Brown Bags

Exhibition

Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country

Massachusetts Women in WWI. 12 June 2014 to 24 January 2015

Details

August

Brown Bag Character Detectives: Female Physiognomists in the Early American Republic 1 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rachel Walker, University of Maryland This project examines the fraught connection between female beauty, morality, and intelligence in ...

This project examines the fraught connection between female beauty, morality, and intelligence in the post-Enlightenment era. It examines how cultural ideas concerning these traits became intertwined by studying the 18th- and 19th-century “science” of physiognomy—a discipline rooted in the notion that an individual could discern a person’s moral and mental characteristics merely by examining his or her facial features. Early Americans discussed male and female physiognomy in distinct ways and used discussions about female appearance to distinguish between the moral and intellectual capacities of men and women. 

details
Brown Bag The Labor of Self-Making in New England Mill Women's Poetry 4 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Robin Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill One of the most visible and publicly discussed moments in the history of American working women was ...

One of the most visible and publicly discussed moments in the history of American working women was the entrance of women into the industrial textile mills of New England in the 1830s and 1840s. The figure of the “female operative” or “Lowell mill girl” fostered an unprecedented public interest in the lives and labor of working women, and the mill women seized this opportunity to publicly challenge the obstacles that industrial labor posed to 19th century ideas of humanity and a coherent sense of self. Drawing upon poems and prose pieces written by women mill workers for publication in literary magazines such as The Lowell Offering, I will argue that for mill women, writing poetry was an important means of humanizing potentially dehumanizing labor; through the rhythms of poetry, they reclaimed control of time and in so doing, made space for fortifying their creative, coherent selves.

details
Brown Bag "The Day of Sainthood Has Passed": American Abolitionists and the Golden Moment of the Civil War, 1861-1865 6 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Frank Cirillo, University of Virginia This project explores the divisions among American abolitionists over whether or not to support the ...

This project explores the divisions among American abolitionists over whether or not to support the Lincoln Administration and the Union war effort during the Civil War. The choices that longtime reformers made in confronting the changed landscape of wartime America, and the series of schisms within the movement that ensued, helps to explain how the Union war achieved both so much and so little in terms of black social and political rights.

details
Brown Bag Military Wives in Eighteenth-Century Boston 13 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Serena Zabin, Carleton College When British troops came to Boston in 1768, hundreds of army wives and children came with them. At ...

When British troops came to Boston in 1768, hundreds of army wives and children came with them. At the time, Boston newspapers exclaimed in horror at the arrival of these army women, referring to them as the “dregs and refuse of all nations.” Yet tantalizing hints in the diaries of Massachusetts militia and provincial soldiers suggest that during the campaigns in 1745 to Louisburg and throughout the Seven Years War, women may have occasionally also accompanied Massachusetts troops. If so, some Boston women may themselves have once been military wives, a possibility that no historian has ever considered, and one that might explain some of the relationships that came to develop between British regulars and Boston civilians in the months preceding the Boston Massacre.

details
Brown Bag The Death and Transfiguration of New England Psalmody, ca. 1790-1860 15 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Brenton Grom, Case Western Reserve University   The robust culture of psalm- and hymn-singing that flourished in Revolutionary New ...

 

The robust culture of psalm- and hymn-singing that flourished in Revolutionary New England became subject to Europeanizing reforms after the turn of the nineteenth century. Introducing these reform efforts as instances of political and theological ideology operating within a larger discourse of refinement, this presentation focuses on their surprisingly variable reception as revealed in copybooks and marginalia. It furthermore considers Victorian values of home, sentiment, and historical memory as masks for the retention of outmoded musical styles in later years.

 

details
Brown Bag Operating Outside of Empire: Trade and Citizenship in the Atlantic World, 1756-1812 18 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mark Dragoni, Syracuse University This project examines merchants operating at the edge of empire and the competing discourses on  ...

This project examines merchants operating at the edge of empire and the competing discourses on trade, cosmopolitanism, and neutrality that statesmen, philosophers, and merchants mobilized. Under increasing demands for consumer goods, states were willing to bend supposedly strict mercantilist regulations to guarantee the steady supply of commodities in the metropole. This program will look at Samuel Cabot's and John and Jonathan Amory's participation in this often illicit, yet highly profitable transatlantic carrying trade during the foundational period for modern citizenship and increasing state regulation.

details
September
Brown Bag Unspeakable Loss: North America’s Invisible Throat Distemper Epidemic of 1735–1765 3 September 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Bonneau, University of Notre Dame While the New England throat distemper epidemic never achieved the notoriety acquired by other more ...

While the New England throat distemper epidemic never achieved the notoriety acquired by other more notorious diseases of the colonial era, no single epidemic of that period proved more deadly to European settlers. This project asks why this epidemic escaped comment by contemporaries and past historians while raising interpretive questions informing our larger views of change, the priority of documentation, and the role of memory. 

details
October
Brown Bag Reading Locke on the Plantation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sean Moore, University of New Hampshire This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox ...

This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox that some early Americans were asserting their own desire for freedom from Britain while simultaneously enslaving others. Considering Locke’s political theory, it will examine how the African diaspora underwrote the dissemination of books of British literature and philosophy, and how Jefferson, Washington, and others bartered slave-produced goods for books through the London agents with whom they did business.

details
Brown Bag The Role of the Military within Imperial Security Policy, 1685-1689. 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rachael Abbiss, University of Chester The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s ...

