2022 News and Events


Fall 2022 Fall

In September, the internship experiences of History alumnus Rory Luddy ('22) were the subject of a university alum profile published online. Rory, who graduated in May, gained a lot of experience in history between 2021 and 2022 working as an intern. At the Washington Center's Lincoln Archives (Washington D.C.), he helped to digitize President Lincoln’s presidential papers and to make them searchable. At the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, he assisted in creating a virtual tour of the museum's weaving room while school groups couldn’t visit in person during the pandemic. Right after graduation, he also served at Old Sturbridge Village, where, in historically accurate costume, he interacted with visiting school children. And after completing a research project, he also added three locations to Old Sturbridge Village's abolition tour for school groups. Rory's goal is to be a museum curator.

On Tuesday, September 20, the History Department welcomed back for a visit alumna Diana Vasquez ('15). She is now the Director of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities National Internship Program in Washington D.C., and was on campus to recruit students for paid internship programs. Diana visited Prof. Daniel Broyld's "African American History" class (12:30-1 p.m.) and Prof. Michael Pierson's "Historical Methods" class (2-2:30 p.m.).

This fall, Prof. Chad Montrie will be giving several talks on his most recently published book: Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota. On Thursday, September 8, from 1-2 p.m. CT, he spoke for a Whiteness in Plain View virtual roundtable on the “The Conversation w/Al McFarlane” radio show (based in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota). The following week, Prof. Montrie traveled to Minnesota to give talks in person and to sign books. In October, he will speak for two virtual talks. The first will be hosted by Ramsey County Public Library (St. Paul, Minnesota) on Tuesday, October 4, from 12:30-2 p.m. CT. The Roseville History Book Club (Roseville/St. Paul, Minnesota) will host the second on Wednesday, October 19, from 1-2:30 p.m. CT. One must register online to attend this event: History Book Club: Whiteness in Plain View registration.

In September, Prof. Christopher Carlsmith published a new book: Save Venice Inc.: American Philanthropy and Art Conservation in Italy, 1966-2021. In this study, he explores the origins of Save Venice in Boston, after the destructive flood of 1966 that threatened Venice's art and architecture, and traces this organization's achievements and challenges since then.

On Wednesday, September 28, Prof. Daniel Broyld spoke for this term's first History Hour, during which he discussed his recently published book: Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region During the Final Decades of Slavery. The talk took place at the UMass Lowell Bookstore from Noon-1 p.m.

On Wednesday, September 28, the Leventhal Map and Education Center hosted a roundtable discussion called "Ground Truth: Shaping Narratives of Environmental Justice." Prof. Chad Montrie was one of the members of this panel that considered narratives of environmental justice and how investigating historical and present-day patterns of urban inequality, and documenting these patterns through narrative and visual works, bring an important perspective to bear on efforts for climate justice organizing. The event took place in the Commonwealth Salon at the Boston Public Library, Copley Square.

On Monday, October 10, Prof. Christoph Strobel led an Indigenous Peoples' Day walking tour in Lowell, which began at 10 a.m. at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center (246 Market Street). Those participating learned about the history and heritage of the Indigenous Peoples on whose land the city and mills of Lowell were built.

On October 13, the university published an article online, “New Campus Signs Tell History of Lowell’s Indigenous Peoples,” highlighting the “Indigenous Past and Presence” signage project that University Prof. Bob Forrant, Prof. Christoph Strobel, History major Deirdre Hutchison, and History alum Sarah McDermott ('22) have been working on. These signs can be found across campus and are there to broaden the community's awareness and knowledge of the native Pawtucket and Wamesit people of the Pennacook tribe.

Prof. Burleigh Hendrickson (Pennsylvania State University) visited UMass Lowell on Monday, October 17, to give a talk on “Decolonization and the Protests of 1968 in the Francophone World.” The event took place in Coburn 245 from 2:30-3:30 p.m., and was organized by the History Department, World Languages & Cultures, and Race & Ethnic Studies.

