This is the first of two stories on the History Conference held at APSU. Part II will run on Friday.
History. On its own, it’s not a very exciting word. However this past weekend, February 28th, saw HISTORY given star power treatment at Austin Peay State University as the Theta Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society and the university’s History and Philosophy Department sponsored the 2009 Regional Conference.
Austin Peay’s Theta Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society hosted the 2009 Regional Conference this past Saturday at Austin Peay State University.
The conference provided both undergraduate and graduate students of history with the opportunity to gain valuable experience by presenting their ideas in a friendly academic setting. Topics from a broad range of subjects including regional, American and non-American topics were welcome. Films and documentaries produced by the students were also accepted.
The Morgan Center was the hosting site for the one-day event which saw sixty students from fourteen universities and colleges give presentations of such diverse topics as Women’s History, Rome and Byzantine, Indian Warfare and Removal, Religion and Race, Gender in the South, Barbary Pirates, the American Revolution, WWI, Reform and Regulation, WWII Dilemmas on the Homefront, Issues of Religion through the Ages, Struggle for Independence and Identity, US Military in Nontraditio0nal Roles, American Revolution: Sea Battles, Labor and Economy in Nazi Germany, “Blues, Baseball and Black Male Identity,” Post WWII US Politics, and American Influence Overseas: Two Perspectives, Direct and Policy.
There were two roundtable events, the TSU Senior Projects and the MTSU Recent Projects in Public History. Additionally, there was a panel session of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.
Opening with a 7:30 AM registration start time, the Morgan Center was abuzz with presenters and attendees picking up credentials and sampling the breakfast buffet tables set out on the third floor. Their energy and buzz belied the quiet of the rest of the building during the early Saturday morning calm. The early morning session panels covered the subject areas of Women’s History, Rome and Byzantine, Indian Warfare and Removal, Religion and Race, Gender in the South, and the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society panel.
Individual presentations included “Workin’ Woman: Women’s Roles During the 1920’s and the Great Depression,” “Eleanor Roosevelt” Reluctant First Lady to Reformer;” “Development of Provincial Rights in the Roman Republic,” “The Spanish Influence on Creek-Cumberland Warfare,” “The Cherokee War,” “America’s Most Hypocritical Hour;” “Religious Themes in the Pro-Slavery Argument,” “A Refusal to Reform: Georgia Baptists and Integration,” “Privilege Yields Responsibility;” “Gender Roles in the Production of Food in the Antebellum South,” “The Peaceful Desegregation and Integration of the University of Tennessee at Martin;” “Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates: The United States First Encounter with Terrorism;” “Recipe for Perfect Foreign Language Acquisition,” “The Grammar Foundation: Where Does It Lead Us?”
As we are not yet capable of self-cloning-on-demand, this writer was not able to sit in on every panel group. However, a short summary of a few of the panel presentations visited hopefully with provide readers with a sense of the level of research and discussion which accompanied the day’s activities.
10:20 a.m.: Attending Session II Panel 13: Issues of Religion through the Ages presentations.
Currently attending Monasticism, Matthew Paris and the Historical Tradition Traditions of St. Albans by Gregory Bearringer of Lipscomb University:
Bearringer details the development of the monastic life and the personality of monks, their impact on French education and religious dogma in French upper society. Paris is denoted as having a disdain for the French, even its nobility, reflecting his English origin and relation with Henry III, despite his being dependent upon that same nobility for its gracious giving to the monastery for its survival and continuation.
Body, Soul and Spirit: Origen and Biblical Interpretation in the Third Century by Ben Malone, MTSU:
Origen was born in Alexandria, a metropolitan center of education, religious diversity as Christianity, Judaism and Muslim centers were located there. He undertook a detailed study of the Bible, writing about several books of the Bible. Origen was Christian in his beliefs, devotion and practice of religious faith, notwithstanding his conflicts with the hierarchy of the Early Christian Church. Malone further explains that Origen was essential to the development and understanding of the use of allegorical interpretation of biblical passages. He was the first Christian writer to utilize the allegorical interpretation of the Bible, a practice which was already in wide use in studies of Judaism and Islamic texts.
“Self, Soul, and Support: English Women Writers on Religion and Women’s Education 1670-1710” by Tammy Prater, University of Memphis:
Education of women was not a widely supported construct of 17th century English society. Women were only expected to be pious, chaste and mothers and good housekeepers. Education, when it was bestowed upon women, was directed at their being able to read the Bible but not how to write nor other elements of full education. “Custom is the tyrant behind all ignorance and deprivations of women.
Comments: Keith Bates, Union University, Moderator.
The presentation questions the role of women in 17th Century England and society. Women were seen as property more so than an equal part of society, the male dominance being the prevailing view of the times. Exposes the fallacies of the view of women as inferior and subordinate to men. An educated women is actually a better helpmate to her husband.
Origen saw himself as a more elitist Christian, regarding the average churchgoer as not being sufficiently devoted to the Church. He despised people coming to Church to socialize and be seen, rather than gain any further insight into their duties and responsibilities to God and the Church. He felt this was the prevailing reason for too many churchgoers of his day, especially the merchant class and noblemen. He was seen as a heretic and even persecuted by the Church. His allegorical interpretation of biblical text was not widely accepted during his lifetime.
At the conclusion of this session, the conference moved to the mid-day luncheon in the Ballroom. Dr. Minoa Uffelman, APSU History and Philosophy Department, coordinated the conference preparations, acknowledged the invaluable assistance of her support staff. Dr. Tim Hall,President of APSU, gave welcome remarks to the conference attendees and presenters alike. Phi Alpha Theta National Advisory Board spokesman, Dr. Stephen D. Carls of Union University, acknowledged the Honor Society’s appreciation to the Theta Delta Chapter and APSU for hosting the 2009 Regional Conference. He noted updates to the society’s website, benefits to society membership, including its newsletter and a myriad of gifts, clothing and souvenirs, along with the ability to replace certificates, all this and more information he ensured everyone understood several times over is available at <wwwphialphatheta.org>.
Dr. Nelson announced the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference Writers Awards winning papers as follows:
I. Undergraduate Papers: Early America (Tie)- Michael Ramsey, “A Numerous and Unexpected Enemy,” Austin Peay State University, and Eric Turner, “Small Boat Operations in Long Island Sound, 1775-1779,” Austin Peay State University; 20th Century America (Tie)- Hannah Holliday, “A Refusal of Reform: Georgia Baptists and Integration,” Union University, and William Conner, “To Hell with Habeas Corpus: The Government, The Press, and Japanese Interment,” University of Tennessee, Chattanooga; Non-US History: Jesse Tumblin, “The Conscription Crisis in County Meath, 1918: A Catalyst for Radicalization in Ireland’s Revolutionary Process,” University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
II. Graduate Student Papers: (Tie) – Ron Martz, “Deconstructing de-Ba’athification: How Ignoring Lessons Learned from de-Nazification of Germany and the Governance of Japan after World War II Ignited the Iraqi Insurgency,” Austin Peay State University; and Gabriel Fidler, “Football and the Public Sphere in Nineteenth-Century England,” University of Tennessee, Knoxville.