On Thursday, Sept. 24, the History Department hosted a Transfer Breakfast for all History majors who have transferred from other institutions. Muffins and coffee were available to all, as well as free advice and encouragement.
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the History Department sponsored a talk by Prof. Aviva Chomsky of Salem State University, on the topic of “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.” Based on her current book of the same title, this talk explored how Mexicans and other migrant worked have been systematically denied right long granted to European immigrants.
On Wednesday, Oct. 14, actress and activist Lynne McKenney Lydick presented a one-woman play based on the life of Abby Kelley Foster, Worcester’s radical abolitionist and women’s rights activist.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, the Vietnamese-American author, philanthropist, and peace activist Le Ly Hayslip spoke about her own experiences and those of other Southeast Asian refugees, including the recent history of those groups in the United States.
On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 26 - 27, the History Department will once again offer its semi-annual Course Faire, where students can talk to faculty, and pick up flyers, about the array of History courses to be offered in Spring 2016. The event will occur in Dugan Hall 106 (History Department Lobby) from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.;
On Friday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., students in various History classes will visit the exhibition “Knights!” at the Worcester Museum of Art for a guided tour. The event is free to all students; for more information, contact Prof. Christopher Carlsmith.
From November 2 - 6, the History Department is pleased to host Prof. Federico Paolini, an environmental historian visiting from the University of Naples. He will meet with faculty and students, visit several classes, and give a lecture entitled “’Up to Our Necks in Cars’: A Social Environmental History of Modern Italy” to the Honors College and the public, on Wed, Nov. 4 from 5-7 pm at Allen House. In Italy, as in other countries, the automobile has been both a means of transportation and an agent of social transformation. The automobile’s proliferation after World War II had profound environmental consequences as well, from increased petroleum demand to ever-worsening air quality. Dr. Paolini will discuss this history and consider how cars’ environmental effects as well as the current crisis of Italy’s auto industry are a metaphor for the country’s more general decline. For more information, please contact Prof. Chad Montrie. The History Department is on Facebook! Visiting Lecturer Andrew Drenas has created a new Facebook page for the History Department —come on over to visit and be among the first of projected millions to “like” us!.
Prof. Paul Keen is offering a three-week study abroad course (43.260, “Archaeology and the Idea of Greece”) in Summer 2016, from May 19-June 6. All classes will be taught on-site at museums and archaeological sites. For details, contact Prof. Keen.
Faculty Prof. Paul Keen gave a paper in summer 2015 at the Association of Ancient Historians annual meeting in Santa Barbara, entitled “Epichoric Writing Systems and Political Power in Classical and Hellenistic Cyprus.” He has also spoken to the Lowell Hellenic Culture and Heritage Society at their annual meeting about Coinage, Culture, and Power in the Hellenistic World.” Prof. Abby Chandler’s book Sexual Misconduct in New England is to be published by Ashgate Press in Fall 2015. It includes analysis of hundreds of legal cases across Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and describes how different colonies followed (or rejected) English law—what Prof. Chandler terms “alternating Anglicization.” Sexual misconduct was a major concern for early modern leaders and lawyers. Prof. Mairéad Pratschke’s book Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann Film Series, 1956-1964 was published in early Fall 2015 as part of the Reimagining Ireland series from Peter Lang Publishers. The Amharc Éireann film series, the first and longest-running Irish-language documentary and news-film project, aimed to revitalize Irish language through the use of modern media and technology. It chronicles the dramatic transformation of Ireland from a rural, isolated nation to a modern member of Europe.
(Updated June 18, 2015)
Student Jon Ross wins first place award at Model UN
A double major in History and Political Science, Jon Ross has learned a great deal about how the world works. In February 2015, at the Catholic University of Leuvens (Belgium) Model United Nations conference, he was awarded first place for his simulation of the United Kingdom on the UN Security Council. Along with this teammates in the UMass Lowell International Relations Club, Ross was invited to the Mass. State House where he met with House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
Prof. Chandler describes the role of midwives, and the importance of law, in colonial America
On May 8, 2015, professor Abby Chandler spoke to the Topsfield Historical Society in Topsfield, MA about the role of midwives in colonial America. Prof. Chandler has conducted extensive archival research on personal and professional lives of these crucial medical providers, with particular emphasis on the life and work of Topsfield midwife Mary Curtis. An article that includes three transcriptions of the 1720 trials in which Mary Curtis was required to testify is available online. An article summarizing the talk is also available.