On Wednesday, October 19, Prof. Christopher Carlsmith gave a talk for the term's second History Hour. While speaking at the UMass Lowell Bookstore that day from Noon-1 p.m., he discussed the contents of his recently published book: Save Venice Inc.: American Philanthropy and Art Conservation in Italy, 1966-2021.

On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, Prof. Matteo Casini, who taught at UMass Boston and Suffolk University, visited UMass Lowell to give a talk on "Renaissance Venice: Portraits of a Society." He spoke in Prof. Christopher Carlsmith’s “Renaissance and Reformation” class in Dugan 211 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Prof. Casini explained how the paintings of Venetian artist Vittore Carpaccio (1465-1525) illustrate some key aspects of society and everyday life of Venice in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Themes included adolescent activities, male and female roles, social classes, confraternities, processions and parades, clothing and accessories, and more.

Prof. Abby Chandler published an article for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History on October 19. Her "Regulator Movements in the Carolina Colonies" considers how regulators in colonial America attempted to regulate, or reform, their local governments - with the North Carolina’s Regulator Rebellion (1766–1771) and the South Carolina Regulation (1767–1769) being of particular importance.

University Prof. Bob Forrant delivered the James Green Memorial Lecture, and gave a People’s History walking tour for the Labor Resource Center, at UMass Boston, on Saturday, October 22, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. His presentations drew on his new book, Where Are the Workers?

This fall, Prof. Christoph Strobel will give a few talks related to his research on Native American history. On Saturday, October 22, from 2-3 p.m., he spoke about the "Native Americans of New England" at the Boylston Public Library. On Wednesday, November 2, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., he gave a lecture on “Native Americans in New England: History, Colonial Legacies and Survival” at the Luneburg Public Library. Prof. Strobel was also awarded to give the Joyce Lecture in Native American Studies at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire, on November 3.

On Friday, October 28, from 3:20 to 4:20 p.m., three History majors participated in a "Mapping Early America" panel for the Phi Alpha Theta New England Virtual Regional Conference. Jennilyn Ludescher shared her paper on "A Map for His Country and a Map for his Friends: Herman Moll’s 'A New and Exact Map.'" Jennifer Quinn shared her paper on "One Man’s Property: Eighteenth-Century Maps of North Carolina and the Granville District."Greta Hall shared her paper on "Virginia as Told by John Smith." Prof. Abby Chandler served as chair of the panel.

On Saturday, October 29, Quintin Blake and Deirdre Hutchison, the History majors involved in this summer’s archaeological dig in the Acre, participated in a talk together with their colleagues: “Archaeology on Market Street: Uncovering Life in the Acre.” The discussion took place at Lowell National Historical Park and began at 2 p.m.

There will be three events taking place in November as UMass Lowell celebrates, honors, and recognizes Indigenous People’s Day and Heritage Month. The first is Prof. Christoph Strobel’s talk “Native Americans of New England: History, Colonial Legacies and Survival” on Tuesday, November 1 (Noon-1 p.m.) at University Crossing 370 Social Justice Center. A discussion followed. On Monday, November 7, there was an Indigenous History and Cultural Signage “reveal” in University Crossing Mahoney Hall 260 B (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.). University Prof. Bob Forrant, Prof. Christoph Strobel, and History major Deirdre Hutchison were among those discussing the new signs and markers on campus marking places of historical significance related to Native American history and culture. On Wednesday, November 16, there will be a screening (3:30-4:45 p.m.) of the documentary “Powerlands” in O’Leary 222. It is about a young Navajo filmmaker’s investigation of the displacement of Indigenous peoples and the devastation of the environment caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born.

On Monday, November 7, Prof. Daniel Broyld gave a talk for the African American History Seminar: “The Strange History and Career of Drapetomania: The Mania That Caused Enslaved Blacks to Escape and the Man Behind It.” This event took place virtually from 5-6:15 p.m.

