The MHS offers an engaging roster of programming to foster historical knowledge and we welcome everyone to attend, question, and contribute. We provide a forum for debate; host a variety of programs that delve into the complexities of history; and encourage people to share their observations, interpretations, and ideas. MHS programs include author talks, conversations, panel discussions, gallery tours, brown-bag lunches, seminars, conferences, and exclusive events for Members and donors. If you missed a program or would like to revisit the material presented, our videos page has many past programs.

September 2021
Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy 23 September 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Please RSVP   Virtual event Nathaniel Philbrick MHS is happy to invite its members and members of the public to join a free online book talk with ...

MHS is happy to invite its members and members of the public to join a free online book talk with Nathaniel Philbrick. The event, hosted by American Ancestors/NEHGS, the Boston Public Library, GBH Forum Network, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Porter Square Books, will explore the new book Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy.

In this book, Philbrick tackles the question “Does George Washington still matter?” He argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were then an unsure nation. In the fall of 2018, Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called “the infant woody country” to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first-person voice about his own adventures with his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick follows Washington’s presidential excursions. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington’s and Philbrick’s eyes.

To register, please visit: AmericanAncestors.org/Inspire

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Online Event, Member Event, Special Event Writing History: An Extended Q&A with Nathaniel Philbrick 23 September 2021.Thursday, 7:30PM - 8:15PM Please RSVP   Virtual Event Nathaniel Philbrick Ryan J. Woods, Executive VP and COO at New England Genealogical Society and American Ancestors.org, and Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society This program is co-sponsored by American Ancestors/NEHGS, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and ...

This program is co-sponsored by American Ancestors/NEHGS, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Porter Square Books.

Ryan J. Woods, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of American Ancestors/NEHGS, will be joined by Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, for further Q&A with Nathaniel Philbrick. He will answer your questions about his inspirations, research, and process behind writing Travels with George and his other works of American history.

This is an online program for MHS Members and Fellows only. Separate registration is required for this Zoom meeting which follows Philbrick’s 6–7 pm virtual book talk. Ticket cost of $50 includes Q&A event link (nontransferable) and personalized signed book shipped priority mail.

For more information and to register, please visit: AmericanAncestors.org/Inspire.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/1927poems_wheatleylg.jpg Public Program A Revolutionary Encounter in London: A historically-based play written and directed by Debbie Wiess 27 September 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Play Cathryn Philippe, Steve Auger, actors On May 8, 1773 enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley left Boston to travel to London to ...

On May 8, 1773 enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley left Boston to travel to London to promote her book of poetry Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, to be published there later that summer. During her six week stay Phillis would have the opportunity to meet many notables, one of whom was American founding father Benjamin Franklin. The play recounts the meeting of these two Colonial American icons. A special version of the full-length play will be presented as a staged reading. Local actors Cathryn Philippe and Steve Auger are featured in the roles of Miss Wheatley and Mr. Franklin.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/mhs067-evening.jpg Graduate Student Reception 28 September 2021.Tuesday, 3:30PM - 4:30PM Online Event Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please join us at our twelfth annual Graduate Student ...

Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please join us at our twelfth annual Graduate Student Reception for students in history, American Studies, and related fields. This year we invite you to join a virtual gathering to learn about the resources the MHS offers to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our seminar series.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/lf.jpg Author Talk, Public Program The Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front 30 September 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Event Charles R. Gallagher, S.J., Boston College The Nazis of Copley Square provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the ...

The Nazis of Copley Square provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the American far right. The men of the Christian Front imagined themselves as crusaders fighting for the spiritual purification of the nation, under assault from godless Communism, and they were hardly alone in their beliefs. Gallagher chronicles the evolution of the Front, the transatlantic cloak-and-dagger intelligence operations that subverted it, and the mainstream political and religious leaders who shielded the Front’s activities from scrutiny. This grim tale of faith perverted to violent ends serves as a warning for those who hope to curb the spread of far-right ideologies today.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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October 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/sgp-vol-27-p082-083_no-background_for_web.jpg Disability and the American Past, Public Program An Introduction to Disability History 7 October 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Please RSVP   Online Event Beth Linker, University of Pennsylvania; Kim E. Nielsen, University of Toledo; Rabia Belt, Stanford Law School; moderated by Naomi Rogers, Yale School of Medici This conversation will aim to orient us in the field of disability history and serve to lay the ...

This conversation will aim to orient us in the field of disability history and serve to lay the groundwork for subsequent conversations in this series. How is disability used as an analytical tool in historical inquiry? Why is it important to center disability as a defining social category, like race, class, gender, and sexuality? How have definitions of disability varied through history, and what have been the social and cultural impacts of this shifting understanding? This conversation will present a brief history of the field and examine the foundational and emerging scholarship through a moderated, roundtable discussion with our panelists.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/00OpeningOurDoors.jpg Walking Tour Sold Out: Opening Our Doors 9 October 2021.Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:30PM In-person Only Event SOLD OUT! The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, ...

SOLD OUT!

The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone. Join us for a walking tour of the Fenway neighborhood starting at 11:00 AM and again at 2:00 PM. Tour participants will meet at the MHS building at 1154 Boylston Street, Boston 02215. 

The 11:00 AM tour is sold out. Please look for the other listing of the 2:00 PM tour. 

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Walking Tour Opening Our Doors 9 October 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM In-person Only Event The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and ...

The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone. Join us for a walking tour of the Fenway neighborhood starting at 11:00 AM and again at 2:00 PM. Tour participants will meet at the MHS building at 1154 Boylston Street, Boston 02215. 

Please use this events RSVP link to register for the 2:00 PM. The 11:00 AM tour is sold out. 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar, Disability and the American Past “This milestone in their development as property”: Black Developmental Normalcy and White Developmental Disorder in Early Child Medicine, 1820 – 1865 U.S. 12 October 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelsey Henry, Yale University Comment: Evelynn Hammonds, Harvard University This paper investigates “developmental asynchrony,” the mismatch between a sexually ...

This paper investigates “developmental asynchrony,” the mismatch between a sexually overdeveloped body and an underdeveloped mind, as a sign of racial degeneration fueled by sexual disorder in early child medicine. While developmental asynchrony was considered a hallmark characteristic of the Black race, similar developmental timing and patterning in white children inspired professional panic about developmental disorder and the dissolution of racial types. This paper proposes that medical theories of developmental normalcy and aberrancy are integral to telling stories about the co-constitution of race, gender, and sexuality and their conceptual and material entanglements in the antebellum U.S.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

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Disability and the American Past, Public Program Disability and the History of Medicine 13 October 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Dierdre Cooper Owens, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jaipreet Virdi, University of Delaware; Michael Rembis, University at Buffalo Medicine and technology impact the lived experiences of disabled people in many ways. Advances ...

Medicine and technology impact the lived experiences of disabled people in many ways. Advances improve people’s lives, however many of these have come at the cost of invasive diagnostic technologies, the medicalization of human conditions, and endless quests for cures. Doctors have performed experiments on the poor and disempowered; especially enslaved Black and institutionalized people who had limited public voice. Writing medical history must include disabled people and use their experiences as analytical lenses for understanding historical events. Taking inspiration from the disability rights movement and the interdisciplinary field of disability studies, our discussion will delve into what has been written as traditional medical history and how we can tell a more complete story.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Her_Socialist_Smile.jpg Seminar, Biography Seminar, Disability and the American Past Her Socialist Smile: a Film Screening 16 October 2021.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM Hybrid Event John Gianvito, Emerson College; Carolyn Forché, Georgetown University Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College In his new film, John Gianvito, known for passion projects of expansive shape and political ambition ...

In his new film, John Gianvito, known for passion projects of expansive shape and political ambition, meditates on a particular moment in early 20th-century history: when Helen Keller began speaking out on behalf of progressive causes.  Beginning in 1913 when, at age 32, Keller gave her first public talk before a general audience, Her Socialist Smile is constructed of onscreen text taken from Keller’s speeches, impressionistic images of nature, and newly recorded voiceover by poet Carolyn Forché.  The film is a rousing reminder that Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion and a reception.

The New England Biography Series invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Please note, the films screening will take place only at the MHS, but the panel discussion will be a  hybrid event which may be attended either in person or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to join the program.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online (discussion only)

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Disability and the American Past, Public Program Disability in Early America 18 October 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University; Nicole Belolan, Rutgers University; Laurel Daen, University of Notre Dame; moderated by Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS Our panel will explore how disability functioned in early America from personal, political, and ...

Our panel will explore how disability functioned in early America from personal, political, and cultural perspectives. What did disability mean in the early United States and how does it differ from our ideas about disability today? How did disability operate as a political and legal category in the colonial period, and how did it change in the early republic? What can material culture tell us about the lived experience of persons with disabilities in the era? This conversation will situate disability as a framework through which we can better understand the early lives of Americans and their often contested national and cultural identity.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg Seminar, African American History Seminar, Disability and the American Past Her Yet Unwritten History: Black Women and the Education of Students of Color with Disabilities in the New South 19 October 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Jennifer Barclay, University at Buffalo Comment: David Connor, CUNY Historians have recognized the role of Black women educators in schools throughout the south, work ...

Historians have recognized the role of Black women educators in schools throughout the south, work associated today with well-known figures like Mary McLeod Bethune, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and Mary Church Terrell. Little has been written, however, about lesser known Black women educators like Susan Lowe, Amanda Johnson, and Effie Whitaker, who made essential contributions to the early education of children of color with disabilities in the south. This essay will consider the critical work of these women who represent just a handful of the many Black women who recognized the overlapping effects of racism and ableism in the lives of disabled students of color.

