Category Archives: Research

History Department’s Senior Thesis Presentations 2016-2017

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This academic year, the History Department has nine honor thesis writers. Elizabeth, Sedona, Callie, Dylan, Elm, Chelsey, Eleanor, Seth and Andrew will be presenting on their research on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. The presentations will take place at Seabury Hall 215 (Trinity College), starting at 9:00 a.m. History Thesis Writers, History Majors, members of the History Department, and members of the Trinity and Hartford community are invited and encouraged to attend this special event. A five minute Q+A will follow each presentation. For the full schedule, continue reading….
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“My Senior Thesis and its Portrayal in Pop Culture”

Chelsey Crabbe ‘17

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I am a senior Thesis writer whose topic has been portrayed within a Hollywood movie, a scenario that even clouded my own judgment after watching the film. I am researching the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA), a military unit attributed with protecting and salvaging Europe’s greatest cultural treasures against the Nazi regime during World War II. My focus is on the subsequent cultural restitution, or return, that occurred after the war as the Allies found themselves with troves of Nazi loot. I found this topic to be quite fascinating since I am passionate about cultural heritage, a fan of Art History, and a student needing to satisfy her European interests with a topic that had some sources in English. Therefore, I chose to tell the story of the Monuments Men, the full story, and not just the one that would attract moviegoers.
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The Future is Female! Profiles of the Women Senior Thesis Writers of 2017

Written by: Chelsea Crabbe (History, 2017)

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In honor of Women History Month, I’ve decided to write a little bit about our female thesis writers, including myself. As Viginia Woolf insightfully claimed, “for most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Now, not only are topics of gender becoming valued areas of research within the historical field, at Trinity, five women are exerting their talents within this area of study at the highest of calibers. I have always found some subjects to be gendered. For instance, math and the sciences have been predominantly a male-dominated field, for whatever reason. However, I have also categorized the subject of History as being historically male and with good reason. For centuries and centuries, our histories were written by men and, during this resurgence of women’s rights activism today, I am proud to say that we have five females writing not only histories, but challenging the field, a field that oftentimes can be rigid and traditional. Although our topics may be starkly different, we share a common bond as women within the field of History. While I am obsessing over lost paintings, Sedona is spending hours analyzing the movement of cows and Elizabeth is testing her limits by deciphering colonial manuscripts. Elly is encapsulated by her powerful women who love power and parties and Callie is wrapping her head around what do with a convicted Nazi. We’re committed to our topics and wouldn’t be in the library at all hours if we didn’t love history. I’m sure that my fellow peers would agree that we are history nerds and we’re proud! And you can be sure that our theses will certainly not be signed anonymous.

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Project 1917

Written by: Dylan Hebert (History, Class of 2017)

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“1917. Free History” is a project that presents the events of 1917 in the form of social media. The stated goal of the project is to “enable participants to find out about the history of 1917 from those who lived during this defining moment of twentieth century history.” A Russian project, the site is focused mostly on Russian history. The year of both the February and October Revolutions as well as a major year in World War I, 1917 is a landmark year in Russian history.

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Michael McLean: Senior Honors Thesis

Michael McLean examines archives at the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Michael McLean examines archives at the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Trinity senior Michael McLean has always been fascinated by Native American history. Particularly, he sees its underrepresentation in mainstream United States history as a striking opportunity for research. A visit to the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota last winter and related coursework at Trinity motivated him to pursue a senior thesis on the impact of the Civil War on Indian territory.

McLean is also a recipient of the Colin Leroy ’10 Research Fund, which assists history majors with research-based travel and other projects.

[Editor’s Note: History@Trinity will publish soon an article describing the Colin Leroy ’10 Research Fund program, which was established in 2012 to help seniors and rising seniors conduct research for their senior theses.]  

Following a recent visit to Oklahoma sponsored by the fund, he has kindly provided History@Trinity with the following statement on his trip:

“From October 23-27, I traveled to the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City, in large part due to a grant from the history department set aside for thesis research.

My honors thesis, “We Thought We Had Some Trouble Last Year: Destruction, Survival, and Community during the Civil War on Indian Territory,” is focused on what is today Oklahoma. I am also approaching this subject from the bottom-up. Therefore, the archives in Oklahoma were extremely useful. I was able to use letters, diaries, ledgers, rosters, and war claims to better understand the everyday experiences of regular civilians and soldiers in the area, especially with regards to food, communication and seasonality.

I will specifically be looking at the surprising adaptations that were used during this tumultuous period and how people were able (or forced) to create and maintain communities for their survival.