While on sabbatical this term, Prof. Jane Sancinito spoke on Tuesday, November 15, at the Five College Faculty Seminar in Late Antiquity. She explained her research about funerary art in Roman Gaul, specifically the iconography of purses or moneyboxes, and what it reveals about the changing definition of greed.

On Wednesday, November 16, University Prof. Bob Forrant gave a talk during this term's third History Hour about the book that he co-edited and that was published in June: Where Are the Workers?: Labor's Stories at Museums and Historic Sites. Prof. Forrant spoke at the UMass Lowell Bookstore that day from Noon-1 p.m.

In November, Prof. Andrew Drenas published an article in the Archive for Reformation History (Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte) journal. His article, “'Holy Handkerchiefs!': A Study of St. Lawrence of Brindisi’s Eucharistic Spirituality and Mass Handkerchiefs," examines how the handkerchiefs that this early modern Capuchin "living saint" used to use to dry his tears during his extremely long and emotional daily private masses were circulated throughout Italy as thaumaturgic relics.


Summer 2022 Summer

University Prof. Bob Forrant co-edited a book that was published this June: Where Are the Workers? : Labor's Stories at Museums and Historic Sites. It is a collection of essays focused on nationwide efforts to propel the history of labor and working people into mainstream narratives of US history. The essayists explore how place-based labor history initiatives promote understanding of past struggles, create awareness of present challenges, and support efforts to build power, expand democracy, and achieve justice for working people.

In June, the university published an online article celebrating the accomplishments of Karam Alafandi. Not only is he working diligently toward his History degree; he is also an Honors College student, a senator in the Student Government Association, a member of the Muslim Student Association, and part of the UMass Lowell Equestrian Team. He intends to go on to medical school to become a family physician.

On June 15, alum Sarah McDermott (’21) was hired as Executive Assistant to Robert Goodwin, the co-founder of Stone and Compass, a non-profit travel company that uses all its money to invest in eco-friendly projects around the world. During the summer months, Sarah led tours in Rome, Scotland, and Bulgaria. While at UMass Lowell, she majored in History and minored in Race and Ethnic Studies as well as Italian Studies.

From June 19 to July 1, Prof. Lauren Fogle brought fifteen students to the United Kingdom for the department’s very first study abroad “Topics in History” (HIST.3900) course. As they traveled in Scotland and England, they spent time in Edinburgh, London, Oxford, and Winchester. Among the historical sites they visited were Edinburgh Castle, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, and the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. In their free time, students even had opportunities to go to Paris and Ghent.

On Tuesday, June 28, Prof. Abby Chandler was interviewed for the Revolution 250 Podcast. She talked about the North Carolina Regulators movement and some of the historical figures involved - and what role these people might have had in beginning the American Revolution.

This summer, alum Kelley Leonhard ('21) became full-time Visitor Experiences Staff for Revolutionary Spaces in Boston. Her job focuses on visitor engagement and floor interpretation. Most days, she spends time in one of the galleries at either the Old State House or the Old South Meetinghouse conversing with visitors about these historical sites and their legacies. She also provides guided tours in downtown Boston that help people to explore beyond the Freedom Trail to experience some of the more diverse stories about the city. When she’s not on the floor or giving a tour, she occupies herself doing research, transcription projects, and assisting with exhibits and collections projects in anticipation of 2026. In addition to her work for Revolutionary Spaces, Kelley is also the company manager of Cambridge Historical Tours, a local, non-profit company.

After the retirement of Kathleen Gill in May, Ellen Humphrey began to serve as History's new department assistant on August 15. She previously worked in the UMass Lowell Admissions office as Coordinator of Admissions and Record Processing; she also served as Senior Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions and as an Admissions counselor. Ellen graduated cum laude from Simmons College and then earned an M.S. in College Student Development and Counseling from Northeastern University as well as a graduate certificate from UMass Lowell.

