The MHS offers an engaging roster of programming to foster historical knowledge and we welcome everyone to attend, question, and contribute. 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.

 

Note on accessibility: All online programs will be in English and will have closed captioning enabled through Zoom.

October 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/sgp-vol-27-p082-083_no-background_for_web.jpg Teacher Workshop, Disability and the American Past Re-examining Dorothea Dix and 19th-Century Disability Reform 23 October 2021.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM $25 Registration Fee   19th-century Massachusetts reformer Dorothea Dix is renowned for her efforts to improve the ...
 
19th-century Massachusetts reformer Dorothea Dix is renowned for her efforts to improve the horrendous treatment of people with mental disabilities in local jails, almshouses, and asylums. Her investigations and activism led to major changes in the mental health field, including shifting care from local to state control. However, Dix’s views and actions were not representative of individuals with cognitive and psychiatric disabilities, and the voices of these individuals are often marginalized when the history of these reforms is told. 
 
In partnership with Emerging America and the Disability History Museum, the MHS offers an educator workshop that will provide a deeper context for teaching Dix’s legacy and the history of asylum reforms in the 19th century. Educators will engage with rich primary sources that center the voices of people with mental disabilities and will be equipped with strategies for bringing these important stories into the classroom. 
 
Presented as part of the Massachusetts Historical Society series “Disability and the American Past.” 
 
This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn either 22.5 PDPs or 1 graduate credit with Worcester State University (for an additional fee). The $25 workshop fee is non-refundable. This event will take place virtually and will be presented in English with English auto-generated captioning, and ASL translation and live captioning are available upon request during registration (please place requests for ASL translation by 10/18 and live caption requests by 10/19). The scholar lecture will be recorded and made available to registrants in advance of the workshop; all other workshop sessions will feature breakout rooms, so they will not be recorded.
 
For more information, questions, or further accessibility requests, please contact us at education@masshist.org
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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.

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November 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/41vOLm3ka8S__SX331_BO1_204_203_200__edited.jpg Public Program, Author Talk Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter 1 November 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Gordon Rhea in conversation with Kevin Levin. Stephen Atkins Swails exhibited exemplary service in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and became the ...

Stephen Atkins Swails exhibited exemplary service in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and became the first African American commissioned as a combat officer in the United States military. After the Civil War, Swails remained in South Carolina, where he held important positions in the Freedmen’s Bureau, helped draft a progressive state constitution, and served in the state senate. He remained active in South Carolina politics until violent Redeemers drove him from the state. After Swails died in 1900, state and local leaders erased him from the historical narrative. Gordon C. Rhea’s biography restores Swails’s remarkable legacy.

Please note, this is an online 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/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 Online Event Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: Jeremy Vetter, University of Arizona 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 an online 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/Seminars_2020-21/cfp_image.jpg Looking Back at the Sesquicentennial and the Centennial: How Far Has Research on the 15th and 19th Amendments Come? 6 November 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM Online Event 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. 

Please note, this is an online 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/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 & Hannah Peterson, Independent Scholar 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/Fall_2021_Programs/Untitled_design_3_.jpg Public Program, Author Talk Wilson and Lodge: One World, Two Visions, Unending Reverberations 10 November 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Patricia O'Toole, Columbia University President Woodrow Wilson came home from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 with the Versailles ...

President Woodrow Wilson came home from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 with the Versailles Treaty, which ended World War I and created the League of Nations, the first global body committed to preserving world peace. Americans favored ratification of the treaty, but the Senate Majority Leader, Henry Cabot Lodge, was determined to block it unless Wilson agreed to modifications. The battle that followed was one of the most consequential in American diplomatic history. O’Toole will look at that struggle and how it has played out in U.S. foreign policy and American memory.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Public_Programs_21-22/TheObjectofHistory-podcast-logo-square_FINAL_landscape.jpg Public Program Introducing the Object of History 16 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Event Peter Drummey, Anne Bentley, Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, Katy Morris MHS’s new podcast, the Object of History highlights our extraordinary collections ...

