Tag Archives: history

Welcoming Jordan Landes, Curator of the Friends Historical Library

Jordan Landes joined our community on March 11, 2019. Jordan joins us from the Senate House Library, the central library of the University of London where she was a Research Librarian for History.  A true exemplar of the value of a liberal arts education, Jordan has worked in libraries whose foci are literature and theater (Shakespeare’s Globe), contemporary dance (the Laban Library) and computer science (University of Maryland, College Park).

Jordan Landes

Jordan is an alumna of Haverford and in addition to her Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland; she has degrees in History from the University of Maryland (M.A.) and from the School of Advanced Study at the University of London (PhD).  Jordan has focused her studies in Quaker history.  Her doctoral thesis on the role of London in the creation of the trans-Atlantic Quaker community in the late 17th and early 18th centuries served as the basis for her book, London Quakers in the Trans-Atlantic World: The Creation of an Early Modern Community; it was published by Palgrave in 2015. 

 Jordan thinks a great deal about community and its value in the context of libraries and scholarship.  Jordan is also an innovator.  As co-convener of History Day, she developed an event that brings several hundred historians, undergraduates, and post-graduate researchers together with information professionals from over sixty libraries, archives and research organizations.  She has also worked with Wikimedia UK to host editithons in collaboration with the University of Birmingham over Twitter to address the dearth of information on women’s history.  She recently curated several recent exhibits – one on dissent in WWI and another on protest movements, entitled “Radical Voices.”  She is particularly interested in the way that libraries and archives preserve evidence of peace – when so much of the historical documents has focused on the opposite. 

As both librarian and historian, Jordan has built trans-Atlantic networks like the Quakers she has studied.  We are excited to see how she might expand our own networks, not only to England but beyond.

We would like to thank the search committee chaired by Sarah Willie-LeBreton with members, David Harrison, Ellen Ross, Celia Caust-Ellenbogen, Susanna Morikawa, Pat O’Donnell and Peggy Seiden. We would also like to recognize the phenomenal leadership of Pat O’Donnell since Chris Densmore’s retirement over a year ago and the support of Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Susanna Morikawa in not only sustaining the day-to-day work of FHL, but also managing a major grant project, In her own Right.

Exhibit: The War to End All Wars: Devastation, Resistance, and Relief in World War I

WWIexhibitF18

Exhibit: The War to End All Wars: Devastation, Resistance, and Relief in World War I

Atrium, McCabe Library
November 5 – December 1, 2018
Open to the public

November 11, 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  To commemorate this event the Swarthmore College Libraries is sponsoring an exhibition of materials from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Friends Historical Library, and the College Archives will on display.  See materials on the reaction of Swarthmore College, Quakers, and peace activists to the first global war, 1914-1918.

Opening event, Thursday, November 8, 2018
Atrium, McCabe Library, 4:30 p.m.
Open to the public

“Looking Back at the Great War From a Writers’ Point of View”
Mystery writers Charles Todd and Caroline Todd will talk about their books set during World War I and immediately after.  Their detectives, front line nurse Bess Crawford, and soldier-turned Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Rutledge face war time battles and the terrible consequences of war. Open to the public
There will be an opportunity to buy some of the authors’ books and light reception to follow the talk.

Win a signed copy of Charles Todd book!  Free raffle for a book from the Swarthmore College bookstore
Visit the bookstore for a free raffle ticket

History with a Future: Ben Goossen ’13

Goossen 13

McCabe Library Atrium
Thursday, September 7th, 4:30 pm

Please join us in welcoming back Ben Goossen ‘13! Ben will take you through the experiences at Swarthmore that helped shape his decision to pursue a Ph.D. at Harvard University. A History and German Studies double major, and four-time recipient of the Swarthmore College Libraries’ A. Edward Newton Award, Ben will discuss his new book, Chosen Nation: Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era.

