December 2, 2021

Al-Tikriti Presents Research at Istanbul Conference

Professor of Middle East History Nabil Al-Tikriti presented a keynote address entitled “Revisiting “Yavuz Sultan Selim Nasıl Padışah Oldu”: The Selimşah-Korkud Correspondence” on Thursday, November 4. Presenting his 20 minute address entirely in Turkish, Prof. Al-Tikriti summarized and commented on the secondary literature and primary source correspondence between Prince Korkud (d. 1513) and the future Yavuz Sultan Selim (d. 1520) for the “Yavuz Sultan Selim ve Dönemi Sempozyumu / The Symposium on Yavuz Sultan Selim and his Era.” The symposium was hosted by Istanbul Üniversitesi (University) and Türk Tarih Kurumu (Turkish Historical Foundation). This was an invited appearance.

The symposium website includes further information, and photos. The conference proceedings should be published in the next few months.

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African American Heritage Trail Committee Wins Archaeology Award (Krystyn Moon)

Professor of History and Director of American Studies Krystyn Moon

Professor of History and Director of American Studies Krystyn Moon

Professor of History and American Studies Krystyn Moon is a member of the African American Heritage Trail Committee, which was recently presented with the Brenman Archaeology Award by the City of Alexandria. The city’s official announcement is below:

Alexandria Archaeological Commission Announces Winners of Brenman Archaeology Award

The Alexandria Archaeological Commission (AAC) is proud to announce the winners of the annual Bernard “Ben” Brenman Archaeology in Alexandria Award. The awards, named in honor of the late Ben Brenman, a longtime Commission chair, were presented by Mayor Wilson on Tuesday, October 26th at the Alexandria City Council meeting. Councilmember Redella S. “Del” Pepper read the proclamation.

The 2021 honorees are:

Griffin Burchard: Outstanding Preservation Advocate, for his contribution to the stewardship of Douglass Cemetery, one of Alexandria’s historic Black cemeteries; for planning and implementing his 2019 Eagle Scout project at Douglass Cemetery, including the creation of a new interpretive historical sign at the site; for raising awareness about these sacred and fragile sites and the recognition that preserving Black cemeteries means preserving the history of Black Alexandrians; and for immeasurably enhancing the quality of life in Alexandria by caring for the final resting place of those buried here.

Members of the African American Heritage Trail Committee (including UMW Professor of History Krystyn Moon, far right, pink shirt) accept the Brenman Archaeology Award from the City of Alexandria.

Members of the African American Heritage Trail Committee (including UMW Professor of History Krystyn Moon, far right, pink shirt) accept the Brenman Archaeology Award from the City of Alexandria.

African American Heritage Trail Committee (Councilman John Chapman, Susan Cohen, Gwen Day-Fuller, Elizabeth “Indy” McCall, Maddy McCoy, Krystyn Moon, McArthur Myers, and Ted Pulliam, founding and current members): Outstanding Community History, in recognition of their dedication to researching and highlighting the contributions of African Americans to Alexandria’s historic waterfront and throughout the city; for their leadership in the community history movement that engages residents and visitors with new ways of telling Alexandria’s unique history; and for their commitment to instilling a sense of collective ownership of the past for all Alexandrians.

The Alexandria Archaeological Commission (AAC) established the Brenman Award in 2007 in honor of the late activist and retired U.S. Army colonel. Brenman had devoted himself to finding, preserving, and sharing Alexandria’s rich and diverse heritage, and was a founding member of the AAC, serving as its chair for 21 years. The AAC, a City of Alexandria commission, was the first of its kind established in the U.S.

The Brenman Award recognizes businesses, organizations, families, professional preservationists, volunteers, students, and other individuals who have demonstrated work or efforts in archaeological investigation, research, site protection, education, public interpretation, open space design, collections, or conservation.

The 15-member AAC is appointed by the City Council and develops goals and priorities for Alexandria’s archaeological heritage. The commission works closely with residents, government agencies, developers, and teachers to promote archaeology in the city.

Mackintosh’s ‘With Good Reason’ Episode, ‘Talkin’ Hurricanes,’ Re-Airs

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Will Mackintosh was interviewed on With Good Reason, which airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

In an episode entitled “Talkin’ Hurricanes,” which re-aired the week of August 6, Dr. Mackintosh, the author of the book Selling the Sights: The Invention of the Tourist in American Culture, discusses how in the early 19th century, Americans began to journey away from home–not for work or migration, but simply for the sake of traveling. It gave rise to a new cultural phenomenon: the tourist. Listen here.

Al-Tikriti Serves as Discussant for Global Teach Connections Summit 2021

On 13-14 July 2021, Middle East History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti served as a Discussant for Drexel University’s Global Teach Connections Summit 2021. This conference was also supported by the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center.

In the course of this conference, Prof. Al-Tikriti led discussion during the last session of the first day’s proceedings, covering Global Education issues. This participation followed his 2020 presentation to the same forum, covering his 2018-19 Fulbright year in Azerbaijan.

Here is the thank you note from the organizer, Dr. Joyce Pittman: “I want to thank you for an outstanding participation during the recent Global Teach Connection Summit 2021. When planning an event such as this, it is imperative to gain the participation of experts in the field and in our School of Education globally to reach our global teachers. Your interest and willingness to share your time by listening to our experiences and sharing expertise in the GTC project, especially the summit on global teaching competencies to advance education equity, was critical to the success of this event. The feedback from participants is most complimentary about our approach to engaging and making a difference in global education outreach and ability to connect GTC to the greater work that is happening worldwide. We were fortunate to have a wide range of participants and speakers from an international arena – K-12 education, non-profits, business, state agencies, higher education, and others. It is our collective efforts and thoughts on best practice that will bring us closer to resolving this important issue. The summit was not meant to be a single event, but a starting point for the work that must be done, especially in the School of Education to mitigate this problem once and for all for teachers and learners. Please be sure to visit the Global Teach Connect Website for videos and to connect with local University of Penn partners for future collaboration. Please visit all the resources in toolkit that was shared with you before and during the conference and use the project template to submit your ideas for future professional development, training, or research!”

