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Ayla Amon: "'Unintelligible Babel': How Enslaved Muslims Used Arabic to Pursue Freedom in Early America'"
Tuesday, Sept. 10, 5:30-6:30
EUC Auditorium, UNCG

Of the more than 12.5 million enslaved Africans transported to the New World during the transatlantic slave trade, estimates suggest that at least 25% were Muslim. They brought with them their culture, their faith, and most importantly their language. Arabic, a language minimally studied, spoken, or understood in America, provided an outlet and resource for these men and women. They used Arabic to reaffirm their faith; to plead to be returned to Africa; to condemn slavery and their slave owners; to generate rebellion; and in a few cases, to gain their freedom. This lecture will examine some of the Arabic documents they wrote in order to shed light on the lives of these remarkable people and the role that Islam played in shaping the antebellum American landscape.

Ayla Amon is a Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture who studies enslaved African Muslims in North America. She holds degrees in Islamic Art and Architecture, Middle Eastern Studies, and Museum Studies from the University of Chicago and George Washington University, and has worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walters Art Museum, and the Tangier American Legation Museum in Morocco.

Co-sponsored by Lloyd International Honors College, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Program, the Department of History, and the Muslim Student Association.

Eger Publishes New Archaeology Book

The University Press of Colorado recently published The Archaeology of Medieval Islamic Frontiers, edited by Dr. Asa Eger. "The Archaeology of Medieval Islamic Frontiers demonstrates that different areas of the Islamic polity previously understood as "minor frontiers" were, in fact, of substantial importance to state formation. Contributors explore different conceptualizations of "border," the importance of which previously went unrecognized, examining frontiers in regions including the Magreb, the Mediterranean, Egypt, Nubia, and the Caucasus through a combination of archaeological and documentary evidence."

Kriger Gives Keynote Address

Dr. Colleen Kriger gave the keynote address at the "Clothing the Enslaved in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World Conference" at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff this summer. Her talk was titled "European Woolens and African Consumption in the Early Modern Atlantic: Status, Style, and Creole Culture."

Suttell Appears in Documentary

Dr. Brian Suttell (Ph.D. in History from UNCG, 2017) contributed to "Hope's City," a documentary by Dancing Ape Films and directed by Ricardo Fleshman that had its premiere on June 22, 2019. The film addresses the history and current revitalization efforts in Pamplin City, Virginia. In the documentary, Brian discusses issues such as the impact of the railroad, the Civil War, and race relations on the history of Pamplin City. The film is available on Amazon for a small fee and is free for Amazon Prime subscribers.

Fariñas Borrego Joins Department as Visiting Assistant Professor

Please join us in welcoming our new Visiting Assistant Professor in Latin American History for the 2019/20 academic year, Dr. Maikel Fariñas Borrego! Fariñas Borrego earned his Ph.D. degree in history from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2019. He earned his M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and his B.A. in History at the University of Havana. Fariñas Borrego has taught courses on Modern Latin American History and the History of Latinos in the United States. He is the author of the book Sociabilidad y cultura del ocio (2009) and several book chapters and journal articles on voluntary associations in republican Cuba. Fariñas Borrego's research focuses on the organization of business leaders in civic associations, such as Rotary Clubs, and their transformation into regional power groups across Cuba. He will be teaching three courses in the fall: HIS 209, HIS 240, and HIS 391.

Mandy Cooper Joins Department as Instructor of Women's History

Join the history department in welcoming our newest full-time instructor Dr. Mandy Cooper! Dr. Cooper holds the Ph.D. in history from Duke University and she is joining us to teach courses in U.S. history and women/gender history. Her courses this fall include HIS 329 U.S. Women's History Since 1865 and HIS 451/551 Gender and History: "Women and Politics in U.S. History." For more information about these courses check out the course descriptions page.

UNCG Museum Studies Program Wins National Leadership in History Award

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) has recognized our program with an Award for Excellence/Leadership in History Award (the only North Carolina winner!) for the exhibit "Etched in Stone?: Governor Charles Aycock and the Power of Commemoration" in place on the top floor of the lobby of UNCG Auditorium. In addition, this project earned the HIP (History in Progress) Award given at the discretion of the awards committee to 5% or less of the total winners of the Award of Excellence. Read more here.

Polio Hospital Highway Marker Dedication
Sat., June 15, 2019, 3:00 p.m.
710 Huffine Mill Road, Greensboro
RSVP: go.uncg.edu/marker

The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker program has approved a marker commemorating the Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital, which served as a hospital for people with polio and later as a detention center for civil rights protesters in 1963. The marker will go up nearby Wendover Avenue, but we will hold the dedication ceremony at the hospital site itself. Read the News and Record article.