The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s colonial policy was the first substantial attempt to unite colonies under royal military authority and permanently station regular soldiers in New England. There is limited research pertaining to the military purpose of James’s imperial design, in particular the role, function and contribution of regular troops in controlling and securing New England. This project examines the army and military policy in North America between 1686 and 1689. 

details
More events
Brown Bag Character Detectives: Female Physiognomists in the Early American Republic 1 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachel Walker, University of Maryland

This project examines the fraught connection between female beauty, morality, and intelligence in the post-Enlightenment era. It examines how cultural ideas concerning these traits became intertwined by studying the 18th- and 19th-century “science” of physiognomy—a discipline rooted in the notion that an individual could discern a person’s moral and mental characteristics merely by examining his or her facial features. Early Americans discussed male and female physiognomy in distinct ways and used discussions about female appearance to distinguish between the moral and intellectual capacities of men and women. 

close
Brown Bag The Labor of Self-Making in New England Mill Women's Poetry 4 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Robin Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

One of the most visible and publicly discussed moments in the history of American working women was the entrance of women into the industrial textile mills of New England in the 1830s and 1840s. The figure of the “female operative” or “Lowell mill girl” fostered an unprecedented public interest in the lives and labor of working women, and the mill women seized this opportunity to publicly challenge the obstacles that industrial labor posed to 19th century ideas of humanity and a coherent sense of self. Drawing upon poems and prose pieces written by women mill workers for publication in literary magazines such as The Lowell Offering, I will argue that for mill women, writing poetry was an important means of humanizing potentially dehumanizing labor; through the rhythms of poetry, they reclaimed control of time and in so doing, made space for fortifying their creative, coherent selves.

close
Brown Bag "The Day of Sainthood Has Passed": American Abolitionists and the Golden Moment of the Civil War, 1861-1865 6 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Frank Cirillo, University of Virginia

This project explores the divisions among American abolitionists over whether or not to support the Lincoln Administration and the Union war effort during the Civil War. The choices that longtime reformers made in confronting the changed landscape of wartime America, and the series of schisms within the movement that ensued, helps to explain how the Union war achieved both so much and so little in terms of black social and political rights.

close
Brown Bag Military Wives in Eighteenth-Century Boston 13 August 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Serena Zabin, Carleton College

When British troops came to Boston in 1768, hundreds of army wives and children came with them. At the time, Boston newspapers exclaimed in horror at the arrival of these army women, referring to them as the “dregs and refuse of all nations.” Yet tantalizing hints in the diaries of Massachusetts militia and provincial soldiers suggest that during the campaigns in 1745 to Louisburg and throughout the Seven Years War, women may have occasionally also accompanied Massachusetts troops. If so, some Boston women may themselves have once been military wives, a possibility that no historian has ever considered, and one that might explain some of the relationships that came to develop between British regulars and Boston civilians in the months preceding the Boston Massacre.

close
Brown Bag The Death and Transfiguration of New England Psalmody, ca. 1790-1860 15 August 2014.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Brenton Grom, Case Western Reserve University

 

The robust culture of psalm- and hymn-singing that flourished in Revolutionary New England became subject to Europeanizing reforms after the turn of the nineteenth century. Introducing these reform efforts as instances of political and theological ideology operating within a larger discourse of refinement, this presentation focuses on their surprisingly variable reception as revealed in copybooks and marginalia. It furthermore considers Victorian values of home, sentiment, and historical memory as masks for the retention of outmoded musical styles in later years.

 

close
Brown Bag Operating Outside of Empire: Trade and Citizenship in the Atlantic World, 1756-1812 18 August 2014.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Mark Dragoni, Syracuse University

This project examines merchants operating at the edge of empire and the competing discourses on trade, cosmopolitanism, and neutrality that statesmen, philosophers, and merchants mobilized. Under increasing demands for consumer goods, states were willing to bend supposedly strict mercantilist regulations to guarantee the steady supply of commodities in the metropole. This program will look at Samuel Cabot's and John and Jonathan Amory's participation in this often illicit, yet highly profitable transatlantic carrying trade during the foundational period for modern citizenship and increasing state regulation.

close
Brown Bag Unspeakable Loss: North America’s Invisible Throat Distemper Epidemic of 1735–1765 3 September 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Nicholas Bonneau, University of Notre Dame

While the New England throat distemper epidemic never achieved the notoriety acquired by other more notorious diseases of the colonial era, no single epidemic of that period proved more deadly to European settlers. This project asks why this epidemic escaped comment by contemporaries and past historians while raising interpretive questions informing our larger views of change, the priority of documentation, and the role of memory. 

close
Brown Bag Reading Locke on the Plantation 1 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Sean Moore, University of New Hampshire

This talk will extend into book history Edmund Morgan’s articulation of the well-known paradox that some early Americans were asserting their own desire for freedom from Britain while simultaneously enslaving others. Considering Locke’s political theory, it will examine how the African diaspora underwrote the dissemination of books of British literature and philosophy, and how Jefferson, Washington, and others bartered slave-produced goods for books through the London agents with whom they did business.

close
Brown Bag The Role of the Military within Imperial Security Policy, 1685-1689. 15 October 2014.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM this event is free Rachael Abbiss, University of Chester

The Dominion of New England was established in 1686 by James VII & II. James’s colonial policy was the first substantial attempt to unite colonies under royal military authority and permanently station regular soldiers in New England. There is limited research pertaining to the military purpose of James’s imperial design, in particular the role, function and contribution of regular troops in controlling and securing New England. This project examines the army and military policy in North America between 1686 and 1689. 

close

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