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Fall 2014- Spring 2015 Highlights


The 2015 Annual Writer-in-Residence Amy Wilentz will be staying in residency from March 23-27

Amy Wilentz has received numerous awards for her writing and is currently professor of literary journalism at the University of California Irvine. On Tuesday March 24, Wilentz will deliver her lecture "Haiti's Earthquake and the Limits of Charity" at 4:00 in the Cape Cod Lounge of the Student Union. The event will be simulcast at the UMass Springfield Center, Tower Square, 1500 Main Street, Springfield, MA. Throughout the week, Wilentz will be visiting undergraduate and graduate classes at UMass and also meeting with students and faculty informally over coffee, lunch, and dinner. More information on the writer-in-residence program is available here.


The History Department announces with sorrow the death of our alumnus Dr. Richard Gassan (Ph.D., 2002). A professor at the American University in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, where he had been teaching for a decade, Dr. Gassan and a friend were killed while bicycling by a speeding driver. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. We will be organizing a memorial event and fund this spring; check this page for details. Those who knew Richard will never forget his quickness to make a friend, his sardonic laugh, and his generosity of spirit. Dr. Gassan's colleagues and students at AUS offer their reminiscences in this article: "AUS Staff Pay Tribute to Professor Killed While Cycling"

The 2015 Annual UMass Graduate History Association Conference "Transcending Borders and Disciplines: The Global Importance of Transnationalism" Isenberg School of Management March 7, 2015

This year's Graduate student conference will examine the value of transnationalism to historical scholarship and other related disciplines. Professor Jennifer Guglielmo of Smith College will deliver the keynote address titled "Writing History for a World in Crisis: The Radical Possibilities of a Transnational Lens". The conference will also feature a special panel discussion on teaching for social justice with UMass professors Barbara Krauthamer, Julio Capo, Richard Chu, and Libby Sharrow. The conference program is available here.


Professor Max Page Talk, "The Arc of Memory: Bending the future of Historic Preservation." February 11, Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Building

In anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which established how the United States preserves its physical past, Professor Page will offer a critique of historic preservation today and propose a progressive agenda for the next fifty years. He will suggest how the preservation movement can be a force for social justice, contributing to building more sustainable, meaningful, and fair communities by saving and interpreting places of pain, making our homes and cities more sustainable, and rethinking the thorny concepts of authenticity, integrity, and significance. At the conclusion of the lecture, Professor Page will be presented with the Chancellor's Medal, the highest honor bestowed to faculty by the campus.


Congratulations to Professor John Higginson on the publication of his latest book: Collective Violence and the Agrarian Origins of South African Apartheid, 1900-1948

Dr. Higginson's book examines how collective violence against South Africa's rural population contributed to the rise of the country's Apartheid regime. Dr. Higginson uses sources not employed by previous historians to consider how Africans resisted the violence perpetrated against them. His work also offers original insight into the contingencies of the Apartheid government. A book launch party will be held at Amherst Books on Friday, February 6, at 5:00.



Congratulations to Professor Jon Olsen on the publication of his first book: Tailoring Truth: Politicizing the Past and Negotiating Memory in East Germany, 1945-1990

Dr. Olsen's book investigates how the East German Communist regime used public history to legitimize its rule. By examining state-sponsored memory projects such as memorials, commemorations, and museums, Olsen demonstrates how the Communist regime's approach to memory politics changed over time. The party never gained full control over the public memory of the past, and dissidents often used the party's memory politics to challenge the regime's authority. Additional information is available on the book's website.



Congratulations to Chris Appy on the release of his latest book: American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

The book explores the cultural impact of the war and its lasting consequences for America's national conscience. Dr. Appy examines official records alongside pop culture to offer original insight into the relationship between the war's myths and realities. A book launch party will be held Thursday, February 5, from 5:30 to 7 at Amherst Books. The book is Appy's third on the Vietnam War, and his previous publications include: Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides (Viking, 2003), and Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (University of North Carolina Press, 1993)


Film Screening and Q/A: "'Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican': A Cape Verdean American Story," with the director Claire Andrade-Watkins

Dr. Andrade-Watkins is President of SPIA Media Productions, Inc. and Associate Professor at Emerson College. The event will also feature an introduction from Sid Ferreira (Director of Enrollment Services and Instructional Support for Residential Academic Programs, UMass Amherst) and Debora Ferreira (Executive Director for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, UMass Amherst). The screening will take place on Wednesday, February 4, 7:30pm, at the UMass Isenberg School of Management, Room. 137. Presented in conjunction with the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival


Exhibit: "Deafening Silence: The Strange Career of Mussolini's Legacy in Rome" January 22-February 20, 2015 Herter Art Gallery

The exhibit was designed by Professor Max Page, and consists of photographs he took during his six month stay at the American Academy in Rome. The exhibit concentrates on the physical legacy of the fascist Mussolini regime in Rome. An opening reception will be held on January 22 from 4-6 for all Five-College students, faculty, and staff


Congratulations to Bruce Laurie on the publication of his latest book: Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists

Dr. Laurie's book profiles five essential figures to the abolitionist community in Northampton, MA: Sylvester Judd Jr., John Payson Williston, David Ruggles, Henry Sherwood Gere, and Erastus Hopkins. These individuals along with many others established Northampton as a bastion of abolitionist sentiment leading up to the Civil War. Unlike many of their abolitionist peers, the reformers who claimed Northampton as home often endorsed racial equality and avoided the doctrinal disputes that plagued the anti-slavery movement elsewhere. Dr. Laurie has previously written about Massachusetts abolitionists in his book Beyond Garrison: Antislavery and Social Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2007)


Professor David Glassberg Awarded Excellence Award from the New England Museum Association (NEMA) (November, 2014)

Congratulations to Professor Glassberg won a 2014 New England Museum Association Excellence Award for his work as part of the team that transformed the W.E.B Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington from a demolished house to an interpretive trail and outdoor exhibition. The award cites the team’s collaboration with community and university partners, and its dedication to making the important stories of Du Bois’ life and legacy accessible to the public. The NEMA Excellence Award competition recognizes individual members for excellence in museum practice, whether they’re behind-the-scenes or on the front lines, the unsung heroes or the superstars. Professor Glassberg will be recognized for his award at the 96th Annual NEMA Conference in Boston and Cambridge, on Nov. 19-21. Congratulations!!!


UMass History Department Project Awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

Congratulations go out to David Glassberg, John Higginson, Alice Nash, Richard Chu and Bruce Laurie who are part of a team led by the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA and co-sponsored by the UMass Amherst History Department, which won a $168,440 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program, titled Forge of Innovation will bring 72 educators from across the nation to the Pioneer Valley in the summer of 2015 to learn about this region’s history as a hub of development for new technologies during the Industrial Revolution. Teachers participating in the program will study the Armory as genesis to the early Industrial Revolution in two, five-day sessions next summer. They will examine primary sources, visit area museums and historical sites, and compare and contrast the Armory with three other models of development that occurred simultaneously in the Pioneer Valley. Program participants will then return to their classrooms with lesson plans that will help their students understand how history shapes events in the future. The project is a collaboration between the Collaborative for Educational Services's Emerging America Program, the University of Massachusetts History Department, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and many other local partners. More information here.


Congratulations to go out to Professor Alice Nash, who, with Five Colleges, Inc., was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Dr. Nash will use the grant to direct an NEH Summer Institute for Teachers on Native American and indigenous studies next summer, Native Americans of New England: A Historical Overview. First offered in the summer of 2013, this three-week seminar will bring primary and secondary school teachers from around the country to UMass Amherst in July 2015 to examine the history of Native American peoples in New England from before the onset of European colonization through the present day. A rigorous, interdisciplinary humanities program, this Institute includes primary source analysis, museum visits, and conversations with Native and non-Native guest presenters. The Institute is directed by Professor Nash, in collaboration with Five Colleges Schools Partnership, the History Department Outreach Office, Dr. Rae Gould (Nipmuc), and local teacher and UMass Amherst alumna Kelley Brown. 


