Fairfield University to Co-host "Connecticut Cities: Past, Present and Future"

Fairfield University and the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (ASCH) will present "Connecticut Cities: Past, Present and Future," a one-day conference on Saturday, April 5, featuring panel and roundtable discussions on current affairs and history. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning in the Oak Room of the Barone Campus Center.

The day begins with "Race, Rights and Rebellion: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North," a lecture by Thomas Sugrue, Ph.D., David Boies Professor of History and Sociology and director of the Penn Social Science and Policy Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. A specialist in 20th-century American politics, urban history, civil rights and race, Dr. Sugrue earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and is president of the Urban History Association. His books include "Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race," and the award-winning "The Origins of the Urban Crisis."

A series of panel discussions throughout the day include such varied subjects as New Haven's Wooster Square neighborhood, Hartford parks planning, the role of public art in cities, using the census records for family and city research, P.T. Barnum and home rule, and teaching urban history. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch will be a panelist for the final roundtable discussion of the day, "The Future of the Connecticut City," as will Yale professor Douglas Rae, the author of "City: Urbanism and Its End" and Yale architecture professor Alan Plattus, who has advised Connecticut cities on urban development and design.

Cecelia Bucki, Ph.D., professor of history at Fairfield University and program director of this Cities conference, points out the importance of local history to create awareness of how things came to be and how to move forward from those historical realities.  In particular, the urban heritage that gives cities their character, and can make cities attractive again, is in constant danger of being razed in the interests of "modernization." A goal of ASCH is to bring this historical information back to public awareness. One way is through the publication of the journal Connecticut History as well as sponsoring conferences such as this. Dr. Bucki has been the editor-in-chief of this journal since 2011, with Fairfield University's support. The conference is also supported by Connecticut Humanities.

The conference dovetails well with the University's 2012-14 area of focus, Cities. The two-year initiative speaks to the historical, political, philosophical, sociological and scientific significance of the city and the entire campus community has been immersed in the theme through special courses and events for the last two years.

Registration for the conference is $20 for ASCH members, $25 for non-members, $15 for students. Lunch and an evening reception are included. The registration deadline is March 28. Registrations will be accepted up until the day of the event, but lunch will not be guaranteed after March 28. To see the full program and to register, visit www.asch-cthistory.org. Fairfield University faculty, staff, and students should register through www.fairfield.edu/citiesconference. For more details, contact Cecelia Bucki, Ph.D., Fairfield University professor of history at cthistory@fairfield.edu.

Last modified: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:23:19 EDT