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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 2021 Calendar

A map with a bounding box around the borough of lake como

Borough of Lake Como (black boundary) map of impervious surfaces (gray colors) and pervious surfaces (green colors) generated by a student in the service-learning program.

Presenters: Jon Gibbons (community partner) and Geoffrey Fouad
Title: “A patchwork for wildlife and impervious surface monitoring program for the Borough of Lake Como, New Jersey”
February 24, 1:15-2:15 pm on Zoom (RSVP to gfouad@monmouth.edu for Zoom info)

Synopsis: The Borough of Lake Como sits near the New Jersey shore, but has no shoreline. Instead, a lake for which the Borough gets its name is central to this community. The lake was once used for recreation and fishing, but is now largely unused due to the infilling of sediments and potentially harmful water quality. Sediments and contaminants that degrade the water quality of the lake may be traced to residential land uses in the surrounding community. Yards covered in impervious surfaces and landscaping requiring chemical treatments are a source of harmful water runoff to the lake. The Borough of Lake Como is developing a comprehensive strategy to reduce water runoff to the lake, and in the process, create an urban “Patchwork for Wildlife.” The patchwork program is not like a conventional yard of the month club because it encourages residents to plant native species rather than evaluating yards purely on their aesthetic quality. Residents are given award certificates for their efforts to plant native species and curb harmful runoff to the lake. In collaboration with Monmouth University’s Geographic Information Systems Program, the Borough of Lake Como is monitoring the success of the Patchwork for Wildlife program. Certificates awarded to individual property parcels are tracked, and the growth of the program will be mapped over time. To monitor the conversion of impervious to pervious surfaces, a student service-learning program has been developed, which was first deployed in a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sponsored technology training program for middle school and high school students. The students learn how to analyze aerial imagery for the classification (mapping) of impervious and pervious surfaces. The program can be employed in a newly approved Monmouth University remote sensing course, and used to monitor land surface changes over time in the Borough of Lake Como. These changes may then be tied to ongoing water quality monitoring in the lake conducted by Monmouth University’s Coastal Lakes Observing Network. The presentation demonstrates a mutually beneficial relationship between a nearby community and a university in which a service-learning program (i.e. student-led aerial image analysis) complements a community-based initiative (i.e. the Borough of Lake Como’s Patchwork for Wildlife).

A photo showing different houses.

Patchwork for Wildlife sample yards employing a “formal” (left) and “informal” (right) style to reduce impervious surfaces and introduce native plants for New Jersey wildlife.


Presenters: Professors Hettie Williams, Melissa Ziobro, and Geoffrey Fouad; with Kay Harris of the Asbury Park Historical Society and Asbury Park Museum
Title: “Campus / Community Partnership Records Asbury Park History”
Wednesday, March 24, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: Join Professors Williams, Ziobro, and Fouad as they discuss their work to date on their digital humanities project, “Paradoxical Paradise: An African American Oral History and Mapping Project.” This multiyear initiative seeks to explore the largely untold experiences of African Americans in Asbury Park, New Jersey from the founding of the city in the 1870s to the present. Asbury Park is well-known as a site of urban rebellion, but it has also been a pivotal center of black settlement, Jim Crow-era segregation, American music culture, and social justice. In many respects, the story of African Americans in Asbury Park provides us with a window into the larger history of African Americans in the United States. See more about “Paradoxical Paradise” here. In doing their work, these faculty members are collaborating with stakeholders from the community like Kay Harris, who will speak to existing community-based efforts to record Asbury Park’s past, why coordinating with the University is welcome, and how you might get involved.


Presenters: Matthew L. O’Brien
Title: “Sir Walter Raleigh: The Crafting of a Protestant Martyr”
Wednesday, April 28, 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Zoom

Synopsis: On October 29, 1618, Sir Walter Raleigh went to the block “in the place of the Old Palace” at Westminster before a sizable crowd of courtiers, officials, and others. Raleigh’s sentence of execution was carried out almost fifteen years, after he had been convicted in 1603 of treason for his part in the Main Plot, a rather murky and loose conspiracy against James VI/I, who had recently acceded to the throne of England.  From the time of his conviction until 1616, the one-time Elizabethan favorite languished in prison in the Tower of London. During his confinement, Raleigh’s reputation as a Protestant hero in opposition to Spanish designs grew. Raleigh himself cultivated that image with appeals to the patronage of the Prince of Wales and his own authorship of a History of the World. In 1616, the Stuart monarch granted Raleigh’s appeal for release to set out on a voyage to discover legendary silver and gold in Guiana with the proviso that Raleigh promise not to engage the Spanish militarily in their outposts nearby.

Photo image of Sir Walter Raleigh’s drawing titled Raid on the Island of Trinidad, 1595

Sir Walter Raleigh’s Raid on the Island of Trinidad, 1595

Raleigh’s expedition ended in disaster. After setting sail in June 1617, bad weather, poor navigation, and illness plagued the convoy of ships across the Atlantic. Raleigh and his men did not reach Guiana until November. While Raleigh remained behind due to illness, others in his expedition, including his son Walter, sailed onward. When they encountered the Spanish settlement of San Thomé in early January 1618, the English attacked it, resulting in the death of both the Spanish governor and the younger Walter Raleigh. An initial trek in search of treasure discovered none. Further searches proved futile. By the end of March 1618, most of his men had deserted him, and Raleigh with his remaining crew sailed to Newfoundland and then set course back to Europe.

After a near escape to France, Raleigh returned to England in June, where he was arrested on violation of the terms of his release. After examinations and investigations by a commission, the privy council interrogated Raleigh in October and found him guilty of abandonment of his men, intrigue with France, inciting war against Spain, and treachery to the king. Yet, all this proved extraneous to the sentence of death meted out to him. By law, Sir Walter Raleigh went to his execution in 1618 having been sentenced for treason in November 1603.

Accounts and news of Raleigh’s last voyage, his final months, and his execution circulated widely among a network of Englishmen and others who sought a more militantly Protestant policy from the Stuart king. This intelligence and, especially, the accounts of his execution crafted an image of Raleigh as a martyr to the Protestant Cause under threat from Spain. These narratives build upon the rehabilitation of Raleigh’s image that commenced while he was in prison. They also stand in marked contrast to the crafting by the Stuart king himself of the image of what a true hero was, whom James VI/I found in his own favorite, the earl of Buckingham.