Submitted by Marisa Kelly, Provost
Please join me on Thursday, December 5th for the third Faculty Colloquium of the academic year. Dr. Michael Trotti, Department of History, will be presenting “Cultural History and Racial Violence: Case Studies in Why the Humanities Matter.”
Professor Trotti received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999. He explores a range of issues in the American past –political, economic, social - but he is particularly interested in pursuing the social implication of change: how developments in American history affected different people (different in class, gender, race, ethnicity.)
Pearl Ponce, Associate Professor in the Department of History, has published a chapter in a book. Her article on Kansas' Lecompton Constitution has been collected in Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, published this month by the University Press of Kansas (http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/newbytitle.html). This book grows out of the Border Wars Conference she was invited to in 2011.
Michael Trotti in the History department published an essay in the current edition of the Journal of American History entitled "What Counts: Trends in Racial Violence in the Postbellum South." This is a reinterpretation of the use of numbers in the study of racial violence, cataloging the challenges posed by quantification of so complicated a phenomenon.
"Read more" elaboration:
The article argues that there are layers of challenges to studying lynching's numbers: the definition of lynching is awkward, sources are often problematic in terms of identifying lynchings, and the trends resulting from any count of lynchings can be (and are) interpreted in multiple ways. Historians approach racial violence with nuance and complexity; numbers do not, treating each lynching a equivalent to every other lynching in any calculation. For a brief excerpt of the article:
At the University of Costa Rica earlier this month, Michael Smith (History/Environmental Studies and Sciences) gave a one-week graduate seminar entitled "The Environmental History of the Americas." He also presented a paper, "The Enduring International Significance of Rachel Carson" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring.
Four students from the Department of History presented their research at the recent Phi Alpha Theta West-Central New York Regional Conference held at SUNY Geneseo on Saturday April 13th.