Dr. Shuhua Fan has recently published The Harvard-Yenching Institute and Cultural Engineering: Remaking the Humanities in China, 1924-1951 (Lexington Books, 2014).
As the first comprehensive study on the subject, the book adopts a concept of “cultural engineering,” which is defined as a conscious design to use cultural heritage to recreate culture in order to promote a society’s development, to look at key issues in a way which accounts for interactions and initiatives on both sides and shows the difficult path toward developing common interests without neglecting tensions and conflicts, thus going beyond the various one-sided historiographies which pit Chinese against Americans or nativist rejection of modernity against cultural imperialism.
Congratulations to Dr. Fan.
This summer Drs. Domenico and Shaffern will again be leading a travel course to Italy (History 296).
The four week course, which departs in late May, will visit Naples, Rome, Assisi, Florence, Venice, Milan, and the Alps. An organizational meeting is scheduled for September 23 at 7:00 p.m. in St. Thomas 412. Check out photos from the 2013 course here. For more information contact Roy Domenico or Robert Shaffern (STT 308 F and G).
As part of our ongoing series on students who graduate with a degree in History from the University of Scranton we offer a guest post from graduating senior Brandon Golden. Brandon leaves this week for a two year stint in the Peace Corps and plans to attend medical school when he returns to the United States.
When I began my undergraduate academic career, I was unsure what major to choose. I love the sciences and plan on becoming a physician. Therefore, it might seem logical to choose a science major. At the same time, I also love History and the perspective it provides me on the world. In the end, I chose to become a History major and it turned out to be the best choice I made for my pre-med studies.
As a History major I learned how to think critically and how to see the bigger picture in complicated subject matter. This way of thinking allowed me to grasp difficult science concepts that many Biology majors struggle with. I think that by being a History major, I have a different way of solving problems than other science majors. In turn, I think that when I become a physician, I will be able to have a different perspective than my other colleagues, and hopefully be a better physician because of it.
In July I will be leaving for the Peace Corps to serve as a middle/high school Math and Science teacher in Namibia. I think that my skills as a History major will continue to be useful. I will be serving for 27 months in either a rural or urban environment and will be teaching up to 50 students. I hope to apply to medical school at some point during the next two years and attend medical school when I return from Namibia. I am interested in emergency medicine and surgery.
Good luck and safe travels to Brandon.
For those of you looking for a history related summer project–see what you can do with this:
Most of the low-hanging fruit has already been taken care of, but if you can come up with a historical “thing to remember” let us know (either via e-mail or in person) and we’ll add your entry to Dr. Adam Pratt’s door. Enjoy your summer.
As part of an ongoing series on students who graduate with a degree in History from the University of Scranton we offer a guest post from graduating senior, and recently inducted member of Phi Alpha Theta, Stephanie Aten. Stephanie is graduating with a double major in history and philosophy and a minor in biology. She also participated in the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Program (SJLA) as an undergraduate. This fall she will begin course work in a master’s degree program in International Peace and Security at King’s College London in the United Kingdom:
I began my undergraduate career as a biology and philosophy major with a minor in history. After spending time abroad in London and Taiwan, I decided to change my major to history and make biology my minor. As a history major, I centered my study on both ancient and Islamic history. I took electives such as Ancient History, the Fall of Rome, History of American Women, and Civil War & Reconstruction. The two writing-intensive required courses, Craft of the Historian and Seminar in History, taught me how to conduct research and express my ideas in writing.
Completing an undergraduate history degree has been advantageous for my applications to a master’s program because it taught me how to effectively research and write papers in the humanities field. Although I am not pursing history at master’s level, the study of International Peace and Security incorporates important elements relating to my history degree. The degree itself is unique; it combines elements from both international politics and international law. I was first exposed to these subjects during some of my history courses such as Civilization of Islam and European History. The MA degree takes one full year and is comprised of two semesters of teaching and a mandatory 15,000 word dissertation completed over the summer term. It will allow me to pursue employment in both governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the United Nations, European Union, NATO, and Amnesty International.
Good luck Steph, be sure to send a postcard from London.
Congratulations to History Major Christine Panzitta for winning the Weinberg Memorial Library’s 2013-2014 Undergraduate Research Prize.
Christine Panzitta with her adviser Dr. Adam Pratt and Dean Brian Conniff.
Her paper, “Desertion in the Union Army, 1861-1866” examines the ways in which the Union government and the home front defined and dealt with the problem of desertion. Her research shows that the meaning of desertion changed during the course of the war as politicians and civilians alike began to understand the scope of the problem. By connecting the home front to the battlefield, and showing how the actions of soldiers drove public opinion, Christine’s research is truly groundbreaking.
A recent special issue of the New York History Journal includes an article written by Dr. David J. Dzurec. The article, “Failure at Queenston Heights: The Politics of Citizenship and Federal Power during the War of 1812,” examines how the plight of twenty-three naturalized American citizens who were taken captive by the British sparked a national debate about the nature of citizenship in the young United States.
Dr. Shuhua Fan has been invited to present her paper “A Golden Decade in China: The Harvard-Yenching Institute and Yenching University (1928-1937)” at the “Yenching University and Liberal Education in Modern China International Conference” in Beijing, China on April 26, 2014. Dr. Fan’s research explores the early success of the Harvard-Yenching Institute in the years before war with Japan.
The University of Scranton Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (the History Honor Society) inducted fourteen new members on April 14, 2014. Dr. Adam Pratt welcomed the new members with a talk entitled (appropriately) “Why I Became a History Major.” Congratulations to the newest members of the Mu-Rho chapter of Phi Alpha Theta.
From left to right: (back row) Susan Poulson (moderator); Kelly A. Kuzminski; Hayden Chamberlain; Jaclyn Cline; William J. Halfpenny; Ryan L. Bisio; (front row) Stephanie Marie Aten; April V. Francia; Christine Panzitta; Alexandra Ponti; ; not pictured: Alexander Ametrano, Christopher Fragassi, Carl Hughes, Benjamin D. Turcea; Michael Walker
Robert W. Shaffern, Dominicans, Indulgences and Imperial Rivalry in Fourteenth-Century Germany (Rochester, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2014).
Indulgences have long been known as the occasion for the Protestant Reformation of the early sixteenth-century, but less well known are the medieval arguments about indulgences. Shaffern’s book examines an indulgence-controversy of the mid-fourteenth century. In this case, the rights of German Dominican friars to grant indulgences became caught up with the succession to the imperial throne. Pope John XXII objected that Louis IV did not obtain consecration as emperor from the Holy See, and that therefore his occupation of the imperial throne was a usurpation. For a generation, Germany was divided between the supporters of Louis and of John. German Dominicans supported the pope and attracted the bitterness of Louis’s allies. That bitterness translated into an attack on the validity of Dominican indulgences. John of Dambach, a Dominican friar and intellectual, wrote two treatises in defense of Dominican indulgences. In these treatises survive the views on indulgences of a prominent figure in the fourteenth-century German church, which is the main focus of Shaffern’s book, the second he has published on the history of indulgences in the Middle Ages.
Pick up your copy over at Amazon today.