Fellows Talks

Fellow’s Talk: Elizabeth Athens on William Bartram’s Vision of the Natural World

2021–21 UCHI Fellow's Talk. An Essay Towards a Natural History of William Bartram's Drawings. Assistant Professor of Art History Elizabeth Athens with a response by Helen M. Rozwdowski. Live. Online. Registration Required. January 27, 2021, 4:00pm.

An Essay Towards a Natural History of William Bartram’s Drawings

Elizabeth Athens (Assistant Professor of Art History)

with a response by Helen M. Rozwadowski (Professor of History, UConn)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

The act of drawing or “figuring” provided the American naturalist William Bartram (1739–1823) a model for understanding the natural world. Bartram saw figuring as a series of reciprocal interactions among natural world, artist, and audience, a view that coincided with his belief in a dynamic, responsive cosmos. Though the term ecology is of nineteenth-century origin, the study of the natural world’s relationships emerges in the eighteenth, and this presentation examines the affinity between Bartram’s graphic work and an interconnected natural world. In particular it considers how his drawings—by calling attention to their construction through visual quotations, jostling perspectives, and unusual flourishes—presented a new mode of natural history representation, one in which they function as extensions of the natural world’s own organic processes and patterns.

Elizabeth Athens is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches courses on museum studies, histories of collecting, and material culture. She previously served as part of the research team for the History of Early American Landscape Design database at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C., and as the American art curator of the Worcester Art Museum. Her current research centers on the work of the American artist-naturalist William Bartram (1739–1823), whose efforts helped redirect the taxonomic focus of eighteenth-century natural history to the study of lived relationships. This project examines Bartram’s unusual graphic practice and how his natural history drawings helped articulate such a shift.

Founder of the University of Connecticut’s Maritime Studies program, Helen M. Rozwadowski teaches history of science and environmental history as well as interdisciplinary and experiential maritime-related courses. She has spent her career encouraging scholars and students to join in writing the history of interconnections between oceans and people. Her book on the 19th-century scientific and cultural discovery of the depths, Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea, won the History of Science Society’s Davis Prize for best book directed to a wide public audience. In The Sea Knows No Boundaries she explores the history of 20th-century marine sciences that support international fisheries and marine environmental management. Recently she has co-edited Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970, one of several volumes that have established the field of history of oceanography. Her recent book, Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (Reaktion Books, 2018), which won the Sharon Harris Book Award from UCHI in 2019, has come out in a Korean edition in 2019 and a Chinese edition in 2020.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Spring 2021 Events

UCHI has an exciting roster of events coming up this Spring, detailed below. Be sure to peruse our offerings and register for the events you’d like to attend. Stay tuned as we announce more upcoming events!

Fellow’s Talk: Elizabeth Athens

January 27, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Amanda Crawford

February 3, 2021

4:00pm

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Publishing Now! Humanities Journals

February 10, 2021

1:15pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Sean Forbes

February 10, 2021

4:00pm

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DHMS: Allen Riddell

February 15, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Erica Holberg

February 17, 2021

4:00pm

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DHMS: Shaoling Ma

February 22, 2021

6:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Amy Meyers

February 24, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Melanie Newport

March 3, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Helen Rozwadowski

March 10, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Sarah Winter

March 17, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: David Samuels

March 24, 2021

4:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Sara Silverstein

March 31, 2021

4:00pm

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Graduate Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences

April 7, 2021

1:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Scott Wallace

April 7, 2021

4:00pm

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DHMS: Simon Burrows

April 21, 2021

6:30pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Shaine Scarminach on the Law of the Sea Convention

Post for Shaine Scarminach's talk. Refusal and Resignation: The Reagan Administration and the Law of the Sea Convention. Dissertation Research Scholar Shaine Scarminach with a response by Sara Silverstein. Live Online Registration Required. December 2, 2020, 4:00pm

Refusal and Resignation: The Reagan Administration and the Law of the Sea Convention

Shaine Scarminach (Ph.D. Candidate, History)

with a response by Sara Silverstein (Assistant Professor of History and Human Rights, UConn)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

 

“Refusal and Resignation: The Reagan Administration and the Law of the Sea Convention” explores President Ronald Reagan’s decision not to sign the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Despite nine years of painstaking negotiations, the Reagan administration rejected the final agreement on the grounds that it ran counter to U.S. interests. I argue that this abrupt shift resulted less from disagreements over specific provisions and more from the principles behind the treaty. In rejecting an agreement that championed multilateral negotiations, supranational institutions, and economic redistribution, the Reagan administration emphasized the need for national sovereignty, the free market, and bilateral relations to govern the world’s oceans. The talk will discuss the Reagan administration’s failed attempt to negotiate last minute changes to the treaty, and the policy decisions that led the United States to remain outside of an agreement that governs more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.