Chosen Nation tells the story of a Christian religious group’s entanglement with German nationalism through Hitler’s Third Reich and the Holocaust. Goossen will share from his experiences researching this history of complicity and cover-up, a journey that began at Swarthmore College and led to Old World Europe, seized Nazi archives, and a remote “religious state” in rural Paraguay.

Light refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by German Studies, Department of History, Friends Historical Library, Peace Collection and Swarthmore College Libraries

Black History Month and Swarthmore College Exhibits

By Chris Densmore, Curator of the Friends Historical Library

As you walk into McCabe Library, there is a wooden bench and a photograph of the Longwood Progressive Friends Meetinghouse near Kennett Square immediately to your right. The bench is from Longwood. Longwood’s annual meeting, beginning in 1853 and ending in 1940, was a chance to discuss a broad range of reforms. Sojourner Truth attended the organizational meeting in 1853. At a later meeting, she gave a very terse testimony on her peace principles: “You can’t make life, so don’t take it.” So the bench in
foyer of McCabe may have been sat in by Sojourner Truth.

Sojourner Truth Longwood Bench

The last clerk of Longwood was Jesse Holmes, a Swarthmore College professor. Jesse Holmes gave the opening address at the 1927 annual meeting of Longwood saying, “The chief peril to civilization today is found in the arrogance and aggressiveness over the white race toward the colored races and weaker nations.”. The sale of the Longwood meetinghouse funded the Jesse Holmes Lectureship at Howard University.

Next, there is the Elizabeth Powell Bond Rose Garden. Her brother was Aaron M. Powell, the last editor of the National Anti-Slavery Standard. He began speaking out on slavery after attending an anti-slavery meeting where Sojourner Truth walked down from the podium, pointed directly to the young Aaron M. Powell, and told him he was to become an anti-slavery lecturer. You didn’t mess with Sojourner Truth.

Scott Arb Rose Garden 01-big

A little further up the hill is Swarthmore Friends Meetinghouse, the site of the Swarthmore College Institute of Race Relations. The roster of lecturers at the first two meetings in 1933 and 1934, included African Americans E. Franklin Frazier, W.W. Alexander, William White, Ralph Bunch and James Weldon Johnson. White lecturers for those early meetings included Franz Boas and Melville Herskowitz.

friends_meeting_house

Next time you are in McCabe Library, crossing the Rose Garden or at a Collection in the Friends Meetinghouse, imagine you are in a living history exhibit. Imagine also that you are part of that history,

Redefining Revolution & Nonviolence: Re-imagining Solidarity Across Race

As part of Black History Month activities, Matt Meyer, organizer, author, and editor of We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism (PM Press) discussed revolutionary nonviolence, privilege, solidarity, and alliance building in higher education.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall at Swarthmore College
This event was free and open to the public.
Download a flyer at http://bit.ly/meyerflyer
Matt Meyer flyer
photo credit: Consuelo Kanaga

Video of the event is now available.

Audio of the event is now available.

 

A native New York City-based educator, activist, and author, Matt Meyer is coordinator of the War Resisters International Africa Support Network, and a United Nations/ECOSOC representative of the International Peace Research Association. The founding Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and former Chair of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development (COPRED), Meyer has long worked to bring together academics and activists for lasting social change.
Matt Meyer at Swarthmore College
Matt Meyer spoke in the Scheuer Room on February 10, 2016

Meyer’s work in K-12 public education and teacher training included ten years of service as Multicultural Coordinator for the NYC Board of Education’s Alternative High Schools & Programs, as well as a stint as Union Leader of a local section of the United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. He helped found and direct a mini-school in collaboration with St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital’s Child and Family Institute (CFI), and led a psycho-educational CFI research delegation on re-integration and treatment of child soldiers in West and Central Africa and related work in “inner-city” USA; he also helped in the early development of the Harvey Milk High School, the first US “safe space” school for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. Twice-decorated as “teacher of the year” by two Community School District Superintendents, Meyer’s continuous efforts as a high school-based historian and peace educator have spanned over 30 years.

