Negotiating a Cure: Deafness Technologies and the Health Market
October 22, 2019
Creating Adaptive Activism: Reframing Disability Through Art
November 11, 2019
Monday, November 11
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
University Student Commons
Richmond Salons I-II
Speaker: Ann Fox, professor of English, Davidson College
How might contemporary art that might not initially or obviously suggest itself as radical or innovative actually challenge and reframe how we understand disability? In this talk, I discuss my own inquiry into visual representations of disability from mainstream American art and drama for how they manifest, something I've come to call "adaptive activism." In my talk, I will focus on four ways this concept has helped me think more deeply about disability as embodied, relational, a social justice movement, and an identity we all share.
Announcing the First Annual Harold and Laura Greer Lecture
November 20, 2019
Join us on November 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cabell Library to hear from Professor Martha Few of Penn State University's history department at the First Annual Harold and Laura Greer Lecture titled, Battling Locust Swarms in Colonial New Spain.
Starting in the 1680s and continuing through the 1830s, the archival record shows that locust swarms in the region of what is now Central America and southern Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca) intensified in frequency, duration, and geographic scope. This talk will analyze the politics of insect killing campaigns when locusts swarmed, by juxtaposing archival examples of colonial, local, and indigenous knowledge claims about insect infestations and eradication by colonial scientists, lay people, political and religious authorities, and Indigenous peoples as they grappled with food shortages and famine, fear of disease spread, and threats of social unrest.
Martha Few is a professor of Latin American history and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State University. She is senior editor of the Hispanic American Historical Review. Her research concentrates on the histories of Indigenous peoples during Spanish colonial rule in Guatemala, Central America, and southern Mexico through the lenses of medicine and public health, gender and sexuality, environmental history, and human-animal studies.
Society of the Cincinnati Annual Lecture: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and the Origins of American Political Asylum
October 14, 2019
Award-winning author and University Distinguished Professor of history at Virginia Tech, A. Roger Ekirch, visited VCU on October 14 to present Mutiny, Martyrdom, and the Origins of American Political Asylum. The free lecture was made possible by the generous support of the Society of the Cincinnati in the state of Virginia – the statewide branch of the nation’s oldest patriotic organization.
Professor Ekirch’s presentation was based his historical research into the controversial case of an accused mutineer, John Robbins (aka Robert Nash), who requested political asylum in the United States in 1799. Ekirch demonstrated the impact of President John Adams’ decision to allow the British government to extradite Robbins. When the British admiralty court tried him and found him guilty, it not only had Robbins executed, but displayed his corpse in public as a deterrent to other potential mutineers. Americans’ anger at his execution and Adams’ perceived submission to the British government helped to decide the tumultuous presidential election of 1800, when Adams lost to Thomas Jefferson. Equally important, the case was invoked for decades and spurred America’s policy of providing political asylum to foreign refugees.
“With the aftershocks of the execution came a growing consensus that the executive branch should not be able to extradite Americans to foreign powers,” Ekirch explained. Eventually, because of the events that occurred after the mutiny, political asylum became the standard in the 1840’s until about 1981 when former President Ronald Reagan, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pushed a new accord that gutted political asylum.
The lecture was attended by over 80 VCU students, faculty, staff, and community members, including members of the Society of the Cincinnati.
“A liberal arts education is so critical in today’s world,” said Society member William Longan. “Companies can help you to learn the skills you need to do your job, but they cannot teach you how to think.” That is one of the reasons why the Society sponsors a variety of engaging, educational events throughout the state. This event was the 10th annual lecture hosted by the Department of History at VCU.
Visiting Author Packs a Crowd at VCU to Discuss Rethinking Rufus
September 26, 2019
On September 27, Thomas A. Foster, author of Rethinking Rufus: Sexual Violations of Enslaved Men, visited the VCU campus to discuss how the conditions of slavery gave rise to a variety of forms of sexual assault and exploitation that affected all members of the community. Over 70 VCU students, faculty, staff, and community members attended.
At the start of the discussion, history professor Carolyn Eastman said, “We know a lot about enslaved women being sexually abused. Historical information about sexual abuse of enslaved men is harder to come by.”
The discussion centered on Foster’s research into the topic of coerced reproduction of enslaved people, and how enslaved men’s role in that reproduction divided them from their communities. Using dozens of sources, he showed vividly how devastating that division could be.
Celebrating 25 Years of High Standards and a Supportive Learning Environment M.A. in History Program
September 21, 2019
On September 21, 2019 the History Department celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the M.A. Program in History with alumni, retired professors, and current faculty and students.
The event began with a walking tour of the Monroe Park Campus led by Professor John Kneebone. Attendees were treated to Professor Kneebone's extensive historical insight into a variety of locations across campus, including Monroe Park, Altria Theatre, the Singleton Center, the Pollak Building, the Cabell Library, the location where the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia was formed, and many more.
At the subsequent luncheon, director of graduate studies Professor Emilie Raymond facilitated a panel discussion featuring Professor George Munro, History M.A. alums Michael Lynch (class of 2001) and Kerry Dahm (class of 2013), and current History M.A. student Peighton Young. Professor Munro described the founding of the program, and how it has grown and thrived over the last twenty-five years.
NEH Grant Will Bring Teachers to VCU to Learn About School Desegregation
September 5, 2019
Professor Brian Daugherity is a co-recipient of a grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities to lead workshops titled “The Long Road from Brown: School Desegregation in Virginia.”
“To receive funding to offer workshops on school desegregation in Virginia is a true honor,” Daugherity said. “I am very much looking forward to developing and implementing a program that will be useful for our teacher participants and accomplish the goals set out by the NEH.”
Read the VCU news story for more information.
John Kneebone Received Excellence Award
August 29, 2019
On August 29, six distinguished faculty were recognized for teaching, scholarship and service achievement at Virginia Commonwealth University’s 37th annual Opening Faculty Address and Convocation. Among the honoree's is recently retired history professor John Kneebone. He received the University Award for Excellence. History graduate program alumna Emma Ito states, "I am so incredibly thankful that Dr. Kneebone was a mentor of mine. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for him setting up my graduate internship at the Library of Virginia!"
Read the VCU news story about John Kneebone's award for more information.
Can Indigenous knowledge rooted in the deep past help address climate change?
August 28, 2019
As part of his four-year Global Professorship in England, Gregory Smithers will undertake a research project exploring how threats to our well-being posed by climate change can be addressed by drawing on Indigenous knowledge rooted in the deep past.
Read the VCU news story about Greg Smithers for more information.