On June 6, 2015 at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Prof. Chandler led a two-hour discussion about the Body of Liberties (1641), the first legal code adopted in any English colony. The Puritans felt it was important to establish such a code very early on in their movement.
Prof. Forrant wins a grant for the history of Lawrence
On June 3, 2015, Prof. Robert Forrant won a grant of $20,000 from the UMass President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, which supports projects aimed at improving the quality of life in communities. Working closely with UMass Lowell undergraduate History and English majors, as well as the Lawrence History Center and Andover Bread Loaf program, Forrant will work on a three-week intensive program for middle-school students in Lawrence about the history of their city, including visits to local cultural exhibits and institutions. The students will focus on post-WWII history, and create large bi-lingual posters showcasing their research, to be placed around the city in businesses, banks, and schools. Read all about it in this article from the Lowell Sun. New Faculty to join the History Department in Fall 2015
Elizabeth Herbin-Triant will join the History Department as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Fall 2015. A specialist in African-American history and the history of the U.S. South with research interests in residential segregation and agrarianism, Prof. Herbin-Triant earned her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. She was a visiting assistant professor at UMass Lowell in 2014-15.
“The Voting Rights Act at 50,” by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1960's activists Judy Richardson and Charlie Cobb
On April 30, 2015, civil rights activists Judy Richardson and Charles Cobb spoke at UMass Lowell about their involvement in the struggle for civil rights and voting rights as part of UMass Lowell’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
A documentary filmmaker and civil rights activist, Judy Richardson was Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Africana Studies at Brown University and is a visiting scholar at Duke University. A veteran of the southern Civil Rights Movement and staffer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966: in Maryland; Mississippi, during 1964 Freedom Summer; and in Georgia and Alabama, she ran the office for Julian Bond’s successful first campaign for the Georgia legislature; co-founded Drum & Spear Bookstore in Washington, D.C., then the country's largest African American bookstore; and was Director of Information for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. She worked on the Academy Award-nominated, 14-hour PBS series, Eyes on the Prize. She is a leading scholar with the SNCC Legacy Project and co- author of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC (2012).
A journalist, professor, and former SNCC activist, Charles Cobb is a senior analyst at allAfrica.com, and was a visiting professor at Brown University and Duke University. After joining the sit-in movement during his freshman year at Howard University in 1961, in 1962, Cobb worked as a field secretary for SNCC in the Mississippi Delta. As a SNCC field secretary he conceptualized and proposed the Freedom School program for the 1964 Freedom Summer. He is the author of This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (2014). He began his journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C. In 1976 he joined the staff of National Public Radio as a foreign affairs reporter, bringing to that network its first regular coverage of Africa. From 1985 to 1997, Cobb was a National Geographic staff member, traveling the globe to write stories on places from Eritrea to Russia's Kuril Islands.
“The Voting Rights Act at 50,” by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1960s activists Judy Richardson and Charlie Cobb. Recorded on April 30, 2015, at UMass Lowell.
On Monday, April 27, 2015, from 4-6 p.m. in the department common area of Dugan 106, the History Department will sponsor an informal reception to honor graduating seniors. Seniors and their families, as well as department faculty and all History majors, are welcome to attend. Pizza will be available. Some prizes and scholarships will be announced. Senior Bernard Trubowicz will be the student master of ceremonies.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 5-7 p.m., the River Hawk Shop at University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St, will host a book launch for professor Shehong Chen's new book, "Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir" from University of Washington Press. Copies will be available for sale and signing by the author; please join the History Department and other co-sponsors of this celebration! (Details for this event can be found on the History Department home page under "Events"; details on the book can be found below on this page under "Faculty").
On June 1, 2015, professor Robert Forrant will receive the Massachusetts Endowment for the Humanities 2015 Massachusetts History Commendation, in recognition of his work on the centennial celebration of the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike in Lawrence as well as his involvement in numerous public humanities programs over the years. The commendation points out that Forrant "has done outstanding work to make Massachusetts history more accessible and relevant to the people of the Commonwealth."
Throughout the spring 2015 semester, the History Department will play a major role in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Events include a photo exhibition, a film series, a set of concerts, a pair of lectures, and a day-without-violence, as well as student projects in Graphic Arts, Music, and Creative Writing. Details at: http://www.uml.edu/FAHSS/VRA-Commemoration.aspx
In Spring 2015 the History Department expects to offer two Study Abroad scholarships to History majors in the amount of $400 each, for use in the summer or fall of 2015. Details are available from Chair Lisa Edwards.
