The MHS offers an engaging roster of programming to foster historical knowledge and we welcome everyone to attend, question, and contribute. We provide a forum for debate; host a variety of programs that delve into the complexities of history; and encourage people to share their observations, interpretations, and ideas. MHS programs include author talks, conversations, panel discussions, gallery tours, brown-bag lunches, seminars, conferences, and exclusive events for Members and donors. If you missed a program or would like to revisit the material presented, our videos page has many past programs.

January 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg Seminar, Digital History Seminar, Online Event POSTPONED - Excavating Egyptology: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project 26 January 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED Sarah Ketchley, University of Washington Jennifer Stertzer, University of Virginia THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED The Nile travel diaries of Mrs. Emma B. Andrews are an important yet ...

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED

The Nile travel diaries of Mrs. Emma B. Andrews are an important yet underutilized resource for the so-called “Golden Age” of Egyptian archaeology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This paper will discuss the evolution of the Emma B. Andrews Diary Project (est. 2011), and the project’s processes for transcription, encoding, analysis and presentation in a digital format.

The Digital History Projects 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/winter_2021/province_of_affliction.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England 28 January 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Ben Mutschler, Oregon State University, in conversation with Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Afflictions of all sorts coursed through eighteenth-century New England – towns and cities set ...

Afflictions of all sorts coursed through eighteenth-century New England – towns and cities set ablaze by epidemics, soldiers sickened and injured in the fight for empire, families and households laboring under an astonishing range of sufferings that were at once common and costly. This session will bring Ben Mutschler, author of The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England (Chicago, 2020), together with Liz Covart, podcast host of Ben Franklin’s World, to discuss how the early modern world addressed issues at once strange and familiar to us all.

Get 20% off the list price when you order Province of Affliction through UChicago Press using code BEN20 at checkout. 

 

 

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February 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/driving_while_black.jpg Online Event, Author Talk, Public Program Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights 1 February 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Gretchen Sorin, SUNY Oneonta in conversation with Catherine Allgor, MHS Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and ...

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility— has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/61Aq3gMhSWL.jpg
dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family’s story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides—including the famous Green Book—the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.

 

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EAHS_banner.jpg Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar, Online Event Women of the Underground: Political Repression, Kinship Networks, and the Transatlantic Resistance to Restoration Politics 2 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Cynthia Van Zandt, University of New Hampshire Adrian Weimer, Providence College Non-conformist resistance to the Stuart Restoration is often told as the history of ministers, ...

Non-conformist resistance to the Stuart Restoration is often told as the history of ministers, regicides, and other men who actively preserved their loyalty to political and religious ideals of the 1640s and 1650s. However, many of the ongoing activities necessary to preserve the movement were carried out by women. This paper explores women’s roles in the transatlantic kinship, religious, and veterans’ networks which enabled nonconformists to sustain themselves in the face of defeat and repression.

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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/higher_laws.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Higher Laws: Black and White Transcendentalists and the Fight Against Slavery 4 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Peter Wirzbicki, Princeton University In the cauldron of the antislavery movement, antislavery activists and Transcendentalist ...

In the cauldron of the antislavery movement, antislavery activists and Transcendentalist intellectuals, developed a "Higher Law" ethos, a unique set of romantic political sensibilities—marked by moral enthusiasms, democratic idealism, and a vision of the self that could judge political questions from "higher" standards of morality and reason. The Transcendentalism that emerges here was intended to fight slavery, but it would influence later labor, feminist, civil rights, and environmentalist activism. African American thinkers and activists have long engaged with American Transcendentalist ideas about "double consciousness," nonconformity, and civil disobedience. When thinkers like Martin Luther King, Jr., or W. E. B. Du Bois invoked Transcendentalist ideas, they were putting to use an intellectual movement that black radicals had participated in since the 1830s.

 

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/gomes_banner.jpg Online Event Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony 9 February 2021.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This is an online event. Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University Please join us for a special evening in which historian Kerri Greenidge will receive the 2020 Gomes ...

