Runaway slaves who fled to Union lines during the Civil War were known as “contrabands” because of their inclusion in the category of seizeable enemy property under the First and Second Confiscation Acts. The pervasive references to “contraband” in the press, on stage, and in political cartoons suggest that “contraband” became the primary representation of slavery and slaves during the Civil War, much in the way that “Uncle Tom” had in the 1850s. This talk will explore the ways in which contraband men and women enacted their own representations of their changing status and slave experience and through everyday performance in the contraband camps, challenging competing representations of race, gender, and slavery in the process.
Confiscated Voices: Representing the Slave Experience during the American Civil War12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
What "The Federalist Papers" Are Not12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
When and why did The Federalist become The Federalist Papers? What role did the essays play in the ratification debates? Can Publius be considered an authoritative source for interpreting specific sections of the Constitution – or for discovering its inner meaning?
Ray Raphael’s latest book is Constitutional Myths: What We Get Wrong and How To Get It Right. His previous works include Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive, Founding Myths, A People’s History of the American Revolution, and The First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord.
Betwixt Brewings: A History of College Students and Alcohol12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
The project traces the historical roots of contemporary concerns about college students' alcohol use. The brown bag session will specifically focus on college students and alcohol between 1820 and 1860. The diaries that antebellum college men kept reveal students' drinking behaviors, the meanings they made from alcohol, and their reactions to and involvement in the temperance movement.
19th-Century Narratives of Transgender Experience & the History of Possibility12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
In the 1880s, the field of sexology declared masculine women to be inverts—true homosexuals. Prior to this period, representations of gender crossings were more varied and common. Such representations shine a spotlight on some of the most obvious anxieties concerning women’s place in society as well as the constitutive relationships between sex, gender, and sexuality.
"The Spirit of Enterprise excited by the Acquisition of Louisiana": New Englanders and the Orleans Territory, 1803-181212:00 PM - 1:00 PM
The Book Madness: Charles Deane and the Boston Antiquarians12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
A discussion of research into a hub of bibliomaniacs associated with the early years of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Among the circle of learned historians, friends of dusty research and poetry, were George Livermore, Charles Deane, Alexander Young, and Edward Crowninshield. Livermore was fond of bibles and illustrated and large paper copies, and Deane kept minutes of his painstaking bibliographic and historical research on fly-leaves, margins, memoranda, and scraps of paper scattered between the pages of his 13,000 books. Together, these amateur men of letters provide a unique outlook on the culture of book collecting and the formation of private and public libraries in mid-19th-century America.
Speculation Nation: Land Speculators and Land Mania in Post-Revolutionary America12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
This project reconstructs the business and political methods of post-revolutionary land speculators, aiming to trace the causes and consequences of the early republic's first wave of large-scale land speculation, from 1776 to 1812. In routing their capital through the new nation’s most important resource, land speculators situated themselves at the center of contentious debates about property, equality, and political economy in a democratic republic. Speculators sought to profit off the extension of the United States' revolutionary republican society; in the process, their methods shaped and changed the Revolution's outcome.