News and Events
Handlin Immigration Conference, March 8
The Department of History, in collaboration with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities, is sponsoring a one-day conference in memory of the late Oscar Handlin, Brooklyn College graduate, long-time Professor of History and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University, and the historian most responsible for making immigration history a central concern in American historical scholarship. The conference will investigate Professor Handlin's legacy in the history of migration. The keynote speaker is Professor Virginia Yans of Rutgers University. Other panelists include Jose Moya of Columbia University, Matthew Frye Jacobson of Yale University, and Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News. The conference will include a discussion by current Brooklyn College students. The event will be held on Thursday, March 8. It begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Tanger Auditorium of the Brooklyn College Library.
Dean Phillips' Latest Book Appears
Congratulations to Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History Kimberley Phillips on the recent publication of War! What is it Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).
Student Exhibition, "Brooklyn: Places and Faces," Opens Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The students in Professor Philip Napoli's HIST 3460: The Public and the Past are presenting an exhibition, "Brooklyn: Places and Faces," in 522 Whitehead Hall. The opening ceremony will be at 12:50 p.m. on Dec. 7, and the exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on December 7 and 8, and 12 and14. The students invite you to attend and announce, "The exhibition will display the historical roots of six particular areas of Brooklyn — Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Flatbush, Gravesend, Park Slope and Sunset Park." Snacks and beverages will be provided at the opening.
Lecture on Indian History, Dec. 1
Professor Achyut Chetan, Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, will deliver a lecture, "The Missing Mothers of the Indian Constitution," on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 5:05 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library. Chetan teaches at Dumka College in Jharkhand, India. Deeply committed to the values of constitutional democracy, Chetan, a native of the politically volatile and neglected area of Jharkhand, is a member of the Indian National Congress. As a scholar-activist he works at the most basic level to help develop democratic habits and respect for them among his students and their society. The talk will focus on women members of the Constituent Assembly, whom he calls "the missing mothers." He will sketch a narrative of historical exclusion of some women and inclusion of others. His lecture will highlight the complexity of women lending their voice to the mythical "We, the people" of the Preamble to the Indian Constitution.
Lecture on Russian History, Sept. 27
Professor Joshua Sanborn of Lafayette College will give a lecture, "Military Retreat and the Migration of Disorder: The Russian Empire in 1915," on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library. Sanborn is the author of Drafting the Russian Nation: Military Conscription, Total War, and Mass Politics, 1905–1925 (2003) and co-author with Annette Timm of Gender, Sex, and the Shaping of Modern Europe: A History from the French Revolution to the Present Day (2007). He is currently at work on Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). For further information, please contact Assistant Professor Brigid O'Keeffe.
New Dean Appointed to the Department and the College
We welcome to the college and the department the founding dean of humanities and social sciences, Professor Kimberley L. Phillips, who comes to us from the College of William and Mary. Phillips is a specialist in African American and 20th-century U.S. history. She is the author, most notably, of AlabamaNorth: African American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915–45 (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and the forthcoming War! What Is It Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).
Assistant Professor Stern Appears on NPR
Assistant Professor Karen Stern will be speaking about her ancient graffiti project with Jacki Lyden on Weekend Edition on Sunday, June 19. Tune in to WNYC between 8 and 10 a.m., or go to the NPR website after the broadcast.
Annual Awards Ceremony, May 26
All history majors are invited to the annual departmental awards ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 5 – 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge in the Student Center. We will honor scholarship and awards winners and say congratulations to graduating seniors. RSVP to Associate Professor Jocelyn Wills.
Lecture on the History of Puerto Rican Citizenship and Identity in the United States
Professor Lorrin Thomas of Rutgers University–Camden will speak about her new book, Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in Twentieth-Century New York City (University of Chicago Press, 2010), on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library.
Associate Professor Rawson Named a Pulitzer Finalist (and a Feliks Gross Winner)
On Monday, April 18, Associate Professor Michael Rawson was named a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in History for his book, Eden on the Charles (Harvard University Press, 2010). Two days later he was named a winner of the Feliks Gross Endowment Award by the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences. Quite a week!
