UF in Cambridge (and Paris!)

Published: October 28th, 2015

Category: Feature, History Department News, Recent News

This summer fourteen UF undergraduate students participated in the History Department’s UF in Cambridge Program. In existence since 1983, this is the third time that the program included a week in Paris, where professor and French historian, Sheryl Kroen, used guided visits of Versailles and various museums (the Louvre, the Invalides, the Musée D’Orsay, and the Musée de Nissim de Camondo) to frame this year’s theme, “After the Revolution,” before going for three weeks to Cambridge University to live (at St. Edmund’s College), and to embark on independent projects at the University Library.  While in the UK, we took a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge, and a weekend trip to London that began with a warm summer night at the Globe Theater.

Everyone had chosen topics and begun to read before we arrived. During the three weeks in Cambridge the serious research began. One group of students used the summer to work on their senior theses. Jany Mendez (double major in history and political science) is now writing about the literacy campaign in the early years of the Cuban Revolution (with Professor Lillian Guerra); she used the summer to think about revolution more generally, and especially the French Revolution. Amanda Glenz, currently writing a thesis (with Professor Jessica Harland-Jacobs) on Trinidad, came to Britain before the program began to consult the British Archives in London. She spent most of the time in Cambridge reading through the sources she had gathered, often next to Elyssa Gage (our TA), herself organizing the research she’d just done in Guadeloupe and Martinique for her dissertation on France and its Empire from the Restoration of slavery (in 1802) to the conquest of Algeria (in 1830).  Cory Mikell researched his thesis (advised by Sheryl Kroen) on the British Navy after the French Revolution, focused on the unprecedented pomp surrounding Admiral Nelson’s funeral.  Sam Louie-Meadors spent all his time in the rare books room, reading seventeenth and eighteenth century French and British accounts of Amerindians. Sam will spend next summer at the French Colonial Archives in Aix-en-France, in preparation for his write his thesis next year (under Jon Sensbach) on French-Native American relations in the 18C.

Nicholas McNamara (a sophomore and double major in political science and history) compared Edmund Burke’s ideas about the French Revolution and India. Caroline Nickerson explored the debates around public health using Friedrich Engels, Elisabeth Gaskell, and Florence Nightingale. Sharing sources with Caroline, and adding Charles Dickens’ voice to the mix, Abigail (Abbie) Hatcher (a psychology major and premed student) focused on epidemics and the debates over the diseased social and political body. Melanie Mason (a criminology major) studied the criminalization of poverty and political radicalism and the birth of the London Metropolitan Police. Ricardo (Rick) Sabater (a double major in political science and history) wrote about the political ideas of the Abbe de Sieyes as they developed over the course of the French Revolution. Ilyssa Tuttelman (history and Jewish Studies) wrote about the recasting of the American Revolution by Atlantic and comparative imperial historians.  Inspired by scholars in anthropology, cultural history, and literature, Savanna Guerin (an English major) studied the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson to understand the post-revolutionary world of his native Denmark.  Ana Castro (a history major) worked between social histories of convents, Diderot’s The Nun, and Claire de Doras’ Ourika to analyze the shifting significance of the nun between the old regime and the new, on both sides of the Atlantic (between Peru and France). Yasemin Altun (a sophomore majoring in chemistry and art history in preparation for a career in art restoration) wrote about the Louvre and the political debates about preserving and restoring art–before, during, and after the Revolution. Sarah (Sally) Greider (a sophomore English major) laid the groundwork for a senior thesis on debates about aristocratic women through the writings of Georgiana, the Duchess of Cavendish, and Jane Austen.

UF’s International Center (UFIC) supported many students with fellowships.  Amanda Glenz was supported by the University Scholars Program, and was also awarded the department’s Koleos award. The History Department supported Ana Castro and Sam-Louie Meadors and Caroline Nickerson thanks to the History Department’s  Pamela Frank, Bridget Phillips, McGahan awards. Jany Mendez used the department’s Ann Regan Undergraduate Research Award to support her thesis work.

If you want to include information on this year’s program: The topic is, again, “After the Revolution,” and the dates are: July 18-August 13: (in Paris until July 24, then the rest of the time in Cambridge).  Applications are due on December 22, 2015. Anyone interested should contact Lauren Strange at UFIC: lstrange@ufic.ufl.edu, and Sheryl Kroen in the History Department: stkroen@ufl.edu


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