Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Freshmen History Majors Hard at Work in the University Archives (by Marshall Rice)

The freshman history majors in Dr. Marinari’s History 100 class have been busy doing research on friars' missionary work in China from 1939 to 1952. The Shashi mission that these friars embarked on saw monumental changes from the Japanese occupation to the communist regime coming into power in China. The adjustment for the friars is well noted in the provincial annals from their treatment by each group to their ability to complete their work. For the freshmen already to be able to experience archival research at the SBU university archives is a tremendous opportunity. The first challenge these students faced was to divide up the research evenly and construct a full annotated bibliography of every source to use as a reference. Once that was accomplished, each student had to use their research to come up with a thesis to propose. Using multiple sources from the provincial annals, obituaries, and other information identified with the help of senior archivist Dennis Frank and assistant archivist Amber Cheladyn, each student backed up their proposal with primary sources. The next task for these freshmen is to make an attractive and engaging website to display their research paper. All the student pages can be found on the course webpage. Students are responsible for their own page, bringing together effective use of pictures, videos, and graphics to make their page unique. They will then give a formal presentation to the rest of the class, showcasing their hard work and new-found knowledge. This presentation will serve as a chance to receive feedback from their peers and another opportunity to present in front of people, thereby giving the students a chance to professionalize themselves and be better prepared for their life in college and beyond.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Alumni Survey

Our Director of Institutional Research is asking that recent grads complete an Alumni Survey. Respondents' names will be entered to win one of four $50 Amazon gift cards.

Dr. Robbins to Sign Book

St. Bonaventure history professor to sign new book about one of America’s forgotten founders

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Nov. 29, 2013 — Dr. Karen Robbins, associate professor of history at St. Bonaventure University, will sign copies of her new book on one of America’s forgotten founders Tuesday, Dec. 3, before the men’s basketball game.

Robbins, of Olean, will sign copies of “Forgotten Federalist” from 5 to 7 p.m. outside the SBU Bookstore in the Reilly Center.

Released Nov. 15, “Forgotten Federalist” is the first modern biography of James McHenry, a Scots-Irish immigrant determined to make something of his life. Trained as a physician, he joined the American Revolution when war broke out. He then switched to a more military role, serving on the staffs of George Washington and Lafayette. He entered government after the war and served in the Maryland Senate and in the Continental Congress.

As Maryland’s representative at the Constitutional Convention, McHenry helped to add the ex post facto clause to the Constitution and worked to increase free trade among the states.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kansas City

I just got back from a great time in Kansas City. While there I spoke at the Kansas City Public Library as part of its Hail to the Chiefs series. The audience was great and asked some good questions. As part of the activities I was interviewed for Kansas City Star, mentioned in a previous post, and I appeared on Up to Date KCUR, a local public radio program, with Steve Kraske. I also got to tour the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. If you are in the area I highly recommend it.

This was a very cool experience. It's always fun to meet with people who share an interest.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The St. Bonaventure University History Project by Jacqueline Gertner

For Dr. Payne’s Public History course this semester, students are working together to create what we call the “St. Bonaventure University History Project.” This project will cover the history of the last ten years of St. Bonaventure University, as inspired by Edward Eckert’s book The Good Journey: 150 Years of History at St. Bonaventure University. Each student in the course is assigned one year or part of one year of St. Bonaventure University’s history to research, from 1999 to today, using the school’s newspaper, the BonaVenture, as a basis for research and analysis.
          For my part of the project, I am researching the most significant events and changes that happened at the university during the spring semester of 2003. Especially apparent during that semester was the sense of community associated with significant events that affected the University and its students.
          Students, for example, showed determination and support for the gay/straight alliance group, Spectrum, as its members attempted to receive a charter from the University. Students and faculty were abuzz in full support of Spectrum, seeing it as a way to build stronger communication and understanding that would be representative of the Franciscan values, which are essential at the University. At this time, students were also aware of the U.S. involvement in Iraq and the growing threat of a potential war in Iraq. Faculty, students, and members of the Olean community joined together and marched in New York City and Washington, demonstrating their sentiments against U.S. involvement in a war.
Then in March, when news broke out to students and faculty about authority figures allowing an ineligible basketball player to play, the University was tested in its ability to overcome disappointment and shame and work to regain the trust of the community. The University looked forward, seeking a new interim president and vice president who would promote Franciscan values, while the students supported the basketball players in their decision not to finish the season. The University showed its resilience to look positively to the future, with members of the community supporting one another and keeping the faith that St. Bonaventure University would overcome.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Time Lapse of Every Nuclear Explosion

Here is an interesting video that shows every nuclear explosion.

