Fellows Talks

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.

Fellows Talk: Alex Anievas on the Birth of the US Liberal Order

Birth of the US Liberal Order: Race and Red-Hunting over the Longue Durée

Alexander Anievas, Ph.D. (Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut)

February 19, 2020 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

This paper examines the racialized foundations of American anticommunism, tracing the complex ways it became a key pillar of the US liberal order-building project. Specifically, it shows how racial anticommunism held deep roots in the nation’s political culture, developing out of the societal antagonisms bound to America’s settler-colonial state formation. This great arch of American history connected ‘race wars’ against the nation’s primordial ‘communist’ enemy, the indigenous populations, with the (geo)politics of racial anticommunism that emerged in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution: the crucial context from which the Wilsonian order-building project originally emerged. At the moment of its inception, America’s ‘Wilsonian century’ was predicated on a form of anticommunism permeated and infused with racist ideologies and social forces that became increasingly associated with the far-right. The politics of race and the far-right thereby played a crucial role in the making of the post-1945 US liberal hegemonic order.

Alex Anievas 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 Alexander Anievas?

Alex Anievas is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut and his research interests lie at the intersection of historical sociology, political economy and international relations. He previously held fellowships at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. Anievas is the author of Capital, the State, and War: Class Conflict and Geopolitics in the Thirty Years’ Crisis, 1914-1945 (University of Michigan Press, 2014), for which he was awarded the Sussex International Theory Book Prize, and co-author (with Kerem Nişancıoğlu) of How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism (Pluto, 2015), winner of the ISA’s International Political Sociology Section Best Book Award and BISA’s International Political Economy Working Group Book Prize. 

Fellows Talk: Emma Amador on Community and Politics in the Puerto Rican Diaspora

Demanding Dignity: Social Workers, Community Organizing, and Welfare Politics in the Puerto Rican Diaspora after 1948

 

Emma Amador, Ph.D. (History Department, University of Connecticut)

January 29, 2020 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

 

This presentation will explore histories of organizing for social services within Puerto Rican communities in the United States. It will begin by examining the role of Puerto Rican women social workers as architects of the Migration Division of the Puerto Rican government’s Department of Labor after 1948, showing how within this state agency a generation of social workers challenged the racial and gender discrimination faced by Puerto Rican migrants seeking social services, housing, and care in the US. It will then show how this activism fostered the emergence of a new generation of social worker activists who in the 1960s and 70s moved into new roles as community organizers and civil rights activists. By focusing on Puerto Rican social workers role in shaping and challenging U.S. social welfare institutions to better address colonial and migrant citizens, this paper historicizes their ongoing struggle to demand dignity and social justice.

Emma Amador headshot, with the UCHI logo, the title of her talk, and the time and data of her presentation

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

 

Who is Emma Amador?

Emma Amador is an Assistant Professor of History and Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies.  Her work focuses on Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans, and U.S. Latina/o/x History with an emphasis on women, gender, and race.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from UConn, and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.  Before returning to UConn she held a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the History Department (2016-2018). She is currently completing a book manuscript, Contesting Colonialism: Puerto Ricans and the Politics of Welfare in the 20th Century that explores the history of welfare, territorial social citizenship, and struggles for social rights in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora.  This project examines how the U.S. welfare state became a site where Puerto Ricans have fought for social justice, labor reform, and decolonization.  Her work has received support from Brown University, the SITPA Scholar Mellon Program at Duke University, the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at CUNY, Hunter College, and the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.

Fellows Talk: Laura Godfrey on “Astonishment in Late Medieval English Literature”

‘Being Wholly Out of Body’: Astonishment in Late Medieval English Literature

Laura Godfrey, Ph.D. Candidate in Medieval Studies, University of Connecticut
 December 4, 2019 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

This talk brings together medieval medical and literary descriptions over overwhelming bodily experiences. In medieval literature, when a subject encounters a divine figure, they lose all physical and mental faculties, and after a period of stasis, these faculties are restored, often with heightened senses of perception or newly gained insight. Middle English texts describe this as astonishment, a phenomenon described in medieval medicine as a cerebral malady similar to paralysis or epilepsy. By enmeshing themselves in this cultural rhetoric of dramatic change, medieval authors use literary descriptions to extend the pathology of astonishment and to investigate the effects of this state on the mind and soul.

UCHI Fellows Talk by Laura Godfrey on December 4, 4-5PM at the UCHI Conference Room

 

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

Fellows Talk: Jessica Strom on Adriano Lemmi and Italian Unification

Financing Revolution: Adriano Lemmi and the Struggle for Italian Unification

Jessica Strom, Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of Connecticut
 November 20, 2019 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

Jessica’s work explores Italian merchant Adriano Lemmi’s (18221906) position in the clandestine networks that funded radical nationalist leaders, military actions, and political newspapers during Italy’s mid-nineteenth century struggle for unification and political independence known as the Risorgimento. Lemmi played a critical role in fundraising efforts during the Risorgimento and became a key figure in the radical nationalist movement. By looking at a different type of revolutionary leader, Jessica’s project moves beyond ideals or outcomes to illuminate the everyday experiences of Italian Unification.Her talk will discuss how Lemmi helped to foster an alliance between Italian leader Giuseppe Mazzini and Hungarian nationalist Lajos Kossuth in the early 1850s. In particular she will address Lemmi’s crucial role in plans to free Kossuth from imprisonment in the Ottoman Empire and in subsequent efforts to acquire weapons from the United States to support nationalist military initiatives.