Please join us for a special evening in which historian Kerri Greenidge will receive the 2020 Gomes Prize for Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter. Greenidge will join Annette Gordon-Reed in a conversation about Trotter’s pursuit of radical equality and Black self-determination, as well as the multilayered world of Black Boston that was not simply an abolitionist haven for former slaves but a segregated world with limited opportunity for even a Harvard-educated man like Trotter.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/crooked_path.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Conversation The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution 11 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program James Oakes, The Graduate Center, CUNY in conversation with Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School Some celebrate Lincoln for freeing the slaves; others fault him for a long-standing conservatism on ...

Some celebrate Lincoln for freeing the slaves; others fault him for a long-standing conservatism on abolition and race. James Oakes provides another exploration of Lincoln and the end of slavery. Through the unforeseen challenges of the Civil War crisis, Lincoln and the Republican party adhered to a clear antislavery strategy founded on the Constitution itself. Lincoln and the Republicans claimed strong constitutional tools for federal action against slavery, and they used those tools consistently to undermine slavery, prevent its expansion, and pressure the slave states into abolition. This antislavery Constitution guided Lincoln and his allies as they navigated the sectional crisis and the Civil War. When the states finally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, it was a confirmation of a long-held vision.

 

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/WGS_Banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar Boston Women on Drugs 16 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Trysh Travis, University of Florida Elizabeth Lunbeck, Harvard University In the mid-20th century, Boston emerged as a laboratory for “the modern alcoholism movement ...

In the mid-20th century, Boston emerged as a laboratory for “the modern alcoholism movement,” a campaign to replace penal responses to chronic drunkenness with medico-moral treatment focused on returning white men to their appropriate breadwinner roles. In the late 1970s, radical feminist and women of color community health activists in Boston and Cambridge critiqued this system. This paper examines their attempts to create a more equitable, responsive, and genuinely feminist approach to substance abuse, and assesses their strengths and shortcomings.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Confronting Racial Injustice: Slavery, Wealth Creation, and Intergenerational Wealth 18 February 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM This is an online program Nicole Maskiell, University of South Carolina; Elon Cook Lee, National Trust for Historic Preservation; moderated by Jared Hardesty, Western Washington University This program is in partnership with Northeastern University Law School's Criminal Justice Task Force From the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, slavery has been central to creating wealth and ...

From the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, slavery has been central to creating wealth and generating race-based inequality in Massachusetts. Family fortunes, institutional endowments, and public budgets in the commonwealth have all benefitted from the spoils of slavery. This panel discussion between academic and public historians explores Massachusetts’s connections to slavery and the slave trade, the wealth -- and the poverty -- slavery created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of slavery are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day.

 

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/MASC_Banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar A Portal to the Pacific Ocean: Puget Sound, the Transcontinental Railroads, and Transpacific Trade, 1869–1914 23 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Sean Fraga, University of Southern California David Armitage, Harvard University The transcontinental railroads reshaped the United States—its politics, economy, culture ...

The transcontinental railroads reshaped the United States—its politics, economy, culture and environment. But as Sean Fraga argues, these railroads also saw themselves as part of an emergent global steam-powered network. This paper shows how American interest in trade with East Asia motivated Northern Pacific Railway and Great Northern Railway to build transcontinental lines to Puget Sound. In doing so, these railroads left lasting impacts on the region’s lands, waters, and peoples.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/service-pnp-det-4a20000-4a28000-4a28600-4a28681v.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States 24 February 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Julia Rose Kraut Beginning with the Alien Friends Act of 1798, the United States passed laws in the name of national ...

Beginning with the Alien Friends Act of 1798, the United States passed laws in the name of national Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/9780674976061_p0_v1_s1200x630.jpgsecurity to bar or expel foreigners based on their beliefs and associations—although these laws sometimes conflict with First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and association or contradict America’s self-image as a nation of immigrants. The government has continually used ideological exclusions and deportations of noncitizens to suppress dissent and radicalism throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from the War on Anarchy to the Cold War to the War on Terror. In Threat of Dissent, Julia Rose Kraut provides a comprehensive overview of the intersection of immigration law and the First Amendment.

 

 

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Protest and Citizenship: Revisited 25 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; Chad Williams, Brandeis University; Hasan Jeffries, Ohio State University Collective protest, in addition to being a constitutionally protected right, is a fundamental and ...

