This Week @MHS

Here’s a look at the programs we have planned for this week:

On Monday, 22 April at 10:00 AM: Celebrating National History Day in Massachusetts at the State HouseThe MHS, the state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts, invites legislators, teachers, and the general public to learn more about the National History Day (NHD) program and its important impact on students across the Commonwealth. NHD is a year-long interdisciplinary program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12. Over 5,000 students participate across Massachusetts each year, honing 21st-century skills like writing, research, and critical thinking that prepare them for active citizenship and success in college and career. We are grateful for the support of our partners, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Mass Cultural Council, and Mass Humanities. There will be a brief speaking program featuring student participants from NHD, followed by light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public! Location: Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase), 24 Beacon Street, Boston.

On Tuesday, 23 April at 5:15 PM: Boston’s North End: Post-World War II Italian Immigration, Segmented Assimilation, & the “Problem of Cornerville” with James Pasto, Boston University, and comment by Marilynn Johnson, Boston College. This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of segmented assimilation. Depending on age, gender, parental style, and opportunity, some immigrants assimilated “downward” into the Italian American street culture of the neighborhood, becoming more susceptible to the drug abuse and violence of the ‘70s and ‘80s, while others assimilated “upward” into a new Italian identity tied to the North End’s gentrification as an Italian neighborhood. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, 25 April at 6:00 PM: “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview ReceptionMHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question. Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor M&T Bank. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members and space is limited. Become a Member today!

Opening at the MHS on 26 April: “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote
Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?”  illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition will be open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM through 21 September.

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

M&T Bank logo

 

 

Please note that the reading room will close at 3:30 PM on Thursday, 25 April. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Please note that the MHS is closed on Monday, 15 April. Here is a look at the programs planned for this week:

On Tuesday, 16 April, at 5:30 PM: The Long 19th Amendment with Corinne Field, University of Virginia; Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and moderator Susan Ware, Schlesinger Library. With popular and scholarly attention focusing on the August 2020 centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, this session will explore “the long Nineteenth Amendment” stretching from the woman’s suffrage movement to second-wave feminism and beyond, with an eye toward continuities, challenges, and unfinished business. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

On Wednesday, 17 April, at 6:00 PM: The City-State of Boston: The Rise & Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630–1865 with Mark Peterson, Yale University. In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, Mark Peterson highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a path-breaking and brilliant new history of early America. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Thursday, 18 April, at 5:15 PM: Historians & Ethics: The Case of Anne Moody with Francoise Hamlin, Brown University, and comment by Chad Williams, Brandeis University. In the process of conducting research for her book project, Hamlin encountered an ethical conundrum regarding the papers of Anne Moody, author of the iconic autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi. This paper explores this case in depth and probes how historians should record the lives of those who might not have wanted to be found. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

Opening at the MHS on 26 April: “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote
Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?”  illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition will be open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM through 21 September.

This Week @MHS

Here’s a look at what is going on at the MHS this week:

On Tuesday, 9 April, at 5:15 PM: “The Dream is the Process:” Environmental Racism & Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980 with Michael Brennan, University of Maine, and comment by Daniel Faber, Northeastern University. When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment, and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities. To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 10 April, at 12:00 PM: “Our Fellow Creatures”: Discourses About Black People in Early American Scientific Societies with Andrea Nero, University of Buffalo. Although not officially recognized as scientific practitioners, scholarly societies, including the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, depended upon black people as sources of observation and subjects for inquiry in the eighteenth-century. While their discussions about them were littered with racism from a modern-day standpoint, a close examination of their discourse reveals a complicated relationship with race. This talk on a dissertation chapter in progress seeks to navigate this rocky terrain, where, for example, black people are depicted as both victims of white superiority and as ugly in their blackness. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 13 April, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, a teacher workshop. On 15 January 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s most unusual disasters: a devastating flood of molasses. The “Great Molasses Flood” tore through the city’s North End at upwards of 35 miles per hour, killing 21 and injuring 150 while causing horrendous property damage. With historian and author Stephen Puleo, we will explore how the flood is more than a bizarre moment in Boston history: it offers a lens into Boston and World War I, Prohibition, the anarchist movement, immigration, and the expanding role of big business in society. This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee). There is a $25 per person registration fee. Please note that this workshop is now full. If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Kate Melchior at kmelchior@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

The MHS is closed on Monday, 15 April.

