The Rutgers Institute for High School Teachers is pleased to offer the seminars listed below for the 2019-2020 academic year. All seminars will run from 9am--2:30pm.
Fall Semester 2019
African American Young Women, Brown vs. Board of Education, and the Long Civil Rights Movement
October 11, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Rachel Devlin, Associate Professor, Department of History, Rutgers University
Brown vs. Board of Education has been called “The Case of the Century” and “the finest hour of American law.” This workshop will examine how and why African American young women and girls led the fight to bring Brown to fruition and then, in vastly disproportionate numbers, volunteered to desegregate historically white schools in the early nineteen sixties. In the process we will examine the everyday lives of black girls at midcentury with an eye toward understanding the particular skills and commitment they brought to school desegregation in particular and the larger civil rights movement in general. We will follow girls through the arduous process of filing desegregation law suites and into formerly all-white schools where they were met with daily violence, harassment and social ostracism. We will consider their oral histories, keeping in mind how individual women chose to tell their stories of what was, by all accounts, a war inside American public schools. We will also consider how girls and young women fought back against sexual harassment and violence, the outsized role women played in the Montgomery bus boycott and other landmark civil rights protests, and how their activism informed the civil rights movement as a whole from the 1940s through the 1960s.
Republic of Spin: Teaching the History of the White House Message Machine
October 18, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
David Greenberg, Professor of Journalism & Media Studies and History, Rutgers University
David Greenberg’s talk, based on his award-winning 2016 book, Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency, will recount the development of the White House spin machine from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama. It tells the story about the rise of a new conception of the presidency in the 20th century focused on influencing public opinion though the new mass media. It explains how president and their aides—a new breed of political operative trained to traffic in words, images and symbols—established tools and techniques, institutions and practices, to lead the nation by leading public opinion. It also looks at the ideas of the last century’s most provocative political critics, as they grappled with the advent of spin in politics and its inherently ambiguous role in a democracy.
The Pinelands: History, Geography, Culture, and The Legend of the Jersey Devil
October 25, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Michael Orfe, Author, The True History of the Jersey Devil
The seminar will examine various aspects of this unique part of New Jersey and its people by discussing ecological, ethnological, and sociological perspectives. A focal point of the presentation will be to present some of the fact and fiction behind the Pineland's most famous "citizen," the Jersey Devil. Included will be a personal narrative about a chance encounter in the back roads of The Pines.
National Security and the Courts: Famous Trial from the McCarthy Era to the Present
November 1, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Paul Clemens, Professor of History, Rutgers University
In the post-World War II era, a number of high profile judicial cases highlighted the American government’s efforts to convict individuals identified by the FBI or congressional investigators as Communist Party spies. The outcome of these cases remains controversial today, as do the numerous less well remembered security hearings, firings, and prosecutions of other accused of disloyalty during “the McCarthy Era.” In the 1970s, and continuing to this day, the role of “whistle-blowers” in releasing classified government information to the public has occasioned an equally strong response, although one that differs significantly from that to the charges of communism in the 1950s. We will together examine three cases/trials, and in addition take a brief journey through Rutgers history to recall these issues. From the McCarthy period (which one can more accurately call the Second Red Scare or the J. Edgar Hoover era) we will look at the Alger Hiss (1949-1950) and the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1951) cases; from the later period, we will examine the case of Daniel Ellsberg (1973) – something less than a full trial—and the release of the Pentagon Papers. I will also discuss Rutgers part in the politics of anti-communism in the 1950s, and the four cases that made the university known for rooting out “fifth-amendment communists”—a sad but now largely forgotten legacy of that era.
Disease in World History: Cholera in London, Yellow Fever in the Panama Canal, and Malaria in Liberia
November 15, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Barbara Cooper, Professor of History, Rutgers University
Biomedicine is one of the triumphs of western technology. The conventional history of global health begins with the systematic sleuthing of physician and amateur epidemiologist John Snow as he sought to stop a cholera epidemic in London in the early decades of the 19th century. Another major breakthrough accompanied the engineering miracle of the Panama canal—the “conquest” of Yellow Fever. These successes contributed to a sense that western technology could tame the entire globe. However not all diseases have yielded to biomedical advances. Why do some public health efforts succeed where others fail? Why, after decades of struggle, does malaria continue to plague much of Africa? This seminar will explore the technological, epidemiological, political, and social factors that shape the history of public health by focusing on three case studies: cholera in 19th century London, Yellow Fever at the Panama Canal at the turn of the 20th century, and Malaria in Liberia in the post-World War II period.
Law, Society, and Culture in American History
November 22, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
Leslie Fishbein, Associate Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University
Law, Society, and Culture focuses not simply on the evolution of the law but instead on how the law has affected American society, politics, history, and culture. The seminar will examine the Alien and Sedition Acts; the laws governing women's right to work, suffrage, and ability to control their own bodies; Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policies; the laws regarding a national bank and currency regulation; Prohibition; the Scopes Trial, the regulation of vice; immigration restriction; censorship during war and peacetime; conscientious objection to war; and laws regarding sexual and gender identity and the public expression of sexual and gender identity, among other topics.
American Russophopbia: From Nicholas II to Vladimir Putin
December 6, 2019, 9am-2:30pm
David S. Foglesong, Professor of History, Rutgers University
The extreme fears in recent years that Russia has determined an American election outcome, made the U.S. president a puppet, and pursued a global design for aggressive expansion are part of a long history of Russophobia in the United States. Since the late nineteenth century there have been five major surges of American fear and loathing of Russia: (1) during the reign of the last tsar, Nicholas II; (2) in the Red Scare of 1919-1920; (3) during the early Cold War and McCarthyism; (4) in the new bout of the Cold War in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and (5) in the last decade, when Vladimir Putin has been relentlessly vilified as America’s enemy number one.