Collective protest, in addition to being a constitutionally protected right, is a fundamental and enduring part of American life and culture. Protest and agitation has at times proven a powerful way of advancing the rights and status of marginalized groups by swaying public opinion and fueling changes in law and public policy. Our panel of scholars will revisit an earlier conversation held in 2018, looking at the ways in which protest has been used to highlight injustice and change the citizenship rights of certain groups. In the wake of the high-profile demonstrations triggered by the murder of George Floyd, what can we take from the past to understand our current political and social climate?

 

 

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March 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EAHS_banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Health, Disease, and Early American Environments - A Panel Discussion 2 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Authors: Molly Nebiolo, Northeastern University; Camden Elliott, Harvard University Comment: Thomas Wickman, Trinity College This panel discussion brings together the histories of health, disease, and the environment to cast ...

This panel discussion brings together the histories of health, disease, and the environment to cast new light on key sites of Colonial American history. Molly Nebiolo’s research highlights how health and medical knowledge impacted the creation of early Atlantic cities. By examining the colonial history of promotional narratives, both written and spatial, her paper argues that health and well-being were fundamental ideas for the settlement of Philadelphia and Charleston. Camden Elliott’s paper recasts the history of the Stono Slave Rebellion through the lens of environmental history. Placing mosquitoes (and their pathogens) in a supporting role to a slave war in South Carolina, he investigates how yellow fever helped set the stage for resistance and malaria shielded maroons in the rebellion’s aftermath.

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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/81hYYRIc6qL.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity 3 March 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Carolyn Eastman, Virginia Commonwealth University, in conversation with Sara Georgini, MHS When James Ogilvie arrived in America in 1793, he was a deeply ambitious but impoverished teacher. ...

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 celebrity known simply as Mr. O, counting the nation's leading politicians and intellectuals among his admirers. And then, like so many meteoric American luminaries afterward, he fell from grace. Ogilvie's career featured many of the hallmarks of celebrity we recognize from later eras: glamorous friends, eccentric clothing, scandalous religious views, narcissism, and even an alarming drug habit. Author Caroyln Eastman, along with Sara Georgini, will discuss Ogilvie’s history, which is at once a biography of a remarkable performer and a story of the United States during the founding era.

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg Online Event, Seminar, African American History Seminar From Jobs and Freedom to Jobs and Opportunity: Andrew Young, Growth, and the Illusion of Job Creation 4 March 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Danielle Wiggins, California Institution of Technology Comment: Brenna Greer, Wellesley College This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and ...

This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and economic opportunity to investigate how Democrats abandoned their 1970s goal of full employment in favor of policies that promoted private sector job creation via economic growth in the 1980s. By conflating growth with opportunity, Andrew Young sought to stake a middle path between development interests and anti-poverty coalitions, between white and black voters, and between civil rights liberalism and supply-side liberalism. However, economic growth and its promise of opportunity proved to be an inadequate solution for the range of issues its proponents intended it to address.

The African 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EHS_banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs 9 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University As we begin to consider climate as an everyday problem, it's valuable to see how people did that in ...

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 is compiling and analyzing a database of manuscript notes about weather in early American almanacs,1646-1821, out of 10,578 almanacs from nine different archives or libraries. Her talk focuses on how people recorded the weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

The Environmental 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/9781623545352.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Conversation From Revolution to Pandemic: What Makes Boston One of the World’s Top Innovation Centers? 24 March 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Robert Krim in conversation with Scott Kirsner Dr. Robert Krim, author of Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics-Innovations that ...

Dr. Robert Krim, author of Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics-Innovations that Changed the World, presents a fascinating journey through Boston’s innovation history. Looking at the range of Boston-born innovations that, over its 400-year history, have made Boston one of the world’s leading cities in innovation, Dr. Krim answers the question of why the city has remained innovative through its long history. He will describe in colorful detail the struggles the city—and its innovators—faced on their road to innovations which changed the nation or the world and will discuss how this unfettered innovative culture has helped the city reinvent itself after four devastating economic collapses.

