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History Dept., Herter Hall Room 612
University of Massachusetts
161 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9312

Tel. 413.545.1330
Fax. 413.545.6137



Fall 2016 Highlights


National Trust Interview with Camesha Scruggs
PhD Student Camesha Scruggs was interviewed by the National Trust for Historical Preservation about her work in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond, as she helped to lead a community charrette to design a memorial park at the site of one of the largest slave markets in 19th century America. Read more here.


PhD Alum Richard Taupier Awarded International Collaborative Research Grant in Buddhist Studies
Richard Taupier (PhD '15) has been named a Robert N. Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). He will share the $180,200 award with Sukhbaatar Nadmid of the National Educational University of Mongolia, who will spend 2017 at UMass Amherst working on the project. Read more here.


New Databases Available through the UMass Amherst Libraries
Historians now have access to a host of valuable new databases through the UMass Amherst Libraries: American Indian Law Library; Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity: LBGTQ History and Culture Since 1940,Caribbean Newspapers,1718-1876; Foreign and International Law Resources; Japan Times Archives; Oxford Bibliographies: African Studies, American Literature, Atlantic History and Latin American Studies; and World Treaty Library. The databases can be accessed from within or without the library. For more information, contact Humanities Research Services LibrarianJames Kelly at


Professor Alice Nash Appointed tothePlymouth, Massachusetts 400th Anniversary Commission
Professor Alice Nash will represent the University of Massachusetts on the Plymouth, Massachusetts 400th Anniversary Commission. According to a press release by Governor Charlie Baker, the commission is "charged with ensuring a befitting national and state observance of the settlement of Plymouth Colony in 1620, including opportunities for local, state, national and global educational programming and interaction and a reflection of Massachusetts’ rich history, natural resources and diverse cultural contributions."

Professor Nash stated, "While tourism is a big part of our charge, this is an opportunity to build on the work I've been doing with NEH grants in 2013 and 2015 to run an Summer Institute for K-12 teachers onNative Americans of New England: A Historical Overview" and with upcoming NEH Summer Institute in June 2017 on Teaching Native American Histories, co-directed with Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag) and based in Wampanoag territory on Cape Cod." Read more here.


Professor Marla Miller, with Colleagues in Biology and Art, Wins Creative Economy Grant
In further good news, Professor Miller and her collaborators Duncan Irschick (Biology) and Cooper Giloth (Art), just received the President’s Creative Economy Grant, for their project titled “Using 3D Modeling to Digitally Preserve the Architectural Heritage of Massachusetts: Digital Preservation of Endangered Historical Building and Educational Outreach.”


New Book: Fifty Ideas for the Next Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in the United States: Considering the Future of Preserving the Past by Max Page and Marla Miller

The year 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, the cornerstone of historic preservation policy and practice in the United States. The act established the National Register of Historic Places, a national system of state preservation offices and local commissions, set up federal partnerships between states and tribes, and led to the formation of the standards for preservation and rehabilitation of historic structures. This book marks its fiftieth anniversary by collecting fifty new and provocative essays that chart the future of preservation.

The commentators include leading preservation professionals, historians, writers, activists, journalists, architects, and urbanists. The essays offer a distinct vision for the future and address related questions, including, Who is a preservationist? What should be preserved? Why? How? What stories do we tell in preservation? How does preservation contribute to the financial, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of communities? And if the “arc of the moral universe . . . bends towards justice,” how can preservation be a tool for achieving a more just society and world? You can read more here.


New Article: "Sex and the Survey: A New Way of Teaching Global History." by Professor Laura Lovett
The October edition of Perspectives on History spotlighted a new course on the global history of sex developed by Professor Laura Lovett in collaboration with Professors Julio Capó and Priyanka Srivastava. The course was developed through a Mellon Mutual Mentoring Faculty Grant and is a 100-level class aimed at first year students, rounding out the department’s rich undergraduate and graduate curriculum on the history of gender, sex and sexuality. You can read the article here.


Faculty member at noted Philadelphia Salon
The salon started in 1980 as part of the McNeil Center for Early America History and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania. Unlike normal seminars, it takes place in a stately Philadelphia area home and features a single speaker talking about his or her current research project in medias res for over an hour. Its audience includes Philadelphia area history and American culture faculty and especially the nine or ten McNeil fellows, dissertation year and post-doctoral, essentially the future of academic leadership in early American studies. Guests are carefully selected established scholars and have included John Demos, Richard Bushman, Alan Taylor, and Christine Heyrman. Last month’s speaker (October 20) was Barry Levy of this History Department. He spoke about his project on military, political, and social change in Massachusetts and the nation 1675 to 1840, focusing chiefly on the battle of bunker hill, the bunker hill monument and the story behind their relationship. Levy says the talk and discussion went well and he is looking forward to presenting more from this project at the OAH in New Orleans in April.


New Articles: "‘No More Fears, No More Tears’?: Gender, Emotion and the Aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars in France" and “Celibacy, Courage, and Hungry Wives: Debating Military Marriage and Citizenship in Pre-revolutionary France” by Professor Jennifer Heuer

Congratulations to Professor Jennifer Heuer for two new articles in the journals Gender & History and European History Quarterly.You can read them here and here.


Historicizing Current Philippine Politics
Professor Richard Chu was recently mentioned in a Time Magazine article where he shared his thoughts about Philippine President Duterte's recent commentary on the country's colonial past with the U.S. You can read more here.


Professor Anne Broadbridge invited to speak at the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Professor Anne Broadbridge was invited to give a talk at the UC Berkeley Center for Middle Eastern Studies on October 6. The title was: "Genghis Khan's Womenfolk: How Imperial Women Influenced Mongol History and the Mongol Conquests."


Professor Audrey Altstadt Appointed Chair of Kennan Institute Advisory Council

Professor Audrey Altstadt has been appointed Chair of the Keenan Institute Advisory Council for four years, starting October 1, 2016. The Kennan Institute is one of the most prestigious research institutions on Russia and Eurasia and is housed in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Prof. Altstadt was a Fellow at the Wilson Center in 2014-15; earlier, she received a research grant from the Kennan Institute. The Advisory Council advises the Kennan Institute on all scholarly aspects of its work, including the review of all research scholarship and short-term grant applications.

