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Department ofHistory


Faculty Updates Fall 2021

Catch up with what history faculty have done fall 2021

Professor Matthew Newsom-Kerr published an Op-Ed in the Washington Post titled "Frustration, anger and deaths won’t convince the unvaccinated: The more vaccine advocates fulminate, the more stubborn anti-vaccine sentiment will be,” which draws from his expertise as a historian of modern Britain and the history of medicine. Newsom-Kerr looks at the smallpox epidemic in Britain during the 19th century to conclude that “then, as now, vaccine hesitancy was more tied to cultural and political factors than to ignorance of science or inexperience with disease.” Read the full article here.

Amy Randall

Chair Amy Randall published “For the Father of a Newborn: Soviet Obstetrics and the Mobilization of Men as Medical Allies," in Aspasia: The International Yearbook of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European Women's and Gender History Volume 15 (2021): 146–164. In “For the Father of a Newborn,” Randall translates a pamphlet that illustrates Soviet efforts to deploy men as allies in safeguarding reproduction to promote procreation in the 1960s and 1970s. Randall considers the implications of these initiatives for women’s bodies, gender norms, sexual practices, models of masculinity, and the socialist goal of promoting women’s equality. Read the full article here.

Professor Sonia Gomez was named a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Arts and Humanities for 2021-2022, where she will be working on her first book manuscript, A Gendered Diaspora: Intimacy and Empire in the Making of Japanese America, 1908-1952. The book examines the ways in which intimacy facilitated the migration and inclusion of Japanese women during periods of racial exclusion troubling binary conceptions of immigrant inclusion and exclusion. Gomez will kick off her fellowship year on November 4th with a talk with playwright Velina Hasu Houston titled, Pacific Ties: Marriage, Migration, and the Making of the Multiracial Postwar Family.” More information about the conference can be found here.

Professor Gomez was also invited to give a talk at the Black Transnationalism and Japan Conference organized by the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University on October 29. Gomez will present on her new project that examines Afro-Asian solidarity in the United States through the lens of female friendship during wartime incarceration. More information about the conference can be found here.

Nancy Unger

As the President of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and co-editor of A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Professor Nancy Unger was featured in a podcast titled “Gilded? Progressive? Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” that sought to answer such burning questions as: Is the Gilded Age and Progressive Era one historical period or two?  How is the period currently defined and why?  

The podcast can be heard here and here.

Professor Paul Mariani, S.J. gave two talks recently. The first was a talk titled, “China, the US, and the Vatican” which was presented at the 11th Annual Napa Institute Conference and the second was a panel discussion titled, “The Relevance of State Policy for Chinese Catholic Community” at the 28th International Conference of the US-China Catholic Association.