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  • Biography Seminar“No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects
    Biography Seminar“No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects
    5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College More
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          • ConferenceArt and Memory: The Role of Medals
            ConferenceArt and Memory: The Role of Medals
            8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon More
          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
            all day More
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                • Public Program, Author TalkBlack Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notori...
                  Public Program, Author TalkBlack Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates
                  6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
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                      • Modern American Society and Culture SeminarIn Search of the Costs of Segregation
                        Modern American Society and Culture SeminarIn Search of the Costs of Segregation
                        5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                        Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                        More
                      • Public Program, Author TalkAfter Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Great...
                        Public Program, Author TalkAfter Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet
                        6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
                      Exhibition Fashioning the New England Family 5 October 2018 to 6 April 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family

                      Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

                      The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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                      Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 1 November 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College

                      Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

                      Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of the forthcoming Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

                      To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                      MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 3 November 2018.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                      The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

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                      Early American History Seminar “A Rotten-Hearted Fellow”: The Rise of Alexander McDougall 6 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christopher Minty, the Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society Comment: Brendan McConville, Boston University

                      Historians have often grouped the DeLanceys of New York as self-interested opportunists who were destined to become loyalists. By focusing on the rise of Alexander McDougall, this paper offers a new interpretation, demonstrating how the DeLanceys and McDougall mobilized groups with competing visions of New York’s political economy. These prewar factions stayed in opposition until the Revolutionary War, thus shedding new light on the coming of the American Revolution.

                      To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                      Brown Bag John Perkins Cushing and Boston's Early China Trade 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gwenn Miller, College of the Holy Cross

                      In July of 1803, John Perkins Cushing, an orphaned relation of some of the most prominent families in Boston, set sail for the Canton at the age of sixteen. The emerging literature on the Early American China trade often mentions Cushing as an aside, sometimes refers in passing to his importance among the foreign residents of Canton. This project explores how he came to be in that position of importance and casts Boston’s opium exchange at the center of the trade.

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                      Public Program, Author Talk, Revolution 250 Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero 7 November 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 with a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum Christian Di Spigna THIS PROGRAM IS NOW SOLD OUT

                      Had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, but his legacy has remained largely obscured. Di Spigna’s biography of Warren is the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew.

                      Join our pre-talk reception at 5:30 for a special rum tasting courtesy of Privateer Rum.

                       

                       

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                      Brown Bag Persistent Futures of Americas Past: The Genres of Geography and Race in Early America 9 November 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Timothy Fosbury, University of California, Los Angeles

                      This talk analyzes the speculative literary origins of America as a desired community and geography of economic, political, and religious belonging in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by considering how place making was a form of nascent race making in the early Americas. Moving between New England, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, this talk considers how settler imaginings of their desired futures in the Americas produced the preconditions for what we would now call race.

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                      Conference Art and Memory: The Role of Medals 10 November 2018.Saturday, 8:00AM - 6:30PM THE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS NOW CLOSED. Dinner afterward (at The Colonnade Hotel), 7:00PM – 9:00PM A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference in the late afternoon

                      Medal Collectors of America and MHS Conference

                      There is a $75 per person conference fee, with dinner afterward optional at an additional $95 per person.

                      This conference on medals and medal collecting will include a series of presentations on the role medals have played in America history, the evolution of medallic art, and the ways medals have reflected American culture up through the 20th century. In addition, a panel discussion will cover the stylistic developments from Renaissance medallic art to contemporary art medals (“The Art of the Medal”).  A second panel will explore the individual passions that drive numismatists to build their unique collections (“Why Collect Medals?”).

                      8:00 am Arrival/registration/coffee; time to view the MHS medal exhibit

                      8:30 am Welcome, A primer on the MHS Numismatic Collection.

                      Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts

                      9:00 am Their Secrets Revealed! Early American College Secret Society Medals

                      John Sallay

                      9:45 am Medallic America: Allegorical Representations of America on European and American Medals

                      Alan Stahl

                      10:30 am Break

                      11:00 am Panel Discussion: “The Art of the Medal”

                      Ira Rezak (moderator)
                      Cory Gilliland
                      Robert Hoge
                      Scott Miller

                      12:00 noon Lunch

                      1:00 pm The Early Work of Victor David Brenner

                      Patrick McMahon

                      1:45 pm So-Called Dollars as a Reflection of Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century American Culture

                      Jonathan Brecher

                      2:30 pm Break

                      2:50 pm Welcome

                      Catherine Allgor, President of the MHS

                      3:00 pm Medals and Books

                      Len Augsburger

                      3:45 pm Medallic Art Company Archives at the ANS

                      Ute Wartenberg Kagan

                      4:15 pm Panel Discussion: “Why Collect Medals?”