Day 1 Recording: https://1513041.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/GTC+Summit+Day+1/1_ocgb6a24

Day 2 Recording: https://1513041.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/GTCDay2/1_89lgv2kl

Al-Tikriti Monitors Armenia Parliamentary Elections

Prof. Al-Tikriti at Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia.

Prof. Al-Tikriti at Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia.

From 15-24 June 2021, Middle East History Professor Nabil Al-Tikriti served as a Short Term Observer (STO) for the Organization of Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ararat Province, Armenia.

In the course of this single week deployment, Prof. Al-Tikriti observed the election process for the 20 June 2021 Armenian parliamentary elections. In the course of this observation, he and his STO team visited eight polling stations in and around Ararat City, Armenia. In addition, he was able to visit the Khor Virap Monastery, Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery, Lake Sevan, and Matenadaran Library.

Together with his Polish STO partner, Ms. Halszhka Lachowicz, Prof. Al-Tikriti completed multiple visit reports, monitored the evening count, and carried out other observation requirements as mandated by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Ms. Lachowicz and Prof. Al-Tikriti’s work contributed to ODIHR’s reporting.

Prof. Al-Tikriti thanks the colleagues who served with him in Ararat, as well as all the wonderful Armenian officials, activists, and election colleagues whom he was fortunate enough to meet in the course of this election observation.

Poska Discusses “Pandemics Past” on With Good Reason

Professor of History Allyson Poska

Professor of History Allyson Poska

Professor of History Allyson Poska appeared on With Good Reason, which airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

In an episode entitled “Pandemics Past,” which aired July 23, Dr. Poska shared the story of 29 orphan boys who crossed the Atlantic Ocean as live incubators for the smallpox vaccine and what lessons we can learn from this early campaign. Also appearing in the episode are experts from Virginia Tech, William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. Listen here. 

Poska, Davidson Appear on Upcoming ‘With Good Reason’ Episodes

Professor of History Allyson Poska

Professor of History Allyson Poska

Professor of History Allyson Poska and Professor of Political Science Jason Davidson will appear in upcoming episodes of With Good Reason, which airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

In an episode entitled “Pandemics Past,” which airs July 23, Dr. Poska shares the story of 29 orphan boys who crossed the Atlantic Ocean as live incubators for the smallpox vaccine and what lessons we can learn from this early campaign. Also appearing in the episode are experts from Virginia Tech, William & Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. Listen here. 

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson

The following week, an episode entitled “Entangling Alliances,” airing on July 30, discusses how George Washington famously warned against the dangers of alliances in his Farewell Address. But Dr. Davidson says despite Washington’s misgivings, America has relied on foreign alliances throughout its history. Also appearing in the episode are experts from George Mason University, William & Mary and Virginia Military Institute. Listen here.

Thaden, Devlin Interviewed in The Free Lance-Star on LGBTQ Oral History Project

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden

Executive Director of Alumni Relations Mark Thaden ’02 and Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin were interviewed in The Free Lance-Star about Mary Washington’s LGBTQ Alumni Oral History Project. UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives just launched the oral history collection, made up of recorded interviews and transcripts by students in Devlin’s oral history seminar in 2019.

When Mark Thaden first arrived at the University of Mary Washington in the late 1990s, the campus LGBTQ group met quietly, behind closed doors, in an upstairs room of the campus center.

“It was a social group, but it was very much about support,” said Thaden, a 2002 graduate of UMW who is now the university’s executive director of alumni relations.

Thaden said he was not out when he came to UMW from rural Maryland and a small, Catholic high school. At the club carnival early his freshman year, he was excited to see that there was an LGBTQ campus group, but he was too nervous at first to approach members.

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Luckily, a friend signed him up to receive the group’s emails and the meetings became formative in his journey toward self-acceptance.

“That’s where I started feeling more comfortable, being with people who were comfortable with themselves,” Thaden said. “That’s where I started feeling like it was OK.”

Thaden’s memories and those of two dozen other LGBTQ alumni were recorded and transcribed in 2019 by students in Associate Professor Erin Devlin’s Oral History seminar. Read more.

Devlin’s With Good Reason Interview Re-Aired

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin

Associate Professor of History and American Studies Erin Devlin’s interview on With Good Reason re-airs this week, June 25 through July 1, as part of the episode, “Wearing Down the Appalachian Trail.”  With Good Reason airs Sundays at 2 p.m. on Fredericksburg’s Radio IQ 88.3 Digital and at various times throughout the week on stations across Virginia and the United States. Check the website for show times.

Camping, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors are American pastimes. But for African Americans, gathering in public spaces has long been fraught. Erin Devlin discusses the racism that was built into America’s national parks. Listen here.

Harris publishes article on Aeroflot and Pan Am

Cover of the latest issue of Laboratorium in which Dr. Harris's article was published.

Cover of the latest issue of Laboratorium in which Dr. Harris’s article was published.

Dr. Steven E. Harris (HIST) recently published “The World’s Largest Airline: How Aeroflot Learned to Stop Worrying and Became a Corporation” in Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research. The article explores Aeroflot’s unlikely success in besting Pan Am on their shared route between New York and Moscow (1968-1991), and how the Soviet airline learned to be a corporation in the process. Harris also featured this story in the exhibit “Cold War Friendly Skies” at Simpson Library in 2020. The research and writing on both projects were generously funded by the University of Mary Washington and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. If you haven’t flown on an airplane recently and miss it, this article is for you!