February is a Big Month for the Messiah College History Department


As many of you know, I serve as the chair of the History Department at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  In that role, I am happy to announce that we have a lot going on in the department this month (and into the first week of March).

The History Department is playing a major role in the 2017 Messiah College Humanities Symposium.  (All of the sessions of the Symposium are open to the public).  The theme of this year’s Symposium is “Slavery and Justice from Antiquity to the Present.”

On February 21st at 7:00pm in Boyer Hall 131 the entire History Department will sit on a panel titled “Of Human Bondage: Forms of Enslavement in Global History.”  Each member of the department will take five minutes to talk about how the subject of slavery is treated in their specific sub-field of history and there will be plenty of time for audience discussion.

On February 23 at 3:45pm in Boyer Hall 131 two of our History Department graduates who are now in graduate school will present some of their research.  Christina Thomas (’14) will give a talk titled “What Shall I Teach My Children Who Are Black?: The Biography of Geraldine Louise Wilson, 1931-1988.”  Hierald Osorto (’06) will present a talk titled “Recovering Memory: The Archive as a Site of Resistance.”

On February 24th at 12:30-1:40 one of our current history majors, Kaitlin Coleman, will be participating in a discussion of an exhibit “Stories of Resistance from Central Pennsylvania.”  The exhibit will be on display all week in Boyer Hall’s Howe Atrium.

I also hope to attend other historically-related sessions featuring scholars and students who are not connected to the History Department.  Here are a few:

Feb. 20: Dr. David Smith, Calvin College: “Charity, Humility, Justice: Learning to Read and Inviting Virtue.” (Boyer Hall 131, 4:45)

Feb. 20: Dr. Emerson Powery, Messiah College: “The Bible and the ‘Slave Narrative’.” (Hostetter Chapel, 7:00pm)

Feb. 21: Dr. Peter Powers, Messiah College: “Whose freedom? Whose Humanity?: Slavery, the Humanities, and the Liberating Arts.” (Boyer Hall 131, 3:45)

Feb. 23: Maria Thiaw, Central Penn College and Messiah College and Central Penn College Students: “Piecing Our History: A Quilted and Poetic History of African Americans in Dauphin Country.”

The Humanities Symposium ends on Friday, February 24, but the History Department-sponsored events keep rolling on!

On Monday, February 27 C-SPAN will be on campus to film a lecture in my Pennsylvania History course for its American History TV program “Lectures in History.”  (Sorry, this one is not open to the public)

Later in the day on the 27th the History Department will host Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward Larson of Pepperdine University for a lecture titled “The Election of 1800 & the Birth of Partisan Presidential Politics.”  Admission is free and open to the public.  It will take place in Boyer Hall 336 at 4:00pm

Finally, on Saturday, March 4th, Messiah College will host the annual South-Central Pennsylvania regional National History Day competition.  Over 600 middle-school and high-school students will compete for spots in the Pennsylvania state National History Day competition with the hopes of making it all the way to the national finals.  We are still looking for judges for the event.  If you are interested in serving this way please shoot me an e-mail at jfea[at]messiah[dot]eduAn

And did I mention that on Monday, February 20 we are hosting a History Department Open House session for prospective students and their family?  I hope to see some of you in Frey Hall 156 from 11:30-12:20.

We are looking forward to a busy few weeks!  I hope to see many of you along the way!