Ph.D., NYU (2006)
B.A., Yale (1992)
Prof. LaCombe has taught at Adelphi since 2004 and has taught almost twenty different courses in that time, from The Caribbean to an Honors Seminar in American Cultural History. His course on Food in US History was the first on the subject in the College of Arts and Sciences, and he now teaches four different courses in his core subject, Early America (five, if you count History 215/Tudor-Stuart England).
His service work has also been broad, beginning with his efforts to redesign the History Department's 201/Sophomore Seminar and to design and implement an assessment of that course. He has served on the General Education Committee, the Assessment Committee, the Senate Committee on Academic IT, and the Provost's Committee on Academic Integrity, which he co-chairs as of 2023 in his role as Academic Integrity Officer. He has also served on various task forces, search committees, and ad hoc working groups.
His research at the time he started at Adelphi focused on the subject of his dissertation, published as a book by Penn Press in 2012. After that, he continued the themes of the book into research on knowledge production in early modern travel writing, publishing an article on that subject in 2021. During a sabbatical leave spent in part researching manuscript sources at Hofstra's Long Island Studies Institute, he was introduced to the story of Robert Williams and Sarah (Washburn) Williams of Lusum, a strange place they imagined on the site of what is today Jericho. Lusum has been the focus of his research in recent years.
Professor LaCombe was raised in the forest near the little village of Paris (Maine) and has lived in big, bad Bath Beach, Brooklyn, since 2014 in the house his lovely wife grew up in. His oldest daughter has finished college and left home, and his younger daughters are toiling away in middle and elementary school.
Together they like to travel when they can and when they can't to explore New York City, visit museums and the theater, and try new restaurants. At home, Professor LaCombe is an avid cook and reader; he fusses continually with his photographs, of which he takes far too many; he tries to improve his gardening (his fig tree is bountiful; his persimmon, not so much); and he spends all the time that remains fixing a house that never seems to stay fixed.
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