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News 2013

Department News

Fall 2013

(updated 9/5/2013)

Prof. Carlsmith gives lectures in Boston and Newport
On Friday, Sept. 27, Christopher Carlsmith will speak about his recent research on the wall murals of the Ames-Webster house in Boston’s Back Bay to the Newport County Preservation Society. His talk is part of a larger Study Day that examines Venetian influence in the grand Gilded Age homes of Newport, Rhode Island. On Thursday, Oct. 3, Carlsmith will give a lecture at MIT in Italian to the Circolo Italiano of Boston. The subject will be the history of schooling during the Renaissance in the northern Italian city of Bergamo.

Prof. Chandler speaks at two conferences in New England
Abby Chandler will be co-presenting a panel called “"Sexual Misconduct and Blasphemy in a Changing Massachusetts Society" as part of the Boston Charter Day Celebration on Sept. 30. And she will be giving a paper called “An Odd Adventure: Variations on the New England Captivity Narrative Tradition” at the Seventeenth Century Warfare, Diplomacy & Society in the American Northeast Conference in Mashantucket, Connecticut on October 19.

Mairèad Pratschke joins the History Department
The History Department is delighted to welcome Dr. Mairèad Pratschke to UMass Lowell as a full-time Visiting Lecturer. Pratschke earned a Ph.D. in modern British and Irish history from McMaster University in 2005. Prior to that, she earned an M.A. in European Studies from the University of Leuven (Belgium), and an Honors undergraduate degree from the University of Guelph. She brings deep expertise in Irish/Celtic film studies and a broad understanding of Canadian and European affairs. She will teach a variety of courses in modern European history, both online and in person. Dr. Pratschke also expects to help current members of the Department to transition an increasing number of courses to an online platform. She has taught at the University of Guelph, Mount Royal University, and University of Toronto.

Prof. Young promoted to Associate Professor
The University has granted tenure to Patrick Young, and promoted him to the position of Associate Professor. Congratulations!

Prof. Pierson to chair Search Committee for an Ancient Historian
Michael Pierson will head up a job search in 2013-14 for an Assistant Professor of Ancient History. The job posting and other details will be posted on the UML HR website during the Fall semester. The appointment will begin on Sept. 1, 2014.

Prof. Edwards speaks at Catholic University and in Burlington VT in October
Lisa Edwards will give a paper at a conference in mid-October 2013 hosted by Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The conference examines the theme of “Catholic Activism in the Americas, 1891-1962: New Comparative and Transnational Approaches." Drawing upon her research in Chile and in the Vatican archives, Prof. Edwards will speak about “The View From Rome."

Also in October, Prof. Edwards, together with Prof. Christoph Strobel, will speak at a roundtable discussion on “The Challenges of Teaching the Western Hemisphere in World History” at the New England Regional World History Association fall symposium in Burlington, VT.

Prof. Minkin and Prof. Edwards on leave in Fall 2013
Shane Minkin and Lisa Edwards are on parental leave during the fall 2013 semester. The Department congratulates Prof. Minkin and Prof. Edwards as they begin training future historians!

Summer 2013

(revised 7/2/2013)

Joshua Catanzaro selected for Washington Center internship in D.C.

Joshua Catanzaro of Revere, MA, has been accepted to The Washington Center Internship and Academic Seminar program to study International Affairs for the Fall Semester of 2013. During his stay in Washington D.C., he will be discovering new methods of diplomacy as well as increasing his understanding of a wide variety of political and social issues. He hopes to gain an experience that will make him ready for real world challenges to come.

Christopher Carlsmith speaks at Oxford University

In early June 2013, Christopher Carlsmith gave a paper on the 16th-century Italian schoolmaster Nicolò Cologno of Bergamo to the "Early Modern Catholicism Seminar" at Oxford University. In the audience was UMass Lowell History alumnus Andrew Drenas ('05), who is finishing a Ph.D. at Oxford in History in 2013. Carlsmith also conducted research at the Bodleian Library, and visited colleagues at the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick.

George Deak visits Russia with Students

Faculty member George Deak is currently planning a trip to Russia in summer 2014 as part of his Special Topics course on "Russia in Books". For details, see the brochure on the History Dept. Bulletin Board.

Spring 2013

(Updated 4/16/2013) 

Mary-Kate Hazel Chosen as 2013 Commencement Speaker

UMass Lowell History major Mary-Kate Hazel has been selected as the student speaker for the University's undergraduate commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, 2013. Chosen from among four finalists, among whom was also Kate Di Tullio, another senior History major, Hazel was selected on the basis of her academic achievement, poise, and the subject of her speech.

Blewett Prize and Carroll Award winners announced for 2013

The History Department is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012-2013 Blewett Research Prize and of the Carroll Service Award. The Blewett Research Prize is awarded in honor of Prof. Mary Blewett, a retired member of the faculty who performed path-breaking research on the industrial history of Lowell and of New England, for the best undergraduate student essay. The Carroll Service Award is given in honor of Charles Carroll, who served as Department Chair and as Dean of the College of FAHSS; it recognizes an undergraduate student for selfless service on behalf of the Department and its students.

Blewett Research Prize

Winner: Christopher Lynch, "River Gone to Waste: The Public Good, the Environment and Government in Lawrence, MA."

