Department of History

Department News

Spring 2014

(updated 15 April 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  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,

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.

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.