Montana Joyce Wins 2019 Undergraduate Research Award

Dean of University Libraries and Professor Martin Halbert and Associate Dean for Public Services and Associate Professor Kathryn Crowe presented the 2019 University Libraries Undergraduate Research Award to Montana Joyce, a double major in history and biology, on May 2 at UNC Greensboro's Student Honors Convocation. Read the article here.

Bender Named National Humanities Center Fellow

Associate Professor of History Jill Bender has been appointed a Fellow at the National Humanities Center for the academic year 2019-2020 for her research project "Assisted Emigrants: Irish Female Migration Projects and the British Empire." For more information, see the NHC website.

Gatson Hired as Assistant Professor in Public History

The UNCG Department of History is pleased to announce that Dr. Torren Gatson has been hired as Assistant Professor in Public History at the start of the fall term. Gatson's research focuses on historic preservation, material culture, 18th-20th century United States history, African American history, and southern history. Dr. Gatson defended his dissertation "The Combative Tactics of the NAACP Against Unfair Housing Laws and Practices: A Comparative Study of the Dynamic Changes in Urban and Rural Landscapes 1920-1960" in March 2018 at Middle Tennessee State University. Currently, he is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department.

Speakeasy Night at Greensboro History Museum
Fri, April 26, 2019
7:00-10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20; Age 21+ event, bring ID.

MA in History/Museum Studies student Erin Blackledge's capstone project: "An evening of Prohibition-era jazz, games, cocktails & more for the Smart Set. Tix on sale March 20. Includes admission and two beverage tickets. Additional beverage tickets will be available for purchase at the event. For a full authentic speakeasy experience, we encourage our fellas and flappers to dress in their best Gatsby (or cocktail) attire. For more details and fun, check out @GHMSpeakeasy on Instagram But ssshhh... don't tell. (Email greensborohistory.org or call 336-373-2610 for information)"

"Reading Against the Grain: Perspectives on Atlantic Slave Trade"
Faculty Research Talk by Dr. Colleen Kriger
Thursday, April 11th, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Dr. Colleen Kriger will discuss her new book Making Money: Life, Death, and Early Modern Trade on Africa's Guinea Coast (2017, Ohio University Press).

How did free people become captive cargoes on Africa's west coast during the Atlantic slave trade? Historian Colleen Kriger's recent book, focuses on the human complexity of this trade in commodities and captive people and how it was organized. The surprisingly detailed business records of England's Royal African Company raise interesting questions about writing "African" history from "European" sources. Refreshments will be provided.

"The Jim Crow Cigarette in China: How North Carolina Tobacco Shaped Corporate Imperialism"
Lecture by Dr. Nan Enstad
Wednesday, April 3rd, 6:00-7:00 p.m. (Reception: 5:30-6:00 p.m.)
Faculty Center, UNCG

This talk explores how a single tobacco variety, bright leaf tobacco, became an agricultural commodity in nineteenth century North Carolina and Virginia and eventually became the essential tobacco in cigarettes around the world. Bright leaf developed during the years of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow segregation. When bright leaf went global, it took Jim Crow with it - especially to China, the largest outpost of the British American Tobacco Company. Hundreds of white men from North Carolina went to China to build the bright leaf industry with Chinese businessmen. The Jim Crow cigarette boomed in popularity in both the US and China in the 1920s.

Dr. Enstad is the Robinson Edwards Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an affiliate of the Gender and Women's Studies Department, the Afro-American Studies Department, and the current Director of the UW Food Studies Network. She is the author of Cigarettes Inc.: An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Popular Culture and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Columbia University Press, 1999). She has a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota . From 1993-2001 she was faculty at the Department of History at UNCG.

"Resistance: How Did It Change the Vietnam War?"
A Conversation with Peace Activists David Cortright and Bill Ramsey, Moderated by Dr. Tom Jackson
Thursday, April 4, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

"The 60s: Exploring the Limits" Event

The soldier revolt, draft and war tax resistance, moratorium marches in Washington - how did mounting G.I. and popular opposition to the war in Vietnam affect military strategy, presidential and congressional debate and decision-making? And how did anti-Vietnam resistance spur lives of activism in the antinuclear and peace movements?

David Cortright was an active duty G.I. activist who defended his first amendment right to oppose the war in federal court in 1971. He later became a leader in the 1980s nuclear freeze movement. Director of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Cortright is the author of Soldiers in Revolt: G.I. Resistance during the Vietnam War (2005) and Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (2008).

Bill Ramsey was a North Carolina student anti-war organizer and coordinator of local anti-Vietnam war tax initiatives. He was later active in nuclear disarmament campaigns and movements to oppose U.S. military interventions. He worked for the American Friends Service Committee and founded the Human Rights Action Service.

Moderated by History Professor Tom Jackson, who was active in the nuclear freeze campaign and anti-apartheid movement of the 1980s before becoming a historian of civil and human rights.