New Book: The Politics of Culture in Soviet Azerbaijan, 1920-1940 by Professor Audrey Altstadt

The early Soviet Union's nationalities policy involved the formation of many national republics, within which "nation building" and "modernization" were undertaken for the benefit of "backward" peoples. Professor Audrey Altstadt's new book published by Routledge Press considers how such policies were implemented in Azerbaijan and argues that the Soviet policies were in fact a form of imperalism, with "nation building" and "modernization" imposed firmly along Soviet lines. Read morehere.











The History Department Welcomes New and Returning Faculty Officers
The History Department welcomes three new faculty officers. Brian W. Ogilvie has assumed the position of Department Chair, Marla Miller is Associate Chair, and Anna Taylor is Graduate Program Director. Alice Nash and Jennifer Fronc continue as Undergraduate Program Director and Honors Program Director, respectively. We are well on our way to an exciting academic year under their capable leadership!


UMass History Department Welcomes New Graduate Students
This fall semester, the UMass Amherst History Department welcomed nine new students into the History and Public History graduate program: Alex Asal (MA Public History), Heather Brinn (PhD), Austin Clark (MA, Public History), Nolan Cool (MA, Public History), Brittany Frederick (PhD, Public History), Yuri Gama (PhD, Public History), Jason Higgins (PhD), Susan Kaplan (MA, Public History), Owen Kerrigan (MA), and Jack Werner (MA).Welcome to UMass!






Summer 2016 Highlights



Historicizing Orlando's Pulse Massacre

In the wake of this summer's tragic mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Professor Julio Capó, Jr. offered crucial historical analysis in Time, The Washington Post, and El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico). You can check out his articles here: "Pulse and the Long History of Violence Against Queer Latinos," "Gay Bars Were Supposed to Be Safe Spaces. But They Often Weren't," and "Los bares gay son espacios de refugio y desafío."


New Article: "From Act to Fact: The Transformaation of Suicide in Western Thought" by Daniel Gordon

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Gordon for his recent journal publication in Historical Reflections/Réflexions Histories. Click here to read more.


Professor Daniel Gordon was also recently quoted in the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah on the debate over the "Burkini" in France. Check out the link here.





Fall 2015-Spring 2016 Highlights



Congratulations to our 2016 graduates!

Click the links below to see photos from various end-of-semester events celebrating our graduates’ accomplishments:

2016 Commencement
Graduate Awards Ceremony
Undergraduate Awards Ceremony
Undergraduate Thesis Symposium
MA Portfolio Presentations
Phi Alpha Theta Initiation Dinner

History Major Michael Nicholson '16 honored at MA State House

Congratulations to Michael Nicholson, who was honored May 9 at the MA State House during the state Department of Higher Education’s “29 Who Shine” ceremony saluting public campus graduates for their civic and academic achievements. As a member of Commonwealth Honors College, Nicholson earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and history as well as a certificate in public policy and administration and one in international relations. He was a member of the history honors society and a peer mentor. He was honored as a 21st Century Leader at UMass Amherst’s commencement ceremony on May 6, and he is currently enrolled in the accelerated master of public policy program at UMass Amherst. Read more.

New Blog Posts on Past@Present
Sam Redman, “Reconsidering Body Worlds: why do we still flock to exhibits of dead human beings?
Julie Peterson, “Contemporary Criminal Justice in Historical Context: Developing a Museum Exhibit about Mass Incarceration
Rebekkah Rubin, “Learning to Tweet Like a Historian
Rose Gallenberger, "The Stuff of History: Probate Records in 17th Century Maryland"
Susan Kaplan, “A Conversation With Historian Andrew Bacevich

Congratulations to Babette Faehmel '09PhD, who has been awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research!

This SUNY Systemwide Award recognizes professional achievement and the ongoing pursuit of excellence. Dr. Faehmel, whose dissertation was one of the most frequently-downloaded dissertations from DAI before it came out as a book with Rutgers Press in 2013, "College Women in the Nuclear Age," was the first UMass History PhD to have a committee co-chaired by a UMass faculty and Five College Faculty member. Dr. Faehmel teaches Women's History, American History, African American History, Western Civilization and United States Government and Politics at Schenectady County Community College in Upstate NY. Her current project explores the Squatting Movement in Europe in the 1980s.

New Book: Prof. Johan Mathew's Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea

What is the relationship between trafficking and free trade? Is trafficking the perfection or the perversion of free trade? Trafficking occurs thousands of times each day at borders throughout the world, yet we have come to perceive it as something quite extraordinary. How did this happen, and what role does trafficking play in capitalism? In his new book, Professor Johan Mathew traces the hidden networks that operated across the Arabian Sea in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016) launches this month and will be available worldwide. Last week, the Department of History hosted an event celebrating the launch.

Marla Miller recognized in The Republican's "People in Business"

Professor Marla Miller was recently recognized by The Republican in a recent "People in Business" article. Prof. Miller has been elected vice president and president elect of the National Council on Public History (NCPH). Read more.

Cultural History Graduate Presentations

Students in Professor David Glassberg's "Writing Cultural History" graduate seminar presented their research papers, receiving feedback from faculty and fellow graduate students in the department. Check out photos on Flickr.

New Book: Prof. Sam Redman’s Bone Rooms

9780674660410-lg.jpgPublished through Harvard University Press, Prof. Sam Redman’s new book, Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums (2016), examines the practice of collecting and examining human remains in American museums, a practice which was fueled in part by discredited theories about race. In an article on HNN, he comments, "We owe it to the dead to keep better track of our prolonged efforts to turn them into trophies, scientific specimens, and valuable collectables. These significant wrongs must be addressed. We must also after so many years - finally - fully confront this complex legacy in a more thorough manner, one deserving of our most important cultural institutions."

Book Launch Events:
June 13 - Tattered Cover Books Denver, CO. 7:00pm
June 30 - Morbid Anatomy Museum, NYC, NY. 7:00pm
July 6 - Mass Historical Society Boston, MA. 5:30pm

Read more:
“How Many Skeletons are in U.S. Museums?” article on History News Network
“When Museums Rushed to Fill Their Rooms with Bones” (excerpt of Bone Rooms) in Smithsonian Magazine
Book Review in Publishers Weekly

Interdisciplinary Studies Institute names Joel Wolfe as a 2016-17 faculty fellow

Professor Joel Wolfe has been selected by the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) Board as a fellow for its 2016-17 faculty seminar on “Trespassing." ISI fellows will approach the theme from a variety of perspectives, ranging from the humanities to social sciences, from music and dance to legal studies. Each Fellow will receive a $1,500 research allowance and participate in a year long faculty seminar. Read more.

Canaan Asbury awarded Fulbright Teaching Fellowship

Congratulations to M.A. candidate Canaan Asbury, who was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship to Germany. Canaan will spend next year as an English Teaching Assistant in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

History Students presented with UMass ACT Award

In April, undergraduate history minor Olivia Espinoza and graduate students Chelsea Miller '16MA and Amy Halliday (MAT, Smith College; Gallery Director, Hampshire College) were presented with the UMass Academic & Community Transformation (ACT) Award, which recognizes leadership, academic excellence, and contributions to a campus or community partnership, by the office of Civic Engagement and Service Learning. Check out photos from the awards ceremony on Flickr.

New article by Prof. Sam Redman on The Conversation

You don't have to be a physician or anatomist to be curious about how bodies work. Exhibits of dead human specimens have been around for quite a while – capitalizing on our fascination with death. In his most recent article, Prof. Redman asks what continues to draw so many people to human body exhibitions – even today. Read the article here.

New Book: Sigrid Schmalzer’s Red Revolution, Green Revolution

Prof. Sigrid Schmalzer has published a new book this year with University of Chicago Press, entitled, Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China. Schmalzer explores the intersection of politics and agriculture in socialist China through the diverse experiences of scientists, peasants, state agents, and “educated youth.” This history of “scientific farming” in China offers us a unique opportunity not only to explore the consequences of modern agricultural technologies but also to engage in a necessary rethinking of fundamental assumptions about science and society.
Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China (University of Chicago Press, 2016)
Prof. Schmalzer interviewed by Carla Nappi for New Books Network podcast

Community College Public Humanities Center Initiative

As part of Mass Humanities’ Community College Public Humanities Center Initiative, Prof. Jennifer Fronc is the humanities scholar for a pilot project at Holyoke Community College (HCC), titled “The Changing Immigrant Experience in Massachusetts, 1965-2015.” Mass Humanities has received a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch this initiative, which promises to transform the cultural and civic landscape of Massachusetts by creating public humanities centers at one or more community colleges in all six regions of the state. Each center will represent a collaboration between the community college faculty and staff, local cultural and civic organizations such as the public library and the local historical society, humanities scholars at nearby colleges and universities, and Mass Humanities. Led by a director based at the college, each team will plan and implement programs that speak to the needs and interests of the local community. Read MassLive's article about the initiative here.

New article by Prof. Audrey Altstadt on Foreign Affairs

Prof. Audrey Altstadt recently co-authored an article with Rajan Menon for Foreign Affairs, titled ”Unfrozen Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.” Since its founding in 1922, Foreign Affairs has been the leading forum for serious discussion of American foreign policy and global affairs. It is now a multi-platform media organization with a print magazine, a website, a mobile site, various apps and social media feeds, an event business, and more. Read the article here.

Recent News from Christian G. Appy

Prof. Christian Appy has been appointed as one of the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lecturers in 2016-2017. Created in 1981 by OAH president Gerda Lerner, the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program is a speakers bureau dedicated to American history. OAH Distinguished Lecturers speak around the country every year, not only visiting college campuses and addressing undergraduate and graduate student conferences but also leading teacher seminars and engaging general audiences at public events sponsored by historical societies, museums, libraries, and humanities councils. Read more about the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program.

Prof. Appy recently gave a lecture at the UMass Amherst library reviewing the Vietnam War and American identity. Read The Daily Campus’ coverage of the lecture. Prof. Appy also recently spoke on April 14 at a UMass Amherst Alumni Association event in Boston, MA, and on April 16 at the Arkansas Literary Festival in Little Rock, AR.

Visit from Sue Ferentinos

In April, public history students and faculty enjoyed a brown bag lunch talk with Sue Ferentinos, author of Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites (American Association for State and Local History, 2014). Ferentinos' book, winner of the 2016 National Council on Public History book award, uses case studies to offer recommendations and insights to public history practitioners looking to interpret LGBT history. Stay tuned for photos from Ferentinos' visit!

Career & Internship Advising Office Alumni Dinner

Students, faculty, and alumni of the Department of History gathered at the end of March for an Alumni Dinner, organized by Ph.D. candidate and Career & Internship Advisor Mark Roblee. Check out photos from the event here.

“Ashes to Ashes” with Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker

Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker visited the Department of History in March to deliver a lecture titled, “Remembering the Lynched: Ashes to Ashes--The Homecoming.” Dr. Whitaker discussed “Ashes to Ashes,” a public memory project intended to acknowledge and mourn the African Americans who were racially terrorized during the Jim Crow era after the Civil War and until this very day. Read more about "Ashes to Ashes" on Dr. Whitaker's website. Check out photos from her visit here.

Mark Roblee and John Higgins at the Classical Association of New England Annual Meeting

On March 18-19, at the Classical Association of New England (CANE)'s Annual Meeting at Smith College, both of our ABD students in Ancient and Medieval History delivered papers in a panel on Late Antiquity. Mark Roblee spoke on " 'Intra pectoris mei secreta… ':Soteriological Strategies in The Golden Ass," and John Higgins spoke on "Biographical Genre and Sulpicius Severus’s De Vita Martini." John Higgins was honored by CANE with the Barlow-Beach Award. CANE describes it thus: "The most prestigious of CANE's awards is the Barlow-Beach Award for Distinguished Service, awarded each year for 'exceptional service to the classics in New England’.”

UMass Amherst Public History at NCPH

On March 16-19, public history faculty, alumni, and graduate students had a strong presence at the National Council on Public History (NCPH)’s annual meeting. M.A. candidate Julie Peterson presented in a working group titled, “Interpreting the History of Race Riots and Racialized Mass Violence in the Age of “Black Lives Matter.” She also received a NCPH Graduate Student Travel Award to attend the conference. M.A. candidates Shakti Castro, Katherine Fecteau, Chelsea Miller, and Natalie Sherif presented their research at the Humanities Action Lab workshop, “Public History and Policing: Connect Your Community to a National Memory Project on Incarceration.” Check out photos from the conference on our Flickr page.

