Fall 2015 Symposium Recap
The 2015 autumnal symposium of the New England Regional World History Association (NERWHA), centered on the theme “Genocide in World History,” was held at Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, on 9-10 October. Joining NERWHA at the symposium were several members of the Mid-Atlantic World History Association (MAWHA). In total, 82 persons registered for the symposium.
Activities began Friday evening when the Honorable Christopher J. Dodd, former US senator from Connecticut, delivered the keynote address “Letters from Nuremberg: My Father’s Narrative of a Quest for Justice.” In his talk, Senator Dodd discussed his book of the same title, a collection of letters sent home by his father, Thomas J. Dodd, a leading attorney at the initial Nuremberg trial. A book signing followed.
On Saturday, scholars from the USA, Israel, and the Netherlands combined to present twenty-one papers distributed among nine panels in three sessions. A twenty-second paper was read by the panel chair for a scholar from Iran who was unable to arrive at the symposium in time. Additionally, a workshop “Using Role-Immersion Games to Help Students Understand Issues of Genocide and Humanitarian Intervention,” was offered , and a plenary round table, “Genocide in World History,” concluded the day’s academic activities.
Following the round table, NERWHA president Michele Louro conducted the association’s semi-annual business meeting, attended by 20 persons. She announced the venue for NERWHA’s spring symposium–Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts on 2 April 2016. She further noted that the NERWHA web site would soon have a members-only proprietary page to be accessed by a password. Rob Pelletier announced the results of NERWHA’s recent electronic election.
NERWHA extends its gratitude to the administration, staff, faculty, and students of Bryant University for their generous hospitality, with special thanks to: President Ronald K. Machtley, Provost Glenn M. Sulmasy, Dean Wendy Samter, the Department of History and Social Sciences, Professor Michael Bryant, Linda Asselin, and Kim Keyes.
Spring 2014 Symposium Recap
The Spring 2014 symposium was organized around the theme of “Maritime Civilizations in World History” and the Program Committee organized an exciting schedule of sessions at Southern Maine Community College, in South Portland, on April 5. The McKernan Center, a nineteenth-century former officers’ quarters with spectacular views of Casco Bay, was the setting for NERWHA’s meetings on global maritime history, an event enjoyed by sixty-five attendees.
Following a continental breakfast and welcoming remarks by Michele Louro, president of NERWHA, and Ronald Cantor, president of Southern Maine Community College, Lincoln Paine delivered the keynote address, “Reflections on The Sea & Civilization,” in which he discussed some of the main themes of his recent maritime history, a book that has been received with numerous accolades.
The morning session focused on the theme “Finding the World at Sea—Teaching World History through Maritime Units.” A no-host lunch was followed by a panel on “New Tools and Techniques for Maritime Civilizations in World History.” the afternoon session, “Recent Scholarship on the Sea and Civilizations,” got underway, with Dane Morrison chairing an excellent panel that introduced important new research on maritime civilizations. The Business Meeting, with traditional raffle, concluded the symposium. A copy of The Sea & Civilization, went to a lucky winner, David Kalivas announced that the next NERWHA symposium will be held on 25 October 2014 at the historic Middlesex Federal Building in Lowell, Massachusetts. Co-hosts are Middlesex Community College and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The theme will be “Industrialization in World History.”
Fall 2013 Symposium Recap
The 2013 Fall symposium, “Hispanics in World History,” took place the University of Vermont (UVM-Burlington) on Saturday, October 26. The Program Committee organized a splendid event. Eighty-six persons, including twenty UVM students, attended.
Attendees discovered in their symposium bag, in addition to the program and the usual university pen and notebook, a handsome laminated bookmark with the official conference image, a scene from the sixteenth-century Lienzo de Tlaxcala, courtesy of the symposium coordinator, Holly-Lynn Busier, and a set of Latin American recipes, courtesy of Richard Warner, current vice-president of the WHA.
Following a continental breakfast and welcoming remarks by UVM dignitaries and NERWHA president Michele Louro, the symposium began with a keynote address by the distinguished world historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto, William P. Reynolds Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, who spoke on “History’s Biggest Problem.” In his address, he explored how world historians must grapple with the core issue of history: “What are the essential elements of humanity?” and some of the insights afforded historians by researchers in other disciplines, such as paleoanthropology and primatology.
Following a break for Vermont cider doughnuts and beverages, panels were offered relevant to the symposium’s theme of “The Hispanic Americas in World History.” Spirited discussion ensued in each session following presentation of the papers. The symposium ended with the usual Business Meeting and raffle)? One of the highlights of the Business Meeting was the surprise presentation to Wilfred (Fred) Bisson, a founding member of NERWHA and emeritus professor at Keene State College, of a certificate of appreciation from the World History Association in recognition of his contributions to furthering world history studies in New England.