Professor Barbara Krauthamer Wins Outstanding Research Award (September 2014)

At faculty convocation on September 12, Dr. Krauthamer received an Outstanding Accomplishment in Research and Creativity Award for her recent work on photographs of Black Americans during Reconstruction. She joined the Department's Marla Miller and Stephen Platt, who have also previously received this prestigious award.


Humanities Action Lab Wins IMLS Grant (September 2014)

The UMass Public History Program is a partner in the Humanities Action Lab, which has just been awarded a National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services in the amount of $484,000 over a three year period. Administered out of the New School for Social Research, the Humanities Action Lab is an interdisciplinary hub that brings together a range of university-wide, national, and global partnerships to foster public engagement on urgent social issues. Over the course of the next three years, the UMass Public History program will work with the other Humanities Action Lab partners to collaboratively design, implement and evaluate a nationally traveling exhibit, web platform and set of public dialogue strategies. The first exhibition will explore the past and present of incarceration, and it will begin its run in spring 2016. UMass’s panel will be designed by students in the fall 2015 introductory graduate seminar on public history (History 659), instructed by Professor Marla Miller.



Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Highlights


Congratulations to Jessica Johnson and Julio Capo on their Massachusetts Creative Economy Initiative win! (July 2014)

Jessica Johnson and Julio Capo, along with Mitch Boucher (University Without Walls), won the award on behalf of the LGBTQI Community Archives and Education Center. The award money from the Massachusetts Creative Economy Initiative will go to the Sexual Minorities Archives in Northampton, MA, in order to preserve resources, as well as to develop a greater access to these resources through walking tours and other interactive programs. Congratulations!!!


Barbara N. Ramusack Talk, "Infants, Medical Women and Madras Municipal Politics, 1917-1947" (April 2014)

Come see a public talk by Barbara N. Ramusack, Charles Phelps Taft Professor of South Asia History Emerita, University of Cincinnati on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at 4:30PM at Morgan Hall 110, Amherst College! To reduce appalling rates of infant and maternal mortality, in 1917 the Madras Municipal Council opened its first child welfare center to provide ante and post-natal care for poor women in slum areas. This lecture will illuminate how Indian politicians and medical women sought to produce healthy citizens for the future Indian nation from at least the 1910s. This talk is sponsored by the Mellon Mutual Mentoring Fund, UMass Amherst Department of History, Five College Inter-Asia Group, and UMass Amherst Department of Economics. See poster for more details.


The 2013-2014 History Institute for K-12 Educators- Professor David Glassberg, "Learning from American Environmental History" (May 2014)

Join us for the fourth installment of this year’s History Institute. Prof. Glassberg will examine the ways that past generations of Americans imagined and shaped the land, as well as the roots of the current environmental crises. He will also explore various topics in American Environmental History as represented by documents, prints and photographs, and motion pictures available on-line through the Library of Congress and other repositories. Professor Glassberg's lecture will be held on May 8th from 4:30-5:30pm at the Collaborative for Educational Services (97 Hawley St, Northampton, MA). A registration-only workshop for K-12 Teachers will follow from 5:30-7:00pm. More information here. Free and open to the public!


Barbara Krauthamer Talk, "Picturing Freedom: Photography in the Age of Emancipation" (April 2014)

Join us on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 4PM in Room 160E of the Commonwealth Honors College (next to Roots Cafe) to hear Krauthamer's talk "Picturing Freedom: Photography in the Age of Emancipation." Krauthamer is Associate Professor of African American, Native American, and Antebellum History at UMass. See poster for more details.


The Graduate History Association's 10th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference (March 2014)

Come support the Graduate History Association (GHA) at its 10th annual conference on Saturday, March 29, 2014! This year's theme, "History in the Making: Pivotal Moments in Public Understanding," includes panels about such topics as social movements, memory and popular culture, as well as race and identity. The keynote speaker will be Jeanne Theoharis, author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Registration begins at 8:30AM in the Isenberg Atrium, and the first panel begins at 9:30AM. See the GHA program for more details.


