Whitney Howarth, History and Social Studies Education

June 24th, 2010 by Nikki-Ann

Whitney Howarth

Whitney Howarth spent two months of her summer (2007) teaching history at Scott College in south India, Howarth returned to PSU and presented a paper to her peers about her experience at the fall meeting of the Society for Scholarly Dialogue. The title of her talk “After the Tsunami: Politics, Privatization and Plight of the Poor in South India Today” focused on some of the research she did while in India and the conversations she had with tsunami-affected victims and aid workers in the region. Howarth was eager to incorporate new materials from her travel opportunities in her fall courses on The British Empire and India and the World. Also last fall, Howarth coordinated a social science student trip to Concord’s Red River Theatre to view the documentary film “DARFUR NOW.” She worked with the newly opened cinema’s public relations director and company manager to arrange this event (involving over 50 PSU students) and after the trip helped to put students in contact with divestment activists who continue to work towards ending the genocide in the Sudan.

In the Spring, Howarth, in her role as advisor of the PSU History Club, coordinated the Black History Month celebrations honoring human rights activist Nathaniel P. Rogers. Rogers, a 19th century abolitionist and Plymouth native, once lived in a home on the site of what is today the Silver Center for the Arts. Led by student Sarah Vendt, the club prepared a photo-history exhibit of their research on NPR, his life and times, at the event where the university President presided over the re-installation of the commemorative plaque outside Silver. The ceremony on February 14th was attended by many prominent members of the community, including former NH Supreme Court Justice William Batchelder, Harvard historian Timothy McCarthy and Rogers’ great granddaughter Sarah Kinter. Plymouth Elementary School’s third graders sang an original piece of music from the time period written by the pro-abolitionist Hutchinson Family and NH Representative Carol Estes (herself the a granddaughter of slaves) unveiled the portrait of this remarkable man, now installed in Silver Hall’s lobby.

In March, Howarth visited the North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies (NCCSAS) and spoke with a colloquium of scholars from Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State about a paper in-progress titled “Rajadharma: Mediating Modernity in the Context of Hindu Kingship” based on a chapter from her doctoral dissertation. While visiting the Center, Howarth was invited by several Indian historians to attend their classes at Chapel Hill and NC State. It was a true pleasure!

Howarth is very excited to work with Patrick May this year on a grant they received from the Center for Rural Partnerships and the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. Their collaborative project aims to work with Berlin area educators and cultural organizations in order to promote, preserve and celebrate the international heritage of the Androscoggin Valley lumber industries of the 19th century. Through educational outreach and heritage tourism efforts, Howarth and May hope to bring resource materials and curriculum ideas to local high school teachers, NH university students and tourism professionals so all can better appreciate the unique character of the region and its environmental, economic and historic importance to our nation’s past.

Howarth continues to co-coordinate the Social Studies Teacher Certification program at Plymouth with Patrick May and is an active member of the National History Day team. She sits upon the Sally Boland Essay Prize judging panel for the Women’s Studies Council and works to internationalize the campus in her role as an appointed member of the President’s Commission on Diversity. Howarth looks forward to hearing from alums and especially staying in touch with recent graduates! Drop her an email!