J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dublin Seminar 2012 on Dubliners and Other Irish

Next year’s Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, to be held in Deerfield, Massachusetts, on 22-24 June 2012, will be on the topic of “The Irish in New England.”

The call for papers says:
The Seminar is now accepting proposals for papers on the historical Irish presence in New England. The topic includes direct Irish immigrants and their descendants—Catholic and Protestant; North and South; Gaelic Irish, Hiberno-Norman or Old English, English settlers, Ulster-Scots or Scotch-Irish; as well as secondary migrants through Great Britain and British North America (Canada, the Maritimes, Newfoundland).

From the trickle of Irish settlers among the mariners, merchants, farmers, and fisherman, and the servants in the colonial period to the expanding traffic in the early nineteenth century to the flood tide of famine refugees in the 1840s and later, Irish men and women brought customs and beliefs that have had an indelible impact on New England life.

Topics for papers might include the Irish language; the revival of traditional music, dancing, and storytelling; Irish foodways; linen production; male laborers and female servants; and the larger issues of discrimination and class conflict. Other topics might be employment in railroad and canal construction, textile and shoe manufacturing; labor organization; spectator sports; shantytowns, urban enclaves; rural settlements such as the farming community of Benedicta, Maine; charitable, fraternal and religious organizations such as the 1737 Charitable Irish Society in Boston.

The Seminar encourages papers that reflect original research, especially those based primarily on underused resources such as letters and diaries, vital records, federal and state censuses, naturalization records, newspapers, portraits, prints and photographs, business and banking records, material culture, oral histories, and autobiographies.
To submit a proposal for this conference, download this form, complete it, and return it with the requested information to the seminar’s director.

I’m thinking of proposing a paper on the soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre. One was definitely Irish, and almost all of them had Irish names. Their ethnic and likely religious background was one more reason they were so unwelcome in Boston in 1768-1770.

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