On March 12, 2015, the History Department co-sponsored the 2015 Zamanakos Lecture in Hellenic Studies, which featured a lecture by Prof. Jonathan M. Hall of the University of Chicago, on the topic of "Hellenic Homelands: The Greek Diaspora, Ancient and Modern." The talk, followed by a reception, occurred at 5 pm at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. For more information, see www.uml.edu/hellenic-studies.
On March 5-6, 2015, the History Department hosted three external reviewers as part of the AQAD process that occurs every seven years. The Department has prepared a comprehensive self-study that examines its teaching, scholarship, curriculum, service, and other topics. Details are available from Prof. Christopher Carlsmith, AQAD Chair.
Senior Megan Shea will be presenting a conference paper summarizing her research on the history of the non-profit organization Save Venice, Inc., at the April 18, 2015 annual meeting of the New England Historical Association (NEHA) at Worcester State. Fabiane Kelley co-organized an exhibition in December 2015 about the history of immigration in Lowell, attended by more than 300 people at a gala reception. Under the supervision of Prof. Robert Forrant, Kelley plumbed the archives of the International Institute in Lowell to find stories of recently-arrived immigrants in Greater Lowell.
Patrick Young has recently been named the North American editor for the scholarly journal "Modern and Contemporary France." Jonathan Liebowitz (emeritus) has recently published a book chapter: "The French Parliamentary Inquiry of 1884: A Response to Multiple Crises" in The Golden Age of State Enquiries: Rural Enquiries in the Nineteenth Century," edited by Nadine Vivier (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2014). Chad Montrie delivered the Gottshcalk Lecture at the University of Louisville on March 26, 2015. Titled "Hidden in Plain View," Montrie's talk examines the various means and warped justifications whites used to exclude blacks from thousands of towns and suburbs across the United States during the twentieth century. It also considers how this past racism continues to mark local geography, shape social social institutions, and condition our relationships with one another. Details at http://louisville.edu/history/the-2015-gottschalk-lecture. Christopher Carlsmith presented a paper exploring conflict between Spanish and Italian university students in 17th-century Bologna, at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Berlin on March 27-29, 2015. Details at http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/rsa/rsa15/. Carlsmith has also been invited to speak at an international conference in Bologna, Italy on May 6-8, 2015, sponsored by the Department of Pedagogy and Childhood Studies at the university there.
Robert Forrant co-edited a book in 2014, The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike. As detailed in a UMass Lowell News story of Dec. 12, 2014, Forrant worked closely with a pair of UMass Lowell history majors, each of whom published a chapter based upon their own primary source research. Details at: http://www.uml.edu/News/stories/2014/Alumni-Forrant-Book.aspx. In January 2015, Forrant was nominated for the Martin Luther King Award by the Multicultural Affairs office of UMass Lowell, for his tireless work on behalf of the local communities in Lowell and Lawrence.
Shehong Chen published her new book, "Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir" in the spring of 2015. It tells the story of her mother, Chen Huiqin during China’s tumultuous twentieth century; she witnessed the Communist Revolution in 1949, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the Reform era, as well as China’s recent ascent as a world power. Details at http://faculty.uml.edu/shehong_chen/Research/DaughterofGood.aspx.
On Thursday Feb. 18, from 12:30-2 p.m. in O’Leary 222, the History Department was pleased to welcome Ethan Michaeli for a talk entitled “How Frederick Douglass Went to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and Inspired a Generation of Civil Rights Leaders”. This event was part of Black History Month, and drew from Michaeli’s recent book The Defender: How Chicago’s Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America. For more information, contact Chad_Montrie@uml.edu.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, from 1-3 p.m. at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center, 246 Market St, there was a discussion of slavery, the slave trade, and its deep roots in New England through a film screen and discussion of “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North”, led by Kristin Gallas, Project Manager at the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Furthermore, there was a discussion of the vibrant anti-slavery movement in Lowell, MA in the shadow of the mills in the city that relied every day on slave-produced balers of cotton, led by History Professor Robert Forrant.
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, cartographer Chet Van Duzer gave a pair of talks about Renaissance maps. From 12:30-1:45 p.m. he spoke in Dugan 204 to Prof. Carlsmith’s Renaissance-Reformation class about the 1551 map made by French mapmaker Pierre Desceliers. From 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Dugan 208 on the same day, he gave another talk about the 1491 map of German mapmaker Henricus Marcellus and the influence that this map may have had on Columbus’ view of the world. For more information, contact Christopher_Carlsmith@uml.edu.