Matt is an outstanding scholar-practitioner and leader in the field of peace and justice studies and is an accomplished Africanist scholar and educator, and has done much to bring critical race theory into dialogue with peace and conflict studies. You may read his recent co-authored piece “Refusing to Choose Between Martin and Malcolm: Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, and a New Nonviolent Revolution” at Counterpunch.org.

We Have Not Been Moved

Co-sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, President’s Office, Black Cultural Center, Black Studies Program, Intercultural Center, History Department, Educational Studies Department, Sociology and Anthropology Department

This event builds on a theme the Peace and Conflict Studies program initiated last semester with the American Friends Service Committee poster exhibit in McCabe Library, “All of Us or None: Responses & Resistance to Militarism.”

AFSC Exhibit Fall 2015

Queer Anthologies: Selections from Swarthmore’s Special Collections

From our friends in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and Libraries

Queer Anthologies: Selections from Swarthmore’s Special Collections

The exhibit will be on display November 17 to December 22, 2015 in the McCabe Library lobby.

Pride Month and QSA will sponsor an exhibit reception at 4:30pm on November 17, 2015.

Queer anthologies poster

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the earliest organized, recurring demonstrations for gay rights in the U.S: “Annual Reminders,” held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1969. As part of a city-wide celebration, “Queer Anthologies” explores some of Swarthmore College’s rich archival resources for the study of the history of LGBTQ activism.

Photographs, artist’s books, personal papers, organizational records, ephemera, periodicals, and other materials illustrate the history of queer communities at Swarthmore College, in the Society of Friends (Quakers), in the Peace Movement, and in the wider world.

Included are selections from the Swarthmore College Archives, Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, and Rare Book Room of McCabe Library.

Emeritus Professor Harold Pagliaro Reflects on Combat Experience

Emeritus Professor Harold Pagliaro Reflects on Combat Experience

from Swarthmore News and Events
by Mark Anskis
November 11, 2015

Harold Pagliaro

Seventy-two years removed from his military service, the fear of combat still lingers with Harold Pagliaro, Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor Emeritus of English Literature and Provost Emeritus.

“I still have nightmares about being sent to the front,” says Pagliaro, who was drafted into the U.S. Army as a naïve and optimistic 19-year-old during the Second World War. In one particular dream, Pagliaro is redrafted and, when he tells the draft board officer of his true age, his appeals fall on deaf ears and he’s sent back into service.

Pagliaro’s anxiety is similar to that of many who return from combat. In an attempt to come to terms with his experience, Pagliaro turned his memories into a memoir, Naked Heart: A Soldier’s Journey to the Front, which was published shortly after he retired from teaching at the College in 1992.

According to Pagliaro, the book, which is available in McCabe Library, is a tale “of what it’s like to be sent to the front. Thousands like me, boys just becoming men. We went up to the front lines alone.”

Harold Pagliaro_naked_heart book coverThe idea for a memoir came to Pagliaro on a trip home to his parents’ house in the early 1990s. While there, he discovered a box of 200 letters he sent to his parents during the war. The letters were in stark contrast to what he recalls feeling at the time.

“I couldn’t believe how little they said of what I was experiencing,” he says. “I held back, I think, to keep my family from worrying.”

Trained for the infantry at Fort Benning, Ga., Pagliaro was taken from his division and sent directly into combat as a front line solo replacement in a reconnaissance unit, alongside soldiers he did not know. While in Europe, he was sent on high-risk patrol missions, with little guidance from his superiors and often in the dead of night. He recalls the emotions he felt at the time: fear of death from the night patrols, frustration that he knew little of the objectives of his missions, loneliness from fighting next to strangers.

Despite the near-constant danger, Pagliaro survived. He was ultimately sent home after a German shell fragment severely injured his right leg during an attack near the town of Erckartswiller, France. Pagliaro recovered after a long hospitalization. He says that even today, arthritis flares in the wounded leg are more frequent than in the “good” leg.

