Spring 2016 Highlights
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
History faculty, students, and alumni do amazing things. Here are highlights from spring 2016:
Congratulations to our 2016 graduates!
Click the links below to see photos from various end-of-semester events celebrating our graduates’ accomplishments:
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
Published 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
“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’sPerspectives 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
“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 Mic.com, 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," Jacobinmagazine (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”
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.
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).
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.