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September 27, 2001

History dept. inaugurates book symposia series

Pitt's Department of History has announced a book symposia series, slated to kick-off Oct. 4. The first symposium focuses on Pitt history professor Marcus Rediker's recent book, "The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic," with commentary from invited experts Tera Hunter of Carnegie Mellon, John Markoff of Pitt and Peter Wood of Duke University.

"The Many-Headed Hydra" traces the circular transmission of human experience from Europe to Africa to the Americas and back again during the17th and 18th centuries, when merchants, manufacturers, planters and royal officials of northwestern Europe organized workers and built trade routes, colonies and a new transatlantic economy.

Rediker co-authored the 2000 Beacon Press book, which won the International Labor History Award, with Peter Linebaugh, professor of history, University of Toledo.

Van Beck Hall, chairperson of Pitt's history department, said, "By offering this book series, we wanted to give people a sense of what our faculty are producing and give other faculty here a chance to see what their colleagues are doing and hear experts discuss the books. This is the first symposium of its kind for us. We're hoping to make it an annual series and perhaps to have more than three a year to feature our outstanding faculty publications."

Other scheduled symposia include discussions of assistant professor Alejandro de la Fuente's book, "A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba," University of North Carolina Press 2001on Feb. 28, and professor Janelle Greenberg's recent volume, "The Radical Face of the Ancient Constitution: St. Edward's 'Laws' in Early Modern Political Thought," Cambridge University Press 2001on April 11.

In addition to the history department, the symposia series is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research and Scholarship Program, the University Honors College, the University Center for International Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of English.

The Oct. 4 book symposium, which is hosted by the University Library System, will be held in the second floor conference room (room 272) Hillman Library from 2 – 5 p.m.

–Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 34 Issue 3

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