Browsing Scholarly Works, History by Title
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- The American Soldier Collaborative Digital ArchiveGitre, Edward J. K.; Luther, Kurt (National Endowment for the Humanities, 2018-07-31)With funding provided by an NEH Foundation HCRR grant, PW-253776, our team finished the first phase of The American Soldier Collaborative Digital Archive. The goal of this project is to create a free, public website to house and disseminate an incomparable collection of historical sources that capture the experience of Americans who served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War.
- American Wildlife Policy and Environmental Ideology: Poisoning Coyotes, 1939-1972Dunlap, T. R. (University of California Press, 1986-08)
- Bridewealth and Female Consent: Marriage Disputes in African Courts, Gusiiland, KenyaShadle, Brett L. (Cambridge University Press, 2003)From the early 1940s Gusiiland (Kenya) underwent a series of transformations that pushed bridewealth to unheralded levels. As a result, many young couples could not afford a proper marriage and eloped. Some fathers forced their daughters into marriages with men wealthy enough to give cattle ; many of these women ran off instead with more desirable men. In the hundreds of resulting court cases, Gusii debated the relative weight to be given to bridewealth, parental approval and female consent in marriage. Young people did not reject marriage, but fought against senior men who would ignore women’s wishes. Gusii court elders usually agreed with fathers and husbands but also believed that female consent did carry some significance.
- ’Changing traditions to meet current altering conditions’: Customary Law, African Courts, and the Rejection of Codification in Kenya, 1930-60Shadle, Brett L. (Cambridge University Press, 1999-11)If the aim of British colonizers, Frederick Lugard wrote, was to civilize Africans ‘and to devote thought to those matters which…most intimately affect their daily life and happiness, there are few of greater importance than the constitution of native courts’. Moreover, he argued that only from native courts employing customary law was it ‘possible to create rudiments of law and order, to inculcate a sense of responsibility, and evolve among a primitive community some sense of discipline and respect for authority’. Britain had not the manpower, the money nor the mettle to rule by force of arms alone. Essentially, in order to make colonial rule work with only a ‘thin white line’ of European administrators, African ideas of custom and of law had to be incorporated into the new state systems. In a very real way, customary law and African courts provided the ideological and financial underpinnings for European colonial rule. In Kenya from at least the 1920s, but especially in the 1940s and 1950s, administrators struggled with the question of how customary law could best be used in African courts. Prominent among their concerns was the codification of customary law, against which most administrators vigorously fought. British officials believed that reducing African custom to written law and placing it in a code would ‘crystalize’ it, altering its fundamentally fluid or evolutionary nature. Colonizers naturally harbored intentions of using the law to shape society (as Cooper has demonstrated for the Kenya coast) but a fluid, unwritten law provided much greater latitude to pursue these goals. It was necessary, as one administrator put it, to allow ‘changing traditions to meet current altering conditions’. This case study of Kenya offers a different understanding of the history of customary law.
- Cold War Theaters: Cosmonaut Titov at the Berlin WallGumbert, Heather L. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011-11-01)
- A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French IndiaAgmon, Danna (Cornell University Press, 2017)Early in the eighteenth century, in the French colony of Pondichéry, India, a man’s life was thrust into turmoil. A Tamil commercial broker named Nayiniyappa, the colony’s most powerful local man, was arrested, swiftly convicted of tyranny and sedition, and died in prison while serving out his sentence. But following his death a global mobilization effort on his behalf ensued, and the French King exonerated Nayiniyappa posthumously. The struggle over this man’s guilt or innocence drew into debate merchants of the French trading company, the Compagnie des Indes, Catholic missionaries of various orders, high ranking officials in Paris and Versailles, and local families in Pondichéry. As they fought over Nayiniyappa’s fate, they also articulated radically different visions of the French colonial project in India. This microhistory of the affair and the fault lines it reveals shows that conflicts between and within the projects of trade and religion were a defining feature of the little-known French empire in South Asia.
- Commemoration, Controversy, and Campus Buildings: A Case Study—Virginia Tech, 1997-2020Wallenstein, Peter (2021-01-14)Part historical reconstruction and part memoir by a participant observer, this article reveals the path that led, between 1997 and 2020, to three changes in names of campus residence halls at Virginia Tech. Major spurs to such reconsiderations of the names of campus buildings at many schools over the past decade were the shooting murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston in June 2015, the “Unite the Right” violence in Charlottesville in August 2017, and the public murder of a Black man by a uniformed police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020. The particulars of the Virginia Tech story were more local and began earlier—in 1997–1998 and 2004–2005—but converged with the national narrative in 2020.
