Burnham Macmillan Lecture Series

Department speakers and events were on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Margaret Macmillan taught in the Department of History at Western Michigan University from 1920-34 and again from 1944-69. She was a historian of America with an emphasis on religion. She made a gift from her estate to open this fund in memory of her father, Dr. Smith Burnham, the first Department of History chair.

This fund aims to foster the intellectual and professional development of the department by supporting faculty travel expenses for research and professional presentations and visiting lecturers. The Burnham Macmillan Lecture Series supports lectures by senior and junior scholars from other universities to introduce new research projects and discuss the state of the field. Lecturers provide a 40 to 45 minute presentation, which is followed by a 10 minute commentary by a Western Michigan University historian and questions and answers with the audience.

Burnham Macmillan 2020-21 lecture Series

Dr. David Trowbridge, Marshall University , Thursday November 21, 2019 5:15pm-7:30pm Fetzer Center, Putney Hall
Dr. David Trowbridge, Associate Professor of History and Director of African and African American Studies, Marshall University. Dr. Trowbridge is a specialist in 19thcentury United States history and is also the developer of Clio, a free public history website and app that connects users with the history and culture around them.
Dr. Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Princeton University, Thursday March 12, 2020 5:00pm-7:00pm Fetzer Center, Putney Hall: "Epistemicide: the Roman case"

Assistant Professor of Classics, Princeton University. Dr. Peraltas research relates to the Roman Republic and early Empire.His connection with the series theme relates to his public scholarship, which studies reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in modern America and Latin America, including writings about Greco-Roman connections with contemporary discussions of the Black Atlantic, hip hop, and immigration, race, and other issues. He has written for the public in publications such as The Guardian, Vox, The New York Times, and Newsweek.


Burnham MacMillan 2018-19 Lecture Series

"The Queen of Numbers: Madame Stephanie St. Clair, Harlem’s Numbers Racket, and Community Advocacy"
Dr. Lashawn Harris, Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University
February 7, 2019 4-5:30pm Fetzer Center
"Bandits and Rebels: Convicts’ Lives and Experiences in Nineteenth-Century South and Southeast Asia"
Dr. Anand Yang, Professor and Chair, University of Washington
Thursday April 4, 2019 4-5:30pm, Fetzer Center

Burnham MacMillan 2017-18 Lecture Series

"Food and Drink in History"

Dr. Patrick McGovern (UMass-Amherst) "Ancient Ales". Thursday April 19, 2018, 4 to 6 pm


Dr. Paul Freedman (Yale University) "The Formation of American Cuisine"
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 4 p.m.

Click here
for prior themes and presenters