Department News

News by Year



September 26 - From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Dr. Michael Tworek of Harvard will give a guest lecture in O'Leary 222: "Globalizing the Renaissance: Another View of Early Modern European History.” His talk will explain his research related to early modern globalization and how some early modern Polish expatriates contributed to the Republic of Letters during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This event is being sponsored by the History Department and Medieval-Renaissance Studies. For more information, please email: Prof. Chris Carlsmith.

September 25 - From 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Dr. Jake Werner (University of Chicago) will be visiting UMass Lowell to give a talk: “Globalization in Crisis: The US–China Trade War and the Future of Global Growth.” This lecture that will take place in the O'Leary Library Mezzanine is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. This event is being co-sponsored by the History Department and the Political Science Department's Brad Morse Speaker Series. Please email: Prof. Shehong Chen with any questions.

March 27 - This year's Zamanakos Lecture was given by Angela Ziskowski, Assistant Professor of History at Coe College, Iowa. Her talk, "Touching the Past: Students and Archaeology at the Corinthian Harbor Settlement at Lechaion," began at 7 p.m. at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. It considered some of what can be found at this largely Late Roman archaeological site in Greece and also offered students insight into field school. History major Sean McDonough, who was able to work with Prof. Ziskowski at Lechaion in 2017, shared some of his experiences with those in attendance. A reception followed the talk. For more information, please email: Prof. Paul Keen.

March 22 - Historian Eric Foner of Columbia University visited UMass Lowell. Starting at 7 p.m. in Weed Hall 1, he gave a talk: “The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Changed the Constitution.” A reception was held before this, starting at 5:30 p.m., in the Allen House. Students were able to meet Prof. Foner there as well as connect with faculty, alumni, and friends. The money raised through ticket sales for this event (students could attend the talk for free) will go toward raising funds for History Department scholarships.

March 5 – Prof. Elizabeth Williams hosted an Alumni Career Panel during her “Historical Methods” class (3:30-4:45 p.m.). Kathleen Curtin (’86), Jonathan Zlotnik (’12), Mark Gozzo (’15), and other distinguished alumni participated. For more information, please email: Prof. Christopher Carlsmith.

February 26 - Beginning at 2 p.m. in O'Leary 478, Prof. Anna Wainwright of the University of New Hampshire will give a lecture entitled "Death Becomes Her: Widows in Italian Renaissance Literature." This event will be co-sponsored by the History Department and Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

February 20 - The exhibition "Portuguese Immigration in Lowell" was revealed to the UMass Lowell community during a ceremony at University Crossing. Starting at 5:30 p.m., University Professor Bob Forrant gave a keynote address that was followed by the ribbon-cutting and a reception. History majors Kady Phelps and Molly Mahoney did a lot of research to make this project happen.

February 12 - Mark Bilbe, the chief operating officer of Mimecast LLC, visited UMass Lowell to speak in Prof. Elizabeth Williams's "Historical Methods" class. From 4-4:45 that day, he explained how a career in History (and the humanities) can prepare one for a career in a high-growth field like tech. Bilbe earned his Ph.D. in African History from the University of Cambridge, and has been at Mimecast for thirteen years. Students were able to set up appointments to speak with him earlier in the day by contacting Career Services.


Prof. Andrew Drenas's first book, "The Standard Bearer of the Roman Church: Lawrence of Brindisi and Capuchin Missions in the Holy Roman Empire (1599-1613)," has been published through Catholic University of America Press. This book examines the strategies employed by the Capuchin doctor of the church, St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619), in his efforts to restore Catholicism in the largely non-Catholic Kingdom of Bohemia from 1599 to 1613. Prof. Drenas's work on St. Lawrence continues. He is preparing a conference paper on Lawrence's Eucharistic spirituality, and has been invited to undertake translating some of Lawrence's writings into English for an anthology to be published in the future.

On Tuesday, November 27, at 5:15 p.m., Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant will be giving a paper for the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture. The paper, "Separating Residences in the Camel City," addresses segregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the local African Americans' response, and the reasoning behind why the Supreme Court ruled against this ordinance. Those interested in attending should RSVP by email to: or by phone: 617-646-0579.

