2022 News and Events

Spring 2022 Spring

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).

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 12-1 p.m. in Dugan 208 for Professor Lauren Fogle's "Women in the Middle Ages" class.

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.

Summer 2022 Summer

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.

Faculty News faculty

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.

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 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 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".

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).

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. 

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 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.

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.

Student News student

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.

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.

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 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.

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.