“Ottawa County Poor Farm”

New Perspectives from Data Analytics and Local/Digital History

This off-site presentation is a collaboration between the Holland Museum, the Hope College History Department, and the Herrick District Library.

Friday, December 2, 2022
4:00-5:00 pm
Herrick District Library Auditorium, 300 S. River Ave
Free Adult Program, donations encouraged

This program is part of the Holland Museum “Tales from the Archives” series which explores local history topics supported by the Holland Museum’s collection and archives.  It is also a part of the Hope College History Department Colloquium Series.

For more than a century, the Ottawa County Poor Farm was a place some people called home, and a source of identity in the county’s community. But time has erased memories of its significance. This past summer (2022), Hope College students Chloe Bares, Aubrey Brolsma, and Ty Overhiser along with Wayne Tan, Associate Professor of History, worked together to find new perspectives on the Poor Farm. Using rare historical records and new digital and data analytical tools, this presentation breathes new life into stories about the Poor Farm–its residents and their lives, and its rise and decline in the timeline of the community’s history.  (Holland Museum)

History Course Preview – Spring 2023

The time has come: Spring 2023 courses are here!

Registration begins on November 7th

Take a look at our upcoming offerings as you begin to plan. For a complete list of upcoming classes or to see course details, including dates, times and professors, please see the Registrar’s course schedule.

HIST 130 – 01 Intro Ancient Civilization
TR 3:00 pm – 4:20 pm | DWTCUL 247 | Burr, Margaret H
The course will focus on significant developments in history from its Greek origins through the Renaissance. It is designed to introduce the student to the discipline of history. | Credits: 4, CH1

HIST 131 Intro to Modern European History
TR 9:30 – 10:50 am | DOWCTR 204 | Johnson, Fred
This course will focus on significant developments in modern European history from the Renaissance to our own time. It is designed to introduce the student to the discipline of history. Credits: 4, CH2

HIST 141 – The Historian’s Vocations
MWF 2:00 pm – 2:50 pm (meets 2nd half of the semester) | GRAVES 201 |Petit, Jeanne
This course introduces students to vocational exploration and discernment through the concepts of vocation, calling, and purpose and their intellectual history; connections between historical thinking, research skills, and writing to jobs and careers; and the skills necessary for successful identification and pursuit of experiential learning opportunities. In order to pass the course, each student must develop a clear, detailed plan for pursuing experiential learning opportunities that will aid vocational exploration and discernment. Required for History majors and minors. Students may take HIST 140 either prior to enrollment in or concurrently with the class. | Credits: 2

HIST 161 – U.S. History Since 1877
MWF 11:00 am – 11:50 am | Graves 121 |Petit, Jeanne D.
This course surveys U.S. history from Reconstruction to the present. It examines the major social, cultural, political, and economic events that shaped the U.S. after the Civil War, focusing especially on industrialization, Progressivism, WW I, the Great Depression, the New Deal, WW II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Sixties and Reagan Republicanism. | Credits: 4, GLD

HIST 175 – Michigan History
TR 12:00 pm – 1:20 pm | Johnson, Fred L
This course is a survey of Michigan History to the present and is primarily designed for students majoring in education. The main objective of History 175 is for students to demonstrate an understanding of the chronology, narratives, perspectives, and interpretations of Michigan history from its beginnings to the present. To this end, students will: examine relationships, including cause and effect, among important events from the era; identify the sequence of these events and describe the setting and the people affected; analyze and compare interpretations of events from a variety of perspectives; and assess the implications and long-term consequences of key decisions made at critical turning points in Michigan history. | Credits: 2

HIST 200 – Historical Snapshot: The Roaring Twenties
MWF 9:30 am – 10:20 am (meets first half of the semester) | Petit, Jeanne D.

