Thomas Hedley Reynolds Professor of History
This professorship was established in 1989 with gifts from members of the Board of Trustees and others to honor Thomas Hedley Reynolds, who served for 22 years as the fifth President of Bates College. President Reynolds is credited with dramatically growing the faculty, and he placed teaching at the center of the college’s rising national reputation. Reynolds was a historian at Middlebury College before coming to Bates, and the professorship was established to honor a historian.
Karen Melvin, Professor of History
Professor Karen Melvin joined the Bates faculty in 2005, teaching the history of Latin America from the Aztecs to the present in courses that focus on how the region connects to other parts of the world. She has played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Program in Latin American Studies. In her research, Karen examines the impact of the Catholic church in colonial Latin America, from charities that infused money into the region to the Inquisition. She is the principal investigator for Reading the Inquisition, a digital history project that makes Inquisition cases available in Spanish transcriptions and English translations. Karen is the author of Building Colonial Cities of God: Mendicant Orders and Urban Culture in New Spain, 1570-1800 (Stanford University Press, 2012) and co-editor, with Sylvia Sellers-García, of Imagining Histories of Colonial Latin America: Essays on Methods and Practice (University of New Mexico Press, 2017).