People

Faculty

Mary Renda
Chair of History, Professor of History

U.S. Historian Mary Renda continually pushes the boundaries of her discipline through her focus on the role of women and gender, the multicultural nature of U.S. history, and the international contexts in which that history has taken shape. In addition to her course offerings in U.S. women's history, U.S. imperialism, and other areas of United States history, Renda teaches interdisciplinary women's studies courses. It's not a vacation from her area of specialty, however. "When I teach women's studies," says Renda, "it brings into sharper relief the importance of history."

413-538-2567
307 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only

Richard Chu

Five College Associate Professor of History

Richard Chu's research focuses on the history of the Chinese and Chinese mestizos in the Philippines and the different Chinese diasporic communities in the world, centering on issues of ethnicity, gender, and nationalism.

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Contact
By appointment only
Daniel Czitrom
Professor of History

Deeply engaged in bringing history to wider audiences beyond the academy, Daniel Czitrom served as the historical advisor for Copper, an original dramatic series set in Civil War-era New York City (BBC America, 2011-13). He has also appeared as on-camera commentator for several documentaries, including The Rise and Fall of Penn Station (PBS, 2014) and New York: A Documentary Film (PBS,1999). Czitrom is the author most recently New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal that launched the Progressive Era (2016), as well as Media and the American Mind (1982), and Rediscovering Jacob Riis (2008).

413-538-2334
209 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Kavita Datla Associate Professor of History, Member of International Relations and Asian Studies
Associate Professor of History, Member of International Relations and Asian Studies

Kavita Datla’s research focuses on colonial Hyderabad and explores what the histories of South Asia might tell us about larger shared experiences, be they colonialism, secularization, or democracy. In her writing and teaching, Datla examines the emergence of new political forms in the modern British Empire and hopes to animate the discussions and debates that have characterized South Asian publics. She is the author of The Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India (2013).

413-538-2794
313 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Christine DeLucia
Assistant Professor of History

Christine DeLucia specializes in the indigenous and colonial histories of North America, particularly in the Northeast/New England. Researching in an interdisciplinary manner, she works extensively with local, regional, and transatlantic archives and museums, as well as with material and visual culture, archaeological sources, oral history, and the land itself. She has published on topics of memorialization, environmental history, and indigenous literary networks. In all her work she examines enduring connections between past and present, and how the places we inhabit can convey alternative narratives about diverse peoples.

413-538-2451
316 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Desmond Fitz-Gibbon
Assistant Professor of History

Desmond Fitz-Gibbon is a cultural historian of modern Britain and western Europe, with thematic interests in cultural economy and comparative urban history. His own research concerns the integration of land and house property into the market culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. Curious about the history of many things, however, his teaching covers a range of topics, from ancient money and histories of energy to Victorian murder and, of course, real estate agents.

413-538-3429
308 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only

Adi Gordon

Five College Assistant Professor of History
413-538-2454
316 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
 Lowell Gudmundson Professor of Latin American Studies and History, on leave Spring 2016
Professor of Latin American Studies and History

Lowell Gudmundson focuses on coffee, Central America, and Afro-Latin America.  His students have earned graduate and professional degrees in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.  They have turned their own research interests, as diverse as history, immigration, ethnomusicology, health care, and food studies, into career paths in politics, publishing, medicine, public health, urban planning or ecotourism.  Gudmundson maintains close ties and joint research projects with Costa Rica’s public universities where he began his career.

413-538-2378
303 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Holly Hanson
Co-Chair of the Development Studies Nexus, Professor of History and Africana studies, on leave fall 2016

Holly Hanson is a social historian of Africa whose research and publications focus on Uganda. Her interests include the history of democracy and political accountability in East Africa over the last five hundred years, land tenure, the role of farming in building prosperous communities, and economic history. Many of her classes incorporate community-based learning opportunities with recently resettled African immigrant in the area and "Education and Capacity in African History includes a collaboration with the Springfield Renaissance School.

413-538-2094
314 Skinner Hall
Contact
On leave fall 2016
Jeremy King
Professor of History, On leave Fall 2016

Jeremy King studied Soviet history in college, but then fell prisoner to the tragedies and charms of Central Europe. Trained at Columbia University as a historian of Austria-Hungary and its successor states, he lived for several years in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, and a few other cities in the region. King teaches courses on Central Europe since about 1800. Themes and nodal points include nationalism, the state (liberal, democratic, fascist, and communist), "race," law, the Holocaust, public policy, and post-communism.

