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Dear History Blog Readers,

The fall semester ended successfully for the history department in December and we are now excited to begin a spring term.  I am taking a break from chair duties this spring as I take a long overdue sabbatical. During my time away, Professor Sean Stilwell will fill in (until I return in July). While I anticipate that the blog will lie dormant during this period, there may be some posts. Our social media presence on Twitter and Facebook will be maintained by the department’s social media intern, who will be overseen by Richard Watts and Sophia Trigg in the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office.

As we begin the new year, it is important to note that the history department remains a very busy place with lots of wonderful student work and impressive faculty research.

From the past few weeks, a couple of recent important developments are worth noting:

1) Professor Melanie Gustafson has published an impressive biographical article titled “Restless Lady: The Life and Writings of Frances Parkinson Keyes” in the online version of the New England Quarterly. What is important about this piece is that it was co-written with students who took her seminar on US Social History. The piece contains a prefatory essay on innovative teaching and showcases some of Professor Gustafson’s pedagogical skills. For more details, please follow this link:https://newenglandquarterly.org/2018/12/05/869/

2) Professor Alan Steinweis recently delivered the Ina Levine annual lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In it, he discussed the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler by German cabinetmaker Georg Elser in 1939. Dr. Steinweis examined several aspects of Elser’s story: the background and motivation of the would-be assassin (including the question of whether objections to the persecution of Jews played a role); the Nazi regime’s responses to the assassination attempt; the debate in postwar Germany over the propriety of tyrannicide; and the relatively late emergence of a commemorative culture around Elser and his act. More details can be found here: https://www.ushmm.org/online-calendar/event/MALEVINELEC1218

Much more will be happening in the history department during the spring 2019 semester. Please keep on top of things by reviewing our website at: https://www.uvm.edu/cas/history

I wish you all well and urge you to continue to follow us in the months to come.

Best wishes and Happy New Year!

Paul Deslandes

Chair, Department of History

UVM History professor Felicia Kornbluh was recently interviewed about her new book, Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective. To read more about this and to hear the interview, please use the following link:https://fair.org/home/felicia-kornbluh-on-welfare-reform/

Professor Kornbluh’s work reminds us that a historical perspective on issues of contemporary relevance is vitally important.

 

Professor Susanna Schrafstetter’s current research on Germans Jews who fled their home country for Italy during the Nazi era was the subject of a piece in a leading German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The article  summarizes the findings of Professor Schrafstetter’s most recent essay in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, one of Germany`s leading journals in the field of 20th-century history. It discusses the question of why German Jews fled to fascist Italy by analyzing the fate of the roughly 400 Jews from Munich who left for the Italian peninsula between 1933 and 1940. The article about the Munich Jewish refugees is a first case study in Professor Schrafstetter’s research about German Jewish refugees in fascist Italy. Her focus is on the experiences of the refugees, rather than on official policy. Using a broad range of  sources, she traces the life stories of individuals, conveying a multitude of experiences across time and in different regions of Italy.

The article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung focuses  on a few biographies that Professor Schrafstetter discusses in her article in the Vierteljahrshefte. One of them is the lawyer Max Hirschberg ,who fled his hometown of Munich in 1934. Politically, Hirschberg, who was close to the Social Democratic Party, was a known opponent of Nazism and had been imprisoned for a while in 1933. Hirschberg was able to find work in a law office in Milan, where he advised other refugees about emigration matters. Hirschberg considered the Italian people to be absolutely immune against “chauvinism, militarism and antisemitism,” despite the fact that he was observed by fascist informers and heard from many refugees whom he advised about appalling treatment by fascist authorities or police. To him, all this paled in comparison to what he had seen in Germany. However, after the promulgation of the antisemitic racial laws in Italy in the fall of 1938, he and his family left Milan for New York. Hirschberg, like other German Jews who came to Italy in the early 1930s, had managed to rebuild a life for himself and his family in exile but the Italian racial legislation forced him to emigrate a second time.