2014 History Alumnae/i Career Networking (March 2014)

Join us on Thursday, March 27, 2014, from 4:30-6:30 at the Cape Cod Lounge for a multidisciplinary networking event with UMass alumnae/i! Meet alums, gather information about careers and internships, and enjoy complimentary food and refreshments. See poster for more details.


The 2014 Writer-in-Residence Public Lecture with Adam Hochschild (March 2014)

Come hear a best-selling and award-winning author speak about the progress of his next book on the Spanish Civil War, as well as writing for a range of audiences. Hochschild is author of several books, including King Leopold's Ghost, and teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. The lecture, "Rewriting the Spanish Civil War," will take place on Wednesday, March 26th, 4:00 PM at the Cape Cod Lounge. This talk is free and open to the public, so please join us for this exciting evening! See here for the poster. For more information about the Writer-in-Residence Program, click here.


The 2013-2014 History Institute for K-12 Educators- Professor Chris Appy, "Who We Are: The Vietnam War and the End of 'American Exceptionalism' " (March 2014)

Join us for the third installment of this year’s History Institute. Professor Appy will examine "American exceptionalism" as a core tenet of national identity, and how the Vietnam War posed fundamental challenges to the faith in America's actions as a force for good in the world. He will also explore the post-Vietnam efforts to revive "American exceptionalism." Professor Appy's lecture will be held on March 27th from 4:30-5:30pm at the Collaborative for Educational Services (97 Hawley St, Northampton, MA). A registration-only workshop for K-12 Teachers will follow from 5:30-7:00pm. More information here. Free and open to the public!


Congratulations to Prof. Barbara Krauthamer on her NAACP Image Award Win! (February 2014)

Congratulations to our own Barbara Krauthamer! Her co-authored book, Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Book of Non-Fiction. The NAACP Image Awards were nationally televised on February 22, 2014. Find more information about the nominees here. See the University press on Krauthamer's win!


Interdisciplinary Studies Institute 2014 ISI Residency and Lecture- Professor Barbara Fields, "Was Emancipation a War Crime?" (February 2014)

Come hear a leading scholar of American history discuss the nature of emancipation in nineteenth-century America! Professor Fields will give a public lecture--"Was Emancipation a War Crime?"--at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, February 19th, at the Campus Center. Professor Fields is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a 1992 MacArthur Fellowship and the John H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association. Professor Fields is Professor of History at Columbia University. For more information regarding the talk on February 19th, click here.


Prof. Barbara Krauthamer's Work Nominated for an NAACP Image Award (February 2014)

Congratulations to our own Barbara Krauthamer! Her co-authored book, Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, is a finalist for the 2014 NAACP Image Award for the outstanding book of non-fiction. The NAACP Image Awards will be nationally televised on February 22, 2014. Find more information about the nominees here.


The 2013-2014 History Institute for K-12 Educators- Professor Audrey Altstadt, "Energy and Human Rights in the Caspian Basin" (January 2014)

Join us for the second installment of this year’s History Institute. Professor Audrey Altstadt will examine energy and human rights in the oil and gas-producing states around the Caspian Sea—Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran—with an emphasis on US and EU policy toward these regions. Professor Altstadt’s lecture is free and open to the public and will be held on January 23rd from 4:30-5:30pm at the Collaborative for Educational Services (97 Hawley St, Northampton, MA). A registration-only workshop for K-12 Teachers will follow from 5:30-7:00pm. More information here. Free and open to the public!


The 2013-2014 History Institute for K-12 Educators- Professor Mary Wilson, "Syria: The Middle of the Middle East" (December 2013)

Announcing the inaugural event for this year’s History Institute for K-12 teachers! On December 12 from 4:30-5:30pm at the Collaborative for Educational Services (97 Hawley St, Northampton, MA), Professor Mary Wilson will explore the Syrian civil war in historical context, locating this contemporary event in the broader history of the Middle East. A registration-only workshop for K-12 Teachers will follow from 5:30-7:00pm. More information here. Free and open to the public!


