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 Welcome Back!

Greetings all!  Please read the first newsletter of the Spring 2014 semester for details on upcoming events.
 

 
Do not forget to check the website (history.kean.edu) frequently, "like" us on facebook, and follow us on Twitter @KeanHistory!
 
  

STUDENT RESEARCH 

World War II Scrapbook Project Featured in ORSP Newsletter

History Honors Student work on the Newark State Teachers College World War II Scrapbook was featured in the November ORSP Newsletter in the following article:
“It is the story of the war itself, and of how these men and women came back to our country’s children to teach the meaning of freedom,” wrote Nancy Thompson, the Newark State Teachers College Librarian from 1914 to 1957, in describing her collection of more than 400 letters written by former Newark State Teachers College students during World War II.  Collected as a scrapbook, the correspondence documents the lives and experiences of these men and women in all theaters of the war from its beginning through the surrender of Germany and Japan.
Today, the first four students enrolled in the Department of History Honors Program – Michael Collins, Christina Leedy, Anthony MacFarlane and Stephanie Valente -- are transcribing and annotating these letters as their Honors Thesis Project. The four students come from vastly different backgrounds, but all look forward to sharing their passion for history and for learning. A senior, Michael Collins intends to build upon this project while completing graduate work in Political Science. Christina Leedy, a single mom, returned to finish her degree to demonstrate the importance of education to her son; she is excited to pursue a Master’s Degree from Kean’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies program.  Another non-traditional student, Anthony MacFarlane expects to combine his passions for service and historical inquiry to become a history teacher. The daughter of Portuguese immigrants, Stephanie Valente is proud to take advantage of educational opportunities her parents never had while preserving the powerful stories that shed insights on American history. Reading these letters, learning about these previously unknown stories and following the various historical themes they contain has brought World War II to life for these students. Just as importantly, their project will bring these stories to life for a broader public. Working with Kean History Professors Elizabeth Hyde and Jonathan Mercantini, Liberty Hall Museum Archivist Erin Alghandoor and Shane Derris, Assistant Director of the Kean Center for History, Politics and Policy, the students are using the letters to re-capture the movement of hundreds of people and ideas from the Newark area where the college drew most of its students across the country and around the globe. Their research will enable other students, teachers and the public to follow these men and women as they take part in the greatest mass mobilization in American history--from their initial processing at Fort Dix and on to everywhere between Tokyo and Berlin. The project bears witness to the raw emotions of a generation at war, ranging from the mundane to the momentous. In telling their hundreds of personal stories, the letters collectively reveal these service men and women wrestling with conflicting values of religious freedom, gender roles, race relations, and other socially sensitive topics. While much has been written on WWII history, Nancy Thompson’s Scrapbook is one of the last untold chronicles of the ‘Greatest Generation.’ The Kean History Honors project proudly shares these stories for posterity, and in doing so, demonstrates how WWII changed American society.  (from http://orsp.kean.edu/November_newsletter_2013.pdf)

Super Storm Sandy Oral History Project

In the wake of super Storm Sandy Dr. Perkiss was approached by a friend on the oral history of the mid Atlantic region (OHMAR) e-board with the idea of collecting the oral histories of those who experienced the storm. Soon what was a conversation between friends became a public history class for the spring of 2013 semester. On the first day of class there were six students, myself included, waiting eagerly to learn. We went through an abundance of training that led to our trip to the OHMAR conference in April. This is where we presented our project for the first time to a number of real historians. We discussed our experiences on developing the the details of the project and heading into the field to conducted our first oral history interviews. It was amazing to see well established historians interested in what we had to say and what we were doing. The work did not stop there, once the semester was over three of us stayed on the project as interns. After months of work, which went by incredibly fast, the three of us with Dr. Perkiss found ourselves preparing for yet another conference. This time for the Oral History Association conference that took place in October in Oklahoma City, OK. With this conference being larger our nerves were on high alert, but after OHMAR we felt confident in ourselves and our project. Instead of discussing the origins of the project and the steps we took to get there, we talked about the relationships we made along the way. It was went over how our relationship with Kean has grown over the year, as well as new relationships developed, like the one with Tuckerton Seaport Museum where we spent a potion of our internship as well as the relationships with our interviewees. With having a larger time slot than expected it was a concern that we would not be able to fill it. Yet once we were done presenting, the historians in the audience had an abundance of questions for us and before we knew it time was up and we could have spoken for much longer. We've collected a number of interviews and met some amazing people along the way. Personally I would not trade this experience for any other and am very glad that I have had this wonderful opportunity.

