Featured Article

Professor Ted Melillo

Going to Hawaii to Learn About Nantucket

With a prestigious New Directions fellowship, a history professor will study the Hawaiian language—and then use that skill to research myriad connections between Massachusetts and the Pacific Ocean.

Read more

Fall 2019 Lectures & Events

"The Laws of Land Warfare at the Hague Conference of 1899: 
A European Story"

Peter Holquist

Peter Holquist
Ronald S. Lauder Endowed Term Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania


September 26, 2019
4: 30 p.m.
Amherst Center for Russian Culture (202 Webster Hall) 

This lecture is free and open to the public.


17th Annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture: Mae Ngai

"'Mother of Exiles': Refugees in American History and Myth"

Mae Ngai

Mae Ngai
Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History
Columbia University

Thursday, October 10

4:30 p.m.
Paino Lecture Hall
107 Beneski

Emma Lazarus called America the “mother of exiles” in her poem, “The New Colossus,” which graces the Statue of Liberty. This lecture examines the enduring idea of America as a land of hope and refuge for the persecuted and oppressed. It goes beyond the familiar narratives of the Puritan settlers and the Statue of Liberty to think about how the idea of asylum has historically justified and obscured nation-building and racial agendas. It will compare the politics surrounding cold war refugees from Europe, Cuba, and Asia, and consider the contemporary recasting of Central American asylum seekers as undocumented migrants.

Mae Ngai is the Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and a Professor of History at Columbia University. She is the author of the award-winning Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. (Columbia's full profile)

The annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture honors the late Hugh D. Hawkins. Professor Hawkins was the Anson D. Moore Professor of History and American Studies upon his retirement from the faculty in 2000, after forty-three years of teaching at Amherst. He was a distinguished scholar of American higher education, the American South, and of cultural and intellectual history. In 1976 he was the principal architect of the first-year Introduction to Liberal Studies curriculum, and he helped build both the History and American Studies Departments. 

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Event Flier: 


The Armenian Genocide 

Ronald Suny
William H. Sewell Jr Distinguished University Professor of History
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

October 16, 2019
4:30 p.m.
Amherst Center for Russian Culture (202 Webster Hall)

This lecture is free and open to the public.


Christina Thompson: Sea People

Sea People HC 1 approve.jpg

October 24, 2019
4:00 p.m.
Frost Library

Christina Thompson will talk about her new book, Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia (HarperCollins, 2019). She received her undergraduate degree in English from Dartmouth University and her PhD in English from the University of Melbourne. She is the editor of the Harvard Review

Find more information about the book here.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


Ian Shin: Imperfect Knowledge

Ian Shin

November 14, 2019
4:00 p.m.
Frost Library

Ian Shin is a 2006 graduate of Amherst College. He received his PhD in history from Columbia University in 2016. Ian will lecture on the book he is currently completing, Imperfect Knowledge: Chinese Art and American Power in the Transpacific Progressive Era.

Read more about Professor Shin here.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


"A Practical Experiment": School
Desegregation on Trial in Antebellum Boston

  Smith School, Boston

Kabria Baumgartner
Professor of American studies and women's studies at the University of New Hampshire

November 14, 2019
4:30 p.m.
Paino Lecture Hall
107 Beneski

Racial school segregation has been an ongoing national issue, but it dates back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This talk narrates the half-century struggle to desegregate Boston’s public schools. In the 1840s, the school desegregation campaign hit its stride, as African American activists deployed numerous strategies, from petitions to boycotts to lawsuits like Sarah C. Roberts v. City of Boston. The decision among activists to pursue a case in the name of Sarah, a five‑year‑old black girl, was a conscious one meant to garner public sympathy and legal victory by casting Sarah as an innocent and respectable child in need of protection. Though the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Boston school committee, African American activists soon declared victory after the passage of an 1855 state law prohibiting racial discrimination in Massachusetts public schools. Sarah C. Roberts v. City of Boston (1850) was a significant case for a host of reasons, not least of which was the transformation of a black girl into an icon for educational justice.



 

Spring 2020 Lectures and Events

Heather Stur: Saigon at War

Image result for Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global 1960s heather stur

Professor Heather Stur
University of Southern Mississippi

February 19, 2020
4:30 p.m.
Fayerweather 115

Professor Heather Stur will offer a lecture based on her forthcoming book Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global 1960s. Stur investigates South Vietnamese political activism during the Vietnam War and focuses on a wide range of actors including South Vietnamese students, Catholics, anticommunists, peace activists, journalists, and diplomats. Her groundbreaking work aims to incorporate South Vietnamese voices, so often overlooked by US historians, more fully into the Vietnam War narrative. 

Read more about Professor Stur's work here.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


The Ghosts of Sheridan Circle: How a Washington Assassination Brought Pinochet’s Terror State to Justice  

Image result for The Ghosts of Sheridan Circle: How a Washington Assassination Brought Pinochet’s Terror State to Justice

Professor Alan McPherson
Temple University

March 23, 2020
4:30 p.m.
Fayerweather 115

Professor McPherson's lecture is based on his new book about the 1976 car bombing of Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and his US colleague, Ronni Moffitt, in the heart of the US capital. The crime sparked an international investigation, a diplomatic impasse, and several courtroom dramas, all shaping one of the most consequential political thrillers of our time. The Letelier assassination changed the history of human rights, democracy and counterterrorism, and helped end Chile’s murderous dictatorship.

This lecture is free and open to the public.


 ARCHIVE of History Lectures & Events

Last Updated: 
16 Sept 2019 LM