HIA is pleased to announce four new History in Action Project Award (HAPA) recipients for Spring 2017: Thomas Zuber, Chengji (Sally) Xing, Victor Petrov, and Josh Schwartz.
Thomas Zuber is a first-year Ph.D. student whose regional focus is 19th and 20th century West Africa. His project for HIA is titled “Historicizing social work in Burkina Faso” and it consists of the development of an archive of oral histories of social work in Burkina Faso in the late colonial period and early independent period. Thomas predicts the project will involve developing a website documenting the history of social work and welfare in Burkina Faso first. He hopes the website will also provide a space for sharing information on social work in coordination with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the School of Social Work in Ouagadougou. The last component of his project is the production of film footage of interviews for possible documentaries in collaboration with the social worker organization in Ouagadougou.
Chengji Xing (Sally) is also a first-year Ph.D. student and her research focuses on twentieth century US history and transnational history. Her initiative, “Sino-American Scholarly Exchange Online Project,” has the large goal of improving Sino-American scholarly exchanges. She considers oral scholarly interview as a useful tool that could potentially promote mutual understandings and narrow gaps. By visualizing audio conversations and manuscripts both in Chinese and English, she endeavors to bring audience in China into encounter with the historian under interview. She is now building a website which hopes to publish oral interviews with American historians that she has conducted (with historians such as Eric Foner, Akira Iriye, Michael Zuckerman and many others), and bridge scholarly conversations among the young generations of Americanists.
Victor Petrov is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in Modern European history. The HAPA award will enable him to be a research assistant and exhibition organiser at the Museum of the Socialist Past in Varna, Bulgaria. An exciting opportunity for Victor, it would allow him to put his own historical training and expertise, which is in the history of Bulgarian socialism, to use in the local community as well as furthering his own professional development through the creation of a coherent narrative project for presenting this past to the public.
Josh Schwartz is a third-year Ph.D. student, focusing on issues of class and culture in late 19th century American cities. His project consists of the curation of a digital exhibit on the relationship of Columbia University – both its members and its internal institutions – to the First World War. This exhibit would focus on two incarnations of this relationship: the first, about how life at the university changed according to the new demands of the war (and how these demands were resisted); the second, about how Columbia alumni and affiliates, particularly those related to P&S, actually experienced the war. His hope – if the sources support his contentions – is to set up a narrative of expectations and reality: of how the excitement and propaganda created with the United States’ entry into the war met with a startlingly different reality on the Western Front.