Notable Work by History Majors

To study history is thus to make it. History majors hone this craft as researchers and writers, and they do so in the classroom, among other scholars, and as members of the community at large.

Here are a few examples of the work by our students.


Honors Theses in 2014

While all history majors conduct a senior thesis as a requirement, each year several majors are approved to do honor thesis work. In 2014, six history majors did honors theses:

From Modernization and Development to Neoliberal Democracy: A History of the Ford Foundation in Latin America 1959-2000” by Jacquelyn Marie Holmes ’14

“Scotland within Empire: the Quest for Independence with or without Union” by Michaela Brady ’14

“The Biopolitics of Marriage and Motherhood: Understanding the Transformative Role of White Middle-Class Women in the American Eugenics Movement 1900-1930” by Emma Perkinson ’14

“The Reign of “King Henequen”: The Rise and Fall of Yucatán’s Export Crop from the Pre-Columbian Era through 1930” by Nyle Rioux

“Sex Scandals in Victorian Britain: Moral Codes and National Reputation in Crisis” by Rachel Spence ’14

“The Politics of the Gate: Byzantine City Walls and the Urban Negotiation of Imperial Authority” by Samuel Slatter ’14


Wabanaki History in Maine

Owen Hemming ’15 of Wilmette, Ill., created audio story as part of History s28, the 2014 Short Term course “Wabanaki History in Maine,” taught by Associate Professor of History Joseph Hall.

Tess Goodbody ’16 of New York, New York, created this video story as part of History s28, the 2014 Short Term course “Wabanaki History in Maine,” taught by Associate Professor of History Joseph Hall.


Larson8677‘The Progressive Tradition at Bates’

Was Bates truly an oasis of radical egalitarianism right from its 1855 founding? Or was Bates’ early history more complex, particularly given the paternalistic and racist educational norms of the times?

In his honors thesis, “Faith by Their Works: the Progressive Tradition at Bates College from 1855 to 1877,″ history major Tim Larson ’05 examined Bates’ historic view of itself, exploring 19th-century Bates faculty attitudes toward abolitionism and race, race relations on campus, women at Bates, and issues of class.

The honors thesis became an academic centerpiece of the college’s 150th anniversary observance in 2005.

In 2014, the thesis was the source of a pivotal quote in the Commencement address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson, when she quoted one of the college’s earliest black graduates, Thomas James Bollin of the Class of 1879, who wrote in The Bates Student, that “[s]ocial equality is the brotherhood of man in every condition.”

That phrase, she told the Commencement gathering, is a “beautiful definition of equality.”