Research Update: 3 Neglected Transnational Connections Between OSU and India During the Green Revolution

by Renae Sullivan, PhD Student Department of History

We are in a particularly critical moment in time that requires extended understanding of the complex issues of immigration into the United States and the associated global forces that determine mobility. My research explores the overlooked linkages during the Green Revolution between The Ohio State University (OSU), and four professional home economists trained at OSU, including one from India.

The Green Revolution was ~

After investing in agricultural experiments in Mexico during the 1940s, the Rockefeller Foundation started financing agricultural research stations overseas in the 1950s.  These locations, such as India, were sites for planting and harvesting experimental strains of wheat and rice.  These high-yielding varieties (HYV) were biologically created to produce more grain, in contrast to native varieties of wheat that generated more stock than seed. The blending of research, education, and extension activities facilitated the beginnings for the Green Revolution that was to blossom in late 1960s India.  Scholars emphasize that the Development Decade of the 1960s was distinct for its “all-out drive for increased outputs of grain,” and the land-grant university models, along with their agricultural specialists exported to India, were key to implementing modern technologies that facilitated that outcome.

#1)The role of OSU ~

Who were these specialists that were exported to India? In 1960s India, local governments began the task of developing agricultural universities. With the initial funding of the Ford Foundation and the assistance of American land-grant universities, Indian agricultural universities also established Home Economics departments as part of their academic systems. In India it was known as Home Science. Between 1955 and 1973, Ohio State cooperated with four Indian Agricultural Universities under a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project. Two examples of Indian universities that were associated with Ohio State were the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), inaugerated in 1963 by Prime Minister Nehru, and considered the first Indian university to effectively combine research and extension programs; and the University of Udaipur, established in 1955.  Through the Rajasthan Agricultural University Act of 1962, the resources of Udaipur Polytechnic, an institution that granted degrees in mechanical, electrical, and mining engineering, allied with the agricultural program at UU. Ohio State hired the American agricultural and home economics professionals who provided guidance at PAU and UU, located in Northwest India.

#2) Home Economics ~

Three professional, American home economists, who earned degrees in Home Economics at Ohio State University, were tasked with providing specialized support for the new Home Science departments at PAU and UU during the Green Revolution. Dr. Edna Ramsayer Kaufman, Dr. Maria Friesen, and Fanchon Warfield each worked under a USAID contract for a minimum of two years.  Kaufman and Friesen, for example, both worked at Punjab Agricultural University, Kaufman from 1965 to 1967 and Friesen from 1967 to 1969.  Warfield, who was the first to arrive in India and the last one to leave, worked at the University of Udaipur from 1964 until 1970.

In contrast to the Cold War ideals of domesticity, these three women were unique. Friesen, for example, earned her PhD in Home Economics at OSU at the age of 61, retired as head of the Home Ec. Department at Eastern New Mexico University in 1967, and then went to live and work in India at the age of 64.  Warfield, like Friesen, was single and started a new career in her 60s.  On the other hand, Kaufman, married at the age of 55, then left with her husband for her assignment in India. Although their personal circumstances and career motivations were different, they all held similar job responsibilities in India.  One of the main tasks for Warfield, Kaufman, and Friesen concentrated on hiring instructors and department leadership for their respective universities.  They also helped to promote increased student enrollment in Home Science courses and to develop curriculum and degree programs. They participated in village extension programs, extra-curricular activities on and off campus, advocated for the production of buildings created specifically for the needs of Home Science students, and frequently solved problems. In her monthly report to Dorothy Scott in 1966, for instance, Warfield tells the dean of OSU’s Home Ec. department that it was time for the University of Udaipur to open but there was nothing ready, “…not even a dean to give direction. This is the first time in the two years I have been in India that I have wanted to “chuck” it all and go home.” In their various locations, they always struggled to acquire and keep staff due to the lack of academically trained Indian Home Science professionals.

