Letter from the Chair: A Year Like No Other
It is our pleasure to greet you at the beginning of this academic year, which has been (and will be) a year like no other. We were saddened to see our students have to return home in the spring, and for only some to return this fall. We are very aware of the hardships this long moment has imposed upon students and upon their families. And all of us have witnessed, since the onset of the coronavirus in late 2019, a great national and international tragedy. Putting it mildly, these are sobering times.
The daily academic routine can seem small in comparison with all this, but it must go on, and we in the Department of History are glad to be in the midst of a new semester and therefore immersed in the work of teaching and learning. We are glad as well to be in communication with our students, even if only virtually in many cases, and in a different sense glad to be pursuing the study of history at a time when the study of history matters in new ways. That said, we can’t wait to welcome back to campus our entire student body, to have the classroom be the classroom once again and to have the campus be the campus again.
We were delighted to welcome Ms. Mary Tesfaye to our department this past year. She is our new academic administrator, and despite spending only a few weeks on campus when it was “normal” she is in every sense an integral member of our department. She and others on our faculty have been doing a lot to improve our social-media presence. In this spirit, please check out - if you’re so inclined - the Department of History as it exists on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. In these days of virtual connection, these platforms are a good way to participate in the life of the department.
I would also like to use this letter to thank all of our faculty for rolling with the punches last semester, for all the work they have put into on-campus and online teaching this fall and for all that they do to advise and work informally with our students. They carry a great deal on their shoulders, and do so gracefully.
We have two kinds of events to look out for this and next semester. As usual, we have a lively set of colloquia, which are meant for graduate and undergraduate students. We also have so-called “Flying University” events - online history-themed events that range from the serious to the less serious - of which the first will be a faculty-driven performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. This is certainly one of the serious events. Watch the "News and Events" page of our website for more details.
Please join us for these events and for the academic and intellectual activities we have going on social media. Please be sure to keep in touch with us individually: you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always grateful for that but especially so during the pandemic. And we’ll be sure to keep in touch with you.
Dr. Michael Kimmage