Screening and Discussion of the American Experience Film JFK (November 2013)

Come support Dr. Christian Appy, as well as alums John Diffley and Richard Colton at their panel on Saturday, November 23rd, 2:00PM. The panel and screening are part of a partnership between the UMass History Department, WGBY, The Springfield Armory, and Springfield Technical Community College. The event will take place at STCC Building 2, Scibelli Hall Auditorium. We hope to see you there! See here for the poster.


Mellon Mutual Mentorship Talk featuring Prof. Marc Stein (November 2013)

Join us on Friday, November 15th, 2:00 PM in Herter 601 to hear Prof. Marc Stein's talk "Sex with Neighbors: Canada and Canadians in the 'U.S.' Homophile Press." Marc Stein is Professor of History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at York University (Toronto). His most recent book is Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (New York: Routledge, 2012). Photo courtesy of JP Laffont/Sygma/CORBIS.


"Lamaze: The Surprising Cold War History of Natural Childbirth" with Prof. Paula Michaels (November 2013)

Join us on Tuesday, November 12th, 4:00 PM, Herter 601 to hear Prof. Paula Michaels' talk "Lamaze: The Surprising Cold War History of Natural Childbirth." Paula Michaels is Professor of History and International Studies at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). She is the author of the prize-winning Curative Powers: Medicine and Empire in Stalin's Central Asia (2013), and Lamaze: An International History is forthcoming in 2014.


Careers for History Majors Event: Becoming an Attorney (October 2013)

Join us on Wednesday October 23rd, 5:30PM in Herter 601! Diane Curtis, pre-law advisor, and UMass History alumnus and local attorney David Webber will speak to students about the legal profession and applying to law school. We will provide pizza and drinks!


Careers for History Majors Event: Becoming a History Teacher (October 2013)

Join us on Wednesday October 16th, 5:30PM in Herter 601! Faculty from the School of Education will talk about their programs that can help you become certified as an elementary, middle, or high school teacher, including STEP (Secondary Teacher Education Program), and CTEP (Collaborative Teacher Education Program). We will provide pizza and drinks!


Careers for History Majors Event: Applying to Graduate School (October 2013)

Join us on Wednesday October 9th, 5:30PM in Herter 601! A panel of faculty and grad students will help you think about the ifs, wheres, and hows of continuing your academic career. We will provide pizza and drinks!


UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History Annual Lecture (October 2013)

Join us on Wednesday, October 2nd for a talk by Prof. Ned Blackhawk (Western Shoshone) of Yale University. Prof. Blackhawk's talk, "Indigenous Reckoning: American Indians and the Remaking of U.S. History," will be at 7PM in the Cape Cod Lounge. This talk is free and open to the public, so please join us for this exciting evening! See poster.


History Department Internship Information Event (October 2013)

Come learn about internship opportunities for history majors on Tuesday October 1st, 5:30PM in Herter 601! Caroline Gould from Career Planning will join us to discuss the importance of internships to professional development, as well as share some pointers for finding the right internship for you. We will provide pizza and drinks!


Recent Work from the UMass History Department (September 2013)

Congratulations to our colleagues in the History Department on their recent books! Jane M. Rausch for Territorial Rule in Columbia and the Transformation of the Llanos Orientales, and Robert E. Jones for Bread Upon the Waters: The St. Petersburg Grain Trade and the Russian Economy, 1703-1811.

History Department Orientation (September 2013)

Please come to the History Department Orientation on Monday September 30th, 5:00PM-6:30PM in Herter 601! At this event you will have a chance to meet other people who care about history, and learn about:

* The History Major! (and how to navigate those requirements)
* Internships & Career Advising! (why internships are a great idea, and how many cool possibilities there actually are)
* Study Abroad! (when, how, and why to do it)
* Honors! (…or how to create a brilliant academic record)
* Peer Advising! (…or how student advisors can help you succeed)
* History Club! (...or how to have fun with history)
* and much more…

We will provide delicious pizza and soft drinks, so please RSVP at so we can order enough food. If you have friends who are thinking about history as a major, or who are doing a history minor, or who are even just curious about history... please tell them to come, too!