"Excavating a Museum: The 1930s Princeton University Antioch Project"
Lecture by Dr. Asa Eger
Wednesday, March 20th, 5:30-6:30 pm
Graham 307, UNCG

During times of conflict, archaeologists can turn to older materials in museums when fieldwork is unsafe to carry out for any reason. In the 1930s, Princeton University conducted large excavations in the city of Antioch, once the 3rd largest city in the Roman world and presumed in decline, now in modern Turkey on the Syrian border. However, the excavations were only partially published and included the most beautiful museum-worthy pieces with no stratigraphic information. As such, our project investigates whether one can piece together a ninety-year-old dig through the available archive of records and material culture. In this talk, I will discuss the process of excavating a museum archive - analyzing 300 boxes of material culture heretofore untouched sitting in the storerooms of Princeton University's Art Museum. These along with a repository of saved records in the Department of Art and Archaeology's Visual Resources Department have allowed us to understand one sector of the city - a case study and pilot project - in surprising and dynamic ways. The sector of 17-O, in the heart of the city, shows us how a city transformed, adapted, and thrived over time in the face of political change, conquest, and natural disaster. This has greater implications on the ways in which we understand the afterlives of post-Roman cities, long thought to be sunken in decline or abandoned.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Archaeology Program and Archaeology Club.

How Museums Can Challenge Narratives of American History

Lecture by Alya Amon
Wednesday, January 23, 3:30 p.m.
North Spencer Hall Parlor, UNCG

Ayla Amon is a Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture where she works on the Slavery and Freedom exhibition. Ms. Amon will be discussing interpretation in museums and the changing role of the community in developing exhibitions. Sponsored by the National Museuam of African American History and Culture, UNCG Lloyd International Honors College and UNCG Department of History.

Resistance to Injustice, a lecture by Dr. Linda B. Brown
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 3-5 p.m.
International Civil Rights Center & Museum, 134 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC

In 1963, a wave of protestors fought segregation in Greensboro. Many of them were arrested and detained at the Greensboro Polio Hospital. This lecture is part of an exhibit and series of programs to commemorate the complicated history of the polio hospital. Please come and share your story.

Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to this free event at go.uncg.edu/poliohospital. For disability accommodations, please contact: uncgmuseumstudies@gmail.com or 336-334-5645.

Sponsored by UNCG Department of History, International Civil Rights Center & Museum, North Carolina Humanties Council, and the Greensboro History Museum.

Long Strange Trip: a Grateful Dead Documentary Series

Screening #1: Led by Dr. Richard Barton
Friday, November 16, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
Greensboro Project Space, 219 W. Lewis St., Greensboro

Long Strange Trip is a six-part documentary series about the rock band the Grateful Dead Directed by Amir Bar-Lev. It will be screened at the Greensboro Project Space on November 16th, February 8th, and April 26th paired with discussions hosted by guest speakers as part of UNCG's 1960s programs: https://vpa.uncg.edu/home/sixties/another-year-of-the-dead/. Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2189346901337669/

Screening # 1: "The Band," led by Associate Professor of History, Richard Barton. It's Alive & This is Now. The series premiere explores how the band was created and commits itself to constant change. The second episode illuminates how the Grateful Dead scored success on their own terms, yet sabotaged their chances at superstardom.

Sponsored by UNCG Department of Religious Studies, UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts, and UNCG Greensboro Project Space.

Levenstein Contributes to Journal of American History Podcast

Associate Professor Lisa Levenstein contributed to a podcast in September 2018 by the Journal of American History (JAH) about the Beijing Women's Conference of 1995. The podcast can be accessed at http://jah.oah.org/podcast/.

Dr. Levenstein's contribution is based on her recent article in the JAH: "A Social Movement for a Global Age: US Feminists and the Beijing Women's Conference of 1995," Journal of American History 105:2 (September 2018): 336-65.

Parsons Publishes "From Asylum to Prison"

Dr. Anne Parsons' research on the history of mass incarceration of individuals with mental illnesses has culminated in a new book: "From Asylum to Prison: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Mass Incarceration after 1945."

Published in early October by UNC Press, "From Asylum to Prison" charts how the politics of mass incarceration shaped the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric hospitals and mental health policy making. Read more in Campus Weekly.

Chelsea Stewart Wins AWRN Travel Grant

Dr. Christopher Hodgkins, Director of the Atlantic World Research Network, announced that M.A. history/museum studies student Chelsea Stewart won a 2018-19 AWRN Graduate Student Research Grant. Stewart will use her grant to support her travel to Newport, Rhode Island for the pursuit of research on the Vernon shipping family in area archives and sites. Her project promises to bring new insight into the role of northern shipping interests in the transatlantic slave trade.

70th Anniversary Polio Hospital Event
RESCHEDULED: Sunday, November 4, 2-4 p.m.
710 Huffine Mill Rd., Greensboro, NC

Help remember the Central Carolina Convalescent Hospital. After just three months of fundraising and construction, the hospital opened on October 11, 1948, in response to the North Carolina polio epidemic.

