Ph.D. students present papers at Urban History Association Conference

Thursday, November 15, 2012

UW-Milwaukee BLC students Sarah Keogh and Caitlin Boyle represented the program at the Urban History Association Conference in New York City this fall. Their panel, “Resolving Cultural Contact Through Placemaking,” engaged the conference theme The Cosmopolitan City.

Sarah Keogh compared two cross-sections of the Milwaukee River to show that swimming schools and leisure clubs produced two types of space —picturesque and functional — according to their location and the status of their users. She argued that these institutions created distinct places to ameliorate the class tensions posed by cultural notions of nature and urbanity, and that the swimming schools operated as counter-cultural spaces for their working class users.

Catilyn Boyle contextualized the “first annual” Italian Festival in Buffalo, New York in 1976 by comparing the festive uses and mundane concerns for street aesthetics in 1956 and 1976. She argued that the emergence of a self-conscious Italian identity in the latter year was rooted in a longer history of strategies to promote the neighborhood as it struggled amidst post World War II disinvestment.

John McCarthy, Professor of History at John Morris University, served as chair and commentator of the panel. His comments after the presentations initiated a lively discussion with audience members.

Our congratulations to these students on the achievement of having their papers accepted at this prestigious conference.

For more information about the Urban History Association, please see: