June

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Brown Bag U.S. Monarchism in the Middle East?: Orientalism, American Travelers, and Arab Rulers 15 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adam Mestyan, Duke University The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a ...

The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a fascination with monarchs and royalty. Is it possible to create a taxonomy of popular Orientalist images of modern Muslim and Arab rulership in the United States? Next to foreign policy considerations and economic interests, this talk searches for the private views of American travelers about modern Muslim and Arab rulers in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

More
Brown Bag Picturing Modernism in the Work and Archive of Henry Adams 20 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Matthew Fernandez, Columbia University This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his ...

This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his transnational focus, his reconsideration of subject/object relations, and his interest in the visual arts. While travelling during the 1890s, Adams took a break from writing to immerse himself in painting and sketching—after which he produced acclaimed works like Chartres and The Education. His time abroad represents an important transitional moment between the Romanticism of the nineteenth century and the Modernism of the twentieth century.

More
Brown Bag Cut from the Same Cloth: Salem, Zanzibar, and the Consolidation of the Indo-Atlantic World, 1820-1870 22 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joshua Morrison, University of Virginia This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier ...

This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier entrepôt of the Western Indian Ocean. This trade network linked the cotton magnates of Massachusetts with the Omani elite, Indian merchants, and Swahili slaves of Zanzibar. As the trade expanded, each close-knit community found themselves increasingly dependent on an incredibly foreign counterpart for survival. This project maps the many compromises, adaptations, and concessions made in the name of profit.

More
Brown Bag Dis-Union: Disability and the U.S. Civil War 25 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jean Franzino, Beloit College This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at ...

This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at the end of the nineteenth century in relation to the construction of disability in Civil War literature, broadly conceived. In texts ranging from hospital newspaper poetry to mendicant narratives sold for veterans’ financial support, representations of Civil War injury engaged shifting understandings of disability: from individual condition to evolving social class.

More
Brown Bag The Gendering of Diaspora: Irish American Women Teachers and the Rise of the Irish American Elite, 1880‒1920 27 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Judith Harford, University College Dublin Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk ...

Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk examines the education, professional training and wider public activism of first-generation Irish American women teachers.

More
July
Brown Bag Disestablishing Virtue: Federalism, Religion, and New England Women Writers 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gretchen Murphy, University of Texas at Austin This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, ...

This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, specifically Catharine Sedgwick, in the context of the Federalist commitment to public religion. Sedgwick’s 1824 novel Redwood looks to the French Revolution as a site of U.S. debate about role of religion in a republic, signaling her interest in her father’s earlier Federalism while staking her position in the Unitarian controversy of the early 1800s.

More
Brown Bag Notes on Phillis Wheatley: Prodigy, Poetics, and the Science of the Human, 1761-1800 13 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Camille Owens, Yale University This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing ...

This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing on Wheatley’s education as an enslaved child. It reconstructs Wheatley’s education in relation to early American philosophy and pedagogy of childhood, looking to primers, tract literature, and the influence of Locke. From there, it examines the often-cited (and likely fictionalized) “trials” of Phillis Wheatley—and to Jefferson’s Notes on Wheatley—to show the performance of authenticating and/or discrediting black intellect as a cultural tradition which Wheatley’s literary career inaugurated.

More
Brown Bag The End of War: The Wabanaki Struggle with New England, 1722-1727 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ian Saxine, Alfred University This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the ...

This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the conflict as the final resolution of a half-century of imperial crisis in the region. The talk argues the limits of indigenous, colonial, and imperial power influenced the war’s outbreak, the fighting, and its resolution.

More
Brown Bag Maroon Ecologies: Albery Allson Whitman and the Place of Poetry 27 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine McIntyre, Columbia University This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The ...

This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The Rape of Florida through an analysis of colonial cartographic practices. Using maps to examine the cartographic representation of swamps and other wetlands that permeate the boundary between land and water, this talk opens questions about the porous ecologies of maroon communities and the poetics that follow from such ecologies.

