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Congratulations go to Pegi Deitz Shea for winning the CT Book Award for Children’s Author for Noah Webster: Weaver of Words. Published by Calkins Creek and beautifully illustrated by Monica Vachula, this is the story of a “mighty patriot with a pen.” Ms. Shea’s papers are housed in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection with the finding aid at  Congratulations, Pegi!


 The 2010 University of Connecticut Constitution Day observance highlighted the anniversary of the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.  This year’s presentation included a panel discussion and a keynote lecture on September 16, 2010.  The keynote speaker was Pamela S. Karlan, Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford University.  The discussion and lecture are available for viewing online at

In addition, the Dodd Research Center observed Congress Week (September 13-17, 2010) with an exhibition in the McDonald Reading Room that will be available for viewing through the end of September.  The theme this year was “Main Street to Capitol Hill”  and the exhibition illustrates the activities of the Connecticut Congressional delegation in representing the transportation concerns of their constituents.  From the grading and widening of roads in Meriden to renovations of the docks and bridge in Mystic and the revitalization of Broad Street in New Britain to highspeed rail in Hartford, the concerns of state and town officials, as well as the taxpayer are reflected in the congressional collections housed in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.    The Center actively collects the records of the state’s Congressional delegation and the materials date from the 1930s to the present supporting the research interests of scholars investigating the work of the state’s representatives over time and across political parties.  The collections represented in this exhibit include:  Prescott S. Bush, Sr.  (Republican, Senator 1951-1962), William Cotter (Democrat, Representative 1971-1982), Thomas J. Dodd   (Democrat, Representative 1953-1957, Senator 1958-1971), Robert N. Giaimo (Democrat, Representative 1959-1980), Nancy L. Johnson (Republican, Representative 1983-2006), Barbara B. Kennelly (Democrat,    Representative 1981-1998), Francis Maloney (Democrat, Representative 1933-1934, Senator 1935-1946), Stewart B. McKinney (Republican, Representative 1971-1988), Bruce Morrison  (Democrat, Representative 1983-1990), Robert Simmons (Republican, Representative 2001-2006).

Congress Week, September 13-17, 2010


Senator Christopher Dodd presents the 2007 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights to Pamela Merchant, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 5th biennial Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights, to be awarded in the Fall of 2011 at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  Previous recipients include Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair in 2003; Louise Arbour and Richard Goldstone in 2005; The Center for Justice & Accountability and Mental Disability Rights International in 2007; and The Committee to Protect Journalists in 2009. 

The Dodd Prize commemorates the distinguished career in public service of Thomas J. Dodd who, as Executive Trial Counsel at the Nuremberg Trials and a Connecticut Senator from 1959 to 1971, fought against infringement and suppression of human rights in the United States and abroad.

We strongly encourage you to submit nominations of worthy individuals or organizations for this award, which carries a $75,000 prize. 

Eligibility: The Dodd Prize shall be awarded to an individual or group who has furthered the cause of international human rights and justice through the legal process over an extended period of time.

Nomination Process and Deadline: Individuals and groups may be nominated. 

Self-nominations are not accepted.  Nominations are due on or before December 31, 2010.

Further information about the Dodd Prize, including the nomination form, can be found at

Lots has been going on in Archives & Special Collections lately as the semester reaches full swing!  Curators are teaching classes, researchers are filling the tables in the reading room, and a variety of events are happening in Konover Auditorium. 

If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook to keep up with events and news! 

A few upcoming events of note: 

Album cover by praCh, who will be performing at the Dodd Research Center on September 16 at 4 pm.

Lecture and Performance by Cambodian American rapper praCh
Thursday, September 16, 2010
4 pm
Konover Auditorium 

Named by Newsweek as the “pioneer of Khmer Rap” and the “first Cambodian rap star” praCh first received international acclaim with his debut hip hop album, Dalama…The End’n is Just the Beginnin’ (2000). Over the course of a decade, he has emerged as a multimedia force, releasing two sequels to Dalama, in 2003 and 2010.  Born in the farmlands of Cambodia but raised on the mean streets of America, praCh is a committed transnational activist. He battles oppression via rhyme and lyrics, and by example, and makes clear the reasons why hip hop is global and will continue to matter. 

Ed Dorn and son, March 1960, photofinisher's date. From the Charles Olson Papers, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

If hip hop is not your speed, on September 21, 2010, our visiting Strochlitz Researcher Justin Katko, will give a talk entitled, “The Archive’s Other Fiction: Alternatives to Edward Dorn’s Gunslinger.”  Katko is a writer and PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Cambridge, and recipient of a  Strochlitz Travel Grant sponsored by the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  

 Where does a text end and its archival footprint begin?  Can a text be built to rely upon previous, archived versions of itself?  Can coherency be claimed for a text which intentionally relegates component aspects of itself to the archive?  These questions will be addressed through the lens of Gunslinger, a modernist quest narrative by American poet Edward Dorn (1929-1999).  Gunslinger is a long narrative poem which exceeds the bounds of its own printed text in a number of manifest ways, including a rare secret installment printed as a standalone newspaper.  This talk will address the way in which archived versions of a single poem from the Gunslinger epic both clarify and complicate the work’s fragmented and difficult narrative.   Interpretation of Dorn’s masterpiece is only just beginning to be impacted by the archival materials which constitute the Edward Dorn papers, held by the University of Connecticut’s Dodd Research Center. 

 The talk will take place September 21, 2010 from 4:00 to 5:00pm in Room 162 of the Dodd Research Center and is free and open to the public.

Please join the Human Rights Institute, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies for the opening film of the Human Rights in the Americas Film Series.  More information and the full schedule for the Human Rights Film Series is available on the Dodd Center’s website.  

Screenshot of a restavek girl from Karen Kramer’s film, Children of Shadows.

Film: “Children of Shadows”
Directed by Karen Kramer   

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
4:00 pm, Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center   

Filmmaker Karen Kramer, who has recently returned from Haiti, will join us for a Q & A and reception following the film, moderated by Samuel Martinez, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UConn.

 In Haiti, many parents are forced by destitution and desperation to give away their children. The children, who may be as young as four years old, then go to live and work for other families as unpaid domestic servants, or slaves. They are known as “restavek” children.  Children of Shadows follows the children as they go through their daily chores – the endless cycle of cooking, washing, sweeping, mopping, going to the market, or going to run errands. In heartbreaking interviews, the children speak openly and shyly about the lives they are forced to lead. Their “aunts” (adoptive caretakers) speak openly and proudly of the vast mountain of work that “their” restavek does for them. The camera goes deep into the countryside to interview the peasant families as to what kind of situation would force them to give away one or more of their children.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information about this and other events, go to

Charles Chester McCracken
Dr. Charles Chester McCracken, 6th President of the University of Connecticut

On September 1, 1930, Connecticut Agricultural College welcomed Dr. Charles Chester McCracken as President.  A former professor of school administration at Ohio State University, McCracken led the small agricultural institution through the tumultous early years of the Great Depression.  Although he was not a successful administrator, McCracken presided over the accreditation of the college in 1930 by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the introduction of courses of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree (1933), and the renaming of the institution to Connecticut State College (1933).  McCracken resigned in 1935 to accept the position of educational counselor for the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church.  In accepting McCracken’s resignation, Governor Wilbur Cross stated that McCracken “will now be able to devote his whole attention to educational problems without the worry of finances or the details in the administration of a college.”  Additional information regarding Dr. McCracken’s tenure as President is available in the University Archives and in Red Brick in the Land of Steady Habits, a narrative history of the University of Connecticut by Dr. Bruce Stave published in 2006.

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