On August 29, "The Lowell Sun" published an article, "Digging Lowell", featuring two History students: Deirdre Hutchison and Quintin Blake. This summer, they have been involved in a dig on Market Street seeking to unearth artifacts and evidence related to the nineteenth-century history and contributions of Lowell's Irish immigrant community. Working with Deirdre and Quintin are other UMass students (from Lowell and Boston) as well as scholars from Queen's University Belfast. The team has focused its attention on the former location of an Irish-owned grocery store and the domestic sites surrounding it. This project has been endorsed by UMass President Marty Meehan.

Spring 2022 Spring

In January, the university published an online article celebrating the accomplishments of one of our recently graduated seniors, Jaden Belizaire (December '21). It focuses above all on his keen interest in archival work, which he discovered while taking Prof. Christopher Carlsmith's "Archival Methods" course in spring 2021. For that class, Jaden and his classmates worked on organizing records of the Essex County Jail at the Lawrence History Center. Jaden continued to work there individually for a directed study he did with University Prof. Bob Forrant. He cataloged the belongings and papers of Everett Marshall, a Lawrence native who became a famous singer and actor in variety shows, operettas, and radio from the 1920s through the 1950s. Jaden's undergraduate program may be complete, but he still intends to work as a volunteer at the Lawrence History Center and would like to apply to graduate schools for archiving.

In commemoration of Black History Month, at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, February 16, University Prof. Bob Forrant showed the movie A Contradictory Place: Cotton Mills and Anti-Slavery Efforts in Lowell Massachusetts, 1830 – 1860 to an audience in O'Leary 222. This forty-minute documentary, released in 2021, discusses the extraordinary antislavery efforts that took place in mid-nineteenth-century Lowell. In “The Contradiction,” Prof. Forrant and local historian and community educator Maritza Grooms visited several sites including a stop on the Underground Railroad that still exist in downtown Lowell where abolitionist activity occurred, freedom seekers operated businesses, and individuals who escaped slavery gave talks to raise money for antislavery causes. While Lowell’s mills consumed tons of Southern cotton produced by enslaved people, many mill workers, religious leaders, small business owners, and even some mill overseers opposed the institution of slavery. There was a discussion led by Prof. Forrant after the showing.

In commemoration of Black History Month, on Friday, February 18, Prof. Daniel Broyld gave a talk via Zoom for the University of Rochester. In it, he drew from his forthcoming book, Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region During the Final Decades of Slavery, to analyze how emancipation affected Blacks on each side of the US-Canadian border. The talk began at 6:30 p.m.

On March 14, Prof. Abby Chandler published a pedagogical article on the Early American Studies Miscellany website. In the United States, we are used to the traditional historical presentation of the American Revolution in which we usually focus solely on the thirteen colonies; in Prof. Chandler's "Teaching the American Revolution as a Global Conflict," she reflected on the benefits and challenges of teaching about the revolution from a global perspective instead, which includes consideration of the significant interactions between the Americas, Europe, and Asia that impacted the war.

On Wednesday, March 16, Professor Chad Montrie hosted an Alumni Career Panel for his "Historical Methods" class, which met in Dugan 210 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coming to speak with his students that day were Assistant Principal Gerard Tannetta ('07) and Town Clerk James Blatchford ('18).

This spring, Prof. Christoph Strobel gave a lecture related to his research on Native American History: “Native Americans of New England: History, Colonial Legacies and Survival." He spoke publicly both at Nahant Public Library (Nahant, Mass.) on March 5 and for Lifelong Learning at Regis College (Weston, Mass.) on March 17. He gave the same talk virtually through Hingham Public Library (Hingham, Mass.) on February 28, Wellesley Public Library (Wellesley, Mass.) on March 3, and Clinton Public Library (Clinton, Mass.) on April 6.

On March 22, Prof. Christohp Strobel's research on Native American history and his efforts to promote awareness of the violent history behind Massachusetts's state flag were featured on "The Academic Minute".

