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History

Department of History and Classics

Department of History and Classics

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Passionate faculty. Incredible students. 

These are essential ingredients to the best history departments — like ours.

Our faculty members know their way around the world — from the Americas and Europe to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They’re also authorities on the issues — from the Renaissance and Reagan, slavery and samurais, women and war​, and much more.  Faculty are world-renowned experts in their fields and passionate educators in the classroom.   

Our students, inside the classroom and beyond it, are captivated by the events and cultures​​​ — from Russia and the Reformation to Native Americans and nationalism — that have shaped our world.  They have gone on to become educators and lawyers, CEOs and community organizers, diplomats and peacemakers.    

Away from the classroom, internships and our history club bring lessons to life — as does our annual Maymester course, which has taken students to Germany, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, and Japan in the past three years.

Whether you want to see the world from yo​ur classroom seat or travel it by the se​​at of ​your pants, we want you to take the journey with us. Take a look at some "Fast F​acts​"​​ about our department to learn more!  

​What's New?​​

The Early Americanists in our department have organized a working paper seminar, called The Providence College Seminar on the History of Early America (or PC-SHEA, for short).  They are bringing in outside scholars to talk about their new, fascinating works in progress, and they've got some good ones coming up.  The first is from Dr. Susan Branson, ​Professor of History at Syracuse University.  She'll be speaking about "Flights of Imagination: The Air Balloon as a Symbol of National Promise."  The talk will be at 4:30 on October 13 in Ruane 202 (The Liberal Arts Honors Seminar Room).  PC-SHEA ​is generously supported by the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Latin American Studies Program and the Gladys Brooks Foundation.  We hope you can join us!  

​The Department of History and Classics would like to thank Dr. Margaret Manchester for giving an excellent talk on "A Cold War Spy: The Vogeler/Sanders Case Reconsidered."​ This was the first in our Making History series, and we have several more excellent faculty talks to come this semester.  And, as always, The Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. Making History Series is generously supported by the Gladys Brooks Foundation. 

Michael Sullivan, Class of 1988 and History major, was featured in Providence College Magazine's latest issue.  The article, entitled "Living Through History," details Sullivan's efforts to advocate for human rights in the world's most war-torn conflict zones.  It demonstrates how a firm grasp of history can better equip us to shape it.  ​

The Department of History and Classics is extremely grateful to Dr. ​​Stephen Jackson, whose recent donation helped to create an endowed scholarship in Dr. Donna McCaffrey's name.  The scholarship​ will support students in the fields of History, Psychology, and Theology, and it will keep the memory of Dr. McCaffrey, a true titan of our department, alive.     ​ 

​​Recent Faculty Accomplishments   

murphy-final.jpgDr. Sharon Murphy is becoming a bit of a  ​celebrity. An excerpt from her recent book, Other People's Money: How Banking Worke​d in the Early American Republic ​(Johns Hopkins, 2017) was featured ​on Time Magazine's website​. Murphy was also fe​atured in an interview​ on "Backstory," which discussed the history of American insurance and gambling (she comes in at the 28 minute mark). She also appeared on TLC's popular show, "Who Do You T​hink You Are?"​​! Finally, Murphy was awarded a Summer Stipend from The National Endowment for the Humanities to continue her work on banking and slavery. The NEH is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of about 7%, and hers was the only NEH Summer Stipend granted among all institutions in Rhode Island this year. 

Congrats as well to Dr. Jennifer Illuzzi, who was PC's inaugural Faculty Service Award recipient.  The college-wide ​​​award is given to the facutly member who best demonstrates exceptional service in support of the mission of the college.  She was also chosen as one of this year's Summer Scholars from the School of Arts and Sciences.  The funding allowed Dr. Illuzzi to work on a project investigating the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Roma population in the early twentieth century.  

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson has also been extremely busy.  First and foremost, he recently published his new book, ​​​The 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing: Anarchists and Terrorism in Progressive Era America​with Routledge.  This comes on the heels of a collection edited for ABC-CLIO called Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era.  ​Johnson was also featured ​in Time Magazine​​​, in an article on the 1916 San Francisco Bombing, and he recently had his lecture on the bombing featured on C-SPAN​ ​itself.​  

Dr. Pat Breen was interviewed for the extremely popular podcast, "Ben Franklin's World."​  In the podcast, Dr. Breen talks about his most recent book, The Land Shall be Deluged With Blood ​(Oxford), which offers a new history of the Nat Turner re​volt, the deadliest slave revolt in U.S. history​.  

Our department chair and fearless leader, Dr. Raymond Sickinger, has published a fascinating biography of Antoine Frédéric Ozanam, a famous French ​thinker, writer, and the p​rimary founder of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul.  Sickinger's Antoine Frédéric Ozanam is available from The University of Notre Dame Press.    

Big congratulations to Dr. Steve Smith, who published his first book: An Empire of Print: The New York Publishing Trade in the Early American Republic​, via the Penn State Series in the History of the Book. Great work, professor! 

​​​Congratulations to Drs. Adrian Weimer and Edward E. Andrews. Weimer and Andrews both ​published articles in The William and Mary Quarterly, the top journal in the field of early American history. Weimer’s piece is on “Elizabeth Hooton and the Lived Politics of Toleration in Massachusetts Bay,” while Andrews published “Tranquebar: Charting the Protestant International in the British Atlantic and Beyond.” Furthermore, Dr. Weimer has accepted two long-term research fellowships for the 2017-2018 year to support her project, Godly Petitions: Puritanism and the Crisis of the Restoration in America. The fellowships are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society.  

​Dr. Connie Rousseau's article, "Harbingers of the Future: Marriage Cases during the Pontificate of Innocent III and Lateran IV," has been accepted for publication by one of the oldest journals of law and legal history in the world, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fur Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonische Abteilung (forthcoming, 2017).  ​

​​Congratulation​s to Riley Maloney! ​​​​

maloney.jpgRiley, a Class of 2017​ double major in History and Political Science is now at Oxford University to begin a Master's Program in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.​ Riley has worked as an international English teacher twice, once in Ecuador and once in Vietnam. His research interests surround refugees, both historical and modern. As a sophomore, he completed an international research project investigating Amerasians, children of Americ​an GI’s born during the Vietnam war. This project gave him the opportunity to conduct in-person interviews both in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. As a senior, he wrote an Honors Thesis investigating Loyalists who fled to Prince Edward Island following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. We wish him luck in his future endeavors! 

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