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Fall 2015 - Summer 2016 Highlights


Upcoming Event: On October 8th, Professor John Higginson is scheduled to deliver a lecture titled, “‘Looking for Evil in All the Wrong Places’: Collective Violence & the Agrarian Origins of Apartheid, 1900-1948.” Dr. Higgon's lecture is part of the Land Tenure Center’s Fall 2015 Film and Lecture Series at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The lecture is 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.


Upcoming Event: The UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History presents "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism," a lecture by Ed Baptist. The lecture will be held in the Bernie Dallas Room at Goodell Hall on November 4, 2015, at 4:30 pm. Baptist is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University. Baptist specializes in the history of the nineteenth-century United States, and particularly the history of enslavement of African Americans in the south. Visit the event page for more information and directions.


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.


Upcoming Event: The Interdisciplinary Studies Institute (ISI) presents “Forty Years After: Chinua Achebe and Africa in the Global Imagination,” to be held October 14th-15th, 2015. The symposium marks 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 is devoted to the impact of Achebe’s lecture and the writer’s continuing legacy. Check out the event page for more information and to register.


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.


Upcoming Event: History and Pedagogy of Mathematics Conference -- Oct. 30 - Nov. 1
The UMass History Department will host a three-day conference organized by the Americas Section of the International Study Group on the Relations Between the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM-Americas) and co-sponsored by the UMass Math Department. The conference will be held October 30th through November 1st, 2015. David C. Kelly, of Hampshire College, will provide an opening session to the conference titled "Historical Hooks and Teaching Tricks from The First Forty-Five Years of Math at Hampshire College.” On Saturday, Dr. Alexander Karp, of the Columbia University Mathematics Education program, will deliver a keynote address titled “History of Mathematics Education: Some Methodological Issues.” Talks will explore the relationships between history and pedagogy of mathematics, with a particular focus on the use of history in the mathematics classroom. Historians, mathematicians, and educators at all levels will present research, with plenty of time allotted for group discussion. For more information, or to register for the conference, see the HPM-Americas website.


Upcoming Event: The UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History presents the 2015-2016 Distinguished Annual Lecture. Antoinette Burton will present a lecture titled, "The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism," which is also the title of her forthcoming book by Oxford University Press. The lecture will be held on Monday, October 19th, 2015 at 4:00pm in the Bernie Dallas Room in Goodell Hall. 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.
See the event page for more information.



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. Krauthamer will continue on as History Department Graduate Program Director.


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.

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."