On Wednesday, March 30, historian Daria Foner, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, gave a talk about her research on images of children/childhood in Renaissance Florence. From 12:30-1:45 p.m. she spoke in Dugan 208 to Prof. Carlsmith’s Renaissance-Reformation class about her dissertation research and discussed representative paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. For more information, contact Christopher_Carlsmith@uml.edu.
On Thursday, March 31, the History Department and the Hellenic Studies Program at UML welcomed Haverford professor Alexander Kitroeff for the 2016 annual Zamanakos Lecture at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. The topic was “Greek Orthodoxy & the Challenges of Americanization: Archbishop Iakovos’ Last Decade 1986-1996”. Iakovos was ordained as a Greek priest in Lowell in 1940, and later became the “undisputed leader” of the Greek Orthodox church in the Americas by the time of his retirement in 1996 at age 85. For more details see the article in the Lowell Sun: http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_29722725/haverford-professor-gives-umass-lowells-annual-zamanakos-lecture, or contact Paul_Keen@uml.edu.
On Monday and Tuesday, April 3-4, the History Department hosted its bi-annual Course Faire in Dugan 106 (History Department lobby). Flyers describing upper-level courses for Fall 2016 were available, as were various faculty to provide insight to the courses, in anticipation of the faculty advising period.
Several History majors are working with Mehmed Ali, Ph.D., in the UMass Lowell Library to digitize historical documents and to create electronic Library Guides (LibGuides) for different collections within the library. These include:
On Thursday, Feb. 18 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. in O’Leary 222 (South Campus), UMass Lowell hosted its annual Gender Studies Conference, including panels on “Gender and Literature”, “Gendered Experiences”, and other topics. History major Gina Cesati spoke on wartime sexual violence, memory, and narration, the fruit of her Directed Study with Prof. Patrick Young in Fall 2015. More information can be found on the Gender Studies website, or by contacting: Carol_Hay@uml.edu.
Prof. Abigail Chandler’s book Law and Sexual Misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: Steering Toward England (Ashgate Press) was published in late Fall 2015; she also has a pair of forthcoming articles in April 2016: “’Unawed by the Laws of their Country’: Finding Legal and Political Legitimacy in North Carolina’s Regulator Rebellion”, North Carolina Historical Review; and “Dressing for History: Teaching in Eighteenth-Century Clothing” in Commonplace: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life.
Prof. Andrew Drenas published his first article, “Lorenzo da Brinidisi’s ‘Commentariolum de Rebus Austriae et Bohemiae’: An introduction to, and translation of, the document in English”, in Collectanea Francescana 85 (2015): 595-629; it describes the missionary work of the foremost Franciscan preacher in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe, through his own autobiographical account.
On January 28, Prof. Robert Forrant was interviewed by Rich Austin on PRX about the Bread and Roses Strike (the interview is about 27 minutes long).
Mairéad Pratschke traveled to Dublin in March to be interviewed for Éire san Nuachtscannán (Ireland in the Newsreels), a 6-part television series exploring Ireland’s relationship with 20th century cinema newsreels focusing on British, American and indigenous production between the 1910s and the 1960s. The series is a production of TG4 (http://www.tg4.ie), Ireland’s Irish-language broadcaster. She was interviewed for her expertise on an Irish-language series produced in the 1950s and 60s – the subject of her book, Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann film series, 1956-64, published as part of Peter Lang’s 'Reimagining Ireland' series in 2015.
Pratschke also traveled to Notre Dame University in late March to present a paper on the Gaeltacht Civil Rights Movement, the subject of her latest research, to the annual meeting of the American Conference on Irish Studies (ACIS): The Worlding of Irish Studies (http://acis.nd.edu).
Prof. Christopher Carlsmith presented his research on education in Renaissance Rome, and on the history of the New England Renaissance Conference (NERC), at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Boston on 1-2 April. Carlsmith also chaired the Local Arrangements Committee. Most of the students in his ‘Renaissance-Reformation’ class also attended the conference where they listened to papers and met with top scholars in the field.
(updated November 1, 2014)
On Wednesday, Sept. 17 History professor Christoph Strobel participated in a panel discussion on the theme of “Native American History & the Question of Genocide,” together with Prof. Whitley Kaufman (Philosophy), Prof. John Kaag (Philosophy), and Prof. Scott L. Pratt (Philosophy, Univ. of Oregon). Also on Wednesday, Sept. 17, Prof. Herbin-Triant and Prof. Forrant spoke at a panel exploring recent riots in Ferguson, Missouri, entitled “Let’s Talk About It: Ferguson,” sponsored by the Department of Multicultural Affairs.
