L-R: NY State Assemblyman Matthew Titone and City Councilwoman Debi Rose will be among the featured speakers at the conference.

Everyone is invited to participate in this weekend’s groundbreaking conference, Staten Island in American History and 21-Century Education, a two-day event with 80 presentations, including panels on various themes from Dutch architecture to contemporary politics, from war memorials to the history of local parks, including the tenth anniversary of the closing of Fresh Kills. Other special panels will examine transportation history, Miller Field, Catholic and Jewish history, Dorothy Day, and immigration. The conference will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20 in the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

View the full schedule of activities.

On Sunday at 10:30am, City Councilwoman Debi Rose will make opening remarks at the roundtable on civil rights, exploring her role in the naming of the Martin Luther King Expressway and other turning points in borough history, while at the same time Assemblyman Matthew Titone will make introductory remarks at a roundtable on the history of the LGBTQ movement on Staten Island since the 1950s.

In addition, the preeminent historian of New York City, Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, author of the newly released The Encyclopedia of New York City will speak and do a book signing on Sunday from 12:30pm to 1:45pm. His topic “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century” will explore the transformation of the borough since the opening in 1964 of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the ways in which Staten Island differs from the other four counties in New York. Prof. Jackson argues that “this borough has many advantages that could become critical in the next half century.”  Borough President James Molinaro is expected to make opening remarks and dozens of local historians and speakers from across the country will participate in discussing local sites and topics.

The fee is $15 for one or both days and can be paid at the door. Please RSVP to info@si350.org if you plan to attend lunch on Saturday or Sunday or if you’d like to participate in the full program. Additional information is available on the conference Website.

The conference is co-sponsored by si350, the Staten Island Foundation, and the College of Staten Island, Wagner College, and St. John’s University. Event Co-Chairs are Prof. Phillip Papas and Margaret Berci.

Event Details:

Saturday, March 19:

-9:00am to 10:15am: Five sessions including:

“Monuments and Memories: World War I, 9/11, and Beyond”

Gravestones at Moravian Cemetery, Richard Simpson, Historian, Moravian Cemetery

“Doughboys in Marble and Stone: The ‘Great War’ in Staten Island Memory,” Phillip Papas, Union County College

“Staten Island’s 9/11 Memorial: The Architecture of Memory,” Jenny Pachucki, National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Wagner College

-10:30am to 11:45am:  Five sessions including:

“Staten Island Politics since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge” (Roundtable). Participants: Tom Wrobleski, Staten Island Advance; Richard Flanagan, College of Staten Island/CUNY; Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY; Thomas LaManna, College of Staten Island/CUNY.

-11:45am: Lunch

-1:00pm to 2:15pm: Five sessions and 15 papers, including:

“The Archaeology of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” Sherene Baugher, Cornell University

-2:30pm to 3:45pm, Fve sessions including:

Contextualizing the Willowbrook School Site:

“A History of Land Use of the Willowbrook School Site,” James A. Kaser, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Halloran General Hospital,” Henry J. Kennedy, Esq., Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

“An Institutional History and Sociological Analysis of the Willowbrook State School,” David Goode, College of Staten Island/CUNY


The Spirit of Place and Legend:

“The Neighborhood Games: Coaching Legends, Community, and Thanksgiving Day Football,” Jay Price, Staten Island Sports Historian, former Staten Island Advance reporter

“Genius of Genius Loci: An Exploration of Sense of Place in the Works of Paul Zindel,” Jessica R. Kratz, Greenbelt Nature Center, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

-4:oopm to 5:15pm: Keynote Address:

Carmen Fariña, former NYC Deputy schools chancellor, “Making Connections: Social Studies as a Vehicle for Understanding Ourselves and the World”

Sunday, March 20:

-9:00am to 10:15pm: Five sessions including:

The Legacy and Promise of Fresh Kills:

“The History of Fresh Kills Operations,” Ted Nabavi, NYC Department of Sanitation

“Interpretations of Made Land,” Robin Nagle, New York University and the NYC Department of Sanitation

“The Transformation of Freshkills,” Eloise Hirsh, Freshkills Park Administrator

-10:30am to 11:45am:

Trains, Bridges and Highways: The Politics of  New York City Transportation and Its Impact on Staten Island: Chair/Commentator: Charles L. Sachs, Historian and former Senior Curator, New York Transit Museum

“Missing the Train: New York City Subways, the Dual Contracts, and the Failed Effort to Tunnel to Staten Island, 1898-1913,” Kenneth M. Gold, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Beyond the Bridge: Robert Moses and the Parkways on Staten Island,” Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/(CUNY

-11:45am-12:30pm: Lunch

-12:30-1:45: Keynote Address:

Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century”

-2:00pm to 3:15pm: Borough Historians’ Plenary Session:

“1898: New York City’s Consolidation and Its Ramifications” (Roundtable Discussion),  Chair: Robert Weible, New York State Historian. Participants: Thomas W. Matteo, Staten Island Borough Historian; Michael Miscione, Manhattan Borough Historian; Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian; Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian; Lloyd Ultan, Bronx Borough Historian