Spring 2015 Highlights
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Congratulations to Richard T. Chu for the publication of More Tsinoy Than We Admit
Edited by Chu and published by the Vibal Foundation, More Tsinoy Than We Admit explores how the Chinese in Philippine society have helped shape the destiny of the country and region over hundreds of years up to the present. In the image on the left, Chu speaks at the book launch at the KAISA-Angelo King Heritage Center (Bahay Tsinoy), Intramuros, Manila on August 19, 2015.
Throughout the course of this year, Christian Appy has weighed in on American exceptionalism, the Vietnam War, and its impact on U.S. culture, foreign policy, and national identity in dozens of national publications and in his recent book, American Reckoning. See below for a selection of his articles and interviews. Most recently, Appy was profiled on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Arts and Entertainment section, and he reflected on the U.S.'s failure to apologize for bombing Japan during World War II in The Nation.
- MassLive/The Republican -University of Massachusetts professor Christian Appy authors new book on Vietnam War
- The Nation - Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam
- Salon - America’s Not a Force for Good
- Salon - I was one of the last Americans to leave Saigon: Dick Hughes’ Vietnam oral history
- Salon - America’s Immoral Exceptionalism
- The American Conservative - Did Reagan Win the Vietnam War
- Moyers & Co. - 40 Years After the Fall of Saigon, We’re Still Spinning Wartime Nightmares Into Fairy Tales
- Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb - Q&A with Christian Appy
- NEPR - American Reckoning: New Book Illuminates Lessons from the Vietnam War
- 90.9 WBUR - Our Worst War
- Process History - Podcast with Christian Appy
The Whiting Foundation Announces a $150,000 Grant to the Humanities Action Lab
A coalition formed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and 19 other universities from across the country and coordinated from The New School in New York City, the Humanities Action Lab aims to foster public engagement on urgent social problems. The grant from the Whiting Foundation will bolster the Lab’s current project: Global Dialogues on Incarceration, a project and curriculum that applies humanities perspectives to questions of mass incarceration, through which students and community partners create a corresponding exhibition, online platform for public dialogue and series of public programs. The exhibition will open at The New School in New York City in April 2016 and, over the next three years, travel to each of the project’s participating universities. The exhibit will come to the Amherst area in Spring 2017. Students at UMass will focus their efforts on gender and incarceration, and particularly reproductive justice. Read more about UMass's role in the project here.
Congratulations to Jason Moralee for being awarded membership to the Institute for Advanced Study for the coming academic year 2015-16
Located in Princeton, New Jersey, the Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Professor Moralee will spend this year-long fellowship finishing his current book, Capitol After Empire: The Capitoline Hill from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, which is currently under contract with Oxford University Press, and starting new projects relating to Late Antiquity.
Richard Chu wins a Fulbright!
Congratulations to Richard Chu, who was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, to research and teach in the Philippines during the 2015-16 academic year. Read more here.
Congratulations to Professor Leonard Richards on the publication of his latest book Who Freed the Slaves? The fight over the Thirteenth Amendment
The book focuses on the efforts of James Ashley, an obscure Ohio congressman, to overcome Northern opposition to abolishing slavery and get the Thirteenth Amendment through Congress. It was an uphill battle even though the South was out of the Union. After failing the first time by eleven votes, he succeeded the second time by just three votes. Deals, some unsavory, had to be made to round up the necessary votes. Lincoln helped him, but only at the last minute.
The UMass History Department will be cosponsoring a Vietnam War Teach-in "The Conflciting Legacies of the Vietnam War: Why They Still Matter" Thursday April 23 at 7:00PM Bernie Dallas Room Goodell Hall
On the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, this diverse panel of veterans, peace activists, and historians will discuss the Vietnam War and share stories of combat, activism, and post-war life. this teach-in aims to further understandings of the realities and myths of America's most controversial war and its impact on veterans, the national psyche, and the lives of Americans and Southeast Asians. The panel will consist of Professor Chris Appy (UMass History) Cherie Rankin (U.S. Red Cross) Wayne Smith (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) peace activist Randy Kehler, and author Tom Weiner. The event is free to the public, for more information check here.
