Brown Bags

Brown Bag "Pious Females" and "Good Schools": Transnational Networks of Education in Nineteenth-Century Liberia 23 April 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Marie Stango, University of Michigan details
Brown Bag The Poor Always with You: Poverty in an Age of Emancipation, 1833-1879 7 May 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Chris Florio, Princeton University details
Brown Bag The Performance of Miracles: Alexander Graham Bell's Mission to Save the Deaf 12 May 2014. Monday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Katie Booth, University of Pittsburgh

Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his work to liberate the deaf by destroying their community. He came to Boston in 1871 to teach deaf children through oralism, a method that forbade the use of Sign Language and instead taught deaf children to speak. He quickly became an international leader of the oralist movement, but for the deaf who believed he was robbing them of their language, he became the culture’s greatest enemy.

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Brown Bag Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices 16 May 2014. Friday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. The editors who have prepared her work for publication and a biographer who has used it will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

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Brown Bag Securing the Spanish Main: British Subjecthood and the Peace of 1763 21 May 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Bryan Rosenblithe, Columbia University

This talk examines the ways that political, economic, and military contests in the Floridas and Honduras during the era of the Seven Years War shaped imperial notions of British subjecthood. It also explores how questions related to who counted as a subject influenced British strategic thinking during a time of widely perceived Bourbon revanchism.  

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Brown Bag Circulating Counterfeits: Making Money and Its Meanings in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic 28 May 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Katherine Smoak, The Johns Hopkins University

Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by the unstandardized and various nature of eighteenth-century currency. Counterfeiters formed regional and trans-Atlantic networks to produce and circulate debased and forged coin, both British and foreign, and faked reproductions of newly available paper notes.  Reconstructing these networks, I argue that counterfeiters shaped imperial economies in unexpected ways, impacting everything from daily economic practices to the course of economic development, and prompted complex discussions about value, worth and trust in an expanding commercial empire.

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Brown Bag Creating Adams Family Values 4 June 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Sara Georgini, Adams Papers and Boston University details
Brown Bag The Camera and the Community: How Photography Changed American Abolitionism 2 July 2014. Wednesday, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM this event is free Matthew Amato, University of Southern California

In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that the photographic process would be used as a political weapon. Examining the production, exchange and visuality of photographs of abolitionists, this talk shows how radical activists harnessed the medium as a way to build their movement in the decades prior to the Civil War.

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More events
23 April 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

"Pious Females" and "Good Schools": Transnational Networks of Education in Nineteenth-Century Liberia

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Marie Stango, University of Michigan

This project examines the networks of men and women who helped support education efforts in the American settlements in Liberia, West Africa. These philanthropists, many of them based in Massachusetts, helped establish formal and informal schools in the former American colonies and planned for a college, which opened for classes as Liberia College (now the University of Liberia) in 1863. How did these American sponsors manage an institution over four thousand miles away?

7 May 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

The Poor Always with You: Poverty in an Age of Emancipation, 1833-1879

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Chris Florio, Princeton University

Poverty and slavery are monumental problems – but today we assume they are separate problems. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, American and British observers struggled to distinguish the poor from the slave. Tracing a key shift in the moral imagination, my dissertation explores how the boundaries of poverty and slavery blurred during the so-called “age of emancipation.” I ask: how did poverty and slavery, as political categories and social conditions, entangle with one another in locations spanning the United States and the British Empire?

12 May 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

The Performance of Miracles: Alexander Graham Bell's Mission to Save the Deaf

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Katie Booth, University of Pittsburgh

Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his work to liberate the deaf by destroying their community. He came to Boston in 1871 to teach deaf children through oralism, a method that forbade the use of Sign Language and instead taught deaf children to speak. He quickly became an international leader of the oralist movement, but for the deaf who believed he was robbing them of their language, he became the culture’s greatest enemy.

16 May 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Moderator: Beth Luey Panelists: Judith Graham, Margaret Hogan, David Michelmore

Louisa Catherine Adams wrote in several genres, including letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. Bring your lunch and join us for a conversation with the editors who have prepared her work for publication, and a biographer who has used it. They will discuss what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public.

Image: Louisa Catherine Johnson. Miniature oil portrait, circa 1792.

21 May 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

Securing the Spanish Main: British Subjecthood and the Peace of 1763

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Bryan Rosenblithe, Columbia University

This talk examines the ways that political, economic, and military contests in the Floridas and Honduras during the era of the Seven Years War shaped imperial notions of British subjecthood. It also explores how questions related to who counted as a subject influenced British strategic thinking during a time of widely perceived Bourbon revanchism.  

28 May 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

Circulating Counterfeits: Making Money and Its Meanings in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Katherine Smoak, The Johns Hopkins University

Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by the unstandardized and various nature of eighteenth-century currency. Counterfeiters formed regional and trans-Atlantic networks to produce and circulate debased and forged coin, both British and foreign, and faked reproductions of newly available paper notes.  Reconstructing these networks, I argue that counterfeiters shaped imperial economies in unexpected ways, impacting everything from daily economic practices to the course of economic development, and prompted complex discussions about value, worth and trust in an expanding commercial empire.

4 June 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

Creating Adams Family Values

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Sara Georgini, Adams Papers and Boston University

This project is a history of religion in the Adams family of Massachusetts from 1583 to 1927. Most Adams family members accepted organized religion as a public good, but they filled letters and lives with the effort to answer one query: What was it good for? As men and women operating at the heart of the nation, prevailing notions of Christian citizenship laid out duties for them to fulfill, and the Adamses repeatedly sought out God for help. Drawing on the public and private papers of several generations, this project explores the “cosmopolitan Christianity” that the Adams family developed over time.

2 July 2014 this event is free Brown Bag

The Camera and the Community: How Photography Changed American Abolitionism

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Matthew Amato, University of Southern California

In 1839, when the French-born daguerreotype arrived in the United States, it was hardly clear that the photographic process would be used as a political weapon. Examining the production, exchange and visuality of photographs of abolitionists, this talk shows how radical activists harnessed the medium as a way to build their movement in the decades prior to the Civil War.


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