More
Brown Bag The Heterodox Atlantic: Italian Heretics in Early America 30 July 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Diego Pirillo, University of California, Berkeley This talk presents the initial findings of a new project on religious radicalism in early America, ...

This talk presents the initial findings of a new project on religious radicalism in early America, which aims at recovering the transatlantic legacy of Italian Protestantism. Focusing on 17th- and 18th-century New England, the talk examines discussions on religious migration and liberty of conscience.

More
August
Brown Bag “The Sons of Britain”: Partisanship & the Origins of the American Revolution in New York City 1 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Christopher Minty, Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever ...

In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever fights, it will be for the King.” Yet Rhinelander’s reasons were not based on New Yorkers’ blind loyalty to George III or Great Britain. Instead, for him and many of his friends, loyalism was a tool to challenge political opponents.

More
Brown Bag Sensory Experiences of Daily Life at New England Hospitals for the Insane 6 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Madeline Kearin, Brown University Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were ...

Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were originally envisioned as “technological marvels” that would solve the national mental health crisis. This talk examines how New England lunatic hospitals were designed to mobilize sensory experience to cure mental illness, and how these designs shaped patient experiences.

More
Brown Bag The World Becomes Round: Cultural and Commercial Connections between Bombay Parsis and Yankees, 1771-1861 8 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jennifer Rose, Claremont Graduate University This talk focuses on the commercial and cultural connections between New Englanders and Parsis in ...

This talk focuses on the commercial and cultural connections between New Englanders and Parsis in Bombay from the 1770s to the 1850s. Commercially, the Parsis began to act as agent-brokers for Massachusetts merchants in the late 1780s. But Parsi Zoroastrian religious ideas and rituals were already known to at least a few readers in New England by spring of 1772, when the first European translations of Zoroastrian texts were sent, at Benjamin Franklin’s recommendation, to the Redwood Athenaeum’s librarian.

More
Brown Bag Postponed: "The Shade of Private Life": The Right to Privacy and the Press in American Art, 1875-1900 10 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Williams, Yale University This brown bag is postponed to a later date. This talk considers how American ...

This brown bag is postponed to a later date.

This talk considers how American artists at the close of the nineteenth century advanced a new, modern notion of privacy in response to the rise of tabloid journalism and the emergence of invasive reporting genres like the gossip column and the personal exposé. It examines a diverse series of paintings, sculptures, and photographs in relation to period critiques of the press and the emerging legal concept of "the right to privacy."

More
Brown Bag Re-categorizing Americans: Difference, Distinction, and Belonging in the Dillingham Commission (1907-1911) 22 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sunmin Kim, Dartmouth College This talk traces how the federal government surveyed immigrants in the early-20th century and how ...

This talk traces how the federal government surveyed immigrants in the early-20th century and how such attempts helped solidify the racial boundary-making for the nation. By dissecting the tenuous connections between racist ideology, state power, and social science knowledge, this talk provides an empirical account of how categories such as race and ethnicity emerge from confusion and contradiction in knowledge production.

More
Brown Bag "A Brazen Wall to Keep the Scriptures Certainty": European Biblical Scholarship in Early America 24 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kirsten Macfarlane, University of Cambridge During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European scholars made significant advances in the ...

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European scholars made significant advances in the historical and critical study of the Bible, often with highly controversial and factious results. This talk will examine how such exciting but potentially subversive European scholarship was received and transformed by its early American readers, through a close study of the books owned and annotated by seventeenth-century readers in New England and elsewhere.

More
Brown Bag The Missionary Republic: American Evangelicals and the Birth of Modern Missions 27 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Thomas Whittaker, Harvard University The turn of the nineteenth century was a time of missionary mobilization for evangelicals in Britain ...

