January 8, 2015

The Brown History Department had another strong showing at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, held from January 2-January 5 in New York City.  Professor Rebecca Nedostup organized, chaired, and presented in a panel entitled “Networks of the Dead: Politics, Ethics, Technologies and Method.” Professor Robert Self participated in a roundtable discussion on the “Crisis of the 1970s” while Professor Omer Bartov contributed to a roundtable on the role of history and historians in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  Professor Jane Kamensky was among the commentators featured in a roundtable discussion on the state of the relationship between history and literature. Professor Maud Mandel took part in a discussion of the divisions and intersections between Jewish History and General History.

Panelists in other sessions included Professor Jennifer Lambe, who shared her research on the relationship between psychiatry and popular mental healers in a session on psychiatric and medicine in Latin America; Professor Faiz Ahmed, who gave a paper entitled “Contested Subjects: Ottoman and British Jurisdictional Quarrels over Afghans and Indians Abroad, 1878–1914”; and Professor Tracy Steffes, who offered a historical perspective on methods of evaluating learning at the college level.

Professor Steven Lubar chaired a session on “Scholarship Beyond Text”, which highlighted research deploying new investigative technologies and collaborations with artists, architects, filmmakers, and designers, to upend conventional understandings of historical phenomena. Professor Jo Guldi chaired a session, entitled “People and Technology: Comparing Road Building across Three Continents“, which explored the connections between roads as they existed as material objects in their environment, and their human histories and cultural meanings.

Additional information and abstracts about any of the sessions can be found at the links highlighted above, or by clicking on individual conference participants’ names within the index at the American Historical Association Meeting website.

November 30, 2014

The next lecture in the "Carbon Nations" series is coming up on Wednesday, December 3, at 4 pm. Professor Meg Jacobs of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University will be giving a talk entitled, “Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and American Politics in the 1970s",  in the Petteruti Lounge of the Stephen Robert Campus Center.

Meg Jacobs is a Research Scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School teaching courses in public policy and history. She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Virginia and was an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been a fellow at the Harvard Business School, the Charles Warren Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. She is currently working on a book on the energy crisis of the 1970s, which looks at why American politicians failed to devise a long-term energy policy. She is the author of Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, Princeton University Press, which won the Organization of American Historians' 2006 prize for the best book on modern politics. She has recently published Conservatives in Power: The Reagan Years, 1981-1989 with Bedford/St.Martin's (2010).

The "Carbon Nations" series of six lectures in 2014-2015 is designed to do something important but rare: bring historians into debates about energy and climate change. Focusing largely on the U.S. and U.S. corporations abroad, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Carbon Nations asserts a crucial premise: the carbon-based economy is a historical creation, a product of human culture and politics. Its transformation into something new thus requires a deep engagement with the culture and politics, as much as with the science and technology, of energy. The series has been organized by Robert Self, Royce Family Chair of Teaching Excellence and Professor of History.

Carbon Nations PosterCarbon Nations Poster

November 12, 2014

Co-edited with Professors Stephen F. Miescher (UC Santa Barbara) and Michelle Mitchell (NYU), Professor Naoko Shibusawa's special issue, '', Gender &  History 26, 3 (2014), came out this month and will be published by Wiley as a book next year. Professor Shibusawa jointly authored the introduction with Professor Mitchell. The 13 peer-reviewed articles address the myriad gendered dimensions of empire between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, across a wide range of geographic locales.

The issue is divided into four sections: “Labour,” “Commodities,” “Fashioning Politics,” and “Mobility and Activism." Featuring contributions from more than a dozen international scholars—and based on their original research—articles revolve around such themes as labour, commodities, fashion, mobility, and activism while exploring the dynamics of empire in destinations ranging from Africa and the Americas to Europe and Asia.

Special consideration is given to gender issues arising during periods when upheaval challenged colonial regimes, which often resulted in decolonization and independence. Chapters also reveal how former colonies transitioned into ‘nations,’ along with transnational dynamics that took place among modern states. A common thread woven through each article is the matter of precisely who it was that deserved to be treated and recognized as fully human in an era of imperial exchanges and ongoing capitalist globalization. Innovative and thought-provoking, Gender, Imperialism and Global Exchanges sheds important new light on our understanding of the complex gendered dimensions of the exchanges of people, ideas, and cultural practices during the post-colonial era."

Gender, Imperialism, and Global ExchangesGender, Imperialism, and Global Exchanges

November 6, 2014

The History Department (with approval of the College Curriculum Council) has revised its concentration requirements.   The new requirements will be effective on July 1, 2015 and will be applied to the classes of 2015.5 and later.  We are making these revisions in coordination with an overhaul of our course numbering system that will take effect in the fall of 2015.  Some of the changes reflect the impending change in numbers.  Others are more substantive. The changes are detailed on the concentration page, and in the document attached here. Here is a summary of the new concentration requirements:

NO CHANGES have been made to the following areas:

  • The Basic Requirement (a minimum of ten semester-long courses)
  • Field of Focus
  • Capstone Seminar
  • Honors
  • Transferring Courses
  • Regular Consultation

Areas with substantive changes:

  1. Introductory Courses: Students will be allowed to count 4 (not 3) courses below 1000 toward the concentration
  2. Geographic Distribution: Students will be required to take courses in three different areas, (i.e. two, two, and two). Global will constitute a new geographic area (Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Middle East/South Asia, and Nort America remain the other geographic areas.)
  3. Chronological Distribution: All concentrators must complete at least two courses designated as “P” (for pre-modern).  Note: there will no longer be “M” or “E” courses.

More details about the changes can be found on the concentration page. If you have any questions, please consult with your concentration advisor or the DUS (Ethan_Pollock@Brown.Edu) directly. 

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