The African American History Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is an exclusively online event. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Books_for_Debate.jpg Public Program The American Revolution from Two Perspectives: A Debate 23 October 2021.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   In-person and streamed online, Pre-program reception at 2:30 Gordon Wood, Brown University; Woody Holton, University of South Carolina; Moderated by Catherine Allgor, MHS Gordon Wood and Woody Holton are both distinguished scholars of the American Revolution. But they ...

Gordon Wood and Woody Holton are both distinguished scholars of the American Revolution. But they approach the founding very differently, as you can see from their just-published books. Join them as they debate their conflicting interpretations. 

Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution by Gordon Wood
Americans explored and debated all aspects of politics and constitutionalism—the nature of power, liberty, representation, rights, the division of authority between different spheres of government, sovereignty, judicial authority, and written constitutions. Gordon Wood illuminates critical events in the nation's founding and discusses slavery and constitutionalism, the emergence of the judiciary as one of the major tripartite institutions of government, the demarcation between public and private, and the formation of states' rights.

Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton
Using eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. Woody Holton Looks at the origins and crucial battles of the Revolution, always focusing on marginalized Americans—enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters—and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease.

Free for Members and Fellows as well as EBT or Connectorcare cardholders. $20.00 for non-members. Not a member? Become one today!

Please note, the live-streamed portion will be held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Public Program, Disability and the American Past Disability Activism: A Historical Perspective from some of the Leading Activists in Massachusetts 27 October 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Heather Watkins, Charlie Carr, Keith Jones, John Chappell , Fred Pelka and moderator Malia Lazu The disabilities rights movement, like many rights movements, has been complex, coming from a ...

The disabilities rights movement, like many rights movements, has been complex, coming from a variety of different perspectives, but at its heart, it has been a movement for justice, equal opportunities and reasonable accommodations. Massachusetts has played a unique role in this struggle and this conversation will aim to introduce the story of disability activism in Massachusetts. Our panel includes current activists and historians of this movement. Through a moderated, roundtable discussion, our panelists will explore their experiences, their inspirations, the history of the movement and what they hope to see in the future of disability activism.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar, Disability and the American Past “The Virus of Slavery and Injustice”: Analogy and Disabled Life in African American Writings, 1856-1892 28 October 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Vivian Delchamps, University of California, Los Angeles Comment: Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been &lsquo ...

Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been ‘like’ disability in the late nineteenth century,” this essay explores texts by African American authors Charlotte L. Forten, Martin Robison Delany, and Frances E.W. Harper. Harper’s novel Iola Leroy renders slavery a “virus,” “deadly cancer,” and “wound,” necessitating cure; simultaneously, the novel depicts lived realities of disability, disrupts diagnostic reading practices, and takes a care-based, rather than curative, approach to disability itself.  The essay thus reads literature as a generative site for asserting ableism’s centrality to the legacy of racial violence, and explores the value of using diagnostic-like narrative methods to target systemic sources of mass debilitation.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is an exclusively online event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend online

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November 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Seminar, Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: TBA This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the ...

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/cfp_image.jpg Looking Back at the Centennial and the Sesquicentennial: How Far Has Research on the 15th and 19th Amendments Come? 6 November 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 4:30PM Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware; Lisa Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University Moderator: Alex Keyssar, Harvard University Join us for a special retrospective keynote panel to reflect on the scholarship presented at the ...

Join us for a special retrospective keynote panel to reflect on the scholarship presented at the 2020 Conrad E. Wright Research Conference, “Shall Not Be Denied: The 15th and 19th Amendments at the Sesquicentennial and Centennial of their Ratifications.” This conference revisited the long journey to secure voting rights for African Americans and women in United States history. It considered the legal precedents and hurdles that each amendment faced, the meaning and uneven outcomes of each, the social context that allowed for ultimate ratification, the role of key individuals and groups in these respective contexts, and how each amendment has been remembered over time. This panel will take stock of this cutting-edge scholarship and consider the state of the field a year after the commemorative events of 2020. The session will be followed by a reception. 

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Conversion in Confinement 9 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Justin Clark, Nanyang Technological University; Daniel Bottino, Rutgers University Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through ...

This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through the lens of carceral conversions. Daniel Bottino’s essay will explore the 38 page conversion narrative of Patience Boston, a Native American woman hanged for murder in York, Maine, in 1735. The document offers an extraordinary opportunity for an exploration of religious culture in New England on the verge of the Whitefieldian awakenings of the 1740s.  When examined in its proper historical context, the narrative reveals the spiritual power capable of being wielded even by the most socially marginal people in the intensely religious atmosphere of early eighteenth-century New England. Justin Clark’s essay will show that as Congregationalist New England’s eighteenth-century revivalists offered a brief window of spiritual hope for thousands of sinners, civil authorities began to extend additional periods of time to the region’s condemned convicts. This paper examines the emergence of these extended capital reprieves and their relationship to the accelerated spiritual conversions outside gaol walls. What role did the revivals play in encouraging New Englanders before the penitentiary to re-conceive of carceral time as transformative in itself?