Prof. Julio Capó, Jr. in the latest issue of Perspectives on History

Prof. Julio Capó, Jr. appears in Kritika Agarwal’s article, “Queer Migrations: A Perspectives Quick Study,” in the latest issue of the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History. Prof. Capó argues that any definition of queer should center on “disruptions to heteronormativity”—that is, on the social assumption that heterosexuality is the default setting for human identity and desire. Thus, Capó says, “queer” can describe people who display “non-normative expressions of gender and sexuality,” but “to queer” something entails focusing on its neglected or strange aspects, especially those that undermine heteronormative cultural and state processes. Click to read the article.

Prof. Marla Miller elected NCPH Vice President/President Elect

We are excited to announce that Prof. Marla Miller (Director of the Public History program) has been elected Vice President/President Elect of NCPH (National Council on Public History). She will serve two years as vice-president, two years as president, and two years as past president on the Board of Directors.

Amy Breimaier awarded dissertation research grant from New England Regional Fellowship Consortium/Massachusetts Historical Society

Ph.D. candidate Amy Breimaier received a dissertation research grant from the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium/Massachusetts Historical Society. The New EnglandRegional Fellowship Consortium is a collaboration of 21 major cultural agencies, will offer at least 15 awards in 2016–2017. Grants are designed to encourage projects that draw on the resources of several agencies.

Prof. Audrey Altstadt nominated to National Security Seminar

Join us in congratulating Prof. Audrey Altstadt on her nomination to the U.S. Army War College Commandant’s National Security Seminar (NSS) program! The seminar is the capstone event of the USAWC academic year, and it is designed to bring civilian thinking into a military setting. Together, USAWC students and NSS guests will examine current national security issues.

Prof. Libby Sharrow named as Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) 2016-17 Scholar

Prof. Libby Sharrow has been selected as one of six 2016-17 Scholars at the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR). ISSR’s mission is to promote excellence in social science research. An important goal served by the scholars program is to strengthen existing social science infrastructure on campus in order to stimulate high-quality scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration.This year's ISSR Scholars will develop innovative new research that has the potential to shape social theory and policy. Click to read more about the program.

Prof. Julio Capó, Jr. receives Outstanding Teaching Award

Congratulations to Prof. Julio Capó, Jr., recent recipient of the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award! Established in 1992, Outstanding Teaching Awards recognize excellence in teaching and honor individual faculty members at the campus's nine schools and colleges for their teaching accomplishments. Honorees are selected on the basis of subject mastery and scholarship, teaching effectiveness and creativity, impact on students, and contributions to the teaching mission of their school or college and the University

“Putting History to Work,” GHA Conference 2016

On March 5, the Graduate History Association successfully hosted its 12th annual Graduate History Conference, titled “Putting History to Work.” Graduate students from around the nation presented their research in the fields of labor history, art history, activism, digital history, Cold War history, and more. During the conference, the GHA hosted a Brown Bag Lunch Discussion with Matt Becker, the Executive Editor of The University of Massachusetts Press. Conference participants were invited to discuss the ins and outs of academic publishing, as well as engage in a variety of other topics such as publishing as a career. We concluded with a capstone panel on History Communication with Rebecca Onion (Slate), Jamia Wilson (Women, Action, and the Media), Cathy Stanton (Tufts University; History@Work), and Jason Steinhauer (Library of Congress), moderated by Professor Emily Redman. Click to see photos from the conference.

History Communication in the 21st Century

On Friday, March 4, we hosted an evening of Lightning Conversations on the future of History Communication. Prominent historians, journalists, and thought-leaders from around the nation participated in ten-minute conversations about how we communicate history in a digital world. Co-hosts Susan Kaplan (NEPR) and Jason Steinhauer (Library of Congress) moderated the conversations. This event was presented by the UMass Public History Program with generous support from the INNOVATE Undergraduate Education Fund at Purdue University, and the Graduate History Association, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, Office of the Provost, Office of the Dean of the Colleges of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Office of the Dean of the Graduate School at UMass Amherst. Join the conversation on Twitter: #histcomm

Diane Lederman on MassLive: "UMass offering program on history in digital age"
Photo Album on Flickr
History Communication in the 21st Century on YouTube

“Truth, Lies, Clicks, and Shares: How History is Faring on the World Wide Web,” Public Lecture with Dr. Rebecca Onion

The Department of History celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our Writer-in-Residence program with a public lecture by 2016 Writer-in-Residence Dr. Rebecca Onion (Slate history writer). Dr. Onion discussed how the advent of social media has altered the type of history that thrives on the Web. Read more about the Writer-in-Residence Program.

Congratulations to Natalie Sherif!

M.A. student Natalie Sherif has recently become an Assistant Editor for Notches, a peer-reviewed, collaborative and international history of sexuality blog that aims to get people inside and outside the academy thinking about sexuality in the past and in the present.

Prof. Julio Capó, Jr., in the Oxford University Press Blog

Prof. Julio Capó, Jr., recently co-authored a post for the Oxford University Press blog with Shanon Fitzpatrick, Melani McAlister, and David Minto, titled Queering America and the world.” The authors reflect on their scholarly intervention in diplomatic history, specifically in terms of queering the history of U.S. foreign relations, in a colloquy in the latest issue of Diplomatic History.

Article co-authored by Prof. Kevin Young gains traction online amid 2016 Presidential Election

Last year, Prof. Kevin Young co-authored an article with Diana C. Sierra Becerra that critiques Hillary Clinton’s form of feminist empowerment and what it has meant in practice for women in different communities. Recently, this article has been cited in numerous blogs and thought pieces, including on, Feministing, the Huffington Post, the Conservative Review, and RH Reality Check. It has gained popularity online in light of the 2016 Presidential Election.
Kevin Young & Diana C. Sierra Becerra, "Hillary Clinton's Empowerment," Jacobin magazine (March 2015)

This article has been cited in:
Imani Gandy, “Hillary Clinton Can’t Afford to Ignore Black Women” (April 2015)
Andrea Plaid, “Don’t ‘Arquette’ Hillary Clinton,” (May 2015)
D.C. McAllister, “Clinton and Her White Privilege Problem” (January 2016)
Mahroh Jahangiri, “The Feminists Not Invited to the Hillary Party” (February 2016)
Kelly Wilz, “A Feminist’s Guide to Critiquing Hillary Clinton” (February 2016)
Julie Zeilinger, “The Real Reasons Young Women Are Not Supporting Hillary” (February 2016)

Africa Now With NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton and Dr. John Higginson
On February 23, NPR’s Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton sat with Prof. John Higginson for for a lively conversation on Ofeibea’s extensive career covering the African continent for major news organizations including the BBC and NPR, and the current political, economic and social issues impacting African nations today. Read The Daily Collegian’s coverage of the event. (Photo credit: Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

“Conflict and Segregation in Settler Cities: Toward a World Historical Approach”

Event Webpage

Many of the last hundred years’ most protracted and agonizing conflicts and many of the most inequitable systems of spatial segregation are centered in cities founded or conquered by European settlers in Europe’s own periphery and on all the other inhabited continents of the world. Is it possible to understanding these conflicts and the politics of compartmentalization they engender as a connected and distinct world historical phenomenon? 

Dr. Carl Nightingale returned to Herter Hall in February to present his latest research on conflict, segregation, and settler cities in world history. This event was sponsored by the departments of Architecture and History. Carl Nightingale is Professor of Urban History and World History in the Department of Transnational Studies at the University of Buffalo, the flagship of the SUNY system. His book, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (Chicago University Press) was co-winner of the Jerry Bentley Award for best book in World History in 2012. He has published extensively on the intersection of urban history, world history, and the history of race and racism. He taught World History (History 111) at UMass Amherst for almost ten years in the 1990s and early 2000s, an experience he credits—with expressions of deep gratitude to his enormously supportive colleagues in Herter Hall--for much of the transnational turn in his work since then.

Click to see photos from the event

Panel and Book Launch for Prof. Manisha Sinha's The Slave's Cause

Prof. Manisha Sinha has published a new book through Yale University Press, titled The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents the influence of the Haitian Revolution and the centrality of slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. This book is a comprehensive new history of the abolition movement in a transnational context. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.

On February 9, the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies hosted its signature Black History Event, a panel and book launch for Prof. Manisha Sinha's new book, The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition (Yale University Press, 2016). Panelists included Elizabeth Pryor (Smith College), Lynda Morgan (Mount Holyoke College), Susan Tracy (Hampshire College), Martha Saxton (Amherst College), and Bruce Laurie (University of Massachusetts emeritus).

More information:

Read Bruce Laurie's remarks on The Slave's Cause.

Click to see photos from the event
The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition
Advance Praise

Visit from Mark B. Schlemmer

On February 1, 2016, Mark B. Schlemmer delivered a public lecture on #ITweetMuseums, a non-affiliated, independent initiative to encourage & support all museum staff to tweet museo-relevant content from their personal accounts.

Check out photos from the event on our Flickr page.
Did you miss the lecture? See our #ITMUMA twets on Storify.
Add to your reading list: “Notes on #ITMUMA” by History Major Emily Esten.

NEH Grant for the Humanities Action Lab

The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced a $250,000 grant to The New School’s Humanities Action Lab (HAL), a coalition of 20 university partners, including the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Public History Program. The funds will support public dialogues around HAL’s current project, “States of Incarceration,” a traveling exhibit, web platform, and curricula focusing on mass incarceration. Graduate students in Prof. Marla Miller's Fall 2015 Public History course completed UMass's portion of the exhibit and website, exploring how mass incarceration is a reproductive justice issue and how ideas about women and gender have been used to justify the creation of new jails and prisons for women in the Massachusetts. The exhibit will travel to western Massachusetts in March 2017.

Congratulations to Jeffrey Kovach '15PhD!

Ph.D. alum Jeffrey Kovach is the 2016 E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. He will be spending three weeks on the island studying the economic status of the women’s meeting leadership, writing an article for Historic Nantucket, and giving two lectures, one for the public and one for NHA staff.

A Special Issue of the Journal of Military History

Prof. Jennifer Heuer recently co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Military History, co-authoring the introduction with co-editors Denise Davidson (Georgia State) and Christine Haynes (University of North Carolina-Charlotte) and contributing an article, “Soldiers as Victims or Villains? Demobilization, Masculinity, and Family in French Royalist Pamphlets, 1814-1815.”

Read Prof. Heuer’s articles:
Jennifer Heuer, Denise Davidson, and Christine Haynes, “Special Issue of the Journal of Military History: Introduction. Ending War: Revisiting the Aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars,” Journal of Military History 80 no. 1 (2016): 11-30.
Jennifer Heuer, “Soldiers as Victims or Villains? Demobilization, Masculinity, and Family in French Royalist Pamphlets, 1814-1815,” Journal of Military History 80 no. 1 (2016): 121-44.

Ph.D. student Dan Allosso has recently published a textbook, American Environmental History: Part One. Beginning in prehistory and concluding in the present, American Environmental History explores the ways the environment has affected the choices that became our history, and how our choices affected the environment. 

Ph.D. alum Thomas F. Army, Jr. has a book coming out in May 2016, Engineering Victory: How Technology Won the Civil War (Johns Hopkins University Press). This book identifies strength in engineering - not superior military strategy or industrial advantage - as the critical determining factor in the war’s outcome.

Prof. Jennifer L. Nye a signatory on amicus brief filed in Whole Women’s Health v. Cole

More than 100 women lawyers have recently joined in an amicus brief filed in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a Texas case in which abortion rights advocates are challenging restrictions on abortion clinics that could result in closing many facilities. The brief was signed by former judges, law firm partners, public interest lawyers, law clerks, and law professors, including Professor Jennifer L. Nye. In the brief, narrators share their own abortion experiences and argue that their reproductive freedom was pivotal to their personal and professional lives. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on March 2, 2016.

More information:
Read the brief filed in Whole Women's Health v. Cole online.
Tony Mauro, "Women Lawyers Tell Supreme Court About Their Own Abortions," The National Law Journal (January 5, 2016).
Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole on the SCOTUS Blog.

