Three online courses by Cathy Moran Hajo, Director of the Jane Addams Papers, were recently launched on eLabs, a multi-year effort by the University of Virginia’s Center for Digital Editing to develop curriculum for publishing historical documents on the web. The program was funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It is a rethinking of a long-standing in-person training program, known as the Institute for Editing Historical Documents.
The three courses currently available are: What Will Your Edition Look Like?, Organizing Your Documents, and Transcribing Your Documents. These courses are part of the Fundamentals series, which was designed to introduce practitioners to common topics, activities, and questions related to the practices of editing and recovery. Eleven additional courses in this series will be released between now and July 2023.
Professor of Political Science Jeremy Teigen was invited to be a Co-Chair at the Student Conference on US Affairs, or “SCUSA.” Ramapo also sent two student delegates, Matthew Wisneski and Hannah Scroggins (pictured here). The event, hosted by the United States Military Academy at West Point, took place November 2-5, 2022. Around 180 students, half of them cadets at West Point and the other half being civilian delegates from colleges and universities from all over the country, assembled and were grouped into working teams to develop foreign policy briefs on various international challenges facing the US. Co-Chairs’ jobs included helping the student groups organize themselves, debate options, and eventually guide students to write and present a policy brief. The keynote speaker this year was United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield and this event’s theme was “American Foreign Policy in an Era of Polarized Politics and Revisionist Powers.”
Advance praise for Hugh Sheedy’s (Literature) Design Flaw: Stories (University of Chicago Press) recently appeared in Publisher’s Weekly:
“Sheehy (The Invisibles) delivers a dark and dazzling collection pocked with surface tension and an undercurrent of menace. The bewitching title story chronicles a troubled married couple who adopt a ‘designer animal,’ part monkey and part cat, who is soon accused of mutilating neighborhood animals. The son in “Amontillado” laments his aging mother’s declining mental agility while attending the funeral of a childhood bully. A man in ‘Demonology, or Gratitude’ takes in a hard-partying woman, falls in love with her, then watches her self-destruct from abusing various drugs. The good Samaritan driver in ‘First Responder’ seeks only to help an increasingly menacing hitchhiker he meets at a gas station, but winds up getting so much more than he expected. Closing out the collection is the thoughtful ‘Modern Wonders,’ about a computer interface that accesses users’ memories and shows them uncomfortable truths about themselves. Artfully imagined and written with a distinctly devilish edge, these beguiling yarns plumb the depths of humanity and explore how human behavior can be twisted and modified by science. Often murky and mysterious, with some only a few pages long, Sheehy’s curious tales never fail to enchant and entertain.”
Congratulations to John Gronbeck-Tedesco (American Studies) whose new book Operation Pedro Pan: The Migration of Unaccompanied Children from Castro’s Cuba (Potomac Books) was published in August 2022.
Operation Pedro Pan explores the extraordinary undertaking by the Miami Catholic Diocese, federal and state offices, child welfare agencies, and anti-Castro Cubans to bring more than fourteen thousand unaccompanied children to the United States during the Cold War. Operation Pedro Pan was the colloquial name for the Unaccompanied Cuban Children’s Program, which began under government largesse in February 1961. Children without immediate family support in the United States—some 8,300 minors—received group and foster care through the Catholic Welfare Bureau and other religious, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations as young people were dispersed throughout the country.
Congratulations to Todd Barnes (Literature), whose recent book, Shakespearean Charity and the Perils of Redemptive Performance (Cambridge, 2020) was included as one of ten works included in their “This Year’s Contribution to Shakespeare Studies,” published by the Shakespeare Survey.
The author of the year’s review, Jane Kingsley-Smith, notes that the book, “which examines the phenomenon of the TV-documentary-about-underprivileged-students-being-transformed-by-their-experience-of-Shakespeare. . . resonates with much larger questions. When we as Shakespeare scholars, teachers, readers, and theatregoers, think about Shakespeare as being ‘good for you,’ for whom do we mean exactly? What does it mean to give Shakespeare as a ‘gift’ to students and what do we expect in return?. . . Barnes’s central argument is that embracing a transcendental Shakespeare allows these films to erase cultural and racial differences. ‘Shakespeare’ serves to deflect attention away from the social injustices that create difference, on the individual’s responsibility to ‘redeem’ themselves.
This summer, Rebecca Root (Political Science) and Sonia Cardenas published Human Rights In Latin America: A Politics of Transformation (Second Edition) with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Rebecca is using the book in her course this fall, also titled Human Rights in Latin America.
From the publisher: For decades, Latin America has been plagued by civil wars, dictatorships, torture, legacies of colonialism, racism, and inequality. The region has also experienced dramatic—if uneven—human rights improvements, shedding light on the politics of transformation. The accounts of how Latin America’s people have dealt with the persistent threats to their fundamental rights offer lessons for people around the world.
Human Rights in Latin America provides a comprehensive introduction to the human rights issues facing an area that constitutes more than half of the Western Hemisphere. This second edition brings together regional case studies and thematic chapters to explore cutting-edge issues and developments in the field. From historical accounts of abuse to successful transnational campaigns and legal battles, Human Rights in Latin America explores the dynamics underlying a vast range of human rights initiatives. In addition to surveying the roles of the United States, relatives of the disappeared, and truth commissions, Sonia Cardenas and Rebecca Root cover newer ground in addressing the colonial and ideological underpinnings of human rights abuses, emerging campaigns for gender and sexuality rights, and regional dynamics relating to the International Criminal Court.
