From Silent Object to Vocal Subject: An Analysis of the Historiography of American Slavery

Hadden Alexander

Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, Ohio)

 

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Cannibals All cover, Harvard, 1966 (Wiki)

In 1619, the English warship White Lion arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Disguised as a Dutch ship, it had seized approximately twenty captured Africans from the Portuguese slave ship San Juan Batista, and it had come to Virginia to exchange these men and women for provisions. From this single sale, a major American institution was born. Over the next two and a half centuries the citizens of a young America would grapple with the social, moral, and economic implications of keeping human beings in bondage. As time went on, slavery became more and more controversial, until it came to a head during the American Civil War (1861−1865). A victory by the North ended slavery in the United States, but slavery’s legacy remained.

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Voltaire’s Critique of Organized Religion in Candide

Fatima Khan

Wesleyan College (Macon, Georgia)

 

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Candide, Penguin Classic, 1947

Voltaire expressed his contempt towards organized religion and its disregard for human suffering in his famous satirical novel, Candide.  He targeted Leibnitz’s teaching that  “all is for the best” by creating characters that fall into miserable situations and face both internal and external strife by attempting to fit it into the church’s world view.[1] The only place free from Voltaire’s critiques was a made up New World town known as El Dorado where the only religion is an appreciation for life and nature.[2] El Dorado represented Voltaire’s perfect society  and provided insight into how he would have preferred society in Europe to be structured. Even though efforts to reform the Church were brought forward through Calvinism and the Council of Trent, Voltaire shows disdain for the major principles of organized religion in the 18th Continue reading

Unassuming Heroines: The Catholic Sister Nurses Who Transcended Cultural Boundaries during the Civil War

Keely Smith

Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama)

 

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Charity nurses at West Philadelphia Hospital (Catholic Historical Research Center)

A typical day for a Catholic sister nurse during the Civil War would have begun around 4:00 AM in a room with up to fifteen fellow Sisters of Charity, as they were often called, for a candlelit breakfast before embarking on the day’s many duties. After that, they might be seen tirelessly supervising wards, dressing wounds, caring for those with contagious diseases, Continue reading

The Menkaure Triad, Numerical Thinking, and Divine Configurations in Ancient Egypt

Wen Li Teng

The University of Chicago

 

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The Menkaure Triad, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In the numerical thinking of the ancient Egyptians, numbers served as a system of classification that was simple, but permitted complex thematic variations in the concepts of unity, difference, and plurality.[1] The number three, for example, was considered the plural par excellence, and triads of gods were used to express familial relations (e.g. Osiris-Isis-Horus), modality (e.g. Khephri-Re-Atum), and unity (e.g. Amun-Re-Ptah).[2] The statue of King Menkaure (of the Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4), the goddess Hathor, and the deified Hare nome is one such triad (Boston MFA 09.200). The statue was one of many excavated by George Andrew Reisner in 1908 in the temple of Menkaure’s funerary complex at Giza.[3] The triad reveals the power structure of the Old Kingdom, exemplifies the religious beliefs of Continue reading

Education and Government in the Eyes of a Confucian Scholar in Modern China

liudapengEditorial Introduction

In times of rapid socio-political changes, individuals accustomed to the old ways of life are left scrambling to find a new place within a new system that bears nothing in common with what they once knew. The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, 1857-1942 by Henrietta Harrison is the case study of Liu Dapeng, a Confucian scholar who experienced the extreme changes brought on by the fall of the Qing Dynasty and rise of the Chinese Republic in the early 1900s. Liu Dapeng witnessed the replacement of traditional Chinese institutions with Westernized ones. This collection focuses primarily on the themes of education and Continue reading

Hotel Rwanda: A Twisted Perception

Ashley Burton

Young Harris College (Young Harris, GA)

 

hotelHistorians, philosophers, political scientists, and social activists have long analyzed how American media represents political and social events in order to support various governmental policies and stances. Whether it be through literature, news, or the filmed adaptations of a certain event, discrepancies are bound to be discovered when pulling from multiple sources in order to create an American approved version of events. In 2004, Terry George directed and released Hotel Rwanda, a movie that follows the life of hotel owner Paul Rusesabagina and his efforts to save members of the Tutsi community during the Rwandan Genocide. The film was highly criticized for its inaccurate Continue reading

Review of The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery

reaperBy Vincent Brown. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0674057128

 

The Atlantic World was steeped in violence and death: Europeans decimated native populations, tormented millions of souls through the Atlantic slave trade, and themselves were susceptible to new pathogens and resistance to their own brutal tactics. Over the past few decades scholars have become increasingly aware of the ways that violent cultural contact shaped the societies which formed around the Atlantic world. In British colonial Jamaica, a colony built on the coerced labor of hundreds of thousands of saltwater slaves, violence was Continue reading