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/WGS_Banner.jpg Online Event, Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar High Brow, Low Brow: Phrenology, Fashion, and Female Activism in the Nineteenth Century 19 January 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Rachel Walker, University of Hartford Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Between the 1830s and 1860s, Americans began fighting over a curious topic: female foreheads. While ...

Between the 1830s and 1860s, Americans began fighting over a curious topic: female foreheads. While feminists and phrenologists saw “high brows” as an alluring sign of intelligence in women, gender conservatives viewed them as a troubling assault on patriarchal hierarchies. At first glance, the public battles over female foreheads might seem like frivolous exchanges over women’s appearances. In reality, they were not just political conflicts but also scientific debates about the capacities of the female brain.

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.

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg Seminar, African American History Seminar, Online Event Revolutionary Weddings: Marriage in the Black Panther Party 21 January 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Traci Parker, University of Massachusetts - Amherst Robyn Spencer, CUNY - Lehman College Revolutionary love and marriages in the Black Panther Party were powerful aspects of Black Power ...

Revolutionary love and marriages in the Black Panther Party were powerful aspects of Black Power politics. This paper argues that Panthers viewed Black romantic love as an act and a tool of revolution. They believed that, if African Americans embraced love and marriage, defining it and its parameters in ways that best suited individuals and race, they could reclaim, reimagine, and build strong Black families and communities, destabilize white supremacy, and realize Black liberation.

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.

More
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.

More
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.

 

 

More
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.

 

 

More
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.

More
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.

 

 

More
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.

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/Weighing_cotton_in_Virginia_circa_1905_Detroit_Publishing_Co_via_Library_of_Congress-_Public_Domain_Wealth_Creation-_Program_1_.jpg Public Program, Online Event, Conversation, Racial Injustice Series 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 Ross 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.

Moderator:

Jared Ross Hardesty, Associate Professor of History, Western Washington University

Speakers:

Nicole Maskiell, Assistant Professor of History, University of South Carolina; Elon Cook Lee, Director of Interpretation and Education, National Trust for Historic Preservation              

 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress: 

Detroit Publishing Co., Copyright Claimant, and Publisher Detroit Publishing Co. Weighing Cotton. United States Virginia, ca. 1905. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016799897/.

 

More
Online Event, Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar High Brow, Low Brow: Phrenology, Fashion, and Female Activism in the Nineteenth Century 19 January 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Rachel Walker, University of Hartford Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/WGS_Banner.jpg

Between the 1830s and 1860s, Americans began fighting over a curious topic: female foreheads. While feminists and phrenologists saw “high brows” as an alluring sign of intelligence in women, gender conservatives viewed them as a troubling assault on patriarchal hierarchies. At first glance, the public battles over female foreheads might seem like frivolous exchanges over women’s appearances. In reality, they were not just political conflicts but also scientific debates about the capacities of the female brain.

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.

close

Seminar, African American History Seminar, Online Event Revolutionary Weddings: Marriage in the Black Panther Party 21 January 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM This is an online program. Traci Parker, University of Massachusetts - Amherst Robyn Spencer, CUNY - Lehman College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/AAH_banner_immage.jpg

Revolutionary love and marriages in the Black Panther Party were powerful aspects of Black Power politics. This paper argues that Panthers viewed Black romantic love as an act and a tool of revolution. They believed that, if African Americans embraced love and marriage, defining it and its parameters in ways that best suited individuals and race, they could reclaim, reimagine, and build strong Black families and communities, destabilize white supremacy, and realize Black liberation.

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.

close

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 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.

close

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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/winter_2021/province_of_affliction.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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. 

 

 

close

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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/driving_while_black.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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.

 

 

close

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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/higher_laws.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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.

 

 

close

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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/gomes_banner.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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.

close

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 Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/crooked_path.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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.

 

 

close

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 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.

close

Public Program, Online Event, Conversation, Racial Injustice Series 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 Ross Hardesty, Western Washington University This program is in partnership with Northeastern University Law School's Criminal Justice Task Force Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Winter_2021/Weighing_cotton_in_Virginia_circa_1905_Detroit_Publishing_Co_via_Library_of_Congress-_Public_Domain_Wealth_Creation-_Program_1_.jpg

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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.

Moderator:

Jared Ross Hardesty, Associate Professor of History, Western Washington University

Speakers:

Nicole Maskiell, Assistant Professor of History, University of South Carolina; Elon Cook Lee, Director of Interpretation and Education, National Trust for Historic Preservation              

 

Image courtesy of Library of Congress: 

Detroit Publishing Co., Copyright Claimant, and Publisher Detroit Publishing Co. Weighing Cotton. United States Virginia, ca. 1905. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2016799897/.

 

close