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History & Anthropology

Research and Teaching Pedagogy Seminar Series

This seminar provides a forum for both full time and part time faculty in the Department of History and Anthropology to present their research in progress and teaching pedagogy to the campus community. The mission of this seminar is to foster awareness about the research interests among faculty within the department, improve communication about areas of teaching and scholarship, facilitate collegiality across disciplines, and encourage collaborative research opportunities. Presentations will take place once per-month from 1:15-2:15 pm on Wednesdays over Zoom, with links provided with the speaker’s information.

If you would like to present in the series, please email Dr. Geoff Fouad.

Archive of past talks.

Moderator: Dr. Geoff Fouad

Spring 2022 Calendar

Presenter: Katherine Parkin

Title: Abortion in Popular Culture: 1970-1972

Wednesday, January 26, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: In July of 1970, New York State legalized abortions for all pregnancies up to 12 weeks, setting off a national phenomenon of people seeking to secure legal abortions before they were legalized nationally with the passage of Roe v. Wade in January of 1973. This talk will analyze the multitude of ways that women found abortion information in the popular culture, including magazines targeting women, teen girls, and the broader public, as well as television programs. Through these varied media, I will explore the abortion information described, illustrated, and enacted in the popular culture in this pre-Roe time period.

Magazine cover images from Redbook, Seventeen and Look

Abortion information in popular culture.

Presenter: Corey Dzenko

Title: Rumpled Bed Sheets and Online Mourning: Social Photography and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Wednesday, February 23, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: Due to the rapid transmission of COVID-19 in 2020, then-New York state governor Andrew Cuomo declared an emergency executive order effective at 8pm on March 22. This “lockdown” mandated “non-essential” workers stay home, asked everyone to keep at least six feet apart, and forbade social gatherings. With air as the vehicle for COVID-19’s spread, many turned to virtual environments to avoid more dangerous “public” spaces. Photography in its various material forms often invites social interaction, from crowding around physical albums to conversing online via social media. This work-in-progress talk will focus on two photographic projects from NYC and the nearby region, both created early during the pandemic and made public virtually: documentary photographer Haruka Sakaguchi’s Quarantine Diary and curator and writer Marvin Heiferman’s ongoing Instagram account, @whywelook. Sakaguchi began her month-long diary on March 20, the day the governor announced his forthcoming mandate. A history of depression compelled Sakaguchi to take at least one photograph daily to help herself cope with the lockdown while living alone in NYC. She posted Quarantine Diary to her website and on her takeover of The New Yorker’s Instagram account. Heiferman’s husband, cultural historian Maurice Berger, died from COVID-19 complications on March 23. Since then, Heiferman has used Instagram to mourn, turning to photography when words fail him. In both instances, Sakaguchi and Heiferman addressed personal trauma publicly online, and, in doing so, created a collective environment for viewers to do similar. By examining photography’s role in such mourning, I expose the ongoing social life of photography, along with the ways the politics of identity and place have impacted the unfolding and effects of this global pandemic.

Sample photo from Sakaguchi

Sample photo from Heiferman

Sample photos from Sakaguchi (top) and Heiferman (bottom)

Presenter: Adam R. Heinrich, Richard Veit, Geoff Fouad, and Tom Herrington

Title: Historical, Archaeological, and Environmental Investigations at an Eroding Tavern Site on Sandy Hook

Wednesday, March 23, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Array of artifacts found at site

Artifacts found at the site

Synopsis: Starting in late 2020, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Monmouth University faculty, students, and outside specialists was contracted by the National Park Service to help assess and salvage an archaeological site eroding from the shoreline of Sandy Hook. The site was first identified in the 1980s through the discovery of numerous artifacts scattered on the beach. Over the years, erosion from storms and sea level rise has exposed more of the site including part of a building’s foundation and rich artifact deposits left behind by the site’s occupants.

