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Fact Finding: Juniata Professor to Lecture on Research

(Posted September 2, 2008)

David Sowell, professor of history

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- David Sowell, professor of history at Juniata College, will lecture on the painstaking art of historical research in the Bookend Seminar, "Pencils and PCs: The Pleasures and Pains of Archival Research," at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Bookend Seminar series features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

Sowell will detail his research experiences in historical archives in the United States and Mexico as he studied the relationship between Mexican federal public health programs and public health programs in the Mexican state of Yucatan after the Revolution of the 1910s.

Sowell spent the spring semester of the 2007-2008 academic year in Mexico investigating historical archives for the Yucatan public health system. Sowell's work will emphasize the social assistance program of the "Henequeneros de Yucatan," a social program founded by local officials as a means of maintaining social control over workers in the face of efforts by the federal government to bring revolutionary change to the Mexican countryside.

Sowell's research interests focus on the social history of Latin America, focusing mainly on labor history and the history of medicine. He has written two books exploring these topics, including "The Tale of Healer Miguel Perdomo Neira: Healing, Ideologies, and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Andes (2001)" and "The Early Colombian Labor Movement: Artisans and Politics in Bogotá, 1832-1919" (published in1992). He is currently writing and researching his third book, "A History of Social Violence in Latin America."

Sowell joined the Juniata faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor of history. He was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and was promoted to full professor in 2001. From 1996 until 1999. Sowell served as assistant academic dean and director of international programs

Sowell received the Junior Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994. He earned an A.B. degree in history from Western Kentucky University in 1975, and a bachelor's degree in history from Grand Valley State College in 1976. He earned a master's degree in 1980 and a doctorate in 1986, both from the University of Florida.
He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Latin American Studies Association, the Southeastern Conference of Latin American Studies and the Conference on Latin American History.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.