April Lecture Series: Where Psychology Meets History

The History and Social Studies Education Department will present the History, Psychology, and Social Movements Lecture Series at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in April. Both lectures will examine the psychology of social movements.

The first lecture will be held on Wednesday, April 14, at 4:30 p.m. in the center’s auditorium. The presenter is Belinda Davis, associate professor of history at Rutgers University and a specialist in twentieth-century German history. Her lecture, “The Inner Life of Politics: The ‘New Left’ in West Germany, 1962–1983,” will be based on a current book project, which draws upon a series of in-depth interviews she conducted with participants in the protest movements in Germany. Her first book, Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin, explored the effects of the Great War on domestic life.

The second lecture will be held on Friday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Deborah Gould, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will present “A Shifting Emotional Habitus: Bowers vs. Hardwick and the Emergence of the Direct Action AIDS Movement.”

The talk will discuss how the Supreme Court’s 1986 decision upholding Georgia’s laws against sodomy energized the gay community and led to social activism regarding health care for individuals with HIV and AIDS.

John D. Abromeit, assistant professor of history and social studies education, organized the series. He is interested in the role played by individual and collective psychological factors in the creation of social movements. Last year he taught a graduate course, History and Psychology, in which the students explored the role of psychological factors in different social movements in modern Europe, including the Reformation, the French Revolution, and German National Socialism.

The series is sponsored by the History and Social Studies Education Department and co-sponsored by the Auxiliary Services Grant Allocation Committee, the Equity and Campus Diversity Office, the Sociology and Psychology departments, and the University at Buffalo’s Department of History.