The MHS organizes seven seminar series that operate from September to May. These sessions bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. After brief remarks from the author and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essay, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone. Register below to attend and receive the session papers.

 

October 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar “The Virus of Slavery and Injustice”: Analogy and Disabled Life in African American Writings, 1856-1892 28 October 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Vivian Delchamps, University of California, Los Angeles Comment: Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been &lsquo ...

Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been ‘like’ disability in the late nineteenth century,” this essay explores texts by African American authors Charlotte L. Forten, Martin Robison Delany, and Frances E.W. Harper. Harper’s novel Iola Leroy renders slavery a “virus,” “deadly cancer,” and “wound,” necessitating cure; simultaneously, the novel depicts lived realities of disability, disrupts diagnostic reading practices, and takes a care-based, rather than curative, approach to disability itself.  The essay thus reads literature as a generative site for asserting ableism’s centrality to the legacy of racial violence, and explores the value of using diagnostic-like narrative methods to target systemic sources of mass debilitation.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend online

More
November 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Seminar, Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: Jeremy Vetter, University of Arizona This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the ...

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

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 paperLearn more.

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Reinvention of Tradition: Conformist Nationalism in the United States, 1923-1931 30 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelly Lyons, Boston College Comment: Jonathan Hansen, Harvard University In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, ...

In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, and immigration, nationalist organizations in the United States standardized many of the patriotic rituals and traditions Americans performed in their daily lives. This Nationalist Network, led by the American Legion and U.S. Flag Association, grew increasingly right-wing in this period, inventing and reinventing patriotic traditions to “Americanize” those who were already citizens and control their behavior to adhere to white, upper middle-class norms. These traditions reinforced existing racial and class hierarchies and defined American nationalism along exclusionary principles.

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
December 2021
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg Seminar, African American History Seminar “Challenge or Be Challenged”: the Par-Links Black Women’s Golf Club in East Bay, CA 2 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Paula C. Austin, Boston University Louis Moore, Grand Valley State University The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, ...

The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, Oakland California. Using photographs, organizational documents, and scrapbooks, this paper examine the possibilities and realities of Black leisure, recreation, and community care and play practices before the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It places Par-Links in the context of the burgeoning sport, the development of Black golf clubs, and within the local and national fights to desegregate public golf courses and professional golf in US Civil Rights Movement histories. 

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

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

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

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

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg Seminar Digitizing Early Massachusetts Court Records 9 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sally Hadden, University of Western Michigan Comments: Jessica Otis, George Mason University; Susanna Blumenthal, University of Minnesota Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of ...

Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of colonial court documents in North America, covering the entirety of the eighteenth century. This seminar explores the process of transcribing, annotating, and presenting this information via Mirador, the browser-based interface that gives the end user control over how much or how little information to display. The database used to capture annotations and make them searchable using complex queries will also be described. This project is underwritten by the Ames Foundation and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

The Shapiro Digital history Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “The Kind of Death, Natural or Violent”: Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston 14 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Hannah Smith, University of Minnesota Comment: Nora Doyle, Salem College This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is ...

This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is meant to offer his (male) midwifery students the skills to serve as expert witnesses in infanticide trials. However, Channing also uses the lecture to promote his opinions of both infanticide and intentional abortion. This chapter focuses on the language Channing uses to frame these acts, as well as the nature of the lecture itself as a form of communication, in order to establish how this lecture fits within the broader discussions around infanticide, abortion, and man-midwifery taking place in the Anglo-Atlantic world at this time.   

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930 ...

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

More
Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar “The Virus of Slavery and Injustice”: Analogy and Disabled Life in African American Writings, 1856-1892 28 October 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Vivian Delchamps, University of California, Los Angeles Comment: Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg

Engaging Todd Carmody’s invitation to consider how “race might have been ‘like’ disability in the late nineteenth century,” this essay explores texts by African American authors Charlotte L. Forten, Martin Robison Delany, and Frances E.W. Harper. Harper’s novel Iola Leroy renders slavery a “virus,” “deadly cancer,” and “wound,” necessitating cure; simultaneously, the novel depicts lived realities of disability, disrupts diagnostic reading practices, and takes a care-based, rather than curative, approach to disability itself.  The essay thus reads literature as a generative site for asserting ableism’s centrality to the legacy of racial violence, and explores the value of using diagnostic-like narrative methods to target systemic sources of mass debilitation.

The Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend online

close

Seminar, Environmental History Seminar The “Science” of Dry-Farming: The Emergence of a Concept in Global Perspective Register registration required at no cost 4 November 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Online Event Elizabeth Williams, University of Massachusetts, Lowell Comment: Jeremy Vetter, University of Arizona Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

This paper examines the emergence of dry farming as a new "scientific" agricultural method in the late 19th and early 20th centuries within broader global circulations of agricultural knowledge. Connecting the dry farming knowledge of American agronomists to that of French colonial officials working in North Africa who were themselves indebted to centuries of knowledge about dry farming techniques developed by farmers working in rainfed lands around the Mediterranean basin, it sheds light on the politics of expertise involved in the production of this “science.”

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 paperLearn more.

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

 

close

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

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

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

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

 

close

Seminar, Malgeri Modern American Society and Culture Seminar The Reinvention of Tradition: Conformist Nationalism in the United States, 1923-1931 30 November 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Kelly Lyons, Boston College Comment: Jonathan Hansen, Harvard University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/masc_banner.jpg

In the 1920s, amid fears that American national identity was under threat from communism, pacifism, and immigration, nationalist organizations in the United States standardized many of the patriotic rituals and traditions Americans performed in their daily lives. This Nationalist Network, led by the American Legion and U.S. Flag Association, grew increasingly right-wing in this period, inventing and reinventing patriotic traditions to “Americanize” those who were already citizens and control their behavior to adhere to white, upper middle-class norms. These traditions reinforced existing racial and class hierarchies and defined American nationalism along exclusionary principles.

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

Seminar, African American History Seminar “Challenge or Be Challenged”: the Par-Links Black Women’s Golf Club in East Bay, CA 2 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Paula C. Austin, Boston University Louis Moore, Grand Valley State University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/banner_draft_2.jpg

The Par-Links Golf Club was an association of Black women golfers founded in 1958 in East Bay, Oakland California. Using photographs, organizational documents, and scrapbooks, this paper examine the possibilities and realities of Black leisure, recreation, and community care and play practices before the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It places Par-Links in the context of the burgeoning sport, the development of Black golf clubs, and within the local and national fights to desegregate public golf courses and professional golf in US Civil Rights Movement histories. 

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

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

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

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

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

Seminar Digitizing Early Massachusetts Court Records 9 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Sally Hadden, University of Western Michigan Comments: Jessica Otis, George Mason University; Susanna Blumenthal, University of Minnesota Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminars_2020-21/Banner.jpg

Massachusetts Superior Court of Judicature records represent one of the fullest collections of colonial court documents in North America, covering the entirety of the eighteenth century. This seminar explores the process of transcribing, annotating, and presenting this information via Mirador, the browser-based interface that gives the end user control over how much or how little information to display. The database used to capture annotations and make them searchable using complex queries will also be described. This project is underwritten by the Ames Foundation and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.

The Shapiro Digital history Seminar invites you to join the conversation. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

Seminar, History of Women, Gender and Sexuality Seminar “The Kind of Death, Natural or Violent”: Fetal Death and the Male Midwife in Nineteenth-Century Boston 14 December 2021.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Hybrid Event Hannah Smith, University of Minnesota Comment: Nora Doyle, Salem College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/wgs_banner.jpg

This dissertation chapter examines a lecture by Boston man-midwife Walter Channing. The lecture is meant to offer his (male) midwifery students the skills to serve as expert witnesses in infanticide trials. However, Channing also uses the lecture to promote his opinions of both infanticide and intentional abortion. This chapter focuses on the language Channing uses to frame these acts, as well as the nature of the lecture itself as a form of communication, in order to establish how this lecture fits within the broader discussions around infanticide, abortion, and man-midwifery taking place in the Anglo-Atlantic world at this time.   

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close

Seminar, Environmental History Seminar Local Food Before Locavores: Growing Vegetables in the Boston Market Garden District, 1870-1930 16 December 2021.Thursday, 5:15PM - 6:30PM Sally McMurry, Pennsylvania State University Comment: Andrew Robichaud, Boston University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020/ehs_banner.jpg

The Boston market garden district was a national leader in vegetable production from 1870 to 1930.  Suburban market gardeners' practices both countered and anticipated broader trends in the US food system.  For example, intercropping  (though long-known) stood well outside the US agro-ecological mainstream. Boston growers also developed the modern forcing house, an engineered greenhouse environment dependent on fossil fuels, irrigation, and commodified insect pollinators.  Year-round lettuce from these houses helped prepare the way for consumers to embrace a de-seasonalized, nationalized vegetable supply.  This agro-environmental episode shows how the history of local food complicates our narratives about US food system modernization.

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 paperLearn more.

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

Register to attend in person Register to attend online

close