- Brittany L. Le Strange
 

DEGREE PROGRAMS

 

B.A. in History, Honors Option

The Department of History is pleased to announce that it has launched its Honors Program. 

  • Are you considering graduate school? or law school?
  • Do you want your resume to stand out in applying for teaching jobs?
  • Do you want the opportunity to do original historical research?
  • If your answer to any one of the above questions is "yes," then you should strongly consider applying. Honors degrees tell graduate admissions committees and potential employers that you are a high achieving and hard working student and that you therefore deserve their consideration.

    The History Honors Program has the same number of credit hours as the B.A. in history and requires no extra courses.  It entails taking Honors Readings Seminars in US, European, or World history as part of your upper level course requirements, completing an Honors section of Senior Seminar, and completing an Honors thesis in which you will be guided through the research and writing of a piece of original historical research.

    Admission to the program is by application (click here for admission application and further information).  Eligible students should have a minimum GPA of 3.75 and have completed 12 credit hours in history.  Students whose GPA is lower than 3.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  If you have questions, email Drs. Mercantini and Hyde at honorshistory@kean.edu.

    M.A. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

    Think Now about a Masters Degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies
    The MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kean University - one of only three such programs in the United States - is exceptionally poised to inspire leaders in education, human rights, government and public policy, and other growing professional fields for the 21st century.
    Benefit from the program's attractive scholarship opportunities;
    Join the program's unique summer study delegations to international sites where genocide occurred; receive offers to intern at human rights organizations in New York City - a center of human rights activity - and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; join 28 degree candidates from locations across the US who are currently working towards their HGS masters degree.
     
    Undergraduates considering a graduate degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies can prepare now in two ways:
    1. Take up to two HGS courses in your senior year for HGS graduate credit;
    2. See if this degree is for you: Enroll in the undergraduate course The Holocaust, Genocide, and Modern Humanity (ID 1800), which also fulfills requirements toward a major in history.
    For More Information about a Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies contact Dr. Dennis Klein, HGS program director and Professor of History, at dklein@kean.edu / 908-737-0256

    B.A. in Asian Studies

    Kean University Asian Studies graduates will gain an informed, global perspective, as well as expertise in Asia sought by employers in a wide range of professions including business, government, international companies and organizations, libraries and museums, media, non-profit organizations, education, and language teaching abroad. The federal government projects a high demand for graduates trained in "Critical Need Languages" such as Mandarin Chinese. With an Asian Studies degree from Kean, students will experience travel abroad and/or professional internships. 
     
    You can major in Asian Studies or complete a minor in Chinese Studies.  For information, follow the links:  
     
     

    See Dr. Xurong Kong (xkong@kean.edu) for details.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    ABRAHAM LINCOLN: THE USE AND ABUSE OF POWER


    "ABRAHAM LINCOLN: THE USE AND ABUSE OF POWER"

    Jerrold D. Goldstein, J.D.

    Adjunct Professor of History, Kean University

    RESCHEDULED:  March 25, 3:15 PM

    Carriage House

     
    The discussion will center around Lincoln's use of the power of the Presidency to suspend the writ of Habeus Corpus throughout the country during the Civil War, resulting in thousands being arrested and imprisoned without warrants.  We will also address how Lincoln justified this conduct which allowed subsequent presidents to assume "war powers" beyond the Constitution.

    Union County Black History Month Celebration

    Celebrate Chinese New Year: The Year of the Horse!

