August

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Brown Bag Private Lives and Public Spaces: John Banister and Colonial Consumers 7 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marian Desrosiers, Salve Regina University Tourists stream into shops and restaurants on Banister's Wharf in Newport, purchasing products from ...

Tourists stream into shops and restaurants on Banister's Wharf in Newport, purchasing products from Rhode Island and around the globe. When merchant John Banister (1707-1767) owned this wharf in the 1740s, he imported luxury apparel, tools, household items, and foods from many places. For nearly thirty years Banister's ships traded goods from and to other American colonies, the West Indies, and Europe. The Banister account books provide a focus on this golden era of trade. Lists of commodities provide information about the lives of consumers and producers in the public marketplace. The transactions reveal a merchant's family expenses and income. Banister's careful delineation of profit, loss, commissions, taxes, and ownership shares provides insight into his roles as merchant, retailer, ship owner, broker, and as a trade and industry leader of Newport. These details of mid-eighteenth-century Rhode Island reveal how Banister, as an adventurous capitalist, influenced the economy of pre-Revolutionary America.

More
Brown Bag Rebelling Subjects, Revealing Objects: The Material and Visual Culture of Making and Remembering the American Revolution 12 August 2013.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zara Anishanslin, College of Staten Island, CUNY This project considers how women, Loyalists, slaves, and Native Americans, as well as Patriots, ...

This project considers how women, Loyalists, slaves, and Native Americans, as well as Patriots, experienced, made, and remembered the American Revolution from 1763 to 1791, with a coda about historical memory arranged around General Lafayette’s Jubilee Tour. In an effort to get past the binaries that often still characterize the historiography on the Revolution, it uses objects and images to narrate how ideology, politics, and war—and their material practices—were ambivalent and fluid in the revolutionary era.

More
Brown Bag Working to Become: Women, Work, and Literary Legacy in American Women’s Postbellum Literature 14 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kristin Allukian, University of Florida This project is interdisciplinary in nature and has foundations in both 19th-century American ...

This project is interdisciplinary in nature and has foundations in both 19th-century American women’s history and literature. It focuses on literary representations of career women by late 19th-century American women writers. By reimagining the intertwinings and interconnections of society and women’s paid labor, the project shows that work, and women’s work in particular, was no longer a fixed entity that showed up in the lives of those living during the 19th-century but rather was a shaping force.

More
Brown Bag Our Peculiar Family: The Massachusetts Schools for Idiotic Children, 1848-1900 21 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kathryn Irving, Yale University In 1848, the first American institutions for children with intellectual disability opened in ...

In 1848, the first American institutions for children with intellectual disability opened in Massachusetts. The state school in Boston was the project of prominent reformers; the private school in Barre was founded by an entrepreneurial physician. Despite their differences, the trajectories of both schools were grounded in the state's social and political climate. This project explores the schools, their staff and pupils, from their antebellum origins up to the Eugenics movement.

More
September
Brown Bag Brahmin Capitalism: Bankers, Populists, and the Making of the Modern American Economy 4 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century ...

This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century transformation from an anchor of an industrial region into the second largest banking center in North America. It explores how a vanguard of financiers from the city’s old elite created a wide-ranging network of capital flows that funded railroads, mines, agriculture, and industry across the continent, and how this process of capital migration, in turn, redefined urban politics on the local level. Far from seamless, this transformation triggered an array of political controversies over the priorities of city government, and more broadly, over the future shape of American capitalism.

More
Brown Bag Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775 11 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture ...

This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture during the pre-Revolutionary era. Although there is a continuity of interpersonal elements inherently understood about friendship, it is the normative social construction that is particular to time and place. This is perceptible in the popularity of certain texts and characters, in how they were received by New England colonists and how they represented nuances of friendship during the period.

More
Brown Bag Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the ...

This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the Waltham-Lowell system, the first integrated factory system in the United States. While this predecessor to modern industry is typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, it also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. This research is part of her dissertation, which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism by analyzing the development of the New England arms and textile industries in the context of federal patronage and expanding U.S. geopolitical dominance in the Americas.