Others were less lucky. Samuel and Adele Obarzanek and their two children did not leave Munich until the summer of 1939. They boarded a train from Munich to Milan with no more than a few Reichmarks and four suitcases. Like thousands of other Jewish refugees in Italy, they were unable to arrange for their emigration to a third country. Once the Germans started to occupy most of the Italian peninsula in the fall of 1943, the Obarzaneks went into hiding in a small village in the Italian Alps. However, they were discovered, arrested, and eventually deported to Auschwitz. Samuel Obarzanek and his son Emanuel were murdered in Auschwitz and Mauthausen. Adele Obarzanek and her daughter Thea survived.

Professor Schrafstetter’s sobering and important work reflects the broad reach of her interests in the history of modern Germany and the Department of History is proud to celebrate her accomplishments as a scholar.

For those of you who read German, please follow the link below for the article about Schrafstetter’s work.

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/juedische-fluechtlinge-muenchen-zweiter-weltkrieg-italien-1.4189932

Lecture by Michael Bailey

On Thursday November 15, at 5:30PM, Professor Michael D. Bailey (Iowa State) will give a public lecture at UVM, entitled “Preacher, Reformer, Witch-Hunter:  Johannes Nider and the Religious World of the Late Middle Ages.”  The talk will be in the Marsh Room of Billings Library. Prof. Bailey’s lecture is part of the 2018-2019 CAS Medieval Studies Lecture, and is sponsored by the UVM Humanities Center, the UVM
Department of History, and UVM Silver Special Collections. Please come!

 

MedievalStudiesLectureSeries-BAILEY

Professor Abby McGowan delivered a fascinating lecture on 10/24 on the topic of:

At Home with the World: Globalization, Fashion, and the 19th-Century Home

The description of this talk follows:

Snug parlors, lavishly ornamented bonnets, and cozy cottages: although all evoke particularly EuroAmerican ideals and experiences, all were equally influenced by global forces. In this talk, McGowan explores the global ideas, products, fashions, and styles shaping home lives in the nineteenth century.

Developments in History

Dear History Readers,

I hope that you are all well. It’s raining heavily here in Burlington as I write. As always, the history department is busy with activity.

Our own Professor Bogac Ergene, co-author (with Febe Armanios) of a recent book on Halal food, was quoted just this week in the Washington Post. Follow this link for the story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/why-halal-meat-generates-so-much-controversy-in-europe/2018/10/08/e58fd16a-9439-11e8-818b-e9b7348cd87d_story.html?utm_term=.e87108268af2

Professor Jonathan Huener, in his role as a Director of the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, has been working hard to prepare for the Center’s triennial Miller Symposium which, this year, is on the topic of “Poland Under German Occupation, 1939-1945”. For more details view this link: https://www.uvm.edu/cas/holocauststudies/events/events-calendar

Finally, the history department has a social media intern this semester, History and Political Science double major Kaleigh Calvao. Kaleigh is compiling all sorts of interesting information about UVM history alums. If you have a story you’d like to share about post graduate life, please e-mail it to her at kaleigh.calvao@uvm.edu.

We are always interested in hearing from interested students, faculty, alumni/ae/x, and members of the public.

Best wishes,

Paul Deslandes

Chair, Department of History

Hi History Readers,

I’m writing to draw your attention to the Historic Preservation Internship Presentations, which will take place tomorrow morning. Details are included below:

UVM Historic Preservation Graduate Internship Presentations 

Wednesday, October 10 from 9 to 11 AM

Marsh Room, Billings Library, University of Vermont

9:00 – Welcome, Professor Thomas Visser, director, UVM Historic Preservation Program

9:10 – Danielle Allen, Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

9:30 – Timothy Henderson, Central Park Conservancy, New York, New York

10:00 – Maureen McCoy, International Council on Monuments & Sites, Paris, France

10:20 – Alexander Tolstoi, Historic Sites Program, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Montpelier, Vermont

You are cordially invited to attend this public event!

