” which will be held on April 12-14, 2007, at Rutgers-Newark and La Maison Française, NYU. The conference is hosted jointly by the Federated History Department at Rutgers University, Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the Institute of French Studies at NYU, with support from the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers-Newark. Its topics include how 19th century European celebrities transformed their personal standing into social and political power; how established leaders—kings, presidents, clergymen—had to operate within the new culture of celebrity by developing “charisma;” and how charisma was enacted through institutional means (media, advertising, spectacles), material culture and commodification, and the participation of fans.
Constructing Charisma: Fame, Celebrity and Power in 19th Century Europe Conference,
April 12-14, 2007, at Rutgers-Newark and La Maison Française, NYU poster in .pdf format
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Rutgers University, Newark
“Secular Anointings: Fame, Celebrity, and Charisma in the First Century of Mass Culture”
Leo Braudy is University Professor at the University of Southern California, and a distinguished scholar of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English literature, film history, American culture and the history of fame. His book The Frenzy of Renown, which spans the culture of fame from antiquity to the present, is a seminal work for all historians of fame and celebrity, and a classic in the field of cultural history.
Dana Room, 4th Floor Dana Library,
185 University Ave., Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07102
Reception, 7:00-8:00pm, at the Paul Robeson Gallery
Co-sponsored by the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University, Newark.
Please rsvp at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For directions to the Rutgers-Newark campus, please see: http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/maps/newarkmap.pdf or call 973-353-5410 ext.19.
For those coming by train: the Rutgers-Newark campus is a five minute taxi ride from Newark Penn Station.
For all other information on the keynote events on April 12, please contact email@example.com .
Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, 2007
La Maison Française, NYU
16 Washington Mews, New York City, 10003
“Constructing Charisma: Fame, Celebrity and Power in 19th Century Europe” is an interdisciplinary conference, hosted jointly by the Institute of French Studies at NYU and the Federated Department of History at Rutgers University-Newark and NJIT. Its topics include how 19th century European celebrities transformed their personal standing into social and political power; how established leaders—kings, presidents, clergymen—had to operate within the new culture of celebrity by developing “charisma;” and how charisma was enacted through institutional means (media, advertising, spectacles), material culture and commodification, and the participation of fans.
Jeffrey Alexander, Sociology, Yale (Weber, Charisma)
Emily Apter, French, NYU (Celebrity and the gift)
Edward Berenson, History, NYU (Colonial Heroes)
Venita Datta, French, Wellesley (Heroes, Belle Époque)
Steven Englund, History, American University Paris (Napoleon)
Peter Fritzsche, History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne (Media and celebrity)
Eva Giloi, History, Rutgers-Newark (Fan-celebrity relationship)
Dana Gooley, Music, Brown (Liszt)
Martin Kohlrausch, History, German Historical Institute Warsaw (Wilhelm II, Scandal)
Steven Minta, English, York (Byron)
Mary Louise Roberts, History, Wisconsin (Women celebrities)
Kenneth Silver, Art History, NYU (Sarah Bernhardt)
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Italian, NYU
Dominique Kalifa, History, University of Paris I
Anson Rabinbach, History, Princeton
Vanessa Schwartz, History, USC
For more information on the conference sessions at La Maison Française, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from Clement Price to the Rutgers University Community in Response to Don Imus Incident
If it were not enough for the Scarlet Knights to make it to the final four of the NCAA women's basketball tournament, they now have to contend with Don Imus's reprehensible characterization of the African American members of the team. Whom should the team turn to now? Who will serve as their power forward, taking to the basket the ideals of justice and decency that have for so long marked the image of Rutgers? Who will be their point guard, putting up a shot that will shock Mr. Imus into a realization that his words, and similar words over the course of modern history, are hurtful and despicable?
The Scarlet Knights can turn to us, the Rutgers University community writ large, diverse and caring. We salute your collective accomplishment. And we are offended by Don Imus's words, not only because they are crude, but also because his words all but get in the way of this precious moment of the University's great joy over your accomplishments, but they do not diminish your stature as one of the nation's greatest athletic ensembles.
Clement Alexander Price
Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History
Director, Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience
Images of Muslims in the Western Media, Wednesday, April 11th
Images of Muslims in the Western Media," Wednesday, April 11, 2:30 to 3:50 in the Dana Room. This program will feature two presentations: Anisa Mehdi, Emmy-Award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, whose work has appeared on ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR, will give the following talk: "Why Do You See Us This Way? Arabs and Muslims Question American News Coverage." Prof. Jon Cowans of the History Department will give the following talk, with film clips: "Despots and Dancing Girls: Images of Muslims in Western Films." The event is co-sponsored by the Muslim Student Association and the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. Refreshments provided. For more information, contact Jon Cowans at email@example.com.
