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History Department

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Academic Festival



No History presenters this year. 



Post-War European History

Post-War German Film:  Re-examining Rubble Film
Faculty Sponsor:  Jordana Dym
Presenter:  Rachel Tashman '09

My paper explores East German Film, better known as DEFA film, which was produced in the interim period in Germany between 1946-49.  Scholarship claims all film from this period, from both East and West Germany makes up this genre.  My paper explores the extent to which this view is false.

Unflappable but not Impervious:  How Syntax and World choice Illuminate the Cracks in Nazi War Criminal Otto Ohlendorf's Facade
Faculty Sponsor:  Jordana Dym
Presenter:  Emma Dill '09

Otto Ohlendorf, commander of one of Hitler's mobile killing squads, will be forever knwn as the man who willingly and remorselessly confessed before a Nuremberg Military Tribunal to the murder of 90,000 civilians.  This paper explores how idiosyncrasies in Ohlendorf's courtroom diction and demeanor reveal the emotional unease behind his calculated exterior.

Janet Flanner "Letter from Paris": Journalism as a Mediator of Postwar Perceptions
Faculty Sponsor: Jordana Dym
Presenter:  Sara Brakeley '09

Janet Flanner, a foreign correspondent for the New Yorker magazine contributed to the decade following World War II in her own way.  Through her series of letters in the New Yorker, she was able to mediate increasing tensions between France and the United States.  In addition, through her writing she developed her identity, which was in direct contrast to that of the American public. 

Episodes in History

Trial of Ambition: John Marshall and the Burr Conspiracy Trial
Faculty Sponsor:  Colin McCoy
Presenter:  Alison Schultz '09

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr found himself in the courtroom of John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on trial for treason.  Heading the prosecution was Thomas Jefferson, and he warned that if Burr were acquitted, Marshall would find himself facing impeachment.  In this heated political atmosphere, was Marshall able to rule judiciously, or did personal animosity towards Jefferson guide his actions in the courtroom?

The Sea Monsters of Olaus Magnus:  Classifying Wonder in the Natural World of Sixteenth Century Europe
Faculty Sponsor:  Jordana Dym
Presenter:  Emma Thompson '09

Can sea monsters exist as both reality and myth?  Amidst a century that was redefining the nature of the world, the illustrations of Olaus Magnus made it possible for sea monsters to remain within the borders of the world map.

Perspective on Gender

From Socialite to Soldier:  Constance Markievicz and the Construction of Female Irish National Identity Faculty Sponsors: Erica Bastress-Dukehart/Jordana Dym
Presenter:  Courtney DeStefano '09

This paper analyzes the origins of female Irish national identity in the early twentieth century.  In particular, it examines the transistion to militancy in the written works of Constance Markievicz.  A member of the Protestant Anglo-Irish elite, Markievicz espoused and acted upon the ideals of feminism, suffragism, and republicanism during an especially volatile time period for both women and Ireland.  She created a female naional identity that went beyond the traditional-and passive-bounds of home and family by encouraging Irish women to take up arms in the cause of a Free Ireland. 



"Atomic Culture in cold War Popular Music"
Presenter:  Jacob Barry '08
Faculty Sponsor:  Jordana Dym

An examination of the ways in which popular music and the music industry engaged the political issues of the Cold War between 1945-1962.



"The Intellectual Roots of the Nuclear Freeze Movement"
Faculty Sponsor:  Tillman Nechtman
History Presenter:  Taylor Leake '07

In 1980,one of the largest political movements in history suddenly exploded into the mainstream political world.  This presentation will be an historical look at the explosive emergence of the Nuclear Freeze Movement, with emphasis on the authors and experts writing in the time preceding the movement (late 1970's).

"Models for World History"
Faculty Sponsor:  Tillman Nechtman
History Presenter:  Daniel Walfield '07

I am analyzing a number of arguments that directly relate to the use of models for historical change.  Not only do these models often explicitly de-emphasize the role of individual conscious choices, but as a focus on bigger pictures they try to correct imbalance in the older Eurocentric approaches.  



Students"Modern and Contemporary History Symposium"
Tisch Lerning Center 301
Faculty Sponsor: Matthew Hockenos
History Presenters: Amanda Ingram '06, Katie Hallaran '06,
Patrick Casey '06

The Colloquium is the most advanced course in history offered by the history department. It is the capstone course in the history department and an opportunity for students to refine their skills as a historian. The course centers on the papers (approximately 30 pages) which are designed, researched, written, presented, and critiqued by colloquium participants. Our Symposium presentation consists of four students presenting their colloquium papers on modern and contemporary history.
"The Third Crusade and Historical Relativism"
Tisch Learning Center 301
Faculty Sponsor: Erica Bastress-Dukehart
History Presenters: Karden Rabin '06, Eben Miller '06

This is a presentation of two senior theses that examine the dramatic events of the Third Crusade. One focuses on the application of anachronistic concepts to Richard the Lionhart and their historical consequences. The other analyzes how meaning is applied to these events by medieval and modern writers. The purpose of this presentation is to reveal how this narrative has evolved throughout time as a result of historical cultural changes.

Eben and Karden 



History Capstone Event
Faculty Sponsor:  Jordana Dym


Lauren Masterson '06 - "Finding History in Fiction: Applying Medieval Inheritance Practices to Courtly Love Literature"

William Menaker '05 - "Hope You Guess My Name: The Great Beast of Satanic Mythology and the Haunting of the Western Imagination"

Lindsay Tarnoff '05 - "Food of the Gods or Cash Crop:  the Morality of Chocolate Production and Consumption in Colonial Spanish America, 1600-1800"

Katherine Martinelli '05 - "Enlightening the Minds and Improving the Morals: The Debates over Government-Funded Eduction in India, 1813-1835"

Emily Haas-Godsil '05 - "The Discontents of the 'Happy Warrior':  Al Smith's Tumtulous Battle with Franklin Roosevelt, 1928-1936"

Natalie Blum-Ross '05 - "Redefining the Radical Intellectual:  The First Decade of Dissent, 1954-1961"


"Modern Magic: The Challenges of Writing Young Adult Fiction"
Presenter:  Sarah Rubin

Modern Magic is a full-length book for young adults that takes the elements of fantasy usually set in another time or workd and situates them in modern New York.  

"Keeping Secrets, Saving Justice: A lesson in International Law and War Crimes Prosecution"
Presenter: Oliver Eaton

Nuremberg is praised as a milestone in international law.  Historians stress how great an accomplishment it was to have four nations join in one judicial effort.  However, Nuremberg was not a challenge.  The International Military Tribunal merely followed its charter.  The creation of the charger itself was the true milestone of the era.  The Charger for the International Military Tribunal came into being at a series of conferences in London during the summer of 1945.  The creation of the Charter was by no means guaranteed.