- The Currency of Kinship: Trading Families and Trading on Family in Colonial French IndiaAgmon, Danna (Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 2014)In the French colony of Pondichéry, French and local actors alike drew on the shared idiom of kinship to strategically advance their political and commercial agendas. Recent scholarship has shown that the structures of family underlay early modern European state building and imperial expansion. This essay deploys this insight in the colonial context, to examine how indigenous families in the Tamil region entered into the European colonial project. For native commercial brokers, involvement with European newcomers could actually strengthen local family ties. Simultaneously, French employees of the Compagnie des Indes were eager to insert themselves into Tamil networks and did so by deploying public and inscribed performances of kinship.
- The Deutschland Series: Cold War Nostalgia for Transnational AudiencesGumbert, Heather L. (Cambridge University Press, 2021-06-01)How do you explain the Cold War to a generation who did not live through it? For Jörg and Anna Winger, co-creators and showrunners of the Deutschland series, you bring it to life on television. Part pop culture reference, part spy thriller, and part existential crisis, the Wingers’ Cold War is a fun, fast-paced story, “sunny and slick and full of twenty-something eye candy.” A coproduction of Germany's UFA Fiction and Sundance TV in the United States, the show premiered at the 2015 Berlinale before appearing on American and German television screens later that year. Especially popular in the United Kingdom, it sold widely on the transnational market. It has been touted as a game-changer for the German television industry for breaking new ground for the German television industry abroad and expanding the possibilities of dramatic storytelling in Germany, and is credited with unleashing a new wave of German (historical) dramas including Babylon Berlin, Dark, and a new production of Das Boot.
- Development and Indigenous Ecopolitics in Post-Genocide GuatemalaCopeland, Nicholas M. (SAGE Publications, 2023)How do Indigenous and peasant political paradigms interact? This essay examines the relationship between Indigenous-ontopolitical critiques of development and peasant-oriented demands for alternative development in the Guatemalan defense of territory (DT), an Indigenous-led alliance against extractive development. Drawing on politically-engaged ethnographic and historical fieldwork, I argue that theories that counterpose indigenous ecological values of reciprocity and human-nature interrelatedness to “development” oversimplify Indigenous responses to the multi-dimensional nature of colonization. I describe how cosmological critiques coexist with demands for progressive (redistributive) extraction and agrarian struggles for food sovereignty and integral development. I suggest that the ascendance of post-development critiques crowds out demands for anticolonial development in the DT, limiting its potential to present a compelling alternative for poor communities. I point to a convergence between ontopolitical critique and counterinsurgency and propose holding critiques and demands for development in creative tension to strengthen decolonial struggles.
- An Exchange of Opinion - MacArthur, Quezon, and Executive Order Number One--Another ViewRogers, P. P.; Petillo, C. (University of California Press, 1983)
- From postcard to book cover: illustrating connections between medical history and digital humanitiesEwing, E. Thomas; Randall, Katherine; Reznick, Jeffrey S. (2019-10)This article illustrates the value and impact of collaboration among scholars, archivists, and librarians working across universities and government institutions, and how changes in medium-from a born-physical photograph and printed postcard to a digital reproduction to a simultaneously born-digital and printed book- create new possibilities for scholarly analysis, interpretation, and dissemination, which in turn suggest future directions for research and engagement across fields of inquiry. In doing so, this article argues that history matters by illuminating past networks that, through humanistic inquiry, continue to connect people, ideas, and institutions in the present and into the future.
- A Hard Job to Quit: Camaraderie, Crabbing, and Change on the Chesapeake BayTaylor, Jessica; Daglaris, Patrick (University of North Carolina Press, 2022)
- "Have We La Grippe?": A Washington Case Study of Reporting the "Russian Influenza" (1889-1890)Ewing, E. Thomas (Routledge, 2022)
- Historians of Technology in the Real World Reflections on the Pursuit of Policy-Oriented HistoryHirsh, R. F. (Johns Hopkins Univ Press, 2011)Despite widespread acceptance of the notion that studies of the past provide tangible benefits, academic historians usually remain reluctant to apply "lessons" from history to the realms of public and business policy. This article suggests reasons for that reluctance while also suggesting that historians of technology can make valuable contributions to the policy community. In particular, these professionals can employ tools and insights developed in their field to highlight the social contexts in which technology evolves, helping decision makers understand why specific policies may or may not accomplish stated goals. The article also suggests means by which historians can influence policy, such as through their teaching, their writing and speaking to lay ! audiences, and their direct participation in government bodies. Due to institutional disincentives for this nontraditional activity, however, historians interested in policy work should already have acquired secure, tenured positions within their academic institutions.
