Dear Students, Student Families, Alumni, and Friends of History,
This winter has continued to be difficult with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging. As we approach the grim statistic of 500,000 deaths in the United States, the reality of these deaths for families and friends has been even grimmer. My hearts go out to those of you who have lost loved ones. As you know, vaccines have begun to be distributed. This is no magic solution to the many terrible consequences of the pandemic, but it brings me a little bit of hope, and perhaps it does for you too.
In this newsletter, I want to express my admiration, first for our history majors and minors and SCU students more broadly. It hasn’t been easy to stay focused in Zoom classes or deal with the technological challenges of online learning, and yet my colleagues and I marvel at how engaged and disciplined most of our students have been. We also realize that some students have encountered serious mental health, economic, or other problems, and we have been trying to be as supportive as possible. For any students reading this newsletter, my message is: Bravo to you! And if you are struggling, please reach out to us. We are here for you.
This leads to my second source of admiration, my colleagues and fellow professors. It is an understatement to say that they have been working tirelessly to create interesting Zoom classes and synchronous and asynchronous learning activities and assignments. Teaching in our current environment involves significant additional work, including mastering new technologies. Much of this work goes unacknowledged, but it is not unseen by me or many others. Thanks to all of them for their amazing efforts!
I am happy to announce that in the next couple of weeks, there are two history-related speaking events.
Our very own faculty member, Sonia Gomez, will be participating in an upcoming panel discussion sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, “The Urgency of Now: Perspectives from the Humanities on the Capitol Riots.” She will be joining Dan Turkeltaub (Classics), and Juan Velasco (English), to discuss the January 6 Capitol riots through the lens of the Humanities. This discussion will be moderated by me. Register for this event here.
The second event is a guest lecture hosted by the Department of History. Matthew Specter, Ph.D. (Duke) will be speaking on "'America First': History and Politics of a Slogan, 1880 to the Present," on February 22 at 5 pm. Specter is a historian of modern Europe specializing in European intellectual history and 20th century Germany. His first book, Habermas: An Intellectual Biography, traced the evolution of postwar Germany's leading social philosopher. A former Associate Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, he is currently a Lecturer in Global Studies, Political Economy, History, and Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. Since 2014, he has been Associate Editor of the international journal, History and Theory. To attend via Zoom, go here.
Best wishes to all of you,
Amy E. Randall, Professor and Department Chair, and Associate Director for the Center for the Arts and Humanities