#3) Rajammal Devadas ~

One of the key Indian contacts that helped Warfield, Kaufman, and Friesen accomplish their employment obligations was OSU alumna, Rajammal Packianathan Devadas. After working at Women’s Christian College as a research assistant and as the first lecturer in Household Art in Queen Mary’s College, Tamil Nadu, India, in 1947 she received the Government of India Overseas Scholarship for advanced studies in the USA in Nutrition and Home Science Education.  With that scholarship, she enrolled at The Ohio State University, where she earned a M.S. degree in Foods and Nutrition in 1948, a M.A. degree in Home Economics in 1949, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Biochemistry in 1950.  Thereafter, she returned home to India and by 1953, she was Dean and Professor of Home Science, at Baroda College. 

During her tenure at Baroda, the Ford Foundation began donating large sums of money to the college to develop its Home Science department in order to train Indian women in advanced degrees so that they could fulfill academic positions around India.  As the author of the first Home Science textbook in India, published in 1959, Devadas stated that “Home Science coordinates the modern scientific knowledge with the cultural and spiritual traditions of the past, thus making home life a source of happiness and strength for the family.” From 1955-1961, she served India as the Chief Home Economist and Joint Director of Extension.  While she was working in the Central Government, Dr. Avinashilingam Ayya asked Devadas to help start a Home Science College in Coimbatore, India. For 20 years, Devadas was the principal of the Avinshilingam Home Science College until it transitioned into the Avinashilingam Deemed University in 1988, when she was advanced to the position of Vice Chancellor.  After 50 years of service to the people of India, OSU honored this alumna with the Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 1994.

Thanks to the funding of the Global Mobility Project this preliminary research contributes to our understanding of the historical actors and motivations that provided opportunities for female Home Science students to receive funding in the 1960s from the Rockefeller Foundation in order to immigrate to America for advanced degrees.

Research Update: A Time to Rebuild: The Education and Rehabilitation of Jewish Children in Postwar Germany and Poland, 1945 – 1953

By Nikki Freeman, PhD Candidate in History

Center for Jewish History in NYC

Displaced children and incomplete families were a major international concern among governments, nations, and humanitarian organizations in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. My dissertation studies the rehabilitation, care, and education of Jewish children after the Holocaust in Poland and the US Zone of Allied-occupied Germany. I specifically focus on children’s centers, orphanages, schools, and summer camps as transnational sites where competing relief organizations and Zionist youth movements aimed to influence the future of Jewish life on the local level. Thanks to funding from the Global Mobility Project, I was able to spend three weeks at the Center for Jewish History in New York City conducting archival research for my dissertation.

During my time at the Center for Jewish History, I was particularly interested in learning more about Jewish infiltree children. In 1946, the US Zone in Germany received an influx of Jewish refugees, known as “infiltrees,” who fled from postwar antisemitism in Eastern Europe. I read one archival report that estimated that 76,924 infiltrees entered the US Zone between June and November 1946. Of that number, 13,878 were children. It is important to note that the majority of Jewish infiltree children were from Poland. Their wartime experiences can be divided into three categories. The largest group were children who fled with their parents to central Soviet Union or western Ukraine in September 1939. Then at the end of 1939 or early 1940, they were transported to Siberia. The second group were Polish Jews who lived in the area invaded by the German army in September 1939, but then were ceded to the Soviet Union and occupied by the Red Army. Finally, the third group were Jews who could not escape and stayed in Poland. Some were sent to ghettos and concentration camps while others hid on the Aryan side or in the woods with partisans.

Inside the Center for Jewish History – the Reading Room

In 1946, approximately 2,458 unaccompanied infiltree children entered the US Zone usually in kibbutz groups. They were organized under the care of youth leaders known as madrichim. Each kibbutz had its own political, social, and religious philosophies and teachings. They came to Germany with the intention of eventually immigrating to Palestine. The Child Welfare Division of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) accepted responsibility for providing care for unaccompanied Jewish infiltree children in the US Zone. They coordinated with the Jewish Agency for Palestine, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Central Committee for Liberated Jews. Archival documents suggest that this was not an easy task, and they encountered many problems.