The Guantanamo Memory Project Comes to UMass (September 2013)

David Glassberg and History Department graduate students Marwa Amer and John Dickson have contributed to a national exhibition about Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, titled Why Guantanamo? Drawing input from students at universities across the country, Why Guantanamo? asks questions about Guantanamo's relationship to the U.S. and global politics. The UMass students created content for the "Where is Guantanamo?" Panel. Why Guantanamo? opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday September 11, 2013 in the Herter Gallery. Prior to Wednesday's opening, there will be a panel discussion on "The Clash of National Security and Civil Liberties" at 4 p.m. in the Bernie Dallas Room in the Goodell Building. To learn about upcoming programming, see the exhibit poster. To read the Hampshire Gazette article on the exhibit and the UMass team, click here.




Fall 2012 - Spring 2013 Highlights


The Campus Guide: University of Massachusetts Amherst (April 2013)

Marla Miller and Max Page have written the University of Massachusetts installment in Princeton Architectural Press's “The Campus Guide” series.  Marla and Max will also deliver part of their research in a special lecture titled “Beauty, Cravings, Virtue: A Celebration of the Architectural Legacy of the University of Massachusetts Amherst” (4PM on April 23, Goodell Hall’s Bernie Dallas Room). The University of Massachusetts Campus Guide is available at the University Store, area booksellers, and major online booksellers. For more on the book and other resources, visit 150 Years of UMass Amherst Building & Architecture.



Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Newsletter Out (April 2013)

Interested in this semester's WGSS activities and news? Find out more about their Spring events, progress towards building a Ph.D. program, graduate and faculty news, and more in their newsletter here. An interview with Joyce Berkman on her 2013 retirement can be read on page 9.


Audrey L. Altstadt in The Massachusetts Review (April 2013)

In response to the recent news reports and public discussion following the Boston Marathon bombing, Audrey Altstadt offers readers a balanced introduction to Chechnya in the current issue of The Massachusetts Review. The article is titled "Chechnya to Boston: What Do We Really Know?"


Congratulations to Tom Army (April 2013)

Tom Army has won a Residential First Year Experience (RFYE) Student Choice Award. The student choice award recognizes faculty who have made a significant impact on the lives of students during their first year of college. The criteria for the award includes "inspiring students to learn, going above and beyond to support first year students, and challenging students to reach their full potential."


Robin Kelley at UMass (March 2013)

We'd like to thank Robin Kelley for a fantastic Writer-in-Residency this year. Robin is an American historian whose research and teaching interests range widely, covering the history of labor and radical movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; intellectual and cultural history (particularly music and visual culture); urban studies, and transnational movements. You can view his week's full schedule here, or enjoy his public lecture "The Long Rise and Short Decline of American Democracy" on the department's YouTube channel.


GHA Conference Preparations (February 2013)

This semester's Graduate History Association Book Sale brought in over $400 for the upcoming Annual Conference. Thank you to everyone who baked, staffed the table, or purchased books or baked goods. You can see the program (including panels and keynote speaker information) for next month's conference here.


Steve Platt on Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (January 2013)

Following Steve Platt's Cundill Prize in History, he delivered a lecture in Cape Cod Lounge titled "Into the Storm: Some Windows into a Chinese Civil War." Watch the whole talk here!



Fall '12 Faculty Honors

Congratulations to the many faculty members who received university and national awards this semester. Recently, Stephen Platt was awarded McGill University's prestigious 2012 Cundill Prize for his book Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War. Laura Lovett's edited book When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back At a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made has also received widespread attention: click here for an interview with Laura by UNC Press.
New faculty hire Julio Capó was featured this Fall in the Miami Herald, contributing an article on the progression of the national debate on gay rights. He also received the Urban History Association's 2011 Dissertation Award for his work titled "'It's Not Queer to Be Gay': Miami and the Emergence of the Gay Rights Movement, 1945 - 1995" (Florida International University, 2011). Fans of historical films will be interested in reading Barbara Krauthamer's review of Lincoln, which appeared in The Chronicle this December.


