students reading in AD White

Research

Cornell historians, undergraduates, and graduates research the World. Our expertise stretches across the globe and through the centuries, illuminating the present.

In this section

Professor Lawrence Glickman photograph

Faculty Research

Professor Lawrence B. Glickman, Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies in the department of history, has a new book, Free Enterprise (Yale University Press), that is an incisive look at the intellectual and cultural history of free enterprise and its influence on American politics.
 
Throughout the twentieth century, “free enterprise” has been a contested keyword in American politics, and the cornerstone of a conservative philosophy that seeks to limit government involvement into economic matters. Lawrence B. Glickman shows how the idea first gained traction in American discourse and was championed by opponents of the New Deal. Those politicians, believing free enterprise to be a fundamental American value, held it up as an antidote to a liberalism that they maintained would lead toward totalitarian statism. Tracing the use of the concept of free enterprise, Glickman shows how it has both constrained and transformed political dialogue. He presents a fascinating look into the complex history, and marketing, of an idea that forms the linchpin of the contemporary opposition to government regulation, taxation, and programs such as Medicare.

Silbey Grant Winners

GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH

JOEL & ROSEMARY SILBEY FUND RECIPIENTS

Pictured left to right are three graduate students who received Silbey funds to pursue their research.  They are Spencer Beswick, Jacob Walters, and Claire Cororaton.  Each student shared with the Department of History the research they pursued with the award funds.

Spencer Beswick is a third-year PhD student studying the history of the US Left with a focus on anarchism in the late twentieth century. He used the Silbey grant to conduct formative preliminary dissertation research on the post-1960s resurgence of social anarchism at the Brooklyn Interference Archive in Spring 2019.

Jacob Walters researches early to mid-20th-century African-American thought and debates around African-American Marxism, working at the intersection of American intellectual history, radical social thought, and African-American cultural production. Through the Silbey Grant, he conducted research at the Fisk University W.E.B. Du Bois Archives in Nashville, Tennessee, which houses some of Du Bois' neglected late-period writings, much of which is unpublished. His particular focus is on Du Bois' conception of "political" and "scientific" experimentality and experimentalism and its links to both European Marxist thought and the American Pragmatist tradition. 

Claire Cororaton’s research is on the relationship between citizenship, territoriality, and capitalist development in the Philippines from the late 19th to the early 20th century, particularly during the first decade of the American occupation. More specifically, she is interested in debates around "the Philippine Question" and how people made claims to the “state” given evolving conceptions of “citizenship”, “national economy”, “welfare”, and “sovereignty”. Her work is at the intersection of Philippine studies and global approaches to US history and empire. The Silbey grant will fund her research at the National Archives, Library of Congress, and the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.  

 

Photo of Ezras Archives

Undergraduate Research

 

Ezra's Archives is a publication put forth annually by the Cornell Historical Society. The Cornell Historical Society (CHS) is an undergraduate organization at Cornell University founded in 2010.  CHS educates and fosters appreciation for historical topics and methodology with the undergraduate student population and the community at large.   This journal, launched in the Spring of 2011, showcases stellar examples of undergraduate research in the field of history.  In 2015, Ezra's Archives was published online and articles can be read on  e-Commons.

The significance of man is that he is that part of the universe that asks the question, What is the significance of Man? He alone can stand apart imaginatively and, regarding himself and the universe in their eternal aspects, pronounce a judgement: The significance of man is that he is insignificant and is aware of it. Progress and Power (1936)

— Carl Becker 1873–1945, American historian & Cornell Professor