History Department

Stowe House feat

Harriet Beecher Stowe House Receives National Distinction, Dedicates New ‘Harriet’s Writing Room’ May 9

The College-owned Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a National Historic Landmark, adds new chapters to its story with a significant national distinction and the opening of a public space.

Photo by Lucian Perkins

David Maraniss Discusses Biography and the Search for Truth

“In this modern world where people are just sitting at home blogging about things without going out and trying to find the facts, I think it’s more important than ever.”


Off the Shelf: Professor of History Dallas Denery

We have launched a new series in which we visit Bowdoin professors to ask them about a meaningful book or two they keep in their offices. Because there are many such books, we ask faculty to select one from a shelf we point to at random. In this video, Dallas Denery, who teaches history at Bowdoin, speaks about two books that made a difference for him.


Martha Hodes ’80 Wins Major Prize for ‘Mourning Lincoln’

NYU History Professor Martha Hodes ’80 is awarded the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Lincoln for her book ‘Mourning Lincoln.’


President Obama’s Cuban Strategy: Prof. Allen Wells Explains

Professor Allen Wells says that while President Obama’s trip to Cuba was an historic event, some Cubans may regard his attitudes towards them as overly “paternalistic.”


Rediscovering Ulysses S. Grant: How an Amateur Historian’s Obsession Was Nurtured at Bowdoin

This self-described “unknown grandmother from Topsham, Maine” has over the last few years nurtured an absorbing interest in one of America’s best known military commanders, Ulysses S. Grant.

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julien_harneis/2991763256/

Prof. David Gordon: Does Humanitarianism Do More Harm Than Good in Africa?

“Humanitarianism these days is not in the hands of singular agencies and with the proliferation of NGOs, humanitarianism is often driven without direction, without purpose and without much policy.”

Matt Klingle

Prof. Klingle Takes His Research In New Directions, From Environmental History to Chronic Disease

About five years ago, Matthew Klingle departed from his comfortable academic specialization and plunged into the unfamiliar world of public health and chronic disease. Previously Klingle, an associate professor of history and environmental studies, focused his research on environmental history and the North American West.

Scanlon feat

New York Times: Dean Scanlon’s Biography of Civil Rights Activist Hedgeman is ‘Long Overdue’

“How did a naïve girl, growing up in the only African-American family in a small white town, develop such an inclusive understanding of justice?”

david hecht

Prof. Hecht: Why Glorifying Scientists Undermines Science (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

In a new article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Assistant Professor of History David Hecht examines the way we idealize some scientists and at times distort their findings to come up with easily digestible narratives.


Matthew Klingle: Zika Virus ‘Taking Advantage of Earth’s Changing Climate’

“Zika is one of many diseases, both vector-borne and non vector-borne, that are taking advantage of our earth’s changing climate, as well as our increased ability to travel long distances, to expand well beyond their normal range.”

Weathervane feat

Seven Bowdoin Faculty Granted Tenure

At its recent meeting in Boston (February 4-6, 2016), the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees promoted seven faculty members to tenured positions.


Prof. Matthew Klingle on Flint Water Poisoning

Matthew Klingle, associate professor of history and environmental studies, shares his thoughts on the ongoing water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, where lead started leaking into the public water supply nearly two years ago, after the city switched to a new water source.


“Why African-American [Blank] Matters” Series Launches with Talk on Voting Rights

Kicking off the first of a series of talks this month called, “Why African-American _____ Matters in America,” Professor of History Patrick Rael gave a lecture on voting and why reducing obstacles to voting is important to protect minority rights.

Scanlon feat

Dean Scanlon’s Latest Book Examines ‘Unsung’ Female Civil Rights Hero

“She was really central to so many initiatives that were really important and formative in the civil rights movement. But because she was a woman, she was pushed to the margins in a variety of ways.”

patrick rael

Historian Patrick Rael Explains ‘Long Death of Slavery’

Professor of History Patrick Rael explores why it took so long to abolish slavery his new book, Eighty-eight years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865.

Bowdoin College
summer 2015
photo by James B Marshall

Bowdoin’s Newest Tenure-Track Faculty

Several tenure-track professors joined Bowdoin’s faculty this year to teach and do research in a number of fields — math, Romance languages, chemistry, digital and computational studies, theater and dance, Asian studies, history and sociology.

19thcenturycookerybooks25082015_08252015 (17)

Library Acquires Collection of American Cookery Books, From the 1770s to 1960s

In the Esta Kramer Collection of American Cookery — the library’s new collection of over 700 American cookery books — you can find recipes for federal pancakes, squash pie, flummery (fermented pudding), calf’s head pie and stewed oysters.

leah zuo

Professor Leah Zuo Discusses ‘Science’ in Premodern China, the Relevance of Confucius Today and Her Current Projects

After receiving a couple of fellowships, Leah Zuo has a generous sabbatical in front of her to finish her first book and begin her second. At the moment she is completing a book about the famous Chinese figure Shen Gua (1031-1095), who is credited with making a number of startling discoveries well ahead of his time.

bridger tomlin

Town Intern Bridger Tomlin ’17 Links Land Preserve to its Past

Bridger Tomlin ’17 has been researching the history of a Brunswick settlement that was deserted in the 1950s when it became the site of the now defunct Navy base.