MHS’s new podcast, the Object of History highlights our extraordinary collections that tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures. Each episode of the podcast takes you on a behind the scenes tour of that vast collection. MHS staff experts and historians introduce you to fragile documents, unusual artifacts, and intriguing artworks that make the past come alive. This conversation is an introduction to the podcast with the producers and staff experts sharing highlights and talking about what was left on the cutting room floor.

Listen to the podcast at any time on the MHS website, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

Please note, this is an online 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/Seminars_2021-2022/SAH_image.jpg 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/Fall_2021_Programs/I_Believe_I_ll_Go_Back_Home.jpg Public Program I Believe I'll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New England Folk Music 23 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Thomas Curren Between 1959 and 1968, New England saw a folk revival emerge in more than fifty clubs and ...

Between 1959 and 1968, New England saw a folk revival emerge in more than fifty clubs and coffeehouses; a revolution led by college dropouts, young bohemians, and lovers of traditional music. From Club 47 in Harvard Square to candlelit venues in Amherst, musicians and audiences alike embraced folk music and progressive ideals. While the Folk Revival was short-lived, the youthful attention that it spurred played a crucial role in the emerging civil rights, world peace, and back-to-the-land movements. Thomas Curren traces a direct line from Yankee revolutionaries and nineteenth-century pacifists to the emergence of blues and rock 'n' roll, ultimately landing at the period of the folk revival.

 

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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.

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December 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Four_Centuries_of_Christmas.jpg Public Program, Author Talk Four Centuries of Christmas in New England 1 December 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Ken Turino, Historic New England This lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas from the time it was outlawed in ...

This lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas from the time it was outlawed in 17th Century New England through the beginning of the 21st Century. Many of the customs which we take for granted as part of the current celebrations are actually a product of more recent history.  This program will look at how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration into a family centered event.  Among the topics discussed are how the Christmas Tree became popular, halls were decked, and how Santa Clause came to town.

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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.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Urban_Archipelago.jpg Author Talk, Public Program Urban Archipelago: An Environmental History of the Boston Harbor Islands 6 December 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Pavla Šimková, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität The Boston Harbor Islands have been called Boston's "hidden shores." Previously home to prisons, ...

The Boston Harbor Islands have been called Boston's "hidden shores." Previously home to prisons, asylums, and sewage treatment plants, this surprisingly diverse ensemble of islands has existed on the urban fringe over the last four centuries. Pavla Šimková reinterprets the Boston Harbor Islands as an urban archipelago, arguing that they have been an integral part of Boston since colonial days. Drawing on archival sources, historic maps and photographs, and diaries from island residents, she attests that the harbor islands' story is central to understanding the ways in which Boston has both shaped and been shaped by its environment over time.

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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.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Alexis_in_America_edited.jpg Author Talk, Public Program Grand Duke Alexis in Boston 8 December 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Lee Farrow, Auburn University One-hundred and fifty years ago, in the autumn of 1871, Alexis Romanov, the fourth son of Tsar ...

One-hundred and fifty years ago, in the autumn of 1871, Alexis Romanov, the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, set sail for an extended journey through the United States and Canada. The first Russian royal ever to visit the United States, Alexis in America recounts the duke's progress through the major American cities, detailing his meetings with celebrated figures such as Samuel Morse and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and describing the national self-reflection that his presence spurred in the American people. Alexis visited Niagara Falls, participated in a bison hunt with Buffalo Bill Cody, and attended the Krewe of Rex's first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. He also spent six days in Boston, where he stayed at the Revere House, and visited City Hall, the Old State House, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. He attended performances at the Boston Music Hall and was the guest of honor at a ball at the Boston Theatre.

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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.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/41TEZxc4c_L__SY344_BO1_204_203_200_.jpg The Transcendentalists and Their World 13 December 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Robert Gross, University of Connecticut, in conversation with Catherine Allgor, MHS Bancroft Prize winning author Robert Gross presents a fresh view of the Transcendentalists; thinkers ...