I can't resist pairing with Duck and Cover.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Graduate School Panel

Are you interested in pursuing a graduate degree in humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences?
The School of Arts and Sciences and the CPRC proudly present:

Graduate School Panel Presentation

A panel discussion with SBU faculty members to answer your questions about graduate school including:
 Is graduate school right for you
 Where to go
 Masters vs. PhD programs
 How to apply
 Life as a graduate student

When: Tuesday, November 19th

Where: Walsh Auditorium

Time: 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Refreshments will be served

Panelists include: Dr. Maddalena Marinari (History), Dr. Ben Gross (Sociology), Dr. Xiaoning Zhang (Biology), and Dr. Daniel Ellis (Plassmann Writing Center)

Seniors and juniors especially welcome

The History Club Goes to Buffalo! (by Nick Siciliano)

This past Saturday, the St. Bonaventure History Club travelled back in time to the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 in Buffalo, New York. There, among the once-lavish haunts of Delaware Avenue, we played the role of privileged witnesses to the inauguration of the United States 36th president, Theodore Roosevelt.
          Roosevelt, one of the nation's most popular and recognizable presidents, was inaugurated at the home of Ansley Wilcox after the tragic assassination of President McKinley at the Exposition. Our visit included a tour of the house, including the sitting room where President Roosevelt took the oath of office, and interactive displays that blended the issues of turn-of-the-century America with modern political debates.
          The trip was the first of the club's organized outings for the 2013-2014 academic year. The TR Inaugural Site allowed us to experience the problems that plagued the nation before Roosevelt took office and gain a sense of how the president approached these problems.
The TR Site was only the first stop on our trip to the Queen City. After our extensive learning of the life, presidency, and legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, we went to replenish ourselves at another historic site. The Anchor Bar, the birthplace of perhaps America’s greatest contribution to the human race--chicken wings--was where we took our freshly filled minds to fill our empty stomachs.
          The history club was proud to be able to put together a trip that allowed its members to experience a piece of American history that they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to see. With another semester--with hopefully more cooperative weather--on the horizon, the club is excited to continue to be an active presence in the St. Bonaventure extracurricular community.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Boardwalk Empire: A Return to Normalcy?

As my students know I had a cold the other day so I went home early to crash. I took the couch time as an opportunity to catch up on Boardwalk Empire. Several people mentioned the HBO series to me because of its setting in the 1920s and it overlaps my book, Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy (2009).

Tuesday morning, Brian Burnes, of the Kansas City Star, interviewed me for my upcoming talk as part of the Hail to the Chiefs series for the Kansas City Public Library. Boardwalk Empire came up, adding to the pressure to watch it. How could I claim to be a scholar of the public memory of Warren G. Harding and not be watching a major tv show with him in it.? I had to confess that I was behind the popular culture curve with Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad. I partially fixed that. My initial reaction is that I really like Boardwalk Empire. It is well written with high production value. The show highlights much of what is fascinating about the 1920s. Broadly speaking it captures the zeitgeist of the period: the racial tensions, the emerging popular culture (boardwalks!), the sexual revolution, and the disillusionment that followed the Great War. With Boardwalk Empire, you can see the characters wresting with many of the issues that confronted the United States as it undergoes rapid social and economic change, the contradictions built into prohibition and the roles of men and women during this sexual revolution.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chris Mackowski speaks with Public History Students

Chris Mackowski, Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and historian at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, spoke with students in History 206: Introduction to Public History on Wednesday, November 6. He discussed working with park visitors and interpreting battlefields for the public. This includes the expectations of visitors informed by popular culture and myths such as the Cult of the Lost Cause, a topic he has written about. He has worked with the National Park Service for about a decade, authoring or coauthoring several books on the Civil War including The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson, Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front. He writes at The Emerging Civil War blog.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

History Major Shannon Conheady Visits the Tenement Museum in New York City

This summer I had the opportunity to travel to New York City with a group of twenty exchange students from Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador, who were taking part in a Study of the United States Institute at St. Bonaventure. After seeing all of the usual sites such as Broadway and Times Square, we travelled to the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side. The Museum was originally home to thousands of people who lived in rather horrible conditions. The building was sealed off by the landlord after he was shut down and upon the reopening of it, thousands of artifacts from its residents were found. The room that my group visited was home to a Jewish family. The father of the house sewed clothing for a living, working, as many did, from his own household. The house itself had three rooms, all aligned, with only one window. There was one bedroom where the parents slept, one room which housed the kitchen and the children’s bed, and another which had the sewing station.

