Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars


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.

How to Attend: Register through our Calendar of Events and you will receive the session's discussion paper the day before the seminar by email. 

Subscribe: Purchasing a $25 seminar subscription gives you advanced access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. (Subscriptions are currently closed and will open again with the fall semester.)

Join the mailing list today by emailing

Questions? Email

The Seven Series

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Shapiro Digital History Seminar

Introducing in-progress projects that depend on digital methods, such as the use of computational tools for analysis of historical data.

Environmental History

Discuss American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Involves a variety of disciplines including urban planning and environmental management.

Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar

Discussing all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic.

African American History

Co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Dina G. Malgeri Modern American Society & Culture Seminar

Concerning American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

Discussing  new research in all aspects of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations.

New England Biography Series

Discussing the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. 

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. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email

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 ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

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