Undergraduate Research in History

In April, Geneseo hosted the annual West/Central New York Phi Alpha Theta (History Honors Society) conference. Geneseo students represented the College extremely well. Twelve students made presentations and once again our students did wonderful work, winning three of the six best paper prizes (awarded to Lila Chambers, Peter Olsen-Harbich, and Cory Young) and an honorable mention (Michael Tare). Faculty members were generous with their time in preparing our students and serving as panel commentators, and Jordan Kleiman gave a very good keynote on fracking to close out the day. Jim Williams and Barb Rex-McKinney also deserve a lot of credit for putting together the program and making sure that everything ran smoothly.

At GREAT Day, Geneseo’s annual on campus showcase for student research, the History Department was also well represented.  35 students gave paper presentations and 15 students displayed posters based on research projects conducted under the supervision of department faculty.  This represents the largest turnout of history projects to date at the GREAT Day symposium

The students who presented at Phi Alpha Theta are listed below along with the titles of their papers. The department is pleased with how well both the conference and GREAT Day went and we hope that you will join us in thanking and congratulating everyone involved.

  • Lila Chambers, Contextualizing “Drunken Paddy”: Origins and Influence in Great Britain and Ireland
  • Kala DeStefano, Political and Social Problems Addressed in French and English 18th Century Literature
  • Peter Olsen-Harbich, The Marlboro Man is the Product: Male Panic in the Golden Age of Patriarchy and the Sale of a Generation
  • Alec Michael Tare, Knocking Off Their Irons as Fast as They Could: Slave Ship Rebellions and the Secret Spirit of the Middle Passage
  • Cory J. Young, “For Family Use”: Slavery in the Letters of Thomas Jefferson
  • Matthew McNeill, The Mystery of the Underground Railroad: How Race has Muddled the Examination of the Institution
  • Clare Flynn, “A People Without Law:” White Insurrectionists in Post-Civil War Texas and the Role of Violence in Society
  • Justin Shapiro, Buried in the Record: Resurrecting Hooker Chemical Corporation’s Love Canal Legacy
  • Adam Reinemann, “It’s Not Me, It’s You!” Draft Offenders, Military Deserters and the Questioning of Citizenship during the Vietnam Era
  • Liz Dierenfield, “Oh, Lord, Don’t Let ’Em Drop That PCB on Me”: African Americans, Religion, and the Origins of the Environmental Justice Movement
  • Kathryn Geen, Wal-Mart in the Not-So-Flat World
  • Rebecca Smarcz, Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Recreation Right Over! …To Rural America

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