We went on a moderately hot day, in an age where fans are prominent. They lived in this house with very little air circulation and the stove, which was needed to heat the iron for the clothing, was on all day. I could not imagine the immense heat in that household. The house had several artifacts, including hand sewn dresses, a doll, and an old iron, among many other objects. This visit really opened my eyes to how bad conditions were at the turn of the nineteenth century, though some conditions continue to be this bad in cities. This housing arrangement was ideal for fires, diseases, and early death from smoke inhalation. The idea that people still live in apartments like this, though they may not be called tenement houses, is appalling. Housing is a real issue in big cities where people live in bad conditions because they cannot afford to move out of them. This museum showed me that conditions were horrible for new immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe to America during this time period, but it also made me realize that people still live in bad conditions and something needs to be done to change it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Historic Preservation in History 206: Intro to Public History

Debbie Loveless, University Registrar, spoke to students in History 206: Introduction to Public History. She focused on her work in the field of historic preservation, including placing a building on the National Register of Historic Places. Loveless focused on vernacular architecture and issues facing preservationist. She worked on documenting and preserving the Loveless Café (no relation to her) and an historical black school in Kentucky. Class discussion included the balancing act of preserving and using property as the owners of Loveless Café declined nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. This was one of a variety of topics covered, including the property owner’s desires, zoning, tourism, and economic development.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Exciting News from Dr. Robbins!

Hi everyone,

I'm extremely excited this week, because a book that I have been working on for many years has finally been published! If you haven't seen it in the History Department hall display, check it out on! It's titled James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist and the University of Georgia Press (a very good academic publishing house) has done a wonderful job. If you would like to know more about what the book is about, here is the text from the press. Enjoy!
Karen E. Robbins, James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist (Studies in the Legal History of the South; University of Georgia Press)
A long overdue chapter in the history of America’s Founders
"Karen E. Robbins’s James McHenry, Forgotten Federalist is a welcome addition to the literature on the Revolution and early American republic, rescuing a misunderstood patriot from undeserved obscurity. Her fresh and fair-minded account of McHenry’s career as John Adams’s secretary of war is a particularly notable contribution to our understanding of these critically important years."—Peter S. Onuf, author of Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood
A Scots-Irish immigrant, James McHenry determined to make something of his life. Trained as a physician, he joined the American Revolution when war broke out. He then switched to a more military role, serving on the staffs of George Washington and Lafayette. He entered government after the war and served in the Maryland Senate and in the Continental Congress. As Maryland’s representative at the Constitutional Convention, McHenry helped to add the ex post facto clause to the Constitution and worked to increase free trade among the states.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Around Town: Dan's Stories for the BV

St. Bonaventure, to the community of both Olean and Allegany, is an integral part of both their commerce and notoriety. Students shopping for groceries in town pump money into the local economy. Students getting good grades place Bonaventure, as well as the surrounding area, on the national map. You can’t go more than a block down the main streets without seeing some sort of Bonaventure poster or sign. The vitality this university brings stretches far beyond the campus.
            So what, then, would be a good way to help the relationship between Bonaventure and the local community? That’s where my weekly newspaper articles come in. My job requires that I go out into the local community and see what fun and different experiences they offer students. Whether it is flying high above the tress in Ellicottville’s “Sky High Ropes Course” or getting a food-induced coma at Portville’s “Sprague’s Maple Farms”, I have gone to an array of places less than 30 minutes away from St. Bonaventure.
            Next time you are sitting in your bed wondering what the heck to do on a Saturday afternoon, look no further than the last issue of the BonaVenture newspaper. Grab some of your friends, have a good time, and, most of all, promote the Bonaventure image while giving back to the community!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Update on History Club Activities: Vice President Nick Siciliano Reports