 

 

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/biography_banner.jpg Seminar, Biography Seminar, Online Event Marriage of Minds or Boston Divorce? The lives and good works of Caroline Healey Dall and Rev. Charles Henry Appleton Dall on two continents 25 March 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Neilesh Bose, University of Victorial; Helen R. Deese, Caroline Healey Dall Editor, Massachusetts Historical Society Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College Caroline Healey Dall (1822-1912) and Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816-1886) met in Boston where, as ...

Caroline Healey Dall (1822-1912) and Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816-1886) met in Boston where, as a teenager in Margaret Fuller’s Conversations, Caroline learned to ask “all the great questions of life.” The handsome but sickly Charles graduated from Harvard with Henry Thoreau and was influenced by Joseph Tuckerman’s ministry to the poor. Marrying in 1844, the couple struggled to find their footing as Charles took a series of ministerial jobs, each punctuated by a period of illness. When Charles left Caroline and their two children in 1855 to establish a Unitarian mission in Calcutta, drawn to the Brahmo Samaj and the Indian nationalist cause, his health improved. “Separated by half the earth,” historian Spencer Lavan writes, “their careers began to blossom.” Caroline emerged as a vehement writer and lecturer on abolition, women’s rights, and social science. Bose and Deese will effect a 21st-century reconciliation, putting into conversation a couple whose divergence led to lives of distinctive activism, documented in Caroline’s extensive journals held at the MHS.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/MASC_Banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Parlor and the Public: Tin Pan Alley and the Birth of Manhattan Mass Culture 30 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Samuel Backer, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Jeffrey Melnick, University of Massachusetts - Boston During the late 19th century, the upstart sheet music firms known as Tin Pan Alley developed a ...

During the late 19th century, the upstart sheet music firms known as Tin Pan Alley developed a revolutionary approach to publishing, constructing a system able to sell songs at a previously unimaginable scale and rate. Relying on New York’s central role in national performance networks to disseminate their compositions, this industry was defined by the tension between publishers’ attempts to create mass-marketing commodities, and the fast-moving, alcohol-drenched urban environments in which their products were required to thrive.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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April 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg Seminar, African American History Seminar, Online Event “Fighting the Dogs:” Fugitivity, Canine Hunters, and Slave Resistance in the Rural South 1 April 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Tyler Parry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Comment: Harriet Ritvo, MIT As slavery expanded in the Americas, canine attacks were used as a particularly sadistic aspect of ...

As slavery expanded in the Americas, canine attacks were used as a particularly sadistic aspect of racist dehumanization. Through linked processes of breeding and training, slave hunters believed they had developed “natural” enemies between black people and the canines trained to hunt them. This paper investigates how fugitives responded to this interspecies violence by using various techniques of environmental resistance outside the plantation’s confines. By analyzing how fugitives used herbal combinations, waterways, and offensive weapons to subvert the canine's sensory advantage, this paper argues that enslaved communities should be understood as knowledge producers who studied their environments and used scientific awareness in their resistance.

The African 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EHS_banner.jpg Seminar, Environmental History Seminar, Online Event Kaleidoscope Metropolis: Autonomy and Integration in the Fractured City 13 April 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Garrett Nelson, Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center Comment: Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University By the 1950s, just as technocratic consensus settled on the opinion that Boston’s metropolitan ...

By the 1950s, just as technocratic consensus settled on the opinion that Boston’s metropolitan problems demanded municipal consolidation, meaningful regional integration became a political dead letter. This paper examines how conflicting pressures towards both spatial integration and disintegration shaped the postwar city, with ecological concepts about environmental management jostling against demands for community autonomy coming from both right and left. Struggle over geographic units thereby became a key axis of conflict between different ideological strands of the politics of place.

The Environmental 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/WGS_Banner.jpg Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar, Online Event Contesting Domesticity – a Panel Discussion 20 April 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Authors: Kwelina Thompson, Cornell University; Shoniqua Roach, Brandeis University; Laura Puaca, Christopher Newport University Comment: Allison Horrocks, Lowell National Historical Park The domestic realm has long captivated feminist scholars who have sought to understand the lives of ...

