History and Humanistic Studies, UW-Green Bay
"Armor, Battles, and Riots"
I will be working on three unrelated projects over the course of the year, all of which rather oddly seem to share the theme of violence. First, I will be finishing up a book on reconstructing and testing a mysterious type of linen body armor that was widely used in the ancient world. Next, I will be writing and recording a video lecture course on 36 Decisive Battles in World History, and the remainder of the year will be spent doing research for a book on riots in ancient Rome. While ancient Rome is usually depicted as an unruly, riotous city, this study hopes to offer a more nuanced investigation of the causes, characteristics, organization, and effects of these incidents of collective urban violence.
Gregory S. Aldrete (Princeton B.A, 1988.; Univ. of Michigan M.A. and Ph.D. 1995) is the Frankenthal Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. His books include: Linen Armor in Ancient World: The Linothorax Mystery (2013 with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete), The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Have Done For Us? (with A. Aldrete), Gestures and Acclamation in Ancient Rome, Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome, Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia, and the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (editor). Aldrete was awarded NEH Humanities Fellowships for 2004/5 and 2012/13, was a member of two NEH seminars held at the American Academy in Rome, was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome, received the Award for Excellence in Teaching at the College Level from the American Philological Association, is a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America, was a Wisconsin System Teaching Fellow and a UWGB Teaching Scholar, and was chosen as a recipient of both the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Founders Association Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the highest awards given by his university.
Winson W. Chu
Modern Central European History, UW-Milwaukee
"'Reconciliation Kitsch': Multicultural Tropes and Overcoming the Past in Germany and Poland"
Dr. Chu’s research project examines multiethnic politics in the Polish city of Łódź in the twentieth century and the post-1989 attempts to create international understanding between Poland and Germany. The stereotype of a cosmopolitan yet cunning businessman ("lodzermensch") that began in Łódź at the end of the nineteenth century drew upon anti-Semitic tropes and had deadly consequences during the Second World War. By the 1990s, however, Germans and Poles promoted the city as the “Promised Land” and as a symbol of European reconciliation and multiculturalism. Both nations, it would appear, have successfully mastered their complex past. Yet underlying the often gushing pronouncements of friendship − what Klaus Bachmann calls “reconciliation kitsch” − are unresolved tensions that date back to the world wars, the Holocaust, and the division of Europe during the Cold War. The project analyzes differences in local and national understandings of European peace building and thus explores the possibilities and limits of German-Polish-Jewish interaction in the past century.
Winson Chu (PhD, History, University of California, Berkeley, 2006) holds an IRH Honorary Fellowship. He is assistant professor of Modern Central European History at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. His doctoral dissertation won the UC Berkeley History Department's James H. Kettner Graduate Prize as well as the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize, which the Friends of the German Historical Institute (Washington, DC) awards to the best North American dissertations in German history. He has received fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the United States Department of Education, the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, the American Council on Germany, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Dr. Chu recently held a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. His book, The German Minority in Interwar Poland, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.
Honorary Felow (Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity)
"‘Ethnic Affinities’ in the Metropolis: Boundary making in the contemporary urban landscape"
My project engages recent efforts towards a unified theory of ethnic boundary formation, maintenance, and transformation. Relying on ethnographic fieldwork on the current ethno-racial makeup of a former Italian neighborhood in the Bronx, I look at the group formation strategies of recently arriving Albanian immigrants. Focusing on their developing ‘ethnic affinity’ with Italians – which signals an immigrant incorporation strategy that goes beyond older discourses of assimilation – I attempt to expand the current conceptual vocabulary of boundary crossing, shifting, or blurring within the new diversity of the urban landscape.
Ervin Kosta received his PhD in Sociology from CUNY Graduate Center in 2012. His research interests lie at the intersection of ethnicity, immigration, and race. His work explores the making of group boundaries and concurrent remaking of urban ethnic neighborhoods in ‘gateway’ metropolitan neighborhoods. He has published research on Manhattan and Bronx neighborhoods in City and Community and with Fordham University Press. Ervin is a passionate teacher and has taught at several New York City area institutions, including Fordham and Pace Universities. He holds undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.