Teaching Hidden Histories

More about this Program

The core questions of Teaching Hidden Histories’ workshops:

  • How do examples of marginalized groups’ experiences in Essex County, Massachusetts illuminate how some histories have been “hidden” within our larger American story?  
  • How can we help students connect with this history, keeping their voices and ideas at the forefront of our teaching?
  • How do we create a safe environment for difficult conversations about complex issues surrounding race, identity, and what it means to be “American,” especially through a local lens that will hit close to home?

Three workshops answered these questions by examining a different topic related to our theme. In advance of the virtual workshops, teachers received secondary and primary sources and scholars’ recorded presentations to prepare for our time together. At the synchronous workshops, they interacted with scholars and pedagogy experts via a panel discussion, and worked with other teachers in small groups to explore how to integrate content and techniques into curriculum development.

Workshop 1

From Minority to Majority: The Long Journey of 19th Century Irish and Modern Day Latinx Immigrants in the Merrimack Valley

January 23, 2021

Greater Lawrence is and has always been a mixture of different ethnicities and cultures, but few have come to dominate the political and social landscape of the area quite like the Irish and Latinx communities. In this workshop, we examine how these communities’ journeys exemplify a larger history of structural policies of exclusion, scapegoating and prejudice, but also perseverance and change.

January 23, 2021 Workshop Recording

Speakers:

  • Dr. Llana Barber, Author of Latino City and professor of American Studies at SUNY Old Westbury
  • Dr. Robert Forrant, Professor of History at UMass Lowell
  • Reuben Henriques, History/Social Science Content Support Lead at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Glennys Sánchez, Education leader and community activist, Greater Schools Partnership
  • Brian Sheehy, Teacher and History Department Coordinator at North Andover High School

Moderator: Dr. Brad Austin, Associate Professor of History at Salem State University

Project Coordinator: Brian Sheehy, Teacher and History Department Coordinator at North Andover High School


Workshop 2

The Struggle for Liberty, Equality, and Property: Examining Resistance to Exclusionary Policies Against Black People in Essex County

March 27, 2021

The history of Black people’s experiences in Essex County, MA, including enslavement, “gradual emancipation,” and hard-fought access to fundamental rights, offers a rich set of stories for our students to explore. In this workshop, we examine how these experiences exemplify a larger history of structural policies of exclusion and prejudice, but also perseverance and change. In uncovering some of these stories, we explore how and why this history has often been hidden from view or distorted to fit more comfortable narratives, discussing implications for our students in today’s world.

March 27, 2021 Workshop Recording

Speakers:

Moderator: Dr. Brad Austin, Associate Professor of History at Salem State University

Project Coordinator: Brian Sheehy, Teacher and History Department Coordinator at North Andover High School


Workshop 3

The Acknowledgement and Recognition of Native Peoples Past and Present

June 5, 2021

The history of Indigenous Peoples and cultures in our region is often mis-represented, told from a European/American-centered context, or even erased from our general curriculums. In this workshop, we will center Indigenous voices as we examine stories from pre- and post-contact periods that enrich our understanding of the past and help us empower students to grapple with this history’s complex legacies. 

June 5, 2021 Workshop Recording

Speakers

Moderator: Dr. Brad Austin, Associate Professor of History at Salem State University

Project Coordinator: Brian Sheehy, Teacher and History Department Coordinator at North Andover High School


This program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation.