Date of Release: March 21, 2013
Associate Professor of History, David Haus has been one of 25 other applicants to be accepted into the multidisciplinary seminar focused on the Gilded Age, the period between the end of reconstruction to the turn of the century. The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has put on the seminar with sponsorship from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The seminar will be held at Stanford University in Stanford, California from July 14 to July 19 and will be led by Richard White, a Pulitzer Prize finalist historian and the Margaret Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford University, Haus remarked, “As a graduate student going through the Gilded Age, Richard White is someone that you read on your reading list not once but maybe three times.”
Haus earned his B.A. in American Studies from Penn State University, his M.A. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University and his Ph.D. in History at Bowling Green State University, with his specialty field focusing on 20th Century U.S. History, specifically the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. With the aid and graciousness of Provost Lynn Coy-Ogan, in calling attention to the availability of the seminars offered by the CIC, Haus was able to apply for a position.
The seminar not only stands to further Haus’s research agenda of locally focused Gilded Age Bangor and Gilded Age Maine, but also to benefit the students and teaching here at Husson. “One of the problems with teaching the Gilded Age is many people don’t have much background on it,” Haus explained, “but it has many similarities to the time period we’re living through. By understanding a little bit more about us, we would benefit from understanding the Gilded Age in its own right, and that there are some analogies we could draw and there are some things we could learn.”
In attending the seminar, Haus hopes to find strategies to not only make difficult historical matter accessible to students with little background on the Gilded Age, but also to implement a new way of teaching the general education course. Haus described his idea for a combination course to focus on the Gilded Age of Bangor. According to Haus, “You can see a lot of change in America that was going on even in your locales and in places like Bangor especially, and with a rich accessible past, it’d be great to have a course where students could work on that but also at the same time developing it as a project.” The project would not be a normal essay or paper, rather would be a continued effort of articles or pieces to be added to a website or online collection to be potentially utilized in a Walking Tour of Bangor, with aid from the Bangor Historical Society. In introducing a project like this, Haus explains, “You’re still hitting the same learning outcomes but it’s also important to have students recognize their role in the community and this is one way of doing that in general studies.” The Gilded Age seminar will be of a great asset to Haus’s current work, while also providing an opportunity for Husson’s academic growth.