Shaine Scarminach is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Connecticut. He studies the history of the United States in the world, with an emphasis on U.S. empire, world capitalism, and the global environment. His dissertation, “Lost at Sea: The United States and the Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans,” explores the U.S. role in developing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. His research has been supported by the Tinker Foundation, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and the Rockefeller Archive Center.

Sara Silverstein is a jointly appointed Assistant Professor of History and Human Rights. Her work focuses on the history of internationalism, modern Europe, social rights, global health, development, refugees and migrants, and statelessness. She received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 2016, her M.Phil. in Modern European History from the University of Oxford in 2009, and her A.B. in Literature from Dartmouth College in 2007. Before coming to UConn, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and has been a Fox Fellow at Sciences Po, Paris, a junior visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and a Franke Fellow at Yale. She is the 2017 winner of the World History Association Dissertation Prize.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fellow’s Talk: Ashley Gangi on the Nineteenth-Century American Con Woman

Poster for Ashley Gangi talk. Over a nineteenth-century image of women gathered around a table the text reads: Behind a Mask, Sentimental Performance and the Nineteenth-Century American Con Woman. Dissertation Research Scholar Ashley Gangi with a response by Amanda Crawford. Live. Online. Registration required. November 18, 2020, 4:00pm.

“Behind a Mask”: Sentimental Performance and the Nineteenth-Century American Con Woman

Ashley Gangi (Ph.D. Candidate, English)

with a response by Amanda J. Crawford (Assistant Professor of Journalism, UConn)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

 

“‘Behind a Mask’”: Sentimental Performance and the Nineteenth-Century Con Woman” explores the economic value of sincere sentimentality for middle- and upper-class American women in the nineteenth century. It traces a pattern in popular sentimental stories, arguing that such stories had a tendency to portray women as unwitting actors in dramatic scenarios to emphasize the sincerity of their feelings. These stories attempted to resolve the tension between performance and sincerity by suggesting that only so-called “true” sentimental feelings earned cultural capital. The talk will compare stories from Godey’s Lady’s Book to Louisa May Alcott’s sensational tale, “Behind a Mask,” which describes the machinations of a confidence woman who poses as a governess and plays the sentimental heroine in order to acquire economic security through marriage. Alcott troubles the distinction between authenticity and social deception, thereby opening up a space for women to exert more control over their social and economic lives.

Ashley Gangi is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the English department at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include nineteenth-century American literature, maritime literature, and literature of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era having to do with finance. Her dissertation, “May I Present Myself? Masks, Masquerades, and the Drama of Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature” explores the relationship between confidence men and women and conceptions of value in nineteenth-century America. She has been published in Studies in American Naturalism and has a piece forthcoming in the “Extracts” section of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies.

Amanda J. Crawford is an assistant professor of journalism at UConn, a UCHI Faculty Fellow, and former reporter for Bloomberg News, The Arizona Republic, and The Baltimore Sun. An investigative journalist, political reporter, and narrative nonfiction writer, Crawford’s work explores the human impact of public policy. She has written extensively about gun policy, mass shootings, prisons, criminal justice, immigration, health care, and sexual assault, and she has covered elections and government at every level across the U.S. Her writing has been widely published by major media outlets and literary journals including Businessweek, People, National Geographic, Ms. Magazine, High Times, Phoenix Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, and Creative Nonfiction.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fellow’s Talk: Kerry Carnahan on the Song of Songs

Poster for Kerry Carnahan's talk—Song of Song: An Erotic and an Amulet. October 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm. With a response by David Samuels. Beside the words a painting depicts two elephants facing each other over a narrow stream, their trunks raised.

Song of Songs: An Erotic and An Amulet

Kerry Carnahan (Ph.D. Candidate, English)

with a response by David Samuels (Associate Professor of Music, New York University)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

 

Kerry Carnahan will read from her work-in-progress, a new translation and edition of the Song of Songs, concluding with an offering of protection and guidance. With a response by David Samuels, Associate Professor of Music at New York University.

Kerry Carnahan was born and raised in Kansas. Currently she pursues doctoral work in English at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches composition and creative writing. Her doctoral work specializes in poetry and poetics, focusing on dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, class, and empire. She also studies religion and the Hebrew Bible. kerrycarnahan.com

David Samuels is Associate Professor and current Chair of the Music Department at New York University. He is a linguistic anthropologist, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist. His book, Putting A Song On Top of It: Music and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, was perhaps the first book-length monograph exploring popular music’s place in the formation of contemporary Indigenous identities. He has published on a wide variety of topics including popular music, science fiction, language revitalization, historical imagination, missionary encounters, and vernacular modernities.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fellow’s Talk: Nicole Breault on Boston Policing, 1768–1775

Poster for Nicole Breault's Talk. Image of hand written archival documents, constables reports from 1768. Beside the image the text reads "Times is Not Now as they Have Been": Contests over the Power to Police in Boston, 1768-1775. Draper Dissertation Fellow Nicole Breault with a response by Sarah Willen. Live. Online. Registration Required. October 14, 2020, 4:00 pm.

