On Thursday, November 2nd, members of the history department gathered in the Chair’s Office to honor the life and work of renowned historian of the early modern world and marginalized people, Natalie Zemon Davis.
After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1959 with her Ph.D., Professor Davis’ first teaching position was in the Department of History at Brown University. As one of the first female history professors in the United States, she worked tirelessly to help create a field that was held together by rigorous scholarship, intellectual curiosity, moral clarity, and empathy for other peoples' experiences. The networks of supportive relationships she helped forged over the course of her long career span the globe.
To honor her legacy, Kate Elizabeth Creasey, a current Ph.D. Candidate in the department, organized a gathering by sharing memories of her time working as Professor Davis’ research assistant in Toronto. Other faculty members shared memories of correspondence and cherished interactions they had with Professor Davis. Many reflected on how her work had been meaningful to their own scholarship, including one of Professor Davis’ graduate students from Princeton — Paul Cohen, who lives in Providence but teaches at the University of Toronto.