Here is a look at the virtual events we have planned this week:
On 11 January, at 5:15 PM: Seceding from the Sachemship: Coercion, Ethnology & Colonial Failure in Early Historic New England with Peter Jakob Olsen-Harbich, The New American Antiquarian, and comment by Linford Fisher, Brown University.
This paper considers coercive political practices among early historic southern New England Algonquians and their historical function in the success of early English colonies. In the spring of 1623, the settlement of Wessagusset, a rag-tag band of starving would-be fur traders perched on the precarious northern edge of England’s nascent American empire, collapsed in a bloody struggle with its Indigenous neighbors, the Massachusett. This paper asserts that the failure of Wessagusset occurred partially because its inhabitants, unlike those residing in Plymouth Colony, neglected to observe, understand, and diplomatically engage with the coercive political practices of the Algonquian sachemship they abutted. The majority of this paper serves to explain this coercive characterization of Algonquian politics through a reexamination of early historic evidence of corporal and capital punishment practices. Register for this online event.
On 12 January, at 5:30 PM: Useful Objects: Museums, Science & Literature in 19nth-Century America with Reed Gochberg, Harvard University.
Useful Objects examines the history of American museums during the 19th century through the eyes of visitors, writers, and collectors. Museums of this period held a wide range of objects, from botanical and zoological specimens to antiquarian artifacts and technological models. Intended to promote “useful knowledge,” these collections generated broader discussions about how objects were selected, preserved, and classified as well as who determined their value. Their reflections shaped broader debates about the scope and purpose of museums in American culture that continue to resonate today. Register for this online program.
On 13 January, at 6:00 PM: Film Club: Glory with Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai and Kevin Levin.
Join Civil War experts Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai and Kevin Levin as they discuss 1989’s Glory. The film stars Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Broderick, and follows the story of the 54th Regiment and Robert Gould Shaw. Watch the film at home and then join us for a conversation about the film. Glory is available through Hulu, Amazon Video, Google Video, Starz, HBO Max, and other streaming sites. Register for this online program.
Announcing the MHS Film Club!
Each month, the MHS will feature a movie and invite experts to lead a discussion about the film. Topics could include historical accuracy, connections to the MHS or Massachusetts, or the impact of the film on popular understanding of history. Participants are encouraged to watch the movie at their leisure and then join us for the discussion. The films selected will be widely available through streaming services. This will be a participatory program and audience members are encouraged to share their thoughts and bring questions.