AHA Member Spotlight: Hannah M. Lane
Hannah M. Lane is an associate professor of history at Mount Allison University and an adjunct professor of history at the University of New Brunswick. She lives in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, and has been a member since 2010.
Alma mater: PhD, University of New Brunswick, 2004
Fields of interest: Maine, New Brunswick, religion, demography, burial grounds, freemasonry
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?
My parents and an outstanding Grade 12 teacher were interested in the Indigenous rights movement as well as in Acadian history. But my primary research focus has been on the southwest corner of the province where my family had a summer camp on re-wilded land that had been salt water wharfs and farms occupied by Loyalists and immigrants from the British Isles. I worked in tourism and in a collectibles store before going to graduate school part time, while supporting myself on the side by teaching extension courses in music history for “absolute beginners.”
What do you like the most about where you live and work?
Though the town and university are very small, I still have more arts, nature, or activist events than I ever have time to go to, and yet am only a few minutes away from forest, marshes, or the Bay of Fundy. Enrollments are manageable and the downsized scale keeps one from living in an intellectual or social silo.
What projects are you currently working on?
Anti-slavery in the Maine-New Brunswick borderlands.
What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever found at the archives or while doing research?
Not intellectually significant but the most entertaining: while reading the Maine Congregationalist newspaper on microfilm, I found excerpts mocking one of my ancestors for his misguided career as a balloonist and “vagabond.”
Is there an article, book, movie, blog etc. that you could recommend to fellow AHA members?
What do you value most about the history discipline?
History can encompass so much and be so eclectic in sources and methods. We are like ecologists in the faculty of science, constantly having to reign in our interests in order to get things done.
Why is membership in the AHA important to you?
My courses cover a wide chronological and geographical scope and even just skimming the journal helps with that. I use the AHA booklets on archives and student papers in my upper-level courses and from the website/blog share the public history/current affairs material in a variety of settings.
AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, Perspectives Daily features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.
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