The turn of the nineteenth century was a time of missionary mobilization for evangelicals in Britain, the United States, and continental Europe. This talk explains why Americans bought into the missions movement and how they domesticated it within a republican vision of civilization building on the frontier.

More
Brown Bag Masters of the Market: Ship Captaincy in the Colonial British Atlantic 31 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Hannah Tucker, University of Virginia During the colonial period, captains acted as powerful auxiliaries for their vessel owners in ...

During the colonial period, captains acted as powerful auxiliaries for their vessel owners in markets far from the owners’ direct oversight. This talk explores why the economic services ship captains provided transformed as the Atlantic trading economy became more complex, capital intensive, and informed in the eighteenth century.

More
September
Brown Bag Garrisonian Rhode Island: Reassessing Abolitionism’s Radicals 5 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Vrevich, Ohio State University This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s &ldquo ...

This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s “radical” abolitionism, in the larger antislavery network. As historians of abolitionism increasingly focus on continuities within the movement, Rhode Island offers an opportunity to reassess the place of the Garrisonians and to reconsider their contributions.

More
Brown Bag American Silver, Chinese Silverwares, and the Global Circulation of Value 7 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Susan Eberhard, University of California, Berkeley Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth ...

Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some of which was reworked into silverwares by Chinese craftsmen for British and American buyers. This talk explores the different silver conduits of the American trade relationship with China. Far from a neutral medium, how were understandings of its materiality mobilized in cross-cultural transactions?

More
Brown Bag “This Summer-Home of the Survivors”: The Civil War Vacation in Architecture & Landscape, 1878-1910 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront ...

In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront locations to merge memory and leisure among their comrades and families. Through interdisciplinary lenses, this talk considers the ways veterans used architecture and landscape to heal their wartime trauma and preserve their scripted legacy.

More
More events
Brown Bag U.S. Monarchism in the Middle East?: Orientalism, American Travelers, and Arab Rulers 15 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Adam Mestyan, Duke University

The origins of the United States are often framed as anti-monarchist, yet Americans entertain a fascination with monarchs and royalty. Is it possible to create a taxonomy of popular Orientalist images of modern Muslim and Arab rulership in the United States? Next to foreign policy considerations and economic interests, this talk searches for the private views of American travelers about modern Muslim and Arab rulers in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

close
Brown Bag Picturing Modernism in the Work and Archive of Henry Adams 20 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Matthew Fernandez, Columbia University

This talk examines three interrelated elements of Henry Adams’s literary output: his transnational focus, his reconsideration of subject/object relations, and his interest in the visual arts. While travelling during the 1890s, Adams took a break from writing to immerse himself in painting and sketching—after which he produced acclaimed works like Chartres and The Education. His time abroad represents an important transitional moment between the Romanticism of the nineteenth century and the Modernism of the twentieth century.

close
Brown Bag Cut from the Same Cloth: Salem, Zanzibar, and the Consolidation of the Indo-Atlantic World, 1820-1870 22 June 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joshua Morrison, University of Virginia

This talk explores the economic and cultural exchange between New England and Zanzibar, the premier entrepôt of the Western Indian Ocean. This trade network linked the cotton magnates of Massachusetts with the Omani elite, Indian merchants, and Swahili slaves of Zanzibar. As the trade expanded, each close-knit community found themselves increasingly dependent on an incredibly foreign counterpart for survival. This project maps the many compromises, adaptations, and concessions made in the name of profit.

close
Brown Bag Dis-Union: Disability and the U.S. Civil War 25 June 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jean Franzino, Beloit College

This talk will examine the emerging legal category of the “disabled” American at the end of the nineteenth century in relation to the construction of disability in Civil War literature, broadly conceived. In texts ranging from hospital newspaper poetry to mendicant narratives sold for veterans’ financial support, representations of Civil War injury engaged shifting understandings of disability: from individual condition to evolving social class.

