UMass Public History Program

UMass Public History Program Since 1986, the Public History Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has provided a vital link between the University and the Commonwealth's wide variety of institutions that preserve and communicate history to the public.
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Operating as usual

A powerful collection of "relevant, revelatory, and revolutionary" speeches and sermons by Dr. King to explore on this #...
01/18/2021

A powerful collection of "relevant, revelatory, and revolutionary" speeches and sermons by Dr. King to explore on this #MLKDay :

A #list of #MLK #speeches and #sermons in which he speaks truth to power, shares about his philosophy of nonviolence and expounds on issues of injustice and what our righteous, rigorous response should be. Relevant. Revelatory. Revolutionary. #MLKDay #BelovedCommunity

“It's more difficult today because we are struggling now for genuine equality. And it's much easier to integrate a lunch counter than it is to guarantee a livable income and a good solid job.” From ‘The Other America.’ https://youtu.be/dOWDtDUKz-U

“This problem of spiritual and moral lag, which constitutes modern man's chief dilemma, expresses itself in three larger problems which grow out of man's ethical infantilism.” From #MLK’s Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, ‘The Quest for Peace and Justice’
https://youtu.be/CzMFOljSYIk

From ‘Paul’s Letter to American Christians’: “Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”
https://youtu.be/7p5iOhXumaQ

Not a speech or a sermon, but an interview in which Dr. King shares powerfully and brilliantly.
https://youtu.be/D7Y8Q9nSK5A

“I never intend to adjust myself to racial segregation and discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry...” Brief, but still #MLK. Are you maladjusted and proud?
https://youtu.be/hhCtkfImxuE

#MLK in 1967, sounding like he’s talking in 2021: “And so the collision course is set. The people cry for freedom and the congress attempts to legislate repression.” From ‘The Three Evils of Society.’
https://youtu.be/6sT9Hjh0cHM

‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.’ Please spend some time with it. “If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over.”
https://youtu.be/AJhgXKGldUk

And now, ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’ A masterpiece. “You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.”
https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

UMass Department of History
01/15/2021
UMass Department of History

UMass Department of History

A recent article in the Berkshire Eagle discusses yesterday’s panel of History Department, UMass Journalism Department, and UMass Amherst Department of Political Science faculty who provided reflection and analysis on the events in Washington D.C. on January 6th.

“Collective violence reflects deep and complex causes, such as its perpetrators’ assessments of their status in relation to others, said John Higginson, a professor emeritus of history.”

To read more about what the panelists - including Prof. Chris Appy, and Professor Emeritus John Higginson - discussed as well as insights provided by our colleague Prof. Asheesh Siddique, follow the link below:

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/local/historical-forces-at-play-in-capitol-siege-western-mass-scholars-say/article_f9606412-56c3-11eb-a80d-97d9b31b7598.html

Thank you to the College of Humanities & Fine Arts at UMass Amherst the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences UMass Amherst, and UMass Amherst for sponsoring this important event.

“At this dark junction in our nation’s history, museums must lean into their missions and step up to the challenge ahead...
01/14/2021
American Alliance of Museums

“At this dark junction in our nation’s history, museums must lean into their missions and step up to the challenge ahead of us by fighting against white supremacy through educating our communities, building empathy, combating disinformation, and uplifting the stories and voices that have endured in the margins.

As interpreters and educators of history and culture, museums and museum professionals have the power to uphold democracy and democratic norms, call out bigotry and hate, and fight for racial justice.”

Read the American Alliance of Museums full statement on last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol below ⬇️

The violence and chaos in our nation’s capital on January 6 was horrifying and reprehensible, and a clear attack on our democracy and society. At this dark junction in our history, museums must step up to the challenge ahead of us.

Read our full statement: https://www.aam-us.org/2021/01/08/aam-statement-on-the-violence-at-the-us-capitol/

Association of Art Museum Directors
American Association for State and Local History
Association of Children's Museums
Association of Science and Technology Centers
CAJM: Council of American Jewish Museums

Students in Professor Marla Miller's spring seminar on the "Art and Craft of Biography" will be reading Honorée Fanonne ...
12/28/2020
Revolution 250 Podcast

Students in Professor Marla Miller's spring seminar on the "Art and Craft of Biography" will be reading Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' biography-in-verse "The Age of Phillis."