           Nick Siciliano, a junior history major; Secretary Patrick Tintle, a junior JMC major; and treasurer Mike Specht, a sophomore history major. We at the History Club hope to spread our love of history to students of all majors in the St. Bonaventure community.
The officers have been elected, the meetings have been set, and the St. Bonaventure History Club is going to hit the ground running this semester. I’d like to introduce our talented officers: President Harrison Leone, a junior history major; myself, Vice President
One of our primary goals for this upcoming year is to establish a History Lounge for our history majors to be able to have a quiet place where they can work on homework, relax, and socialize. We hope to be able to have this lounge in Falconio Hall or Doyle Hall; however, this project is still in its infancy. Additionally, we hope to set up a history help session for non-history majors to get help with studying, research, formatting, etc. for their history classes. History majors would be on hand to assist these students while supplemented with occasional help from the professors.
We are also in the process of planning history-related field trips to the Buffalo area in the near future. For the club’s volunteering hours, we hope to go to the Olean SPCA and offer our assistance there. If you missed out on the first two meetings of the History Club, there’s nothing to worry about! Our next meeting is this Wednesday, October 23 and will be open to all students regardless of major. Make sure you come out to further discuss our activities for the year.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part VII: Joseph A. Dispigno

Hello.  I'm Jay DiSpigno, and I'm a history major.  I'm from Port Washington Long Island, NY, but I am originally from  Santiago, Chile.  I moved to the United States when I was 2 and 1/2 years old, and then lived in Portland, Oregon.  Besides Portland, I have lived in two other places, Americus, Georgia, and Atlanta, Georgia. While living in Georgia, I became a die hard Atlanta Falcons fan.  Over the course of middle school and high school, I discovered I had the talent to draw.  REALLY WELL.  Even when considering what my major would be in college, I was deciding between either a graphic design major or history, but I chose history instead because I just felt like learning more to be honest.  In my spare time at home, I love to long-board with friends.  I am an avid long-boarder. I am part of the East Coast Skate Crew, a semi-pro amateur long-board team hailing out of Manhasset, Long Island, the next town over.  I am also an avid swimmer, and next year I hope to make the St.  Bonaventure Swim team after a year of re-conditioning and exercise.  On another note, the Falcons are the best football team ever, Valencia the best soccer team ever, and the Red Sox the best baseball team.  In the future, I would like to move back to Chile, and live in a seaside town called Valipariso, so if you're ever visiting, just hit me up.  That's mostly all there is for introductions, so goodbye, and have a nice day/night.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part VI: Brian Roth

   Well, my name is Brian Roth. I’m from Syracuse, NY and a graduate of Jamesville-DeWitt High School. I have been interested in history since about 2nd grade, and I used to be really into the Civil War back in elementary school. Starting in 4th grade, I became interested in sports, especially the Syracuse University basketball team. After that, my passion for sports turned into a full blown obsession when I was introduced to the Buffalo Bills in 5th grade. Since then, my interest in sports, particularly sports history has far outgrown my interest in regular history. However, history was always my strongest subject in school. 
          In high school, I played three sports, Football, Wrestling (quit after sophomore year), and Track & Field. In my senior year, our football team started out 9-0 before losing in the Sectional final. In my last year of Track, I threw 43.9 feet in the shot put to finish third in my section. 
          So as you can tell I’m really into sports, but I am also quite interested in music as well. My main interests are the Grateful Dead, Phish, and classic rock from the late 60’s and early 70’s. But Phish is probably my favorite band and their live shows are actually quite awesome. I went to my first Phish show over the summer in Saratoga Springs, NY and it was a great experience. It was almost like going to a rave but with much better music, and all the people are nice. So that’s basically who I am.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part V: Marshall Rice