“Times is Not Now as They Have Been”: Contests over the Power to Police in Boston, 1768–1775

Nicole Breault (Ph.D. Candidate, History)

with a response by Sarah Winter (Professor of English)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)

 

In the fall and winter of 1768, the arrival of four regiments in Boston sparked questions over jurisdiction in the town. Exchanges between watchmen and officers and soldiers threatened the authority of local institutions and quickly escalated to violence. This talk considers a series of violent and verbal altercations between Boston’s town watch and members of the King’s forces, framing the encounters as a dialogue over the power to police. Centered on the reports, complaints, and depositions written by the town watch, it asks how night constables and watchmen used these incidents to negotiate jurisdictional gray areas in the first months of occupation and to participate in a larger contest of empire.

Nicole Breault is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her research interests are in early American legal and social history with an emphasis on urban governance, institutions, gender, and space. She earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research has been awarded fellowships at the Massachusetts Historical Society, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, the Boston Athenæum, and the Huntington Library, as well as a Littleton-Griswold Grant by the American Historical Association. Currently, Nicole is the Draper Dissertation Fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute working on her dissertation “The Night Watch of Boston: Law and Governance in Eighteenth-Century British America.”

Sarah Winter is Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs and Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism at the UConn Human Rights Institute. An interdisciplinary scholar of British literature of the long nineteenth century and the history of the modern disciplines, she has published most recently a co-edited collection, From Political Economy to Economics through Nineteenth-Century Literature: Reclaiming the Social (2019). Her previous books are The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens (2010) and  Freud and the Institution of Psychoanalytic Knowledge (1999). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies,  NOVEL, and  Representations, and she has contributed chapters to a wide range of edited collections on law and literature, the history of legal and political thought, and human rights and literature.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fellow’s Talk: Nu-Anh Tran on How Democratic Should Vietnam Be?

Poster for talk How Democratic Should Vietnam Be? by Nu-Anh Tran. Text on blue background, with a political cartoon showing protesters and a man paying what appears to be a bribe.

How Democratic Should Vietnam Be? The Debate on Democracy in Saigon in 1955

Nu-Anh Tran (Assistant Professor of History and Asian and Asian American Studies)

with a response by Kornel Chang (Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, Rutgers—Newark)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 2:00pm (Online—Register here)

 

The political factionalism in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, or South Vietnam) often puzzled contemporary western observers, and most accounts attributed the infighting between anticommunists to personality politics and the ongoing struggle for power. In contrast, Nu-Anh Tran argues that the factionalism reflected substantive differences in ideas. Specifically, this presentation will examine the debate between Ngô Đình Diệm’s faction and his rivals in the summer and fall of 1955. Virtually all anticommunists favored democracy, but they defined democracy in starkly different ways, disagreed on the degree of democracy that was suitable given the communist threat, and debated the range of parties and individuals that had a legitimate place in politics. Diệm and his followers were the most illiberal elements in the debate, and their victory over other anticommunists placed on the RVN on the path to hardline authoritarianism.

Nu-Anh Tran is Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut with a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. She is the author of the forthcoming book, tentatively entitled, Disunion: Anticommunist Nationalism and the Making of the Republic of Vietnam, published by the University of Hawaii Press. Her research is focused on the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

Kornel Chang is Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. His research and teaching interests include Asian American history, the United States in the Pacific world, and race, migration, and labor in the Americas. His current book project, tentatively titled Occupying Knowledge: Expertise, Technocracy, and De-Colonization in the U.S. Occupation of Korea, examines the role of technocrats and expert knowledge in the U.S. Occupation of Korea.

Registration is required for this event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Fall 2020 Events

UCHI has an exciting roster of events coming up this fall, detailed below. Be sure to peruse our offerings and register for the events you’d like to attend. Stay tuned as we announce more upcoming events!

