Seminars & Events

Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference

On March 29 at George Washington University, four Saint Mary's students will present their research at the Phi Alpha Theta Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. The history department wishes them the best of luck.

SMP Spotlight

Lawrence MacCurtain, "Rhapsody in Red: Classical Music and American Wartime Perceptions of the Soviet Union," 2011.  

"My SMP experience was both challenging and rewarding.  While considering the role of Russian classical music in shaping popular American perceptions of the USSR during WWII, I had the opportunity to conduct exciting research.  I was able to discover unique primary sources at the archives of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Bobst Library at NYU.  Ultimately, my historical findings were surprising and provocative." 


Program Highlight

Historic St. Mary's City

The Colonial History Concentration takes advantage of our special relationship with Historic St. Mary's City, the first capital of Maryland and a colonial archeological site, research facility, and museum.


Calendar of Upcoming Events 

"Constantine and the Future of Christianity"  
Professor Peter Brown will speak at St. Mary's Hall on Thursday, October 24th at 8:00pm. Professor Brown is the Rollins Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He is among the most renowned historians in the world and is credited as being one of the creators of the field of late antiquity history (the third through the eighth centuries, approximately).The lecture deals with the views of the develpment and future of Christianity held by leading Christian thinker, Eusebius of Caesarea, in the reign of the emperor Constantine. In light of thse views, it will consider the limits of the possible for the emperor Constantine and those around him. In so doing, it may help to avoid the anachonism of ascibing to the first Christian emperor views of what he could do that were not thinkable in his own times. 

"Marriage and the Family in Ancient Rome: From Pagan to Christian"
This talk by Judith Evans Grubbs who is widely regarded as the world's leading authority on Roman Marriage should be of interest to a wide audience. You may well be surprised at both how modern and how enlightened many aspects of Roman Marriage were. Dr. Evans-Grubbs holds an endowed professorship at Emory University. She has written numerous articles and books about Roman marriage. All are welcome.

Her talk is this coming THIS THURSDAY April 11 at 4:10 in Cole Cinema.

"Jazz as a Cold War Weapon"

Please join us for Larry Appelbaum's (Senior Music Reference Specialist at the Library of Congress, jazz writer, and dj) presentation on Jazz as a Cold War Weapon on April 4 at 4:10 in Cole Cinema.



This year's series allows us to explore the ways in which the Holocaust, its memory and its discourse, shaped national and communal politics decades after it ended. In Yugoslavia, the realities of the Cold War transformed the ways in which the nation remember the sufferings of its Jewish population. In Argentina, during its military dictatorship, the memory of the Holocaust both moved people into action and defined the Jewish community's reactions to state terrorism.

This series will employ exhibits and talks by experts in the Holocaust field. Check out the updated brochure for details and dates! This series has been made possible thanks to the support of the Lecture and Fine Arts committee and the Departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies, International Languages and Cultures, and History. For questions, contact Dr. Adriana Brodsky at

Past Events

"The Dynamics of Underground Filmmaking in China"

Paul Pickowicz, professor of history at the University of California, San Diego, will be giving a talk on the current state of Chinese film making. Pickowicz is a leading scholar on the history of Chinese cinema and has published several books and articles on the subject. His latest book,

China on Film: A Century of Exploration, Confrontation, and Controversy (2011), discusses the history of Chinese filmmaking from its origins in the early twentieth century through the experimental films of the post-Mao era (click here for the listing for his book). For his talk, Pickowicz will utilize clips from a wide variety of recent films. It is scheduled to take place Thursday, November 8, at 8 pm in Cole Cinema.

This talk is sponsored by the History Club, Asian Studies Club, the Lecture and Fine Arts Committee, History Department, Asian Studies Program, Theater, Film & Media Studies, and International Languages and Cultures.




The Soviet Union had a great tradition of science fiction, which has remained largely unknown in the US. These films dramatize issues of the threats and potential of technology, the limits and nature of humanity, and fear of the other, with some class conflict and socialist utopian dreaming thrown in. They also showcased stunning special effects, which now come across as pleasingly retro.

Sept. 25: Aelita (Iakov Protazanov, 1924, 104 minutes)

A rocket engineer dreams of a Communist revolution on Mars, where everyone wears Constructivist clothes. A Soviet Metropolis.

Oct. 11: Planet of Storms (Pavel Khlushantsev, 1961, 78 minutes)

Could Venus be the birthplace of humanity? Will carnivorous plants eat our heroes before they find out? Anticipates Ridley Scott’s Prometheus by 50 years.

Oct. 23: Pilot Pirx’s Inquest (Marek Pestrak, 1979, 95 minutes)

Paranoid androids plot to take over a spaceship on a flight to Saturn and kill Pilot Pirx. Based on a story by Stanislaw Lem.

Nov. 6: Amphibian Man (Gennadii Kazanskii and Vladimir Chebotarev, 1962, 97 minutes)

Will the son of a scientist live his father’s dream to flee the corruptions of the world to an underwater paradise? Do gills make the man?


Sponsored by the History Department.



Karen Offen

This year’s Alice Fleury Zamanakos Endowed Lecture in History will took place on Wednesday, 3 October 2012. The speaker was Karen Offen, a historian affiliated with the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University in California. In this illustrated lecture, Offen reviewed the complex history of women’s quest for citizenship -- and especially political rights – around the world. 2012 is an election year in the United States, yet many do not realize that women’s suffrage in this country was not handed to women on a golden platter, but was fought for from 1848 to 1920. Campaigns in other democratizing nations were equally fascinating and hard-fought.

To learn more about Karen Offen, you can visit her website at