More
Brown Bag Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity 25 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Louisa Thomas, author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family--A Test of Will and Faith in World War I (2011) This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, ...

This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, especially focusing on new evidence about her background. It will also explore tensions in her writings, in an attempt to understand her better as a Johnson, as an Adams, and simply as herself. 

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October
Brown Bag “New Englands Teares, for Old England's Feares”: Comparing Attitudes Toward Infertility in Early Modern England and Colonial New England 2 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marisa Benoit, University of Oxford This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and ...

This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and colonial New England from c.1650 to 1750 through analysis of a wide variety of contemporary sources. To compare early modern England with its own “child,” colonial New England, is to examine two societies linked by cultural and religious norms but facing different challenges. These challenges are explored by analyzing infertility’s representation in popular, religious, and medical literature and personal writing from both societies. As the two societies’ relationship was often described through reproductive language, analyzing representations of infertility provides a different angle through which to view the links between “Old” and New England while highlighting the connections between the sources themselves. The topic of infertility provides the opportunity to untangle the web of emerging anatomical discoveries, social ideas about gender relations, the family, and the importance of children, and religious ideas about generation that characterized attitudes toward reproduction in the early modern period.

More
Brown Bag An Empire of Fakes: Counterfeit Goods in Eighteenth-Century America 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Catherine Cangany, University of Notre Dame This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of ...

This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of spurious merchandise in early Anglo-America. In so doing, it reclaims forgotten commercial actors and networks and downplays the primacy of mercantilism to emphasize individualism (defined by counterfeits' propensity to subvert legal commerce for personal gain). Given that the underground economy constituted half of all economic transactions in this period, individualism may have been the more important commercial doctrine, a full century earlier than most scholarship suggests.

More
Brown Bag Reviving a Spirit of Controversy: Early American Catholicism and the Separation of Church and State, 1633-1839 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Pellegrino, University of Nevada, Las Vegas This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, ...

This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, and expand conceptions of religious liberty in early America. Virtually ignored in church-state historiography until the 1840s, Catholics played a heretofore overlooked role in challenging and redefining America's ideal church-state relationship during the colonial period and in the early Republic. By paying closer attention to how Catholics interacted with the laws and culture around them, this project offers fresh insights into questions pertaining to church-state relations and the history of religious freedom.

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More events
Brown Bag Private Lives and Public Spaces: John Banister and Colonial Consumers 7 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marian Desrosiers, Salve Regina University

Tourists stream into shops and restaurants on Banister's Wharf in Newport, purchasing products from Rhode Island and around the globe. When merchant John Banister (1707-1767) owned this wharf in the 1740s, he imported luxury apparel, tools, household items, and foods from many places. For nearly thirty years Banister's ships traded goods from and to other American colonies, the West Indies, and Europe. The Banister account books provide a focus on this golden era of trade. Lists of commodities provide information about the lives of consumers and producers in the public marketplace. The transactions reveal a merchant's family expenses and income. Banister's careful delineation of profit, loss, commissions, taxes, and ownership shares provides insight into his roles as merchant, retailer, ship owner, broker, and as a trade and industry leader of Newport. These details of mid-eighteenth-century Rhode Island reveal how Banister, as an adventurous capitalist, influenced the economy of pre-Revolutionary America.

close
Brown Bag Rebelling Subjects, Revealing Objects: The Material and Visual Culture of Making and Remembering the American Revolution 12 August 2013.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zara Anishanslin, College of Staten Island, CUNY

This project considers how women, Loyalists, slaves, and Native Americans, as well as Patriots, experienced, made, and remembered the American Revolution from 1763 to 1791, with a coda about historical memory arranged around General Lafayette’s Jubilee Tour. In an effort to get past the binaries that often still characterize the historiography on the Revolution, it uses objects and images to narrate how ideology, politics, and war—and their material practices—were ambivalent and fluid in the revolutionary era.

close
Brown Bag Working to Become: Women, Work, and Literary Legacy in American Women’s Postbellum Literature 14 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kristin Allukian, University of Florida