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Making_History_Gala/MakingHistoryGala_logo_2021.jpg Events, Special Event 2021 Making History Gala 16 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 8:30PM  In-Person EventFairmont Copley Plaza138 St. James Ave. | Boston 5:30 ...

 In-Person Event
Fairmont Copley Plaza
138 St. James Ave. | Boston

5:30 pm
Sponsor Reception with Heather Cox Richardson

6:00 pm
Cocktails & Dinner program
business or cocktail attire


Professor Richardson teaches nineteenth-century American history at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. Her early work focused on the transformation of political ideology from the Civil War to
the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. It examined issues of race, economics, westward expansion,
and the construction of the concept of an American middle class. Her history of the Republican
Party, To Make Men Free (2014) examines the fundamental tensions in American politics from the time of the Northwest Ordinance to the present. She is currently working on an intellectual history of American politics and a graphic treatment of the Reconstruction Era.

 

Tickets and Sponsorships

 

 

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Literary Distinction in Historical Writing 2021: An evening with the Society of American Historians Prize Winners 18 November 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Online Event Afia Atakora, Novelist; Brianna Nofil, College of William & Mary; Christopher Tomlins, Berkeley Law Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College, SAH past president Since its founding in 1939, the Society of American Historians has worked “to promote literary ...

Since its founding in 1939, the Society of American Historians has worked “to promote literary distinction in the writing of history” by conferring membership and honoring outstanding works.  The 64th annual Francis Parkman Prize, awarded to Christopher Tomlins for In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History, recognizes “literary merit” in a nonfiction book that “makes an important contribution to the history of what is now the United States.” Afia Atakora’s novel, Conjure Woman, is the fifteenth winner of the SAH’s biennial Prize for Historical Fiction, which recognizes narrative skill and authentic portrayal of the past.  Brianna Nofil’s “Detention Power: Jails, Camps, and the Origins of Immigrant Incarceration, 1900-2002” received the 61st Allan Nevins Prize for a doctoral dissertation. Megan Marshall, herself a Parkman Prize winner, will interview the authors on their work and aims as historical writers. 

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the platform Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for attending. 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Reinvention of Tradition: Conformist Nationalism in the United States, 1923-1931 30 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelly Lyons, Boston College Comment: Jonathan Hansen, Harvard University In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, ...

In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, and immigration, nationalist organizations in the United States standardized many of the patriotic rituals and traditions Americans performed in their daily lives. This Nationalist Network, led by the American Legion and U.S. Flag Association, grew increasingly right-wing in this period, inventing and reinventing patriotic traditions to “Americanize” those who were already citizens and control their behavior to adhere to white, upper middle-class norms. These traditions reinforced existing racial and class hierarchies and defined American nationalism along exclusionary principles.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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December 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg Seminar, African American History Seminar “Challenge or Be Challenged”: the Par-Links Black Women’s Golf Club in East Bay, CA 2 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Paula C. Austin, Boston University Louis Moore, Grand Valley State University The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, ...

The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, Oakland California. Using photographs, organizational documents, and scrapbooks, this paper examine the possibilities and realities of Black leisure, recreation, and community care and play practices before the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It places Par-Links in the context of the burgeoning sport, the development of Black golf clubs, and within the local and national fights to desegregate public golf courses and professional golf in US Civil Rights Movement histories. 

The African American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Crisis: 1774-1775 7 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sarah Beth Gable, Brandeis University Comment: Donald Johnson, North Dakota State University This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American ...

This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American Revolution, particularly the role they played in punishing community dissent and compelling ideological allegiance to the Revolutionary cause. This chapter highlights these committees' activities in the aftermath of the passage of the Massachusetts Government Act in May 1774 and argues that this period served as a training ground for later reprisals against community members. During this period, Massachusetts saw the most dramatic actions against suspected loyalists – the Committees deployed mobs to suspected loyalists' homes, detained Colonial officials, and drove others out of the towns into Boston. This paper argues that the heightened tension of the moment created an atmosphere of suspicion and conspiracy under which the definition of loyalism began to broaden.

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg Seminar, Digital History Seminar Digitizing Early Massachusetts Court Records 9 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sally Hadden, University of Western Michigan Comments: Jessica Otis, George Mason University; Susanna Blumenthal, University of Minnesota Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of ...

Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of colonial court documents in North America, covering the entirety of the eighteenth century. This seminar explores the process of transcribing, annotating, and presenting this information via Mirador, the browser-based interface that gives the end user control over how much or how little information to display. The database used to capture annotations and make them searchable using complex queries will also be described. This project is underwritten by the Ames Foundation and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

The Shapiro Digital history Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “The Kind of Death, Natural or Violent”: Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston 14 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Hannah Smith, University of Minnesota Comment: Nora Doyle, Salem College This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is ...