413-538-2749
206 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Lynda Morgan
Professor of History, Member of the Africana Studies Program

Lynda Morgan's research interests center around 19th century African-American history, including slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction. As a social historian, she places the experiences of groups of people at center stage, linked to political and economic history. Recently Morgan became interested in the reparations movement and its history, which has taken her into the 20th and 21st centuries. She is also interested in the free African-American population in the antebellum North, the history of segregation, the role of violence against African-Americans, and the abolition movement.

413-538-2453
208 Skinner Hall
Contact
By appointment only

Carolin Roeder

Visiting Instructor in History
413-538-2649
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Contact
By appointment only

Lan Wu

Assistant Professor of History
413-538-2465
306 Skinner
Contact
By appointment only

Staff

Holly J. Sharac

Academic Department Coordinator

Holly Sharac is the Academic Department Coordinator for the History Department and the Program in Africana Studies. She is in charge of daily operations on the third floor of Skinner and organizes the annual Lax Memorial Lecture, puts together course schedules, prepares on-line catalog copy, as well as, the student award applications, and thesis submissions.

413-538-2377
309 Skinner Hall
Contact
Academic Year: Monday-Thursday 8:00am-3:00pm; Friday 8:00am-12:00pm

Affiliated Faculty

Professor of Classics, on leave Spring 2016

In addition to teaching Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, Paula Debnar offers a variety of courses on the ancient Mediterranean taught in English, including "Gods and Mortals: Myth in Ancient Art and Literature," "Athenian Democracy," and writing intensive first-year seminars on the ancient Greek world, such as "Homer's Iliad: A Big Fat Ancient Greek War?" and "Socratic Questions."

413-538-2873
140 Porter Hall
Contact
By appointment only
Lecturer in Classics and Italian

Erica Moretti’s teaching and research are both characterized by an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon literary, historical, and sociological sources. Moretti teaches language and culture courses, including Elementary Italian, Advanced Conversation and Composition, and Modern Italy Through Cinema. Her commitment to teaching is underscored by a solid pedagogical background in the theory of second-language acquisition and teaching with technology

413-538-2727
126 Ciruti Center
Contact
Th 11:15-1:15pm or by appointment
Stan Rachootin, Professor of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biological Sciences

Stan Rachootin teaches what evolved (Introductory Biology, Terrestrial Arthropods, Invertebrate Zoology), how evolution might work (Evolution, Macroevolution), and how evolution evolved (Darwin). He has advised theses on how flatfish evolved from round fish, why a tiny fly preserved in amber made eye lenses on its wings, and what the differences in shapes of closely related snails teach us about metaphor in statistics. Each project takes a new problem, though most find that development can help disentangle an evolutionary mystery.

413-538-2093
3D Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor of Environmental Studies, on leave Spring 2016

A writer, photographer, pilot, and Earth historian, Lauret Savoy is also a woman of mixed African American, Native American, and Euro-American heritage. Her work explores the complex intertwinings of natural and cultural histories. She writes about the stories we tell of the American landscape's origins and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. Each of her courses challenges students to examine their assumptions about the world.

413-538-2125
326 Clapp Laboratory
Contact
By appointment only
Professor of Classics, Dean of Studies, Director of First-Year Seminar Program

Geoffrey Sumi teaches Greek and Latin at all levels, while his interest in the political and social history of the ancient world is reflected in the courses he teaches in translation: The Roman Empire; Sport, Society, and Politics in the Roman World; and From Hoplites to Legions: Warfare in the Greek and Roman World.

413-538-2277
137 Porter Hall
Contact
T 8:30-10:00am; W,F 10:00-11:00am or by appointment

Emeriti

Bob Schwartz
E. Nevius Rodman Professor of History, Member of Environmental Studies

Robert Schwartz is a European historian keenly interested in the history of environmental change and public health. In his course,`Research Methods in History, Environmental Change and Public Health`, students explore how industrialization and the growth of cities in Victorian Britain affected infant mortality and the spread of infectious diseases; how the state, local governments, and medical professionals responded to these problems in public health; and how the history of environmental change and public health inform policy and practice today.

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Contact
By appointment only