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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Monday, November 30, 2020

Van Horn on “The Power of Objects,” Plus a Panel on “Caribbean Connections”

Tonight, on Monday, 30 November, the Massachusetts Historical Society will host an online talk by Jennifer Van Horn on “The Power of Objects in 18th-Century British America.”

The event description says:
Over the course of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Americans purchased an unprecedented number and array of goods. Prof. Jennifer Van Horn investigates these diverse artifacts—from portraits and city views to gravestones, dressing furniture, and prosthetic devices—to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire. In this interdisciplinary transatlantic study, artifacts emerge as key players in the formation of Anglo-American communities and eventually of American citizenship.

This presentation is the second annual lecture in honor of President Emeritus Dennis Fiori in recognition of his leadership.
Jennifer Van Horn is a professor of art history and history at the University of Delaware. She has had fellowships at the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Winterthur. Van Horn has published articles on early American prostheses (wooden legs and dentures) and women’s embroidery in the new American republic.

This online event is scheduled to start at 5:30 P.M. It is free to all, but audience members must register in advance here.

In addition, on Tuesday evening the M.H.S. will host a panel discussion on “Caribbean Connections” as part of its Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar. The participants will be:
  • Casey Schmitt, Cornell University, exploring the intersection of warfare and human trafficking in the seventeenth century, as unmet demand for enslaved labor in smaller markets coupled with near-constant warfare among major European powers reinforced practices of raiding and captivity.
  • Charlotte Carrington-Farmer, Roger Williams University, discussing how eighteenth-century New Englanders diversified their thriving business in horse breeding to supply mules to the West Indies.
  • Ryan Quintana, Wellesley College, commenter.
This discussion is scheduled to run from 5:15 to 6:30 P.M. Again, people should register in advance to receive all the necessary information.

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