UMass Women into Leadership at the MA State House

On Tuesday, January 12, 2016, UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) brought a group of students to the Massachusetts State House to learn about public service careers and meet with our state’s leadership. History major Catherine Kelley ‘16 was one of several student fellows who attended the visit. Pictured on the right: Student fellows with Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg ‘77 (D-Amherst). Photograph courtesy of Michelle Goncalves.

Interview with Christian Appy:
"Only an honest accounting of our history will allow us to chart a new path in the world. The past is always speaking to us if we only listen." Check out the History News Network's interview with Professor Christian Appy on on the legacy of the Vietnam War. For more articles and interviews surrounding Appy's recent book American Recokoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity, click here.

2015 Newsletter: The History Department's 2015 newsletter has been completed and published! You can see it, and past newsletters, here.

Barbara Krauthamer Appointed Associate Dean of the UMass Graduate School. The History Department is excited to announce that Professor Barbara Krauthamer has been appointed Associate Dean for Student Inclusion and Engagement in the UMass Graduate School. As Associate Dean, she will set up and manage the new Research Enhancement and Leadership Fellows program, a joint effort of the Graduate School, the Provost's Office, and the Colleges to increase graduate student diversity and success in HFA, SBS, Education, ISOM, and Nursing. She will also work with OPD on alternative career paths for doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences. Dr. Krauthamer will continue on as History Department Graduate Program Director.

Article co-authored by Mike Nicholson in CommonWealth Magazine:
History Major and Peer Mentor Mike Nicholson recently co-authored an article published in CommonWealth magazine. The article began as a paper in a junior-year writing class that he took with Prof. Sigrid Schmalzer. You can read his article here.

Congratulations to Abby Chandler ‘02MA!
History MA alum Abby Chandler has just published a new book, Law and Sexual Misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: Steering Toward England (Ashgate Publishing, December 2015). Chandler examines the prosecution of sexual misconduct in colonial America to trace the shifting and contested relationships between colonial laws and English laws. Chandler’s book highlights the ways in which ordinary New England colonists across New England both interacted with and responded to the growing Anglicization of their legal systems and makes the argument that these men and women saw themselves as taking part in a much larger process.

Public History Presentations:
On December 4th, students in Professor Marla Miller’s Public History graduate seminar presented their semester-long projects. These projects constitute UMass Amherst's contribution to a national project, "Sites of Incarceration," organized by the Humanities Action Lab at the New School. You can see photos from the event on the UMass Public History Program’s Facebook page.

In the latest issue of Diplomatic History:
Professor Julio Capó, Jr. participated in a conversation with other leading scholars, discussing "Queering America and the World.” Dr. Capó says: “This lens can provide us with a very different—and significant–vantage point in which to understand the United States' relationship with the rest of the world and global processes.” You can read more here.

Welcome, Andrea Seligman!
This fall, Andrea Seligman joins us as the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the World Studies Interdisciplinary Program’s Sawyer Seminar, “Beyond Medieval and Modern: Rethinking Global Paradigms of Political Economy and Culture.” Seligman specializes in pre-colonial African history, and her wider research interests include comparative trade, world history, and the Indian Ocean world. For more information about the World Studies Interdisciplinary Program (WISP), the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar, and other upcoming events, visit the World Studies Interdisciplinary Program website.

Professor Julio Capó makes the news!
Check out this article in El Nuevo Herald (the Miami Herald's sister newspaper), on the landmark symposium at Florida International University: "The Mariel Boatlift, 35 Years Later: Impacts in the United States and Cuba." Professor Capó's address explored the way that LGBTQ Marielitas/os helped change U.S. immigration policy.

Audrey Altstadt Appointed to Advisory Council of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. Congratulations to Professor Audrey L. Altstadt, who has been appointed to the Advisory Council of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies. The Kennan Institute is one of the largest programs within the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where Dr. Altstadt served as a fellow last year. The Advisory Council advises the Kennan Institute on all scholarly aspects of its work, including the review of all Research Scholarship and Short-term Grant applications. Council members, who normally serve for four years, also assist the Institute individually by advising staff members and helping to organize conferences. Read the Inside UMass story here. Visit the Woodrow Wilson International Center's website for more information.

Congratulations to Patricia Applebaum for the publication of St. Francis of America: How a Thirteenth-Century Friar Became America's Most Popular Saint (UNC Press).
Dr. Applebaum’s new book traces popular depictions and interpretations of St. Francis of Assisi from the time when non-Catholic Americans "discovered" him in the nineteenth century to the present. Exploring how each vision of St. Francis has been shaped by its own era, Appelbaum reveals how St. Francis has played a sometimes countercultural but always aspirational role in American culture. Dr. Applebaum is an independent scholar who lives in the area and, for the past couple of years, has taught a summer online course for the History Department on global religious history. Read more here.

History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series: The Amherst Historical Society & Museum hosts a lunchtime lecture series called “History Bites.” Robert Cox (Head of Special Collections and University Archives, UMass) and our own emeritus professor Ron Story recently gave lectures for the series. On November 6th, Ph.D. candidate Cheryl Harned gave a lecture titled, “A Collector is Born: Local Landscapes, Local Collections and Joseph Allen Skinner’s Imagination.”

Recent visit from alum Ned Cloonan: On November 16th, UMass history alum Ned Cloonan gave a talk titled, "Winning with the Humanities in the Working World." Cloonan received his B.A. in History at UMass Amherst and is a graduate of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Cloonan is a leader in international markets, domestic government relations and strategic philanthropy. He credits his degree with giving him an appreciation for how history can provide insight and intelligence on how best to influence decision-makers.

Edward Baptist's Lecture:
The UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History recently hosted a lecture by Edward Baptist (Cornell University) on November 4, 2015. The lecture, titled "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” examined the links between the institution of slavery and modern capitalist growth in the United States. Check out our Flickr page for photos from the event, and visit our YouTube for a video recording of the lecture.

Dinner and History: On November 2nd, Provost Katharine Newman hosted a dinner and history talk. Professor Stephen Platt gave a short talk titled, “When Amherst went to China: The Bungled Disaster of Lord Amherst’s Mission to Beijing in 1816.” The photograph to the right was taken by undergraduate history major Julian del Prado.

