Claire Howard

Claire Howard
Major and research focus:

Howard is a history major and she is the first Baker Nord Center Humanities Scholar, whose (summer 2019) research was focused on an analysis of a woman’s diary written in 1877.   

Project title and synopsis:

Howard’s project was titled “A Woman’s Diary:” A View of a Woman’s Life in Nineteenth Century Cleveland, Ohio

Howard's synopsis of her research: "When a diary is written it can serve many purposes, though it is frequently a confidante. Women’s diaries are especially important sources to study to accurately understand and contextualize women’s lives unrecorded in any other medium. The diary “A Woman’s Diary” housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society, is written by a single mother living in the Cleveland area in 1877. The diary diverges from the commonplace entries of the time when her descriptions of life turn dark, and she begins to show signs of clinical depression. Her candid tone in the diary reveals a rebellious dislike of the tedious chores she feels expected to do, as well as her perceived duty to her church. This interplay between her dislike of social expectations and community obligations creates an interesting backdrop that informs our deeper understanding of women’s lives in the period as well as resulting mental health issues. These details make her account of her 1877 Cleveland life invaluable for understanding what a woman actually felt in this time period." 

Research mentor and funding source:

Her research mentor was Renee Sentilles, PhD, who is an Associate Professor of History in the department of history.

Howard was funded by SOURCE through the Provost Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (PSURG) and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) program.  

Biggest learning moment while doing research:

"Being able to translate what this woman said and to provide meaning to that which written down, approximately 150 years ago,” Howard said. 

Service and Leadership at CWRU:

Howard serves in leadership roles within the Phi Mu Sorority (VP of Committees), the CWRU Academic Integrity Board and has been inducted into the History Honors Society. 

Aspirations for the future:

Howard aspires to continue doing historical research and is exploring future opportunities in her current major and other fields within higher education.