This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is meant to offer his (male) midwifery students the skills to serve as expert witnesses in infanticide trials. However, Channing also uses the lecture to promote his opinions of both infanticide and intentional abortion. This chapter focuses on the language Channing uses to frame these acts, as well as the nature of the lecture itself as a form of communication, in order to establish how this lecture fits within the broader discussions around infanticide, abortion, and man-midwifery taking place in the Anglo-Atlantic world at this time.   

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930 ...

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy Please RSVP   23 September 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Virtual event Nathaniel Philbrick

MHS is happy to invite its members and members of the public to join a free online book talk with Nathaniel Philbrick. The event, hosted by American Ancestors/NEHGS, the Boston Public Library, GBH Forum Network, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Porter Square Books, will explore the new book Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy.

In this book, Philbrick tackles the question “Does George Washington still matter?” He argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were then an unsure nation. In the fall of 2018, Philbrick embarked on his own journey into what Washington called “the infant woody country” to see for himself what America had become in the 229 years since. Writing in a thoughtful first-person voice about his own adventures with his wife, Melissa, and their dog, Dora, Philbrick follows Washington’s presidential excursions. The narrative moves smoothly between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries as we see the country through both Washington’s and Philbrick’s eyes.

To register, please visit: AmericanAncestors.org/Inspire

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Online Event, Member Event, Special Event Writing History: An Extended Q&A with Nathaniel Philbrick Please RSVP   23 September 2021.Thursday, 7:30PM - 8:15PM Virtual Event Nathaniel Philbrick Ryan J. Woods, Executive VP and COO at New England Genealogical Society and American Ancestors.org, and Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This program is co-sponsored by American Ancestors/NEHGS, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Porter Square Books.

Ryan J. Woods, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of American Ancestors/NEHGS, will be joined by Catherine Allgor, President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, for further Q&A with Nathaniel Philbrick. He will answer your questions about his inspirations, research, and process behind writing Travels with George and his other works of American history.

This is an online program for MHS Members and Fellows only. Separate registration is required for this Zoom meeting which follows Philbrick’s 6–7 pm virtual book talk. Ticket cost of $50 includes Q&A event link (nontransferable) and personalized signed book shipped priority mail.

For more information and to register, please visit: AmericanAncestors.org/Inspire.

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Public Program A Revolutionary Encounter in London: A historically-based play written and directed by Debbie Wiess Register registration required at no cost 27 September 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Play Cathryn Philippe, Steve Auger, actors Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/1927poems_wheatleylg.jpg

On May 8, 1773 enslaved African-American poet Phillis Wheatley left Boston to travel to London to promote her book of poetry Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, to be published there later that summer. During her six week stay Phillis would have the opportunity to meet many notables, one of whom was American founding father Benjamin Franklin. The play recounts the meeting of these two Colonial American icons. A special version of the full-length play will be presented as a staged reading. Local actors Cathryn Philippe and Steve Auger are featured in the roles of Miss Wheatley and Mr. Franklin.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Graduate Student Reception Register registration required at no cost 28 September 2021.Tuesday, 3:30PM - 4:30PM Online Event Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/mhs067-evening.jpg

Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please join us at our twelfth annual Graduate Student Reception for students in history, American Studies, and related fields. This year we invite you to join a virtual gathering to learn about the resources the MHS offers to support your scholarship, from research fellowships to our seminar series.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to join the program.

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Author Talk, Public Program The Nazis of Copley Square: The Forgotten Story of the Christian Front Register registration required at no cost 30 September 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Event Charles R. Gallagher, S.J., Boston College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/lf.jpg

The Nazis of Copley Square provides a crucial missing chapter in the history of the American far right. The men of the Christian Front imagined themselves as crusaders fighting for the spiritual purification of the nation, under assault from godless Communism, and they were hardly alone in their beliefs. Gallagher chronicles the evolution of the Front, the transatlantic cloak-and-dagger intelligence operations that subverted it, and the mainstream political and religious leaders who shielded the Front’s activities from scrutiny. This grim tale of faith perverted to violent ends serves as a warning for those who hope to curb the spread of far-right ideologies today.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Disability and the American Past, Public Program An Introduction to Disability History Please RSVP   Register registration required at no cost 7 October 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Beth Linker, University of Pennsylvania; Kim E. Nielsen, University of Toledo; Rabia Belt, Stanford Law School; moderated by Naomi Rogers, Yale School of Medici Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/sgp-vol-27-p082-083_no-background_for_web.jpg

This conversation will aim to orient us in the field of disability history and serve to lay the groundwork for subsequent conversations in this series. How is disability used as an analytical tool in historical inquiry? Why is it important to center disability as a defining social category, like race, class, gender, and sexuality? How have definitions of disability varied through history, and what have been the social and cultural impacts of this shifting understanding? This conversation will present a brief history of the field and examine the foundational and emerging scholarship through a moderated, roundtable discussion with our panelists.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Walking Tour Sold Out: Opening Our Doors registration closed 9 October 2021.Saturday, 11:00AM - 12:30PM In-person Only Event Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/00OpeningOurDoors.jpg

SOLD OUT!

