Elsa Mendoza
Office
Axinn Center 328
Tel
(802) 443-4011
Email
emendoza@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Spring 2023: Mon-Wed 3:45PM to 5PM (AXN328), Friday 1:30PM to 2:30PM (Zoom appointment only) and by Calendly appointment at https://calendly.com/emendoza-midd
Additional Programs
Black Studies History

Elsa Mendoza joined Middlebury in the fall of 2021. She teaches classes on the history of slavery, capitalism, and African American life in the early United States. Her research focuses on the lives of people enslaved at universities as well as the financial connections between slavery and higher education in the United States.  Mendoza’s work on slaveholding at Jesuit colleges has been published in the Journal of Jesuit Studies and Slavery & Abolition. With Adam Rothman, she is the co-editor of Facing Georgetown’s History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation (Georgetown University Press, 2021) and the associate curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive. Her current book project is a study of slaveholding at Jesuit schools across the country, tentatively titled Property of the College: Slavery and the Making of Jesuit Education in the United States.

Mendoza received her PhD in History from Georgetown University. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright-Garcia Robles foundation, the Cushwa Center for the study of American Catholicism, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, and Harvard University’s Warren Center for the Study of American History.

When she is not teaching or writing, Professor Mendoza is probably listening to a baseball game. She is, first and foremost, an LA Dodgers fan. 

 

Courses Taught

Course Description

Baseball, Society, and US History
In this course we will use baseball as our lens to examine a broad range of issues in U.S. history from the Civil War to the 20th Century. Baseball’s past will allow us to understand social and cultural change by delving into topics such as capitalism, class, gender, identity, immigration, labor rights, and race. We will read autobiographies, box scores, newspaper accounts, and scholarly monographs that trace the evolution of America’s pastime from a leisurely activity to a multimillion-dollar industry. Class activities will allow students to develop reading, writing, and presentation skills, receiving feedback on their progress throughout the term. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.*

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, CW, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Slavery and Freedom in the American North
In this course we will study how the “American North,” constituted by New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, became a place of enslavement. Although often treated as a cradle of freedom, we will explore how the region’s colonists imported African slaves and enslaved and exported Native Americans. Through lecture, discussion, and primary sources, we will examine the transatlantic slave trade of Africans and Native Americans, the communities built by enslaved and free people, the impact of the American Revolution, the creation of gradual abolition statues, and the perpetuation of enslavement until the Civil War. We will also grapple with the role of memory in history, as the region’s slaveholding past is often ignored by its inhabitants. 2 hrs lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

African American History
In this course we will examine the history of African Americans from the rise of the transatlantic slave trade to the present. The course will reveal how African Americans actively shaped their history and the history of the United States as an American nation. We will explore topics such as the Middle passage, African American slave cultures, enslaved resistance, emancipation, the rise of legalized segregation, mass migrations, and the continuing struggles for equality. We will approach the subject matter using a variety of primary and secondary sources that focus on the experiences of individuals such as enslaved narratives, autobiographies, documentaries, and oral histories. 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, HIS

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Course Description

Race, Medicine, and Health in U.S. History
In this course we will explore the historical relationships between race, medicine, and public health in the United States from colonial times to the present. Through a series of case studies that include epidemics such as smallpox, yellow fever, and COVID-19, we will trace the origins of racial classification and its impact on medical care. Our topics include the management of illness in colonial times, the relationship between medical schools and slavery, the eugenics movement, immigration restrictions, the use of minorities as experimentation subjects, the fight against medical discrimination, and the current struggles for health care access. We will approach these subjects through sources such as scholarly publications, diaries, documentaries, medical journals, oral histories, and print media. 2 hrs lect./1 hr. disc. (Counts for HSMT credit)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Universities and Slavery in America
In this seminar we will explore and compare the different histories of enslavement at schools across the country from colonial times to the present. Some of the questions we will answer include: what was the importance of slavery in the development of higher education? How did people experience enslavement in schools? How did universities perpetuate slavery culture? The class will also consider the emerging debates over reparations and restorative justice and the role of students in these developments across the country. Using our knowledge of other institutions, students will research Middlebury’s place in this history. 3hrs sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR

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Course Description

Special research projects may only be taken during the Junior or Senior year, preferable after taking HIST 0600. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Independent Study I
The optional History Senior Thesis is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. Approval is required. Students submit thesis proposals in the spring before the year that they choose to write their thesis. Students generally begin their thesis in the fall and complete it during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring. All students must attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops in fall and winter semesters and work with a faculty advisor to complete a 55-70 page paper. Please see detailed guidelines under history requirements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study II
With departmental approval, senior history majors may write a two-term thesis under an advisor in the area of their choosing. The final grade is applied to both terms. Students must submit thesis proposals in the spring before the academic year that they choose to write their thesis. They must attend the Thesis Writers' Workshops held in the fall and winter of the academic year in which they begin the thesis. The department encourages students to write theses during the fall (0700) and winter terms (0701), but with the permission of the chair, fall/spring and winter/spring theses are also acceptable. Under exceptional circumstances, the department may approve a thesis initiated in the spring of an academic year and finished in the fall of the following year. Further information about the thesis is available from the department.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

View in Course Catalog

Publications

Books 

Editor, with Adam Rothman, Facing Georgetown’s History: Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation at Georgetown (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2021).

Articles 

“Enslaved on Campus: Displaced Lives, Families, and Religion at Georgetown College,” Slavery and Abolition.  Doi:10.1080/0144039X.2022.2131397 

“Catholic Slaveowners and the Development of Georgetown University’s Slave Hiring     System, 1792-1862,” Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 8 (2021): 56-80.  Doi:10.1163/22141332-0801P004

Book Chapters

Slaveholding, and Jesuit Record Keeping in the Maryland Province” in Engaging Sources: The Tradition and Future of Collecting History in the Society of Jesus (Boston:        IJS Studies: Research on Jesuits and the Society of Jesus, 2021). Doi: 10.51238/ISJS.2019.11