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Department News

News by Year



  • April 16 - Chad Montrie gave a lecture for the Moses Greeley Parker series: “Beyond ‘Songbirds and Suburbs’: Rethinking the American Environmental Movement Origin Story.”
  • March 27 - Winston Black gave a talk titled “Sugar, Spice, & All Kinds of Drugs: Medieval Medicine between Europe and Asia.” It was co-sponsored by the History Department and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. For more details, please contact Prof. Chris Carlsmith by email:
  • March 26 - The History Department and Phi Alpha Theta sponsored a panel discussion on the ways the humanities can contribute to the conversation about climate change in the twenty-first century. Participants included James Gomes, of MIT; Elizabeth Williams, of the UMass Lowell History Department; and Daniel McDermott, a UMass Lowell history major. For more information, please contact Prof. Abby Chandler by email:
  • March 19 - The Zamanakos Lecture for 2019, "Greeks in Africa," was given by Prof. Emeritus Stanley Burstein of California State-Los Angeles. For more details, please contact Prof. Paul Keen:
  • March 5 - Kellie Carter Jackson gave a public lecture: "Forcing Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence." Prof. Carter Jackson is a nineteenth-century historian in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. Her research focuses on slavery and abolitionists, violence as political discourse, historical film, and black women's history. For questions about the lecture, please contact Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant by email:


  • This summer, from August 2 to August 25, the Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts will be putting on a play called "Ben Butler." One of the United States' significant Civil War era figures (who had strong ties to Gloucester), Butler served as governor of Massachusetts, military governor of New Orleans during its occupation by the Union army, and as a congressman. In addition, he started the Cape Ann Granite Company, owned the yacht "America," and was a promoter of women's suffrage. Before the play's debut, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, the Cape Ann Museum, collaborating with the Gloucester Stage Company, presented a special panel ("Who Was Ben Butler?") at the museum. University Prof. Bob Forrant, someone who has studied Butler at length, was one of the speakers who participated. His contribution was acknowledged in the Gloucester Daily Times.
  • This summer, the research of three members of the faculty are being supported by the History Department Faculty Summer Research Fund. Prof. Abby Chandler went to North Carolina in May to do research on colonial rebellion. Prof. Christopher Carlsmith traveled to Venice in early June to do research for his book on the history of the non-profit Save Venice Inc. Prof. Patrick Young will journey to France in August to study at the Bibliotheque National, which possesses resources needed for his book on Morocco and modern France.
  • This spring, Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant published (through Columbia University Press) her first monograph: Threatening Property: Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods. Early-twentieth-century North Carolina saw a backlash against the economic successes of African Americans, including campaigns for residential segregation laws like those in South Africa. In her book, Prof. Herbin-Triant investigates these campaigns, showing that they exposed a fault line between the interests of middle-class and elite whites. Rather than uniting whites around the idea of segregated neighborhoods, these campaigns ultimately failed and, in so doing, defined the limits of Jim Crow.
  • University Prof. Bob Forrant is the recipient of this year's Jacqueline F. Moloney Honors College Founder’s Endowment Fund. This fund provides recognition and a monetary award to a faculty member who has made significant, multiyear contributions to honors education at UMass Lowell. In addition, the recipient designates one student who will also be recognized and receive a stipend. For this, Prof. Forrant chose one of our majors, Sophie Combs.
  • Students of all ages, educators, and researchers will soon have a new resource available to them as they seek to learn more about immigration and refugee history (and particularly that of Lowell): the online Library of New England Immigration. University Prof. Bob Forrant, together with some of his graduate and undergraduate students, researched and wrote the site's history content. Those interested are able to view a promo in anticipation of the library's official appearance online.
  • From March 17-19, the Renaissance Society of America conference took place in Toronto, Canada. Two of our faculty made the journey there. The chair, Prof. Christopher Carlsmith, attended the meeting in his capacity as a member of the RSA Board of Directors; he also organized a workshop on demystifying the process of applying for (and receiving) RSA fellowships. Prof. Andrew Drenas participated in a panel called "New Approaches to Sanctity: Holy Bodies," for which he presented a paper relevant to his Reformation era research: "'Holy Fazzoletti!': St. Lawrence of Brindisi’s Mass Handkerchiefs and Early Modern Perceptions of Sanctity."
  • Prof. Lauren Fogle has published her first academic book, "The King's Converts: Jewish Conversion in Medieval London," through Lexington Books. This study sheds light on the long dialog between Judaism and Christianity, specifically regarding the situation Jewish converts faced in medieval England.


  • From June to August, Meagan Timmins will be working as a paid intern at the Lowell National Park Service's Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center (HACE). She will spend her time helping out within the lab, as HACE is moving into a newly renovated lab space, and learning the treatment methods for different items.
  • Kelley Leonhard was awarded the Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts Summer Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society. This summer, she will work with the MHS to craft a research project on a topic related to colonial wars in New England that will result in some form of publication.
  • In June, the Lowell Sun published an article: Charting New Course, He's Determined to Teach about one of our graduates this academic year, Neil Oliveria. The story shared details about Neil's inspiring experience as a history major at UMass Lowell and his passion to teach in the public schools.
  • The Student Research Symposium took place on Friday, May 3. Three of our majors participated. For the first panel, "Past and Present in Lowell and Lawrence," Sophie Combs presented her paper, “The Franco-American Orphanage in Lowell: Child Care and Industry in the Early 20th Century.” Next, Christina Sirignano shared her paper, “A ‘Gallery of Tragedy’: The Pemberton Mill Disaster, Its Popular Perceptions, and Politics in Antebellum Literature.” This panel was moderated by University Prof. Bob Forrant. Charles Grover participated in the second panel, "Vikings! Creative Works Inspired by Old Norse History and Myth," for which he presented a paper entitled "Loki's Tale."
  • In April, Daniel McDermott presented a paper ("Let's Close the National Parks: History of Overcrowding in America's National Parks") at the American Society for Environmental History conference in Columbus, Ohio. His attendance provided him with significant examples of how history is applied to real-world problems, and made it possible for him to connect with historians and graduate students who share his interest. Daniel's paper was the fruit of research he did for a directed study with Prof. Chad Montrie.
  • Kady Phelps, the first graduate of the History Department's master's program, was hired as the Enrichment Coordinator for the Lowell Boys and Girls Club. As such, she will play a vital role in strengthening Club culture and help to generate support specifically for the immigrant and refugee members attending the Club.