Publishing NOW with Ilene Kalish of NYU Press

September 24, 2020

2:30pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Nicole Breault

October 14, 2020

4:00pm

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How to Do Nothing Book Discussion

October 19, 2020

6:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Nu-Anh Tran

October 21, 2020

2:00pm

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Publishing NOW with Matt McAdam of JHU Press

October 23, 2020

11:00am

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UCHI and DHMS Present Jenny Odell

October 26, 2020

6:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Kerry Carnahan

October 28, 2020

4:00pm

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DHMS Presents Sarah Sharma

November 9, 2020

4:00pm

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André Leon Talley

November 12, 2020

6:00pm

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Dissertation Grant Writing Workshop

November 16, 2020

3:00pm

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DHMS Presents Book Traces with Kristin Jensen (UVA) and Michael Rodriguez (UConn Libraries)

November 18, 2020

1:00pm

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Fellow’s Talk: Ashley Gangi

November 18, 2020

4:00pm

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Publishing NOW with Gita Manaktala of MIT Press

December 2, 2020

11:00am

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Fellow’s Talk: Shaine Scarminach

December 2, 2020

4:00pm

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Fellows Talk: Morgne Cramer on The Cry of the Choir Boy and Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves”

The Cry of the Choir Boy as Love Song in Virginia Woolf’s The Waves

Patricia Morgne Cramer, Ph.D. (Department of English; University of Connecticut-Stamford)

March 11, 2020 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

 

Virginia Woolf wrote The Waves (1931) during an unprecedented surge of exposés on corporal punishment, bullying, and sexual abuse of boys in British public schools. Read alongside these “old boy” diatribes, the cry of the choir boy wafting through The Waves surfaces as the voice of shock and terror, echoing down the ages, of little boys coming to manhood amid the omnipresent threat of male violence and sexual violation where survival requires “toughening up” fast. What Woolf seems to capture in this dove-like choir boy cry is a resurgent, resistant male voice also discernible in these memoirs. Does Woolf record in the song of the choir boy a nascent shift in the collective consciousness of early twentieth century elite European men? Did she read modernists’ protests against their tortured boyhoods as the glimmerings of a more profound revolution than these would-be rebels actually achieved? Does Bernard’s refusal of that call at the end of the novel mark a male-gendered generational as well as personal failure?

 The talk will begin at 4PM, but a dramatic reading of The Waves will be played in the UCHI conference room 3:45-4 pm.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Who is Patricia Morgne Cramer?

Patricia Morgne Cramer is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Stamford. Her current project draws on her prior publications on Woolf and sexuality, especially those reading Woolf as a lesbian author alongside her homosexual male peers. These include “Virginia Woolf and Theories of Sexuality” in Virginia Woolf in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and “Woolf and Sexuality” in The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf (2010). Morgne Cramer is also co-editor of Virginia Woolf: Lesbian Readings (New York University Press, 1997).

Fellows Talk: Andrea Celli on the Egyptian Slave Hagar in Early-Modern Visual Arts

A Troubling Presence: The Egyptian Slave Hagar in Early-Modern Visual Arts

Andrea Celli, Ph.D. (Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages; University of Connecticut)

February 26, 2020 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

From late antiquity to the early-modern period, the Biblical character of Hagar, the Egyptian servant of Sarah and the mother of Abraham’s first child, Ishmael, was often employed as a disparaging device in Christian and Judaic literature. In the Middle Ages, Christian sources used Hagar and Ishmael derogatorily in relation to Muslims; they were the putative descendants of a servant and of the illegitimate son of Abraham and therefore they were not entitled to inherit God’s covenant with Abraham. Yet, Hagar became a successful and popular subject in sixteenth and seventeenth century visual arts, a shift that suggests that patrons and artists were permitted to publicly express compassion toward the fate of an outcast. How to explain this change in approach to a feminine character that often stood for deprecated religious communities and marginalized subjects? This paper will address this visual shift and the broader conceptualization of the figure of Hagar.

Andrea Celli headshot, with the UCHI logo, the title of his talk, and the time and date of his presentation

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at uchi@uconn.edu or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Who is Andrea Celli?

Andrea Celli is an Assistant Professor of Italian Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. He graduated in “Letteratura moderna” at the Univerità di Padova (Italy), where he also received his PhD Degree in “Filologia italiana ed Ermeneutica” (2004). In 20122013 he spent one year as a visiting fellow at the School of Advanced Study (Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies – University of London). From 2007 to 2014 he lectured “Ermeneutica e Storia della Critica” at the MA in “Lingua, letteratura e civiltà italiana” (University of Lugano, Switzerland). He has published several monographs, essays, and chapters, and translated a number of works from French and Arabic authors (e.g. Louis Massignon and Adonis). His current projects include a study on re-readings of the narratives of Hagar and Ishmael in counter-Reformation discourses on Islam; a monograph on Islam in early-modern Mediterranean Europe, and an Italian translation of Ernst Kantorowicz’s Das Wesen der muslimischen Handwerkerverbaende.