SUNY Historians Network Pilot Series: U.S. History 

The SUNY HistoryLab encourages scholarly exchange and connections across SUNY campuses. It sponsors a SUNY Historians Network Webinar Series (open to any interested attendees) and the eventual digital curation of SUNY-based historical research for public use in and beyond New York State. 

Our pilot webinar series focuses on U.S. history. In coming years, based on interest and participation across campuses, webinars will feature topics ranging from specialized research to teaching, public work, roundtables, and more.

Please register if you wish to attend an upcoming webinar. All are welcome to attend. The webinars will be recorded, and the recordings will be available on the Playlist below. 

If interested in organizing a future webinar or participating in the SUNY HistoryLab, please visit the SUNY HistoryLab website or contact SUNY HistoryLab Director Dr. Michael J. Kramer, Associate Professor, History, SUNY Brockport,

2024 SUNY Historians Network Pilot Series Webinar Schedule

Voting Rights and Voices from Beyond: Exploring Suffrage and Spiritualism

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Garner Masarik, Asst. Professor of U.S. History, SUNY Brockport

March 28, 2024, 5:00 PM -7:00 PM

Description: My current research examines the interconnections between women who practiced Spiritualism, a religion born in western New York’s “burned-over-district" that spread like wildfire throughout the nineteenth century, and other  reform movements, such as the effort to deliver the vote to women. While other historians, such as Anne Braude, have traced Spiritualism’s influence on reform movements prior to 1865 and the Civil War, my preliminary research reveals that the connection between Spiritualism and suffrage remained strong well into the twentieth century. It intersected with other reform efforts such as the Grange and Populist movements. Highlighting understudied leaders, such as Carrie E.S. Twig, this project is neither only a study of Spiritualism, nor of women’s suffrage, but instead an analysis of how the intersection between the two movements allows us to see previously undiscovered facets of the women’s rights movement and reveals long-forgotten suffrage leaders from New York State who went on to shape national politics in the United States into the Progressive Era and beyond it. Dr. Masarik will present her research followed by a discussion. All are welcome to attend and participate.

Bio: Dr. Elizabeth Garner Masarik is an assistant professor of U.S. history at SUNY Brockport. She specializes in U.S. women’s history and gender. She is the author of The Sentimental State: How Women-led Reform Built the American Welfare State. She is the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Virginia Radley SUNY Fellowship. She is a founder and co-producer of the award-winning podcast, Dig: A History Podcast. She is the co-author of the forthcoming book Spiritualism’s Place: Reformers, Seekers, and Séances in Lily Dale. She is the recipient of the A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize for the best article on women’s history for 2019 from the Southern Association of Women. Dr. Masarik earned her PhD and MA from the University of Buffalo and her BA from the University of Texas.

Beyond the City: Re-Placing the Gilded Age and Progressive Era In New York State and Beyond

Presenters: Dr. Kevin Sheets, Professor, Department of History, SUNY Cortland  &   Dr. Randi Storch, Professor, Department of History, SUNY Cortland

April 25, 2024, 5:00 PM -7:00 PM


Edited by Drs. Kevin Sheets and Randi Storch, Beyond the City (under contract with SUNY Press) asks when and where was the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. It argues for a new approach to the period that challenges its typical urban focus and periodization. By “re-placing” the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, we introduce instructors to place-based pedagogy that aligns with the new scholarship of the era and decenters the traditional urban-only narrative. Using New York State as a model approach, and building on a series of National Endowment for the Humanities-funded workshops attended by SUNY comprehensive campus historians, we are assembling a selection of curated primary sources and focus questions suitable for classroom use. These highlight new approaches that use the concept of place to teach the historical period. Each contribution starts with a particular place in New York, but expands from there to show how urban and rural geographies were interrelated, interdependent, and tied to transnational economies, people, and politics. Our pedagogical framing will help instructors use our methods and heuristics to create lessons that offer an expanded and deeper understanding of the period. 

Drs. Sheets and Storch will introduce the project, followed by brief presentations of particular sections by participating SUNY historians and a discussion. All are welcome to attend and participate.

Bios:  Dr. Kevin Sheets is a professor of history and chair of the department at SUNY Cortland. He is the author of Sources for America’s History, a two-volume collection of primary sources for AP and college survey courses published by Bedford/St. Martin’s Press and articles on cultural and educational history. He has organized and chaired many sessions with K-12 teachers focused on history pedagogy at professional conferences, including at the annual meetings of the National Council for History Education and the American Historical Association. He has been awarded three U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History (TAH) grants, administering close to $3 million in grant funding for teacher professional development. Sheets and Dr. Randi Storch co-directed five previous NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops and Summer Institutes. With Dr. Storch, he authored "A Case for the Adirondacks: Forever Wild in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era", History Matters (2016) and “Roughing It (With Servants of Course)” for the Humanities Magazine (August 17, 2020).

Dr. Randi Storch is a professor of history at SUNY Cortland.  She is a leading labor historian and recipient of the 64-campus SUNY System’s highest honor, the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is author of Working Hard for the American Dream: American Workers and their Unions, 1920 to the Present and Red Chicago: American Communism at Its Grassroots, 1928-1935. She co-directed five previous NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops and Summer Institutes. Dr. Storch has collaborated with Dr. Sheets on TAH grants and has published on labor history and on pedagogy, helping teachers incorporate labor and working-class history into their classrooms.

