Canadian-American Center Fellow Feature: Hannah Schmidt

University of Maine PhD student, Hannah Schmidt, is one of several recipients of a New England-Atlantic Provinces-Quebec (NEAPQ) Fellowship for Spring 2023.

The NEAPQ Fellowship is offered by the Canadian-American Center and the University of Maine Graduate School. It is available to graduate students in disciplines that focus on Canada or Canada-US relations. Each academic year, the fellowship provides a $20,000 stipend, tuition waiver, and 50% of University issued health insurance. The award is available to citizens of any country.

Schmidt learned about the fellowship through the University of Maine History department. For any students hoping to earn this fellowship in the future, Schmidt says, “Really look into all the Center has to offer. The Center has been such a huge source of support for me while I am pursuing my degree as well as to many others in my grad cohort and in such a variety of ways. From fellowships to Foreign Language and Area Studies awards, and even opportunities to travel to Canada, the Canadian-American Center has a lot to offer and can provide awesome opportunities for professional development!”

According to Schmidt, “[Her] dissertation focuses on captivity in the Northeastern North America from the 1630s to the 1760s. The project emphasizes a spatial framework that reveals new historical insights into the captivity narratives that were produced in that period as well as brings into focus the captivities of Indigenous and other non-white peoples that are often studied separately from the captivity narratives of white colonists.”

Prior to her time at University of Maine, Schmidt received her BA and MA in History from the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. According to Schmidt, the reason she chose to come to UMaine is “The PhD program at UMaine seemed like the perfect place to bring together my interests in Colonial and Indigenous history in the Northeast as well as a place where exploring new research methods and frameworks is encouraged.”

Other awards that Schmidt has received for her work include the Phillips Fund Grant from the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia (Nov. 2021), the Short Term Fellowship with Massachusetts Historical Society and the Society for Colonial Wars in Boston (Summer 2020), and the Bowen Research Scholarship in Canadian History from the UMaine History Department (Fall 2019) for her research.

Schmidt enjoys taking her dogs, Willow and Roger, on hikes through the woods and around Bangor. After graduate school, she hopes to work at a historical society or university where she also hopes to continue working on public history projects and presentations that prioritize marginalized voices and narratives.