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. 

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