This series is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

 

The Boston Seminar on African American History is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of African American history from the colonial era to the present day. Now in its second year, this program meets a need that other local discussion series do not address, by focusing on historical scholarship and specifically the African American past.

 

Most seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a pre-circulated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. Each session is followed by a reception with light refreshments.

 

Attendance is free and open to everyone. Subscribers who remit $25 for the year will receive early online access to any pre-circulated materials. Subscriptions also underwrite the cost of the series. Pre-circulated materials will be available to non-subscribers who have RSVP’d for a session on the day prior to the program. Subscribe to this seminar series and you will receive access to the seminar papers for SIX series: the Boston Seminar on African American History, the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar, the Boston Seminar on Environmental History, the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture, and our new Seminar on Digital History. We recognize that topics frequently resonate across these four fields; now, mix and match the seminars that you attend!

Join the mailing list today by emailing seminars@masshist.org.

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October 2019
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//banner_draft_2.jpg African American History Seminar “A New Game”: The Invention of the N-Word Phrase 10 October 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Pryor, Smith College Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law In the 1980s and 1990s, Black intellectuals increasingly refused to repeat the violent language ...

In the 1980s and 1990s, Black intellectuals increasingly refused to repeat the violent language wielded against them. Thus, they invented the “n” word phrase, placing the racist slur n***er at the center of debates over political correctness and Black cultural expression. By exploring the long history of African American protest against the n-word, this reflection examines how the surrogate phrase straddles Black radicalism on one hand and respectability politics on the other.

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November 2019
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//banner_draft_2.jpg African American History Seminar Mary Church Terrell’s Intersectional Black Feminism 21 November 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University Civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) highlighted the intersections of race and sex ...

Civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) highlighted the intersections of race and sex in black women’s lives. This paper focuses on Terrell’s critiques of the suffrage movement, the social purity movement, and the postbellum white nostalgia for “Black Mammies.” Terrell asserted black women’s right to be full citizens, to vote, and to be treated without violence and with respect.

This session is co-sponsored by the New England Biography Series.

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African American History Seminar “A New Game”: The Invention of the N-Word Phrase Register registration required at no cost 10 October 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Elizabeth Pryor, Smith College Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//banner_draft_2.jpg

In the 1980s and 1990s, Black intellectuals increasingly refused to repeat the violent language wielded against them. Thus, they invented the “n” word phrase, placing the racist slur n***er at the center of debates over political correctness and Black cultural expression. By exploring the long history of African American protest against the n-word, this reflection examines how the surrogate phrase straddles Black radicalism on one hand and respectability politics on the other.

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African American History Seminar Mary Church Terrell’s Intersectional Black Feminism Register registration required at no cost 21 November 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Alison M. Parker, University of Delaware Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//banner_draft_2.jpg

Civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) highlighted the intersections of race and sex in black women’s lives. This paper focuses on Terrell’s critiques of the suffrage movement, the social purity movement, and the postbellum white nostalgia for “Black Mammies.” Terrell asserted black women’s right to be full citizens, to vote, and to be treated without violence and with respect.

This session is co-sponsored by the New England Biography Series.

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