To learn more about Phillis Wheatley, the nation's first published African-American poet, check out this recent episode of the Revolution250 podcast to hear performer and public historian Valerie Foxx discuss her work bringing Wheatley to life for contemporary audiences: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1336051

Revolution 250 is a consortium of organizations in New England planning commemorations of the American Revolution's 250th anniversary. https://revolution250.org/Through this podcast you will meet many of the people involved in these commemoration...

#DismantlePreservation's “(un)Official 40 Under 40” list is full of impactful leaders in historic preservation, includin...
12/18/2020
Dismantle Preservation: (un)Official 40 under 40 — Sarah Marsom

#DismantlePreservation's “(un)Official 40 Under 40” list is full of impactful leaders in historic preservation, including Cheyney McKnight, a 2019 Charles K. Hyde Visiting Practitioner and founder of Not Your Momma's History, who spoke with UMass public history students last April.

Check out the list and be inspired by this generation of professionals who are pushing preservation in new directions: https://www.sarahmarsom.com/dismantle-preservation-40-under-40

“Adesbah Foguth is Diné, a member of the Navajo Nation, and of the Two Waters Flow Together Clan. Adesbah holds a BA in English & Philosophy and masters degree in Public Archaeology from the University of New Mexico. She has worked as a public school teacher on the Navajo Nation, as an archaeolog...

Join our neighbors at The Emily Dickinson Museum in celebrating the renowned Amherst poet's 190th birthday tomorrow 🎉The...
12/09/2020

Join our neighbors at The Emily Dickinson Museum in celebrating the renowned Amherst poet's 190th birthday tomorrow 🎉

The museum has a variety of virtual activities planned, including at-home craft demos, music, and the premier of videos from their “My Emily Dickinson” story collecting project. The free program begins tomorrow (12/10) at 12pm EST, register here: https://bit.ly/3qGP7Vp

And check out the Facebook event for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/668058863899267/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22search_results%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22search%22%7D]%7D

Emily's 190th birthday is tomorrow!! Almost 800 people from 34 countries have already registered to participate in the festivities so far! We're so excited to celebrate with all of you!

If you haven't registered yet, get on it! Check out the Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration event page, or our website, here: https://bit.ly/3qGP7Vp

11/30/2020

Today at 4:30pm: Join UMass Public History alum and award-winning author Bethany Groff Dorau for a workshop exploring the genre of “micro-memoir.”

The micro-memoir, in the words of playwright Beth Ann Fennelly, combines “the extreme abbreviation of poetry, the narrative tension of fiction, and the truth-telling of creative nonfiction.” Dorau will discuss this genre and relate her historical scholarship and writing to her evolving work as a memoirist.

The workshop will take participants through micro-memoir structure and process and illustrate some effective strategies for exploring our stories and memories. Dorau will then provide participants with a prompt and invite them to explore the genre themselves.

This event is sponsored by the Salem State University History Department Public History Speaker Series.

Many thanks to our colleague Alice Nash for passing along word of Plimoth Patuxet's newest version of "You Are the Histo...
11/24/2020
Thanksgiving Interactive: You are the Historian | Plimoth Plantation

Many thanks to our colleague Alice Nash for passing along word of Plimoth Patuxet's newest version of "You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving," an interactive game that "directly responds to the increased demand for nuanced and fact-based history told from both an Indigenous and Colonial perspective." Check it out: it's created for youth audiences, but there's much to learn: you may discover that you don't know as much as you think you do about the histories explored here!
https://www.plimoth.org/learn/plimoth-online-historyhome/thanksgiving-interactive-you-are-historian

In order to ensure the safety of staff and guests, we've made modifications to our Museum experience in accordance with public guidance and health recommendations. Please be sure to review these protocols to prepare for your visit! 

"Prompted by a grass-roots effort," Dedham renames a park in honor of William Benjamin Gould, "joining a broad movement ...
11/23/2020
Escaped slave and Navy sailor recounted his remarkable Civil War story in a diary. Now Dedham looks to honor his legacy - The Boston Globe

"Prompted by a grass-roots effort," Dedham renames a park in honor of William Benjamin Gould, "joining a broad movement to honor Black Americans whose lives, however notable, have been overlooked by history." https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/11/21/metro/escaped-slave-navy-sailor-recounted-his-remarkable-civil-war-story-diary-now-dedham-looks-honor-his-legacy/

Thanks to a grass-roots movement, William Benjamin Gould’s life will no longer be overlooked by history.