On Tuesday, Sept. 23 historian Joe Manning returned to UMass Lowell to discuss his Lewis Hine Project. Hine was a photographer who captured poignant and stirring images of Lowell’s child laborers in the mills; Manning has spent decades identifying those children and tracing their stories. Manning is also an author, a poet, a genealogist, a photographer, and a songwriter. For more information, contact Steven Courtemanche (Steven_Courtemanche1@uml).
On Thursday, Oct. 2 the History Dept. is co-sponsored a lecture by Kenneth David Jackson of Yale University: "A New Hybrid World: Crossing Cultures with the Portuguese in Asia, Africa, and the Americas."
At the Phi Alpha Theta Northeast Regional conference at Roger Williams University on November 15, 2014, Bernard Trubowitz presented a paper titled "Documented During Their Detention: Initial Findings and Research Opportunities Using the Lawrence History Center’s Essex County Jail Records," and Kimberly Mack presented a paper titled "Home Rule Would be Rome Rule: Ulster Protestants and the Catholic Threat.” Emily Jarmolowicz (History, ’14) completed a research project on the history of the New England Renaissance Conference in Spring 2014, which will contribute to a publication in the journal Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History. Emily will be pursuing graduate studies in Medieval History at UMass Amherst beginning in Fall 2014. Megan Shea (History, ’15) is conducting year-long research on the history of the non-profit Save Venice, Inc. with Prof. Christopher Carlsmith, through the Emerging Scholars program. Prof. Bob Forrant is also supervising a student, Political Science major Phillip Geoffroy, in the Emerging Scholars program for a project about the consequences to mid-size towns inside and outside of New England when factory jobs disappear. Janelle Bourgeois (History, ’13) contributed a chapter to a new book co-edited by Prof. Bob Forrant (see details below); she is pursuing an M.A. in modern American History at UMass Amherst beginning in Fall 2014.
Prof. Robert Forrant has co-edited a new book, "The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike" (Baywood Publishing Co., 2014). The essays herein offer readers an exciting reexamination of just how powerful a united working class can be. The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912—the Bread and Roses Strike—was a public protest by 25,000 immigrant workers from several countries, prompted by a wage cut and horrible working and living conditions. Backed by skillful neighborhood organizing, supported by hundreds of acts of solidarity, and unified by a commitment to respect every striker’s nationality and language, the walkout spread across the city’s densely packed tenements. Prof. Lisa Edwards became Chair of the History Department on Sept. 1, 2014, replacing Prof. Joseph Lipchitz upon his retirement from the University after more than forty years of service. Prof. Paul Keen joins the Department as Assistant Professor, and will be teaching a variety of classes in ancient Greek and Roman history. Prof. Keen previously taught at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Prof. Elizabeth Herbin-Triant joins the Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor for 2014-15, where she will teach courses in U.S. History and African-American History. She previously taught at St. John’s University in New York. Prof. Mairead Pratschke has recently signed a book contract with Peter Lang Publishing for a monograph that analyzes modern Irish film; it will be delivered in April 2015 with an anticipated publication date in the Fall of 2015. The series "Reimagining Ireland"interrogates Ireland’s past and present and suggests possibilities for the future by looking at Ireland’s literature, culture and history and subjecting them to the most up-to-date critical appraisals associated with sociology, literary theory, historiography, political science and theology. Prof. Patrick Young has a forthcoming book that will appear in print in Fall 2014, "Place and Locality in Modern France" (Bloomsbury, 2014). Co-edited with Philip Whalen, it analyzes the significance and changing constructions of local place in modern France. Drawing on the expertise of a range of scholars from around the world, the book provides a timely overview of the cross-disciplinary thinking that is currently taking place over a central issue in French history. During the summer of 2014, Prof. Young also gave a paper, “ Rethinking Cultural Festivity in Brittany and Beyond,” at the Society for French Studies annual meeting held at Aberdeen University in the UK. Prof. Shane Minkin has been named the modern Middle East editor for the journal History Compass, and in August 2014 she published a chapter entitled "Documenting Death: Inquests, Governance, and Belonging in 1890s Alexandria" in "The Long 1890s in Egypt: Colonial Quiescence, Subterranean Resistance," ed. Marilyn Booth and Anthony Gorman (Edinburgh University Press). Prof. Fletcher Smith has been appointed as the Freshman Advisor for the Department. In addition, he has joined the Navigator’s Club, dedicated to assisting non-traditional students.