On Thursday, March 24, and Friday, March 25, Professor Sarah Lynch (Angelo State University, Texas) visited UMass Lowell to speak for two class periods. On Thursday, she gave a talk about "The Education of Women in the Middle Ages" from 2-3 p.m. in Professor Laura Barefield's "Medieval Women Writers" class, which meets in Health and Social Sciences 155. On Friday, she lectured on "The World of Christine de Pizan" from Noon-1 p.m. in Dugan 208 for Professor Lauren Fogle's "Women in the Middle Ages" class.

Prof. Jane Sancinito organized a Women in Red Edit-a-thon that took place on Thursday, March 24, to celebrate Women’s History Month and to improve and add pages for prominent women of Lowell to Wikipedia. Fourteen editors (students, faculty, and staff) contributed to the event, including Prof. Abby Chandler. They edited some eighteen articles. Among them were those of UMass Lowell Professor Emerita Mary Blewett, Lucy Larcom (a nineteenth-century teacher and author), Lori Trahan (Lowell’s congresswoman), and Giuseppina Morlacchi (a nineteenth-century dancer and actress from Lowell).

On April 5, History Major Deirdre Hutchinsonpublished a blog post on the website of the Peabody Museum (Andover, Mass.) in which she explained her work as an intern there. She has been analyzing and seeking to make sense of early-twentieth-century ethnographic photographs of Native Americans in the museum's collection.

Prof. Chad Montrie has published a new book: Whiteness in Plain View: A History of Racial Exclusion in Minnesota. In this study, he examines how white Minnesotans used legal and illegal means to prevent people of color from coming to the state, to drive them out, or to segregate them. The book was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press on April 5. After its publication, Prof. Montrie went on a book launch tour in Minnesota. While there on April 11, he did an interview about the book with Minnesota Public Radio News editor Brandt Williams.

On Tuesday, April 12, Natasha Ledoux successfully defended her M.A. thesis, “The Propaganda of Prejudice: Anti-Semitic Themes in Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent.” Prof. Scott Hoerle, who teaches online classes such as "The Holocaust" and "Nazi Germany" for the History Department, served as her advisor.

On Thursday, April 14, Eddie Ouano successfully defended his M.A. thesis, "Decadent Empires: A Comparison of Luxury and Moral Panic in Han China and the Roman Empire." Prof. Jane Sancinito worked with him as his advisor.

In anticipation of Patriot's Day on April 18, Prof. Abby Chandler was interviewed for an article published online at Boston.com on April 13 that explores the history of this Massachusetts holiday.

On Wednesday, April 27, Professor Maria Vassilakis (University of Thessaly, Greece) was in Lowell to give this year's Zamanakos Lecture, "Cretan Icons and Cretan Painters at St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai (15th-16th centuries)." The lecture took place at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center beginning at 6 p.m. A reception followed.

On Thursday, April 28, Prof. Michael Christopher Low (Iowa State University) spoke via Zoom with Prof. Elizabeth Williams's "Empire and Resistance in the Modern Middle East" class about his book Imperial Mecca: Ottoman Arabia and the Indian Ocean Hajj (2020). The talk took place in Coburn 150 from 3:30-4:45 p.m.

On May 25, Prof. Daniel Broyld's monograph Borderland Blacks: Two Cities in the Niagara Region During the Final Decades of Slavery, was published. It analyzes how emancipation affected Blacks on each side of the United States-Canadian border, particularly in Rochester, New York and St Catherines, Canada West.

In May, a volume on Harriet Tubman to which Prof. Daniel Broyld contributed was published: Harriet's Legacies : Race, Historical Memory, and Futures in Canada. He wrote the book's seventh chapter, which reflects on his experience as a museum designer helping to build the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Cambridge, Maryland. The chapter highlights the stories of everyday people who fought to make this museum happen.