Professor Serena Zabin named Carleton’s next Broom Faculty Fellow in Public Scholarship

April 5, 2019

The Office of the Dean of Carleton College has named Serena Zabin the Broom Faculty Fellow in Public Scholarship. The three-year appointment is supported by a generous gift from Dorothy Broom, Carleton Class of 1966, and is designed to deepen the academic focus of civic engagement by fostering the public scholarship in which Carleton faculty and students engage. Zabin's appointment succeeds professor of sociology Annette Nierobisz, whose three-year term concludes at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

Zabin earned her PhD in history at Rutgers University and joined the faculty of the history department at Carleton in 2000. Today she is a professor of history and director of the American studies program.

Her primary research focuses on early American history and gender and women’s history. She is currently completing a book on the origins of the American Revolution, titled The Boston Massacre: A Family History. The book focuses on the extensive personal interactions between troops and their families and townspeople, challenging the traditional narrative of the “massacre” that created its iconic place in the history leading to the American Revolution. Zabin was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship to support completion of the book.

Zabin has also engaged students in her research, collaborating with Carleton students using digital tools to map the personal networks in colonial Boston that help explain the events of the 1770 shootings. She and her students have worked closely with historians from the Old State House museum in Boston to develop materials to educate and enhance the experience of museum patrons. This includes development of a computer game, “Witness to the Revolution,” that can help museum patrons understand the contradictory nature of witness statements and complexity of understanding historical events. Zabin’s deep interest in public history is reflected in her teaching, in which she regularly engages students in civic engagement projects to enhance how publics learn and think about history.  

 For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of the College at (507) 222-4303.