Hi, my name is Marshall Rice, and I am a freshman history major from Bath NY. Bath is a very small town with absolutely nothing to do. It does, however, have a unique history with the flood in the 1970s and the host of the longest continuing running fair in the United States. I chose to be a history major because it was always something I was passionate about and enjoyed learning about in school. I love to learn about the past and how we got to where we are now. I’d rather remember a date that never changes than a formula whose outcome changes. I am uncertain about which path to take with a history degree, but I am looking into a few. Being a teacher has always been a strong choice of mine because of my passion for history. As a teacher, I could share that passion with other students and hopefully show them that history is a fun subject. I would love to work in a museum as well. To be able to go to work and see physical evidence of history everyday would be really rewarding.
My interests besides history include being a big Buffalo Bills fan along with many other sports and my love for music. I have been a Bills fan my whole life, perfect timing for their long slump. I also love to follow college football and the NBA. My music interests revolve around rock, country, alternative, and some rap. Some of my favorite bands/artists include Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Eminem, and Macklemore. I am excited for my journey at St. Bonaventure and can’t wait to see where my path leads me.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

History Club Meeting

Plassmann Hall (1959 taken from here)

The History Club meeting will be hold in the Plassmann Lounge on Wednesday, October 2 at 6 PM. This is an opportunity for students interested in history to get together and plan some events.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part IV: Jacob Hazen

Hello fellow history Majors! I am Jacob Paul Hazen, and here's a bit about me: I am hoping to get my Ph.D in History and Education, and hopefully become a college history professor, or run for senator. I am a big fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, Red Bull New York, Jeff Gordon, and Liverpool FC. I don't like bacon. I love watching Doctor Who and The Big Bang Theory. I am an Eagle Scout, and I have a beautiful girlfriend. Her name is Sabrina and we are engaged to be engaged! (Promise ring). I am originally from Neptune, New Jersey.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Harrison Leone, a Bona History Major, Visits Gettysburg

           To say that I was “lucky” to be able to be in Gettysburg for the 150th anniversary of the battle would be a tragic understatement. Thanks in large part to my father’s impulsivity, my family and I found ourselves in a sea of amateur historians and over-zealous re-enactors, sweltering under the early summer sun.
 Even if the greatest battle in the Western Hemisphere hadn’t occurred there, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania would still be an attractive vacation destination. The bucolic community of 3,000 people is complete with lush, verdant hills, brick sidewalks and a quaint liberal arts university and has a small-town charm that borders on the surreal. The battlefield nested on the town’s southern flank can almost be forgotten.
            Until, that is, you get onto Tarrytown Road and head towards the field itself. Soon, placards and statues begin to crop along the roadside. Companies, soldiers and generals are all represented by monuments of varying shapes and sizes, ranging from blocks of granite to larger-than-life representations to temples and obelisks.
Along the center of the former union lines, opposite the site of Pickett’s charge, stands perhaps the most impressive tribute to an individual solider: a massive statue of General Meade astride his war horse Old Baldy, surveying the long-dormant battlefield. From the base of the colossal bronze general one can see nearly the entire breadth of the field, from both Round Tops down to the Peach Orchard, Devils Den and the Wheatfield and finally up along Confederate Avenue to Seminary Ridge.
The stones and earthworks the Union defenders took cover behind during that massive assault on the third and final day still stand. Standing behind the  imagine the experience of those men, holding fast under withering fire as a howling wall of gray descended upon them.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Faculty Research Colloquium on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Speaker: John Apczynski, Department of Theology, St. Bonaventure University 

Topic: The Political Implications of Pope Benedict's Resignation for the Catholic Church 

Place: Plassmann Hall, Room 110 

Time: 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 

Soda and cookies will be available. 

For more information contact Joel Horowitz, Department of History, ext. 2243 or  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The History Club's First Meeting of the Year!

The History Club will have its first meeting of this academic year! The meeting will be this coming Thursday, September 26 at 7:00 in the Plassmann Student Lounge. Harrison Leone is the president and Nicholas Siciliano is the vice president. The meeting is open to all Bonaventure students. Those attending the meeting will set the club’s agenda for the year and elect additional officers. If you have any questions, feel free to contact any of the officers. 