The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone. Join us for a walking tour of the Fenway neighborhood starting at 11:00 AM and again at 2:00 PM. Tour participants will meet at the MHS building at 1154 Boylston Street, Boston 02215. 

The 11:00 AM tour is sold out. Please look for the other listing of the 2:00 PM tour. 

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Walking Tour Opening Our Doors Register registration required at no cost 9 October 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM In-person Only Event

The MHS will join its neighboring cultural institutions for a day of free history, art, music, and cultural happenings in the Fenway neighborhood. With over 20 different museums, venues, colleges, and organizations participating, there will be something for everyone. Join us for a walking tour of the Fenway neighborhood starting at 11:00 AM and again at 2:00 PM. Tour participants will meet at the MHS building at 1154 Boylston Street, Boston 02215. 

Please use this events RSVP link to register for the 2:00 PM. The 11:00 AM tour is sold out. 

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Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar, Disability and the American Past “This milestone in their development as property”: Black Developmental Normalcy and White Developmental Disorder in Early Child Medicine, 1820 – 1865 U.S. Register registration required at no cost 12 October 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelsey Henry, Yale University Comment: Evelynn Hammonds, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg

This paper investigates “developmental asynchrony,” the mismatch between a sexually overdeveloped body and an underdeveloped mind, as a sign of racial degeneration fueled by sexual disorder in early child medicine. While developmental asynchrony was considered a hallmark characteristic of the Black race, similar developmental timing and patterning in white children inspired professional panic about developmental disorder and the dissolution of racial types. This paper proposes that medical theories of developmental normalcy and aberrancy are integral to telling stories about the co-constitution of race, gender, and sexuality and their conceptual and material entanglements in the antebellum U.S.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

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Disability and the American Past, Public Program Disability and the History of Medicine Register registration required at no cost 13 October 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Dierdre Cooper Owens, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jaipreet Virdi, University of Delaware; Michael Rembis, University at Buffalo

Medicine and technology impact the lived experiences of disabled people in many ways. Advances improve people’s lives, however many of these have come at the cost of invasive diagnostic technologies, the medicalization of human conditions, and endless quests for cures. Doctors have performed experiments on the poor and disempowered; especially enslaved Black and institutionalized people who had limited public voice. Writing medical history must include disabled people and use their experiences as analytical lenses for understanding historical events. Taking inspiration from the disability rights movement and the interdisciplinary field of disability studies, our discussion will delve into what has been written as traditional medical history and how we can tell a more complete story.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Seminar, Biography Seminar, Disability and the American Past Her Socialist Smile: a Film Screening 16 October 2021.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM Hybrid Event John Gianvito, Emerson College; Carolyn Forché, Georgetown University Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Her_Socialist_Smile.jpg

In his new film, John Gianvito, known for passion projects of expansive shape and political ambition, meditates on a particular moment in early 20th-century history: when Helen Keller began speaking out on behalf of progressive causes.  Beginning in 1913 when, at age 32, Keller gave her first public talk before a general audience, Her Socialist Smile is constructed of onscreen text taken from Keller’s speeches, impressionistic images of nature, and newly recorded voiceover by poet Carolyn Forché.  The film is a rousing reminder that Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion and a reception.

The New England Biography Series invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Please note, the films screening will take place only at the MHS, but the panel discussion will be a  hybrid event which may be attended either in person or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with a link to join the program.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online (discussion only)

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Disability and the American Past, Public Program Disability in Early America Register registration required at no cost 18 October 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University; Nicole Belolan, Rutgers University; Laurel Daen, University of Notre Dame; moderated by Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS

Our panel will explore how disability functioned in early America from personal, political, and cultural perspectives. What did disability mean in the early United States and how does it differ from our ideas about disability today? How did disability operate as a political and legal category in the colonial period, and how did it change in the early republic? What can material culture tell us about the lived experience of persons with disabilities in the era? This conversation will situate disability as a framework through which we can better understand the early lives of Americans and their often contested national and cultural identity.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Seminar, African American History Seminar, Disability and the American Past Her Yet Unwritten History: Black Women and the Education of Students of Color with Disabilities in the New South 19 October 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Jennifer Barclay, University at Buffalo Comment: David Connor, CUNY Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg

Historians have recognized the role of Black women educators in schools throughout the south, work associated today with well-known figures like Mary McLeod Bethune, Nannie Helen Burroughs, and Mary Church Terrell. Little has been written, however, about lesser known Black women educators like Susan Lowe, Amanda Johnson, and Effie Whitaker, who made essential contributions to the early education of children of color with disabilities in the south. This essay will consider the critical work of these women who represent just a handful of the many Black women who recognized the overlapping effects of racism and ableism in the lives of disabled students of color.