The domestic realm has long captivated feminist scholars who have sought to understand the lives of women and the workings of gender. How have women experienced, challenged, leveraged, and shaped the domestic? This panel will consider these questions and discuss the domestic as a contested site of constraint and possibility. Shoniqua Roach theorizes the meanings of black domesticity as a deeply fraught space marked by anti-black sentiment and yet full of insurgent potential. Kwelina Thompson explores the history of the La Leche League – a Catholic mothers group that organized to support breastfeeding mothers in the mid-twentieth century. Finally, Laura Puaca tells the story of the expansion of post-WWII vocational rehabilitation programs to include disabled homemakers in the US.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Seminar, Digital History Seminar, Online Event POSTPONED - Excavating Egyptology: The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project registration required at no cost 26 January 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED Sarah Ketchley, University of Washington Jennifer Stertzer, University of Virginia Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED

The Nile travel diaries of Mrs. Emma B. Andrews are an important yet underutilized resource for the so-called “Golden Age” of Egyptian archaeology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This paper will discuss the evolution of the Emma B. Andrews Diary Project (est. 2011), and the project’s processes for transcription, encoding, analysis and presentation in a digital format.

The Digital History Projects 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England Register registration required at no cost 28 January 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Ben Mutschler, Oregon State University, in conversation with Liz Covart, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/winter_2021/province_of_affliction.jpg

Afflictions of all sorts coursed through eighteenth-century New England – towns and cities set ablaze by epidemics, soldiers sickened and injured in the fight for empire, families and households laboring under an astonishing range of sufferings that were at once common and costly. This session will bring Ben Mutschler, author of The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England (Chicago, 2020), together with Liz Covart, podcast host of Ben Franklin’s World, to discuss how the early modern world addressed issues at once strange and familiar to us all.

Get 20% off the list price when you order Province of Affliction through UChicago Press using code BEN20 at checkout. 

 

 

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Online Event, Author Talk, Public Program Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights Register registration required at no cost 1 February 2021.Monday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Gretchen Sorin, SUNY Oneonta in conversation with Catherine Allgor, MHS Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/driving_while_black.jpg

Driving While Black demonstrates that the car—the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility— has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/61Aq3gMhSWL.jpg
dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family’s story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides—including the famous Green Book—the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.

 

 

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Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar, Online Event Women of the Underground: Political Repression, Kinship Networks, and the Transatlantic Resistance to Restoration Politics Register registration required at no cost 2 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Cynthia Van Zandt, University of New Hampshire Adrian Weimer, Providence College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EAHS_banner.jpg

Non-conformist resistance to the Stuart Restoration is often told as the history of ministers, regicides, and other men who actively preserved their loyalty to political and religious ideals of the 1640s and 1650s. However, many of the ongoing activities necessary to preserve the movement were carried out by women. This paper explores women’s roles in the transatlantic kinship, religious, and veterans’ networks which enabled nonconformists to sustain themselves in the face of defeat and repression.

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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Higher Laws: Black and White Transcendentalists and the Fight Against Slavery Register registration required at no cost 4 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Peter Wirzbicki, Princeton University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/higher_laws.jpg

In the cauldron of the antislavery movement, antislavery activists and Transcendentalist intellectuals, developed a "Higher Law" ethos, a unique set of romantic political sensibilities—marked by moral enthusiasms, democratic idealism, and a vision of the self that could judge political questions from "higher" standards of morality and reason. The Transcendentalism that emerges here was intended to fight slavery, but it would influence later labor, feminist, civil rights, and environmentalist activism. African American thinkers and activists have long engaged with American Transcendentalist ideas about "double consciousness," nonconformity, and civil disobedience. When thinkers like Martin Luther King, Jr., or W. E. B. Du Bois invoked Transcendentalist ideas, they were putting to use an intellectual movement that black radicals had participated in since the 1830s.

 

 

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Online Event Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony Register registration required at no cost 9 February 2021.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This is an online event. Kerri Greenidge, Tufts University Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/gomes_banner.jpg

Please join us for a special evening in which historian Kerri Greenidge will receive the 2020 Gomes Prize for Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter. Greenidge will join Annette Gordon-Reed in a conversation about Trotter’s pursuit of radical equality and Black self-determination, as well as the multilayered world of Black Boston that was not simply an abolitionist haven for former slaves but a segregated world with limited opportunity for even a Harvard-educated man like Trotter.

