Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Annual PA Historical Association meeting held at Lycoming College

Annual PA Historical Association meeting held at Lycoming College

(l-r) Sarah Donovan '17 alumna and conference attendee, Pearl, Fulmer

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The Pennsylvania Historical Association (PHA) held its 91st annual meeting at Lycoming College from Oct. 13-15. With a focus this year on “Health and Resilience in the Commonwealth and Mid-Atlantic,” the conference included seminars, student research, film presentations, a keynote banquet, and more.

“I think the fact that the Pennsylvania Historical Association, a ninety-year-old institution dedicated to advancing knowledge about the history and culture of Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region, chose to hold their annual meeting here is a recognition of Lycoming College’s rising status as a place that prizes and supports the advancement of knowledge through quality teaching and research,” said Christopher Pearl, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Lycoming College and chair of local arrangements for PHA. “We should be proud that the PHA came to our campus, interacted with our community, and got to know more about our wonderful college.”

This year, the conference’s focus on health not only relates to physical health, an important topic in a post-pandemic world, but also relates to political, social, and civic health. More than one hundred academics, teachers, and professional historians presented new and vibrant research on topics ranging from Native American history to the place and power of women in politics, the changing nature of public health, and the consistent struggle for civil rights.

In the undergraduate portion of the conference, Lycoming College student John Fulmer ’23, a history major working toward an education certification, presented “A Tale of Two Rivers: Toxic Masculinity on the Revolutionary Frontier.” His original research won the award for best undergraduate research at the conference.

“I wanted to present at the PHA conference because it allowed me to share my research from my methods project that I have worked on the entire semester,” said Fulmer. “It also let me discuss the local history of the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, located just a few blocks away from campus.”

As well as hosting the PHA annual meeting, Lycoming College also hosted the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, a non-profit organization that aims to champion the humanities. “I think this is fitting and represents Lycoming College’s dedication to a liberal arts education where the humanities has and continues to play a central role,” said Pearl.

The Pennsylvania Historical Association advocates and advances knowledge about the history and culture of Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region, because understanding how the past informs the present helps us shape a better future. PHA achieves its mission by fostering the teaching and study of Pennsylvania history and culture through: publishing Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, publishing a book series on historical topics of interest in partnership with Temple University Press, hosting an annual conference, and connecting and encouraging the networking of scholars.

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