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January 2018

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                          • Environmental History SeminarThe Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Bosto...
                            Environmental History SeminarThe Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919-1927
                            5:15PM - 7:30PM Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut Comment: Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
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                                    • History of Women and Gender SeminarThe ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists:...
                                      History of Women and Gender SeminarThe ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth-Century United States
                                      5:15PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law Comment: Rebecca Herzig, Bates College Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                      Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
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                                                • Modern American Society and Culture Seminar“Momentum Toward Evil is Strong”: Poor Women, Moral Panics, and...
                                                  Modern American Society and Culture Seminar“Momentum Toward Evil is Strong”: Poor Women, Moral Panics, and the Rise of Crime-Fighting Policing in Depression-Era America
                                                  5:15PM - 7:30PM Anne Gray Fischer, Brown University Comment: Michael Willrich, Brandeis University Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                                  Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
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                                                Exhibition Yankees in the West this event is free 6 October 2017 to 6 April 2018 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Yankees in the West

                                                For generations Americans have been fascinated with the American west. Depictions of the western landscape flooded New England in the mid19th century, spurring a stream of western tourism. Yankees in the West draws from the Society's collections of letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, and artifacts to explore the ways New Englanders experienced the trans-Mississippi west in the late19th and early 20th centuries.

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                                                Building Closed New Year's Day 1 January 2018.Monday, all day

                                                The MHS is CLOSED for New Year's Day.

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                                                Brown Bag Excavating the Western Indian Mound and Building the American Archive this event is free 3 January 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Derek O'Leary, University of California, Berkeley

                                                Settlers and travelers moving westward in the early republic encountered the myriad Indian mounds scattered along the American frontier. These sundry earthworks furnished ample grist for various projects: frontier infrastructure, literary nationalism, the national historical narrative, and—as this talk explores—the emergence of American archives.

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                                                Building Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 15 January 2018.Monday, all day

                                                The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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                                                Environmental History Seminar The Fight before the Flood: Rural Protest and the Debate over Boston’s Quabbin Reservoir, 1919-1927 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                                Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                                16 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut Comment: Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

                                                In 1919, state engineers proposed solving Boston’s water supply crisis by damming the Swift River, flooding a western Massachusetts valley and evicting 2,500 people. The contentious six-year debate that followed does not fit the standard story of urban conservationists versus rural peoples, as many valley residents defined themselves as rural and conservationist, and thus offers scholars a chance to see fresh nuances in early twentieth-century land management, rural life, and urban development.

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

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                                                Brown Bag Skulls, Selves, and Showmanship: Itinerant Phrenologists in 19th-Century America this event is free 17 January 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kathrinne Duffy, Brown University

                                                "Come, then, one and all, and learn to know yourselves." With these words, a traveling phrenologist advertised his lecture to the public. Proponents of phrenology — a controversial, influential science — believed that the shape of one’s cranium revealed one’s character. This talk explores the world of phrenological lecture-demonstrations and the circulation of materialist ideas about the self.

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                                                History of Women and Gender Seminar The ‘Woman Inventor’ as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists: Patents, Invention, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth-Century United States Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                                Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                                23 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Kara Swanson, Northeastern University School of Law Comment: Rebecca Herzig, Bates College

                                                After the Patent Act of 1790, patents played an important social and political role in the formation of American nationhood and citizenship. Part of a larger book project, this paper demonstrates how nineteenth-century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

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

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                                                Modern American Society and Culture Seminar “Momentum Toward Evil is Strong”: Poor Women, Moral Panics, and the Rise of Crime-Fighting Policing in Depression-Era America Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                                Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                                30 January 2018.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Anne Gray Fischer, Brown University Comment: Michael Willrich, Brandeis University

                                                Between Prohibition and World War II, American law enforcement went from being seen as a brutal and incompetent political liability to a professional crime-fighting regime. This essay explores the dramatic shift in public perception by studying the changing practices of Depression-era morality policing in Boston and Los Angeles—specifically, the police enforcement of morals misdemeanors, including vagrancy, disorderly conduct, lewdness, and prostitution, which disproportionately targeted poor women on city streets.

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

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                                                Brown Bag Indian Doctresses: Race, Labor, and Medicine in the 19th-century United States this event is free 31 January 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Angela Hudson, Texas A&M University

                                                This project focuses on women who worked as Indian doctresses and the clients who sought their care. The study strives to more fully integrate indigeneity into fields of study from which it is often absent, most notably labor history and the history of medicine.

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