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution Register registration required at no cost 11 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program James Oakes, The Graduate Center, CUNY in conversation with Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/crooked_path.jpg

Some celebrate Lincoln for freeing the slaves; others fault him for a long-standing conservatism on abolition and race. James Oakes provides another exploration of Lincoln and the end of slavery. Through the unforeseen challenges of the Civil War crisis, Lincoln and the Republican party adhered to a clear antislavery strategy founded on the Constitution itself. Lincoln and the Republicans claimed strong constitutional tools for federal action against slavery, and they used those tools consistently to undermine slavery, prevent its expansion, and pressure the slave states into abolition. This antislavery Constitution guided Lincoln and his allies as they navigated the sectional crisis and the Civil War. When the states finally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery, it was a confirmation of a long-held vision.

 

 

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Online Event, Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar Boston Women on Drugs Register registration required at no cost 16 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Trysh Travis, University of Florida Elizabeth Lunbeck, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/WGS_Banner.jpg

In the mid-20th century, Boston emerged as a laboratory for “the modern alcoholism movement,” a campaign to replace penal responses to chronic drunkenness with medico-moral treatment focused on returning white men to their appropriate breadwinner roles. In the late 1970s, radical feminist and women of color community health activists in Boston and Cambridge critiqued this system. This paper examines their attempts to create a more equitable, responsive, and genuinely feminist approach to substance abuse, and assesses their strengths and shortcomings.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Confronting Racial Injustice: Slavery, Wealth Creation, and Intergenerational Wealth Register registration required at no cost 18 February 2021.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM This is an online program Nicole Maskiell, University of South Carolina; Elon Cook Lee, National Trust for Historic Preservation; moderated by Jared Hardesty, Western Washington University This program is in partnership with Northeastern University Law School's Criminal Justice Task Force

From the seventeenth century to the twenty-first, slavery has been central to creating wealth and generating race-based inequality in Massachusetts. Family fortunes, institutional endowments, and public budgets in the commonwealth have all benefitted from the spoils of slavery. This panel discussion between academic and public historians explores Massachusetts’s connections to slavery and the slave trade, the wealth -- and the poverty -- slavery created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of slavery are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day.

 

 

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Online Event, Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar A Portal to the Pacific Ocean: Puget Sound, the Transcontinental Railroads, and Transpacific Trade, 1869–1914 Register registration required at no cost 23 February 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Sean Fraga, University of Southern California David Armitage, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/MASC_Banner.jpg

The transcontinental railroads reshaped the United States—its politics, economy, culture and environment. But as Sean Fraga argues, these railroads also saw themselves as part of an emergent global steam-powered network. This paper shows how American interest in trade with East Asia motivated Northern Pacific Railway and Great Northern Railway to build transcontinental lines to Puget Sound. In doing so, these railroads left lasting impacts on the region’s lands, waters, and peoples.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States Register registration required at no cost 24 February 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Julia Rose Kraut Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/service-pnp-det-4a20000-4a28000-4a28600-4a28681v.jpg

Beginning with the Alien Friends Act of 1798, the United States passed laws in the name of national Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/9780674976061_p0_v1_s1200x630.jpgsecurity to bar or expel foreigners based on their beliefs and associations—although these laws sometimes conflict with First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and association or contradict America’s self-image as a nation of immigrants. The government has continually used ideological exclusions and deportations of noncitizens to suppress dissent and radicalism throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from the War on Anarchy to the Cold War to the War on Terror. In Threat of Dissent, Julia Rose Kraut provides a comprehensive overview of the intersection of immigration law and the First Amendment.

 

 

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation Protest and Citizenship: Revisited Register registration required at no cost 25 February 2021.Thursday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; Chad Williams, Brandeis University; Hasan Jeffries, Ohio State University

Collective protest, in addition to being a constitutionally protected right, is a fundamental and enduring part of American life and culture. Protest and agitation has at times proven a powerful way of advancing the rights and status of marginalized groups by swaying public opinion and fueling changes in law and public policy. Our panel of scholars will revisit an earlier conversation held in 2018, looking at the ways in which protest has been used to highlight injustice and change the citizenship rights of certain groups. In the wake of the high-profile demonstrations triggered by the murder of George Floyd, what can we take from the past to understand our current political and social climate?

