LECTURE: Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Profess or History and Professor of African-American Studies, Harvard University
Tacky's Revolt and the Coromantee Archipelago A New Cartography of Slave Revolt"
Thursday, January 30th, 4.15 PM, L01 Carson Hall
Dwight W. Morrow Professor Emeritus of Smith College and Visiting Professor, Spring 2009
What did you teach at Dartmouth?
A History6/COCO 6 course on “Bubonic Plague: Past, Present, and Potential.” It was not team-taught, as most COCO courses are, but a third of the classes were taught by members of other departments of the Dartmouth faculty, namely, Kevin Reinhart in Religion, Lynn Higgins in French, George O’Toole in Microbiology and Immunology (DMS), and Fordham von Reyn in Infectious Diseases and International Health (also DMS).
Where are you originally from?
Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Where did you attend college and graduate school?
Dartmouth ‘57 and Princeton.
What made you interested in teaching?
The spectacularly good teachers I studied with at Dartmouth—as much those I encountered in French, Math, Zoology, Art History, and Government as in History.
How did you discover your interest in European medieval history?
Partly in courses with John Williams [Class of 1919, Dartmouth History professor from 1926 to 1964, expert on the intellectual history of medieval France] and partly from spending my junior year in France on the Sweet Briar College program (long before Dartmouth had study abroad programs).
What are your specific areas of research?
The social history of religion in the Middle Ages. My interest in plague epidemics stems from the impact these had on religious beliefs and practices.
What have you liked about working at Dartmouth?
Many things, but let me cite in particular the astuteness of Prof. David Lagomarsino in suggesting that a COCO course was what I should do; the willingness of those professors who taught with me to do so before ever having met me; the friendliness of the many colleagues who made my stay so interesting and pleasant; and the gutsiness of the students who were willing to take a very experimental course.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
In general that it energizes me and that I invariably learn from it; in this particular term what I enjoyed most was the dual challenge of trying to elucidate for pre-med students the historical contexts of epidemics that took place in several different time periods and, in turn, of trying to understand what they and the Medical School professors were teaching the humanities students and me about the etiology and epidemiology of plague.
Last Updated: 10/1/09