Lynch’s paper examines the tangled history of the Merrimack River in Lawrence from the mid-19th century to the present. The committee praised his deft interweaving of Lockean philosophy, environmental history, and public policy; he demonstrates clearly why it is so important to understand the past as we make decisions about the future.

Honorable Mention: Kate DiTullio, "Hunters, Diplomats, and Warriors: Continuity of Male Mohican Societal Roles from 1609 to 1796"

DiTullio’s paper explores the fascinating history of the Mohican tribe in Stockbridge, MA in the 17th and 18th centuries; her essay demonstrates how to blend historiography, primary source research, and great narrative to tell a compelling story.

Carroll Service Award

Winner: Mary-Kate Hazel.

Hazel has served as President of the History Club and as an active member of Phi Alpha Theta.

UMass Lowell History Department is a pioneer with the Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an important new national initiative aimed at bringing together a massive amount of useful information under one virtual roof. First conceived in October 2010 at Harvard, this project aims to create a national digital library. It aims to provide books, images, and audio-visual materials on a systematic and accessible basis. The grand unveiling of this project will occur at the Boston Public Library on April 18th. UMass Lowell will be among the very first History Departments in the country to contribute new content to this project, based upon the prize-winning work on the Bread & Roses strike of Prof. Robert Forrant (on which, see below). Stay tuned for more details on this initiative.

Mary-Kate Hazel wins 2013 Gilder Lehrman History Scholar Award

UMass Lowell History major Mary-Kate Hazel has been selected as one of just fifteen Gilder Lehrman History Scholars in a nationwide competition. The award allows her to spend a weekend in New York City where she will participate in a program of special presentations, including meetings with eminent scholars and a behind-the-scenes tour of historic archives. She will also be honored at a formal dinner. The award recognizes outstanding graduating college seniors who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history as well as a commitment to public service and community involvement.

Historical Exhibition on Lawrence Mills at O'Leary Library

Professor Robert Forrant and some of the students from his Lawrence seminar have contributed to a breathtaking series of fourteen large panels now on display in the lobby of O'Leary Library. Entitled "The Lewis Hine Project: Stories of the Lawrence Children" and curated by Joe Manning, these panels tell the story in both text and image of a dozen individual children from the Lawrence Mills in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Based upon the haunting portraits of Lewis Hine, and augmented by hundreds of hours of historical and biographical research by Joe Manning, these panels also include research by UMass Lowell History majors, professors, and archivists (see related story below).

UMass Lowell Students Invited to Participate in New England Historical Association annual conference

Five University of Massachusetts Lowell undergraduate History majors have been invited to present their research at the annual meeting of the New England Historical Association (NEHA) on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at Westfield State University. Ashley Long, Mary-Kate Hazel, and Katherine DiTullio will present papers based on research completed about Native American tribal identity under the direction of Prof. Chandler in Fall 2012. Derek Winslow and Meghan Chapman will present papers based on research completed about the history of the New England Renaissance Conference under the direction of Prof. Carlsmith.

Phi Alpha Theta Sponsors History Research Symposium

On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 3:30 p.m., the UMass Lowell chapter of Phi Alpha Theta will sponsor a History Research Symposium in Coburn Hall 307. The events is free and open to the public; please contact Prof. Abigail Chandler for more information. Five members of Phi Alpha Theta will present their current research on historical topics, including:

Mary-Kate Hazel: "Autonomy, Identity, and English-French-Native Relations in the Captivity Narrative of Eunice Williams."

  • Ashley Long: "Captors and Captives in the Ohio Country"
  • Kate DiTullio: "Warrior-Diplomats: Mohicans in the American Revolution"
  • Janelle Bourgeois: "'The union is the place of combat; the cooperative must be a financial and moral support': Franco-Belgian Immigrants in the Textile Industry 1900-1912"
  • Caitlin Pinkham: "Seeking Security and Hope in the Mill City: How Lowell, Massachusetts Experienced the First Few Years of the Great Depression"

Chad Montrie Wins Grant to Make Documentary About Lowell Textile Bridge

The Lowell Cultural Council has awarded Prof. Chad Montrie $3,000 to make a short documentary film about the history of the Textile Memorial Bridge in Lowell. Montrie was one of 26 recipients this year, and one of only 7 to receive the maximum amount. Montrie has recently completed other documentary films, including River Cycle: The Concord in Lowell (2010) and Tough Love: A Meditation on Dominance and Dogs (2012). Tough Love is his first feature-length film and traces the history of the "alpha dog" concept from its origins in 1940s wolf studies to its current popularity among dog owners. He has upcoming screenings for that movie in Maine, New York City, Colorado, Bermuda, and Texas. Montrie teaches courses in the history and production of documentary films at UMass Lowell.

UMass Lowell Students and Faculty Explore Local History in Bread & Roses Strike Centennial

History professor Robert Forrant spearheaded an interdisciplinary initiative to consider the history of labor and of popular protest by focusing on the 1912 Bread & Roses strike in Lawrence. Recognized by the Zinn Educational Foundation for excellence, this effort involved students and faculty from multiple departments. Please read the full story in the UMass Lowell News, including some exceptional posters. For additional information about a poetry review dedicated to this same topic you can read the online journal The Bridge Review: Merrimack Valley Culture, which includes writing, art, music, video clips, and other creative and scholarly work.