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Skidmore College
Honors Forum

Spring 2008 Semester

April 12, 2008

Exec Co planned a trip to the Saratoga Battlefield, accompanied by Prof. Tullman Nechtman, Department of History.

Skidmore College Consortial Conference on Science, Politics, and Society

April 4 & 5, 2008 - Skidmore College,Saratoga Springs, NY

Sponsored by:

Skidmore College Honors Forum

The Skidmore College Office of the First-Year Experience

The Mellon Foundation

Participating Institutions:

Skidmore College

Hamilton College

Union College

Colgate University

The purpose of the conference is to bring faculty and students from these institutions together, including first-year students, for a variety of student presentations and discussions about science and the interaction between science, politics, and society as a whole. We also hope that the conference will lead to future collaborations between students and faculty between these and possibly other institutions.

Jon R. Ramsey Honors Forum Lecture

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tillman W. Nechtman, Assistant Professor

British & British Imperial History

Department of History

Skidmore College

Alternative Histories:

Corporate Corruption, Imperialism, and Globalization

in Eighteenth-Century British India

Corporate executives distort their companies' earnings and siphon funds for their own aggrandizement.  Politicians pursue policies that daily drift the country closer to a new era of imperialism.  Globalization threatens to alter life's comfortable and familiar patterns permanently.  These might well be the headlines of news reports and editorials from today's New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, but they could just as easily have been headlines and editorials plucked from the expanding news media of late-eighteenth-century Britain. 

In the fifty year span from 1750 to the dawn of the nineteenth century, the executive leadership of the East India Company perverted their corporation's charter to trade British goods to South Asia into a mandate for power, and, in doing so, they transformed a publicly-traded English company into what one critic would call "a state in the disguise of a merchant."  In an effort to shed some historical light on the headlines we encounter each morning - the news of Enrons and Microsofts, of Afghanistans and Iraqs, and of NAFTAs and WTOs, this talk will explore the relationship between corporate malfeasance, imperialism in India, and globalization in the late-eighteenth century.  It will suggest that eighteenth-century Britons, not unlike those of us in early-twenty-first-century America, found themselves at a significant historical intersection where multiple and competing visions of Britishness were available for the choosing, and it will investigate the choices Britons made as a matter of history with an eye to the decisions we in contemporary America might make about our future.

Fall 2008 Semester

October 27, 2008 and October 28, 2008

Shades of Gray Discussion topics: "Who Owns Your Vote, and What is it Worth?"

In early October

HF 101 students visited the State Capitol in Albany and the Corning Tower, the tallest building in Albany.