Massachusetts Historical Society


Revolutionary Things: Material Culture & Politics in the Late Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World


Ashli White, University of Miami

This is a hybrid event. FREE for MHS Members. $10 per person fee (in person). No charge for virtual attendees or Card to Culture participants (EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare). The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

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Historian Ashli White explores the circulation of material culture during the American, French, and Haitian revolutions, arguing that in the late eighteenth century, radical ideals were contested through objects as well as in texts. She considers how revolutionary things, as they moved throughout the Atlantic, brought people into contact with these transformative political movements in visceral, multiple, and provocative ways. Focusing on a range of objects—ceramics and furniture, garments and accessories, prints, maps, and public amusements—White shows how material culture held political meaning for diverse populations. Enslaved and free, women and men, poor and elite—all turned to things as a means to realize their varied and sometimes competing visions of revolutionary change.

Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Masks are optional for this event.

The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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