The African American History Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is an exclusively online event. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend online

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Public Program The American Revolution from Two Perspectives: A Debate Please RSVP   Register registration required 23 October 2021.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:00PM In-person and streamed online, Pre-program reception at 2:30 Gordon Wood, Brown University; Woody Holton, University of South Carolina; Moderated by Catherine Allgor, MHS Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Books_for_Debate.jpg

Gordon Wood and Woody Holton are both distinguished scholars of the American Revolution. But they approach the founding very differently, as you can see from their just-published books. Join them as they debate their conflicting interpretations. 

Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution by Gordon Wood
Americans explored and debated all aspects of politics and constitutionalism—the nature of power, liberty, representation, rights, the division of authority between different spheres of government, sovereignty, judicial authority, and written constitutions. Gordon Wood illuminates critical events in the nation's founding and discusses slavery and constitutionalism, the emergence of the judiciary as one of the major tripartite institutions of government, the demarcation between public and private, and the formation of states' rights.

Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton
Using eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. Woody Holton Looks at the origins and crucial battles of the Revolution, always focusing on marginalized Americans—enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters—and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease.

Free for Members and Fellows as well as EBT or Connectorcare cardholders. $20.00 for non-members. Not a member? Become one today!

Please note, the live-streamed portion will be held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Public Program, Disability and the American Past Disability Activism: A Historical Perspective from some of the Leading Activists in Massachusetts Register registration required at no cost 27 October 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Heather Watkins, Charlie Carr, Keith Jones, John Chappell , Fred Pelka and moderator Malia Lazu

The disabilities rights movement, like many rights movements, has been complex, coming from a variety of different perspectives, but at its heart, it has been a movement for justice, equal opportunities and reasonable accommodations. Massachusetts has played a unique role in this struggle and this conversation will aim to introduce the story of disability activism in Massachusetts. Our panel includes current activists and historians of this movement. Through a moderated, roundtable discussion, our panelists will explore their experiences, their inspirations, the history of the movement and what they hope to see in the future of disability activism.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar, Disability and the American Past “The Virus of Slavery and Injustice”: Analogy and Disabled Life in African American Writings, 1856-1892 28 October 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Vivian Delchamps, University of California, Los Angeles Comment: Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg

Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been ‘like’ disability in the late nineteenth century,” this essay explores texts by African American authors Charlotte L. Forten, Martin Robison Delany, and Frances E.W. Harper. Harper’s novel Iola Leroy renders slavery a “virus,” “deadly cancer,” and “wound,” necessitating cure; simultaneously, the novel depicts lived realities of disability, disrupts diagnostic reading practices, and takes a care-based, rather than curative, approach to disability itself.  The essay thus reads literature as a generative site for asserting ableism’s centrality to the legacy of racial violence, and explores the value of using diagnostic-like narrative methods to target systemic sources of mass debilitation.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is an exclusively online event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend online

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: TBA Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Looking Back at the Centennial and the Sesquicentennial: How Far Has Research on the 15th and 19th Amendments Come? 6 November 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 4:30PM Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware; Lisa Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University Moderator: Alex Keyssar, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/cfp_image.jpg

Join us for a special retrospective keynote panel to reflect on the scholarship presented at the 2020 Conrad E. Wright Research Conference, “Shall Not Be Denied: The 15th and 19th Amendments at the Sesquicentennial and Centennial of their Ratifications.” This conference revisited the long journey to secure voting rights for African Americans and women in United States history. It considered the legal precedents and hurdles that each amendment faced, the meaning and uneven outcomes of each, the social context that allowed for ultimate ratification, the role of key individuals and groups in these respective contexts, and how each amendment has been remembered over time. This panel will take stock of this cutting-edge scholarship and consider the state of the field a year after the commemorative events of 2020. The session will be followed by a reception. 

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Conversion in Confinement Register registration required at no cost 9 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Justin Clark, Nanyang Technological University; Daniel Bottino, Rutgers University Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg

This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through the lens of carceral conversions. Daniel Bottino’s essay will explore the 38 page conversion narrative of Patience Boston, a Native American woman hanged for murder in York, Maine, in 1735. The document offers an extraordinary opportunity for an exploration of religious culture in New England on the verge of the Whitefieldian awakenings of the 1740s.  When examined in its proper historical context, the narrative reveals the spiritual power capable of being wielded even by the most socially marginal people in the intensely religious atmosphere of early eighteenth-century New England. Justin Clark’s essay will show that as Congregationalist New England’s eighteenth-century revivalists offered a brief window of spiritual hope for thousands of sinners, civil authorities began to extend additional periods of time to the region’s condemned convicts. This paper examines the emergence of these extended capital reprieves and their relationship to the accelerated spiritual conversions outside gaol walls. What role did the revivals play in encouraging New Englanders before the penitentiary to re-conceive of carceral time as transformative in itself?

