Whitney B. Howarth

whit April 2012Associate Professor of History

BA, Moravian College; MA, PhD, Northeastern University
Email: wbhowarth@plymouth.edu

Contact Information

Memorial Hall 005
MSC #30

About Professor Howarth

Whitney Howarth, Associate Professor of History, now in the Department of History & Philosophy, specializing in modern world history and the history of India, joined the Social Science faculty in fall 2004.  She received her B.A. in history at Moravian College, Pennsylvania in 1995, and her M.A. (1998) and Ph.D. (2004) in World History from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Howarth has taught world history at the college level since 1999. Before coming to Plymouth State University, she was a lecturer at Suffolk University, Salem State College and Northeastern University. She also worked as a research fellow at Northeastern’s World History Center, where she assisted in the research, design and development of professional development programs for high school world history teachers, world history workshops and multi-media publications (1995-2004).

Dr. Howarth’s regional specialization is India.  Her research focuses on the nineteenth century and examines themes such as colonization, statecraft, nationalism, and identity formation.  Her doctoral dissertation, “Mission to Modernity: Formation of a Hindu Political Community in late nineteenth century Mysore,” investigates the princely kingdom of Mysore as a nexus of world historical interaction and ideological debate.  She has lived and taught in India on several occasions between 1998-2007 and maintains close ties with development organizations working in South India in those regions struck hardest by the 2004 tsunami.

Dr. Howarth’s other teaching and research interests include women’s studies, post-colonial literature, migrations, sustainable development and globalization. She currently teaches:  India and the World, Sex and Empire in Colonial India, the British Empire in World History, Islamic Empires, Roots of Current Global Conflict, Cross Cultural Contact in World History, Modern World History (1500 to present), and Global Colonial Women (focusing on Algeria, Honduras, India, Afghanistan).  In summer 2007, she was a visiting fellow at Scott College in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, South India where she taught a graduate course on historiography/methods.

Dr. Howarth has presented papers internationally on the violence of nationalism, missionaries as human rights advocates in colonial India, the World Bank and indigenous land rights, the role of civil rights advocates in modern statecraft and the rise of the Hindu Right in India in response to Globalization.  In 2012, Dr. Howarth was co-awarded a grant to fund her participation in a three year exchange and research project investigating sustainability and indigenous communities in the Western Ghats with faculty at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala, India.  She will begin her research on this project during her Fall 2012 sabbatical.



Student-centered in her pedagogy, Dr. Howarth enjoys organizing student trips and active learning experiences both locally and internationally. She introduced PSU students to the Sri Laxmi Hindu Temple in Ashland, Mass. and the Islamic Society of Boston, Mosque in 2005.  In 2004, students joined her for the “Becoming American, Maintaining Identity” conference at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, NH.  In an effort to encourage interdisciplinary scholarship on campus, she co-coordinated a conference presentation of nine student papers entitled “Comparative Colonialisms: An Interdisciplinary Look at the Construction of Knowledge and Nation” in 2004.  In January of 2005, she served as faculty advisor to group of 16 students to the Dominican Republic for the first PSU International Service Trip.  In January 2007 students joined Dr. Howarth for a two week teaching fieldwork experience in the Tanzania as part of her course on Race and Education: Cross-Cultural Perspectives from North American and Africa.   Dr. Howarth co-taught a course entitled “Perspectives On India: Eco Spirituality and Sustainability” in Fall 2010 and did a 3 week field work for that course with 10 PSU students at Sadhana Forest ashram in Tamil Nadu, India in January 2011.  The experience was a life-changing one for all involved.

Dr. Howarth sits on the Executive Boards of the New England Regional World History Association, the New Hampshire Council for the Social Studies, and the New Hampshire Peace Action Education Fund.  In2011-12 she facilitated several public discussions on immigration and refugee issues as part of a program series sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council. She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society), Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership/Scholarship Honor Society), Phi Kappa Phi (Honor Society for All Disciplines) and the World History Association. She is the faculty advisor for three student groups: History Club, Rotaract, and Amnesty International.

Dr. Howarth is Chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity and an active member of the Peace and Social Justice Studies Council and the Women’s Studies Council.  She is a clinical faculty member supervising student teachers and teaching methods courses in PSU’s Social Studies Teacher Certification program .  Since arriving at PSU, she has participated in New Hampshire State’s National History Day program and continues to look for ways to engage in professional development opportunities with local secondary school educators.

Dr. Howarth enjoys travel, cooking Indian food, reading about post-colonial theory, working for social justice and advocating for a more peaceful and sustainable world.  During her sabbatical research semester in India in 2012 she met her husband, Sreeraj, and began working on the Obama Singh Knowledge Initiative research grant looking into the impact of globalization/development on tribal communities in the Western Ghats region of Kerala.  In 2014 she returned to India for maternity leave to give birth to their daughter, Pema.   Today all three live in Concord, NH and enjoy big city life.   Dr. Howarth is looking forward to returning to India with PSU students and planning future projects in Madagascar, Vietnam and South Africa.  The best way to teach world history, she feels, is to travel and experience the world!