                      John Adams (moderator)
                      Q. David Bowers
                      Rob Rodriguez
                      John Sallay
                      Stephen Scher

                      5:15 pm Wrap up

                      A cocktail reception at the MHS will conclude the conference, followed by an optional dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116)

                      5:30 pm Social/cocktails/reception at MHS

                      6:30 pm Depart for dinner

                      7:00 pm Dinner at the Colonnade Hotel (Braemore/Kenmore Room)

                      The special rate offered by The Colonnade Hotel has expired and other rooms may or may not be available there. A list of other nearby hotels is available by request.

                      MHS is proud to partner with the Medal Collectors of America, a national organization dedicated to the study and collection of artistic and historical medals. For further information, please see www.medalcollectors.org.

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                      Library Closed Library Closed 10 November 2018.Saturday, all day

                      The library is CLOSED to accommodate a special event.

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                      Building Closed Veterans Day 12 November 2018.Monday, all day

                      The Society is CLOSED in observance of Veterans Day.

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                      Environmental History Seminar Ditched: Digging Up Black History in the South Carolina Lowcountry 13 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Caroline Grego, University of Colorado Boulder Comment: Chad Montrie, University of Massachusetts Lowell

                      For nearly three centuries, Black sea islanders enslaved and free have dug thousands of miles of ditches that channeled the South Carolina Lowcountry, for purposes from rice to phosphate to mosquito control. This piece explores the evolving projects of environmental use and management in the Lowcountry, through the conduit of ditches, and traces the history of how the environment, politics, and labor intersected in the miry ditches of the region from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

                      To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                      African American History Seminar An “Organic Union”: Ecclesiastical Imperialism and Caribbean Missions Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                      Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                      15 November 2018.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Christina Davidson, Harvard University Comment: Greg Childs, Brandeis University

                      In 1880, hundreds of black clergy and lay delegates of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) gathered to discuss reunion with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada. Factions within both denominations disputed the nature and procedure of the proposed organic union. This paper argues that the organic union debate was in fact crucial to AME expansion and the development of foreign missions in Haiti and the broader Caribbean.

                      To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                      Notice Library Closing @ 3:00PM 16 November 2018.Friday, all day

                      The library is closing early at 3:00PM for staff training.

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                      Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 17 November 2018.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

                      Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

                       

                       

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                      Public Program, Author Talk Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates registration required 19 November 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Eric Jay Dolin There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                      Set against the backdrop of the Age of Exploration, Black Flags, Blue Waters reveals the dramatic history of American piracy’s “Golden Age”—spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s—when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, and then violently opposed them.

                       

                       

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                      Brown Bag The American Debates over the China Relief Expedition of 1900 this event is free 21 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Xiangyun Xu, Pennsylvania State University

                      This talk examines the American debates over the country’s participation in the eight-nation alliance to relieve the Chinese Boxers’ siege of internationals in Tianjin and Beijing. It places U.S. participation within the context of concurrent controversies over the Spanish-American and Philippine-American war as well as the assertive U.S. policy in East Asia.

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                      Building Closed Thanksgiving 22 November 2018.Thursday, all day

                      The Society is CLOSED for Thanksgiving.

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                      Building Closed Thanksgiving Friday 23 November 2018.Friday, all day close
                      Building Closed Thanksgiving Saturday 24 November 2018.Saturday, all day close
                      Modern American Society and Culture Seminar In Search of the Costs of Segregation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                      Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                      27 November 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, University of Massachusetts Lowell Comment: Kenneth W. Mack, Harvard Law School

                      Historians generally treat Jim Crow as a legal, political, and cultural system shaping where African Americans went, whether they voted, and how they acted. Yet it was also an economic system that imposed financial burdens. This paper explores how segregation made the activities undertaken by African Americans—from gaining education to property—more expensive for them and how it excluded them from economic advancement.

                      To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                      Brown Bag Mules, Fuels, and Fusion: Overcoming Entropy and Crossing the Isthmian Transit Zone 1848-1977 this event is free 28 November 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire

                      This talk explores American attempts to construct transportation infrastructures in Panama between the creation of the Panama Railroad and the Carter-Torrijos Treaties. It focuses specifically on the role proliferating energy sources played in restructuring the Isthmian environment.

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                      Public Program, Author Talk After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America's Greatest Poet registration required 29 November 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julie Dobrow, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                      Despite Emily Dickinson’s world renown, the story of the two women most responsible for her initial posthumous publication—Mabel Loomis Todd and her daughter, Millicent Todd Bingham—has remained in the shadows of the archives. A rich and compelling portrait of women who refused to be confined by the social mores of their era, After Emily explores Mabel and Millicent’s complex bond, as well as the powerful literary legacy they shared.

                       

                       

                       

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                      Tour Gallery Talk: Fashioning the New England Family this event is free 30 November 2018.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire

                      Material culture specialist and guest curator, Dr. Kimberly Alexander will help viewers explore and contextualize rarely seen costumes, textiles and fashion-related accessories mined from the MHS collection. Representing three- centuries of evolving New England style, most of the pieces have never before been on view to the public.

                       

                       

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                        Key to event colors:
                      • MHS Tours
                      • Seminars
                      • Public Programs
                      • Brown Bags
                      • Special Events