Strom Talk Poster

Fellows Talk: Hayley Stefan on Black Feminist Epistemologies and Reparative Justice

Black Feminist Epistemologies & Reparative Justice

Hayley Stefan, Ph.D. Candidate in English, University of Connecticut
 November 13, 2019 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

 

Hayley’s work examines how cultural reactions to national traumas evaluate embodied experience. In her talk, she will focus on the long refusal to recognize anti-Black oppression and violence as national tragedies. Black Feminist epistemologists such as Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, and Safiya Umoja Noble argue that reparative and restorative justice must value the Black body. This talk brings together legislation, literature, and digital archives to show how Black activists and scholars have used different methods to authorize Black knowledge. These artifacts suggest that reckoning with Black trauma means embracing communal knowledge and privileging the emotional and embodied effects of daily atrocities.

Stefan Talk Poster

Fellows Talk: Nathan Braccio on Indigenous and Colonial Landscapes of New England

Parallel Landscapes: Algonquian and English Spatial Understandings of New England, 1500-1700

Nathan Braccio, Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of Connecticut
 November 6, 2019 – 4 to 5PM (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor South)

Nathan’s talk will explore the ways in which Algonquian knowledge of the landscape represented a powerful and persistent alternative to English surveying and mapmaking in New England. When English colonists and explorers recognized the unsuitability of their techniques for understanding New England’s unfamiliar landscape, they tried to appropriate Indigenous knowledge and maps. Algonquian sachems (community leaders), used this as an opportunity to manipulate and benefit from their new English neighbors. For both colonizers and Indigenous people, maps became a potent tool in the struggle to define New England’s landscape.

Braccio Talk Flyer

Fellows Talk: Kornel Chang on Land Reform in US-Occupied Korea

Liberatory Possibilities:
Korean Peasants and the Struggle over Land Reform in U.S.-Occupied Korea

Kornel S. Chang, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University – Newark
October 16, 2019 (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor North)

This talk captures a slice of Korea’s “Asian Spring,” by examining the different ways Korean peasants imagined liberation, sought to actualize their aspirations, and clashed over its meaning in the aftermath of the Second World War, when the collapse of the Japanese Empire ushered in a moment ripe with hope, idealism, and uncertainty. It also looks at how the entry of American forces complicated, and, ultimately, narrowed possibilities for agrarian reform. This touched off a struggle with Korean peasants, who, despite their differences, held more far-reaching visions of emancipation. Focusing on land rights, my talk reveals the vitality and complexity of Korea’s “Asian Spring,” by highlighting the emancipatory opportunities that inspired, mobilized, and fractured Korean peasants, while recounting the ways Americans foreclosed many of its possibilities in an effort to establish control in Korea and rebuild a postwar social order in Asia.

Chang Talk Poster

Fellows Talk: Daniel Cohen on Maria Monk’s “Awful Disclosures”

Maria Monk’s Awful Disclosures Reconsidered:
From “Me Too” to “Fake News” in the Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of an Anti-Catholic Genre, 1845-1960

Daniel A. Cohen, Department of History, Case Western Reserve University
September 25, 2019 (UCHI Conference Room: Babbidge Library, 4th Floor)

Contrary to the conventional view of Awful Disclosures (1836) as a great triumph of antebellum U.S. nativist propaganda, Maria Monk’s bogus account of sexual abuse, torture, infanticide, and murder in a Canadian convent was actually a disaster for the anti-Catholic cause. Despite its sensationalism, Monk’s exposé struggled to match the extraordinary sales of Rebecca Reed’s earlier Six Months in a Convent (1835); and, after being utterly debunked in 1836–37 as “fake news” by that era’s “mainstream media” (reputable secular and religious newspapers), it was not reprinted again in the U.S. until 1855. More broadly, the public exposure of Maria Monk as an outright fraud largely discredited the entire convent exposé genre, dragging down Reed’s far more credible narrative with it. Only during the century after 1860, did Maria Monk (who had died in disgrace in 1849) complete her posthumous comeback. By the early 1900s, huge numbers of anti-convent narratives, including Awful Disclosures, were being churned out by specialized nativist and anti-Catholic presses based in such cultural backwaters as Aurora, Missouri, and Milan, Illinois, which catered to the tastes of rural Protestant traditionalists and other bigoted, prurient, or unsophisticated readers. These widely dispersed nativist publishers—at least one of whom also peddled stereopticons, slide shows, and even motion picture projectors—constituted a massive communications empire apart from the “mainstream media,” arguably foreshadowing the rise of right-wing talk radio, Fox News, and white nationalist websites in our own time.

Cohen Talk Poster