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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 in HH 342 unless otherwise noted.

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

Moderator: Dr. Geoff Fouad

Spring 2020 Calendar

Presenter: Panel Discussion (Professors Walter Greason, Hettie Williams, and Cory Cummings)
Title: Teaching with Technology
Wednesday, January 22, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm HH 342
Synopsis: Please join a multidisciplinary panel of Monmouth faculty for a discussion on “Teaching with Technology.” The panel will discuss (1) digital classrooms and social media, (2) website development for student engagement, and (3) design strategies for online curriculum. The discussion will be open to the audience, and may cover specific cases for broader discussion. The goal of the session is to introduce new learning techniques and tools to complement current curriculum.
Presenter: Dr. Kenneth L. Campbell
Title: Help! The Beatles and the Culture of the mid-1960s
Wednesday, February 26, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm HH 342
Synopsis: The Beatles’ second film, released in 1965 was called Help! This was also, of course, the name of the title song for the film and the opening song on the soundtrack album. In addition, this could very well have been the theme song for Britain in 1965. In that year, an economic crisis threatened to drag down Harold Wilson’s Labour government, which had ascended to power in the aftermath of the Profumo scandal. This talk will draw parallels between the Beatles’ second film and the songs written for it and the general mood and atmosphere in 1965 Britain. A cry of “Help” would also have been appropriate in the United States as racial tensions and the Vietnam War continued to escalate. In this talk, I will interweave popular reactions to the film and album in Britain and the United States with a discussion of both in the context of political and cultural developments in both countries.

Presenter: Dr. Kristin B. Bluemel
Title: Preserving Peter Rabbit: Beatrix Potter, the Lake District, and Conservative Modernity
Wednesday, March 25, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm HH 342
Synopsis: In 1905 Beatrix Potter purchased Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, Lancashire, England, the first of what was to become a collection of sixteen working farms amounting to over 4,000 acres of land. She was 39, an acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator, naturalist, and self-made business woman. She was also a devoted land preservationist. Although she did not publish any truly original tales after 1913, her promotion of sustainable, traditional Herdwick sheep farming and wool production in the Lake District during a time of massive rural development is, arguably, as important a part of her legacy as her beloved little books.

Beatrix Potter, children’s book author, conservationist, and sheep-breeder, here with her award-winning Herdwick sheep, at that time a threatened native breed.

Potter’s story (biography) and her stories (art) challenge preconceptions about the “natural” alliance between progressive politics and eco-justice work. Potter’s world-transforming, revolutionary children’s books and world-preserving, conservative land politics raise difficult, but interesting, questions for left-leaning book historians and literary critics: What is Potter’s role within a tradition of English children’s books promoting care of animals and the natural environment? Are the particular forms her books take to communicate this care consistent with current understanding(s) of sustainability and eco-justice? Put bluntly, is affirmation of Potter’s conservationist politics worth the price of her conservatism?

My presentation of this work-in-progress uses Potter’s extraordinary investments in children’s books and rural England to trouble assumptions about political and literary genealogies and possible ecological alliances within and between disciplines in the humanities. Telling a scholarly tale of communication and exchange between typically opposed textual, cultural, and geographic constructs – between development and preservation; books and sheep; adult and children’s literature — this paper situates Beatrix Potter and her visual-verbal art at the center of debates about nature, sustainability, modernity, and children’s literature.