HIST 200 – Historical Snapshot: The Crusades
MWF 3:00 – 3:50 pm (meets first half of the semester) | Gibbs, Janis

This course is designed to allow the exploration of some narrow moment in time (early imperial Rome) or some particular historical issue or problem (such as World War II, Christianity in China, or women in early Modern Europe). The content and emphasis of each section is determined by the instructor. Students may repeat the course for credit as topics change. No more than two 2-credit HIST 200 courses may be counted toward the major, and no more than one toward the minor. | Credits: 2

HIST 207- Historical Snapshot: Intro to World History to 1500
TR 1:30 – 2:50 pm | Burr, Margaret

This introductory world history course surveys developments in global history from prehistory until about 1500. The course focuses on regional, interregional and global interactions from the beginning of written history to the European crossing of the Atlantic. Credits: 4, CH1

HIST 208- Historical Snapshot: Intro to World History Since 1500
Online | Janes, Lauren

This introductory world history course surveys developments in global history since 1500. The course focuses on interregional and global interactions from the European crossing of the Atlantic through the Cold War. Credits: 4, CH1, GLI

HIST 221- Colonial and Post-Colonial Africa: African Perspectives on Colonialism
TR 12:00 – 1:20 pm | Janes, Lauren

This course explores the colonial experiences of Africans as well as the legacies of European colonial rule in Africa. It highlights the different ways Africans responded to European military conquest and political domination from the mid-1850s to the 1960s. The course also studies how Africans struggled for independence, using specific case studies to show the different paths toward independence. Novels by African authors will be used to examine the social and cultural experiences of colonialism. The course gives voice to the colonized in a variety of contexts across Africa by emphasizing how Africans shaped colonial encounters with Europeans. Credits: 4, GLI

HIST 242- Twentieth Century Europe
MWF 12:00 – 12:50 pm | Tseng, Gloria

Does each century have a “spirit of the age”? What do the trenches of the First World War, the gas chambers of the Holocaust, the communist experiment, and psychoanalysis reveal about the “spirit” of the twentieth century? This course surveys the history of twentieth-century Europe from three chronologically overlapping vantage points: “the age of catastrophe,” “the age of secular ideological extremes,” and “the limits of secularism.” The events and developments examined in this course are chosen to reflect these concerns. In addition to mastering the main events and developments that have defined the twentieth century, we will seek to answer the question, In what ways are we heirs of the legacy of the twentieth-century Europe as seen from each of these vantage points? Credits: 4

HIST 295- Pompeii and Herculaneum: Daily Life in the Roman World
TR 9:30 – 10:50 am | Burr, Margaret

These courses are designed to allow students to study geographic areas, historical periods, or particular issues not normally covered in the formal courses offered in the Department of History. In each course a professor will present lectures in his or her area of particular interest and students will engage in guided reading and research under the professor’s supervision. Credits: 4

HIST 355- U.S. Foreign Policy
TR 3:00 – 4:20 pm | Johnson, Fred

This course traces the development of United States foreign policy from the Spanish-American War to the present. In this period the United States emerged as a great world power, assumed center stage during World War II, offset the threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and currently claims title to being the world’s lone superpower. Post Cold War conditions have challenged the nation to formulate policies responsive to recent manifestations of threats not yet clearly defined, including the problems of non-state actors and terrorism. Credits: 4

“Things Odious and Immoral”

The Foreign Relations of U.S. Slavery, 1775-1865

Please join the Hope College History Department as we welcome Dr. Steven Brady, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at George Washington University.

Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m.
This is a virtual event. Please click on the link below to join via Google Meet.


“What I Did This Summer – Part 2”

Hope College History Department

Dr. Jeanne Petit

Dr. Jeanne Petit spent the previous year on sabbatical, and in the Spring she got the opportunity to attend a conference in Scranton, Pennsylvania. While there, she took a tour of a now-defunct anthracite coal mine, and got a taste of the brutal conditions miners faced there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She also spent a week doing research in New York City, and got to visit one of her favorite museums, the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Later in the summer, she took a trip to Alpena, Michigan where she learned about Great Lakes shipwrecks and did a little fossil hunting. She found some cool crinoids, corals, and clams from the Devonian age (about 300 million years ago). 

Lackawanna Coal Mining Tour near Scranton, Pennsylvania
The Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side of New York City
Some fossil finds from Alpena, Michigan

Dr. Wayne Tan

Dr. Wayne Tan led a team of summer student researchers (Chloe Bares, Aubrey Brolsma, and Ty Overhiser) to analyze the records of the Ottawa County Poor Farm. They applied methods of data analytics to seek new insights into the history of the Poor Farm. This project was funded by the Data Analytics/Science program and the Joint Archives of Holland.