This Week @MHS

Fashioning the New England Family closes on Saturday, 6 April. Stop by 1154 Boylston Street this week to see it and to attend a program. We have a seminar, a brown-bag lunch program, and a tour planned. Read on for more information.

On Tuesday, 2 April, at 5:15 PM: Naming Plantations in the 17th-Century English Atlantic with Paul Musselwhite, Dartmouth College, and comment by Cynthia Van Zandt, University of New Hampshire. The language of “plantation” in early Virginia and New England described a providential, public process intended to serve the interests of god and the commonwealth. How and why did this civic language become transformed into a place for the private pursuit of agricultural wealth? This paper uncovers the ways ordinary men and women grappled with the definition of plantation by systematically investigating the names they gave to the places they termed “plantations.” This is part of the Boston Area Seminar on Early American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Friday, 5 April, at 12:00 PM: The Shade of Private Life: The Right to Privacy & the Press in Turn-of-the-Century American Art with Nicole Williams, Yale University. This talk considers how American artists shaped the modern concept of “the right to privacy” in response to the increasingly invasive mass media of the Gilded Age. It examines diverse artworks by John White Alexander, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and others in relation to period critiques of the press and the emerging legal discourse on privacy protections. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 6 April, at 10:00 AM: The History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM through 6 April. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Looking for something to do this week? Stop by to see our current exhibition Fashioning the New England Family before it closes on 6 April. We also have a seminar, a panel discussion, and a tour planned.

On Tuesday, 26 March, at 5:15 PM: Carceral Culture with Melanie D. Newport, University of Connecticut—Hartford, and Morgan Jane Shahan, Johns Hopkins University, and comment by Elizabeth Hinton, Harvard University. This panel examines carceral culture in the twentieth century. Morgan Jane Shahan’s paper, “‘Making Good’: On Parole in Early 20th Century Illinois,” traces the experience of ex-prisoners, and exposes the negotiations between employers, voluntary organizations, prisons, and parolees. Melanie Newport’s chapter, “‘I’m Afraid of Cook County Jail’: Making Space for Women in Chicago’s Jails,” addresses how women both inside and outside Cook County jail contested the plan to double the jail’s capacity in the 1970s. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 27 March, at 6:00 PM: Reuse, Recycling, & Refashioning: Past, Present, & Future in Fashion with Linzy Brekke-Aloise, Stonehill College; Jay Calderin, Boston Fashion Week; Michelle Finamore, Museum of Fine Arts; and Pete Lankford, Timberland; and moderator Kimberly Alexander. Throughout history, garments have been handed down to be worn in different contexts or to be used as material to create something new. Our panel will talk about the history of reuse and refashioning as well as how designers today are using secondhand clothing or previously disposed of material in new ways. This panel will be the first in an annual lecture series in honor of President Emeritus Dennis Fiori in recognition of his leadership. The lecture series is made possible by gifts from friends of the Society. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Saturday, 30 March, 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM through 6 April. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on this week:

On Wednesday, 20 March,  6:00 PM: Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler with Peter Shinkle. This Cold War narrative brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a bright light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of “sexual perversion”, i.e. homosexuality, from any government job, and gays in the government were persecuted by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn in the Senate, and J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson at the FBI. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On Thursday, 21 March, 5:30 PM: Reckless Youth: Three Writers on their Youthful (Biographical) Passions with John Kaag, University of Massachusetts Lowell; Abigail Santamaria; Holly Van Leuven, and moderator Megan Marshall, Emerson College. Who are the new biographers shaping the future of the genre? What drove them to take up life writing at a young age? And what does a “youthful passion” for a biographical subject mean to a writer in retrospect? We’ve borrowed the title of Nigel Hamilton’s vivid narrative of JFK’s early years for this panel which features Holly Van Leuven, Ray Bolger: More than a Scarecrow; Abigail Santamaria, Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C.S. Lewis; and John Kaag, Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are, three writers who started in on their respective books in college or soon after—with the exception of Kaag, who looks back on his student infatuation from the perspective of a thirty-something father. Megan Marshall, whose Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast tells the life of her poetry professor, moderates. This is part of the New England Biography Seminar series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 23 March, 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on this week:

On Tuesday, 12 March, at 5:15 PM: Biological Exchange in the Pacific World in the Age of Industrial Sugarcane Plantations with Lawrence Kessler, Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, and comment by Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut. This paper traces how sugarcane planters directed circulations of plant and animal species in the Pacific World. This new biological exchange served the political and economic interests of the plantation owners and their allies. Planters, however, were unable to control the biological exchange processes they created. This paper thus argues that through the creation of new patterns of biological exchange, sugarcane plantations induced ecological changes throughout the Pacific World. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Thursday, 14 March,  6:00 PM: The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Immigrants in an Industrial Accident, with Stephen Puleo; Marilynn Johnson, Boston College; Jim Vrabel; and moderator Peter Drummey, MHS. Nearly 60 percent of Italian immigrants living in the North End in the early 20th century lacked legal citizenship, diminishing their political voice when the Purity Distilling Company erected a shoddily built molasses tank in their densely populated neighborhood. The tragedy that followed is a central event in Boston’s urban and immigrant history and still elicits questions as to the rights of non-citizen residents and the responsibilities of city governments to protect vulnerable communities. The final panel in our Molasses Flood Series will explore the social and political dimensions of immigration in Boston’s past, present and future. This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. 

On Saturday, 16 March, 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

On Saturday, 16 March, 10:00 AMPrimary Sources for Fashion & Costume History Research with Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire, and Sara Georgini, MHS. Antique textiles, images of historical figures, and material culture hold a wealth of information that can enrich personal stories, explain relationships, and contextualize the world that people occupied. However, these sources can seem daunting to explore. Two experts on fashion and material culture will guide you through unraveling the stories woven into history’s fabric. Please note that registration for this program is now closed.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week. Here is a look at what is planned:

  • Tuesday, 5 March, 5:15 PM: Washington, Lincoln, & Weems: Recovering the Parson’s Life of George Washington with Steven C. Bullock, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and comment by Elizabeth Maddock-Dillon, Northeastern University. This paper argues that Mason Locke Weems’s biography of George Washington built a bridge between Washington and the world of Abraham Lincoln and Ellen Montgomery. Weems’s stories were not just expressing early-19th century cultural commonplaces, but helping to create them. The paper connects these transformations with Weems’s work to recover Weems’s importance within his own time. This is part of the Boston Area Seminar on Early American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.
  • Wednesday, 6 March, 12:00 PM: A Meaningful Subjection: Coercive Inequality & Indigenous Political Economy in the Colonial Northeast with Peter Olsen-Harbich, College of William and Mary. This talk presents archaeological and documentary evidence of indigenous authority structures and law enforcement in northeastern North America in the period immediately prior to European settlement. It then evaluates European comprehension of indigenous mechanisms of rule enforcement, and the degree to which awareness of them factored into designs for colonization. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.
  • Wednesday, 6 March, 6:00 PM: Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family with Sara Georgini, MHS. Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family’s fortunes and young America’s future. Globetrotters who chronicled their religious journeys extensively, the Adamses ultimately developed a cosmopolitan Christianity that blended discovery and criticism, faith and doubt. Sara Georgini demonstrates how pivotal Christianity—as the different generations understood it—was in shaping the family’s decisions, great and small. This event is part of our Remember Abigail programming. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).
  • Thursday, 7 March, 5:15 PM: Mourning in America: Black Men in a White House with Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School, and comment by Elizabeth Hinton, Harvard University. This paper focuses on the 1980s HUD Scandal, wherein contractors, developers, lobbyists, HUD officials, and others misappropriated billions in federal monies set aside for low-income housing. Of particular interest are the intertwined stories of two African Americans: Samuel R. Pierce, Ronald Reagan’s HUD Secretary, and Kimi Gray, a Washington, D.C. public housing activist. In exploring these narratives, this paper aims to complicate our understanding of the “Black 1980s,” the Ronald Reagan-led White House, and democracy in post-civil rights America. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public. (Rescheduled from Feb. 21)
  • Saturday, 9 March, 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Please note that the reading room will open at 12:00 PM on Wednesday, 6 March. Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Here is a look at what is going on this week.

