In honor of Yom HaShoah: an interview about my research projects at the FDR Library and Museum

In honor of Yom HaShoah, the Director of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Paul Sparrow, interviewed me about two of my recent research projects at the library. In the first segment, I discuss my online exhibit about the War Refugee Board’s effort (in collaboration with the Joint Distribution Committee) to smuggle Jewish refugee children out of France and into Spain, Portugal and Switzerland. In the second half, I talk about the influence of Henrietta Klotz on Henry Morgenthau Jr.’s stance toward rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.

My blog about Henrietta Klotz can be found here: https://fdr.blogs.archives.gov/2020/03/24/updates-morgenthau-holocaust-collections-project-2/

You can also find my presentations about Henrietta Klotz in the “Projects” tab on this website

Pedagogy in practice: Student projects

My courses emphasize activism and community engagement through “Creative Activist History,” “Margin to Center,” “Hip Hop Pedagogy” and Autoethnography projects. Students conduct primary source and ethnographic research and employ digital activism, through podcasts, blogs and websites, to educate their communities about the historical and transnational intersections of racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism.

I both use and teach interdisciplinary methodologies from the social sciences and humanities (interviews, participant observation, ethnographic object analysis, archival research, historical social network analysis) to address the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationalism, and colonialism.

Race, Gender & Sexuality in Hip-HOp:

Hip-hop pedagogy projects

The “Hip Hop Pedagogy” project inspires students to create their own hip hop content (video, audio, website, and/or lyrics) in response to problems they identify in hip hop culture (related to race, gender and sexuality).

Representations of Women and Feminist Liberation in Hip Hop

Big Girl Speaks: Where Size Doesn’t Matter

Basic Ideas of Sociology: Margin to Center Project

The “Margin to Center” project (Basic Ideas of Sociology) engages students in primary source research about marginalized sociological theorists, especially women of color.

Audre Lorde and Kimberlé Crenshaw: Intersectionality

Race, Gender and Science in the Atlantic: Creative Activist History Project

The CAHP (Creative Activist History Project) promotes primary source research into the intersections of race-gender-science in the African Diaspora in order to raise awareness and conduct outreach (in the form of surveys, for example) related to a problem identified by students within these course themes. Students implement a creative digital project that aims to provide a potential “solution” to the problem and share their product with peers.

Representations of African American Women in Film

Incarceration of Black Women

Societies in the World: AutoethnographY

Autoethnography projects (Societies in the World and World Ethnographies) develop students’ abilities to connect their personal experiences with sociological and anthropological theories and ethnographic research (interviews, participant observation) around themes such as gender, migration, social class, race, religion, labor, and politics.

Intersectionality: Black/Female/Mother/Lower-class

Current position: Holocaust research

I began a new position in September 2019 as the Morgenthau Scholar-in-Residence at the FDR Library. I blog about my new role here. I posted about my initial research on the importance of Henrietta Stein Klotz, the assistant to Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr., here. A more complete blog about Henrietta entitled “Henrietta Stein Klotz: ‘Watchdog of the Secretary of the Treasury'” can be found on the FDR library’s blog page.

Photograph of Henry Morgenthau Jr. and Henrietta Stein Klotz, 12/3/1935 in his office. Picture is from the Library of Congress, Harris and Ewing collection. Digital id: hec 39676 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.39676
“Firm financeer. Sec. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., photographed at a press conference where he answered questions concerning the pending financing. Among other things, the administration says that the carrying-charge on the bonded debt of the United States has been reduced materially under the leadership of Sec. Morgenthau in the Treasury. 12/3/35.” Henrietta Klotz is to the right of HMJ in the photo. Find original photograph with archival information here. Thank you to Kirsten Carter, Head Archivist, for helping me locate this photograph and identifying Henrietta in it.