11/18/2020
Feinberg Series

Happening now: "History From Below: Extractivism, Geology, and Power"

History From Below: Extractivism, Geology, and Power

HAPPENING NOW!

Panel Discussion with Angélica Maria Bernal, Nigel Clark, Gregory Cushman, and Andrea Marston, moderated by Kiran Asher

Central to the #climatecrisis has been the exploitation of the underground through fossil fuel and natural resources extraction as well as other actions inseparable from empire-building, colonialism, and the rise of capitalism.

A panel discussion on what these histories mean for how we respond to the unfolding ecological emergency as well as the possibilities for telling new stories about human entanglements with the physical earth, and about geological agency and history.

This week, several students and faculty are attending the New England Museum Association's annual conference. The progra...
11/18/2020

This week, several students and faculty are attending the New England Museum Association's annual conference. The program this year asks the question, “Who Do We Think We Are [Now]?”

The program is full of thought-provoking and exciting sessions and UMass Public History alumni are involved in several, including “Best Practices in Online Museum Education” with Amanda Goodheart Parks of the New England Air Museum and Rachel Panasci Lima of the Mattatuck Museum, and “Coming Out and Inviting In: Case Studies Interpreting Queer History” with Meghan Gelardi Holmes at The Gibson House Museum.

There is also a UMass alum and community partner group on the virtual conference platform -- if you're attending, email us at [email protected] to join. Enjoy the final three days of programs and happy conferencing, everyone! #NEMA2020

Halloween might be over, but it’s always a good time to learn about witchcraft in New England. Explore the story of Mary...
11/18/2020
Interactive Witch Trial

Halloween might be over, but it’s always a good time to learn about witchcraft in New England. Explore the story of Mary Bliss Parsons, a local woman famously accused of witchcraft in the 17th century, in this choose-your-own-adventure style interactive from Historic Northampton.

This guided activity asks, “What would you do if your neighbors started to spread rumors that someone in your family was a witch?” And, as a bonus, it was created by UMass Public History alum Emma Winter Zeig, M.A. ’19, who currently serves as Historic Northampton's research and education coordinator.

Step into a 17th-century witch trial and see how you'd fare!

https://www.historicnorthampton.org/interactive-witch-trial.html

Read the instructions, then click "Next" to start the interactive game. When you're done, scroll to the bottom of the page to read more about the history behind the game.

HERE IT BEGAN: 2020 HINDSIGHT OR FORESIGHTHappening through November 22, this Indigenous History Conference is designed ...
11/13/2020
Indigenous History Conference

HERE IT BEGAN: 2020 HINDSIGHT OR FORESIGHT

Happening through November 22, this Indigenous History Conference is designed to inspire educators to learn about creation histories and traditional life; colonization and its aftermath; and the continued resilience and life of New England Natives today. The conference a Plymouth 400 signature event and is also sponsored by Bridgewater State University and the Wampanoag Advisory Council.

Register for these free conference sessions, including the panel “Telling Our Own Stories: Museum Roundtable: New England Tribal Museums” on November 15 at 12 pm: https://bit.ly/38JHBT5

Here it Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight Indigenous History Conference A Plymouth 400 Signature Event Nine Virtual SessionsOct. 3-Nov. 22, 2020 Here It Began: 2020 Hindsight or Foresight, a signature Plymouth 400 event, is an Indigenous History Conference to inspire educators to learn about creati...

11/12/2020
Feinberg Series

Happening now: Post-Election Panel: Environmental Policy in Historical Perspective

What do the 2020 election results mean for the future of the planet? Environmental Policy in Historical Perspective is a panel discussion with Bill McKibben, Robert Pollin, Ashwin Ravikumar, Thea Riofrancos & Eve Vogel.

Post-Election Panel: Environmental Policy in Historical Perspective

HAPPENING NOW!

What do the 2020 election results mean for the future of the planet?

Environmental Policy in Historical Perspective, a panel discussion with Bill McKibben, Robert Pollin, Ashwin Ravikumar, Thea Riofrancos & Eve Vogel

We have only a few years left to make deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. This event will reflect on the implications of the U.S. election results for meeting this imperative.