The Public History program announces a talk by Andreas Etges titled "A Hot Debate Over the Cold War: The Plan for a Cold War Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin" April 9, at 4:00 Herter 601
Andreas Etges is a professor of history at the Amerika-Institut at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany where he teaches political history, diplomatic history, trans-Atlantic relations, public history, and memory studies. He is best known as a scholar on the history of John F. Kennedy and his presidency. Aside from his published works on Kennedy, he also curated a special exhibit on Kennedy at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. He is a member of the Cold War Museum Association, which is planning the creation of the new Museum of the Cold War at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. For his talk, Professor Etges will discuss the process of starting a new museum, the curatorial challenges currently being faced, and the controversies that the Museum of the Cold War at Checkpoint Charlie has launched in Germany.
Oral History Crash Course workshop with Professor Sam Redman Monday, April 6, 10am-3pm, 601 Herter Hall, UMass Amherst
This one-day intensive program from the UMass Amherst Public History Program offers an introduction to oral history theory and methodology. Participants will learn about interviewing techniques, project planning, archiving, oral history ethics, recording technologies, and more. This workshop is geared toward beginners, including individuals with no prior experience and those in the beginning stages of developing projects of all kinds. Open to all Five College undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, community historians, and the general public. The program's faculty include Professor Sam Redman (UMass History) Professor Joyce Berkman (UMass History) Professor Doug Boyd (Director, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky) Professor Laura Lovett (UMass History) Professor Emily Redman (UMass History) and Aaron Rubenstein (Digital Archivist, UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives) for more on the workshop check here.
A public reading and book signing with Benjamin Hedin author of In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now Wednesday April 1, 4:00 PM, 601 Herter Hall UMass Amherst
Benjamin Hedin has taught at New York University and The New School for Social Research. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, The Oxford American, The Chicago Tribune, and Poets and Writers. In his book, Hedin examines the legacy of the freedom struggle of fifty years ago, while also attempting to see to what extent the same kind of work is going on today. While most view the civil rights movement as something that ended a long time ago, Hedin wonders if it would be better to view it as a continuum--an ongoing tradition of activism--rather than an isolated historical moment. To test that position, Hedin blends history, journalism and travelogue, and profiles the movement's most legendary figures as well as those who have been overlooked by the public eye. The reading will take place on Wednesday April 1 at 4:00 in 601 Herter Hall UMass Amherst. For more on Benjamin Hedin visit his website: www.benjaminhedin.com.
The 2015 Annual Writer-in-Residence Amy Wilentz will be staying on campus from March 23-27
Amy Wilentz has received numerous awards for her writing and is currently professor of literary journalism at the University of California Irvine. On Tuesday March 24, Wilentz will deliver her lecture "Haiti's Earthquake and the Limits of Charity" at 4:00 in the Cape Cod Lounge of the Student Union. The event will be simulcast at the UMass Springfield Center, Tower Square, 1500 Main Street, Springfield, MA. Throughout the week, Wilentz will be visiting undergraduate and graduate classes at UMass and also meeting with students and faculty informally over coffee, lunch, and dinner. More information on the writer-in-residence program is available here.
The History Department announces with sorrow the death of our alumnus Dr. Richard Gassan (Ph.D., 2002).
A professor at the American University in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where he had been teaching for a decade, Dr. Gassan and a friend were killed while bicycling by a speeding driver. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. We will be organizing a memorial event and fund this spring; check this page for details. Those who knew Richard will never forget his quickness to make a friend, his sardonic laugh, and his generosity of spirit. Dr. Gassan's colleagues and students at AUS offer their reminiscences in this article: "AUS Staff Pay Tribute to Professor Killed While Cycling"
The 2015 Annual UMass Graduate History Association Conference "Transcending Borders and Disciplines: The Global Importance of Transnationalism" Isenberg School of Management March 7, 2015
This year's Graduate student conference will examine the value of transnationalism to historical scholarship and other related disciplines. Professor Jennifer Guglielmo of Smith College will deliver the keynote address titled "Writing History for a World in Crisis: The Radical Possibilities of a Transnational Lens". The conference will also feature a special panel discussion on teaching for social justice with UMass professors Barbara Krauthamer, Julio Capo, Richard Chu, and Libby Sharrow. The conference program is available here.