This project is interdisciplinary in nature and has foundations in both 19th-century American women’s history and literature. It focuses on literary representations of career women by late 19th-century American women writers. By reimagining the intertwinings and interconnections of society and women’s paid labor, the project shows that work, and women’s work in particular, was no longer a fixed entity that showed up in the lives of those living during the 19th-century but rather was a shaping force.

close
Brown Bag Our Peculiar Family: The Massachusetts Schools for Idiotic Children, 1848-1900 21 August 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kathryn Irving, Yale University

In 1848, the first American institutions for children with intellectual disability opened in Massachusetts. The state school in Boston was the project of prominent reformers; the private school in Barre was founded by an entrepreneurial physician. Despite their differences, the trajectories of both schools were grounded in the state's social and political climate. This project explores the schools, their staff and pupils, from their antebellum origins up to the Eugenics movement.

close
Brown Bag Brahmin Capitalism: Bankers, Populists, and the Making of the Modern American Economy 4 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University

This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century transformation from an anchor of an industrial region into the second largest banking center in North America. It explores how a vanguard of financiers from the city’s old elite created a wide-ranging network of capital flows that funded railroads, mines, agriculture, and industry across the continent, and how this process of capital migration, in turn, redefined urban politics on the local level. Far from seamless, this transformation triggered an array of political controversies over the priorities of city government, and more broadly, over the future shape of American capitalism.

close
Brown Bag Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775 11 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling

This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture during the pre-Revolutionary era. Although there is a continuity of interpersonal elements inherently understood about friendship, it is the normative social construction that is particular to time and place. This is perceptible in the popularity of certain texts and characters, in how they were received by New England colonists and how they represented nuances of friendship during the period.

close
Brown Bag Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840 18 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University

This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the Waltham-Lowell system, the first integrated factory system in the United States. While this predecessor to modern industry is typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, it also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. This research is part of her dissertation, which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism by analyzing the development of the New England arms and textile industries in the context of federal patronage and expanding U.S. geopolitical dominance in the Americas.

close
Brown Bag Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity 25 September 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Louisa Thomas, author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family--A Test of Will and Faith in World War I (2011)

This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, especially focusing on new evidence about her background. It will also explore tensions in her writings, in an attempt to understand her better as a Johnson, as an Adams, and simply as herself. 

close
Brown Bag “New Englands Teares, for Old England's Feares”: Comparing Attitudes Toward Infertility in Early Modern England and Colonial New England 2 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marisa Benoit, University of Oxford

This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and colonial New England from c.1650 to 1750 through analysis of a wide variety of contemporary sources. To compare early modern England with its own “child,” colonial New England, is to examine two societies linked by cultural and religious norms but facing different challenges. These challenges are explored by analyzing infertility’s representation in popular, religious, and medical literature and personal writing from both societies. As the two societies’ relationship was often described through reproductive language, analyzing representations of infertility provides a different angle through which to view the links between “Old” and New England while highlighting the connections between the sources themselves. The topic of infertility provides the opportunity to untangle the web of emerging anatomical discoveries, social ideas about gender relations, the family, and the importance of children, and religious ideas about generation that characterized attitudes toward reproduction in the early modern period.

close
Brown Bag An Empire of Fakes: Counterfeit Goods in Eighteenth-Century America 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Catherine Cangany, University of Notre Dame

This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of spurious merchandise in early Anglo-America. In so doing, it reclaims forgotten commercial actors and networks and downplays the primacy of mercantilism to emphasize individualism (defined by counterfeits' propensity to subvert legal commerce for personal gain). Given that the underground economy constituted half of all economic transactions in this period, individualism may have been the more important commercial doctrine, a full century earlier than most scholarship suggests.

close
Brown Bag Reviving a Spirit of Controversy: Early American Catholicism and the Separation of Church and State, 1633-1839 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Pellegrino, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, and expand conceptions of religious liberty in early America. Virtually ignored in church-state historiography until the 1840s, Catholics played a heretofore overlooked role in challenging and redefining America's ideal church-state relationship during the colonial period and in the early Republic. By paying closer attention to how Catholics interacted with the laws and culture around them, this project offers fresh insights into questions pertaining to church-state relations and the history of religious freedom.

close

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