Albany Law School Professor to Speak on Campus

Paul Finkelman, Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at the Albany Law School, will visit St. Bonaventure next week as the Lenna Visiting Professor. 
Finkelman will speak at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 25, 2013 in the Walsh Center Auditorium on “The Ten Commandments on the Courthouse Lawn: Why People of Faith Should Oppose Religious Monuments on Public Space.” The talk will count as a senior forum plenary but is also open to the public.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part III: Daniel Leopold

The intention of college, or at least its perception, has become misconstrued. When I was in high school, the only stories I was taught concerning college involved crazy parties, promiscuity, and plenty of illicit substances. I had not once heard about amazing professors or interesting classes. Not taking these stories to heart, I came to college prepared to learn, and learn a lot. That wasn’t only my expectation, but my dream. Learning has become a huge part of my plans for the future, even recreationally speaking. And not just for practical endeavors either, but both to improve myself and to help those around me.
Conditionally, this is why I believe Aristotle is the seminal figure of history. Aside from the fact that he wasn’t the greatest mathematician (isn’t that why we all chose history?), his scope of knowledge was unparalleled. He could speak with the greatest contemporary thinkers on any subject, be it discourse, cosmology, or physics. And what I think college should be is to create well-rounded individuals in the mold of Aristotle.
But college admittedly isn’t all about learning. And experiencing new things and meeting new people isn’t just personal dogma, it is my job. As per my description provided by my boss at The Bona Venture, I have to go out into the area surrounding St. Bonaventure and experience a different event or place, and write a story about it. This process essentially advertises these experiences to students and makes Bonaventure more appealing to potential high school seniors.
And for those two reasons, I chose Bonaventure. It has a multi-layered appeal to those on the quest for knowledge who can afford to take a break and have fun.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: George Eastman's Legacy (Chelsea O'Connor-Rosiek)

This past summer, I went to Rochester to visit a friend. Initially, I had no idea what we were going to do. As a Buffalo native, I was of the mindset that there's nothing to do in Rochester. That was until I learned of the George Eastman House, a historical landmark and former home to the founder of the Eastman-Kodak Company, one of the pioneers in household camera use.
                Mr. Eastman was a complicated, successful, and hardworking individual. He was a fiercely dedicated man, committed to controlling his life. This can be seen throughout in every detail of his home that he oversaw from its inception to the tale of his suicide. The George Eastman house was built in 1905 and is an amazing testament to architecture and design of the early twentieth century. The spectacular gardens that line the property feature trellises, 16th century Venetian planters, and the most beautiful arrangements of foxglove, hydrangea, and ivy. Every window in the house overlooks these amazing gardens. The Eastman House features beautiful tile flooring, old-world moldings and carvings throughout, and magnificent art and furniture. Eastman was, understandably, interested in advancing technology. At one point, his house had around nineteen telephones. He also created the first surround sound system of his time by installing the pipes of his organ in the walls, which can be heard throughout his large home.
                George Eastman's dedication to the arts and education are preserved in the 68,000 square foot film and photography museum that is attached to his estate. The photography archives feature works from nearly every major figure of the medium, and the motion picture archives contain stills from many major films and directors, from Orson Welles to Quentin Tarantino.
                The George Eastman House is absolutely worth a visit, whether you're interested in photography, architecture, botany, or film history. It is truly a portal to an amazing period of time.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Introducing Our Incoming History Majors, Part II: Jesson Wolfe

Jesson, left, with Mr. Cote and his best friend Mitch Cote
My name is Jesson Wolfe, and I am a history major from Rochester, New York. I went to Penfield High School (PHS) and graduated with the class of 2017. I played baseball for PHS all four years of high school, and we won sectionals in my junior year. I have two sisters, named Tempest and Lexi. Both are half sisters from my parents’ previous marriages. My mom and I both work at a super-charged grocery store called Wegmans. My dad passed away in 2011 due to cancer. I want to get my history degree from St. Bonaventure while minoring in secondary education and hopefully go on to become a high school history teacher.
My United States History teacher, Mrs. Crystal, inspired me to want to be a history teacher myself. She taught with a passion that I had never seen before, and it really helped me gain an interest in what she taught. She got through to her students unlike any teacher I have ever had. I saw how teaching was supposed to be done, the effect a good teacher can have on someone, and what I truly wanted to do with my life.
            I don't like to get my work done ahead of deadlines, however; I often find myself completing assignments the night before they are due. I am typically a neat person. I love to have fun with my friends, watch sports, and play video games. I like to read but am finding out quickly that I don’t like to read as much as I am assigned. I chose St. Bonaventure University because of all of the great things I have heard about it, as well as the unrivaled sense of community that comes with being a Bonnie!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Introducing our Incoming History Majors, Part I: Jaren Johnson

Hi, my name is Jaren Johnson, and I am a freshman history major. I am from Seneca Falls, New York a little town right between Rochester and Syracuse. Seneca Falls is mostly remembered for the role it played in the first wave of the Women’s Rights Movement. I have always been passionate about history. The main reason why I chose to be a history major is because I have always been more interested in history than in any of the other subjects I studied before coming to Bonaventure. Learning about the different time periods and the people in those time periods is really a lot more interesting to me than learning about math or science. In the future, my ultimate goal is to become a lawyer first and eventually move on to become a sports agent or even possibly a general manager for a professional sports team. 

