Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars

The Society's six seminar series offer an excellent chance to meet accomplished scholars and authors. Join us to explore topics in-depth in a conversational setting, and help to shape works-in-progress. The stimulating and convivial atmosphere of these late afternoon sessions continues during the reception that follows each program. Session formats vary and include roundtables and panel conversations. However, with the exception of the New England Biography Seminar, most sessions revolve around the discussion of pre-circulated papers: after remarks from the presenters and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. Each session is followed by a reception with light refreshments. Most programs take place at the Society, and all of our sessions are free and open to the public.

Register for individual sessions through our Calendar of Events.

Join the mailing list today by emailing seminars@masshist.org.

The Six Series

Boston Seminar on African American History

The Boston Seminar on African American History is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of African-American history from the colonial era to the present day. This series offers programs that intersect with multiple fields and engage scholars working in various disciplines. Co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Series provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Boston Seminar on Environmental History

The Boston Seminar on Environmental History is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Presenters come from a variety of disciplines including history, urban planning, and environmental management.

Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture

The Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture provides a setting for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day. Programs may address multiple historical subfields and are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

The Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations.

New England Biography Series

The New England Biography Series is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. Leading authors of the genre will offer their insights and inspiration. This seminar features roundtable discussions rather than focusing on pre-circulated papers.

How to Attend

RSVP required. Register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar.  Drop in on one or more individual sessions, or become a more active participant by subscribing to a series. Seminar series carry an optional modest subscription fee that helps support the series and provides special advance access to any pre-circulated materials. Attendance is free and open to all!

Questions? Email seminars@masshist.org.

Are you interested in presenting?

Each winter, seminar organizers issue a Call for Proposals in order to fill a limited number of session slots in several of the seminar series. The annual deadline is 15 March for the sessions that will take place in the following academic year. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email seminars@masshist.org.