Engagingly written and fully illustrated, Human Rights in Latin America fills an important niche among human rights and Latin American textbooks. Ample supplementary resources—including discussion questions, interdisciplinary reading lists, filmographies, online resources, internship opportunities, and instructor assignments—make this an especially valuable text for use in human rights courses.
Dean Chen (Political Science) published a new book, US-China-Taiwan in the Age of Trump and Biden: Towards a Nationalist Strategy in July 2022 (Routledge). He describes the book’s content as “Heightened competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reflects not just a structural transformation in the prevailing international balance of power but also a significant shift in the U.S. strategic lenses from a liberal internationalist perspective toward a U.S.-centric nationalist (or “Jacksonian”) orientation. That stance has driven Washington’s more confrontational approach toward Beijing and a much-bolstered support of Taipei by both the Donald Trump and Joe Biden administrations. Biden’s presidency has partially reverted the multilateralist strategic stance of the pre-Trump era, but strong nationalist forces and hardened China sentiments unleashed by Trump constrain the Biden administration from returning to the pre-Trump U.S.-PRC engagement era. Both Trump and Biden adjusted the US One-China policy to better accommodate elevated U.S.-Taiwan relations, especially with their formal inclusion of President Ronald Reagan’s Six Assurances into the One-China policy description, which previously only included the Taiwan Relations Act and the Three U.S.-PRC Joint Communiqués. That has given the U.S. more elasticity and creativity to deepen Washington’s security, political and economic ties with Taiwan, without abandoning America’s longstanding position on the Taiwan Strait.
Dean notes that “The book’s first chapter is a collaboration between me and a former Ramapo/HGS student Michaela Zabel (class of 2021), who doubled-major in Political Science and International Studies. Her honor thesis which I had the privilege to supervise contributed to some of the theoretical framework discussion used in this book.” The book was profiled in Politico on August 4, 2022 in their China Watch blog.
Poster for Who Will Write Our History.
Friday, October 7 / 10:00 – 11:35 am & 11:45 am – 12:30 pm
In Person with Online Option / This Event is Free and Open to the Public
In-Person Film Screening: 10:00 – 11:35 am (Room ASB-135)
There will be options available to view from home at your convenience
Discussion with Director Grossman via WebEx: 11:45 am – 12:30 pm
Participate in-person in room ASB-135 or join via WebEx. Register to Join the Discussion Online (Only) WebEx is an application like Zoom. (Download WebEx for free.)
Who Will Write Our History tells the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, the secret archive he created and led in the Warsaw Ghetto. With 30,000 pages of writing, photographs, posters, and more, the Oyneg Shabes Archive is the most important cache of in-the-moment, eyewitness accounts from the Holocaust. It documents not only how the Jews of the ghetto died, but how they lived. The film is based on the book of the same name by historian Samuel Kassow (via IMDB).
An award-winning filmmaker with a passion for history and social justice, Roberta Grossman has written, directed and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. Grossman wrote, produced and directed Who Will Write Our History, about Emanuel Ringelblum and the secret archives of the Warsaw Ghetto, co-produced by Arte and NDR. In 2018, Grossman co-directed and produced the Netflix Original Documentary Seeing Allred, about the women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Grossman’s 2012 Hava Nagila (The Movie) uses the song Hava Nagila as a portal into 150 years of Jewish history, culture and spirituality. Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, Grossman’s 2008 film, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, aired on PBS, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and won the audience award at 13 Jewish film festivals. Grossman directed Above and Beyond (2014), for producer Nancy Spielberg, about the American–Jewish WWII pilots who volunteered to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. Grossman also produced the NEH supported Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, which aired on PBS/American Masters in August 2014. Grossman was the series producer and co-writer of 500 Nations, the eight-hour CBS series on Native Americans hosted by Kevin Costner. Her film Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action, aired on PBS in 2005 (via Katahdin Productions).
Co-Sponsored by Hillel of Northern New Jersey.
Congratulations to Kiely Paris-Rodriguez who took part in the Honors Ethics Seminar taught by Lisa Cassidy on “Ethic, Biotechnology and the Family.” In November Kiely will attend the National Collegiate Honors Conference in Dallas this Novemeber and will present a poster drawn from a paper done for the seminar. Entitled “Ethics of Sex Assignment Surgery on Intersex Infants,’ which “discusses the rush to assign a gender to infant and argues that infant sex assignment surgery should only be done when it is medically necessary in order to respect the future autonomy of the individual to decide what their body should look like.”
The Tunisian Jasmine Revolution: Call for Change
Thursday, March 31 at 1 p.m. in Friends Hall (SC 219)
Between December 17, 2010 and January 14, 2011, hundreds of thousands of Tunisians took to the streets of Tunisia to protest against poverty, lack of basic freedoms and opportunities under Ben Ali’s government. Consequently, after a month of public unrest and on the eve of January 14, 2011, the Tunisian president Zine Alabidine Ben Ali left power and fled the country. This peaceful democratic revolution has marked the beginning of a new era for Tunisia as well as for other Arab countries as it inspired other Arab populations to move and create what came to be known as ‘The Arab Spring’.
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