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  • PHA 2018 Conference Poster Session
  • Linda Ries

The Pennsylvania Historical Association sponsors a poster session at its annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students to present their research as emerging scholars in the field of Pennsylvania and mid-Atlantic history. Posters are divided between graduate and undergraduate levels with one prize for graduate students and first and second places at the undergraduate level. At the Fall 2018 meeting held October 11–13 in Lancaster, there were no graduate entries. The two winning undergraduate posters are reproduced on the following pages, along with their abstracts. A list of all entries follows.

Special thanks goes to Jeanine Mazak-Kahne of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Paul Fetzer of Misericordia University for organizing the posters, and very special thanks to Millersville University for their support.

First Place: Arion Dominque and David Michael, Messiah College; Bernardo Michael, faculty advisor. Poster: Spaces of Fear: Race, Housing, and Travel in South Central PA

abstract: Our poster explores the daily experiences of African Americans and other minorities in south-central Pennsylvania in the twentieth century with regard to housing and travel. It details the various difficulties that these groups encountered in the basic pursuit of equitable housing opportunities and safe travel/temporary lodging; a pursuit mired in socially enforced and legalized segregation and arising from long-standing white anxieties about people of color. African Americans and other minorities had to learn how to navigate segregated landscapes in ways that their white counterparts were exempt from. Whites not only enjoyed a life free from racial restrictions but also actively worked to protect that privilege. The anxiety of harassment and harm while traveling, the financial disenfranchisement caused by housing restrictions such as racially restrictive covenants and redlining, and the denial of equal opportunities for housing and amenities for travel worked to create spaces of fear for immigrants and racially marginalized groups. [End Page 287]

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Figure 1.

First-place poster: Spaces of Fear: Race, Housing, and Travel in South Central PA

Second Place: Dominic Boston, Westminster College; Timothy Cuff, faculty advisor. Poster: Examining the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

abstract: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 was one of the most catastrophic infectious diseases to affect humankind. Pennsylvania suffered some of the highest levels of mortality in the United States. This project focuses on the mortality consequences of the 1918 influenza in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. This poster presents results of an analysis of the characteristics and timing of deaths due to influenza/pneumonia in Lawrence County and illuminates the nature of the pandemic and its impact on a mid-sized industrial town in Pennsylvania. Mortality patterns in Lawrence County show characteristics unique to pandemic [End Page 288] influenza. These include significant mortality totals in people aged twenty-five to forty-four, higher deaths among males than females, and similarly timed peaks of mortality when compared to larger cities like Cleveland, Ohio. This project uses death certificates as a primary source for the development of mortality patterns experienced in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Death certificates for Lawrence County residents and visitors who perished due to either influenza or pneumonia (all forms) from 1916 through 1920 were collected, digitized, and analyzed. Fields recorded include sex, color/race, marital status, birth date, occupation, death date, primary and secondary causes of death. During the second and third waves of the pandemic, 369 men and 320 women died in Lawrence County. Over a third of the people who died from September 1918 to March 1919 were aged between twenty-five and forty-four.

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Figure 2.

Second-place poster: Examining the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

[End Page 289]

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Figure 3.

First-place co-winner Arion Dominque is congratulated by PHA president Allen Dieterich-Ward.

[End Page 290]

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Fgure 4.

Second-place winner Dominic Boston and faculty advisor Timothy Cuff.


Eryn Brady, York College of Pennsylvania: Racism and Fragmentation: York County Public Schools and Desegregation

Nikol Damato, Slippery Rock University: Sovereignty and Autonomy in Colonial New England: Restoration of the Charter...


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