Today, Thursday, May 9th, 2019, our very exciting History Comps presentations took place at the Gould Library Athenaeum at Common Time. Our first speaker was introduced by Professor Thabiti Willis. Julia Preston presented, “A Fighter In Her Own Way”: The Life and Death of Nadezhda Alliluyeva, a biographical study of Nadezhda Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin’s second wife. She began going steady with Josef Stalin at age 15 when he was 38-year old widower, but with surprising ferocity defended her passion for education and independence during a tumultuous marriage.
Professor Annette Igra introduced the next two speakers. Juliette Bobrow presented her project, Exhibiting Empire: London’s India Museum as a Contested Site of Imperial Display, 1875-1914, and shared the excitement of discovering that the many meaningful artifacts of the British Raj from the India Museum didn’t die with the closing of the India Museum, but were redistributed in several popular London museums, and what that says about ordinary people’s understanding of empire. Finally, Yuta Baba presented Redefining Nature: Makuzu Tadano and her Bricolage of Thoughts. He explained how Makuzu overcame the intense sexist educational barriers in late Tokugawa Japan and redefined her society’s understanding of Nature.
The talks were quite well-attended. We ordered 30 lunches and there were more guests than lunches! Next year we will order more. What a fun annual History event this is — thank you, everyone, for joining us!