    The 2014 Chinese New Year Celebration will kick off on Tuesday, February 4, at 3:30 p.m. at Harwood Arena with a parade featuring traditional lion, dragon and belt dances making its way to the University Center. There, festivities will continue with cultural food, fun activities and great giveaways.
     
    Kean’s Year of the Horse celebration will continue with the following events:
     
     
    Monday, February 10
    Qin Performance
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    UC Little Theatre

    Tuesday, February 11
    Chinese Calligraphy
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    UC Atrium

    Wednesday, February 12
    Asian Name Painting
    1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
    UC Atrium

    Wednesday, February 12
    Paper Cutting
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    UC Atrium
     
     
     
    Sponsored by the Office of Student Government, Asian Studies and Campus Life Activities for Student Success (C.L.A.S.S.).

    Writing Workshops

    The Department of History will continue to offer writing workshops this semester.  Scheduled workshops include:
     
    February 4: “How to Take an Online Course,” 3:15 PM, T111
     
    February 10: “How to Read Effectively,” 3:15 PM, T111
     
    February 20: “How to Take an Essay Exam,” 3:15 PM, T111

    March 31: “Writing a History Paper,” 3:15 PM, T111

    In the meantime, note that you can always get help with writing with the resources available on the Department of History website at http://www.kean.edu/~history/resources/workscited.html.
     

    Holocaust and Genocide Studies: Upcoming Events

    February 24: “The Quest for the Humanities in Uncertain Times,” a webinar open to the public, guest presenter TBD. Log in at 1:45 pm ET for this free, go-minute, interactive video conference at http://kean.adobeconnect.com/feburary24/ (if requested, click “guest” and then type in your name). Questions? Contact Dennis Klein, dklein@kean.edu.

     

    March 21: The 7th annual Kean University international conference of human rights along with the Human Rights Institute gallery exhibit on landmines. Free. Registration begins at 8:00 am in Wilkins Theatre. For details, contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    March 24: “The Quest for the Humanities in Uncertain Times,” a webinar open to the public, guest presenter TBD. Log in at 1:45 pm ET for this free, go-minute, interactive video conference at http://kean.adobeconnect.com/march24 (if requested, click “guest” and then type in your name). Questions? Contact Dennis Klein, dklein@kean.edu.

     

    March 30: Information session at the Graduate College Open House about the Kean Masters of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 12:30-3:00 pm on the East Campus. Refreshments. Questions? Contact Chad Austein, caustein@kean.edu.

     

    April 1: Hannah Arendt, director Margarethe von Trotta’s 2012 film, with commentary by Roger Berkowitz; 5:30-7:30 pm film screening, 7:30-9:00 pm commentary in University Center Little Theatre. Continuing education credits available. Questions? Contact Emily Filardo, efilardo@kean.edu.

     

    April 7: “Contested Genocides,” a workshop, especially for teachers, with Ruth Griffith; 5:30-9:30 pm in the Kean Hall Conference Center. Continuing education credits available. Refreshments. Questions? Contact Dr. Griffith, rgriffit@kean.edu.

     

    April 8: Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story, an award-winning film about the diplomat who rescued countless refugees during the Holocaust era, with commentary by Olivia Mendes and Mordecai Paldiel; 7:30-9:00 pm in University Center Little Theatre. $10 suggested donation at the door. Continuing education credits available. Questions? Contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 9: Information session about the Kean Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 5:30-6:30 pm in East Campus Rm. 125A. Questions? Contact Dennis Klein, dklein@kean.edu.

