Conferences

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2022 Conference Call for Papers: Underrepresented Voices of the American Revolution

In recent decades, scholars have unearthed and revived stories of a diverse and wide-ranging cast of characters who lived through America’s political formation. This much-needed corrective has unraveled a traditional narrative of wealthy white male revolutionaries rebelling against a white male dominated imperial government. The lead up to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence offers an opportunity to highlight and share the latest scholarship on the topic of underrepresented voices of the American Revolution whether that be from the perspective of Native Americans, women, African Americans, loyalists, ethnic and religious minorities, children, or neutrals in a global war that put the question of representation at its core. This conference invites scholars from various disciplines to submit papers that explore the broad themes associated with historic individuals or groups not traditionally considered in discussing the American Revolutionary Era.

As an organization that operates within academia and the public history arena, the Massachusetts Historical Society both champions important scholarship and supports vital public history initiatives like professional development for K-12 instruction. This conference will serve both constituencies—scholars and K-12 educators—by providing a platform to consider how the classroom serves as a key site of historical representation. Teachers will be invited to attend the traditional academic sessions, and scholars in turn will be invited to participate in a concluding teacher workshop at the end of the conference. We encourage participation from scholars who are eager to engage with and learn from K-12 educators, as well as teachers who are looking to incorporate the latest scholarship into the classroom.

The conference and workshop will take place at Suffolk University and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston on 14-16 July 2022. The panels and presentations will take place on 14-15 July with the teacher workshop on 16 July. Note that all papers for presentation must be ready for precirculation to commenters and conference registrants six weeks prior to the conference date.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit either individual paper presentations or full panels (with or without commenters) by 4 January 2021. Application materials must include a paper description and CV for individual submissions and paper descriptions and individual CVs along with a panel proposal for full panels. Paper proposals should not exceed one page and accompanying CVs should not exceed five pages in length. Please submit application materials and/or questions to research@masshist.org

Download CFP pdf. 

 

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Virtual 2020 Conrad E. Wright Research Conference 

“Shall Not Be Denied”: The 15th and 19th Amendments at the Sesquicentennial and Centennial of their Ratifications, October 12-16, 2020

 

View Conference Program below or download a pdf:

As a result of ongoing public health concerns, the Massachusetts Historical Society has altered its original plan for an in-person conference in October 2020. Rather than meeting for two days of sessions, we will host the conference panels online between Monday, 12 October and Friday, 16 October 2020. The originally scheduled keynote panel will be postponed until it is safe to hold the event in person at the MHS.

The year 2020 marks the anniversaries of two critical amendments to the United States Constitution. Spaced fifty years apart, the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, ratified in 1870 and 1920, respectively, prohibited the use of race or sex to deny American citizens the franchise. However, the amendments did not prevent states from adopting other methods of discrimination. Viewed as the product of two different movements—abolitionism and the Civil War on the one hand and the Progressive campaigns and the First World War on the other—these two periods and amendments are not often considered together. This conference revisits the long journey to secure voting rights for African Americans and women in United States history. It considers the legal precedents and hurdles that each amendment faced, the meaning and uneven outcomes of each, the social context that allowed for ultimate ratification, the role of key individuals and groups in these respective contexts, and how each amendment has been remembered over time.

At a later date, a keynote panel will feature feature Profs. Alison M. Parker (University of Delaware) and Lisa Tetrault (Carnegie Mellon University) and will be moderated by Prof. Alex Keyssar (Harvard).

 

Conference Publications

Since its first conference volume on American Unitarianism, issued in 1989, the MHS has made the scholarship developed through its conferences widely and permanently available to the field.

The MHS publication series Studies in American History and Culture comprises many of these volumes. More recently, MHS conference volumes published by other presses have given our conference scholarship an even wider reach. Peruse these essay collections.

Past Conferences

See a list of past conferences here.

Upcoming Events

Online Event

The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

17May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential black electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: The War on Drugs in Massachusetts: The Racial Impact of the School ...

19May 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In the 1980s, Massachusetts embraced the War on Drugs, enacting harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. It took decades to confront the reality ...

Online Event

Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism

26May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

When we talk about patriotism in America, we tend to mean one form: the version captured in shared celebrations like the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. But ...

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