Assistant Professor Napoli Speaks at CUNY Graduate Center
Assistant Professor Philip Napoli will participate in a roundtable entitled "Putting the Public History in Ph.D." on Friday, March 11, 1 – 2:30 p.m., at the CUNY Graduate Center (34 Street and 5 Avenue in Manhattan), Room 5114. E-mail us for more information. RSVP here.
Professor SenGupta Speaks at Barnard College Forum on Migration
Professor Gunja SenGupta will speak on the theme of "Fugitives and Matriarchs: Slavery in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds" on Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m. at Barnard College, Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd floor, Barnard Hall.
Associate Professor Ebert Speaks at Columbia University Seminar in the Renaissance
Associate Professor Christopher Ebert will speak on the theme of "Textual Representation of Brazilian Colonial Towns: Early-Modern Traditions, Genres and Innovations" at the Faculty House at Columbia University, Tuesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. To attend, please contact Ivan Lupic.
Professor Emerita Bonnie Anderson Delivers International Women's Day Lecture in the Brooklyn College Library
Bonnie S. Anderson, professor emerita from Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, will give a talk, "Searching for Ernestine Potowski Rose." Ernestine Potowski Rose (1810 – 1892) was a leading speaker and organizer of the U.S. women's movement. The talk will be held on Tuesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium of the Brooklyn College Library.
Professor SenGupta Delivers Black History Month Lecture
Professor Gunja SenGupta was the invited speaker at the historic Hanson Place Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Saturday, Feb. 19. She spoke on history, myth and American slavery.
History Major Awarded Rhodes Scholarship
Congratulations to history major Zujaja Tauqeer, who has been awarded an extremely prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University for the next two years! She will work toward an M.Phil. degree in the history of science, medicine and technology. Having worked with a wide range of faculty at Brooklyn College and studied the history of South Asia with Associate Professor Swapna Banerjee, she now intends to pursue a project at Oxford on "how political developments in Pakistan have led to the deprioritization of public healthcare in the country."
Adjunct Assistant Professor Brandow-Faller Wins Award
Congratulations to Megan Brandow-Faller, Adjunct Assistant Professor, whose Georgetown University dissertation, "An Art of Their Own: Reinventing Frauenkunst in the Female Academies and Artist Leagues of Late-Imperial and First Republic Austria, 1900–1930," has been awarded the Parker-Schmitt prize of the European History Section of the Southern Historical Association.
Book Talks by Distinguished Professor Burrows, Nov. 17 and Dec. 7
The Brooklyn College Faculty Circle and the 92nd Street Y–Tribeca are sponsoring talks by Distinguished Professor Edwin Burrows on his book, Forgotten Patriots, which has just been issued in paperback. The first will be held in the Georgian Room, basement, Boylan Hall, on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 12:30 – 2 p.m.; the second will be at the downtown branch of the 92nd Street Y, 200 Hudson Street in Manhattan, Tuesday, Dec. 7, at noon.
M.A. Student Speaks at Colloquium, Nov. 16
Congratulations to Michael Liam Bowler, M.A. student in history, for being selected to speak about his work at the Pizer Graduate Student Colloquium. His talk, based upon his M.A. thesis research, is entitled "The Northern Black Press during Reconstruction: Re-Defining Race and Citizenship in the Public Sphere." Bowler will speak in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library, on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m.
Lecture by Professor SenGupta, Nov. 9
Professor Gunja SenGupta will speak about her book, From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840–1918, at the Gotham Center, CUNY Graduate Center, 34 Street and 5 Avenue in Manhattan, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m.
Book Talk: Murder in the Metro: Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule, Nov. 3
Professors Gayle K. Brunelle (California State University, Fullerton) and Annette Finley-Croswhite (Old Dominion University) will speak about their book on France in the 1930s in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library, on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 9:30 a.m.
Guest Lecture and Workshop: "Egyptomania and the Cult of Isis in Rome," Oct. 25
Professor Molly Swetnam-Burland of the Department of Classical Studies, College of William and Mary, will speak on Monday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. in 517 Whitehead Hall. Seating is limited, so please contact Assistant Professor Karen Stern to reserve a place.
Book Talk: Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power, Oct. 13
Author Gene Dattel will speak about his book on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library.