Multiple Methods for Haudenosaunee History

Presenters: Dr. Montgomery Hill, Department of Indigenous Studies, SUNY Buffalo; Dr. Maeve Kane, Department of History, SUNY Albany; Dr. Michael Oberg, Department of History, SUNY Geneseo

May 1, 2024    5:00 PM -7:00 PM

Description:  In this roundtable on indigenous and Native American history, Drs. Hill, Kane, and Berg will present three different approaches to Haudenosaunee History. Dr. Hill will speak about the medium of written linguistic documentation, focusing specifically on Tuscarora, but also situating material in a broader context of the linguistic study of the Indigenous languages of North America. Dr. Kane will discuss digital social network analysis, material culture, and Indigenous studies methods. Dr. Oberg will discuss his work on the “1779 Project,” which explores when then President George Washington became a hanadahguyus (village burner) in Western New York as well as his earlier work on the Iroquois, the United States, and the Treaty of Canandaigua that offers a glimpse of how native peoples participated in the intercultural diplomacy of the New Nation and how they worked to protect their communities against enormous odds.


Dr. Montgomery Hill is an assistant professor in the Indigenous Studies department at SUNY University at Buffalo and a citizen of the Tuscarora Nation Beaver clan. His research looks at indigenous languages, indigeneity on a global scale, as well as exploring/creating relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, communities, and systems of thought. Beyond the academic, he is engaged in community work as ceremonial custodian. He was also awarded a Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship for his work on translation and the Haudenosaunee Great Law of Peace, a project which integrates indigenous knowledge with linguistic analysis. Currently, he is writing a monograph entitled “Making Tuscarora: Life, Death, and Language” about his experiences in language revitalization as a student, teacher, and language activist. His work has been supported by the American Philosophical Society and the Humanities Institute at SUNY University at Buffalo. 

Dr. Maeve Kane is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University at Albany.  Her first book, Shirts Powdered Red: Haudenosaunee Gender, Trade and Exchange Across Three Centuries with Cornell University Press, uses digital social network analysis, material culture, and Indigenous studies methods to argue that Haudenosaunee women used clothing to protect their nations’ sovereignty.  She is the co-author of a new textbook on American women’s history in addition to several articles on material culture and Indigenous history, and her current project examines how objects are used to express ideas about race, gender, and nationhood in commemorations of the American Revolution.  Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New-York Historical Society, and the New York State Archives, and she is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Michael Leroy Oberg is Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY-Geneseo and founder of the Geneseo Center for Local and Municipal History, which he directed from 2019 until 2022. He has written the textbook, Native America, now in its third edition with Wiley Blackwell, and the following works: Dominion and Civility: English Imperialism and Native America, 1585-1685 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999); Uncas: First of the Mohegans (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003); Samuel Wiseman’s Book of Record: The Official Account of Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2005); The Head in Edward Nugent’s Hand: Roanoke’s Forgotten Indians (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007); the first edition of Native AmericaProfessional Indian: Eleazer Williams’s American Odyssey (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015); and Peacemakers: The Iroquois, the United States, and the Treaty of Canandaigua, 1794 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015). He has published, as well, articles and reviews, and has worked as a historical consultant for native communities in New York and North Carolina, as well as for the Indian Resources Section of the United States Department of Justice. He has won awards for his teaching and research in Montana and in New York, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

"The Abortion Menace": African Americans and Abortion, 1950-1972

Presenter: Dr. Kori A. Graves, Department of History, SUNY Albany

June 6, 2024   4:00 PM -6:00 PM

Description:  This project explores print media representations of and political responses to African American physicians involved in abortion cases and the abortion rights debates of the 1950s and 1960s. During these decades, sensational newspaper and magazine stories prominently featured the arrests and prosecutions of African American physicians who provided illegal abortion services to African American and white clients. Such pieces frequently characterized these physicians as unethical professionals who took advantage of vulnerable women for profit. Print media coverage of the “abortion menace” also often lumped African American physicians in with uncredentialed or untrained providers associated with dangerous “back-alley” abortion rings. Although these publications suggested a clear divide between ethical physicians and those who provided illegal abortions, my research investigates the ways that physician-turned-politician Dr. Dorothy Brown’s pro-abortion stance challenged this simplification of African American physicians’ medical, moral, and political motives.

Bio:  Dr. Kori A. Graves is an Associate Professor of History at the University at Albany, SUNY. Dr. Graves’s research interests allow her to pursue questions that evaluate the significance of political and popular representations of gender, race, nation, and family. Her book, A War Born Family: African American Adoption in the Wake of the Korean War, tells the story of the first African Americans who adopted Korean children, and the ways their efforts revealed the contested nature of adoptive family formation across national boundaries and color lines. She teaches courses about gender and women’s history, the history of marriage and family, and histories of the body, beauty, and identity politics in the US. A dedicated educator, Dr. Graves has also won awards for teaching excellence.

Contact Us

                                   For questions, please contact Lynn Ann Hinds McCoy,, SUNY Center for Professional Development.