For example, many unaccompanied infiltree children were not orphans. In fact, many had one or even both of their parents. Jewish families gave up their children to kibbutzim for many reasons. Unaccompanied children received better care and provisions, and they were given priority to leave Poland sooner. Once they reached the US Zone, they temporarily stayed at a reception center and then transferred to a more permanent children’s center. According to one report by Susan Pettis (child infiltree officer of UNRRA), this caused further problems because when the families learned that their children were not going to move immediately through Germany, they began appearing at centers to claim the children as their own. Pettis wrote that the Jewish children experienced emotional conflict because they had become attached to the kibbutz. It was also difficult to prove the relationship between the child and relative. In other cases, these children were under a lot of pressure from the Zionist youth movements and did not really want to go to Palestine. UNRRA had to intervene and remove the child in these particular situations because they believed “a child’s wishes should be recognized.” My larger project exposes tensions between these competing organizations and youth movements that all claimed to have the child’s best interests in mind.

Receiving the Global Mobility Project grant allowed me to finish an essential portion of my doctoral research in the US, and now I am able to focus on my archival research in Europe. I look forward to sharing my research in the near future at academic conferences.

Today! Research Methodologies in the Study of Global Migration

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-2:30
Location: Enarson, room 160

On Tuesday, November 14th, 2017, at 1:00-2:30pm The Global Mobility Project will be hosting a roundtable on “Research Methodologies in the Study of Global Migration.” The discussion will feature OSU faculty members Yana Hashamova (Slavic), Robin Judd (History), Hannah Kosstrin (Dance), Arati Maleku (Social Work), Elizabeth Morgan Fitzgerald (Nursing/Latina/o Studies), and Ryan Skinner (School of Music/AAAS) and will be moderated by Theodora Dragostinova (History). 

Please email globalmobility@osu.edu with any questions.  Light refreshments available.  

The Book of My Lives

by Lisa Beiswenger, PhD candidate in Anthropology, GAA for The Global Mobility Project

On Wednesday, October 11, I joined Dr. Dragostinova’s History 4650 class.  On this day, the class was visited by Tomislav Longinovic (University of Wisconsin), Scholar-in-Residence for The Global Mobility Project, to discuss Aleksandar Hemon’s The Book of My Lives.  Both Longinovic and Hemon were born in Yugoslavia and watched from the United States as their homeland dissolved into war.


The students, Longinovic, and Dragostinova touched on many themes in their discussion.  After briefly explaining Longinovic’s personal journey to America, they discussed the value of memoir in providing a unique personal narrative that offers context to statistics and cold data that come along with global mobility and immigration.  This book provided the unique perspective of describing the experience of war vicariously through friends, family, and through the television screen.

Next, they discussed the atmosphere of Yugoslavia prior to the war.  Following World War II, Yugoslavia was set up as a federation of six republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Two autonomous provinces were established within Serbia: Vojvodina and Kosovo.  In the 1950s, Josip Broz Tito, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1953-1963) and later President for Life (1963-1980), was ejected from the communist block by Stalin.  Unlike Stalin, he believed that politics should not dictate aesthetics, and thus abandoned socialist realism which demanded that all writers and painters followed certain guidelines.  Yugoslavia allowed writers to write whatever they wanted.  Also in contrast to other countries in the Communist bloc, uncensored American movies were permitted, presenting audiences with additional perspectives.

In the 1960s, joint ownership of companies allowed foreign capital into Yugoslavia.  This and other economic reforms led to high unemployment forcing workers to leave the country to find other employment opportunities, leading to student demonstrations in 1968.

Throughout the following decades, revolution continued on the margins and became mainstream.  Young people were trying to present alternatives to Communism.  It was part of the youth subculture that moved as the culture changed.  These youths, took political symbols and played with them out of a desire to provoke without necessarily thinking about the consequences of toying with such powerful symbols.  One example was the band Laibach, an avant-garde music group which was part of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) collective.

Following Tito’s death in 1980, federal government was left unable to cope with economic and political challenges, including increasing nationalism and a demand for more autonomy by the republics within Yugoslavia.  In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia broke up along its republics’ borders leading to increased ethnic tensions and the Yugoslav Wars.

For both Hamon and Longinovic, watching the war from a distance took an emotional toll.  Footage from the war-torn country showed areas that should have been familiar but were left unrecognizable.  Ultimately, reading the account from Hamon and hearing the experience of Longinovic demonstrated how the past and present can meld together into multiple lives.

Research Methodology Workshop

Date: Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-2:30
Location: Enarson, Room 160

On Tuesday, November 14, 1:00-2:30 we will be hosting a discussion on Research Methodology.  The workshop will feature presentations from our faculty affiliates and team members.

Join the GMP affiliated faculty, Robin Judd (History), Hannah Kosstrin (Dance), Yana Hashamova (Slavic), Arati Maleku (Social Work), and Ryan Skinner (Music), as they discuss research methodologies related to questions of global mobility and migration.

Research Update – Nationality before Nationalism: Ethnic Politics, Geopolitics, and Sustainability of the Magyar Kingdom in the East

by George Andrei
Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Breyfogle

Panoramic from Citadel ruins (Râșnov Fortress, Brașov County). Photo by George Andrei

This honors-thesis project examines the migration and settlement of the Saxon “nationality” in the province of Transylvania within the Hungarian Kingdom from 1191 to 1400 (from just before the Mongol invasions (1241) to the middle of the Late Medieval Period). It attempts to understand the political and inter-ethnic effects of Saxon settlement in the context of the political, military, and social integration of Carpathian Transylvania into Hungary. The project analyzes how the Hungarian Kingdom utilized these relocated Saxons as an empire-building tool, allowing the Hungarian Kingdom to expand its empire. It also analyzes early governmental centralization efforts in Central- Eastern Europe by the Hungarian Kingdom. The differential utilization of different ethnicities became a significant topic at this time because religious differences between the Catholic Hungarian kings and the Orthodox Romanians played a part in the larger struggle for the dominance of Catholicism in Europe.

City wall of Sibiu (Sibiu County). Photo by George Andrei

This summer, I took an archival research trip to Sibiu, Romania, one of the first major administrative centers of the Transylvanian Saxons. Upon arrival to Sibiu, I met Prof. Dana Dogaru, professor of German at the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu and an expert on the Transylvanian Saxons, who agreed to help with my research.

My time in the archives was limited by a combination of national holidays and protests which delayed access to the archival materials until nearly the end of my trip; however, I spent several days in the archives and got what materials I could.  Luckily, I discovered that many of the documents have been digitized. Prof. Dogaru assisted me in learning how to read the centuries old, handwritten Saxon script. The time spent in the archives, though it was short, was incredibly useful, and now I have access to scanned original sources which I can (slowly) read.

While waiting for the archives to reopen following the unexpected closure, Prof. Dogaru allowed me to examine and photograph analytical works from her personal collection.  I also visited sites important to the Saxon settlement – such as Slimnic, Biertan, and Sighișoara – and collected texts from local historians to get a local view of events.  Some of the books I purchased include:

  • Geneza orașelor medievale în Transilvania (The Genesis of Medieval Cities in Transilvania) by Paul Niedermaier
  • Die Ansiedlung der Siebenbürger Sachsen (The Settlement of the Transylvanian Saxons) by Thomas Nägler
  • Hermannstadt (Sibiu) by Harald Roth

Fortified Church at Biertan (Sibiu County). Photo by George Andrei

Upon return to the United States, I collected additional materials from OSU’s outstanding library and Inter-Library Loan Services, and shifted my focus from gathering to analyzing.  I still have quite a bit to go.  I have been able to find, online, four volumes of published primary sources gathered by Saxons in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, titled Urkundenbuch zur Geschichte der Deutschen in Siebenbürgen.  They are divided into volumes based on the dates of the documents (going back almost a millennium) and attest to Saxon presences and colonization.