Professor Rawson's Book Featured in Boston Globe
Professor Michael Rawson's Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston (Harvard University Press) is featured in an op-ed piece in the Boston Globe. Congratulations!
Book Talk: David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City, March 17
Noted historian Graham Hodges (Colgate University) will discuss his latest book — the first biography of David Ruggles, a leading African American activist, writer, publisher and hydrotherapist who led more than 600 bond people to freedom, the most famous of whom was Frederick Douglass. Ruggles mentored leading black abolitionists including Douglass and Sojourner Truth. Book signing to follow talk.
Professors Banerjee and Ebert to speak at Wolfe Institute/Whiting Foundation Seminar
The Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities, in cooperation with the Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching in the Humanities, is hosting four talks in the State Lounge of the Brooklyn College Student Center at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 11. Two of the talks will be given by members of the Department of History. Associate Professor Swapna Banerjee will speak on "Unraveling the Family Story: Children and Childhood in Colonial India." Assistant Professor Christopher Ebert will speak on "Centering Salvador: Bahia, its Urban Market and Global Circuits of Trade, 1500 –1763. RSVP now.
History Department Mourns the Loss of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Hans Trefousse; Memorial to Be Held March 11
The Department of History mourns the loss of long-time colleague Hans Trefousse. A memorial will be held on Thursday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. in the Woody Tanger Auditorium, Brooklyn College Library. Friends, former colleagues and the public are invited to attend.
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1921, Trefousse graduated from City College of New York in 1942 and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1950. During the Second World War, he served as a captain in U.S. Army Intelligence. After teaching part-time in the School of General Studies beginning in 1946, he rose in the ranks from Instructor to Distinguished Professor in a career at Brooklyn College that lasted half a century (1950–99). He was still teaching at the college's Institute for Retirees in Pursuit of Education in fall 2009. Recipient of the Brooklyn College Distinguished Teacher Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies, Trefousse was a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He published widely and right up to the end of his life. Among his many major works are studies of reconstruction and radical republicanism and biographies of Andrew Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Carl Schurz and Thaddeus Stevens.
John Hope Franklin Memorial Conference, Nov. 17
The History Department, in collaboration with other departments on campus, held a conference in memory of the late John Hope Franklin, who taught at Brooklyn College from 1956 to 1964, authored the classic From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and served as president of the American Historical Association. The theme was "Current Trends in African American History." The luncheon speaker was Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, author of the prize-winning Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church: 1880–1920 (Harvard University Press, 1993), co-editor of African American Lives (Oxford University Press, 2004), and editor in chief of The Harvard Guide to African-American History (Harvard University Press, 2001). Other featured speakers included Stefan Bradley, Saint Louis University, author of the forthcoming Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s; Cheryl Hicks, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, author of the forthcoming Talk With You Like a Woman: Urban Reform, Criminal Justice, and African American Women in New York, 1890–1935; Brian Purnell, Fordham University, author of the forthcoming A Movement Grows in Brooklyn: the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in Brooklyn, New York; and Sonya Ramsey, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, author of Reading, Writing, and Segregation: A Century of Black Women Teachers in Nashville (University of Illinois Press, 2008). The conference concluded with a roundtable on teaching the work of John Hope Franklin. Participants included Brian Purnell (Fordham), Michael Schoenfeld (School of Education, Brooklyn College) and Barbara Winslow (School of Education and the Shirley Chisholm Project of Women's Activism, Brooklyn College).
- Professor David G. Troyansky, co-editor with Hafid Gafaiti and Patricia M.E. Lorcin, Transnational Spaces and Identities in the Francophone World (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009)
- Professor KC Johnson, All the Way with LBJ: The 1964 Presidential Election (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009)
- Professor Gunja SenGupta, From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840–1918 (New York, 2009)
- Professor Edwin G. Burrows, Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revoutionary War (New York: Basic Books, 2008). Forgotten Patriots has been awarded the 2009 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award.
- Professor Christopher Ebert, Between Empires: Brazilian Sugar in the Early Atlantic Economy, 1550–1630 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2008)
Brooklyn College Historical Society
Students interested in joining our local "history club" should contact Assistant Professor Brigid O'Keeffe.