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Faculty

The workshop will bring together nationally known scholars of the Underground Railroad, the antebellum Abolition Movement and African-Americans in the maritime trades. “Sailing to Freedom” workshop leaders will include:

Lee Blake, Program Administrator/Presenter

Lee Blake is Director of the Campus Compact at the Center for University and School Partnerships at UMass Dartmouth, a school, university, and business partnership working to support K-12 public education in SouthCoast Massachusetts.   She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with a minor in African American and Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in Urban Policy from Queens College. Lee has been an education administrator and teacher for 35 years and has taught at the high school and university level. Additionally, she is president of the New Bedford Historical Society, a founding member of the MA Underground Railroad network, and a consultant on local history.

Dr. Jeffrey Bolster, author of Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (Harvard U. Press, 1997)

A member of the UNH History faculty since 1991, W. Jeffrey Bolster is best known as the prize-winning author of Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail, published by Harvard University Press in 1997.  Black Jacks was listed by the New York Times Book Review as a “notable non-fiction book of the year” in 1997, when it also was co-winner of the American Historical Association’s Wesley-Logan Prize for the best book in African American history. Black Jacks won several other awards. Bolster was educated at Trinity College (BA), Brown University (MA), and Johns Hopkins University (PhD). Awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in 2002-2003, he taught American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Bolster’s work has addressed race and labor in the maritime sphere, the business of shipping, and – most recently – the environmental history of marine ecosystems. For the last ten years he has been part of an international project called HMAP (the History of Marine Animal Populations), and co-director, with Andy Rosenberg, of the UNH Cod Project. That group published several pioneering articles, including “The History of Ocean Resources: Modeling Cod Biomass Using Historical Records” in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (2005).Bolster has published articles in the Journal of American History, William and Mary Quarterly, Environmental History, and the American Historical Review, among others.Editor of Cross-Grained and Wily Waters: A Guide to the Piscataqua Maritime Region (2002) and co-author (with Alex Roland and Alexander Keyssar) of The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned, 1600-2000 (2007), he is currently under contract with Harvard University Press for Changes in the Sea in the Age of Sail, an environmental history of the marine ecosystem between Cape Cod and Newfoundland prior to industrialized fishing. Bolster was a commercial mariner for ten years, and was licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as Master of Steam, Sail, and Motor Ships, 200 tons, All Oceans. In his free time he continues to mess about in boats.

David Cecelski, author of The Watermen’s Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina (Univ. of N.C. Press, 2001)

Raised on the North Carolina coast, historian and writer David Cecelski is the author of several award-winning books and nearly two hundred articles about his native land's history and culture. His most recent books are The Waterman's Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina and a collection of environmental history essays titled A Historian's Coast. He was also the editor, with Timothy B. Tyson, of Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy, which won an Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavis Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. His popular oral history series, "Listening to History," recently ended a ten-year run in the Raleigh News & Observer. Dr. Cecelski has held several distinguished visiting professorships, including the Lehman Brady joint chair in Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Whichard Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at East Carolina University. He is currently completing his new book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway's Civil War.

Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, author of Bound For the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (Random House Publishing Group, 2004)

Kate Clifford Larson earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire. Her doctoral dissertation on the life and memory of Harriet Tubman has been published as "Bound For The Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of An American Hero," by Ballantine Books/Random House. A finalist for the 2004 Lerner-Scott Dissertation Award from the Organization of American Historians for the best dissertation in Women's History, Larson is also the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and grants in support of her work on Harriet Tubman.

Dr. Larson is currently the consulting historian for the National Park Service's Harriet Tubman Special Resource Study. 

As a recognized expert in her field, Dr. Larson is also engaged in many other projects related to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, including:
Historian/Interpretive Writer, Underground Railroad Map Guide, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development; Teacher/Consultant, African American History and Culture Summer Institute, Teaching American History Project, Kent County, MD Public Schools (July 2005); Content advisor, Maryland Department of Education and the Reginald Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, K-12 African American Curriculum on Harriet Tubman; Consultant and Advisory Board Member, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Discovery Center, Dorchester County, MD; Board Member, Friends of the Underground Railroad; Tubman scholar, Team Tubman, National Abolition Hall of Fame, Peterboro, NY; Advisory Board Member and Content Reviewer, Underground Railroad Driving Tour “Finding a Way to Freedom”, Dorchester County, MD Dept. of Tourism and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network; Contributor/Advisor, Underground Railroad, Abolitionism, and African American Life in Auburn and Cayuga County, New York Project, 2004-2005;

Dr. Larson also holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Simmons College (1980); an M.B.A. from Northeastern University (1986); and an M.A. from Simmons College (1995). She is currently teaching at Simmons College.

Kathryn Dunlap, director of the Buzzards Bay Writing Project

Kathryn Dunlap is director of the Buzzards Bay Writing Project, a project of the National Writing Project at the Center for University, School and Community Partnerships (CUSP) at UMass Dartmouth.

Kathryn Grover, author of The Fugitive's Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts (UMass Press, 2001)

Kathryn Grover is an independent scholar, writer and editor whose books include Make a Way Somehow:  African-American Life in a Northern Community and The Fugitive's Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  She has done extensive work on the Underground Railroad for the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad to Freedom, the Boston African American National Historic Site and the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park. She teaches teacher content institutes and has worked with area teachers to develop curriculum materials on the Underground Railroad.

