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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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Upcoming Events at the Massachusetts Historical Society

The Massachusetts Historical Society is hosting three events on the history of eighteenth-century America in one busy week.

Tonight William M. Fowler, Jr., will speak at 6:00 P.M. on his new book, American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783. Bill is a professor at Northeastern and a former director of the M.H.S. Reading his short biography of Samuel Adams was one of the steps that ultimately led me to Boston 1775 (so he has a lot to answer for). The reception before Bill’s talk will start at 5:30. Register for the event here.

On Tuesday, 6 December, at 5:15 P.M. the Boston-Area Early American History Seminar will feature a panel discussion on colonial family law. One presentation will look at “Boston Almshouse children and…their patterns of binding out through four multi-child narratives.” Another will explore “the little-known role played by midwives in the colonial courtroom.” Panelists are Abby Chandler of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell; Ruth Wallis Herndon of Bowling Green; and moderator Cornelia Hughes Dayton of the University of Connecticut.

Two days later at 5:30 P.M., in the Boston Seminar on the History of Women and Gender, Jennifer Morgan of New York University will present a paper called “Quotidian Erasures: Gender and the Logic of the Early Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.” The slave trade across the Atlantic coincided with the Enlightenment’s new scientific study of people. The result is more data for historians, but also more questions about how and why that data was collected and its meaning then and now. At least that’s how I interpret the seminar description. Prof. Linda Heywood of Boston University will comment.

Finally, folks interested in the seventeenth century might want to peek in on the seminar on Wednesday, 14 December, in which Jonathan Beecher Field of Clemson will lay out his research on how John Winthrop understood and presented the stories of “monstrous births” involving—surprise!—his religious and political enemies. With that appetizing subject, this is naturally a brown-bag seminar, starting at noon.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

The 8 December seminar on “Quotidian Erasures” has been postponed. All other events are still on schedule.