close
Brown Bag The Gendering of Diaspora: Irish American Women Teachers and the Rise of the Irish American Elite, 1880‒1920 27 June 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Judith Harford, University College Dublin

Focusing on the period 1880‒1920, the peak of Irish emigration to the United States, this talk examines the education, professional training and wider public activism of first-generation Irish American women teachers.

close
Brown Bag Disestablishing Virtue: Federalism, Religion, and New England Women Writers 11 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Gretchen Murphy, University of Texas at Austin

This talk examines the religious expressions of 18th- and 19th-century female Federalist writers, specifically Catharine Sedgwick, in the context of the Federalist commitment to public religion. Sedgwick’s 1824 novel Redwood looks to the French Revolution as a site of U.S. debate about role of religion in a republic, signaling her interest in her father’s earlier Federalism while staking her position in the Unitarian controversy of the early 1800s.

close
Brown Bag Notes on Phillis Wheatley: Prodigy, Poetics, and the Science of the Human, 1761-1800 13 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Camille Owens, Yale University

This talk studies Phillis Wheatley’s significance to the history of black prodigy, focusing on Wheatley’s education as an enslaved child. It reconstructs Wheatley’s education in relation to early American philosophy and pedagogy of childhood, looking to primers, tract literature, and the influence of Locke. From there, it examines the often-cited (and likely fictionalized) “trials” of Phillis Wheatley—and to Jefferson’s Notes on Wheatley—to show the performance of authenticating and/or discrediting black intellect as a cultural tradition which Wheatley’s literary career inaugurated.

close
Brown Bag The End of War: The Wabanaki Struggle with New England, 1722-1727 25 July 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Ian Saxine, Alfred University

This talk examines the Anglo-Wabanaki War of 1722-1727 in the American Northeast. It situates the conflict as the final resolution of a half-century of imperial crisis in the region. The talk argues the limits of indigenous, colonial, and imperial power influenced the war’s outbreak, the fighting, and its resolution.

close
Brown Bag Maroon Ecologies: Albery Allson Whitman and the Place of Poetry 27 July 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Katherine McIntyre, Columbia University

This talk follows the intertwining of race and ecology in Albery Allson Whitman’s 1884 The Rape of Florida through an analysis of colonial cartographic practices. Using maps to examine the cartographic representation of swamps and other wetlands that permeate the boundary between land and water, this talk opens questions about the porous ecologies of maroon communities and the poetics that follow from such ecologies.

close
Brown Bag The Heterodox Atlantic: Italian Heretics in Early America 30 July 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Diego Pirillo, University of California, Berkeley

This talk presents the initial findings of a new project on religious radicalism in early America, which aims at recovering the transatlantic legacy of Italian Protestantism. Focusing on 17th- and 18th-century New England, the talk examines discussions on religious migration and liberty of conscience.

close
Brown Bag “The Sons of Britain”: Partisanship & the Origins of the American Revolution in New York City 1 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Christopher Minty, Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society

In 1775, New York City merchant Frederick Rhinelander told a friend, “if this province ever fights, it will be for the King.” Yet Rhinelander’s reasons were not based on New Yorkers’ blind loyalty to George III or Great Britain. Instead, for him and many of his friends, loyalism was a tool to challenge political opponents.

close
Brown Bag Sensory Experiences of Daily Life at New England Hospitals for the Insane 6 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Madeline Kearin, Brown University

Despite their reputation as sites of abuse and neglect, 19th-century hospitals for the insane were originally envisioned as “technological marvels” that would solve the national mental health crisis. This talk examines how New England lunatic hospitals were designed to mobilize sensory experience to cure mental illness, and how these designs shaped patient experiences.

close
Brown Bag The World Becomes Round: Cultural and Commercial Connections between Bombay Parsis and Yankees, 1771-1861 8 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jennifer Rose, Claremont Graduate University

This talk focuses on the commercial and cultural connections between New Englanders and Parsis in Bombay from the 1770s to the 1850s. Commercially, the Parsis began to act as agent-brokers for Massachusetts merchants in the late 1780s. But Parsi Zoroastrian religious ideas and rituals were already known to at least a few readers in New England by spring of 1772, when the first European translations of Zoroastrian texts were sent, at Benjamin Franklin’s recommendation, to the Redwood Athenaeum’s librarian.

close
Brown Bag Postponed:
"The Shade of Private Life": The Right to Privacy and the Press in American Art, 1875-1900
10 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Williams, Yale University

This brown bag is postponed to a later date.