- Historical Gaps and Non-existent Sources: The Case of the Chaudrie Court in French IndiaAgmon, Danna (Cambridge University Press, 2021-10-01)This article develops a typology of historical and archival gaps - physical, historiographical, and epistemological - to consider how non-existent sources are central to understanding colonial law and governance. It does so by examining the institutional and archival history of a court known as the Chaudrie in the French colony of Pondichéry in India in the eighteenth century, and integrating problems that are specific to the study of legal history - questions pertaining to jurisdiction, codification, evidence, and sovereignty - with issues all historians face regarding power and the making of archives. Under French rule, Pondichéry was home to multiple judicial institutions, administered by officials of the French East Indies Company. These included the Chaudrie court, which existed at least from 1700 to 1827 as a forum where French judges were meant to dispense justice according to local Tamil modes of dispute resolution. However, records of this court prior to 1766 have not survived. By drawing on both contemporaneous mentions of the Chaudrie and later accounts of its workings, this study centers missing or phantom sources, severed from the body of the archive by political, judicial, and bureaucratic decisions. It argues that the Chaudrie was a court where jurisdiction was decoupled from sovereignty, and this was the reason it did not generate a state-managed and preserved archive of court records for itself until the 1760s. The Chaudrie's early history makes visible a relationship between law and its archive that is paralleled by approaches to colonial governance in early modern French Empire.
- How did we get here: what are droplets and aerosols and how far do they go? A historical perspective on the transmission of respiratory infectious diseasesRandall, Katherine; Ewing, E. Thomas; Marr, Linsey C.; Jiminez, J. L.; Bourouiba, Lydia (Royal Society, 2021-10-12)The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed major gaps in our understanding of the transmission of viruses through the air. These gaps slowed recognition of airborne transmission of the disease, contributed to muddled public health policies and impeded clear messaging on how best to slow transmission of COVID-19. In particular, current recommendations have been based on four tenets: (i) respiratory disease transmission routes can be viewed mostly in a binary manner of ‘droplets’ versus ‘aerosols’; (ii) this dichotomy depends on droplet size alone; (iii) the cut-off size between these routes of transmission is 5 µm; and (iv) there is a dichotomy in the distance at which transmission by each route is relevant. Yet, a relationship between these assertions is not supported by current scientific knowledge. Here, we revisit the historical foundation of these notions, and how they became entangled from the 1800s to today, with a complex interplay among various fields of science and medicine. This journey into the past highlights potential solutions for better collaboration and integration of scientific results into practice for building a more resilient society with more sound, far-sighted and effective public health policies.
- Introduction: Towards a History of Violence in Colonial KenyaCarotenuto, Matt; Shadle, Brett L. (African Studies Center, Boston University, 2012)An introduction to the journal is presented in which the authors discuss topics addressed in the issue related to violence in colonial Kenya, including corporal punishment, the connections between the death penalty and racial hierarchies, and repatriation.
- Invisible Inequalities: Persistent Health Threats in the Urban Built EnvironmentSchlichting, Kara Murphy; Kiechle, Melanie A. (Brepols, 2020-12)A city’s materiality creates health and illness. We both write about air - its movement and its temperature - as it affects human bodies. We offer two topics as case studies, heat and ventilation, and how they exacerbate the effects of each other, to illustrate the long history of seemingly new challenges posed by the novel coronavirus. The environmental inequalities of heat exposure and access to fresh air underscore that cities can only be considered ‘low impact’ on the environment from a top-down, large-scale approach. In writing about air and heat, we direct attention to the feel and the bodily impacts of unseen but persistent problems in housing. Centuries of building inequalities into the urban environment are coming to bear on our present debates about indoor space, ventilation, and viral spread as cities encounter the COVID-19 crisis.