 

 

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Online Event, Seminar, Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar Health, Disease, and Early American Environments - A Panel Discussion Register registration required 2 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Authors: Molly Nebiolo, Northeastern University; Camden Elliott, Harvard University Comment: Thomas Wickman, Trinity College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EAHS_banner.jpg

This panel discussion brings together the histories of health, disease, and the environment to cast new light on key sites of Colonial American history. Molly Nebiolo’s research highlights how health and medical knowledge impacted the creation of early Atlantic cities. By examining the colonial history of promotional narratives, both written and spatial, her paper argues that health and well-being were fundamental ideas for the settlement of Philadelphia and Charleston. Camden Elliott’s paper recasts the history of the Stono Slave Rebellion through the lens of environmental history. Placing mosquitoes (and their pathogens) in a supporting role to a slave war in South Carolina, he investigates how yellow fever helped set the stage for resistance and malaria shielded maroons in the rebellion’s aftermath.

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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Author Talk The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity Register registration required at no cost 3 March 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program Carolyn Eastman, Virginia Commonwealth University, in conversation with Sara Georgini, MHS Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/81hYYRIc6qL.jpg

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 celebrity known simply as Mr. O, counting the nation's leading politicians and intellectuals among his admirers. And then, like so many meteoric American luminaries afterward, he fell from grace. Ogilvie's career featured many of the hallmarks of celebrity we recognize from later eras: glamorous friends, eccentric clothing, scandalous religious views, narcissism, and even an alarming drug habit. Author Caroyln Eastman, along with Sara Georgini, will discuss Ogilvie’s history, which is at once a biography of a remarkable performer and a story of the United States during the founding era.

 

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Online Event, Seminar, African American History Seminar From Jobs and Freedom to Jobs and Opportunity: Andrew Young, Growth, and the Illusion of Job Creation Register registration required at no cost 4 March 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Danielle Wiggins, California Institution of Technology Comment: Brenna Greer, Wellesley College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg

This paper considers Atlanta mayor Andrew Young’s shifting ideas about job creation and economic opportunity to investigate how Democrats abandoned their 1970s goal of full employment in favor of policies that promoted private sector job creation via economic growth in the 1980s. By conflating growth with opportunity, Andrew Young sought to stake a middle path between development interests and anti-poverty coalitions, between white and black voters, and between civil rights liberalism and supply-side liberalism. However, economic growth and its promise of opportunity proved to be an inadequate solution for the range of issues its proponents intended it to address.

The African 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Online Event, Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs Register registration required at no cost 9 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EHS_banner.jpg

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 is compiling and analyzing a database of manuscript notes about weather in early American almanacs,1646-1821, out of 10,578 almanacs from nine different archives or libraries. Her talk focuses on how people recorded the weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

The Environmental 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Public Program, Online Event, Conversation From Revolution to Pandemic: What Makes Boston One of the World’s Top Innovation Centers? Register registration required at no cost 24 March 2021.Wednesday, 5:30PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Robert Krim in conversation with Scott Kirsner Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/9781623545352.jpg

Dr. Robert Krim, author of Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics-Innovations that Changed the World, presents a fascinating journey through Boston’s innovation history. Looking at the range of Boston-born innovations that, over its 400-year history, have made Boston one of the world’s leading cities in innovation, Dr. Krim answers the question of why the city has remained innovative through its long history. He will describe in colorful detail the struggles the city—and its innovators—faced on their road to innovations which changed the nation or the world and will discuss how this unfettered innovative culture has helped the city reinvent itself after four devastating economic collapses.