          As you can probably tell already, I am a huge sports fan. I'm all about anything that has to do with sports. My favorite sports to watch and play include basketball, baseball, and football. My passion for sports comes from growing up in an household that is all about sports and that introduced me to sports at a very young age. Another interesting fact about me is that I am a sneaker head, which means I love shoes like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and etc. I have a lot of different shoes in several different colors and styles. Whenever a new shoe comes out, I always want try to get it. I am very excited for what St. Bonaventure has to offer me and I am eager to start my journey as a bonnie.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bona History Grad at the Old Jail Art Center (Mary Schrader)

It wasn’t very long ago that you would have found me in Dr. Horowitz’s office, on the verge of tears “not knowing what I was going to do with my life.” Ah… the quintessential question we all face senior year, “What am I going to do after graduating?”
          Over two different summers during my undergrad career, I interned at the National Archives and Records Administration in DC and worked at an archaeological dig site in Tuscany, Italy. It was from these experiences, and reading History Wars from the historiography class, that I landed on wanting to work in museums.
          In between being an RA, a typical senior and writing my senior thesis, I plowed through graduate school applications. Paying through the nose to take the GRE (TWICE!), and let’s not forget how expensive application fees are, I mentally prepared myself for two more years of school.
          It all paid off, though. As February rolled along, so did the graduate school acceptance letters. My despair soon changed from, “What am I going to do with my life?” to “Where am I going to go to school?” Poor Dr. H. witnessed all of my distress but ultimately gave me the best advice: go where your heart is. Great advice when I was deciding between Arizona State University, Baylor University, and Syracuse University; completely different areas of the country, while my boyfriend (now fiancé) was staying at Bonas for the IMC program.
          Everything worked out swimmingly, and my decisions seamlessly fell into place. Syracuse University offered me a TA position, which made my decision to attend SU a no brainer.  Graduate school for free? I think, yes! Come the fall of 2011, I was enrolled in the graduate program of museum studies at Syracuse University and teaching the undergraduate course History of Design.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fall is in the Air

        The Fall semester starts tomorrow. Many of the students will find materials already posted to Moodle (the class management software). Some of us are still putting the final touches on things (i.e. me). We've got some interesting plans for the academic year. I've been putting together my Intro to Public History class (that starts tomorrow) and started planning the Digital History class for the spring. One of the things I've done over the summer is try to get up to speed with GIS for that class.

More to follow...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Notes from a Research Trip to Argentina (Dr. Joel Horowitz)

          On August 1, I returned to western New York after a month-long research trip to Buenos Aires.  The Argentina that I saw was in many ways different than the one that I had seen just two years ago on my sabbatical.  The change was not due to living in a different neighborhood of the city of Buenos Aires, since I lived just three blocks from where I had previously stayed. Something had changed. That something was clearly politics, economics, and the atmosphere created by the two. Employment levels remain high (it is difficult to say how high and what they mean since almost everyone will admit, except extraordinarily fervent supporters of the government, that official statistics are worthless), but inflation is also high, at least twenty percent. In peso terms, things are much more expensive than two years ago. 
          The government’s attempts to do something about inflation and the problems that it brings have so far at least had minimal positive impacts. It has used the tactics of the past which have always failed badly.  It has tried to coerce retailers into freezing prices and made obtaining dollars illegal or at least extraordinarily difficult.  The latter has produced a so called parallel market with an exchange rate that is very different than the official rate. (As of August 7, the official rate was 5.62 pesos per dollar and the parallel rate or “blue” market was 8.56).  The ones who are hurt the worst by this type of inflation are undoubtedly the poor.  The wealthier have ways to save or buy.  One reason why restaurants are jammed every night of the week, besides small kitchens (like in New York City), is that it is difficult to save, so if you have it, you might as well spend it.  One can eat extraordinarily well in Buenos Aires.

