(Updated June 18, 2015)
Student Jon Ross wins 1st 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.
Andrew J. Drenas will be a Visiting Lecturer in the History Department in 2015-16, teaching courses in European history, Early Christianity, and Western/World Civilization. Drenas graduated from UMass Lowell in 2005 with a degree in History, and recently completed his Ph.D. in Reformation History at the University of Oxford. He has been teaching as an adjunct professor at UMass Lowell for several years.
“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 5:00 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.
has recently been named the North American editor for the scholarly journal "Modern and Contemporary France."
(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).
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.
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.
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 Nnws 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.
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
(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.
(updated April 15, 2014)
Professor Chandler wins Archie K. Davis Fellowship & publishes in Perspectives
Professor Abby Chandler has been awarded the Archie K. Davis Fellowship for Spring 2015 by the North Caroliniana Society based in Chapel Hill, NC. This award will cover travel and subsistence expenses during Prof. Chandler's sabbatical research on the figure of Martin Howard, a Loyalist during the American Revolution who served as Chief Justice in North Carolina.
In April 2014, Prof. Chandler also published an article in Perspectives, the prestigious monthly newsletter of the American Historical Association, entitled "Teaching with a Tea Set: Using Objects in the U.S. History Survey".
Charles Carroll Service award winner announced
Senior Meghan Chapman has been awarded the Charles Carroll Service Award by the History Department faculty, for her extensive and valuable contributions the students and faculty in History. In 2013-14 Meghan has served as President of both the History Club and of Phi Alpha Theta, organizing a series of events all year long, including the Warrior's Feast, a History of Halloween, a Meet the Historian, and a Victorian Tea Party.
Blewett Essay Prize winners announced
The History Department congratulates this year's winners of the Blewett Essay Prize, awarded annually to the best undergraduate essay(s) in memory of Professor emerita Mary Blewett. The prize committee consisted of Patrick Young (Chair), Chad Montrie, and Abby Chandler. The winners for period including Fall 2013 and Spring 2013 are:
- Victoria Crenshaw, "Blurring the Separate Spheres: Male Anxieties over Female Consumption in late 19th and early 20th century France."
- Eric Hinds, "Africa Interrupted"
Symposium on the History of Post-WWII Immigration into Lawrence, MA
On 5 April at the Everett Mill in Lawrence, MA, the History Department co-sponsored a one-day symposium on the history of immigration to Lawrence during the period following World War II. Professor Shehong Chen of UML spoke about the Chinese experience in Lawrence; UML History major and Honors student student Fabiane Kelley spoke about her own experience coming from Brazil; Professor Jose Itzigsohn of Brown University gave the keynote address about the Dominican experience in another mill city, Providence, RI.
The True Cost of Coal: Labor, Environment, and Big Mining in Colombia
On Monday, 31 March from 1-2 p.m. at O'Leary 222, the History Department co-sponsored a talk by Fredy Lozano, a community leader, union activist, law student, and miner from Colombia, who spoke about his experience at Cerrejon, the largest open pit mine in Latin America. Prof. Chad Montrie was the lead organizer of this event.
Prof. Forrant publishes about Lawrence, MA
In the 9 March edition of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, Prof. Robert Forrant wrote about Lawrence, MA as a "city of possibilities" in contrast to the lurid headline of a previous Boston Globe article that described Lowell's sister city as a "city of the damned". Forrant describes both Lawrence's important industrial past, and its successful achievements to re-invent itself in the 21st century. In Fall 2015 Prof. Forrant plans to teach a comparative seminar on the history of Lowell and Lawrence.
(updated 24 Feb. 2014)
History Department moves from Coburn to Dugan Hall
In early January, the History Department relocated from Coburn Hall to Dugan Hall 106. All fourteen full-time faculty, as well as adjunct faculty and administrative staff, now have offices within the Dugan 106 office suite. Telephone numbers remain the same; office numbers can be found on the “Faculty” web page or at the entrance to the department suite. Please come visit!
