Category Archives: Lectures

Mead Lecture: “The Reinventions of Tradition: Writing Damascus in the Long 16th Century”

I found Professor Sadji’s lecture and work The Barber of Damascus to be very dense and informative. In her lecture, Professor Sadji examines the city of Damascus in the 17th century, which she proves to be a thriving cosmopolitan and a far cry from the war-torn city we know today. One of the five major cities in the Ottoman Empire and a provincial capital, Damascus was a display of the phenomenon she calls “exhibitionism” and was also a microcosm of the Empire as a whole, serving as the departure point for pilgrimages to Mecca. Her book, of which I read the Introduction and first two chapters, detailed the existence of a Damascene barber in the 17th century. His personal diary is fascinating because of the diversity of his interactions. Peasants, saints, commoners, and elites came to the shop and the barber’s account provides a refreshing change of voice in history. As Professor Sadji mentioned in her lecture, history is written by the victors, it is rare to see the oppressed have a voice. This is a theme that is often brought to light in our class, the National Party and its authoritarian control over the school system and the recording of history, subjected black South Africans and silenced their voice. Another interesting point in her book was that the barber viewed his society as a clash between the tyrannical rich and the oppressed poor. – Dan Marini, History, Class of 2018
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A Response to the 2017 Wassong Lecture: “Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic in America”

By Callie Prince (History ’17)

Paul H. Robinson, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Paul H. Robinson, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

This past week I attended the 2017 Wassong Lecture in European and American Art, Culture, and History, a lecture organized every year by the interdisciplinary studies department. I was excited to hear the lecture from Paul H. Robinson who is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His long list of accomplishments would extend beyond the length of this post, as he has been prolific and diversified in his work. The topic of his lecture was “Trigger Crimes & Social Progress: The Tragedy-Outrage-Reform Dynamic in America”. A brief synopsis written by Robinson describing the work behind his lecture, posed the main question as, “Why do some tragedies produce broad outrage while others, often of a very similar nature, do not? Why do some outrages produce reform while others, often with greater claims to outrageousness, do not?”
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History, Identity, and Traveling: A Reflection on 2017’s McGill Lecturer, Santiago Gamboa

Chelsey Crabbe (History ‘17)

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In his lecture, “The Art of Narration and Travel Writing (a Latin American Writer in India)”,weaved an inspiring tale about the realities of his profession as both an individual and a Latin American writer by specifically focusing on his tales of living in India. Gamboa has written eight novels amongst other works, mostly in Spanish and translated into a variety of languages. The writer has also acted a Columbia diplomat at UNESCO in Paris as well as to the Columbian Embassy in India. Obviously well-accomplished, Santiago Gamboa impressed me not only with his accolades but his grip on the pulse of the world, understanding the humanity within each individual, no matter their country of origin.
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“Hartford Hip Hop: Then and Now”

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A Conversation on hip hop in Hartford during the 1980s-1990s and how the culture has evolved to the present featuring Empress Nijuabi, a Hartford based emcee who was a member of the pioneering hip hop group Palm Expedition and Seth Markle, Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor to the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival.

When: Thursday, November 3rd, 6-7:30pm
Where: Hartford History Center, Hartford Public Library (downtown)

Free and open to the public.

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On Thursday, November 3, 4:30pm (Reese Room, Smith House): The History Department will be sponsoring its annual Philip C.F. Bankwitz Lecture titled, “Money, History and the French Revolution” featuring Rebecca Spang is Professor of History and Director of the Center for EighteenthCentury Studies at Indiana University. Her first book, The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, has been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish, and Modern Greek. It was the recipient of two major prizes, the Gottschalk Prize for the best book in eighteenth-century studies, awarded by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and theThomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize for best first book, awarded by the Harvard University Press.

Her most recent research is on the subject of money. Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution, published by Harvard University Press in 2015, uses one of the most infamous examples of monetary innovation — the assignats — to write a new history of money and a new history of the French Revolution. It shows that revolutionary radicalization was driven by the ever-widening gap between political ideals and the experience of daily life and restores economics, in the broadest sense, to its rightful place at the heart of the Revolution (and hence of modern politics).

Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival Program, April 7–10, 2016

From its creation in academic year 2005–2005 by a group of Trinity College students as a vehicle to “combat the disunity, segregation, and violence of Hartford, CT and Trinity College,” the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival  always has close ties with several History majors and faculty.

One its co-founders, for example, was Jason P. Azevedo ’08, currently a career U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer specialized on Africa and Brazil.

Since 2009, History and International Studies Assistant Professor Seth Markle has served as the main academic advisor to Trinity Chapter of Temple of Hip Hop and annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival.

As the coordinating group has put it, from the beginning the festival’s main strategies and goals have been using a “the historically education-oriented and politically revolutionary medium — Hip Hop – and focusing on its global potency and proliferation, the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival works to unify Trinity College, the city of Hartford, and the Globe.”

This year’s program, includes lectures and panel discussions with a variety of scholars, artists, and community activists; film screenings, graffiti and photo exhibits, workshops, and performances, including Dance Event / B-Boy Battle on Friday, April 8th (7pm–2am), the Saturday April 9th (8pm-2am) Hip Hop Concert, featuring Rakim and several other MCs and DJs. The festival ends on Sunday, April 10th with a DJ showcase and the Iron Poet Slam Competition.

You can find the Festival’s FULL PROGRAM here: 2016 Program for the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival – We hope to see you there!

Mead Lecture & Student Reactions

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On Tuesday, October 20th, Dr. Stephen D. White, Candler Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at Emory University and Visiting Professor at Harvard University delivered the History Department’s annual George J. Mead (Class of 1937) Lecture: “Magna Carta: How a Total Failure Became “the Greatest Constitutional Document of All Times.”

The Mead Lecture in History, established by a bequest in 1952, is Trinity’s most prestigious endowed annual lecture. Previous lecturers have included James McPherson, Philip Curtin, Alan Samuel, and E. P. Thompson. The fund was established in honor of George Jackson Mead of Bloomfield, Connecticut. He graduated from Choate preparatory school and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Mead was a founding partner in the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company and the designer of its Wasp engine, whose widespread use and reliability transformed military and commercial aviation in the U.S. He later served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, guiding wartime aircraft production throughout the nation, and was awarded the President’s Medal of Merit in 1948. His intent was that the Mead Fund support lectures, prizes, and other programs to stimulate the study of government, economics, and history, in order to better prepare students for government service. Mr. Mead received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College in 1937.

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