 

Best wishes,

Paul Deslandes

 

Dear UVM History Students,

Please see the message below about an upcoming UVM History Club meeting from that organization’s executive body.

Paul Deslandes

Chair, History

******

Hello All,

Greetings from the History Club! This is an announcement that we will be having our first meeting of the year Tuesday the 18th of September at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be in the Lafayette Hall in room L302. We would love to see you there and plan to go over a variety of things about the club and more. If you are interested or have any questions whatsoever, feel free to email me at cdcarlin@uvm.edu with any questions, concerns, etc.

 

Thank you and we hope to see you there,

The Executive Committee of the History Club

Nathan Raike, President

Evan Haley, Vice-President

Cameron Carlin, Treasurer

A New Academic Year

Dear History Friends, Colleagues, and Students,

I am writing to welcome you back to the start of a new academic year. In my role as Chair, I will be taking on a primary role reaching out to those readers of our blog with an interest in history (and the history department at UVM). There have been a number of exciting developments and accomplishments in recent months, some of which I want to share with you below.

The Department has recently appointed a social media intern. Filling this position is undergraduate Kaleigh Calvao (a double major in history and political science). Kaleigh has a broad range of experience working in both politics and at the New London (CT) Historical Society. She will be helping the department, in the weeks and months ahead, to develop a social media strategy, revise its website, and reach out to alumni so that we can better showcase their achievements and help them connect with our current students.

In recent months, our faculty and students have had a number of great successes. In the space below, I want to highlight just a few of these:

— Lauren Fedewa (a 2018 graduate of our M.A. program) received a Fulbright U.S. Program Award to Germany in history for 2018-2019. During the award period, Fedewa will be conducting research on the establishment and operation of German foreign child-care facilities during the Second World War. During her time in Germany, she will be affiliated with the Historisches Seminar at Leibniz University in Hannover. Lauren was also awarded a fellowship from the Kosciuszko Foundation to study Polish at Jagiellonian University. The latter award she had to decline, though, to pursue the Fulbright.

—The following are just a few of our recent graduates pursuing advanced study at other institutions (Sarah Jauris, B.A. 2017–M.A. in History, Boston College; Maria Koutsouris, B.A. 2018–M.A. in Theology, Boston College; John Marchinkoski B.A. 2016–Ph.D. in English at Harvard University; and Franco Paz, M.A. 2018–Ph.D. in history at Harvard University).

–Current M.A. student Courtney Smith attended a week long workshop on medieval manuscripts in Montreal during the final week of August.

–Professor Felicia Kornbluh recently had a  piece in the New York Times Book Review in which she not only reflected on a new history of the Vietnam War for young people but also her work, from the ages of 9-13, with the Children’s Express Advocacy and News Service. At age 13, she was part of a team of western journalists who reported from Cambodia following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Kornbluh was promoted to the position of senor editor at the age of 16 and reported (with others) on children’s fears of nuclear war, a story that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Commentary.

–In spring 2018, the following history students were elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa (Maria Koutsouris, Jack Roberts, Emily Thibodeau, and Lisa Wood)

–Professor Susanna Schrafstetter is the Judith B. and Burton P. Resnick Invitational Scholar for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum during the fall 2018 semester. While in residence at the Mandel Center in Washington, D.C. she will be working on her project “Seeking Survival in the South: German-Jewish Refugees in Italy, 1933-1950.”

–Professor Alan Steinweis is holding the Ina Levine Invitational Senior Fellowship at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum during the fall 2018 semester.  During the time that he is in residence at the Mandel Center in Washington, D.C. he will be working on several research and writing projects related to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to share information with blog readers about events in the history department, accomplishments of our students, faculty, and alumni, and interesting stories about the value of history and its study in the contemporary world.

If you are a UVM student, faculty member, or alum, with news to share, please feel free to pass it along by responding to this post or writing to me directly at paul.deslandes@uvm.edu.

Best wishes,

Paul Deslandes

Chair, Department of History

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