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Department News

News by Year

2019

EVENTS

  • November 7 - A reception and exhibition for "Greek Immigration in Lowell" began at 5:30 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. University Prof. Bob Forrant and Sophie Combs, one of our students, hosted the event.
  • October 30 - Prof. Christopher Carlsmith and Prof. Timothy Crain (Music History) shared some observations and analysis about an intriguing donation the History Department received this past spring. Passed on to us was a large parchment choir leaf, on which the words and music of the "Kyrie Eleison" (Greek for "Lord, have mercy" - the only Greek found in the Latin Mass) have been inscribed. Its date and provenance are uncertain, but it could come from as early as the Middle Ages and as late as the seventeenth century. Prof. Carlsmith and Prof. Crain offered some reflections on the manuscript this Wednesday afternoon in the O'Leary Mezzanine from 3:30 to 4:30. A video of their discussion is available online. The event was free and open to the public. Light refreshments were served.
  • October 29 - During Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant's "Historical Methods" class (9:30-10:45 a.m.), she hosted an Alumni Career Panel consisting of Matthew Ahern, Molly Mahoney, Bernard Trubowitz, and Sebastian Cordona. They reflected on their careers in the non-profit world. A video of their discussion can be accessed online.
  • October 3 - Thomas Kochan, the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at the MIT Management Sloan School, was on campus to give a lecture: “The Gig Economy, Automation and You.” This event took place from 4-5:30 p.m. in the O'Leary Mezzanine.
  • September 26 - Conor Baldwin, the chief financial officer for the City of Lowell, and a UMass Lowell History alum (2007), was on campus. From 9:30-10:45 a.m., during Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant's "Historical Methods" class, he discussed his career in municipal government as part of the Employer-in-Residence program. Students were welcome to make appointments to speak with him between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Mr. Baldwin also had lunch on campus from 1 to 2 p.m. with faculty and students.
  • 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: Christopher_Carlsmith@uml.edu.
  • 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: Abigail_Chandler@uml.edu.
  • 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 by email: Paul_Keen@uml.edu.
  • 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: Elizabeth_HerbinTriant@uml.edu.

FACULTY NEWS

  • This year marks the 400th anniversary of the introduction of African slaves into the English colonies of North America. In an effort to understand the history of slavery and its consequences, the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston is hosting a lecture series this fall: "Legacies of 1619." Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant will contribute to a panel addressing “Legacies of 1619: African-American Citizenship and Belonging.” The discussion will begin at 4 p.m., with a reception to precede it starting at 3:30 p.m. For more details and to register to attend, please visit the Massachusetts Historical Society's website.
  • On Wednesday, December 4 University Prof. Bob Forrant gave a lecture, “100 Years of Immigration History in Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell,” at the UMass Lowell Haverhill Innovation Hub. The talk lasted from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • University Prof. Bob Forrant gave a lecture, “The Rise and Rapid Demise of New England Precision Manufacturing,” on Sunday, December 1, for the Parker Lecture Series at Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center. The talk began at 2 p.m.
  • November is Native American Heritage Month. On Wednesday, November 13, Prof. Christoph Strobel gave a lecture, "Legacies of 1620," to English and Social Studies students at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence. During the talk, he shared information about indigenous populations before and after 1620, and how they have evolved over time. For more details, see Central Catholic's website.
  • On November 9 this year, we remember the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989), which signaled the coming end of the Cold War. Prof. Christoph Strobel grew up in and experienced the divided Germany of the Cold War. He took four trips to Eastern Bloc countries as an adolescent from 1989 to 1982. In commemoration of this anniversary, he contributed to a blog post, "Personal Reflections: The Fall of the Wall," posted online on November 6.
  • Prof. Christoph Strobel will soon be publishing a new book: Native Americans of New England. On Tuesday, November 5, at 7 p.m. , he visited the Milton Library to give a talk "Legacies of 1620 and the Mayflower." He discussed the changes and challenges faced by indigenous people, and how they survived in New England to the present. If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Strobel by email: Christoph_Strobel@uml.edu.
  • On Thursday, October 17, from 5:15-7:30 p.m., University Prof. Bob Forrant spoke at the Massachusetts Historical Society's Digital History Seminar in Boston. In his talk, "The World Comes to Lowell: Building a Digital Immigration History Website," he explained the origins and purpose of this digital project that resulted in the creation of this website with data, photographs, maps, and links to additional resources pertinent to the study of immigrant and refugee history in Lowell. For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Historical Society's website.
  • This summer, from August 2 to August 25, the Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts put 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 were 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 journeyed 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 was 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 is also recognized and receives 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.

STUDENT NEWS

  • On Saturday, November 23, several of our students attended the Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference in Salem, MA, to present papers: Thea Lamarre Anderson, “The Arab and Byzantine Wars: Loss at Yarmouk"; Dan Mandel, “The Black Spanish Myth"; Ben Beverage, “Massachusetts’ Rise of Literacy"; Meghan Sparks, “Jose Marti and Fidel Castro’s Political Agenda”; Kelley Leonhard, “John Gyles: Captive to Cultural Broker"; and Sophie Combs, “The Franco-American Orphanage in Lowell: Child Care and Industry in the Early 20th Century."
  • From June to August, Meagan Timmins worked as a paid intern at the Lowell National Park Service's Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center (HACE). She spent her time helping out within the lab, as HACE was moving into a newly renovated lab space, and learning the treatment methods for different items. One of the activities she was engaged in was featured in the "Metro section" of The Boston Globe on August 9: the preservation of the Minuteman statue next to the North Bridge on the Concord River in Concord.
  • Kelley Leonhard was awarded the Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts Summer Research Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society. This summer, she worked 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.