     

    April 9: “Cinema as Haggadah for the Holocaust,” an illustrated lecture by Eric Goldman, 7:30 pm in Hutchinson Hall auditorium. $10 suggested donation at the door. Continuing education credits available. Questions? Contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 10 “Emerging Research in Holocaust and Genocide Studies,” the 2013-14 review of thesis research by candidates of the Kean University masters degree in Holocaust and genocide studies; 4:30-6:30 pm in the Human Rights Institute. Refreshments. Questions? Contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 10: “Open Wounds from the Past: Repercussions of the 1937 Haitian Massacres,” a lecture by Edward Paulino; 7:30-9:00 pm in the Kean Hall Conference Center $10 suggested donation at the door. Continuing education credits available. Questions? Contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 10-11: Master Seminar in Genocide Studies for college seniors and others. (For teachers, continuing education credits available.) Request details about the seminar and submitting abstracts (by March 1) from Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 28: “The Quest for the Humanities in Uncertain Times,” a webinar open to the public, guest presenter TBD. Log in at 1:45 pm ET for this free, go-minute, interactive video conference at http://kean.adobeconnect.com/april28/ (if requested, click “guest” and then type in your name). Questions? Contact Dennis Klein, dklein@kean.edu.

     

    April 28: Days of Holocaust Remembrance program and candle lighting ceremony, 6:45 pm in Wilkins Theatre. Questions? Contact Helen Walzer, hwalzer@kean.edu.

     

    April 29: “Witnesses to Genocide: The Necessity and Impossibility of Representation,” a panel comprising graduate faculty in the Kean University masters degree program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies; 3:30-5:30 pm, Location TBD: confirm beforehand by emailing Rebecca Posnar at posnar@kean.edu Other questions? Contact Joe Cronin, jcronin@kean.edu.

     

    April 29: “In Farsi for the Iranian People: A Book on the Holocaust,” a talk at the Friends of Holocaust and Genocide Studies reception by author Ari Babaknia; 6:00-7:30 pm, location TBD: confirm beforehand by emailing Rebecca Posnar at posnar@kean.edu. Refreshments. Questions? Email Dennis Klein, dklein@kean.edu.

     

    April 29: “The Rwandan Genocide after 20 Years: The Question of Collective Responsibility,” a lecture by Mukesh Kapila, 7:30-9:00 pm in the University Center Little Theatre. $10 suggested donation at the door. Continuing education credits available. Questions? Contact Rebecca Posna, posnar@kean.edu.

     

    April 30: “Narratives of Genocide Memory,” a panel comprising Kean University masters degree candidates in Holocaust and genocide studies; 3:30-5:30 pm in Kean Hall Conference Center. Questions? Contact Joe Cronin, jcronin@kean.edu.


    Mark your Calendars

    February 4: "How to take an on-line course," Dr. Mercantini, 3:15pm, T111.

    February 10: "How to read effectively," Dr. Nicholson, 3:15 pm, T111.

    February 18:  Lecture:  Abraham Lincoln, Jerrold Goldstein, 3:15 PM, Carriage House

    February 20: "How to take an essay exam," Dr. Mayer, 3:15 pm, T111.

    March 18:  “Pope Joan:  The History of a Myth,” 12:30 PM, Location TBA

    March 20:  Advising Meeting, 3:15 PM, Location TBA

    March 20:  Advising Meeting, 6:30 PM, T111

    March 27-29:  “From Colony to Identity,” Conference, Trenton

    March 31: "Writing a history paper," Dr. Mercantini, 3:15 pm, T111

    April 6:   HGS Stand Up to Genocide Fundraiser, Details TBA

    April 8:  HGS Film Screening of Disobedience7:30-9:30 PM, UC Little Theatre

    April 9:  HGS Lecture, Eric Goldman, “Cinema as Haggadah for the Holocaust,” 7:30-9:30 PM, location TBA

    April 10:  HGS Student Lectures:  Emerging Research, 4:30-6:30 PM, Alumni House

    April 10-11:  HGS Master Seminar on New Directions in Genocide Studies, Thursday 12-8 PM, Friday 9-4 PM, location TBA.

    April 28:  Days of Holocaust Remembrance Program and Candle Lighting Ceremony, 6:45 PM, Wilkins Theatre

    April 29-30:  ORSP Research Days, STEM

    May 1:  Banned Book Club Event/End of Year Party, 3:15PM (Tentative)