2016 Conference Program

Researching New York / Conference on New York State History 2016

Looking Back−Looking Forward:

Exploring Intersections of Society, Culture, Policy, & Law

Download PDF for most recent updates, 11/16/2016

THURSDAY  November 17, 2016 

11:30 AM: Registration: Barnes and Noble Reading Room, Science Library

SESSION I: 12:15 – 1:45 PM

Do Not Forget the Ladies: A Study of New York Women in the Post War

Picturing Modernity: Transnational Photography, Eastman Kodak, and the Feminine Consumer
in the Americas, 1920-1940
Eric Martell, University at Albany, SUNY

Finding Common Ground: Local 1199, Labor Feminism, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women, 1962-1974
Peter Kuno, University at Albany, SUNY

“The Marine Went Gay”: A Material Culture Study of Demobilization of Women after the Second World War
Ellie Burhans, Hudson River Maritime Museum

Comment: Monica Mercado, Colgate University

Individual and Public Investments in Intellectual Improvement, 1783-1812

Measuring the Expansion of Schooling in Early Republican New York
Rob Koehler, New York University

The Limits of the Board of Regents and the Origins of New York’s Common Schools
Mark Boonshoft, New York Public Library

Profit and Principle: New York Copyright and the Production of Learning
Nora Slonimsky, CUNY Graduate Center/McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Comment: Robb K. Haberman, Columbia University, John Jay Papers

Off the Shelf: Digital Tools for Public Historians

David Hochfelder,  University at Albany, SUNY

Ann Pfau, 98 Acres in Albany

SESSION II: 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Arts, Culture, Collections

A Trustworthy Collaboration: Eleanor Roosevelt and Martha Graham’s Pioneering of American Cultural Diplomacy
Camelia Lenart, University at Albany

Fletcher Steele: One Landscape Architect’s 60 year influence on New York
Jane Verostek, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

The Joseph F. Krautwurst Collection: A Case Study- Acquiring & Making Public Family-Held Collections
Larry Naukam, Rochester NY Public Library, retired

Comment: Susan Ingalls Lewis, SUNY New Paltz

Constitutional Debates

Race and the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821: Debating Equality
David Fiske, Independent Scholar and Author

National Ramifications: The New York State 1894 Constitution, Horse Racing, and United States Military Preparedness
Lizzie Redkey, Western Governors University
The Forest Preserve Debate at the 1938 New York Constitutional Convention
Philip Terrie, Bowling Green State University

Comment: Thomas Baker, SUNY Potsdam

More than the 40-Hour Work Week: Even More for Historians to Consider in Labor Records

PERB Records: Navigating Cases at the New York State Archives
Emily Allen, New York State Archives

Strike a Better Balance: Retirement Records in Labor Collections
Jodi Boyle, State University at Albany

Little Book of Answers: Using Collective Bargaining Agreements for Historical Research
Barbara Morley, Cornell University

Comment: Alan Kowlowitz, Center for Technology in Government; University at Albany, SUNY

3:30-4:00: Break/Exhibitor Showcase


SESSION III: 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Making History and Government Come Alive:

Promoting Awareness of the 2017 Constitutional Convention Referendum

Panelists will discuss how their organizations use programming and media to bring essential civics concepts to life. Particular emphasis will be placed on the efforts to draw attention to the upcoming 2017 NYS Constitutional Convention Referendum.

Moderator: Robert Bullock, Rockefeller Institute of Government

Panelists: Susan Arbetter, WCNY Public Broadcasting

    Mary Miller, NY News Publishers Association Newspapers in Education Program

    Martha Noordsy, NYS Bar Association Law, Youth and Citizenship Program

Revolutionary Origins

Monuments to the Vultures: Examining the Story of Benedict Arnold and John André in New York
Laura Macaluso, PhD

It Must Have Been Assault: George Washington, Memory and the Revolutionary War
Thomas A. Chambers, Niagara University 

The Hamilton Free School (1818-1857): The Continuing Legacy in North Manhattan
Don Rice, Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance

Comment: Thomas Wermuth, Marist College

NOTE SCHEDULE CHANGE:  Reception and Public Forum will take place at UAlbany.  No bus required.

