Category Archives: European History

The Future is Female! Profiles of the Women Senior Thesis Writers of 2017

Written by: Chelsea Crabbe (History, 2017)

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In honor of Women History Month, I’ve decided to write a little bit about our female thesis writers, including myself. As Viginia Woolf insightfully claimed, “for most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Now, not only are topics of gender becoming valued areas of research within the historical field, at Trinity, five women are exerting their talents within this area of study at the highest of calibers. I have always found some subjects to be gendered. For instance, math and the sciences have been predominantly a male-dominated field, for whatever reason. However, I have also categorized the subject of History as being historically male and with good reason. For centuries and centuries, our histories were written by men and, during this resurgence of women’s rights activism today, I am proud to say that we have five females writing not only histories, but challenging the field, a field that oftentimes can be rigid and traditional. Although our topics may be starkly different, we share a common bond as women within the field of History. While I am obsessing over lost paintings, Sedona is spending hours analyzing the movement of cows and Elizabeth is testing her limits by deciphering colonial manuscripts. Elly is encapsulated by her powerful women who love power and parties and Callie is wrapping her head around what do with a convicted Nazi. We’re committed to our topics and wouldn’t be in the library at all hours if we didn’t love history. I’m sure that my fellow peers would agree that we are history nerds and we’re proud! And you can be sure that our theses will certainly not be signed anonymous.

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Spring Break in Iceland

Written by: James Barrett (IDP, History, Class of 2017)

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Spring Break trips take many forms. Many Trinity students opt to escape the dreary March weather for a tropical paradise. Some head North to Vermont or West to Colorado to find snowy mountains for a ski vacation. In recent years, the small island nation of Iceland has seen a massive tourism increase, and not just in Spring Breakers. While Iceland certainly does not fall into the category of tropical paradise, especially in March, the totally unique landscape can make a person feel like they’re walking on a different planet. During Spring Break 2016, my girlfriend Elyssa, and I were fortunate enough to go to Iceland for a very brief trip. We flew out of Boston on a Monday night and returned Friday afternoon. Since Iceland’s tourism increase began, roughly in 2008, Icelandic citizens seem to have become used to discussing much of the history of the country.

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Guten Tag, Wein! Studying Abroad in Vienna

Written by: Callie Prince (History, Class of 2017)

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I was in High School when I decided that I wanted to study abroad. I had just returned from a Holocaust Study Tour, a trip that still inspires me today when I knew I had to travel again when I finally got to college. I wanted to climb to the top of the Acropolis, to walk around the Colosseum, and to even take a picture on the garden in front of the Eifel Tower. It was not until I arrived in Vienna International Airport, however, with my life fit into three bags, that I suddenly realized I had not thought about what it would be like to really live in Vienna for five months. I had taken the biggest leap of my life and that I didn’t even know how to say leap in German. I had chosen Vienna for my study abroad because of its culture, the size of the Trinity program and the history of the city. I had pictured myself sitting at cafés with international friends discussing art, culture, and politics. I planned to travel every weekend if I could, believing that constantly moving would really make the experience worthwhile. Yet, I had not predicted how much getting to know Vienna would be the best adventure from the classroom to the city.
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My European Experience

Tyler Wren (far left) and some fellow Trinity students in Paris who were in the same J-Term class

Tyler Wren (far left) and some fellow Trinity students in Paris who were in the same J-Term class

Written by: Tyler Wren (History, Class of 2019)

I am ever so grateful to the history department for the opportunity to travel to and study in Europe. Their sponsoring of my attendance in the new J-term course offered in Paris, POLS-209, and also providing an additional $1,000 for travel expenses, this allowed me to not only travel to Paris but also enabled me to travel more broadly within Europe itself. For example, giving me a cheaper and faster route to also visit London. Going to both London and Paris were crucial experiences for my upcoming research paper on Brexit and its implications on Europe that I will be writing with Professor Regan-Lefebvre.

Beginning with Professor Lefebvre’s class provided the perfect precursor for me on Brexit. What I learned from the primary source analyses and big-picture observances will definitely be relevant in the paper. Meeting with the media coordinator of the Delegation of the European Union was a crucial experience, providing insight into the national inner workings of the EU in France.

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Project 1917

Written by: Dylan Hebert (History, Class of 2017)

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“1917. Free History” is a project that presents the events of 1917 in the form of social media. The stated goal of the project is to “enable participants to find out about the history of 1917 from those who lived during this defining moment of twentieth century history.” A Russian project, the site is focused mostly on Russian history. The year of both the February and October Revolutions as well as a major year in World War I, 1917 is a landmark year in Russian history.

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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).

J-Term in Paris: HIST 237: The History of French Wine

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This course introduces students to the history of French wine. Students will gain a critical, contextualised understanding of how French wine has evolved over the past three centuries and how it has made its mark on French culture, society and politics. This intensive course incorporates the city of Paris experientially. Classes will be divided into short taught sections, in-depth discussions of primary and secondary literature, and three excursions: a professional wine tasting emphasising regional differences in France and the concept of terroir; a visit to a working vineyard to highlight the technical and spatial aspects of wine production; and a visit to a wine museum to explore the evolution of wine through material culture. Fee: $250.

Instructor: Jennifer Reagan-Lefebvre, PhD, is Associate Professor of History at Trinity College, where she teaches British history and a popular course on global wine history. She previously taught at the University of Cambridge and the American University of Paris. She is the author of Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire (2009) and is writing a history of the wine trade. In 2016 she was honored with Trinity’s Hughes Award for Achievement in Teaching. Contact: jennifer.reganlefebvre@trincoll.edu

J-Term classes are $1,500. Additional fees apply.

Poster for the 2016 Trinity International Hip Hop Festival

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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Senior Thesis Presentations, Class of 2015

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Thesis students (top row l-r): Haley, Tyler, Duncan; (bottom row l-r) Cody, Zack

On Thursday, April 30, 2015, the history thesis writers presented their research findings to the department and other guests. For more than a year, five students have been researching and writing and, in the process, forging bonds of friendship among each other and mentorship relationships with history professors. Their research projects explored a variety of themes, and served as critical interventions in the study of American slavery, Nazism and the Third Reich, Mediterranean city-state formations, the U.S. and World War II, and international travel and literary production.

The names of the students, the titles of their projects, and the names of their advisors are as follows:

Tyler Green, “A Connecticut Yankee in London: Mark Twain’s Rise fromd Humble American Humorist to Literary Great”
Thesis Advisors: Profs. Lefebvre & Hedrick

Duncan Grimm, “Forging an Alliance of Purpose:  John Gilbert Winant, Edward Roscoe Murrow, and Creating an Anglo-American  Worldview”
Thesis Advisors: Profs. Regan-Lefebvre & Hedrick
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