Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars

The Society's five seminar series offer an excellent chance to meet accomplished scholars and authors. Join us to explore topics in-depth in a conversational setting, and help to shape works-in-progress. The stimulating and convivial atmosphere of these late afternoon sessions continues during the reception that follows each program. Session formats vary and include roundtables and panel conversations. However, with the exception of the New England Biography Seminar, most sessions revolve around the discussion of pre-circulated papers: after remarks from the presenters and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. Most programs take place at the Society, and all are welcome.

The Five Series

Boston Area Early American History Seminar*

The Boston Area Early American History Seminar provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Boston Area Early American History Seminar, $25* Subscribe

Boston Environmental History Seminar*

The Boston Environmental History Seminar is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Presenters come from a variety of disciplines including history, urban planning, and environmental management.

Boston Environmental History Seminar, $25* Subscribe

Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture*

The Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture provides a setting for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day. Programs may address multiple historical subfields and are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Modern American Society and Culture, $25* Subscribe

Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

The Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations. A collaboration of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and the Massachusetts Historical Society, the seminar meets at the facilities of the two sponsors.

Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, $20 Subscribe

New England Biography Seminar

The New England Biography Seminar is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. Leading authors of the genre will offer their insights and inspiration. This seminar features roundtable discussions rather than focusing on pre-circulated papers.

New England Biography Seminar, $20 Subscribe

*Your $25 subscription to any one of these three seminar series gives you access to the papers presented in the other two series.

How to Attend

RSVP required. Drop in on one or more individual sessions, or become a more active participant by subscribing to a series.

To RSVP: Email or phone 617-646-0579. Please give your name, the name of the seminar you will attend, and the names of your guests. Questions? Phone the MHS Research Coordinator at 617-646-0577 or email

Are you interested in presenting?

Each winter, seminar organizers issue a Call for Proposals in order to fill a limited number of session slots in several of the seminar series. The annual deadline is 15 March for the sessions that will take place in the following academic year. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email

Upcoming Events

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

La Villanía Arizoniana: Disenfranchisement, Citizenship, and Defining the Body Politic in the Early ...

27Mar 5:15PM 2018

In 1909 and 1912, the Arizona legislature enacted requirements that all voters be literate in English, sparking a storm of multilingual protests in the papers and the ...

Brown Bag

Learning the Values of a Dollar: Childhood & Cultures of Economy, 1825-1900

28Mar 12:00PM 2018

Nineteenth-century children rarely had access to money, even when they worked. Yet, several forms of authority instructed children in specific expectations of spending, ...


Protest & Citizenship

29Mar 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

PLEASE NOTE - PEOPLE REGISTERING FOR THIS PROGRAM AFTER 3/15/18 MAY BE ASKED TO SIT IN OVERFLOW SEATING (The overflow seating is on the same floor, one room over ...

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