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News 2009-2011

Department News 2009-2011

Fall 2011


The UMass Lowell History Club is sponsoring a talk by Ms. Natalie Deibel entitled "Graduate School in History and the Humanities: What, Why & How?" Ms. Deibel, a Ph.D. student at George Washington University, will discuss what graduate programs are like, how to get into them, and the various sources of funding that are available. 

Please join us and bring your questions. Ms. Deibel will be speaking and answering questions on Monday, November 14 at 3:30 in Coburn 205. Lots of free food and drink. Note that this event is distinct from the Phi Alpha Theta History induction later that same afternoon. 

Phi Alpha Theta , the History Department Honor Society, will host its annual induction ceremony on Monday, November 14, 2011, at 5:00 p.m. in Coburn 205. More than forty students have been invited to join the organization this year.  The History Department is proud to sponsor this event again this year.

Prof. Abby Chandler is the new Faculty Advisor for Phi Alpha Theta, effective September 2011. Please contact her via email, phone 978-934-4529, or in person at Coburn 107 to register for this event and for additional information about Phi Alpha Theta.

Faculty News

Prof. Chad Montrie is publishing his third book in less than ten years, and thus far it has received excellent reviews from scholars and journals across the academic spectrum.

Chad Montrie, A People's History of Environmentalism in the United States (Continuum Publishing, 2011).  This book offers a fresh and innovative account of the history of environmentalism in the United States, challenging the dominant narrative in the field. In the widely-held version of events, the US environmental movement was born with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and was driven by the increased leisure and wealth of an educated middle class. Chad Montrie’s telling moves the origins of environmentalism much further back in time and attributes the growth of environmental awareness to working people and their families. From the antebellum era to the end of the twentieth century, ordinary Americans have been at the forefront of organizing to save themselves and their communities from environmental harm. This interpretation is nothing short of a substantial recasting of the past, giving a more accurate picture of what happened, when, and why at the beginnings of the environmental movement. For more details, please see: Continuum Publishing - A People's History of Environmentalism in the United States

Spring 2011


On Tuesday, April 26, at 3:30 p.m. in Coburn 200, the History Club presents a talk entitled "The Inside Scoop on How to Get Hired By the U.S. Government" by Greg Aftandilian. All are invited, and food will be provided.

On Thursday, April 28, the History Dept will co-sponsor an event entitled "The True Cost of Coal". From 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. there will be activities in McGauvran, including an enormous banner that uses graphic narrative to describe the complex process of mountaintop removal coal mining and the impact upon Appalachia’s environment; at 3:30 p.m. a workshop will take place with more information. Prof. Chad Montrie has written a book on this topic, and will be happy to provide additional information. It will connect particularly well to courses on 19th and 20th century U.S. history, social movement history and theory, geology and climate science, political systems, and the like. All are welcome.

Faculty News

Prof. Abigail Chandler has won a highly competitive National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Grant, for an advanced seminar on the topic “English Encounters with the Americas, 1550-1610: Sources and Methods.” Led by Prof. Mary Fuller, it will run July 5-25, 2011 at MIT. She will utilize this seminar to further develop her UMass Lowell courses on Captivity Narratives and on Colonial America for 2011-12.

Prof. Joseph Lipchitz has been appointed to assist Dean Nina Coppens with preparing compact agreements with neighboring universities and with ensuring UMass Lowell seniors are qualified for graduation, effective May 2011. He has also been re-elected History Dept. Chair for the triennium 2011-2014.

Prof. Christopher Carlsmith has been appointed UMass Lowell Undergraduate Fellowship/Scholarship Advisor, effective June 1, 2011. He will advise students seeking major external fellowships for graduate study, such as the Fulbright, Boren, or Rhodes scholarships.

Prof. Robert Forrant leads two monthly book clubs — one at Lowell High School, the other at Reading Memorial High School — comprised of about 50 high-school teachers. The book discussion groups are part of a three-year program called “History Connected,” funded by a nearly $1 million Teaching American History grant bestowed by the U.S. Department of Education.  Read more in the eNews story - Teaching American History.

Prof. Caryn Cossé Bell's book "Rappelez-vous concitoyens": La Poésie de Pierre-Aristide Desdunes, published by Les Éditions Tintamarre with introduction and notes in French and English, will soon be available on-line. Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans, the award-winning film documentary on which she worked as Research Director, has been chosen for re-broadcast on PBS stations across the nation during Black History Month. Visit the Treme - New Orleans website for a list of dates and times in your area. She is also invited speaker at New Jersey's St. Peter's College commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic 1965 visit to the campus when the college awarded him an honorary Ph.D. degree.

Prof. Christopher Carlsmith was featured in a January 2011 article in the UMass Lowell e-News about his sabbatical year in Italy at Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, the Center for Study of the Italian Renaissance in Florence, Italy.

Prof. Chad Montrie returns from his Fall 2010 sabbatical and will teach two specialized courses: "U.S. in the 1960s" and “Making a Historical Documentary”.