Spring U.S. History Saturday Academy begins on March 17, 2007
The spring term of the U.S. History Saturday Academy, co-sponsored by the Rutgers-Newark Department of History and the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, will begin on March 17, 2007.
Funded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Saturday Academy is a tuition-free program offering students in grades 9-12 a variety of American History courses, taught over 6 Saturdays on the Rutgers-Newark campus, and instructed by high school and college Social Studies teachers. The goal is to attract students to the study of U.S. history through a wide range of methods by which historians make sense of the country’s past.
Interested students from the public and private schools in Newark grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the program. Applications are available from Social Studies teachers in the Newark school district. The deadline for the applying to the U.S. History Saturday Academy is March 12th, but classes will close as soon as they fill. For more information, please visit the Saturday Academy webpage.
"Speaking of Diversity": A Conversation on Coexistence at Rutgers-Newark, February 21, 2007
Jon Cowans will moderate a town-meeting style forum focusing on issues of the coexistence of people of various faiths, ethnicities, etc. here at Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 from 2:30 to 3:50 p.m. This event will be held in the Dana Room, which is located on the 4th floor of the John Cotton Dana Library. Discussion questions will include: what does diversity really mean at Rutgers; do people of different faiths, ethnicities, political views, and sexual orientations interact and socialize, or do they "stick to their own"; and what problems and misunderstandings still exist? Program sponsors include: the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, the Muslim Student Association, and the Rutgers Alliance for Peace and Justice (RAP-J). For more information on the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
27th Annual Marion Thompson Wright Lecture: Time Longer Than Rope: Historical Memory and the Black Atlantic, February 17, 2007
What role does historical memory play in African American and African societies? How does it shape identity in the African Diaspora? What can scholars, students and citizens in our vast and diverse region learn from the new scholarship on what is remembered in the black experience and what is forgotten within the Black Atlantic? These and other questions about historical memory will be explored February 17, 2007, during Time Longer Than Rope: Historical Memory and the Black Atlantic, the 27th Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series.
The one-day program will acknowledge the centrality of memory in understanding the complexity of African American life after the Civil War, the role of memory in societies on the African continent and those in the Americas, the influence of memory on the construction of the black past, commemoration, identity, and the use of memory in contemporary scholarship on the Black Atlantic. David Blight, professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolitionism at Yale University, will present the keynote Marion Thompson Wright Lecture. Professor Blight is the nation's foremost historian on memory and its intersection with African American historical narratives.
The free public program will be held in the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers-Newark, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The campus center is located at 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The program is sponsored by the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience; the Federated Department of History, Rutgers-Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and the New Jersey Historical Commission/Department of State. For additional information about the program, please visit http://ethnicity.rutgers.edu or contact Marisa Pierson, the Program Coordinator for the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, 973.353.1871 x11, or email@example.com.
Jan Lewis appointed Acting Dean of Rutgers Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark (FAS-N), effective January 1, 2007
Provost Steven J. Diner has announced the appointment of Jan Ellen Lewis, Ph.D. and historian, as acting dean of the Rutgers Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark (FAS-N) effective Jan. 1, 2007. Lewis, who has taught American history at Rutgers in Newark since 1977, is currently Rutgers chair of the Federated History Department of Rutgers-New Jersey Institute of Technology. She also teaches in the history Ph.D. program at Rutgers in New Brunswick, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University. An internationally celebrated Jeffersonian scholar, Lewis specializes in colonial and early national history. “Jan Lewis brings a wealth of experience to this position, having served for many years as chair of the History Department,” noted Provost Diner. “She has played an active role on numerous university, campus and arts & sciences committees, and is deeply committed to Rutgers and the Newark campus.” To view the full announcement, visit http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/oc/pubs/connections/pdf/DigestNov2006.pdf
November 17, 2006
"The Once and Future Newark," a documentary film featuring Clement Price to air on New Jersey Network (NJN)
“The Once and Future Newark,” a documentary film featuring the commentary of Rutgers-Newark History Professor Clement Alexander Price, is complete and will air on New Jersey Network on Wednesday, October 4 at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, October 5 at 9 p.m. The documentary chronicles Newark’s rich history with commentary and tours guided by Dr. Price to the city’s many historical landmarks and featured music composed by Visual and Performing Arts’ Lewis Porter and Henry Martin in its soundtrack. To learn more, visit http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/newark/index.php
October 4, 2006
Rutgers, Newark History Department launches U.S. History Saturday Academy
The U.S. History Saturday Academy, co-sponsored by the Rutgers-Newark Department of History and the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, will be launched on September 30, 2006 to create new ways to engage students in the study of American history.
Funded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Saturday Academy is a tuition-free program offering students in grades 9-12 a variety of American History courses, taught over 6 Saturdays on the Rutgers-Newark campus, and instructed by high school and college Social Studies teachers. The goal is to attract students to the study of U.S. history through a wide range of methods by which historians make sense of the country’s past.
