Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars

Call for Proposals

The MHS is accepting proposals for the 2021-2022 academic year. We invite proposals (500 words) and CVs from interested researchers. Please indicate when your paper can be available for distribution, as well as your preference (fall or spring) based on when the seminar’s feedback would be helpful to you. Advise us of any special scheduling conditions, such as a planned trip to Boston or an extended period when you cannot make a presentation. Sessions may take place virtually, in person, or in a hybrid format as conditions allow. The following seminar series are accepting proposals: African American History, Environmental History, Maier Early American History, Malgeri Modern American Society & Cutlure, Shapiro Digital History, and the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality.

Please submit your proposals by 9 April 2021 to The steering committees will consider all proposals for the available session slots, and proposers will be notified by early summer. 


The MHS organizes seven seminar series that operate from September to May. These sessions bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone.

How to Attend: Register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar by email. 

Subscribe: Purchasing a $25 seminar subscription gives you advanced access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. Subscribe now.

Join the mailing list today by emailing

Questions? Email

The Seven Series

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Shapiro Digital History Seminar

Introducing in-progress projects that depend on digital methods, such as the use of computational tools for analysis of historical data.

Environmental History

Discuss American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Involves a variety of disciplines including urban planning and environmental management.

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

Discussing all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic.

African American History

Co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar

Concerning American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

Discussing  new research in all aspects of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations.

New England Biography Series

Discussing the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. 

Are you interested in presenting?

Each winter, seminar organizers issue a Call for Proposals in order to fill a limited number of session slots in several of the seminar series. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email

Upcoming Events

Online Event; Author Talk

The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity

3Mar 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

When James Ogilvie arrived in America in 1793, he was a deeply ambitious but impoverished teacher. By the time he returned to Britain in 1817, he had become a bona fide ...

Online Event; Seminar; African American History Seminar

From Jobs and Freedom to Jobs and Opportunity: Andrew Young, Growth, and the Illusion of Job ...

4Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and economic opportunity to investigate how Democrats abandoned their 1970s goal ...

Online Event; Seminar; Environmental History Seminar

Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs

9Mar 5:15PM 2021
This is an online event.

As we begin to consider climate as an everyday problem, it's valuable to see how people did that in the past. With support from the Guggenheim Foundation, Joyce Chaplin ...

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