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

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Events, Special Event 2021 Making History Gala Register registration required 16 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 8:30PM Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Making_History_Gala/MakingHistoryGala_logo_2021.jpg

 In-Person Event
Fairmont Copley Plaza
138 St. James Ave. | Boston

5:30 pm
Sponsor Reception with Heather Cox Richardson

6:00 pm
Cocktails & Dinner program
business or cocktail attire


Professor Richardson teaches nineteenth-century American history at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. Her early work focused on the transformation of political ideology from the Civil War to
the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. It examined issues of race, economics, westward expansion,
and the construction of the concept of an American middle class. Her history of the Republican
Party, To Make Men Free (2014) examines the fundamental tensions in American politics from the time of the Northwest Ordinance to the present. She is currently working on an intellectual history of American politics and a graphic treatment of the Reconstruction Era.

 

Tickets and Sponsorships

 

 

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Literary Distinction in Historical Writing 2021: An evening with the Society of American Historians Prize Winners Register registration required at no cost 18 November 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Online Event Afia Atakora, Novelist; Brianna Nofil, College of William & Mary; Christopher Tomlins, Berkeley Law Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College, SAH past president

Since its founding in 1939, the Society of American Historians has worked “to promote literary distinction in the writing of history” by conferring membership and honoring outstanding works.  The 64th annual Francis Parkman Prize, awarded to Christopher Tomlins for In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History, recognizes “literary merit” in a nonfiction book that “makes an important contribution to the history of what is now the United States.” Afia Atakora’s novel, Conjure Woman, is the fifteenth winner of the SAH’s biennial Prize for Historical Fiction, which recognizes narrative skill and authentic portrayal of the past.  Brianna Nofil’s “Detention Power: Jails, Camps, and the Origins of Immigrant Incarceration, 1900-2002” received the 61st Allan Nevins Prize for a doctoral dissertation. Megan Marshall, herself a Parkman Prize winner, will interview the authors on their work and aims as historical writers. 

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the platform Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with instructions for attending. 

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Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Reinvention of Tradition: Conformist Nationalism in the United States, 1923-1931 30 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelly Lyons, Boston College Comment: Jonathan Hansen, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg

In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, and immigration, nationalist organizations in the United States standardized many of the patriotic rituals and traditions Americans performed in their daily lives. This Nationalist Network, led by the American Legion and U.S. Flag Association, grew increasingly right-wing in this period, inventing and reinventing patriotic traditions to “Americanize” those who were already citizens and control their behavior to adhere to white, upper middle-class norms. These traditions reinforced existing racial and class hierarchies and defined American nationalism along exclusionary principles.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Seminar, African American History Seminar “Challenge or Be Challenged”: the Par-Links Black Women’s Golf Club in East Bay, CA 2 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Paula C. Austin, Boston University Louis Moore, Grand Valley State University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg

The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, Oakland California. Using photographs, organizational documents, and scrapbooks, this paper examine the possibilities and realities of Black leisure, recreation, and community care and play practices before the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It places Par-Links in the context of the burgeoning sport, the development of Black golf clubs, and within the local and national fights to desegregate public golf courses and professional golf in US Civil Rights Movement histories. 

The African American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Crisis: 1774-1775 7 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sarah Beth Gable, Brandeis University Comment: Donald Johnson, North Dakota State University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg

This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American Revolution, particularly the role they played in punishing community dissent and compelling ideological allegiance to the Revolutionary cause. This chapter highlights these committees' activities in the aftermath of the passage of the Massachusetts Government Act in May 1774 and argues that this period served as a training ground for later reprisals against community members. During this period, Massachusetts saw the most dramatic actions against suspected loyalists – the Committees deployed mobs to suspected loyalists' homes, detained Colonial officials, and drove others out of the towns into Boston. This paper argues that the heightened tension of the moment created an atmosphere of suspicion and conspiracy under which the definition of loyalism began to broaden.

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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Seminar, Digital History Seminar Digitizing Early Massachusetts Court Records 9 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sally Hadden, University of Western Michigan Comments: Jessica Otis, George Mason University; Susanna Blumenthal, University of Minnesota Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg

Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of colonial court documents in North America, covering the entirety of the eighteenth century. This seminar explores the process of transcribing, annotating, and presenting this information via Mirador, the browser-based interface that gives the end user control over how much or how little information to display. The database used to capture annotations and make them searchable using complex queries will also be described. This project is underwritten by the Ames Foundation and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

The Shapiro Digital history Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “The Kind of Death, Natural or Violent”: Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston 14 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Hannah Smith, University of Minnesota Comment: Nora Doyle, Salem College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg

This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is meant to offer his (male) midwifery students the skills to serve as expert witnesses in infanticide trials. However, Channing also uses the lecture to promote his opinions of both infanticide and intentional abortion. This chapter focuses on the language Channing uses to frame these acts, as well as the nature of the lecture itself as a form of communication, in order to establish how this lecture fits within the broader discussions around infanticide, abortion, and man-midwifery taking place in the Anglo-Atlantic world at this time.   

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

The Environmental History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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