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Current Events for the History Program

Wed. April. 16, 2014
Historical Walk
South Deck
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Dr. Garna Christian, Professor of History, will lead an informative walk of the downtown Houston historical district starting on the South Deck. There is a two dollar contribution for the Houston Food Bank.



Recent Events

Dr. Ryden presents at Rediscovering Eric Williams: The Intellectual History of Capitalism and Slavery

March 14, 2014 at Binghamton University, Fine Arts, Room 258

Dr. David Ryden, professor of history, will be presenting his work on the three faces of West Indian economic decline at a meeting at SUNY Binghamton. The one-day conference, entitled “Rediscovering Eric Williams: The Intellectual History of Capitalism and Slavery,” is cotemporaneous with the publication of William’s 1938 dissertation, The Economic Aspects of the Abolition of the West Indian Slave Trade and Slavery (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). The other speakers at the meeting are William Darity (Duke University), Colin Palmer (Princeton), and Anthony E. Kaye (Pennsylvania State University).
For more information visit fbc.binghamton.edu. View event flyer. Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF link


Social Science Lecture Series 2014

 Photograph of Dr. Austin AllenDr. Austin Allen presents:
"Quaker Petitions and the Making of a Proslavery Constitution"
Dr. Austin Allen, Associate Professor History, presented his new research on Quaker anti-slavery petitions and Congressional debates during the 1790s. Audience members included 50 history students and about a dozen CHSS faculty members. Dr. Allen’s work challenges the conventional wisdom regarding slavery and the Constitution, while putting forth a new perspective of an important, but comparatively little studied, period in the history of U.S. slavery.

Social Science Lecture Series 2013 - Drs. Li and Jiang

"Legislating Animal Protection in China: The Challenge of Culture and Politics."
This is the first talk in this year's social sciences lecture series. Sun Jiang, visiting professor of law, and Peter Li, associate professor of political science, will present on "Legislating Animal Protection in China: The Challenge of Culture and Politics." Adobe Acrobat Reader Link

The talk will be held at 2:30pm in N-1099. Refreshments will be served and a sign-in sheet will be available for students earning course credit.

Dr. David Ryden to Discuss Research

“Maroon War, Peace, and Removal in the Eighteenth Century”
This paper gives a brief history of the origins and rise of Jamaica’s Maroon communities and of their shifting identity, from opponents of the slave system to supporters of the planter class. Particular attention is paid to how the détente, following the 1738/9 treaty, permitted the Western maroons to prosper and thrive. While it is difficult to establish whether the Windward Maroon villages, located in the Blue Mountains in the East, equally benefitted from their alliance with the colonial government, it is apparent from official dispatches and unofficial comment that the Western Maroons of Trelawny Town, in particular, experience demographic growth that was unprecedented in eighteenth-century Jamaica. The growth of this subpopulation never approached a Malthusian trap, yet the high fertility and the subsequent youthfulness of its population-- combined with limited access to land and enhanced wealth inequality--produced unfavorable internal tensions that provide the context for understanding the origins of the Second Maroon War (1795/6).

UHD’s Webb Society Tours Historic Victoria

UHD’s Webb Historical Society recently traveled to Victoria, Texas for the organization’s fall convention. It was an opportunity for UHD’s “Webbers” to learn about Texas history, meet with students from other chapters in east and central Texas, and have some fun at the same time.

The event was hosted by UHD’s sister institution, UH-Victoria, and began with a guided tour of the Museum of the Coastal Bend. The students, accompanied by faculty advisors Garna Christian, Jose Álvarez and Gene Preuss, had the opportunity to see rare Paleolithic artifacts as well as items dating back to the Spanish and French colonization of Texas. Of particular interest were some iron cannons which had been buried for hundreds of years and items unearthed from La Salle’s Fort Saint Louis. Outside the museum, the students tried their hand at throwing the atlatl for accuracy and distance, and roping training steers.

In the evening, on the campus of UHV, faculty sponsors and students enjoyed dinner and a fascinating lecture and slide show courtesy of historian/archeologist Jim Bruseth from the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Bruseth spoke about the search for Robert de La Salle’s ship, La Belle which sank in Matagorda Bay in 1686. He described the way the ship was recovered, the artifacts it contained, and the intriguing history of what happened to La Salle and his crew, those who survived and those who perished.

On Saturday morning, the students and sponsors were given a guided tour of Evergreen Cemetery which is the final resting place of Texas “Empresario” and hero Don Martín de León, as well as other Texas notables from the 19th century. From the cemetery, it was off to downtown Victoria to enjoy the Dia de los Muertos festivities with a parade, a visit to the Nave Museum, and browsing the booths of local artisans and merchants. After lunch, the students received a guided tour of historic Victoria by Blanche De León, a descendant of Don Martín de León.

The students enjoyed learning about the early history of Victoria, French explorer La Salle and the La Belle, as well as making new friends with students from other colleges and universities. It was a trip of “hands-on history.”


Photo of student in the Webb Historical society with Dr. Preuss, Dr. Christian and Dr. Alvarez

"Revolution, Revolt, and Reform in North Africa"

On Sept. 12, Dr. Ricardo René Larémont from SUNY Binghamton presented his research on "Revolution, Revolt, and Reform in North Africa" before 150 UHD students in the large lecture hall (A437). Larémont presentation focused on the "Arab Spring" from a historical demographic and economic perspective.


Dr. Larémont is a professor of political science and sociology and a Carnegie Corporation Scholar on Islam. He received his PhD from Yale University, his J.D. from New York University School of Law, and his BA from New York University.


Dr. Alvarez (left)  and Dr. Laremont (right)

UHD's Dr. Jose Alvarez (on left) and Dr. Larémont were both Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) fellows in 2010.


Past Events for the History Program

Slavery Research at UHD: A Student Mini-Conference

UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON - DOWNTOWN
December 6, 2012
Session I – Slave Life and Slave Resistance in the Americas
Sean McQuail, "Runnaway Advertisements from Eighteenth Century British North America"
Jennifer Sykes, "Women and Slavery in the British Caribbean"
Wesley Wells, "The Utility of the WPA Ex-Slave Narratives"
Dr. Austin Allen, Discussant

Session II – Struggles against Slavery in the Atlantic World
Payton Bartee, "The Haitian Revolution through a British Planter's Eyes"
Lauren Vanderdys, "Imperialism, Settler Societies, and Antislavery"
Robert Morrissey, "The American Colonization Society and the Liberia Debate" Dr. Austin Allen, Discussant

blue arrow jpg Slavery Memorial photo

Dr. McCaffrey Discusses New Book, Going for Broke

Going for Broke: Japanese American Soldiers in the War Against Nazi Germany
The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 pulled the United States into World War II. Young American men, including those of Japanese descent, flocked to the recruiting stations to serve in the American military. In most cases, however, the Japanese Americans were told they were not acceptable because of their ethnicity. Soon, over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans, most of them natural born American citizens, were rounded up on the West Coast and forced into barbed‐wire‐enclosed relocation camps in the interior of the country. Their only crime was that they looked like the nation’s enemy. The Army finally relented and allowed Japanese American men to serve in the army, in a segregated unit—the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. These men, serving at first under only Caucasian officers, were sent to Europe where they earned an outstanding reputation through some of the fiercest fighting in Italy, France, and Germany. This presentation will tell their story.


Dr. James M. McCaffrey is Professor of History at UHD and is author of eight books on the social history of soldiers, including The Army of Manifest Destiny: The American Soldier and The Mexican American War and Inside the Spanish American War. He teaches a number of upper division courses, including U.S. Military History and The Vietnam War. Contact David Ryden for more information.


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