Alumni News: History

Hallett book coverHilary Hallett (History, 2005), an assistant professor of history at Columbia University, published her first book, Go West, Young Women! The Rise of Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 2013). Her research for the book was reported online on January 23 by Amy Lennard Goehner in Research: Breakthroughs in knowledge and ideas at Columbia.

Speaking about “Aspects of the African-American Experience in New York City” at a Gotham Center for New York City History Forum on February 6 were four recent alumni of the doctoral program in history: Kristopher Burrell (History, 2011), Carla Dubose-Simons (History, 2013), Thomas Harbison (History, 2011), and Kevin McGruder (History, 2010). The idea to have alumni speak came about, said Gotham Center director Suzanne Wasserman, “because I noticed on the list of dissertation titles posted in the elevator that there were a number of recent Ph.D.s who had written about past African American experience in New York City and thought it would be great to have them present together. We had done a forum of recent Ph.D.s in the past and Mike Wallace likes promoting young scholars and their work.” Wallace (Dist. Prof., John Jay, History) chairs the Gotham Center’s board of advisors.

Burrell, currently a substitute assistant professor at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, examined the role of ideology in the New York City civil rights movement and specifically the relationship between black intellectuals and the challenges to American liberalism during the mid-1960s.

Dubose-Simons, whose dissertation focused on the demographic, economic, and social changes brought on by the World War II migration of African Americans to New York, discussed the foundations of the Black South Bronx.

Harbison, associate editor of Radical History Review since 2005 and currently serving Baruch College as instructional technologist at the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute and adjunct professor of history, spoke about the changing priorities for the reform of Harlem's public schools between 1914 and 1954.

McGruder, who holds an assistant professorship in history at Antioch College in Ohio, focused on the subject of Harlem’s Strivers’ Row, three rows of townhouses now designated with landmark status. McGruder worked in the field of community development for many years before pursuing doctoral studies, and has an M.B.A. in real estate finance from Columbia University and a B.A. in economics from Harvard University. He wrote his dissertation on “Race and Real Estate: Interracial Conflict and Coexistence in Harlem, 1890–1920.”

Submitted on: FEB 19, 2013

Category: Alumni News | History