5:45 PM  Reception

 7:00 PM Public Forum – Campus Center Assembly Hall – University at Albany

The New York State Constitutional Convention in Historical Perspective

On November 7, 2017, voters will go into voting booths throughout New York State and, as they are every 20 years, will be faced with the Constitutionally mandated question, ”Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” (N.Y. Const., Art XIX, sec 2)

Recognizing the importance of this civic participation opportunity, a coalition has been formed to conceive and implement a campaign designed to ensure that each of New York’s voters goes to vote with a clearer sense of what a Constitutional Convention could achieve. This keynote panel discussion is an important part of the coalition’s work.

Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz
Christopher Bopst, Sam-Son Logistics, Inc.
Henrik (Hank) Dullea, Cornell University
Peter Galie, Canisius College

Moderator: Robert Bullock, Rockefeller Institute for Government

FRIDAY, November 18, 2016 

8:30 AM: Registration, Continental Breakfast

Barnes & Noble Reading Room, Science Library

SESSION IV: 9:00-10:30 AM

Policy and Government

Volunteers and the State: Implementing the Immigration Reform and Control Act in New York
Ean Oesterle, CUNY Graduate Center

Nelson Rockefeller and the MTA: A Pioneering Step in New York Transportation History
Andrew J. Sparberg, CUNY School of Professional Studies; Independent Scholar

Moreland’s Act: The Origins of Executive Investigation
John T. Evers, Albany County Historian

Comment: Carl Bon Tempo, University at Albany, SUNY

Work, Labor and Politics

1926 Tombs Breakout Try Sparked Correction Officer Training in NY and USA
Thomas C. McCarthy, NYC Dept. of Correction (retired)

Radical Politics and Labor Organization: Leon Davis and the Pharmacists’ Union of Greater New York
Daniel J. Smith, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 

A Building Bonanza: The Empire State Plaza in an Era of Urban Renewal, 1962-1978
Stacy Sewell, St. Thomas Aquinas College  

Comment: Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany, SUNY

Clashing Cultures in Early New York

Framing the Iroquois Twins of Creation as Representative of Choice
Kevin J. White, SUNY Oswego

1763: The Dutch Church in New York Calls Upon the Rev. Archibald Laidlie to Preach in the English Language
Kate Lynch, Independent Scholar, 2015-16 Albert A. Smith Fellow (fellowship completed)

Charles Loosely and Thomas Elms, Brooklyn’s First Impresarios of Sport
Lucas Rubin, Brooklyn College

Comment: Chad Anderson, Hartwick College

SESSION V: 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Communities of Reform

West New Brighton, Staten Island, and a Community of Reformers
Marguerite Maria Rivas, Manhattan Community College

The Abolition Movement Transforms: Bridging the Gap from Anti-Slavery Politics into the Women’s Suffrage Movement
Cara Dellatte, Staten Island Museum

“Suffragists in Every Town and County”: How New York Women Won the Vote
Christine L. Ridarsky, Rochester City Historian

Raising Daughters While Raising Hell: Modeling Motherhood on the Road to New York’s Vote
Suzanne Schnittman, Independent Scholar

Comment: Gaylynn J. Welch, SUNY Potsdam

Educating New Yorkers

Something Interesting Will Come of It: Reading Choices of New York City Children in 1910
Robert Sink, Independent Scholar 

Deploying the “Ultimate Weapon” in Public Schools: Congressperson Franck Becker (R-NY) and Church-State Debates of the Long Sixties
Christopher Hickman, Tarleton State University

The Morganville Question: Rural Community Resistance to State Policy Implementation
Casey T. Jakubowski, University at Albany, SUNY

Comment: Richard Hamm, University at Albany, SUNY

Roundtable Discussion

Machine in the Middle? Tammany Hall at the Intersection of Culture, Economics, Politics, and Policy

Tammany’s Vision of Politics and Society
James Connolly, Ball State University

Transatlantic Tammany: The Irish Roots of the Nation’s Most Famous Political Machine
Terry Golway, POLITICO States

Toppling the Keystone: Tammany Hall and the Ratification of the Income Tax in New York State
John D. Buenker, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Emeritus

Moderator: Robert Chiles, University of Maryland, College Park

12:30 PM: Lunch/Keynote

New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era
Daniel Czitrom, Mount Holyoke College