Interested students from the public and private schools in Newark grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the program. Applications are available from Social Studies teachers in the Newark school district. The deadline for the applying to the U.S. History Saturday Academy is September 25th, but classes will close as soon as they fill. For more information, please visit the Saturday Academy webpage.
Gary Farney selected as recipient of the 2006 UC-NAA Henry J. Browne Teaching Excellence Award
Gary Farney has been selected for the University College-Newark Alumni Association Henry J. Browne Teaching Excellence Award. This prestigious award will be presented at the 2006 Distinguished Alumni and Faculty Awards Dinner on Thursday, September 14, 2006.
Clement Price to speak before the Congressional Black Caucus on Thursday, September 7, 2006
On Thursday, September 7, 2006 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Clement Alexander Price will be one of a panel of scholars -- officially termed "The Brain Trust on Urban Affairs" -- who will be speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus at their Legislative Weekend. This year's panel will discuss "America's Cities" and consists of Clement Price; Marc Morial, the President and CEO of the National Urban League; and Lonnie Bunch III, the Founding Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. The panel will be introduced by Congressman John Lewis.
September 7 , 2006
Congratulations to the Class of 2006!
Pictured from left to right: Karen Caplan, David Hattem, Susan Carruthers, Gregory Nikitin, Jan Lewis
The Department would especially like to acknowledge this year's graduating recipients of our undergraduate Departmental Awards. David Hattem was selected for the Sydney Zebel Award for writing the best Senior Thesis in the NCAS section of the Senior Seminar. Gregory P. Nikitin was selected for the The David Robert Friedlander Memorial Award in recognition of his outstanding achievement by attaining the highest cumulative G.P.A. for his history courses. Gregory Nikitin was also selected for the Edward H. Zabriskie Memorial Award for writing the best Senior Thesis in the UC section of the Senior Seminar.
May 16, 2006
The Spring 2006 History Faculty Update is now available in .pdf format.
Click here to download.
An honors colloquium on New Jersey's Environments hosted by Neil Maher, NJIT
Neil Maher has edited a volume of essays on the environmental history of New Jersey entitled, New Jersey's Environments: Past, Present, and Future. The book, which was published by Rutgers University Press in February 2006, covers topics ranging from wildlife management and ecological measures to solid-waste disposal and natural-disaster preparedness. This colloquium will feature a panel of contributors to this book in short talks introduced by Prof. Maher and followed by discussion. It will be held from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the NJIT Atrium, located on the first floor, rear, of the NJIT Campus Center. For more information, please visit the NJIT Honors College website, http://honors.njit.edu/news/colloquium/colloq_06s.php.
April 26, 2006
Clement Price is inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni, 2006
Clement Alexander Price has, for many years, been a passionate champion of both the city of Newark and of Rutgers' campus in that historic city. Since 1969, he has taught history at Rutgers-Newark and since 2002, has served as a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor. In 1996, he founded the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience on the Newark campus, which engages scholars and humanists in public intellectual work and presents innovative programs in the humanities, the arts and lifelong learning. Clement directs the institute and also teaches courses in American, African-American, urban and New Jersey history. In 1999, he was named New Jersey Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. In 1981, he co-founded the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture Series, held during Black History Month at Rutgers-Newark. Clement is the author of many publications that explore African-American history, race relations and modern culture. His dedication to New Jersey, especially the state's largest city, has led to many years of service with such organizations as the Newark Public Library, the New Jersey Historical Society, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Newark Public Schools and the Newark Black Film Festival. HDA website, http://www.alumni.rutgers.edu/news/hda.php?show=171
April 22, 2006
Susan Carruthers is named a fellow of Harvard's Charles Warren Center
Susan Carruthers has been named a fellow of The Charles Warren Center at Harvard University for the academic year 2006-2007. She will be participating in a workshop on "Cultural Reverberations of Modern War" This workshop will consider the relevance of modern war to American culture in the broadest sense. What elements in the creative arts and public culture allow or discourage a resort to war, and what are the cultural consequences of war-making? When the state declares others as enemies, what is the impact on national self-understanding and individual artistic motivation? How does international conflict realign Americans' cultural interactions with other parts of the world? For more information, visit http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cwc/fsprogramfuture.html.
RIGHTSNIGHT 2006: A Celebration of Civil and Human Rights
RightsNight 06 will begin on February 27th with keynote speaker Chaplain James Yee , a third generation Chinese-American from New Jersey and West Point graduate accused of espionage and spying. Chaplain Yee will talk about racial profiling and his 76 days in prison before being reinstated and honorably discharged from the army. He will speak at two separate venues: first at 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the NJIT Campus Center Atrium , NJIT and then from 2:30 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. in 220 Smith Hall, 101 Warren Street, Rutgers University, Newark campus. Click here for complete program information.
February 27-March 1, 2006