Marla Miller and Jon Olsen receive an Artsor Digital Humanities Award February 20, 2015
The Artsor Digital Humanities Awards were created to recognize the importance of the Digital Humanities and create greater awareness of the most innovative projects in the field. Their goal is to enhance teaching and scholarship through the use of digital media. Professors Marla Miller and Jon Olsen received the award for their Historic Dress project which provides online access to American women's clothing from 1780 to 1930 in collections across the United States, and to related archival primary source materials. Artsor notes "The unique value of this project lies in the intellectual organization of these rare materials by the costume historians, librarians, and digital humanities experts collaborating on this project. Detailed metadata is structured to help novices learn how to read artifacts and understand their significance. Within Shared Shelf, this project will complement existing online collections, engaging a wider range of objects (not just high fashion, but also lower to middle class examples), and regional collections that may fall through the cracks."
Professor Max Page Talk, "The Arc of Memory: Bending the future of Historic Preservation." February 11, Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Building
In anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which established how the United States preserves its physical past, Professor Page will offer a critique of historic preservation today and propose a progressive agenda for the next fifty years. He will suggest how the preservation movement can be a force for social justice, contributing to building more sustainable, meaningful, and fair communities by saving and interpreting places of pain, making our homes and cities more sustainable, and rethinking the thorny concepts of authenticity, integrity, and significance. At the conclusion of the lecture, Professor Page will be presented with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus.
Congratulations to Professor John Higginson on the publication of his latest book: Collective Violence and the Agrarian Origins of South African Apartheid, 1900-1948
Dr. Higginson's book examines how collective violence against South Africa's rural population contributed to the rise of the country's Apartheid regime. Dr. Higginson uses sources not employed by previous historians to consider how Africans resisted the violence perpetrated against them. His work also offers original insight into the contingencies of the Apartheid government. A book launch party will be held at Amherst Books on Friday, February 6, at 5:00.
Congratulations to Professor Jon Olsen on the publication of his first book: Tailoring Truth: Politicizing the Past and Negotiating Memory in East Germany, 1945-1990
Dr. Olsen's book investigates how the East German Communist regime used public history to legitimize its rule. By examining state-sponsored memory projects such as memorials, commemorations, and museums, Olsen demonstrates how the Communist regime's approach to memory politics changed over time. The party never gained full control over the public memory of the past, and dissidents often used the party's memory politics to challenge the regime's authority. Additional information is available on the book's website.
Congratulations to Chris Appy on the release of his latest book:American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity
The book explores the cultural impact of the war and its lasting consequences for America's national conscience. Dr. Appy examines official records alongside pop culture to offer original insight into the relationship between the war's myths and realities. A book launch party will be held Thursday, February 5, from 5:30 to 7 at Amherst Books. The book is Appy's third on the Vietnam War, and his previous publications include: Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (Viking, 2003), and Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (University of North Carolina Press, 1993)
Film Screening and Q/A: "'Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican': A Cape Verdean American Story," with the director Claire Andrade-Watkins
Dr. Andrade-Watkins is President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc. and Associate Professor at Emerson College. The event will also feature an introduction from Sid Ferreira (Director of Enrollment Services and Instructional Support for Residential Academic Programs, UMass Amherst) and Debora Ferreira (Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, UMass Amherst). The screening will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 7:30pm, at the UMass Isenberg School of Management, Room. 137. Presented in conjunction with the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival.
Exhibit: "Deafening Silence: The Strange Career of Mussolini's Legacy in Rome" January 22-February 20, 2015 Herter Art Gallery
The exhibit was designed by Professor Max Page, and consists of photographs he took during his six month stay at the American Academy in Rome. The exhibit concentrates on the physical legacy of the fascist Mussolini regime in Rome. An opening reception will be held on January 22 from 4-6 for all Five-College students, faculty, and staff.
Congratulations to Bruce Laurie on the publication of his latest book: Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists
Dr. Laurie's book profiles five essential figures to the abolitionist community in Northampton, MA: Sylvester Judd Jr., John Payson Williston, David Ruggles, Henry Sherwood Gere, and Erastus Hopkins. These individuals along with many others established Northampton as a bastion of abolitionist sentiment leading up to the Civil War. Unlike many of their abolitionist peers, the reformers who claimed Northampton as home often endorsed racial equality and avoided the doctrinal disputes that plagued the anti-slavery movement elsewhere. Dr. Laurie has previously written about Massachusetts abolitionists in his book Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2007)