  • Tuesday, 26 February, 5:15 PM: Our Own Orient: Mecca, California, & Dates with Eleanor Daly Finnegan, Harvard University, and comment by Laura Barraclough, Yale University. Residents changed the name of Walters, California to Mecca in 1904. They were trying to use the exoticism of the Middle East to sell dates. This paper will focus on Mecca, California and the Indio Date Festival, looking at the complicated ways in which Orientalism has changed in the United States, its relationship to consumerism, and the economic connections made to the Middle East. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.
  • Wednesday,  27 February, 6:00 PM: You Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England, 1760s–1770s with Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire. Our guest curator will explore the social values placed on luxury and thrift in New England in the late 18th century. What messages were telegraphed by a person’s clothing and how were these understood? Did everyone in society read these messages the same way or were there statements only meant to be understood by a select few? A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).
  • Thursday, 28 February, 6:00 PM: The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor & the Molasses Flood with Stephen Puleo, Robert Forrant, Carlos Aramayo, and moderator Karilyn Crockett. After the collapse of an industrial tank of molasses left a North End neighborhood devastated, a legal battle for reparations ensued, prompting questions about the role and responsibilities of businesses within a community. Using the Molasses Flood as an historical backdrop, this panel will explore questions around labor rights and safety, the function of government regulations and the relationship between the public and big business interests; issues that still resonate today as modern Bostonians grapple with a changing corporate landscape and city-wide gentrification. This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House and is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. This program will be held at Old South Meeting House.
  • Saturday, 2 March, 10:00 AMThe History & Collections of the MHS. This is a 90-minute docent-led walk through of our public rooms. The tour is free and open to the public. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.

This Week @MHS

Please note that the MHS is closed on Monday, 18 February; the building will open at 5:00 PM for visitors attending the evening program. Here is a look at what is going on this week:

  • Monday, 18 February, at 6:00 PM: Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation with Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post Associate Editor. Steve Luxenberg presents a myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

  • Tuesday, 19 February, at 5:30 PM: Panel: Feminist Economics with Danielle L. Dumaine, University of Connecticut, and Julie R. Enszer, University of Mississippi, with comment by Juliet Schor, Boston College. These papers begin a conversation on the intersection of the study of the women’s liberation movement with the history of capitalism. Danielle Dumaine’s paper, “Sisterhood of Debt: Feminist Credit Unions, Community, and Women’s Liberation,” examines the role of Feminist Credit Unions in the women’s liberation movement. Julie Enszer’s paper, “‘a feminist understanding of economics based on a revolutionary set of values’: Feminist Economic Theories and Practices,” looks at the feminist organizations that created the Feminist Economic Network. This is part of the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality series. Seminars are free and open to the public. This seminar will take place at the Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute.

  • Wednesday, 20 February, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM: Teaching the Industrial Revolution in Massachusetts. Lowell’s water-powered textile mills catapulted the nation–including immigrant families and early female factory workers–into an uncertain new industrial era. Nearly 200 years later, the changes that began here still reverberate in our shifting global economy. Hosted in partnership with the Tsongas Industrial History Center, this workshop will explore the history of industrial growth in New England and its impact on immigration, labor movements, women’s rights, and communities in New England and beyond. This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee). There is a $25 per person fee. This workshop will be held at the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, Mass. For questions, contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

  • Thursday, 21 February, at 5:15 PM: Mourning in America: Black Men in a White House with Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School, and comment by Elizabeth Hinton, Harvard University. This paper focuses on the 1980s HUD Scandal, wherein contractors, developers, lobbyists, HUD officials, and others misappropriated billions in federal monies set aside for low-income housing. Of particular interest are the intertwined stories of two African Americans: Samuel R. Pierce, Ronald Reagan’s HUD Secretary, and Kimi Gray, a Washington, D.C. public housing activist. In exploring these narratives, this paper aims to complicate our understanding of the “Black 1980s,” the Ronald Reagan-led White House, and democracy in post-civil rights America. This is part of the Boston Seminar on African American History series. Seminars are free and open to the public. 

  • Thursday, 21 February, at 6:00 PM: Uncivil Society with Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University; Michael Tomasky, Democracy; and Robin Young, WBUR and NPR. American political discourse has become so dysfunctional it is hard to imagine reaching a national consensus on almost anything. Longstanding historical fault lines over income inequality, racial division, gender roles, and sexual norms coupled with starkly different senses of economic opportunity in rural and urban America have fueled a polarized political landscape. Julian E. Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, and Michael Tomasky, If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved, and Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR and NPR, will discuss how we got here and if there is a way back. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM; the speaking program begins at 6:00 PM. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

  • Saturday, 23 February, 10:00 AM: The History & Collections of the MHS. Join is for a 90-minute docent-led walk through of the public rooms of the MHS. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.   

Fashioning the New England Family is open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The exhibition explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition is organized as part of Mass Fashion, a consortium of cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts.

Take a look at our calendar page for information about upcoming programs.