Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring 2010 History Forum

Every year, the History Department hosts its annual History Forum, an event that attracts national and international scholars to address topics of current as well as historical and academic interest. The History Forum welcomes the general public to attend the public lectures and interact with the speakers and the Duquesne University community.

This year's History Forum brought Dr. Laura F. Edwards of Duke University:

Her lecture, titled, "Honey, I'm Going to See a Magistrate": Rethinking Women and Political Action in the 19th-Century South, refers to the hundreds of cases that directly involved women, white and black, in local courts in the slave South. The presentation focused on the relationship between women and governance and argued that women participated more actively in the slave South's public culture than we have realized.

The History Forum always includes a dinner with History Department faculty members and the guest speaker. This year, we went to Folino's on Pittsburgh's historic South Side:

When I asked this year's History Forum Director, Dr. Tsekani Browne, if he was ready for the evening's events, he responded with a smile:

This year's History Forum was held in the new Power Center's Ballroom. A crowd of almost 100 people showed up to listen to Edwards' presentation, all while enjoying a beautiful view of Downtown Pittsburgh:

Many students show up to the event each year, armed with pens and paper so that they can take notes. Even some of our faculty, already well-versed in historical topics, jot down key points, as seen here by department member Dr. Michael Cahall:

After Edwards' presentation, a question-and-answer session began. Students courageously raised their hands to ask questions, as did some of our very own faculty members, like Dr. Perry Blatz:

The question-and-answer session lasted approximately 40 minutes, with interesting conversations developing as a result.

Afterwards, a public reception was held in the adjoining Fides Shepperdson Suite:

On-campus catering by Aramark is always a hit, with delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, thirst-quenching beverages, delectable pastries, and savory hors d'ouerves.

It was only a matter of minutes before a line formed at the table:

The public reception is a wonderful opportunity for students and faculty members to interact in a non-classroom setting, often resulting in jokes and laughter. Dr. Joseph Rishel and Dr. Perry Blatz are well-known around the department for their friendly banter:

Graduate students talk and laugh with professors:

And graduate students Jenna Lusk (Historical Studies Program) and Renee Morgan (Public History Program), take a moment to smile for the camera:

The History Forum is always well-attended by graduate students. Here, a group gathers together for a photo opportunity:

Our guest speaker, Dr. Laura Edwards, engages in conversation while relaxing at the post-lecture reception:

At the end of the evening, 2010 History Forum Director, Dr. Tsekani Browne, poses for a picture with Distinguished University Professor, Dr. Steven B. Vardy, and his wife Agnes:

This year's History Forum was a success!

Be sure to join us in October for our next History Forum, directed by Dr. Joseph Coohill and featuring international scholar Richard Grayson of Goldsmiths, University of London. Details and updates will be posted on the History Forum website.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

History Abroad

Many students recall studying abroad as some of their fondest memories and one of their smartest decisions made while in college. But for many students, an entire semester abroad isn't an option. Sometimes it's because of financial reasons, and sometimes it's because those students' academic programs are so rigorous that they don't allow for an entire semester away.

Enter HIST 250: History Abroad.

Every other summer, the History Department offers a 3-week summer study abroad course. In the Summer of 2009, Dr. Charles Wilf and Dr. Trevor Jones designed a trip that included countries such as Turkey, England, Poland, and Hungary. Two students who went on the trip, Nicole Ferrance and Victoria Burke, documented much of their experience. Ferrance and Burke, now graduate students in the School of Education, created as part of a course assignment an exhibit in Duquesne's Les Idees Art Gallery highlighting some of their memorable moments during HIST 250. The History Department's Administrative Assistant, Laura Miller, stopped by the gallery to snap a few shots of the exhibit. We share those images with you here.

Nicole Ferrance and Victoria Burke, outside of Schonnbrun Palace in Vienna, Austria

Students visit the Single Mother's Home in Erd, Hungary

Students were required to journal about their experiences on the trip.

A visit to Istanbul, Turkey's Grand Bazaar

Visiting London's South Bank and posing for a
picture in front of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Students visited and experienced many emotions at Poland's Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorial

Students visited the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine in Krakow, Poland

We can't wait to see what the next HIST 250 trip will be like!