         Adding to the sense of unease produced by the economic problems has been a perception of a crime wave.  People are very afraid of crime.  How much is fear of crime and how much is real is more difficult to say.  At least in the city proper (which does not include its working class suburbs that surround it) murder rates by US standards are extraordinarily low.  One hears enough random tales of purse snatchings, stealing of smart phones etc. to think that the fears of this type of activity is real, but how it would compare to the US is more difficult to say. Above or perhaps below all this is a real political divide.  People either hate or love the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.  One hears stories of families where people have stopped talking to one another because of politics.  A friend of mine, whom I have known for decades, told me that he no longer sees friends he has had since elementary school since they want to talk about politics and then they get very upset when he disagrees.  The political atmosphere is particularly intense since the first round of congressional elections are Sunday August 11.  If the followers of Cristina do well, most people believe that she will have the constitution amended so that she can be re-elected.  She, however, has repeatedly said that she will not try to do so.  The polls are indicating that her followers will not do particularly well but it is a complex situation with many slates running and of course it is a national election. 
          Why are politics so heated?  In part, it has become so divided because Cristina (as almost everyone refers to her) has developed an extreme style of the traditional Argentine style that sees opposition as disloyal not only to the president but to the country.  She has used almost the full power of the government to back her positions.  She has surrounded herself with yes people and not surprisingly, after ten years of being in power, (four years for her late husband Nestor and now 6 years for Cristina) corruption appears almost everywhere among people close to the government.  Cristina tries to identify herself with Evita Perón and those close to her use every opportunity to display large pictures of Evita.  For example a rather small and nice exhibit about books about Evita has opened in the Biblioteca Nacional (national library). Weeks before the opening, giant pictures of Evita hung from the outside of the library.  The director is a fervent supporter of Cristina. (See accompanying photo).  Similarly Cristina has attempted to project an image of being very close to Pope Francis, including using photographs with the two of them together in campaign posters, although they had an extremely rocky relationship when he was cardinal of Buenos Aires. People who do not like the current government feel excluded and fear that they will feel the weight of the government on them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A History Major's International Experience on Campus (by Shannon Conheady)

The most common way that we, as students, learn about history is through textbooks and classrooms. It is often said that history is boring and pointless to study. As a student of history I beg to differ: history is all around us and the best way to see that is to interact with it. It happens every day; is your personal day going to make it into the books? Maybe not, but that’s no reason not to give the study of history a second thought. 

This summer I have had the opportunity to work with students from Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia through the Study of United States Institutes program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The History Department at St. Bonaventure University is hosting one of the institutes on U.S. History and Government. Twenty students are living here on campus for four weeks and have the chance to study, explore, and discover both New York State and United States history. I have also learned much about the cultures of these three countries and their unique histories. I have read about the countries in Latin America throughout my education but interacting with students who originate from these countries has been the best way to actually gain information about the local peoples. For the last three weeks, three other mentors and I have traveled with the students to a variety of locations. We returned from four days in Chicago, Il. last week and will be traveling to New York City soon. The students have participated in various classes on campus relating to the study of U.S. history and government taught by a variety of professors and staff members.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bona History Grad in the News

Jeff Connors, a 2001 Bona history grad, was recently featured in The Buffalo News for his work at Lake Shore High School. The article focuses on Connors's teaching of Lake Shore's innovative freshman seminar. Read more here!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Time at Bonaventure as a History Major (Jason Mahar)

The transition from high school to college was a unique one that was greatly aided by the Giant Step Program. Thanks to the program, as a senior in high school I took both Greek and Roman Civilization at SBU. Taking these classes served two purposes: one, getting me acclimated to college classes, and, two, making me more comfortable at SBU. When it came time to decide which college to choose, the Giant Step Program and my familiarity with Saint Bonaventure University played a decisive factor in my choice.   
                History was a natural choice for me because I had always been interested in human interactions. Studying history at SBU gave me the chance to see the world through the eyes of different cultures and more thoroughly understand the world today. Learning about Middle Eastern history with Fr. Calabria, Latin American history with Dr. Horowitz, and the Early National Period with Dr. Robbins was particularly interesting. Reading a biography of Hamilton in Dr. Robbins’s class started my fascination with financial history. This led me to read more about Robert Morris and how money flowed in the late 1700s to early 1800s.