This talk considers how American artists at the close of the nineteenth century advanced a new, modern notion of privacy in response to the rise of tabloid journalism and the emergence of invasive reporting genres like the gossip column and the personal exposé. It examines a diverse series of paintings, sculptures, and photographs in relation to period critiques of the press and the emerging legal concept of "the right to privacy."

close
Brown Bag Re-categorizing Americans: Difference, Distinction, and Belonging in the Dillingham Commission (1907-1911) 22 August 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sunmin Kim, Dartmouth College

This talk traces how the federal government surveyed immigrants in the early-20th century and how such attempts helped solidify the racial boundary-making for the nation. By dissecting the tenuous connections between racist ideology, state power, and social science knowledge, this talk provides an empirical account of how categories such as race and ethnicity emerge from confusion and contradiction in knowledge production.

close
Brown Bag "A Brazen Wall to Keep the Scriptures Certainty": European Biblical Scholarship in Early America 24 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kirsten Macfarlane, University of Cambridge

During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, European scholars made significant advances in the historical and critical study of the Bible, often with highly controversial and factious results. This talk will examine how such exciting but potentially subversive European scholarship was received and transformed by its early American readers, through a close study of the books owned and annotated by seventeenth-century readers in New England and elsewhere.

close
Brown Bag The Missionary Republic: American Evangelicals and the Birth of Modern Missions 27 August 2018.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Thomas Whittaker, Harvard University

The turn of the nineteenth century was a time of missionary mobilization for evangelicals in Britain, the United States, and continental Europe. This talk explains why Americans bought into the missions movement and how they domesticated it within a republican vision of civilization building on the frontier.

close
Brown Bag Masters of the Market: Ship Captaincy in the Colonial British Atlantic 31 August 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Hannah Tucker, University of Virginia

During the colonial period, captains acted as powerful auxiliaries for their vessel owners in markets far from the owners’ direct oversight. This talk explores why the economic services ship captains provided transformed as the Atlantic trading economy became more complex, capital intensive, and informed in the eighteenth century.

close
Brown Bag Garrisonian Rhode Island: Reassessing Abolitionism’s Radicals 5 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Kevin Vrevich, Ohio State University

This talk explores the place of Rhode Island, a center of William Lloyd Garrison’s “radical” abolitionism, in the larger antislavery network. As historians of abolitionism increasingly focus on continuities within the movement, Rhode Island offers an opportunity to reassess the place of the Garrisonians and to reconsider their contributions.

close
Brown Bag American Silver, Chinese Silverwares, and the Global Circulation of Value 7 September 2018.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Susan Eberhard, University of California, Berkeley

Silver coin was the primary commodity shipped to China from the United States in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some of which was reworked into silverwares by Chinese craftsmen for British and American buyers. This talk explores the different silver conduits of the American trade relationship with China. Far from a neutral medium, how were understandings of its materiality mobilized in cross-cultural transactions?

close
Brown Bag “This Summer-Home of the Survivors”: The Civil War Vacation in Architecture & Landscape, 1878-1910 12 September 2018.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM C. Ian Stevenson, Boston University

In the decades after the Civil War, its veterans built communal summer cottages in waterfront locations to merge memory and leisure among their comrades and families. Through interdisciplinary lenses, this talk considers the ways veterans used architecture and landscape to heal their wartime trauma and preserve their scripted legacy.

close

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