Join us at the hospital site to commemorate the hospital's opening with speakers and stories from the community and an exhibit about the site's history presented by students in UNCG's M.A. in History/Museum Studies program.

Refreshments provided. Please RSVP to the event at: go.uncg.edu/poliohospital.

Sponsored by UNCG Department of History, the Greensboro History Museum, and People & Paws 4 Hope. For disability accommodations, please email UNCGMuseumStudies@gmail.com or call 336-334-5645.

"The Agony of Mosul Under ISIS"
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 3:30-5 p.m.
Elliot University Center, Maple Room

Noor Ghazi will be presenting her original research on the situation in Mosul and her recent visit there. Following her talk there will be an open discussion with Dr. Jerry Pubantz from Political Science Department of University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Dr. Jeremy Rinker from UNCG Peace & Conflict Studies and Dr. Asa Eger from UNCG Department of History.

This event is sponsored by Living Learning Communities, Islamic Studies Research Network and the UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium, UNCG Office of Intercultural Engagement, The Department Religious Studies - UNCG, UNCG Peace & Conflict Studies, and Lloyd International Honors College at UNCG.

"Care & Custody: A History of Mental Health and Incarceration"
Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30-7 p.m.
Greensboro Project Space, 219 W. Lewis St., Greensboro

Dr. Anne Parsons will discuss her new book From Asylum to Prison: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Mass Incarceration after 1945.

To many, asylums are a relic of a bygone era. State governments took steps between 1950 and 1990 to minimize the involuntary confinement of people in psychiatric hospitals, and many mental health facilities closed down. Yet, as Anne Parsons reveals, the asylum did not die during deinstitutionalization. Instead, it returned in the prison industrial complex as the government shifted to a more punitive, institutional approach to social deviance. Parsons shows how the lack of community-based services, fear-based politics around mental illness, and the economics of institutions meant that closing mental hospitals fed a cycle of incarceration that became an epidemic.

Sponsored by Greensboro Project Space and the UNCG Department of History. Refreshments will be provided.

"Living with Little Corpses in Late-Roman and Early Medieval Britain"
Dr. Robin Fleming, Professor of Early Medieval History, Boston College
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m.
Elliot University Center, Dail Room

Invited Scholar Lecture. Stillborn and infant burials are a standard feature of Roman-period settlements and urban cemeteries in Britain. This, however, is not true for early medieval sites, where infants rarely make an appearance. But because of the great chasm dividing Romanists from medievalists, the changing fate of little corpses has gone unnoticed. This talk will explore the ways a handful of not very fancy communities during the late-Roman and early medieval periods dealt with their dead babies. Little corpses can help us pinpoint some of the profound transformations in the lived experience and thought worlds of people in Britain first under and then after Rome that are completely unwitnessed by texts. They are useful in helping us track the ways a variety of ordinary Britons experienced the withdrawal of the Roman state from Britain.

Sponsored by the UNCG Department of History, UNCG Archaeology Program, and UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium.

"Vietnam: The Chemical War"
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
SOEB 120

This is a special joint event organized by the Department of History, Human Rights Research Network, and the University of Libraries in conjunction with the Campus-Wide Interdisciplinary Event, "The '60s: Exploring the Limits". We will start with a film screening of "Story of from the Corner of a Park" and then environmental historian David Biggs will give a talk on the topic. For more information; https://sites.google.com/uncg.edu/hrrn/current-film-series

Screening: Selma
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, 6:30 p.m.
SOEB 120

In conjunction with the Campus-Wide Interdisciplinary Event "The '60s: Exploring the Limits," the Human Rights Research Network film series, which focuses on films from or about the 1960s. For more information: sites.google.com/uncg.edu/hrrn/


Katie Heidiek

Katie Heidsiek, M.A. '11

"After completing a Bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College in Minnesota, I looked for graduate programs that offered a good combination of theoretical coursework and field experience..."

Read More About Katie »

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The UNCG Department of History creates and disseminates knowledge of history through research, teaching, and public and professional service. Faculty members collaborate with peers around the world; open new lines of historical inquiry; and communicate their discoveries via university courses, publications, scholarly presentations, public projects, and community events. Undergraduates explore the historical development of human societies from a variety of perspectives, thereby acquiring a wide range of practical skills, such as the abilities to gather and analyze primary sources, interpret complex phenomena, and communicate effectively in both writing and speaking. Graduate students train in the methods of historical scholarship and gain broad pre-professional experience in research, pedagogy, and public history. As members of a public institution with a commitment to community engagement, we strive to serve Greensboro, the state of North Carolina, the nation, and the world by cultivating and nurturing wisdom, tolerance, and reason through a deeper understanding of the human experience.

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