New York Exposed begins with the explosive charges levelled against the New York Police Department and Tammany Hall by the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst in 1892.  Two years later, Parkhurst’s crusade forced the first sensational political investigation of the modern era and kick-started the Progressive movement. Established by the New York State Senate, the Lexow Committee heard testimony from nearly 700 witnesses, representing all walks of New York life. It revealed in shocking and unprecedented detail how the police force managed New York’s lucrative vice economy, extorted payoffs from respectable businesses, and enjoyed immunity from charges of police brutality.  The narrative unfolds amidst the larger contexts of machine politics, national elections, the depression of 1893, vote fraud and vote suppression, and police violence. The effort to root out corrupt cops and crooked politicians morphed into something much more profound: a public reckoning, messy and contentious, over what New York—and the American city—had become since the Civil War.  Professor Czitrom’s talk will  dig into the research challenges faced in conceiving and writing this book, as well as  focus on several key themes that still have enormous resonance  today: vote fraud and vote suppression; police brutality; the stubborn resilience of partisan politics; and anti-urbanism in American life.

SESSION VI: 2:00 – 3:30 PM

New York Histories of Public Health and Medicine in War and Peace

Albany and the 1832 Cholera Epidemic: Environmental Conditions and the Human Toll of a Novel Epidemic
Bianca Englese, University at Albany, SUNY

La Gardienne du Phare: Winifred Holt and the Committee for Men Blinded in Battle in France
Evan Sullivan, University at Albany, SUNY

Cannabis Intoxication as Public Health: Economic Deprivation, Protest, and Self-Medication in New York City, 1930-1940
Bob Beach, University at Albany, SUNY

Comment: Andrew Morris, Union College

Mid-19th Century New York: Intersectionalities of Culture, Politics, Law, and Nation

The Prophet Matthias and the Construction of Antebellum Religious Insanity
Alexandra Leah Prince, University at Buffalo

The Heresy of Secession Will Be Rebuked: The Civil War, Treason, and the Curious Case of New York Lawyer Algernon Sydney Sullivan
Joseph Landgraf, Villanova University

America, Defined: How American Landscape Painters of the Nineteenth Century Articulated and Understood a Constantly Changing American Identity
Jacob Chaires, University at Maryland 

Thomas Cole and the Politics of the American Renaissance
P. Matthew DeLaMater, University at Albany, SUNY

Comment: Patrick LaPierre, SUNY Canton

Roundtable Discusson
Housing, Politics, and Community: From the New Deal to Trump 

Trump, the Housing Crisis, and the Burden of New York History
Peter Eisenstadt, Historian

Housing, Citizen Participation, and the Cooper Square Committee
Marci Reaven, NY Historical Society

New York City Housing From the Urban Crisis to Gentrification: Lessons and Questions from Upper Manhattan
Robert W. Snyder, Rutgers University

Comment:  The Audience

SESSION VII: 3:45-5:15 PM

The Broad and Deep Field of New York State History:  A Conversation

Devin Lander, New York State Historian

Will Tatum, Association of Public Historians in New York State, Dutchess County Historian

Melissa Brown, The Buffalo History Museum

Erin Richardson, New York State Historical Association, Fenimore Art Museum, and The Farmers’ Museum

Join the panel assembled by New York State Historian, Devin Lander,or a wide-ranging discussion about marshaling partnerships, resources, and content to advance the field of New York State History. Bring your triumphs, questions, and suggestions and join in the conversation. Hear more about the new New York State Historian’s Office website, Artifact|NY, and more from the panelists about work across the State.

Communities, Cultures, and Conflict: New York Catholics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

 The Catholics of Albany: The Founding of St. Mary’s Church in the Early Republic

Margaret Lasch Carroll, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

 The Rathburn Apostates

Anna O’Meara, Museum Association of New York

 Pope Martin I: New York Catholics and Their Alliance with Martin Van Buren, 1812-1830

Jason K. Duncan, Aquinas College

Comment: Peter Galie, Canisius College, Emeritus

5:30 PM: Bus to NYS Museum

 6:00-8:30 PM: Reception and Talk— New York State Museum

The Borscht Belt: Past, Present and Future
Marisa Scheinfeld, Photographer and Author

Join photographer and author Marisa Scheinfeld for a lively discussion of the “Borscht Belt”—a region in the southernmost part of the Catskill Mountains that was once the playground of American Jews. Scheinfeld, who grew up in the region, has spent the past five years documenting the dramatic degradation of some of the most famous Borscht Belt hotels, resorts, and bungalow colonies. As a special addition to the lecture, Scheinfeld will exhibit 2-D and 3-D original objects and Borscht Belt memorabilia from her personal collection.  Book signing to follow.

