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The Poughkeepsie Journal / 1/09

January 9, 2018

It was a pivotal time and place that would help shape the world.  

Casablanca. Once an exotic locale, it became a key military asset for the Nazis in World War II. 

"Jewish refugees from Europe poured in, hoping to obtain visas and passage to the United States and beyond. Nazi agents and collaborators infiltrated the city in search of power and loyalty. The resistance was not far behind, as shopkeepers, celebrities, former French Foreign Legionnaires, and disgruntled bureaucrats formed a network of Allied spies," according to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

In November 1942, as a part of Operation Torch, 33,000 American soldiers sailed undetected across the Atlantic and stormed the beaches of French Morocco. Seventy-four hours later, the Americans controlled the country and one of the most valuable wartime ports.

The romance, intrigue and danger of Casablanca will be explored on Jan. 13 in a program presented by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The program will include an author talk and book signing with Meredith Hindley, author of "Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle For North Africa in World War II." The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home.

Following the presentation, Hindley, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, will be available to sign copies of her book. This is a free public event but registration is required.

After the book signing, the library will officially close the "Images of Internment" exhibit with a 4 p.m. reception and auction event. This is an opportunity to own exhibition quality prints -- produced in 2016 from original negatives stored at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland -- by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century including Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange.

Hindley, a historian and senior writer for Humanities, the quarterly review of the National Endowment for the Humanities, "explores this rollicking and panoramic history" in "Destination Casablanca," according to the FDR press release. Seventy-five years after Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman brought the danger and romance of the era to the silver screen, Hindley delves into the true story that served as inspiration.

Her cast of characters includes notable world leaders like Gen. George S. Patton, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as well as rich and colorful personalities like Josephine Baker; the womanizing Duff Cooper, Churchill's close confidante; Sigmund Freud's extended family; and many others who had an impact on the city’s history.

"Rife with rogue soldiers, power grabs, and diplomatic intrigue, 'Destination Casablanca' is the riveting and untold story of this glamorous city -- memorialized in the classic film -- at the heart of World War II," according to the press release.

Latest NEH in the News

Posted: March 16, 2018 Roanoke conference brings in experts to explore issues faced by veterans and their families
Roanoke Times

When veterans and their families return to civilian life they face challenges that largely go unexplored by the nation’s intellectuals.

Virginia Tech English professor James Dubinsky said some universities are changing that and are beginning to study veterans much the same way that a generation ago they began women’s studies and African-American studies programs.

Dubinsky said Tech’s Liberal Arts College and University Libraries is working toward building a veterans studies program. Two other universities — Arizona State University and the University of Missouri at St. Louis — are further along in creating similar programs and are co-sponsors of the forum. Tech also has won support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mostly at universities where veterans are being studied, only one or two professors in history, psychology, sociology, arts at universities are looking at the issues, he said. The conference gives them a chance to connect with each other and with the people they are studying.

Posted: March 16, 2018 Macedon library receives Founding Era grant
Daily Messenger

Macedon Public Library recently received a Revisiting the Founding Era grant to implement public programming and community conversations that explore America’s founding and its enduring themes.

The library will receive 10 copies of a reader containing scholarly essays on selected historical documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, $1,000 to help implement programs and additional digital resources, training and support from Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and American Library Association.

These resources will allow Macedon Public Library to launch a program series on the Founding Era. This includes three presentations planned for June and July by Laura Free, of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Richard Newman, of Rochester Institute of Technology, for adults and Matthew Robbins, an Advanced Placement history teacher at Palmyra-Macedon High School, for teens in high school.

Revisiting the Founding Era is a three-year national initiative of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presented in partnership with ALA and National Constitution Center with support from National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant provides 100 public libraries across the country the opportunity to use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s ideas and themes and how they continue to influence lives today.

Posted: March 16, 2018 National Humanities Alliance annual meeting

Dr. David Trowbridge, an associate professor of history at Marshall University and creator of Clio, was one of four scholars invited to share his work at the 2018 annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance in Washington, D.C., March 12.

Trowbridge was joined by scholars working to interpret history and preserve heritage sites in the United States, the Middle East and Central Europe. The panel was organized by Daniel Fisher, project director for the National Humanities Alliance, in order to demonstrate the importance of the humanities and highlight the ways that universities and foundations are supporting public engagement though the humanities.

 “We were very pleased that Dr. Trowbridge was able to join this distinguished group of publicly engaged humanities scholars,” Fisher said. “Clio shows what is possible when experts collaborate with the community. The Clio website and mobile app offer scholars and organizations a way to share expertise about local history with the world.”

 The panel was organized around the theme of “Changing Narratives about the Humanities in Higher Education” and featured projects supported by the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Trowbridge discussed efforts at Marshall to create Clio, a website and mobile application that universities, libraries, historical societies and museums use to connect people to the history and culture that surround them.

Posted: March 15, 2018 Prof. Azade Seyhan Receives NEH Fellowship to Support Research for New Book
Bryn Mawr College News

Fairbank Professor in the Humanities and Chair and Professor of German and Comparative Literature Azade Seyhan has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship to support her research. The title of Seyhan's project is "The Exodus of German Culture to Turkey, 1933–1945." The project will be a book-length analysis on academic exiles from Hitler’s Germany and the Turkish higher educational institutions in which they took refuge.

Posted: March 15, 2018 Vanderbilt advocates for humanities funding
Vanderbilt University News

Mona Frederick, executive director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, and Christina West, assistant vice chancellor for federal relations, attended the National Humanities Alliance’s annual meeting and advocacy day March 12 in Washington, D.C., and met with members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation as well as several other congressional offices with ties to Vanderbilt to advocate for robust federal humanities funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

“We are grateful to have such strong support for the NEH on Capitol Hill,” Frederick said. “It’s important to remind our members of Congress of the importance of the Endowment and to thank them for their continued support.”

This year’s keynote speaker at the NHA meeting was Jon Parrish Peede, senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, who recently was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as NEH chairman. Before joining the NEH, Peede served as publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review from 2011 to 2016 and was on the staff of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 to 2011. A Vanderbilt University alumnus, Peede graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in English and later earned a master’s degree in Southern studies from the University of Mississippi.

“The NEH has been such an important partner when it comes to academic research in the humanities—research that has enriched and enhanced communities throughout the nation and throughout Tennessee,” West said. “We look forward to a continued mutually beneficial relationship with the NEH.”