My thesis will explore Saxon colonization, the Mongol crisis (first Mongol invasion), rebuilding, the Second Mongol invasion (which took place in 1285 and was repelled), internal struggles, and the lasting impact of these events.

 

George Andrei with his faculty mentor, Nicholas Breyfogle, at the Fall Undergraduate Research Forum – Photo by Theodora Dragostinova

Skills Gained

There are two skills that I believe I have gained that will be invaluable to my future aspirations: (1) the ability to read hand-written medieval documents in the script of the Saxons and (2) the research method that I had constructed for myself.

The handwriting of the Saxon notaries, of course, varied greatly, but there were many patterns and symbols that one can only learn in-person with a professional. I am very thankful that Prof. Dogaru took time out of her busy schedule to come with me to the archive and instruct me in the script. Without her assistance, I would have been completely lost, for while the German was similar to modern German, the letter fonts and symbology were radically different. Very importantly, I know how to access scanned documents through the archive’s website.

The research method that I have come up with is more than just reading the sources. I have come up with a way of indexing the materials that I read and wish to use, noting content, page numbers, and personal comments/thought process at the time of reading and analysis. This enabled me to make connections between texts, both secondary and primary.

Ellis Island and the NYPL Digital Collections

Twelve-million immigrants came to the United States through Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay from 1892-1954.  At its peak, immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day, two-thirds of whom came from eastern, southern, and central Europe.  According to the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation, the all-time daily high was April 17, 1907 when 11,747 immigrants were processed.

Numerous photographers documented arrivals at Ellis Island, and many of these photographs are available through the New York Public Library Digital Archives.  These photographers captured the atmosphere of the immigration center as well as those arriving, many of whom wore the traditional dress of their home countries.  Below are some of those images.

William Williams, the original collector of these images, was the federal commissioner of immigration for the Port of New York, from 1902 to 1905 and again, from 1909 to 1914.

Immigrant Station, Ellis Island, with ferry docked at adjacent pier.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

View of the Immigration Station, Ellis Island (front side).
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Immigrants seated on long benches, Main Hall, U.S. Immigration Station.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams

 

The pens at Ellis Island, Registry Room (or Great Hall). These people have passed the first mental inspection.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Immigrants being registered at one end of the Main Hall, U. S. Immigration Station.
Date: 1902-1910
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Large dining hall, empty except for about ten members of the dining hall staff. The place settings consist of a worn porcelain-enameled plate, a fork and knife.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Uncle Sam, host. Immigrants being served a free meal at Ellis Island.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Ready for travel and going north, south and west. Immigrants with baggage lined up at teller’s windows marked money exchange.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Three women from Guadeloupe.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Slovak woman and children.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

German stowaway.
Date: 1911
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Dutch woman.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Group photograph captioned ‘Hungarian Gypsies all of whom were deported’ in The New York Times, Sunday Feb. 12, 1905
Date: 1902
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

The Question of Refugees: Past and Present

by Peter Gatrell

This article was originally published on Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, created by the History Departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University. Professor Gatrell recently spoke as part of our Immigrants and Refugees: Comparative Experiences Lecture Series.  You can watch his lecture here.

A great deal of ink—and much blood—has been spilled during the current “refugee crisis.” But what do we mean by that phrase?

It describes what has happened recently when Syrian, Afghan, and other refugees attempted the difficult journey to member states of the European Union in their ongoing search for safety. By extension, it describes the response of governments and the media to the refugees on Europe’s doorstep, a response many call inadequate.

The desperation of these refugees and asylum seekers and the challenges they face should not be minimized. But the shorthand of “refugee crisis” (meaning, in effect, “a crisis for European states,” rather than a crisis for refugees) neglects two fundamental issues.

One consideration is that, since 2011, most Syrian refugees either remain in Syria as internally displaced persons outside the scope of international legal conventions, or have found shelter in adjacent states such as Turkey and Lebanon.

Likewise, Afghan refugees are mainly sheltering in Pakistan: only a minority attempt the hazardous journey to Europe.

Continue reading on the Origins website.

OSU History