In order to help students plan their courses more effectively, the History department has posted a list of upper-level courses (pdf) that will be offered from Spring 2011 until Spring 2013. These courses are, of course, subject to change.

The History Department is in the process of hiring a full-time Lecturer to teach Ancient History beginning in September 2011. Candidates will be visiting campus in February 2011.

Prof. Robert Forrant has been elected chair of the Bread & Roses Centennial Committee, which is at work developing a year of programming to celebrate the centennial of that famous 1912 strike in Lawrence, MA. Events include a permanent historical exhibit to open in January 2012, an academic symposium in April 2012, a one-day festival on Labor Day 2012, and an art and a film festival.

Prof. Christoph Strobel and Prof. Robert Forrant in 2011 will complete and publish an ethnographic study of immigration in Lowell, funded by the Lowell National Historical Park. They will also jointly publish a book, which contains interviews with nine recent Lowell immigrants and an overview historical essay.

Fall 2010


The History Club will sponsor a talk on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m. in Coburn 205, by John Katsaros, entitled “Code Burgundy – The Long Escapem” about his bailout in 1944 over France from a B-17 and his subsequent capture by the Gestapo and rescue by the French resistance. Food and drink will be available. For more information, contact Prof. Pierson.

Phi Alpha Theta , the History Department honor society, will host its annual induction ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. It will be held at Allen House, on Solomont Way on South Campus (note new location). Family, friends, faculty, and students are welcome. 

Faculty News

The History Dept. is delighted to welcome Prof. Abby Chandler to UMass Lowell, where she will offer courses in Early American History. Prof. Chandler plans to publish a short essay entitled "The True Case concerning said Thomas Choat: the 1705 Declaration of Debora Proctor" in an upcoming special issue on Women and Early America in Legacy’s “From the Archives.”

The History Dept. is also delighted to welcome Prof. Robert Forrant to the department, where he will offer courses in American History and Labor History. In 2009 Prof. Forrant published Metal Fatigue: American Bosch and the Demise of Metalworking in the Connecticut River Valley.

Prof. Christopher Carlsmith has returned from a two-year sabbatical in Italy. On November 5 he will speak at the History of Education annual conference in Boston on the topic of how students paid for a university education in early modern Italy.

Prof. Michael Pierson spoke in the Parker Lecture Series of Lowell on Oct. 3 with a talk entitled “Prelude to the Civil War: The State of the Union 150 Years Ago.”

Prof. Patrick Young will publish in December an article entitled “A Place Like Any Other? Publicity, Hotels and the Search for a French Path to Tourism” in a collection of essays from Ashgate Press, entitled Touring Beyond the Nation, edited by Eric Zuelow.

Prof. Chad Montrie is on leave this semester to conduct research in American history and in documentary film-making.

Prof. Christoph Strobel is on leave this semester; his new book The New Americans: Immigration since 1965 has been published by Greenwood Press in 2010.

Prof. Lisa Edwards recently published an article on the website "World History Connected", entitled "Paths to Progress in Latin America".

Spring 2010

Caryn Cossé Bell's "Rappelez-vous concitoyens": The Poetry of Civil War Soldier, Literary Romantic Artist and Civil Rights Activist Pierre-Aristide Desdunes (May) is being published by Les Éditions Tintamarre.  Her introduction and notes for the book's French-language poems appear in both English and French.  In addition, the subject of her award-winning documentary, Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans has been transformed into the HBO series Tremé (April) by the critically acclaimed filmmaker David Simon (The Wire, Generation Kill).  Tremé focuses on the historic neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  "If we do it right" Simon explains, "it will be about why New Orleans matters."

Fall 2009

The UMass Lowell chapter of Phi Alpha Theta will induct new members on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, at 5 p.m. in Coburn Hall.

King Richards' Fair Trip, October 12. Contact the History Department for more information. 

We also are planning a History & Hockey nite for the game against BU on October 30. Contact the History Department for more information.

In January, Michael Pierson's new book, "Mutiny at Fort Jackson: The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans," was published by the University of North Carolina Press. 

Spring 2009

Caryn Cossé Bell’s documentary work, "Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans," is airing on WGBH/PBS, Channel 2, during Black History Month. The film was co-directed by Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Elie.  Professor Cossé Bell served as the documentary’s research director.  A schedule of local and national broadcasts of the film can be found on-line. 

Christoph Strobel has an article in the Journal of Northwest Ohio History (Vol. 76, No. 1), "The Delaware Indians' Revolution: A Struggle for Sovereignty and Independence in the Tuscarawas and the Muskingum River Valley.” 

Mary Blewett recently published a book, The Yankee Yorkshireman: Migration Lived and Imagined, with the University of Illinois Press. 

Patrick Young has two articles, one in the Journal of Social History (Spring 2009), “Fashioning Heritage: Regional Costume and Tourism in Brittany, 1890-1937,” and another in French Historical Studies (Summer 2009), “A Tasteful Patrimony: Landscape Preservation and Tourism in the ŒSites and Monuments Campaign, 1900-1935.”