Institute of Historical Studies
Institute of Historical Studies

IHS Event Podcasts


Deep History
April 13, 2017

This panel explores how an emphasis on long-term changes in ecology and neurobiology has challenged many of the research methods, conceptual frameworks, and forms of periodization that have been traditionally employed by historians, particularly those studying the more recent past. "Deep history" approaches history over centuries or millennia, going beyond the written record in its search of evidence, and engaging with the work of archaeologists, climatologists, geologists, and other non-historians. Read the event description.

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A Historical Divide: The Partition of India at 70
April 4, 2017

India's independence from Great Britain in August 1947 marked the beginning of the decolonization of European empires worldwide.  It also occasioned the division of the Indian subcontinent into two states, India and Pakistan, whose partition led to massive population displacement and loss of life.  On the seventieth anniversary of partition, a panel of experts will assess the significance of this milestone event and its evolving historiographical interpretations. Read the event description.

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Context and Controversy
February 28, 2017

Historians are charged with providing "context" to explain controversial events and actions. But how exactly is this achieved? How does the historian delineate what counts as "context"? How does the historian draw the line between nuance and apologia? Alternatively, when and why does a historical event or its historiographic treatment even become controversial? This panel, focused on some of the most prominent controversies of World War II, brings together historians with different geographic and thematic specializations to reflect on these questions. Read the event description.

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"Loving" After Fifty Years
February 21, 2017

The Supreme Court ruling in Loving v. Virginia held in 1967 that laws banning interracial marriage, which were on the books in sixteen southern states at the time, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in denying principles of racial equality and the fundamental right to marry. On the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark case, an interdisciplinary panel examines the historical origins of anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, the struggles to overturn them, and the paths to greater color blindness and marriage equality after Loving. Read the event description.

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The 60th Anniversary of the Suez Crisis
October 13, 2016

On October 29, 1956, Israeli forces backed by Britain and France invaded Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in a carefully planned effort to restore Western control over the Suez Canal. The result was a brief but bitter war but also a major diplomatic controversy that would echo for years to come in the Middle East, Western Europe, the United States, and the non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa.  This panel will examine the crisis as well as the long-term implications of events that forever altered trans-Atlantic relations, the Arab-Israeli rivalry, Egyptian nationalism, and the relationship between the West and the developing world. Read the event description.

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On the 500th Anniversary of the Venice Ghetto
September 15, 2016
Established in 1516, the Venice ghetto was one of the first neighborhoods where Jews were forcibly segregated from Christians based on religious difference.  To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the establishment of the founding of the ghetto—whence the English-language term originates—a panel of historians will reflect on the political, cultural, and religious context of sixteenth-century Italy and the legacies of religious intolerance in European history. Read the event description.

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Lynching in Texas: A Historical Retrospective

May 4, 2016

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas, the IHS will bring together an interdisciplinary panel of scholars, community leaders, and legal experts to discuss the grim history and painful legacy of the reign of terror against African-Americans and Mexican-Americans in the Lone Star State. Read the event description.

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Mohocks on the Streets of London? Darkness, Whiteness, and the Early Enlightenment
April 21, 2016

Craig M. Koslofsky, Professor of History, Germanic Languages & Literatures, and Medieval Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, delivered the keynote address for the institute’s “Histories of Darkness and Light” conference.

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The Principle of Population: The Life And Legacy Of Thomas Robert Malthus

April 7, 2016

In “An Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798), Thomas Robert Malthus argued that increases in population would eventually outrun the world’s ability to feed itself. Malthus’s ideas have had an enduring influence on social thought and public policy, including Darwin’s theory of natural selection, environmentalism and food politics, family planning and immigration restrictions. With “Malthusian” warnings of the global depletion of natural resources suffusing contemporary political discourse, a panel of historians will mark the 250th anniversary of Malthus’s birth by reflecting on the historical context and impact of his writings. Featuring Bruce J. Hunt, Philippa Levine, Mark S. Micale, and James M. Vaughn. Read the event description.

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1976: Argentina’s Last Military Coup d’état
March 24, 2016

Forty years ago, the generals seized power and began a campaign of state terrorism that took the lives of an estimated 30,000 citizens and led to the torture of thousands more. This roundtable discussion will examine the origins and consequences of Argentina's “Dirty War.” Featuring UT faculty Jonathan Brown, Daniel Brinks, Ariel Dulitzky, Daniel Fridman, and from the New School for Social Research & Eugene Lang College, Federico Finchelstein. Read the event description.

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Applying for Fellowships at the Huntington Library

February 26, 2016

A discussion with Dr. Steve Hindle, W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at The Huntington Library. Read the fellowship program description and learn more about the Huntington Library, at www.huntington.org. View event description.

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The Vietnam War: Lessons and Legacies across a Half Century

November 12, 2015

U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam 50 years ago, turning a distant conflict into a major war that would leave lasting scars on American politics, society, culture, and foreign policy.  Indeed, the Vietnam War continues to reverberate powerfully in the United States today, as ongoing debates over U.S. policy in the Middle East attest.  This roundtable brings together scholars and veterans to consider some of the war's legacies and the ways in which Americans have tried to draw lessons from their nation's defeat. Featuring Nancy Bui, Janet Davis, Lynne Hudson, Mark Atwood Lawrence, Paul Woodruff. Read the event description.

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Christian Human Rights
October 12, 2015

A talk by by Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law and History, Harvard University. Generously co-sponsored by the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Read the event description.

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On the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II
September 30, 2015

The deadliest war in history, World War II caused over twenty million military deaths and claimed the lives of an estimated fifty million civilians.  Its legacies are varied and far-reaching: inauguration of the nuclear age, expansion of state power, the acceleration of decolonization, the formation of the United Nations and the promotion of international co-operation.  A panel of historians will reflect on the termination of World War II on its seventieth anniversary. Featuring Paul Hirsch, Tatjana Lichtenstein, Michael Stoff, and Jeremi Suri. Read the event description.

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Keeping an Eye on the Present
September 28, 2015

A talk by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, Josey Regental Professor of Science at the University of Texas at Austin. A revised version of his talk was subsequently printed in the New York Review of Books, on December 17, 2015. The recording includes Bruce J. Hunt's response, “The Whig Interpretation of the History of Science: A Cambridge Story.” Co-sponsored by the History and Philosophy of Science lecture series. Read the full event description.

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Massacre: Bloody Week and the Death of the Paris Commune, 1871
September 21, 2015

A talk by by John Merriman, Charles Seymour Prof History, Yale University. Read the event description.

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Darkness and Light in History
September 14, 2015

A roundtable discussion to open the institute's 2015-16 theme of "Histories of Darkness and Light.” Featuring Brian Levack on Christianity, Denise Spellberg on Islamic thought and religion, Ann Twinam, on race and ethnicity, Bruce J. Hunt, on science and technology, and Douglas Biow, on Renaissance art. Professor Biow kindly provided a copy of the images used in his presentation, viewable here.

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