After being discharged from the Army in 1945, Pagliaro resumed classes at Columbia University, where he earned an A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. and taught from 1948-63. He came to Swarthmore in 1964, where he taught 18th-century English literature and English romanticism. He also served as provost from 1974 to 1980.

In addition to his memoir, Pagliaro is the author or editor of numerous other books and articles, including Selfhood and Redemption in Blake’s Songs (1987), Henry Fielding: A Literary Life (1998), and Relations Between the Sexes in the Plays of George Bernard Shaw (2004). At 90 and a longtime Swarthmore Borough resident, he continues to work in his Parrish Hall office most days. Over the past few years, he has written and published sonnets.

Since its publication, Naked Heart has drawn praise for its honesty and unique perspective. Along with the praise, Pagliaro admits that he has also received letters from baffled readers who cannot believe he found his wartime service less than ennobling.

Looking back, Pagliaro agrees there were positives to his war experience.

“I did a lot of growing up fast,” he says. “If anything, war left me cherishing life all the more, maybe because I came close to losing it. But the experience of war is overwhelmingly destructive – war is a loser. Hitler and Mussolini had to be stopped, of course. But there remains the question many ask: why are humans so ready to go to war?”

Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

We would like to share the following announcement.  Prof. Elliot Ratzman, who has taught in Swarthmore’s Religious Studies Department and the Peace and Conflict Studies program, will interview Dr. Albie Sachs and the film’s Director after the screening on Saturday Nov. 21, 2015.

SOFT VENGEANCE: ALBIE SACHS AND THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA

CLOSING NIGHT!
Date:
Saturday, November 21
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts –  TICKETS

We close out this year’s Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival – Fall Fest with the 2015 Peabody Award-Winner, SOFT VENGEANCE: ALBIE SACHS AND THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA.

In this powerful documentary about the fall of apartheid and the rise of a free South Africa, Director Abby Ginzberg takes a different, but no less rewarding, route than most who have tackled the subject. A great many apartheid-related documentaries tend to focus on the larger-than-life Nelson Mandela, while simultaneously simplifying the conflict into a “blacks are good; whites are bad” scenario. Ginzberg moves this film in a more compelling direction, introducing us to the incredible true story of Albie Sachs.

Sachs, a Jew of Lithuanian descent, was born in South Africa and as a young man used his law degree to help those suffering under South Africa’s harsh racial laws. This made him a marked man to authorities, which directly led to his imprisonment, exile, and a brutal near-death experience. But this was only the beginning of Sachs’ life-affirming journey, which is told by Sachs himself, along with other notables, including Desmond Tutu and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Soft Vengeance

Official Selection of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Australia Jewish International Film Festival, DocNYC, International Women’s Film Forum, Movies That Matter Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, Reframe Film Festival, South African Jewish Museum – Cape Town, Toronto Jewish Film Festival

Special Guests: Film followed by Tikkun Olam Award Presentation and discussion with Albie Sachs and Director Abby Ginzberg. All guests are invited to attend PJFF’s Closing Night Party at Hamilton Hall, The University of the Arts.

Sponsors: The Carole Landis Foundation for Social Action, David and Helen Pudlin, Pam and Tony Schneider, Sterling Trustees LLC

Lost Yiddish Songs of the Holocaust

From our friends in History and Music:

LOST YIDDISH SONGS OF THE HOLOCAUST

Tuesday, November  10
1:00 to 2:15
Lang Concert Hall
Lang Music Building

“Avant-bard” singer/songwriter/performer Psoy Korolenko and Professor Anna Shternshis of the University of Toronto bring to life lost Yiddish songs of the Holocaust in this combined concert and lecture.  Written and transcribed by surviving Ukrainian Jewish writers of the Kiev Cabinet for Jewish Culture after World War II as a testament to their struggle for survival, these rare Yiddish artifacts were confiscated and hidden by the Soviet government in 1949.  They have only recently come to light.  Come learn about the incredible stories behind these treasures, savor the music, and revel in the creativity of Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors.

Korolenko_Yiddish

Sponsored by the Departments of History, Music and the President’s Office