Department of History News

September 2022: The Department of History is pleased to announce the inaugural lecture of the department's new series, "Lectures in Inclusive History," to be given by Dr. James Nichols, Associate Professor of History, in Science Building Room 111 during club hours on Wednesday, September 28.  The title of Dr. Nichols's lecture is "Freedom Unbounded: Fugitives from Slavery and the Making of the U.S.-Mexico Border."  All are welcome to attend.
September 2022: The faculty and staff of the Department of History congratulate Dr. Emily Sohmer Tai, Professor of History, on the publication of Mapping Pre-Modern Sicily: Maritime Violence, Cultural Exchange, and Imagination in the Mediterranean, 800-1700 (London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2022), an essay collection Dr. Tai co-edited with Kay Reyerson.  In addition to co-editing the collection, Dr. Tai co-authored the introduction and served as sole author of “Ghosts of Admiral Roger: Piracy and Political Fantasy in Tirant lo Blanc,” which is chapter 13 of the collection.  The Department offers its warm congratulations on Dr. Tai's impressive accomplishment.
July 2022: The Department of History congratulates Dr. Stephanie Rost, Assistant Professor of History, on the recent publication of her edited volume entitled Irrigation in Early States: New Directions, published by the University of Chicago Press.  Congratulations, Dr. Rost!
February 2022: The Department of History congratulates Dr. Ron Van Cleef, Assistant Professor of History, on the publication of his first monograph, entitled A Tale of Two Movements? Gay Radicalism in West Germany, 1969-1989, published by Metropol Verlag (Berlin).  Congratulations, Dr. Van Cleef!
April 2021: With sadness, the History Department notes the passing of Dr. Emil Polak, who died in his hometown of Sayville, New York on April 8 at the age of 84.  Dr. Polak worked at the college during its earliest years, teaching Ancient History courses and, through his many research trips and published scholarship, becoming a respected and renowned expert on Renaissance texts.  Dr. Polak was also a longtime member of the Medieval Seminar at Columbia University, in addition to serving in leadership roles for the Renaissance Society of America.  Faculty who knew and worked with Dr. Polak remember him as a kind and generous spirit with a great sense of humor.  Dr. Polak will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.  To learn more about Dr. Polak's scholarly pursuits, please read this article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
March 2021: Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr., assistant professor in the Department of History at QCC, discussed his recently published book during an invited talk and question-and-answer session sponsored by the Department of Environment and Society at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smith's, New York.  The event, conducted and recorded using Zoom, may be viewed online by visiting:
March 2021: Congratulations to Dr. Emily Tai, associate professor in the Department of History at QCC, for her recent promotion to the rank of full professor, which will take effect at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester.  Bravo!

November 2020: Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr., an assistant professor in the Department of History at QCC, celebrated the publication of his first book.  A Prison in the Woods: Environment and Incarceration in New York's North Country was published by the University of Massacusetts Press as a volume in the series Environmental History of the Northeast. 

June 2020: QCC History Department Statement on Protests for Social Justice and Racial Equality

The faculty and staff of the Department of History at Queensborough Community College stand in solidarity with the calls for justice and equality resulting from the death of George Floyd.  We acknowledge the trauma created by the unjustified killing of Floyd and countless others both before and since May 25, 2020.  Every corner of the U.S. has been touched by police violence against people of color, including New York.  As students and scholars of the past, we are painfully aware of the many inequities that have shaped the lives of people of color in the U.S. and abroad.  We are also cognizant of the numerous harms posed to communities of color by law enforcement and criminal justice systems ostensibly designed to furnish equal justice to all. History faculty at Queensborough believe that historical knowledge and critical thinking are necessary for building a more just and peaceful world. In pursuing our mission as a community-based public education institution, we are well situated to provide educational opportunities to a diverse student body. But we could do better. Going forward, we will continue to foster classroom environments that respect diversity, promote critical inquiry, and foreground questions related to social justice.  The History Department will likewise aim to foster campus-wide dialogues on social and racial justice through public lectures, teach-ins, and film screenings beginning in Fall 2020.  #BlackLivesMatter

March 2020: Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr., an assistant professor in the History Department at QCC, presented a paper entitled "A Prison in the Woods: Environment and Incarceration in New York's North Country," at the Alumni Conference Room of the Angell College Center at SUNY Plattsburgh on March 5.  The College Art Museum invited Dr. Hall to present his research as part of its display of the "States of Incarceration" exhibit and sponsored the event.
Clarence Jefferson Hall Jr presenting in a conference room

December 2019: Dr. Stephanie Rost, assistant professor in the History Department at QCC, has received a 60,000 € research grant from the Gerda Henkel Foundation to support her ongoing archaeological fieldwork project (“The Umma Survey Project”) in South Iraq. The Umma Survey Project aims to conduct a comprehensive archaeological reconnaissance of an area of approx. 2000km2 located in the vicinity of the modern town Al-Rifai in South Iraq. This area is of great historical importance as it once constituted the ancient province of Umma of the kingdom of the Third Dynasty of Ur (aka Ur III), which unified Southern Mesopotamia under one rule at the end of the 3rd Millennium B.C. This kingdom is known for having produced an unparalleled historical record of over a hundred thousand cuneiform tablets on the day to day operations of an early state society. The largest and most comprehensive corpus of Ur III tables derives from the province of Umma. The majority of these texts document economic transactions. As such information is lacking for most pristine states, our ability to describe ancient economies that were capable of supporting early state institutions is limited at best. While the Ur III documents have the potential to provide an extraordinary detailed insight into the organization of an early state economy, they could so far not be exploited to their full potential. This shortcoming is due to the fact that the geographic context in which these economic transactions took place is very poorly understood. We lack the archaeological data that would allow us to map the location of production centers, the network of transportation routes and the movement of goods and services that are mentioned in these ancient records. The Umma Survey Project is addressing this shortcoming by collecting archaeological data (settlement data and landscape features, such as canals and water courses, etc.), to reconstruct the ancient landscape and historical geography of the Umma province. This project is directed by Dr. Rost in collaboration with Dr. Angelo Di Michele and Ahamad Gadim Ganim, Abdulhassan Makttoof, Loay Reissan Humood of the State Board of Antquity and Heritage of Iraq.

USP Team in the field
USP Team at ancient Ur

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.