Bancroft Prize winning author Robert Gross presents a fresh view of the Transcendentalists; thinkers whose impact on philosophy and literature would spread from Concord, Mass, to all corners of the earth. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Alcotts lived in Concord, but the town was no pastoral idyll fit for poets and philosophers. The small, ordered society founded by Puritans and defended by Minutemen was dramatically unsettled by capitalism, democracy, and integration into the wider world. The Transcendentalists and Their World is both an intimate journey into a small community and a searching cultural study of major American writers as they plumbed the depths of the universe for spiritual truths.

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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.

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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.

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Teacher Workshop, Disability and the American Past Re-examining Dorothea Dix and 19th-Century Disability Reform Register registration required 23 October 2021.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM $25 Registration Fee Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/sgp-vol-27-p082-083_no-background_for_web.jpg
 
19th-century Massachusetts reformer Dorothea Dix is renowned for her efforts to improve the horrendous treatment of people with mental disabilities in local jails, almshouses, and asylums. Her investigations and activism led to major changes in the mental health field, including shifting care from local to state control. However, Dix’s views and actions were not representative of individuals with cognitive and psychiatric disabilities, and the voices of these individuals are often marginalized when the history of these reforms is told. 
 
In partnership with Emerging America and the Disability History Museum, the MHS offers an educator workshop that will provide a deeper context for teaching Dix’s legacy and the history of asylum reforms in the 19th century. Educators will engage with rich primary sources that center the voices of people with mental disabilities and will be equipped with strategies for bringing these important stories into the classroom. 
 
Presented as part of the Massachusetts Historical Society series “Disability and the American Past.” 
 
This program is open to all who work with K-12 students. Teachers can earn either 22.5 PDPs or 1 graduate credit with Worcester State University (for an additional fee). The $25 workshop fee is non-refundable. This event will take place virtually and will be presented in English with English auto-generated captioning, and ASL translation and live captioning are available upon request during registration (please place requests for ASL translation by 10/18 and live caption requests by 10/19). The scholar lecture will be recorded and made available to registrants in advance of the workshop; all other workshop sessions will feature breakout rooms, so they will not be recorded.
 
For more information, questions, or further accessibility requests, please contact us at education@masshist.org
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Public Program The American Revolution from Two Perspectives: A Debate Please RSVP   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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter Register registration required at no cost 1 November 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Online Event Gordon Rhea in conversation with Kevin Levin. Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/41vOLm3ka8S__SX331_BO1_204_203_200__edited.jpg

Stephen Atkins Swails exhibited exemplary service in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and became the first African American commissioned as a combat officer in the United States military. After the Civil War, Swails remained in South Carolina, where he held important positions in the Freedmen’s Bureau, helped draft a progressive state constitution, and served in the state senate. He remained active in South Carolina politics until violent Redeemers drove him from the state. After Swails died in 1900, state and local leaders erased him from the historical narrative. Gordon C. Rhea’s biography restores Swails’s remarkable legacy.

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

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective Register registration required at no cost 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: Jeremy Vetter, University of Arizona 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 an online event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

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Looking Back at the Sesquicentennial and the Centennial: How Far Has Research on the 15th and 19th Amendments Come? Register registration required at no cost 6 November 2021.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:30PM Online Event 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. 

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

 

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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 & Hannah Peterson, Independent Scholar 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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Public Program, Author Talk Wilson and Lodge: One World, Two Visions, Unending Reverberations 10 November 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Patricia O'Toole, Columbia University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Untitled_design_3_.jpg

President Woodrow Wilson came home from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 with the Versailles Treaty, which ended World War I and created the League of Nations, the first global body committed to preserving world peace. Americans favored ratification of the treaty, but the Senate Majority Leader, Henry Cabot Lodge, was determined to block it unless Wilson agreed to modifications. The battle that followed was one of the most consequential in American diplomatic history. O’Toole will look at that struggle and how it has played out in U.S. foreign policy and American memory.

