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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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

“Monumental Narratives” Symposium at Wellesley, 10 Mar.

On Saturday, 10 March, Wellesley College will host this year’s Wellesley-Deerfield symposium, “Monumental Narratives: Revisiting New England’s Public Memorials.”

The event description says:
As southern Civil War memorials have become a flashpoint for politics and protest, New England's public monuments are also due for critical examination. The Wellesley-Deerfield symposium will explore the public commemorations of people, places, and events in New England’s past. Illustrated presentations by scholars from across the country will examine how these public acts of memory tell a particular story of New England and how, whether explicitly or implicitly, they conceal, devalue, or erase other histories. Ultimately, presenters will ask: how can we recast these monumental narratives without simultaneously sweeping aside uncomfortable histories of colonialism and discrimination?
The full schedule of panels can be downloaded here (P.D.F. link). Among the presentations that touch on the Revolutionary era are:
  • Suzanne Flynt, Independent Scholar, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, and Alice Nash, Associate Professor of History, U. Mass. Amherst: “Covering Up History in Deerfield”
  • Kevin Murphy, Professor and Chair of Art History, Vanderbilt University: “Memorializing the Revolution Fifty Years Later: The Contribution of Gen. Lafayette
  • Nancy Siegel, Professor of Art History, Towson University: “The Burning Obelisk: Paul Revere’s Memory of the Stamp Act Monument”
  • Christine DeLucia, Assistant Professor of History, Mount Holyoke College: “Remembering, Rewriting, and Resisting in the Native Northeast: New Approaches to Indigenous Placemaking, Countermemorials, and Histories of Violence”
  • Siobhan M. Hart, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Skidmore College: “Remembering Indians, Forgetting Whiteness”
  • Kate Melchior, Student Program Coordinator, Massachusetts Historical Society: “Stumbling over Slavery: How a Holocaust Memorial Tradition Is Now Telling the Stories of Enslaved New England Residents”
This event is scheduled to run from 9:00 A.M. to about 4:00 P.M. in Collins Cinema. It is free and open to the public, but the organizers ask that all attendees register in advance through this page.

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