Brown Bags

Extended
to May 26

Exhibition

The Private Jefferson

Explore Jefferson’s complexity through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

Details

May

Brown Bag From the Partisan Press to the Political Procedural 27 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Hale, University of Illinois - Chicago This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels ...

This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels specifically by looking at Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's The Gilded Age and Henry Adams's Democracy. It examines the way in which Twain and Adams turn to the novel after their experiences working as political journalists and how this move from the partisan press to the political novel enables them to imagine new forms of nonpartisan political activity.

More
June
Brown Bag The Slave South in the Far West: California, the Pacific, and Proslavery Visions of Empire, 1800-1865 1 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Waite, University of Pennsylvania Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues ...

Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues that Southerners pursued an empire within the Pacific world as well. By tracking both proslavery activity in California and Southerners' attempts to capture the Pacific trade, hiswork highlights the centrality of the Far West in the nation's road to disunion.

More
Brown Bag "A Just and Honest Valuation": Money and Value in Colonial America, 1690-1750 3 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katie Moore, Boston University The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain&rsquo ...

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain’s North American colonies, during which colonial settlers were active agents in an increasingly complex Atlantic World of goods, credit, and labor. At the same time, colonists maintained traditional moral tenets and such social norms as communal obligation, economic fairness, and stewardship over the poor. In the face of widespread economic change, how did early Americans preserve their worldview? This project argues that colonists mediated economic change within existing moral and social frameworks by re-imagining the origins and nature of value as extrinsic, a conceptual shift reflected in their use of paper money.

More
Brown Bag A Communion of Churches: Indian Christians, English Ministers, and Congregations in New England, 1600-1775 10 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gregory Michna, West Virginia University This project explores Puritan and Native American efforts to build religious communities throughout ...

This project explores Puritan and Native American efforts to build religious communities throughout the span of colonial New England. The study merges contemporary indigenous history with a close analysis of theological developments and religious discourse to trace the ways in which religious ideas demarcated membership and exclusion within congregational bodies.

More
Brown Bag Briton Hammon in the Archives 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zach Hutchins, Colorado State University Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic ...

Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic journey of Massachusetts resident Briton Hammon. The enslaved Hammon published a narrative of his travels in 1760, an account many have described as the first slave narrative. In the Narrative Hammon places himself at the nexus of global politics, a player in the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the Seven Year’s War, and the larger power struggle between Catholics and Protestants.

More
Brown Bag Freedom's Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation 17 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ben Davidson, New York University This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, ...

This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, and West, who grew up during the Civil War era and were the first generation to come of age after the end of slavery. The project explores how young people across the nation learned persistent lessons carried into adulthood about complexities inherent in ideas and experiences of emancipation, and it assesses how these lessons were transformed in memory by the turn of the twentieth century.

More
July
Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists&rdquo ...

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

More
Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had ...

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

More
Brown Bag Atlantic Abolitionism and National Reputation: The Intersection of Ethics and Policy in the United States and Britain 20 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Bruce Smith, Tufts University Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and ...

Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States,” this talk explores Atlantic abolitionism and the connection between ethics and public policy. Beginning immediately after Britain’s defeat in the Revolution, it frames the British movement to end slavery as a conscious effort to assert the country’s reputation and moral superiority over the United States. It advances that American abolitionism, in turn, became a direct response to the British challenge.

More
August
Brown Bag Motherhood and the Court of Public Opinion: Transgressive Maternity in America, 1768-1868 1 August 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Cassandra Berman, Brandeis University This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868 ...

This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868, a period in which an idealized version of motherhood began to be seen as integral to the moral development of the nation. Many women violated these ideals, however, and transgressed both legal and social expectations as they did so. Moreover, these mothers fascinated ordinary Americans, who eagerly read of their crimes and indiscretions in the burgeoning mass media. This research shifts the focus away from ideals, and instead examines how the public judged those mothers who either could not or would not conform.

More
Brown Bag "Missionary Nation": Imagining America's Role in the Post-Civil War World 3 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM James Shinn, Yale University How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? ...

How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? This talk examines how the struggle for the Union exercised a powerful and lasting--but deeply ambiguous--influence on the Republican foreign policy vision of the late 1860s and 1870s.