Student Dillon Mroz conducts research on Viking History
History major Dillon Mroz will be making a presentation to the Byfield/Newbury (MA) Historical Society in the Spring 2014 semester on the history of late medieval Vikings. Mroz conducted the research under the supervision of Prof. Lauren Fogle in a previous semester.
Prof. Chandler’s forthcoming work on colonial midwives
Abby Chandler will publish “From Birthing Chamber to Court Room: The Medical and Legal Communities of the Colonial Esseex Country Midwife” in the journal Early Modern Women in Fall 2014.
Prof. Young edits a volume on Modern France
Place and Locality in Modern France, 1750-Present, edited by Patrick Young and Philip Whalen, will appear in print in July 2014 with Bloomsbury Academic. The book assembles international scholars from multiple disciplines to elucidate the ways in which local connection has been reinvented and reinvested across Modern French History. Its chapters address topics such as the politics of administrative reform, regionalism and projects of decentralization; the role of commerce in engendering narratives and experience of local place; the importance of ethnic, class and gender distinctions to local identifications; and the generation and transmission of knowledge about local place and culture through academia, civic heritage and popular memory.
Prof. Carlsmith gives Two lectures in California
In mid-January Christopher Carlsmith gave a lecture to 100+ members of San Francisco Heritage, a historic preservation group based in San Francisco. The talk summarized his research on architect John Powers (1873-1936) and his contributions to San Francisco architecture; an article entitled “An Architect by the Bay: John H. Powers and the firm Powers & Ahnden of San Francisco” will appear in the journal Argonaut, published by San Francisco History Museum in February 2014. Carlsmith also gave a talk to members of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford University, about the pastoral and pedagogical activities of Italian schoolteacher Nicolò Cologno and bishop Cosimo Gheri during the 1530s. An article based upon that research is forthcoming in Catholic Historical Review.
Prof. Forrant investigates local history in Lawrence, MA
Robert Forrant has worked extensively on Lowell’s sister city, Lawrence, especially in commemoration of last year’s centennial of the important Bread & Roses strike of 1912. With Susan Grabski, he co-edited Lawrence, Massachusetts and the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike (Arcadia Publishing, Images of America Series, 2013), and they are planning a one-day symposium on 5 April 2014 on the history of the “new immigration” into Lawrence and similar communities; details at http://www.lawrencehistorycenter.org/symposium. With Jurg Siegenthaler he has edited The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike, (Baywood Publishing Work, Health and Environment Series, forthcoming, Spring 2014). Forrant was also co-curator of The Bread and Roses Strike of 1912: Two Months in Lawrence, Massachusetts, that Changed Labor History,” for the Digital Public Library of America, http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/breadandroses.
Prof. Pratschke to speak at Columbia University and in Ireland at two international conferences
Mairéad Pratschke will present her research on the Gael-Linn Amharc Eireann (Look at Ireland) documentary and news film series to the Irish Studies seminar at Columbia University on Friday, March 7th. http://universityseminars.columbia.edu/seminars/irish-studies/
In June, she will travel to Ireland to speak at the ACIS (American Conference on Irish Studies) and CAIS (Canadian Association of Irish Studies) Joint Annual Meeting, Latitudes: Irish Studies in an international context, at University College Dublin in June 2014, where she will present a paper on Irish documentary films made during the Celtic Tiger era. Beyond My Shore (1998) and The Famine Ship (1999) address the quintessentially Irish experience of emigration, reminding viewers of the fabled Brendan voyage and the grim reality of the 19th century coffin ships that brought the Irish to America.
At the Ireland and Ecocriticism conference at the University College Cork, she will present a paper exploring the environmental consequences of oil sands development in Canada from an Irish Studies perspective. The paper will discuss the work of Irish artist Pauline Cummins,' whose Water/Leopard performance piece at the M:ST 6 Mountain Standard Time Festival of Performative Works invited viewers to explore the environmental consequences of oil sands exploration in Alberta.