 

 

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Seminar, Biography Seminar, Online Event Marriage of Minds or Boston Divorce? The lives and good works of Caroline Healey Dall and Rev. Charles Henry Appleton Dall on two continents Register registration required at no cost 25 March 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Neilesh Bose, University of Victorial; Helen R. Deese, Caroline Healey Dall Editor, Massachusetts Historical Society Moderator: Megan Marshall, Emerson College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/biography_banner.jpg

Caroline Healey Dall (1822-1912) and Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816-1886) met in Boston where, as a teenager in Margaret Fuller’s Conversations, Caroline learned to ask “all the great questions of life.” The handsome but sickly Charles graduated from Harvard with Henry Thoreau and was influenced by Joseph Tuckerman’s ministry to the poor. Marrying in 1844, the couple struggled to find their footing as Charles took a series of ministerial jobs, each punctuated by a period of illness. When Charles left Caroline and their two children in 1855 to establish a Unitarian mission in Calcutta, drawn to the Brahmo Samaj and the Indian nationalist cause, his health improved. “Separated by half the earth,” historian Spencer Lavan writes, “their careers began to blossom.” Caroline emerged as a vehement writer and lecturer on abolition, women’s rights, and social science. Bose and Deese will effect a 21st-century reconciliation, putting into conversation a couple whose divergence led to lives of distinctive activism, documented in Caroline’s extensive journals held at the MHS.

Please note, this is an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Online Event, Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Parlor and the Public: Tin Pan Alley and the Birth of Manhattan Mass Culture Register registration required at no cost 30 March 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Samuel Backer, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Jeffrey Melnick, University of Massachusetts - Boston Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/MASC_Banner.jpg

During the late 19th century, the upstart sheet music firms known as Tin Pan Alley developed a revolutionary approach to publishing, constructing a system able to sell songs at a previously unimaginable scale and rate. Relying on New York’s central role in national performance networks to disseminate their compositions, this industry was defined by the tension between publishers’ attempts to create mass-marketing commodities, and the fast-moving, alcohol-drenched urban environments in which their products were required to thrive.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Seminar, African American History Seminar, Online Event “Fighting the Dogs:” Fugitivity, Canine Hunters, and Slave Resistance in the Rural South Register registration required at no cost 1 April 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Tyler Parry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Comment: Harriet Ritvo, MIT Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg

As slavery expanded in the Americas, canine attacks were used as a particularly sadistic aspect of racist dehumanization. Through linked processes of breeding and training, slave hunters believed they had developed “natural” enemies between black people and the canines trained to hunt them. This paper investigates how fugitives responded to this interspecies violence by using various techniques of environmental resistance outside the plantation’s confines. By analyzing how fugitives used herbal combinations, waterways, and offensive weapons to subvert the canine's sensory advantage, this paper argues that enslaved communities should be understood as knowledge producers who studied their environments and used scientific awareness in their resistance.

The African 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar, Online Event Kaleidoscope Metropolis: Autonomy and Integration in the Fractured City Register registration required at no cost 13 April 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Author: Garrett Nelson, Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center Comment: Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/EHS_banner.jpg

By the 1950s, just as technocratic consensus settled on the opinion that Boston’s metropolitan problems demanded municipal consolidation, meaningful regional integration became a political dead letter. This paper examines how conflicting pressures towards both spatial integration and disintegration shaped the postwar city, with ecological concepts about environmental management jostling against demands for community autonomy coming from both right and left. Struggle over geographic units thereby became a key axis of conflict between different ideological strands of the politics of place.

The Environmental 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar, Online Event Contesting Domesticity – a Panel Discussion Register registration required at no cost 20 April 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online event. Authors: Kwelina Thompson, Cornell University; Shoniqua Roach, Brandeis University; Laura Puaca, Christopher Newport University Comment: Allison Horrocks, Lowell National Historical Park Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/WGS_Banner.jpg

The domestic realm has long captivated feminist scholars who have sought to understand the lives of women and the workings of gender. How have women experienced, challenged, leveraged, and shaped the domestic? This panel will consider these questions and discuss the domestic as a contested site of constraint and possibility. Shoniqua Roach theorizes the meanings of black domesticity as a deeply fraught space marked by anti-black sentiment and yet full of insurgent potential. Kwelina Thompson explores the history of the La Leche League – a Catholic mothers group that organized to support breastfeeding mothers in the mid-twentieth century. Finally, Laura Puaca tells the story of the expansion of post-WWII vocational rehabilitation programs to include disabled homemakers in the US.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality 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 an online event held on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive an email with links to join the program.

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