History Department

Seven Faculty Members Promoted to Full Professor


Seven Bowdoin faculty members have been promoted from the rank of associate to full professor: Aviva Briefel, Philip Camill, Kristen Ghodsee, Samuel Putnam, Patrick Rael, Shu-chin Tsui, and Tricia Welsch.

Don J. Wyatt to Deliver Kemp Symposium Keynote Address April 17

Don Wyatt feat

Don J. Wyatt, Middlebury College’s John M. McCardell Jr. Distinguished Professor, is to deliver the Kemp Symposium keynote address, “The Spear and Shield of Knowledge: Scientific Transference and Cultural Obstruction Between China and the West,” at 7:30 p.m., April 17, 2014.

Nyhus Grants Open Up World to History Students


Since the Nyhus grant program was founded in 2006, the department has disbursed $33,450 to students working on a wide range of independent studies and honors projects.

Watson Fellow Teona Williams ’12 Returns Home from World Travels

In one year, Teona Williams ’12 got lost in a slum in New Delhi, visited a fake corporate city in Thailand, celebrated Christmas in Cape Town, lived with a big, friendly family in Brazil, hiked 20 miles to a secluded cove in Trinidad, and watched the sunrise from a mountaintop in Jamaica.

Workshop Gives Faculty the Keys to a Digital World


Bowdoin faculty members take a turn as students in a short course titled “Digital Humanities @Bowdoin,” taught by Professor of Art History Pamela Fletcher and Professor of Computer Science Eric Chown.

Digital Humanities @ Bowdoin – Matthew Klingle


On January 13-16 of 2014, nearly two dozen Bowdoin faculty members are taking a turn as students in a short course for faculty titled “Digital Humanities @ Bowdoin,” as part of the College’s new Digital and Computational Studies Initiative.

The Meaning of Mandela

Screen Shot 2013-12-25 at 21.13.44

In the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death, David Gordon – a native of South Africa and associate professor of history at Bowdoin – talks with fellow history professor Patrick Rael about Mandela’s historical and symbolic legacy for South Africans.

Alchemy Talk Introduces Medieval-Early Modern Initiative

Aaron Kitch

English Department Chair Aaron Kitch presented “Queer Matter: Science and Sexuality in the Renaissance,” kicking off the faculty lecture series “Science Before Science” by the College’s new Medieval and Early Modern Studies colloquium.

Crystal Hall Reconstructs Galileo’s Library, Digitally

Crystal Hall

Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities Crystal Hall explored the challenges and opportunities of digital tools for humanities research, focusing particularly on her study of how poetry shaped Galileo’s philosophical ideas, in an Oct. 24 talk.

Coffee, Commodification and Colonialism

Coffee historian Steven Topik of UC Irvine speaks at Bowdoin

America’s favorite morning beverage contains much more than just milk and sugar, according to Steven Topik of the University of California, Irvine: “there’s a lot of world history in one cup of coffee,” Topik said in an Oct. 30 lecture in Searles Science Building titled “Coffee Colonialism.”

Temin Dissects the Economic Crisis in Santagata Lecture

Peter Temin of MIT spoke at 2013 Santagata Lecture

Examining the parallels between our current economy and that of the 1930s, MIT Professor Emeritus of Economics Peter Temin spoke to an attentive audience spanning a wide range of ages during Bowdoin’s biannual Santagata Lecture in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center, on Oct. 17.

Symposium: Revisiting 19th-Century American Political Economy


Scholars from institutions across the U.S. and abroad came to Bowdoin to discuss 19th-century political economists, and the relevance of their ideas to modern times, in a symposium on Oct. 19-20 titled “American Political Economy from the Age of Jackson to the Civil War,” organized by Stephen Meardon.

The Fugitive Who Inspired Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Stowe House (Illustration credit: Abby McBride)

Susanna Ashton writes about research surrounding a fugitive slave who was harbored for one night in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Brunswick home, an event that likely influenced Stowe’s decision to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Wells Talks Latin American Democracy

Allen Wells faculty lunch seminar, September 2013

Professor of History Allen Wells, just back from a yearlong sabbatical devoted to studying the history of Latin American democracy, presented a lecture on his research during the first faculty lunch seminar of 2013-2014.

Chamberlain’s Original Medal of Honor Comes Home to Brunswick

PHS Chamberlain Medal of Honor

The Pejepscot Historical Society (PHS), which owns and operates the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum just across Maine Street from the College, has announced a significant addition to its collection and a major artifact of Maine history: Civil War general Joshua L. Chamberlain’s original Medal of Honor, given by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Civil War Through a Camera Lens

Civil War photography with Michael Kolster and Dana Byrd

Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster and Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History Dana Byrd recently teamed up to give Alumni College attendees an immersion experience in the photography of the Civil War.