The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Beehive series: Today @MHS

This Week @ MHS

As of this writing, it is a very dreary and soggy day outside. After you dry your bones this weekend, consider visiting the MHS in the week ahead for one or more of these upcoming events:

- Tuesday, 6 March, 5:15PM : We start our programs this week with a seminar combo, bringing together Environmental History and Early American History into one neat package. "Common Spaces: Environmental History and the Study of Early America" is a panel discussion with Christopher Pastore, State University of new York at Albany; Nancy Shoemaker, University of Connecticut at Storrs; and Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College; with Matthew McKenzie of University of Connecticut at Avery Point moderating. Environmental historians are concerned with concepts such as ecological imperialism and non-anthropocentric empires, built and natural environments, controlling and organizing space, and the relationship between borders and frontiers. How does or might this influence scholarship on early America? How can work on early American history enrich environmental historians’ understanding of empire, metropoles and borderlands, movement and colonization?

Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

- Wednesday, 7 March, 12:00PM : The Brown Bag discussion this week features G. Patrick O'Brien of University of South Carolina, who presents "A Massachusetts Family's Exile & Return, 1775-1790." After being forced to flee Marblehead in May 1775, the Robie family joined fellow refugees in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In exile, each family member developed a unique perspective on his or her new home and outlook for the future. Repatriation further complicated these understandings and divided the family between two nations. This project explores how a family in exile struggled to maintain kinship networks while its members adapted to a new social environment. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Wednesday, 7 March, 6:00PM : Join us for an author talk with Liesl Olson of the Newberry Library as she discusses her recent work, Chicago Renaissance: Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis. From the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the 20th century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens and the creative ferment of the “Black Metropolis” of Bronzeville. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). 

- Saturday, 10 March, 10:00AM : 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 March, 2018, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Here is a look at events taking place at the Society in the week ahead as the calendar turns another page:

- Monday, 26 February, 6:00PM : Starting things off this week is an author talk with Pual Finkelman of Gratz College. Supreme Inustice: Slavery in the Nation's Highest Court examines the careers of three important antebellum Supreme Court Justices: John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, and Joseph Story, who all upheld the institution of slavery in multiple rulings. Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice's proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by his private life. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members, or EBT cardholders). Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the speaking program at 6:00PM. 

- Tuesday, 27 February, 5:15PM : This week's seminar is part of the Modern American Society and Culture series and is a panel discussion. In "Capitalism and Culture," Jonathan Cohen of University of Virginia and Davor Mondom of Syracuse University examine the reaction against welfare state capitalism in the mid-20th century U. S., looking at two companies that promoted themselves as bastions of free enterprise or as a solution to high state taxes. Sven Becker of Harvard University provides comment. 

Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

- Thursday, 1 March, 6:00PM : MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to Dinner with Dolley, a festive evening with good food, fine wine, and lively conversation inspired by Dolley Madison. During dinner, MHS President Catherine Allgor, who is known for her published work on Dolley Madison, will provide history and fun facts about dining with Mrs. Madison. 

This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle Members. Join a Giving Circle today at www.masshist.org/support/mhsfund

- Saturday, 3 March, 10:00AM : 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.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 25 February, 2018, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

The Society is CLOSED on Monday, 19 February, for Presidents Day. 

It is a holiday-shortened week but there is still plenty of action happening here at the Society. Below are details for what we have on tap.

- Tuesday, 20 February, 6:00PM : Kendra Field's epic family history, Growing Up with the Country, chronicles the westward migration of freedom's first generation in the 50 years after emancipation. Fields traces the journey of her ancestors out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and segregation imperiled their lives, some launched a back-to-Africa movement while others moved to Canada and Mexico. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field's narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shape the pursuit of freedom. 

This talk is open to the public. Registration is required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows or EBT cardholders). Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the program at 6:00PM. 

- Wednesday, 21 February : All K-12 educators are invited to register for Yankees in the West, an all-day teacher workshop. Using the Society's current exhibition as a guide, participants will investigate how writers, artists, and photographers sensationalized the frontier experience for eastern audiences and conceptualized the West for Americans who increasingly embraced the nation's manifest destiny. 

Registration is required for this program with a fee of $25 per person. 

- Wednesday, 21 February, 12:00PM : "Billets & Barracks: The Quartering Act & the Coming of the American Revolution" is a Brown Bag talk with John McCurdy of Eastern Michigan University. The arrival of British soldiers in the 1750s forced Americans to ask “where do soldiers belong?” This project investigates how they answered this question, arguing that it prompted them to rethink the meaning of places like the home and the city, as well as to reevaluate British military power.

This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Thursday, 22 February, 6:00PM : After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals. "For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era" is a public talk with Mark Rennella.

This program is open to all, free of charge, though registration is required. Click on the link and look for the Register button. 

