Dr. Noll Has a Visitor

Steve Noll’s AMH 2010 class had a visit yesterday…

We’re glad you enjoyed the class @PresidentFuchs!

Why Did You Become a Historian?

Dr. Lily GuDr. Guerraerra (pictured here as a youngster) provides a compelling answer to this question in the most recent edition of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives.  Dr. Guerra responds to an earlier article by AHA President Mary Beth Norton entitled “Why Are You a Historian?”  After a meeting with UF’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, Dr. Guerra was inspired to write about her own experiences growing up in Kansas as the child of Cuban expatriates and how that influenced her decision to practice history.
You can read Dr. Guerra’s article in its entirety by clicking here. 

Jack Davis Wins Pulitzer Prize for History

Pulitzer PrizeWe are thrilled to share the news that UF History’s Jack Davis has won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book The Gulf: The History of an American Sea.  In announcing the award, the Pulitzer called this book: “An important environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico that brings crucial attention to Earth’s 10th-largest body of water, one of the planet’s most diverse and productive marine ecosystems.”  The Gulf has received much praise, as it has been appeared on the front page of the New York Times Book Review and won the 2017 Kirkus Prize.
A warm congrats are in order, and we look forward to Jack’s next book, which will be a look at the American Bald Eagle.

The Birth of an Icon

Please join us for a public lecture on Thursday, 15 March, 2018 4:00 pm at the History Department conference room in 5 Keene-Flint Hall, as Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel of Rutgers University will present: “The Birth of an Icon: How the Forbidden Fruit became an Apple.”
Though we often assume Adam and Eve sinned by eating an apple, the Book of Genesis does not identify the Forbidden Fruit. Even at the end of the 12th century, when the great Bible scholar Andrew of St. Victor surveyed the various views on the Forbidden Fruit he knew of only two possible candidates: the fig and the grapevine. Three hundred years later, throughout northern Europe, the apple would become the Forbidden Fruit par excellence. What occurred during this period to transform the apple into the dominant iconographic representation of the Fall of Man? Weaving together insights from medieval Bible commentary, art history, and historical linguistics, this lecture offers a novel interpretation of an enduring icon.
This talk is open to the public and is co-sponsored by the departments of History and Classics

Considering the History Honors Program?

For UF undergrads interested in doing a Senior Thesis on a historical subject, consider the History Honors Program.  It might not be the School of Athens, but it’s pretty close.  And you don’t even have to be a history major to apply!  For more details, you can either visit our webpage link or click here to see our flyer.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Honors Coordinator, Dr. Jessica Harland-Jacobs at harlandj@ufl.edu.

Gary and Eleanor Simons Lecture–Joseph Crespino on Atticus Finch

The History Department is proud to announce that this year’s Gary and Eleanor Simons Lecture will be on Thursday, 22 March 2018 at 5:30 in Smathers 100.  Dr. Joseph Crespino of the Emory University History Department will give a talk entitled, “Searching for Atticus Finch: Harper Lee & American History.”
Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved novels in American literature, and its hero, Atticus Finch, has long been considered a touchstone of decency and probity.  Yet the publication of her apprentice novel, Go Set a Watchman, in 2015 has muddied the waters of Lee’s literary legacy.  Dr. Crespino has uncovered new archival sources that shed important light on not only how Lee’s relationship with her father inspired the paradoxical characterizations of Atticus that emerged in her two novels, but also the personal and political battles that shaped the lives of white southerners in the closing decades of the Jim Crow South.
This talk is free and open to the public.

Pippa Holloway on Felon Disenfranchisement in Florida

Poster of the history of felon disenfranchisement in FloridaProfessor Pippa Holloway from Middle Tennessee State University will give a talk in this year’s Milbauer Lecture series on the history of felon disenfranchisement in Florida on Thursday, 22 February 2018  at 6 pm in the Bob Graham Center, on UF campus. Professor Holloway is the author of Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 2013).  The restoration of voting rights for felons will be on the ballot in Florida this November, so this discussion promises to be both timely and important.

17th Carter Conference from UF’s Center for African Studies

UF’s Center for African Studies is devoting its 17th Carter Conference to creating a critical public forum about new methods and politics in curation and text-image studies. Emphasizing juxtapositions, sequences, montage, friction, and postcolonial politics, it will problematize archival, field, and curatorial techniques in the global humanities. We aim to interrogate art, fables, lexicons, dreams, and disorder in everyday, artistic, research, and curatorial practices.  The History Department is a proud sponsor of this event, which ranges from February 8-10, 2018 in the Reitz Union.
The conference celebrates the 2017 arrival of an extraordinary vernacular archive: one Congolese street artist’s personal collection of his comic art produced in Lingala, and generously acquired from Papa Mfumu’ete, who produced comic zines for over 20 years in the megacity of Kinshasa; and the collection intertwines religious, popular, aesthetic, and political dimensions. The conference will enable a collaborative curatorial process as the very first solo exhibitionS of this eccentric artist, including one at the Harn Museum of Art, are conceptualized.
While over 15 scholars, curators, & artists from four continents will grapple with sequential art, creative writing, and vernacular archives from the Global South, the contemporary moment will be present: We live in a new era when African immigration is massive, global, and hotly contested in many quarters and milieus, and not only in America or Europe. Africans are on the move, with many not fugitives in flight. Challenging racialized friction and xenophobia as they migrate into and inhabit new worlds, some intervene and engage through art. We invite Gainesville’s publics to join in thinking about such text-image engagements and the contemporary.
This event is open to the public. For the full program and more information, please visit: Center for African Studeies

Don’t Be Late! Application Deadlines for History Majors

We can’t advise you on your taxes, but if you’re planning on applying for the University Scholars Program, the History Honors Program, or any of the other awards and fellowships through the History Department, here are your 2018 deadlines.
FEB 1          University Scholars applications due to the Department of History (submit to benwise@ufl.edu)
FEB 23        Applications for departmental travel and research awards due [see website for instructions]
MAR 16       History Honors Program applications due (submit to harlandj@ufl.edu)

Alexander Grass Endowed Lecture on the Sephardic Diaspora

The History Department is pleased to announce a public talk by Dr. Jonathan Ray entitled “Merchants, Mystics, and Secret Jews: Sephardic Identities in the Age of Discovery,” in the lecture series sponsored by the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish Studies.  Dr. Ray will speak on Monday, 5 February 2018 at 5 pm in the Judaica Suite in the Smathers Library on the campus of the University of Florida.
The history of the Sephardic Diaspora is inextricably linked to the European Age of Discovery. The global networks created by Spanish and Portuguese Jews and Conversos became a hallmark of the early modern period, forming a bridge between the Old World and the New–and between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Dr. Ray will explore three key facts of Sephardic identity during this fascinating, yet oft-overlooked chapter in Jewish history.
Jonathan Ray is the Samuel Eig Professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University, where he specializes in medieval and early modern Jewish history, focusing on the Sephardic world.  His publications include The Sephardic Frontier: The Reconquista and the Jewish Community in Medieval Iberia (2006), The Jew in Medieval Iberia (2012), and After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry (2013).