What are the prospects for a Green New Deal and other urgently needed measures, in the United States and beyond? How can the destructive power of the fossil fuel industries be neutralized?

The panelists will analyze the current moment while also offering a historical perspective on environmental policy and movements.

#CallForPapers: “Public History in the Global Context”Public History (《公众史学》), founded in 2018, is the leading national ...
11/09/2020

#CallForPapers: “Public History in the Global Context”

Public History (《公众史学》), founded in 2018, is the leading national journal of public history in China. Program alum Dr. Na Li is the editor for the journal as well as a professor at Zhejiang University.

The upcoming special issue invites short articles discussing public history in the global context. The journal is looking for contributions discussing how public history succeeds or fails in different countries and cultures, as well as the opportunities and challenges of global public history.

The submission deadline is February 28, 2021. Please see attached flyer for details.

OSCE – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe sent a team of international observers to monitor the U....
11/09/2020
International Observers in US Elections

OSCE – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe sent a team of international observers to monitor the U.S. elections. What did they find?

UMass Amherst historian Audrey Altstadt -- an expert on election monitoring in post-Soviet Azerbaijan -- parses their report in the UMass Department of History blog, [email protected].

Altstadt writes, "As the OSCE ODIHR team worries, the greatest threat in this still-unfolding process seems to be to democratic process and public confidence in elections, despite the overwhelming evidence that legal procedures have been followed."

In the words of the report: "Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions."

by Audrey L. Altstadt Most Americans would probably be surprised to learn that an international observer team monitored and assessed the US election of November 3. The team’s preliminary report, is…

Happy Halloween from our friends at Special Collections and University Archives, Du Bois Library, UMass Amherst 🎃
10/30/2020

Happy Halloween from our friends at Special Collections and University Archives, Du Bois Library, UMass Amherst 🎃

SCUA wishes you a happy Halloween! We may not be going to any Halloween parties this year, unlike the revelers in these photos, and we surely won't be toilet-papering anyone's trees (we'd never do that anyway!), but we hope to enjoy some treats nonetheless, and we hope you do, too. Boo!

All photos, Halloween party, October 28, 1955, International Center for the Disabled Records. Digitized as part of the Visibility for Disability project, sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Congratulations to the Mattatuck Museum on their recent grant from the American Savings Foundation. UMass Public History...
10/29/2020
$40.5K grant awarded to Mattatuck Museum

Congratulations to the Mattatuck Museum on their recent grant from the American Savings Foundation.

UMass Public History alum Rachel Panasci Lima, M.A. ’20, currently serves as their director of education and has been developing online and interactive school tour programs since she started the position in May of this year.

The grant will fund further development of virtual art, educational, and cultural programming. Check out their current virtual programs here: https://bit.ly/34AWRiF

And read more about the museum’s plans for adapting to remote programming in this article from the Republican American: https://www.rep-am.com/local/localnews/2020/10/27/40-5k-grant-awarded-to-mattatuck-museum/

WATERBURY — The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic had forced the Mattatuck Museum to host its annual murder mystery fundraiser virtually. Museum Director Bob Burns said organizers were surprised …

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When the going gets tough, public historians get.......cooking? Please consider sharing a story, recipe, and/or reflection about cooking in the time of the coronavirus. Follow along as we chart this unprecendented moment in our kitchens..........https://www.facebook.com/historianscookingthepast/ Thanks!
Want to spend time in Western MA this summer? Public History alum seeking a petsitter in Greenfield! Click on pic for contact information or FB message me.....
A relatively new museum and research institute in L.A. with lots of online access to the archives.
Here's a great piece about history unfolding in the present and things to look out for, including the need for continuous education to adapt and maintain relevance.
Here's a short piece on restoration strategies. Beyond this article, it appears professionals are frequently favoring authentic wear and tear that shows history rather than refurbishing vehicles to look newer than when they were made. This attitude seems to be trending beyond automobiles and is a relevant consideration for any type of artifacts.
Museum folk: Discuss! :-)
For people interested in the history of technology this Antique Machinery Show is an amazing event this weekend.
All are welcome, and I think it will be relevant to those in your program! https://www.facebook.com/events/1098790896941651/?active_tab=discussion Registration: http://survey.fitchburgstate.edu/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=l6K1mm35
Fantastic article, makes me excited to return to school this fall and dive deeper into public history: