Category Archives: European History

Belgorod, Russia: Visiting the Battle of Kursk Museum

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US and Russian hip hoppers outside the WWII Museum in Belgorod, Russia” width=”625″ height=”353″ /> US and Russian hip hoppers outside the WWII Museum in Belgorod, Russia

From February 16-23rd I was part of a USA hip hop delegation (‘Under the Curtain’) to Russia due to my role as a faculty advisor to the Trinity Chapter of Temple of Hip and the annual Trinity International Hip Hop Festival. Sponsored by the United States Embassy in Moscow, I accompanied Trinity undergraduate student Cam Clarke (Philosophy and Human Rights), three Hartford-based hip hop artists, and one hip hop organizer from World Hip Hop Market. We visited Moscow, Belgorod and Togliatti. Although our days were mostly filled with travel, lectures, and workshops, we did get the chance to tour each city and learn about their respective local histories.

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History Department’s Senior Thesis Presentations 2016-2017

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This academic year, the History Department has nine honor thesis writers. Elizabeth, Sedona, Callie, Dylan, Elm, Chelsey, Eleanor, Seth and Andrew will be presenting on their research on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The presentations will take place at Seabury Hall 215 (Trinity College), starting at 9:00 a.m. History Thesis Writers, History Majors, members of the History Department, and members of the Trinity and Hartford community are invited and encouraged to attend this special event. A five minute Q+A will follow each presentation. For the full schedule, continue reading….
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“My Senior Thesis and its Portrayal in Pop Culture”

Chelsey Crabbe ‘17

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I am a senior Thesis writer whose topic has been portrayed within a Hollywood movie, a scenario that even clouded my own judgment after watching the film. I am researching the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA), a military unit attributed with protecting and salvaging Europe’s greatest cultural treasures against the Nazi regime during World War II. My focus is on the subsequent cultural restitution, or return, that occurred after the war as the Allies found themselves with troves of Nazi loot. I found this topic to be quite fascinating since I am passionate about cultural heritage, a fan of Art History, and a student needing to satisfy her European interests with a topic that had some sources in English. Therefore, I chose to tell the story of the Monuments Men, the full story, and not just the one that would attract moviegoers.
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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.