More
More events
Brown Bag From the Partisan Press to the Political Procedural this event is free 27 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Hale, University of Illinois - Chicago

This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels specifically by looking at Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's The Gilded Age and Henry Adams's Democracy. It examines the way in which Twain and Adams turn to the novel after their experiences working as political journalists and how this move from the partisan press to the political novel enables them to imagine new forms of nonpartisan political activity.

close
Brown Bag The Slave South in the Far West: California, the Pacific, and Proslavery Visions of Empire, 1800-1865 this event is free 1 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Waite, University of Pennsylvania

Whereas most scholarship on slaveholding imperialism focuses on the Atlantic Basin, Waite argues that Southerners pursued an empire within the Pacific world as well. By tracking both proslavery activity in California and Southerners' attempts to capture the Pacific trade, hiswork highlights the centrality of the Far West in the nation's road to disunion.

close
Brown Bag "A Just and Honest Valuation": Money and Value in Colonial America, 1690-1750 this event is free 3 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katie Moore, Boston University

The first half of the eighteenth century was a period of economic transformation for Britain’s North American colonies, during which colonial settlers were active agents in an increasingly complex Atlantic World of goods, credit, and labor. At the same time, colonists maintained traditional moral tenets and such social norms as communal obligation, economic fairness, and stewardship over the poor. In the face of widespread economic change, how did early Americans preserve their worldview? This project argues that colonists mediated economic change within existing moral and social frameworks by re-imagining the origins and nature of value as extrinsic, a conceptual shift reflected in their use of paper money.

close
Brown Bag A Communion of Churches: Indian Christians, English Ministers, and Congregations in New England, 1600-1775 this event is free 10 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gregory Michna, West Virginia University

This project explores Puritan and Native American efforts to build religious communities throughout the span of colonial New England. The study merges contemporary indigenous history with a close analysis of theological developments and religious discourse to trace the ways in which religious ideas demarcated membership and exclusion within congregational bodies.

close
Brown Bag Briton Hammon in the Archives this event is free 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Zach Hutchins, Colorado State University

Sharing new evidence from the British National Archives, Hutchins traces the circum-Atlantic journey of Massachusetts resident Briton Hammon. The enslaved Hammon published a narrative of his travels in 1760, an account many have described as the first slave narrative. In the Narrative Hammon places himself at the nexus of global politics, a player in the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the Seven Year’s War, and the larger power struggle between Catholics and Protestants.

close
Brown Bag Freedom's Generation: Coming of Age in the Era of Emancipation this event is free 17 June 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ben Davidson, New York University

This research traces the lives of the generation of black and white children, in the North, South, and West, who grew up during the Civil War era and were the first generation to come of age after the end of slavery. The project explores how young people across the nation learned persistent lessons carried into adulthood about complexities inherent in ideas and experiences of emancipation, and it assesses how these lessons were transformed in memory by the turn of the twentieth century.

close
Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief this event is free 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

close
Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door this event is free 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

close
Brown Bag Atlantic Abolitionism and National Reputation: The Intersection of Ethics and Policy in the United States and Britain this event is free 20 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Bruce Smith, Tufts University

Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States,” this talk explores Atlantic abolitionism and the connection between ethics and public policy. Beginning immediately after Britain’s defeat in the Revolution, it frames the British movement to end slavery as a conscious effort to assert the country’s reputation and moral superiority over the United States. It advances that American abolitionism, in turn, became a direct response to the British challenge.

close
Brown Bag Motherhood and the Court of Public Opinion: Transgressive Maternity in America, 1768-1868 this event is free 1 August 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Cassandra Berman, Brandeis University

This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868, a period in which an idealized version of motherhood began to be seen as integral to the moral development of the nation. Many women violated these ideals, however, and transgressed both legal and social expectations as they did so. Moreover, these mothers fascinated ordinary Americans, who eagerly read of their crimes and indiscretions in the burgeoning mass media. This research shifts the focus away from ideals, and instead examines how the public judged those mothers who either could not or would not conform.

close
Brown Bag "Missionary Nation": Imagining America's Role in the Post-Civil War World this event is free 3 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM James Shinn, Yale University

How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? This talk examines how the struggle for the Union exercised a powerful and lasting--but deeply ambiguous--influence on the Republican foreign policy vision of the late 1860s and 1870s.

close