History Department


The Trial of Galileo: A First-Year History Seminar Re-enactment

In intense discussions, first-year students debated the appropriate punishment for a man who had been accused of heresy for his notions that the earth orbited the sun.


Video: Bowdoin Students Protest Dakota Access Pipeline

As the fight over the Dakota Access pipeline intensifies, several dozen students and other members of the Bowdoin community gathered on campus recently to voice their opposition to the project.

patrick rael

Bowdoin Historian Tapped as Finalist For Slavery Book Prize

Bowdoin Professor of History Patrick Rael has been selected as one of five finalists for the Harriet Tubman Prize, which honors nonfiction books that examine slavery, the slave trade, or anti-slavery movements in the Atlantic World.

The Stowe House, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Her House, Her Novel: The Most Common Questions

Cathi Belcher, the docent of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, has begun holding monthly “Tea with Harriet” events, inviting visitors into the newly opened home to see where Stowe wrote her famous anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Belcher has answered some of visitors’ most frequently asked questions.

Bowdoin College
February 7, 2015
Campus -w- snow
photo by James B Marshall

Seven New Tenure-Track Professors Announced

Seven tenure-track professors were appointed to Bowdoin’s faculty this year to teach and do research in a number of fields. We asked the professors a few questions about their background, their research and teaching interests, and what they like to do when they find themselves with free time.


The Strange Career of Jim Crow North and West

“The overall theme concerns how racial discrimination looked outside the South during much of the last century and how citizen activists addressed those problems.”


Maine Reporter Speaks at Bowdoin about New Bio of Sen. Mitchell ’54

Doug Rooks recently stopped by the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library to give a talk about his new biography of former U.S. senator George Mitchell, who graduated from Bowdoin in 1954.


Orient’s Marina Affo ’17 Named ProPublica ‘Emerging Reporter’

A student journalist at Bowdoin has been selected by ProPublica to take part in its Emerging Reporters program. The nonprofit news organization launched the program last year as a way to increase diversity in investigative journalism by giving stipends and mentoring help to college journalists of color.

Klingle feat

Klingle Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award

Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies Matthew Klingle has been selected to receive a 2016-2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award, which will provide funding in support of scholarly research for ‘Sweet Blood: Diabetes and the Nature of Health in America.’

history students

History Students Research Doonesbury, Paper Mills, and Jewish Leftists

Each year, many students receive fellowships from Bowdoin to spend the summer conducting research in a range of fields, from chemistry to Africana studies, physics, mathematics, literature, and more. This work typically leads up to an honors project. In this article, we reached out to three students who received grants to pursue research in history to find out what they are investigating.

Patrick Rael

Rael on What’s Right and What’s Wrong in Civil War Film ‘The Free State of Jones’

Professor of History Patrick Rael delves into the recently released film ‘The Free State of Jones’ with an essay in ‘Muster’ that examines where it fits in the broader Civil War film tradition.


Map Locates Student Summer Projects From the Cook Islands to Brunswick

When Senior Interactive Developer David Francis looks at the Bowdoin Summer 2016 map he built, he says it’s obvious the “Bowdoin bubble” is a myth. The interactive map allows students to post their summer location and a brief description of what they’re doing.

Harriets Writing Room feat

Experience History: Harriet’s Writing Room Now Open

Harriet’s Writing Room, a public exhibit space within the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, is now open to the public three days a week, Thursday-Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.

toomey featured

Cave Paintings Show Homosexuality Part of African History

Patrick Toomey ’17 says claims that homosexuality is inherently “un-African”, are unjustified.


Prof. Selinger’s Book Examines How Political Conflict Replaced Physical Conflict

Selinger’s book examines how political competition, rather than political violence, became the norm during the first century of the United States’ existence

Patrick Rael

Prof. Patrick Rael Reflects on Muhammad Ali’s Legacy

“No other sports figure in American life so effectively used his fame to draw so much attention to a radical political vision.”


Sex Talk: Invited Scholars Assess Impact of Alfred Kinsey ‘1916

The contribution of renowned sexologist Alfred Kinsey, class of 1916, was front and center at a recent two day symposium organized by Bowdoin and feauring invited panelists.

cross featured

Campus Walking Tour Maps ‘The Offer of the College’

College secretary and unofficial Bowdoin historian John Cross offered a walking tour, illustrating how the campus was transformed under the presidency of William De Witt Hyde (1885-1917).

Patrick Rael

Rael Discusses 14th Amendment on MPBN Radio’s Maine Calling

Bowdoin history professor Patrick Rael shared his thoughts on the 14th amendment on MPBN Radio’s call-in program Maine Calling

Dedicated to History: College Opens ‘Harriet’s Writing Room’ to Public

On Monday, Bowdoin College hosted an open house to welcome the public into Harriet’s Writing Room and to celebrate the Harriet Beecher Stowe House’s designation with the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.