(“The Poor Farm” by Ottawa County Parks Foundation with Vantage Point Visual and TDMP Films)

In early summer, Dr. Tan also submitted his final book manuscript to the publisher. Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity (published in the Corporealities series by the University of Michigan Press) is now available for sale! (Twitter: @WTan_historian)

Dr. Maggie Burr

My family and I got to spend three weeks in England this summer, where we went for my D.Phil. viva (aka: Ph.D. defense). A couple days after passing the viva, we all got Covid, which was an unexpected way to end the trip. On the bright side, the entire group (my parents, husband Bram, who also teaches at Hope, our 2.5-year-old daughter Mia, and myself) got to spend time wandering around relatively-isolated portions of the English countryside (with some post-quarantine days doing real sightseeing at the end). Aside from seeing some very dear friends we hadn’t seen since before Covid (and passing the viva), the best part was introducing Mia to some of our old haunts in Oxfordshire & Gloucestershire: the Neolithic/Early Bronze Age Rollright Stones, Chastleton House, wading with ducks in the Windrush River the dinosaurs and early collections at the Natural History/Pitt Rivers Museums, Fayum portraits at the Ashmolean, etc. We went to visit family in coastal Massachusetts later in the summer (favorite part aside from seeing all the people: lobstah rolls and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum) and, after all that excitement, spent the end of the summer relaxing, working on academic and home improvement projects, and seeing friends around Holland. 

“What I Did This Summer -Part One”

Hope College History Department

Dr. Lauren Janes

Professor Janes was thrilled to return to Paris, co-leading the Art, History, and Global Citizenship in Paris May Term.  It was wonderful to return to favorite restaurants, markets, and neighborhood spots and see them thriving. The students were able to visit museums, go on walking tours, and take in awesome cultural events. Dr. Janes was especially thrilled to tour the newly-renovated Musée Carnavalet, full of artifacts of the history of Paris.

Dr. Janes teaching in the Musée Carnavalet

Another highlight this year was her visit to Monet’s gardens at Giverny. Pictured left is Dr. Janes with Dr. Heidi Kraus, Hope College Associate Provost and Art and Art History Professor. 

The Art, History, and Global Citizenship in Paris May Term will travel again in May 2023!
Applications are due Oct 29 at travel.hope.edu. 

Dr. Gloria Tseng

This was a full summer, even though I did not attend the two summer conferences that I regularly attended for many years before the pandemic. The Andrew Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity at Liverpool-Hope University did not hold a conference this year, and I did not attend this year’s Yale-Edinburgh Group Meeting. In the last three years, two towering figures in the field world Christianity passed away—Lamin Sanneh in January 2019 and Andrew Walls in August 2021. Even though their deaths were not the reason for which I skipped the Y-E Meeting this year, I was deeply aware that the passing of these two co-founders of the Yale-Edinburgh Group and animating spirits of its annual meetings signified the end of an era in the field.

I remained home, first working on a new project, the preparation of a grant application, which, if successful, would provide funding for starting a documentary on the conversion of the Atayal, one of more than a dozen indigenous tribes of Taiwan, to Christianity. Then I finished a paper on the twentieth-century Chinese writer Ba Jin, “Love, Resurrection, and Revolution: The Anguished Cries of a May Fourth Intellectual,” for inclusion in a conference volume. I first presented the paper at a conference organized by the University of Manchester and Hong Kong Baptist University in January of this year, “Translation, Literature, and Publishing in Chinese Christianities.”

On Thursday, September 22, I will present a version of this paper at one of the public talks of the Holland Museum (https://hollandmuseum.org/event/biblical-imagery-in-unlikely-places-christianity-and-early-twentieth-century-chinese-literature/?event_date=2022-09-22).

It was also a summer of gardening and hospitality. A friend came and stayed with me for a month from the last week of June to the last week of July, and the Atayal pastor with whom Prof. Choonghee Han (Communication Department) and I are collaborating on the documentary project visited for a few days before Independence Day.

I finally made it out to Colorado for ten days in mid-August, in time before the start of the new academic year. It was well-needed; I hiked, climbed, and came back better for it!

