Massachusetts Historical Society Conferences

Save the date for this upcoming conference!


"'So Sudden an Alteration': The Causes, Course, and Consequences of the American Revolution"

NEW DATE: 9-11 April 2015


The organizers invite essay submissions for this conference, to be held in recognition of the 250th anniversary of the passage of the Stamp Act. The program will be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston and is co-sponsored by the MHS, Boston University, the David Library of the American Revolution, and Williams College. This conference aims to break out of the well-worn grooves of historical inquiry that have defined the study of the Revolution for the past fifty years. The program is designed to promote two types of conversations, shaped by: 1) traditional questions of origins and consequences addressed from new perspectives; and 2) questions of intersection—how the Revolution either affected or redirected longer-term patterns of change. We hope that the conference will bring into focus key themes that will inspire future scholarship. In particular, the organizers are seeking papers that address issues of politics and ideology, the impact of military developments and military actions on society, and the course of Revolution in New England. Scholarship need not focus on Massachusetts or New England and may address the impact of the Revolution on the broader Atlantic world. The conference organizers seek papers that speak to these themes and questions in an innovative way and may reserve some slots for invited scholars. Aside from the keynote speaker, presenters will not deliver their papers aloud; the papers under discussion will be available at the Society’s website to registered attendees approximately one month before the program. Submissions should include a one-page description of up to 500 words and a short c.v. with current contact information. Send proposals to Conrad Edick Wright, Director of Research, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215, or by email to Deadline: February 21, 2014.

Questions? Contact Kate Viens, Research Coordinator, at or 617-646-0568.

For more than two decades, the Massachusetts Historical Society has been offering scholarly conferences on a wide variety of topics. These have ranged from the libraries of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, to Transcendentalism, Boston's business community before the Civil War, the city's environmental history, and recent immigration to the U.S.

Presenters come from throughout the U.S. and are leading scholars in their respective fields. Often, conferences culminate in a publication of essays that are drawn from the program and represent a lasting contribution to historical scholarship.

Past Conferences

Massachusetts and the Civil War: The Commonwealth and National Disunion

What's New about the New Immigration to the U.S.? Traditions and Transformations since 1965 (2011)

Margaret Fuller and Her Circles (2010)

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson: Libraries, Leadership, and Legacy (2009)

I-CHORA 3: International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (2007)

Power and Protest: The Civil Rights Movement in Boston, 1960-1968 (2006)

Remaking Boston: The City and Environmental Change Over the Centuries (2006)

Women, War, Work: American Women and the U.S. Military in the Twentieth Century (2004)

"Spires of Form": The Emerson Bicentennial Conference (2003)

For information about earlier conference programs, please contact Kate Viens, Research Coordinator, at 617-646-0568 or

Conference Publications

From its first conference volume on American Unitarianism, issued in 1989, to Margaret Fuller and Her Circles, forthcoming from the University Press of New England, the MHS has made the scholarship developed through its conferences widely and permanently available to the field.

The MHS publication series Studies in American History and Culture comprises many of these volumes. More recently, MHS conference volumes published by other presses have given our conference scholarship an even wider reach. Peruse these essay collections.

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