The site is identified as a tavern and bunk house used by the Sandy Hook Pilots, a group of seamen who guided vessels entering New York Harbor. It may also be associated with a blockhouse constructed for the War of 1812. The site seems to have been used from the 1780s until 1855 when it burned, sealing a rich assemblage of architectural, domestic, personal, and leisure-related artifacts that have been able to provide some interesting insights into the site’s development and the lives and activities of its occupants and visitors.

Presenter: Manuel Chavez

Title: Epistemology in Global Studies and World Philosophy

Tuesday, April 26, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm in person (Howard Hall 342)

Synopsis: A key issue in global studies and world philosophy is the role of epistemology. As many feminist, postcolonial and decolonial philosophers have pointed out, knowledge is situated, it is located within particular historical, political, and economic contexts. Consequently, it is argued there are epistemic advantages and disadvantages to different perspectives.

In my courses, I have found that most students assume a U.S.-centric/Eurocentric perspective of the world, without considering how the histories of colonialism and imperialism may shape that perspective. As a result, I believe it is vital for students to develop a critical understanding of how power operates at a global level. In this presentation, I will introduce a drawing activity that I have experimented with in my classes. The purpose of this activity is to provide students a basic frame for understanding how epistemology is embedded within globalization. I still consider this activity a work-in-progress, so I look forward to feedback on this activity.

I use this diagram below in this activity. It is from Enrique Dussel’s Philosophy of Liberation (1977).

Fall 2021 Calendar

Presenter: Maryanne Rhett
Title: History Comics as Historiographic Archive
Wednesday, September 22, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom
Synopsis: Despite the long held assumption that comics in the classroom are a new thing, and that prior to the late 1990s/early 2000s they were vociferously banned in educational settings, the reality is that there is a long history of comics used to instruct. This works in progress discussion will bring to the table a selection of comics which can be generally grouped as “history comics,” from the nineteenth and early twentieth century; from the Anglophone world (largely the US and Canada) as well as Spain. Touching on the basic background of the works presented, it is the intention of the meeting to discuss and contemplate the various ways in which materials such as these can enrich our teaching and research agendas. If at all possible, please RSVP so that topically appropriate examples for the audience can be on hand.

Photo image of a "history" comic strip titled "High Lights of History" published in 1896

A “history comic” from the year 1896

A drawing of a snake wraped around a staff

A page from Harper’s Weekly on the US Army’s mission against the Ku Klux Klan

Presenter: Christopher DeRosa

Title: Bluecoats Against the Klan

Wednesday, October 27, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: This talk features research from my planned final chapter of a history of the U.S. Army in Reconstruction.  The army had played a role in establishing Black voting in the former rebel states.  This part of the study concentrates on the missions army posts launched “beyond Election Day”: pursuing anti-Reconstruction terrorists and tax-evaders.  Despite a seeming victory over the Ku Klux in 1871, the army’s mission to support the biracial democracy it had helped foster ended in dismal failure.

Presenters: Race conference presenters

Title: Race conference presentations to replace Works in Progress in November

Friday, November 12, on Zoom

Further details to be determined.

For more details, please see the Interdisciplinary Conference on Race (Virtual Meeting) page.

Photo of Dr. Walter S. McAfee conducting work in the lab in 1946.

McAfee conducting work in 1946

Presenter: Melissa Ziobro

Title: Monmouth University’s Own Hidden Figures: Dr. Walter McAfee

Tuesday, December 14, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: Since the U.S. Army’s inception, civilian personnel have proved invaluable in helping uniformed soldiers achieve their objectives, and have made vital contributions in their own right. One such civilian is Dr. Walter S. McAfee. This pioneering African American Army civilian scientist is perhaps most famous for his participation in Project Diana, which allowed man’s first “contact” with the moon in 1946. However, McAfee served the Army for 42 years, while also teaching and mentoring new generations of innovators and leaders right here at Monmouth University. His story is one of raw talent, perseverance, patience, and inspiration, yet few at the national level know his name. This talk will introduce the audience to McAfee, and explain how oral history interviews with Monmouth alumni are shining new light on his life, work, and legacy.