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Public Program Introducing the Object of History Register registration required at no cost 16 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Virtual Event Peter Drummey, Anne Bentley, Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, Katy Morris Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Public_Programs_21-22/TheObjectofHistory-podcast-logo-square_FINAL_landscape.jpg

MHS’s new podcast, the Object of History highlights our extraordinary collections that tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures. Each episode of the podcast takes you on a behind the scenes tour of that vast collection. MHS staff experts and historians introduce you to fragile documents, unusual artifacts, and intriguing artworks that make the past come alive. This conversation is an introduction to the podcast with the producers and staff experts sharing highlights and talking about what was left on the cutting room floor.

Listen to the podcast at any time on the MHS website, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

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

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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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2021-2022/SAH_image.jpg

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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Public Program I Believe I'll Go Back Home: Roots and Revival in New England Folk Music 23 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Thomas Curren Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/I_Believe_I_ll_Go_Back_Home.jpg

Between 1959 and 1968, New England saw a folk revival emerge in more than fifty clubs and coffeehouses; a revolution led by college dropouts, young bohemians, and lovers of traditional music. From Club 47 in Harvard Square to candlelit venues in Amherst, musicians and audiences alike embraced folk music and progressive ideals. While the Folk Revival was short-lived, the youthful attention that it spurred played a crucial role in the emerging civil rights, world peace, and back-to-the-land movements. Thomas Curren traces a direct line from Yankee revolutionaries and nineteenth-century pacifists to the emergence of blues and rock 'n' roll, ultimately landing at the period of the folk revival.

 

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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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Four Centuries of Christmas in New England 1 December 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Ken Turino, Historic New England Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Four_Centuries_of_Christmas.jpg

This lecture traces the development of the celebration of Christmas from the time it was outlawed in 17th Century New England through the beginning of the 21st Century. Many of the customs which we take for granted as part of the current celebrations are actually a product of more recent history.  This program will look at how Christmas was transformed from a rowdy celebration into a family centered event.  Among the topics discussed are how the Christmas Tree became popular, halls were decked, and how Santa Clause came to town.

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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.

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Author Talk, Public Program Urban Archipelago: An Environmental History of the Boston Harbor Islands 6 December 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Pavla Šimková, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Urban_Archipelago.jpg

The Boston Harbor Islands have been called Boston's "hidden shores." Previously home to prisons, asylums, and sewage treatment plants, this surprisingly diverse ensemble of islands has existed on the urban fringe over the last four centuries. Pavla Šimková reinterprets the Boston Harbor Islands as an urban archipelago, arguing that they have been an integral part of Boston since colonial days. Drawing on archival sources, historic maps and photographs, and diaries from island residents, she attests that the harbor islands' story is central to understanding the ways in which Boston has both shaped and been shaped by its environment over time.

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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.

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Author Talk, Public Program Grand Duke Alexis in Boston 8 December 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Lee Farrow, Auburn University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/Alexis_in_America_edited.jpg

One-hundred and fifty years ago, in the autumn of 1871, Alexis Romanov, the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, set sail for an extended journey through the United States and Canada. The first Russian royal ever to visit the United States, Alexis in America recounts the duke's progress through the major American cities, detailing his meetings with celebrated figures such as Samuel Morse and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and describing the national self-reflection that his presence spurred in the American people. Alexis visited Niagara Falls, participated in a bison hunt with Buffalo Bill Cody, and attended the Krewe of Rex's first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. He also spent six days in Boston, where he stayed at the Revere House, and visited City Hall, the Old State House, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. He attended performances at the Boston Music Hall and was the guest of honor at a ball at the Boston Theatre.

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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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The Transcendentalists and Their World 13 December 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Robert Gross, University of Connecticut, in conversation with Catherine Allgor, MHS Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Fall_2021_Programs/41TEZxc4c_L__SY344_BO1_204_203_200_.jpg

Bancroft Prize winning author Robert Gross presents a fresh view of the Transcendentalists; thinkers whose impact on philosophy and literature would spread from Concord, Mass, to all corners of the earth. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Alcotts lived in Concord, but the town was no pastoral idyll fit for poets and philosophers. The small, ordered society founded by Puritans and defended by Minutemen was dramatically unsettled by capitalism, democracy, and integration into the wider world. The Transcendentalists and Their World is both an intimate journey into a small community and a searching cultural study of major American writers as they plumbed the depths of the universe for spiritual truths.

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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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