Fall '12 Public History Visitors
The Public History program is very fortunate this semester to welcome a series of public historians who will meet with program students and the general public. This semester's line-up includes Michael and Carrie Kline, who will on their careers as folklorists researching and producing oral histories of Appalachia "Coal Curtain," Elizabeth Rairigh, of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and Ellen Garvey, who will give a talk on scrapbooking as a method of making 19th century African American and Women's Rights history.

Feinberg Lecture Series Schedule (August 2012)

The schedule is set for the Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series this Fall '12, titled "Truth and Reconciliation, History and Justice." This year we have invited UMass History faculty and nearly twenty special guests to discuss historical trauma and the reconciliation process in a powerful series of lectures, panels, and film screenings. James Anaya, U.N. Rapporteur on Indigenous People, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, October 4th. The complete schedule is available here.



Fall 2011 - Spring 2012 Highlights


Professor Bruce Laurie appointed OAH Distinguished Lecturer (May 2012)

Bruce Laurie is one of twenty-five speakers joining the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Lectureship Program this year.  OAH Lecturers serve 3-year, renewable terms during which they speak to diverse audiences across the country and are hosted by college campuses, conferences, historical societies, libraries, museums, and teacher workshops.


Mexican American Colonization

Mexican American Colonization during the Nineteenth Century: A History of the U.S. - Mexico Borderlands, a new book by José Angel Hernández, is published this month by Cambridge University Press (May 2012):
"This study is a reinterpretation of nineteenth-century Mexican American history, examining Mexico's struggle to secure its northern border with repatriates from the United States, following a war that resulted in the loss of half Mexico's territory.  Responding to past interpretations, José Angel Hernández suggests that these resettlement schemes centred on developments within the frontier region, the modernisation of the country with loyal Mexican American settlers, and blocking the tide of migrations to the United States to prevent the depopulation of its fractured northern border."


Undergraduate Thesis Presentations (April 2012)
Congratulations to all 2012 seniors who completed History theses this semester: Jacob Adams, Daniel McDonald, Annika Mitchell, Joshua Pitt, Samantha Ryan, and Thamyris Tavares de Almeida.

Tony Horwitz visits as the UMass Amherst Department of History 2012 Writer-in-Residence (March 2012)

Tony visited UMass courses in the History, Afro-American Studies, and Journalism departments, as well as meeting with the undergraduate History Club and graduate Public History students.  He gave a public lecture on the subject of his new book, Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War. (Below: Tony Horwitz with the UMass History Club)


8th Annual GHA Conference (March 2012)

Students from across the nation joined UMass History graduate M.A. and Ph.D. students in this year's Graduate History Association conference. This year's theme was "Networks, Connections, and Exchange," and featured a keynote address by Charles C. Mann titled "Drilling Through the Silo."

Heavenly Kingdom


Stephen Platt's book Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, the West, and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War, is published this year by Alfred A. Knopf. (February 2012) Henry Kissinger writes: "Stephen Platt brings to vivid life a pivotal chapter in China's history that has been all but forgotten: the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-nineteenth century, which cost one of the greatest losses of life of any war in history.  It had far-reaching consequences that still reverberate in contemporary China."




Kenneth Feinberg (B.A., 1967) Donates Historic Materials to UMass Amherst (Nov. 2011)


"Sesquicentennial Symposium: Civil War Causes and Consequences" (Oct. 2011)

The UMass History Department was pleased this month to participate in the Five College Learning in Retirement's Civil War Sesquicentennial Symposium.  Among others, speakers at this two-day event included Eric Foner, UMass History professors John Higginson and Bruce Laurie, Leonard Richards, emeritus, and Manisha Sinha of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.


Public History "The Next 25 Years" Anniversary Conference (Sept. 2011)
Celebrating 25 years of Public History at UMass Amherst, the Department of History was thrilled to welcome some of the nation's most innovative practitioners to help us ponder the field's next quarter-century. Special guests included Nina Simon, Rolf Diamant of the National Park Service, preservationist Chris Wilson, UMass's own James Young, Steve Lubar of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center's Graciela Sanchez, Liz Cevcenko from the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, NPS curator Patricia West, and Alice Greenwald, director of the museum being established beneath the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City.  A special thanks also to our alumni who presented a series of "Snapshots from the Field."