History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Conference: The UMass History Department hosted a three-day conference from October 30th to November 1st. The conference was organized by HPM-Americas and co-sponsored by the UMass Math Department. Talks explored the relationships between history and pedagogy of mathematics, with a particular focus on the use of history in the mathematics classroom. Congratulations to Professor Emily Redman for putting on a successful conference!

2015-2016 Distinguished Annual Lecture. On October 19th, the UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History hosted a lecture by Professor Antoinette Burton. Dr. Burton's lecture was titled, "The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism," which is also the title of her recently published book with Oxford University Press. Antoinette Burton is Interim Director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and Professor of History and Bastion Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Illinois. Watch Antoinette Burton's lecture here. Visit the Five Colleges Flickr for photographs from the lecture.

Recent Internships & Career Development Events: Mark Roblee, with help from Suzanne Bell, organized a successful orientation session for History majors on September 28. About 40 students showed up to hear about major requirements, internships, Study Abroad, the Oxford Summer Seminar, Honors, Phi Alpha Theta, peer mentors and History Club. Special thanks to Joye Bowman, Garrett Washington, Jenny Adams, Suzanne Bell, and students Sara Downard, Evan Gilman, Hailey Cherepon, Carl Forgo, and Bianca Renzoni who gave brief presentations.

On October 7, about 30 students came to the Internship Celebration Night, also organized by Mark. Students who have completed internships received a certificate and spoke about their experiences, including how they found the position. Two students highlighted the departmental Bauer-Gordon award for unpaid summer internships, which allowed them to intern at the JFK Homesite in Boston.

On October 14th-15th, The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) hosted “Forty Years After: Chinua Achebe and Africa in the Global Imagination." The symposium marked the fortieth anniversary of Chinua Achebe’s lecture at the University of Massachusetts in 1975, entitled “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. This symposium was devoted to the impact of Achebe’s lecture and the writer’s continuing legacy. Check out the event page information on the speakers. See photos and video from the event.

On October 8th, Professor John Higginson delivered a lecture titled, “‘Looking for Evil in All the Wrong Places’: Collective Violence & the Agrarian Origins of Apartheid, 1900-1948.” Dr. Higginson's lecture is part of the Land Tenure Center’s Fall 2015 Film and Lecture Series at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The lecture was co-sponsored by the UW-Madison Department of History and the African Studies Program. Visit the Land Tenure Center’s website for information about this and upcoming seminars. Stay tuned for a recap of the event.


Meet & Greet with Matthew Battles: Matthew Battles, associate director of metaLAB at Harvard, joined us in Herter for brunch on September 25. With metaLAB, Battles fosters research into the critical and curatorial dimensions of technology in art and culture and explores innovative models for publishing. He is also the creator of the Curarium project, which is a platform for exploring, analyzing, and making arguments about collections and the objects that constitute those collections. Curarium uses item-level annotations and repository-wide data visualizations to enable users to bring both objects and communities in which they belong into dialogue.

On September 22, 2015, alumnus Ken Miller ‘99MA joined Liz Covart as a guest on Ben Franklin’s World, a podcast about early American history. The podcast explores day-to-day experiences of British and German prisoners of war during the American War for Independence. Dr. Miller explains how British and German POWs promoted the creation of an American identity in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during the American War for Independence. You can listen to the podcast here.

On September 5, 2015, Professor Christian Appy appeared at the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Appy spoke at a special panel on “The Human Side of War.” Other members of the panel included Tom Brokaw, author of the best-seller “The Greatest Generation”; Rick Atkinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Liberation Trilogy; and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and author of “For Love of Country,” written with Howard Schultz. Read the Inside UMass story here.


Fall 2014 - Summer 2015 Highlights

Congratulations to Richard T. Chu for the publication of More Tsinoy Than We Admit
Edited by Chu and published by the Vibal Foundation, More Tsinoy Than We Admit explores how the Chinese in Philippine society have helped shape the destiny of the country and region over hundreds of years up to the present. In the image on the left, Chu speaks at the book launch at the KAISA-Angelo King Heritage Center (Bahay Tsinoy), Intramuros, Manila on August 19, 2015.

Christian Appy Makes the News

Throughout the course of this year, Christian Appy has weighed in on American exceptionalism, the Vietnam War, and its impact on U.S. culture, foreign policy, and national identity in dozens of national publications and in his recent book, American ReckoningSee below for a selection of his articles and interviews. Most recently, Appy was profiled on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Arts and Entertainment section, and he reflected on the U.S.'s failure to apologize for bombing Japan during World War II in The Nation.

MassLive/The Republican -University of Massachusetts professor Christian Appy authors new book on Vietnam War
The Nation - Why Don’t Americans Know What Really Happened in Vietnam
Salon - America’s Not a Force for Good
Salon - I was one of the last Americans to leave Saigon: Dick Hughes’ Vietnam oral history
Salon - America’s Immoral Exceptionalism
The American Conservative -  Did Reagan Win the Vietnam War
Moyers & Co. - 40 Years After the Fall of Saigon, We’re Still Spinning Wartime Nightmares Into Fairy Tales
Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb - Q&A with Christian Appy
Cicero Magazine - A Conversation with Christian Appy on the Fragility of American Exceptionalism
NEPR - American Reckoning: New Book Illuminates Lessons from the Vietnam War
90.9 WBUR - Our Worst War

Process History - Podcast with Christian Appy

The Whiting Foundation Announces a $150,000 Grant to the Humanities Action Lab
A coalition formed by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and 19 other universities from across the country and coordinated from The New School in New York City, the Humanities Action Lab aims to foster public engagement on urgent social problems. The grant from the Whiting Foundation will bolster the Lab’s current project: Global Dialogues on Incarceration, a project and curriculum that applies humanities perspectives to questions of mass incarceration, through which students and community partners create a corresponding exhibition, online platform for public dialogue and series of public programs. The exhibition will open at The New School in New York City in April 2016 and, over the next three years, travel to each of the project’s participating universities. The exhibit will come to the Amherst area in Spring 2017. Students at UMass will focus their efforts on gender and incarceration, and particularly reproductive justice. Read more about UMass's role in the project here and here.

Congratulations to Jason Moralee for being awarded membership to the Institute for Advanced Study for the coming academic year 2015-16

Located in Princeton, New Jersey, the Institute for Advanced Study is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. Professor Moralee will spend this year-long fellowship finishing his current book, Capitol After Empire: The Capitoline Hill from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, which is currently under contract with Oxford University Press, and starting new projects relating to Late Antiquity.