For this academic year's Boston Environmental History Seminar, Prof. Chad Montrie will serve as a commentator for the paper to be presented during the November session, Caroline Grego's "Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry." This session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, from 5:15-7:30 p.m. Those interested in attending should RSVP by email to: or by phone: 617-646-0579.

The Massachusetts Historical Society is launching a new seminar series this fall: the Boston Seminar on African American History. It provides an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of African American history from the colonial period through the present. Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant is a steering committee member of this seminar that is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Both she and Prof. Chad Montrie helped found the series.

Prof. Chad Montrie is the grand prize winner of the 2018 Green Book Festival, which honors works that contribute to greater understanding, respect for, and positive action on the changing worldwide environment. Prof. Montrie and his acclaimed book, The Myth of Silent Spring, will be recognized at a private reception held by the Green Book Festival on Saturday, June 9, in San Francisco.

University Prof. Bob Forrant was interviewed for an article, "Want to see where immigration policy changes put workers at risk? Go to Harvard." This article, written by Amy Bracken, and published online at PRI on May 9, addresses how present immigration policy changes are putting workers at risk.

On April 5, Prof. Chad Montrie's new book, The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of America's Environmentalism, was featured online at the New Books Network. He did an interview about the book that is available there via podcast.

Prof. Chris Carlsmith is presently occupied with writing a history of Save Venice Inc., a nonprofit in the Boston area that works toward preserving Venice's artistic heritage. Assisting him is his research fellow Amariah Condon, a UMass Lowell Chemistry major. On Friday, March 30, their research was featured in an article about Honors College grants. Amariah was the recipient of one of these grants, which will enable her to continue her research with Prof. Carlsmith next year.

On Friday, February 23, Prof. Abby Chandler gave a paper at the Consortium of the Revolutionary Era Conference in Philadelphia. Her paper, “'Let us unanimously lay aside foreign Superfluities': Textile Production and British Subjecthood in the 1760s," was a contribution to the “Producing and Defining Identities in Colonial and Revolutionary North America” panel.

This February, Prof. Chad Montrie's most recent book, The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism, was published by the University of California Press. On February 21, Prof. Montrie gave his first talk on the book as part of the Conservation Law Foundation's President's Speakers Series. Two days later, he and the book were featured in a UMass Lowell news article: Historian Looks at Popular Roots of Environmental Movement published online by Katherine Webster.


This year's Student Research Symposium took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 1 and 2. On May 1, several history majors presented papers in humanities panels at O'Leary Library. Among them were Chloé-Marie Cabaret-Salameh (“The Multiple Identities of Lebanon Through Cinema and Literature”), Kerstin Darsney (“’I am an outcast in the world forever’: The Focus on Friendship in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”), Charles Grover (Shield Maidens: The Fight for Recognition”), and Molly Mahoney ("King Alfred of Wessex: The Great"). One of our work-study students, Michaela Goss, an English major, was part of a roundtable discussion on doing advanced graduate research. On May 2, two of our students contributed to the symposium at University Crossing. Wynn Wiggins presented a poster about "Southeast Asian Americans in Lowell." He developed this as part of his Tsongas Center Practicum, for which he worked with Prof. Chad Montrie. Lexi Mason gave a brief talk about her work on the Mill Girls Exhibition at the Tsongas Industrial History Center. This came about as part of her Art History course "Museum Lives" with Prof. Jennifer Cadero-Gillette.

Two of our students, Kady Phelps (in the History Department's master's program) and Molly Mahoney (an undergraduate due to graduate this spring), have been nominated to receive a Cultural Heritage Award from the Lowell National Historical Park. They are being recognized for their exhibit “From the Atlantic Islands to Lowell, Massachusetts: Continuity and Change in the Mill City’s Portuguese Community," which was revealed to the community in February. Supervising them as they completed this project on Portuguese immigration was University Professor Bob Forrant. Kady and Molly will be presented with this award at the National Park's annual reception during the evening of Thursday, May 3, at the Boott Mills.