Everett Hoagland, UMass Dartmouth English professor emeritus, poet laureate

Hoagland graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and from Brown University’s graduate creative writing program. He was the first Poet Laureate of New Bedford, Massachusetts from 1994 to 1998, an educator for 40 years, and is Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has had poetry readings all over the United States, in Ghana, Cuba, and China, and he continues to make public presentations across the country and around the world. Hoagland’s poetry has regularly appeared in publications with national/international distribution since the 1960’s. His most recent books are: This City and Other Poems (Spinner Publications 1997/1998), …HERE…New and Selected Poems (Leapfrog Press 2002), Just Words? (2007/2008). His poetry has appeared in periodicals as diverse as: American Poetry Review, Black Renaissance Noir, Callaloo, The Crisis, Cross Cultural Poetics, Drum Voices, Essence, Massachusetts Review, The People’s  Weekly World, The Progressive, Political Affairs. Hoagland has won the Gwendolyn Brooks Award and two Massachusetts Artist Foundation Fellowships.

Mary Malloy, faculty member at the Sea Education Association and Harvard University

Dr. Mary Malloy (Ph.D. Brown University) teaches Maritime Studies at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Museum Studies at Harvard University. Her Ph.D. is in American Studies from Brown University. She is the author of four books on Maritime History, including the award-winning Devil on the Deep Blue Sea: The Notorious Career of Samuel Hill of Boston.

Dr. Laurie Robertson-Lorant, professor of English at Bridgewater State University

Dr. Laurie Robertson-Lorant was Project Director/Resident Scholar for the 2001 NEH Summer Institute on "Melville and Multiculturalism” and Grant Writer/Lead Scholar for “Visions of Slavery and Freedom in the Writing of Douglass, Melville, Child and Jacobs.   She has taught English to grades 9-12 and more recently has taught English, Education and Sustainability courses to undergraduates and graduate students at UMass Dartmouth, undergraduates at MIT and Bridgewater State College and teachers seeking PDPs. SHe is the author of The Man Who Lived Among the Cannibals: Poems in the Voice of Herman Melville and Melville: A Biography.

John Stauffer, Ph.D., author of GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (Twelve Publishers, 2008)

John Stauffer is Chair of the History of American Civilization and Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.  Among the leading scholars of the Civil War era, antislavery in particular, he is the author or editor of eight books and more than 50 articles.  His most recent books are GIANTS:  The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (Twelve Publishers, 2008), which was a Boston Globe and Amazon.com bestseller, a History Book Club featured selection, and the winner of the Iowa Writers Award and a Boston Book Club prize; and The State of Jones (Doubleday, 2009), co-authored with Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins, which was a New York Times bestseller and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

His other books include The Writings of James McCune Smith:  Black Intellectual and Abolitionist (2006), which features the work of the foremost black intellectual in the nineteenth century; The Problem of Evil:  Slavery, Freedom, and the Ambiguities of American Reform (with Steven Mintz, 2006); Meteor of War:  The John Brown Story (with Zoe Trodd); and The Black Hearts of Men:  Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002), a collective biography of black and white abolitionists that won four major awards, including the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the Avery Craven Book Prize, and the Lincoln Prize runner-up.

His essays have appeared in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Republic, Huffington Post, Raritan, New York Sun, and 21st:  The Journal of Contemporary Photography.  He has appeared on national radio and television shows, including the Diane Rehm Show and Book TV with Susan Swain, and he has lectured widely throughout the United States and Europe.

He is currently an advisor for The American Experience at WGBH, which is working on a documentary film on abolitionism that features Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.   He has advised other documentary filmmakers on Civil War era films, and also served as a consultant to the filmmaker Gary Rossfor a screenplay on Southern Unionism in Civil War era Mississippi.  Ross, whose screenwriting and directing credits include Seabiscuit, Dave, Big, Pleasantville, and The Tale of Desperaux, plans to direct and produce The State of Jones as a major motion picture in the next few years.

John received his M.A. from Purdue University in 1993 and his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1999, when he began teaching at Harvard.  He received tenure in 2004.  He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deborah Cunningham, and their two sons, Erik Isaiah and Nicholas Daniel.

Dr. Len Travers, Chair of the UMass Dartmouth History Department

Dr. Len Travers is an Associate Professor of History at his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, having earned his Master’s and Ph. D. at Boston University. He is the author of Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic (1997) and co-editor of The Correspondence of John Cotton, Jr. (2009). Before coming to UMass Dartmouth, Travers worked at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. He conducts a seminar at UMass Dartmouth on the subject of nineteenth-century New Bedford. His current research focuses on a little-known and mysterious incident of the French and Indian War, concerning the fate of an unfortunate company of young Massachusetts men, which included some from the New Bedford area.

Dr. Timothy Walker, Associate Professor of History at UMass Dartmouth

Dr. Timothy Walker (B.A., Hiram College, 1986; M.A., Ph.D., Boston University, 2001) is an Assistant Professor of History, a member of the graduate faculty in Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth, and a visiting professor at the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon, Portugal.  He has received several fellowships, including a Fulbright dissertation fellowship to Portugal, a doctoral research fellowship from the Portuguese Camões Institute, and an NEH-funded American Institute for Indian Studies Professional Development Grant for post-doctoral work in India.  In 2003-2004, he taught for the University of Pittsburgh Semester at Sea program. Dr. Walker is an internationally recognized scholar of maritime history and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  Many of his published articles and chapters examine issues of slavery and maritime history in the Atlantic world.  For the past three years, he has been coordinating and teaching New Bedford-based Masters-level courses specifically about regional maritime history for public school educators in Massachusetts.

(Note: some substitutions may be necessary.)

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