Richard Chu wins a Fulbright!

Congratulations to Richard Chu, who was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, to research and teach in the Philippines during the 2015-16 academic year. Read more here.


Congratulations to Professor Leonard Richards on the publication of his latest book Who Freed the Slaves? The fight over the Thirteenth Amendment

The book focuses on the efforts of James Ashley, an obscure Ohio congressman, to overcome Northern opposition to abolishing slavery and get the Thirteenth Amendment through Congress.  It was an uphill battle even though the South was out of the Union.  After failing the first time by eleven votes, he succeeded the second time by just three votes.  Deals, some unsavory,  had to be made to round up the necessary votes.  Lincoln helped him, but only at the last minute. 


The UMass History Department will be cosponsoring a Vietnam War Teach-in "The Conflciting Legacies of the Vietnam War: Why They Still Matter" Thursday April 23 at 7:00PM Bernie Dallas Room Goodell Hall

On the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, this diverse panel of veterans, peace activists, and historians will discuss the Vietnam War and share stories of combat, activism, and post-war life. this teach-in aims to further understandings of the realities and myths of America's most controversial war and its impact on veterans, the national psyche, and the lives of Americans and Southeast Asians. The panel will consist of Professor Chris Appy (UMass History) Cherie Rankin (U.S. Red Cross) Wayne Smith (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) peace activist Randy Kehler, and author Tom Weiner. The event is free to the public, for more information check here.


The Public History program announces a talk by Andreas Etges titled "A Hot Debate Over the Cold War: The Plan for a Cold War Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin" April 9, at 4:00 Herter 601

Andreas Etges is a professor of history at the Amerika-Institut at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany where he teaches political history, diplomatic history, trans-Atlantic relations, public history, and memory studies. He is best known as a scholar on the history of John F. Kennedy and his presidency. Aside from his published works on Kennedy, he also curated a special exhibit on Kennedy at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. He is a member of the Cold War Museum Association, which is planning the creation of the new Museum of the Cold War at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. For his talk, Professor Etges will discuss the process of starting a new museum, the curatorial challenges currently being faced, and the controversies that the Museum of the Cold War at Checkpoint Charlie has launched in Germany.


Oral History Crash Course workshop with Professor Sam Redman Monday, April 6, 10am-3pm, 601 Herter Hall, UMass Amherst

This one-day intensive program from the UMass Amherst Public History Program offers an introduction to oral history theory and methodology. Participants will learn about interviewing techniques, project planning, archiving, oral history ethics, recording technologies, and more. This workshop is geared toward beginners, including individuals with no prior experience and those in the beginning stages of developing projects of all kinds. Open to all Five College undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, community historians, and the general public. The program's faculty include Professor Sam Redman (UMass History) Professor Joyce Berkman (UMass History) Professor Doug Boyd (Director, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky) Professor Laura Lovett (UMass History) Professor Emily Redman (UMass History) and Aaron Rubenstein (Digital Archivist, UMass Amherst Special Collections and University Archives) for more on the workshop check here.


A public reading and book signing with Benjamin Hedin author of In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now Wednesday April 1, 4:00 PM, 601 Herter Hall UMass Amherst

Benjamin Hedin has taught at New York University and The New School for Social Research. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Nation, The Oxford American, The Chicago Tribune, and Poets and Writers. In his book, Hedin examines the legacy of the freedom struggle of fifty years ago, while also attempting to see to what extent the same kind of work is going on today. While most view the civil rights movement as something that ended a long time ago, Hedin wonders if it would be better to view it as a continuum--an ongoing tradition of activism--rather than an isolated historical moment.  To test that position, Hedin blends history, journalism and travelogue, and profiles the movement's most legendary figures as well as those who have been overlooked by the public eye. The reading will take place on Wednesday April 1 at 4:00 in 601 Herter Hall UMass Amherst. For more on Benjamin Hedin visit his website:


The 2015 Annual Writer-in-Residence Amy Wilentz will be staying on campus 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.


Marla Miller and Jon Olsen receive an Artsor Digital Humanities Award February 20, 2015

The Artsor Digital Humanities Awards were created to recognize the importance of the Digital Humanities and create greater awareness of the most innovative projects in the field. Their goal is to enhance teaching and scholarship through the use of digital media. Professors Marla Miller and Jon Olsen received the award for their Historic Dress project which provides online access to American women's clothing from 1780 to 1930 in collections across the United States, and to related archival primary source materials. Artsor notes "The unique value of this project lies in the intellectual organization of these rare materials by the costume historians, librarians, and digital humanities experts collaborating on this project. Detailed metadata is structured to help novices learn how to read artifacts and understand their significance. Within Shared Shelf, this project will complement existing online collections, engaging a wider range of objects (not just high fashion, but also lower to middle class examples), and regional collections that may fall through the cracks."


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.


Congratulations to Julio Capó, Jr., for receiving a 2014 Five-College Digital Humanities Grant

Professor Capó received the grant for his project "Timeline of LGBT Political Landmarks in the Americas" that he designed with Javier Corrales, Kelcy Shepherd, and Gretchen Gano. The LGBT Political Landmarks in the Americas project is an interactive timeline charting significant events in the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) activism in the Americas and around the World. In addition, the timeline serves as an open access data visualization platform for an extensible digital data collection.


Congratulations to Audrey Altstadt for receiving a 2014-2015 Woodrow Wilson Center Fellowship

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars welcomes outstanding and award winning scholars, practitioners, journalists and public intellectuals to conduct independent research on national and/or international issues addressing key public policy challenges. Through its scholars, the Center enriches crucial policy debates and provides a platform for scholars in the tradition of President Wilson to bring the worlds of policy and ideas together. Professor Altstadt will use the year-long fellowship to research the conditions of democracy in Azerbaijan since independence. Her research will also consider the prospects for the growth of political Islam in the country, and Azerbaijan's significance to U.S. interests.



Fall 2013 - Spring 2014 Highlights


Congratulations to Jessica Johnson and Julio Capó, Jr., on their Massachusetts Creative Economy Initiative win! (July 2014)

Jessica Johnson and Julio Capó, 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."