- Saturday, 24 February, 9:00AM : The second teacher workshop this week examines how the personal and political philosophies of Justices John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, and Joseph Story influenced their proslavery positions. In "Slavery & the U.S. Supreme Court," Paul Finkelman, President of Gratz College, will discuss why these three influential justices upheld the institution of slavery and continued to deny black Americans their freedom. Participants will connect these federal rulings to local court cases, as well as antislavery and abolitionist efforts to undermine these unpopular decrees. 

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Registration is required with a fee of $25 per person. 

 

There is no public tour this week.

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 18 February, 2018, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

At the Society this week, we'll be talking about capitalists and fishermen, as well as hosting our building tour. Read on for more information. 

- Tuesday, 13 February, 5:15PM : Francis Sargent was a Cape Cod fisherman-turned-public servant. In his positions as Director of Fisheries, head of Public Works, and eventually, governor of Massachusetts, Sargent bridged the gap between working-class fishers and government. The seminar this week comes from the Environmental History series and is called "Governor Francis W. Sargent: Fisheries Manager." This paper, presented by Benjamin Kochan of Boston University, examines Sargent's ability to speak directly to fishermen, arguing that his post-1974 disengagement from public life robbed fishermen of an ally who might have soothed tensions created by late-1970s federal regulations. To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.

- Thursday, 15 February, 6:00PM : Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of American Wealth & Populism in America's First Gilded Age is the title of a recent work authored by Noam Maggor of Queen Mary University, London, and is the subject of this author talk. The work explores how they moneyed elite of Boston mobilized to reinvent the American economy in the aftermath of the Civil War, traveling far and wide in search of new business opportunities following the decline of cotton-based textile manufacturing and the abolition of slavery. They found these opportunities in the mines, railroads, and industries of the Great West, leveraging their wealth to forge transcontinental networks of commodities, labor, and transportation leading the way to the nationally integrated corporate capitalism of the 20th century. 

This talk is open to the public and registration is required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows or EBT cardholders). A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM, followed by the speaking program at 6:00PM. 

- Saturday, 17 February, 10:00AM : The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led tour through the public rooms here at the Society. The tour is free and open to the public with no need for reservations for individuals or small groups. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley in advance at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West

Please note that the Socety is CLOSED on Monday, 19 February, for Presidents' Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 20 February. 

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 11 February, 2018, 12:00 AM

This Week @ MHS

Welcome back to another events round-up! Here is what is happening at the Society in the week ahead:

- Tuesday, 6 February, 5:15PM : Join us for an Early American History seminar with current MHS-NEH Fellow Laurel Daen, and commenter Cornelia Dayton of the University of Connecticut. Between 1790 and 1840, Americans deemed to be cognitively disabled lost the right to vote, marry, immigrate, obtain residency, and live independently. "'We all agree to exclude...those of unsound mind': Disability, Doctors, and the Law in the Early Republic" charts these legal developments in Massachusetts as well as how disabled people used the courts to negotiate these contraints. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP requiredSubscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

- Wednesday, 7 February, 12:00PM : This week's Brown Bag talk is titled "John Winthrop, Benjamin Martin, & Worlds of Scientific Work." Pierce Williams of Carnegie Mellon University relates how Benjamin Martin was regarded by natural philosophers of his age as a showman and peddler of pseudo-scientific trinkets. At the same time, John Winthrop was working to elevate the North American colonies in the topography of learned culture. This project attempts to understand Winthrop's puzzling choice of Martin to refurbish Harvard's scientific instrument collection after the college laboratory burned to the ground in 1764. This talk is free and open to the public. 

- Wednesday, 7 February, 6:00 PM : In "Reconsidering King Philip's War," two historians reexamine the narrative of one of colonial America’s most devastating conflicts. Lisa Brooks, Amherst College, recovers a complex picture of war, captivity, and Native resistance during the “First Indian War." Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College, offers a major reconsideration of the war, providing an alternative to Pilgrim-centric narratives that have dominated the histories of colonial New England. The program will include short presentations by both scholars followed by a conversation. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows, and EBT cardholders). We have exceeded the seating in our main room. Audience members registering on or after February 1st will be seated in overflow seating.

- Thursday, 8 February, 6:00PM : The second author talk this weak features Douglas Egerton, Le Moyne College, and his recent work Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed AmericaOne of the most treasured objects belonging to the Society’s collection is the battle sword of Robert Gould Shaw, the leader of the courageous 54th Massachusetts infantry, the first black regiment in the North. The prominent Shaw family of Boston and New York had long been involved in reform, including antislavery and feminism, and their son, Robert, took up the mantle of his family’s progressive stances, though perhaps more reluctantly. In this lecture, historian Douglas R. Egerton focuses on the entire Shaw family during the war years and how following generations have dealt with their legacy. This talk is open to the public, registration required with a fee of $10 (no charge for MHS Members and Fellows, and EBT cardholders).

- Saturday, 10 February, 10:00AM : 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

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Yankees in the West.

 

comments: 0 | permalink | Published: Sunday, 4 February, 2018, 12:00 AM

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