Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first English colonization to the early republic. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics, and most focus on works in progress.


Most seminar meetings revolve around the discussion of a pre-circulated paper. Sessions open with remarks from the essayist and an assigned commentator, after which the discussion is opened to the floor. Each session is followed by a reception with light refreshments.



Attendance is free and open to everyone. Subscribers who remit $25 for the year will receive early online access to any pre-circulated materials. Subscriptions also underwrite the cost of the series. Pre-circulated materials will be available to non-subscribers who have RSVP’d for a session on the day prior to the program. Subscribe to this seminar series and you will receive access to the seminar papers for SIX series: the Boston Seminar on African American History, the Boston Area Seminar on Early American History, the Boston Seminar on Environmental History, the Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture, and our new Seminar on Digital History. We recognize that topics frequently resonate across these four fields; now, mix and match the seminars that you attend!

 

Join the mailing list today by emailing seminars@masshist.org.

 

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship. Subscribe

September 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Lost Years Recovered: John Peters and Phillis Wheatley Peters in Middleton 21 September 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Author: Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut Panelists: Vincent Carretta, University of Maryland; Tara Bynum, University of Iowa; Joseph Rezek, Boston University Litigation in Essex County reveals where the African-born poet Phillis Wheatley Peters and her ...

Litigation in Essex County reveals where the African-born poet Phillis Wheatley Peters and her husband John Peters went when they left Boston for three years starting in spring 1780.  Peters came into possession of a substantial farm where he had been enslaved as a child. But his tenuous legal position and the hostility of many townspeople led to his eventually losing the land and deciding to move the family back to Boston. Panelists will discuss the implications of these new findings, the future research pathways they suggest, and investigative methods that expand our awareness of Black lives in the late eighteenth-century northeast. Attendees are invited to read the recently published article by Dayton that delineates the complicated litigation record. 

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Previously titled African American lives in the Federal Period.

Register to attend online

More
November 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Conversion in Confinement 9 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Justin Clark, Nanyang Technological University; Daniel Bottino, Rutgers University & Hannah Peterson, Independent Scholar Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through ...

This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through the lens of carceral conversions. Daniel Bottino’s essay will explore the 38 page conversion narrative of Patience Boston, a Native American woman hanged for murder in York, Maine, in 1735. The document offers an extraordinary opportunity for an exploration of religious culture in New England on the verge of the Whitefieldian awakenings of the 1740s.  When examined in its proper historical context, the narrative reveals the spiritual power capable of being wielded even by the most socially marginal people in the intensely religious atmosphere of early eighteenth-century New England. Justin Clark’s essay will show that as Congregationalist New England’s eighteenth-century revivalists offered a brief window of spiritual hope for thousands of sinners, civil authorities began to extend additional periods of time to the region’s condemned convicts. This paper examines the emergence of these extended capital reprieves and their relationship to the accelerated spiritual conversions outside gaol walls. What role did the revivals play in encouraging New Englanders before the penitentiary to re-conceive of carceral time as transformative in itself?

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

More
December 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Crisis: 1774-1775 7 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sarah Beth Gable, Brandeis University Comment: Donald Johnson, North Dakota State University This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American ...

This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American Revolution, particularly the role they played in punishing community dissent and compelling ideological allegiance to the Revolutionary cause. This chapter highlights these committees' activities in the aftermath of the passage of the Massachusetts Government Act in May 1774 and argues that this period served as a training ground for later reprisals against community members. During this period, Massachusetts saw the most dramatic actions against suspected loyalists – the Committees deployed mobs to suspected loyalists' homes, detained Colonial officials, and drove others out of the towns into Boston. This paper argues that the heightened tension of the moment created an atmosphere of suspicion and conspiracy under which the definition of loyalism began to broaden.

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Lost Years Recovered: John Peters and Phillis Wheatley Peters in Middleton 21 September 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Author: Cornelia Dayton, University of Connecticut Panelists: Vincent Carretta, University of Maryland; Tara Bynum, University of Iowa; Joseph Rezek, Boston University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

Litigation in Essex County reveals where the African-born poet Phillis Wheatley Peters and her husband John Peters went when they left Boston for three years starting in spring 1780.  Peters came into possession of a substantial farm where he had been enslaved as a child. But his tenuous legal position and the hostility of many townspeople led to his eventually losing the land and deciding to move the family back to Boston. Panelists will discuss the implications of these new findings, the future research pathways they suggest, and investigative methods that expand our awareness of Black lives in the late eighteenth-century northeast. Attendees are invited to read the recently published article by Dayton that delineates the complicated litigation record. 

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Previously titled African American lives in the Federal Period.

Register to attend online

close

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Conversion in Confinement Register registration required at no cost 9 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Justin Clark, Nanyang Technological University; Daniel Bottino, Rutgers University & Hannah Peterson, Independent Scholar Douglas Winiarski, University of Richmond Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg

This panel will consider two papers exploring the world of early American religious culture through the lens of carceral conversions. Daniel Bottino’s essay will explore the 38 page conversion narrative of Patience Boston, a Native American woman hanged for murder in York, Maine, in 1735. The document offers an extraordinary opportunity for an exploration of religious culture in New England on the verge of the Whitefieldian awakenings of the 1740s.  When examined in its proper historical context, the narrative reveals the spiritual power capable of being wielded even by the most socially marginal people in the intensely religious atmosphere of early eighteenth-century New England. Justin Clark’s essay will show that as Congregationalist New England’s eighteenth-century revivalists offered a brief window of spiritual hope for thousands of sinners, civil authorities began to extend additional periods of time to the region’s condemned convicts. This paper examines the emergence of these extended capital reprieves and their relationship to the accelerated spiritual conversions outside gaol walls. What role did the revivals play in encouraging New Englanders before the penitentiary to re-conceive of carceral time as transformative in itself?

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a virtual event hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

 

close

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Crisis: 1774-1775 7 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sarah Beth Gable, Brandeis University Comment: Donald Johnson, North Dakota State University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/eahs_banner.jpg

This project explores the role of the Committees in Massachusetts communities during the American Revolution, particularly the role they played in punishing community dissent and compelling ideological allegiance to the Revolutionary cause. This chapter highlights these committees' activities in the aftermath of the passage of the Massachusetts Government Act in May 1774 and argues that this period served as a training ground for later reprisals against community members. During this period, Massachusetts saw the most dramatic actions against suspected loyalists – the Committees deployed mobs to suspected loyalists' homes, detained Colonial officials, and drove others out of the towns into Boston. This paper argues that the heightened tension of the moment created an atmosphere of suspicion and conspiracy under which the definition of loyalism began to broaden.

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

Please note, this is a hybrid event which may be attended either in person at the MHS or virtually on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close