SATURDAY, November 19, 2016 at The New York State Museum

8:30 AM: Registration,  New York State Museum

SESSION VIII: 9:00 10:30 AM

From Slavery to Citizenship: African Americans in New York

“For Divers Good Causes and Considerations”: Manumission Practices of Albany, NY Slaveholders, 1799-1824
William A. Meredith, SUNY Delhi

A Deep and Solemn Roar: Abolitionism and Antislavery in the Capital Region
Ryan C. Jones, Independent Scholar, From Memory Films

James Parker: Hero of the McKinley Assassination, and the Pursuit of Full African-American Citizenship
Nicolas Hardisty, Rhode Island College

Comment: Oscar Williams, University at Albany, SUNY

New York State History Day: Round Table Discussion
The history community in New York State is broad and diverse supporting  student work by providing access to primary and secondary source materials, feedback, and support in a variety of settings. The New York History Day contestrelies on this  community to participate as one of over 100 judges for Contest Day in April. The New York State History Day Contest coordinator as well as students, teachers, and parents will share their experience.

Sarah Loveland, New York State Historical Association, History Day contest Coordinator,
Alicia Malanga, Farnsworth Middle School
Aneesh Muppidi, student, Farnsworth Middle School
William Riedy, parent, Bethlehem Middle School

Joe Riedy, student, Bethlehem Middle School


Digitizing Dutch Colonial Documents for Online Delivery: A Case Study
Kimberly Gianfrancesco, New York State Archives
Monica Gray, Archivist, , New York State Archives
Jesse Brown, Archivist, New York State Archives

Comment: Joe Festa, New York State Historical Association

SESSION IX: 10:45- 12:15 PM

Historical Perspectives on the New York State Constitution

New York State Begins: The 1777 State Constitution and Its Lessons for 2017
Bruce W. Dearstyne, Historian

The Constitution’s First Revision: Martin Van Buren and the 1821 Constitutional Convention
Helen E. Freedman, Associate Justice Appellate Division (Ret. 1st Dept.)

The Constitution in Action: State Courts and & Dual Constitutionalism in New York State History
Henry M. Greenberg, Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Comment: Sherri G. Cash, Utica College

Roundtable Discussion:
From Waterway to Graffiti Gallery…and Beyond: Historians and Contested Public Spaces

Daniel J. Broyld, Central Connecticut State University
Vashon Broyld Sr., Photographer
Michael J. Brown, Rochester Institute of Technology

Michelle Finn, City of Rochester, NY

Moderator/Commentator: Christine L. Ridarsky, Historian, City of Rochester, NY

Digital Tools for Primary Sources

Harvest of History at The Farmers’ Museum
Mary Alexander, Manager of School and Education Programs, The Farmers’ Museum

Curricula To Go– 3C Frameworks in Action
Sarah Loveland, NYS History Day Contest Coordinator, New York State Historical Association

HistoryForge: A Model Web Environment for Exploring Local History through Historic Maps
Rod Howe, Executive Director, The History Center in Tompkins County and
Robert Kibbee, Trustee of The History Center and lead designer of HistoryForge

APIs, WARCS, and NPL: How Technology has Created New Opportunities for Historical Research
Gregory Wiedeman, University at Albany

Moderator: Erin Richardson, New York State Historical Association

12:30 Lunch:  Closing Plenary

Voices of the Unheard: A Walking Tour of the Memory and Legacy of the Rochester Police Riots of 1964
Verdis LeVar Robinson, The Democracy Commitment, Monroe Community College

Verdis LeVar Robinson is currently the interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment, a national initiative for advancing civic and democratic learning in community colleges, after serving as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies having taught writing-intensive, web-enhanced, service-learning courses at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, New York, for ten years. In addition to serving as MCC’s TDC Campus Coordinator since the beginning of the initiative, he has served on TDC National Steering Committee and on the Advisory Council for its Economic Inequality Initiative.  Professionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West.  He is also a Public Scholar of the New York Council for the Humanities.  Additionally, Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 300 members of Rochester community in walking, discussing, and learning about the legacy of Jim Crow Rochester.  He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.