Biblical Imagery in Unlikely Places:

Christianity and Early 20th Century Chinese Literature – Virtual Program

Thursday, September 22, 2022
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Virtual Program
Register now on Eventbrite

The first three decades of the twentieth century witnessed both a remarkable expansion of missionary endeavors in China and the rise of anti-Christian and anti-imperialist sentiments among Chinese intellectuals. Surprisingly, the authors of this period who championed new Chinese literature often employed Biblical imagery in their works, infusing them with a Christian ethos. This presentation by Gloria S. Tseng, Associate Professor of History, Hope College explores the paradoxical relationship between Christianity and modern Chinese literature through a case study of the author Ba Jin’s novels. This program supports our exhibition In Service to Others: A History of Holland’s Women Missionaries.

About the Presenter

Gloria S. Tseng is Associate Professor of History at Hope College. She teaches courses on modern Chinese and modern European history. Her current research examines the indigenization of Protestant Christianity in twentieth-century China, the historical processes by which Christianity evolved from a foreign faith associated with Western imperialism to a faith embraced by as many as ten percent of the population in some parts of the country.

What if Lincoln Had Lived?

Hope College, the History Department, and the Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster of Holland are pleased to welcome world-renowned author, eminent Civil War historian, and prize-winning Lincoln scholar, Dr. Allen C. Guelzo from Princeton University. Professor Guelzo is the Senior Research Scholar in the Council of the Humanities and Director of the Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship in the James Madison Program at Princeton. The topic is What if Lincoln Had Lived?  Dr. Guelzo’s talk will touch on four likely scenarios for a very different reconstruction than the one we experienced at the hands of Andrew Johnson: Lincoln’s support for black voting rights, Lincoln’s encouragement of black economic integration, Lincoln’s interest in settlement of the west, and finally Lincoln’s desire to “clean the Confederate slate” by encouraging the Confederate leadership to flee into exile and be replaced by a new Unionist Southern leadership. 

Dr. Allen Guelzp

Dr. Guelzo will speak on
Friday, September 16 at 6:30 pm
Graves Hall, Winants Auditorium

Dr. Guelzo won book awards for Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America, and Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. His articles and essays have appeared in scholarly journals, and also in The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The National Interest, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He has been featured on NPR, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, and Brian Lamb’s Booknotes.

He has been a member of the National Council on the Humanities, a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Charles Warren Center for American Studies at Harvard University. His most recent books are Reconstruction: A Concise History and Robert E. Lee: A Life.

Additionally, he will be speaking at Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster, Saturday, September 17 at 11:00 am on the Farmhouse Porch, Van Raalte Farm, 1076 Sixteenth Street, Holland.  The topic is Our Shadow in the Storms: Ulysses S. Grant, The First Civil Rights President.

For more information on the Civil War Muster weekend activities, visit https://vanraaltefarmcivilwarmuster.wpcomstaging.com/

Hope College Returns to Vietnam

Dr. Fred Johnson, full professor of History, and his students are spending May term in Vietnam. After a two-year absence, it’s great to be back!


Students met once a week during the spring semester to get a thorough historical foundation of the US-Vietnam relationship. Students taking this course for Senior Seminar also prepared for their life view paper.

Dr. Johnson and his crew take a rest from their travels from Ha Giang back to Hanoig.

Dr. Johnson makes a new friend in Hoi An. Love those smiles!

Program Overview

This course will explore the history and culture of Vietnam. The course will have a history component and a modern-day component, and will examine Vietnam’s military history, particularly with respect to the American war. We will also explore various modern elements of life in Vietnam as well as meet members of several communities: an HIV/AIDS clinic operated in a Buddhist pagoda, a woman’s shelter, and a child-protection center. We will also visit two UN-sponsored (or formerly sponsored) facilities: a women’s health clinic in a Hmong village near the China border and a school for victims of the war defoliant Agent Orange, still impacting children three generations later.


We will spend 14 days in Vietnam, visiting Ha Noi, Ha Giang Province,
Dien Bien Phu, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). 

Interested in traveling abroad next summer?
Please contact the Hope College Off-Campus Study Program for more information.