I am sincerely grateful towards the History Department and the parents of Colin Leroy ’10, who created the research fund, for affording me this opportunity.”

The History Department commends McLean and all other senior thesis students on their hard work.

We also encourage current juniors to consider writing a thesis next year. Please contact your academic advisor and visit the application procedure page available on this website through the menu that appears at the top for more information.

Procedures for 2014–2015 Senior Theses

Students writing senior theses in the History Department enroll in History 498-01 during the Fall semester. This course is a senior thesis research seminar taught by Prof. Darío Euraque, Chair of the Department. In the spring, students work independently to complete the researching and writing of an historical paper of up to 150 pages. A public presentation of the theses will take place in Seabury 215 on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

Senior Thesis Application Procedure

All juniors who would like to write a full-year senior thesis during the senior year must submit a thesis proposal. Applicants will be notified in writing of acceptance by the Department Chair by the end of the Spring semester. Continue reading

New Book on the African Diaspora by Prof. Euraque

Photo of the cover of the book "La Diáspora Africana en los programas educativos de Centroamérica," by Dario Euraque and Yesenia Martínez (2013)

Professor Dario A. Euraque, History Department Chair and Professor of History and International Studies, published his fifth book in Spanish this past August. He co-authored the book with Honduran historian Yesenia Martínez, former Director of the Historical Research Division of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, and former Director of the Honduran Center for Research and Documentation at the National Archive of Honduras.

The book is titled La Diáspora Africana en los Programas Educativos de Centroamérica (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 2013); in English, The African Diaspora in Educational Programs in Central America.

The photo on the book’s cover is by Professor Pablo Delano, of Trinity College’s Studio Arts Program. Trinity International Studies and English major Carolina Galdiz ’14 is currently translating the Spanish edition into English thanks to a Trinity College Faculty Research Completion Grant. The book features several additional photos from Professor Delano’s collection, which he took during his last trip to Honduras in April of 2009.

During the last ten years, the historiography of Central America has registered new contributions to the study of colonialism and the presence and ethnohistory of Africans and people of African descent in this region of the Americas. This has been especially the case in Costa Rica and Panama, followed by Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and lastly El Salvador.

Some of the most interesting studies have articulated their arguments and problematics with questions and debates associated with the literature on the African Diaspora in the Americas, in general, and with the older traditions of studying slavery in the region, including comparative perspectives with the United States.

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2013–2014 Thesis Writers

2014 History Senior Thesis Writers

ManuscriptThe following students are writing History senior theses during academic year 2013–2014:

  1. Robert Black – “The Behavioral Ecology of Animals in the Pacific Northwest and how it pertains to the Storytelling of the of the Native Tribes in the Region” – Advisor: Wickman
  2. Nicolette Chasse – “Chivalry and the family dynamic: knighthood and family in literature in medieval France” – Advisors: Elukin and Silk
  3. Hector Guzman – “A Land Without A State: Factionalism During the Warlord Era in China” – Advisor: Bayliss
  4. Michael McLean – “We Thought We Had Some Trouble Last Year: Destruction, Survival, and Community during the Civil War on ‘Indian Territory'” – Advisor: Wickman
  5. Emily Parsons – “U.S. Relations with the Soviet Union and Hungary in 1956” – Advisor: Kassow
  6. Benjamin Plumer – “Southern White Identity and Incidence of Murder in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia” – Advisor: Gac
  7. Mollie Scheerer – “The Maya: Museums, National Patrimony, and Copán” – Advisor: Euraque

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History@Trinity will be providing later on more information on each thesis writer and her\his project. Please continue checking our blog in the coming weeks.

Prof. Lestz Awarded Alumni Medal for Excellence

Professor Michael Lestz

Professor Michael Lestz

During last week’s Trinity reunion weekend, History Professor Michael Lestz was awarded the Alumni Medal for Excellence. This medal is awarded annually to alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions, to their communities, and to Trinity College. Congratulations Michael!

Read the full citation here. Continue reading

Toe the Line Exhibition at the Watkinson Library

Title of Exhibit: Toe the Line School Rules in 19th-Century America

Description: School catalogs and reports drawn from the professional library of educational reformer Henry Barnard. “Henry Barnard was born on January 24, 1811, in Hartford, Connecticut. From 1837 to 1839, he belonged to the Connecticut state legislature. In 1838, he founded the Connecticut Common School journal. In 1845, he became Rhode Island commissioner of public schools. He was hired as the U.S. first commissioner of education in 1867 and resigned in 1870. Barnard died on July 5, 1900, in Hartford, Connecticut.”

Dates: June 14-August 16, 2013