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          • Public ProgramCollecting the World at War, 1919-1946
            Public ProgramCollecting the World at War, 1919-1946
            6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Kenneth Rendell, Museum of World War II More
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                      • Teacher WorkshopWomen in the Era of the American Revolution
                        ends Teacher WorkshopWomen in the Era of the American Revolution
                        9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $40 (free for students) Please RSVP   registration required More
                      • History of Women and Gender SeminarConversation: Sexuality of History, History of Sexuality
                        History of Women and Gender SeminarConversation: Sexuality of History, History of Sexuality
                        5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Sue Lanser, Brandeis University, and Jim Downs, Connecticut College Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                        Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
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                          Exhibition Turning Points in American History 10 June 2016 to 25 February 2017 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Turning Points

                          Turning Points in American History examines 15 decisive moments when everything suddenly changed or a process began that would change what followed. These are not the only, or even the most important, events in American history, but turning points described in eyewitness accounts and personal records, or commemorated by "dumb witnesses"--artifacts found in the Society's enormous collections. The exhibition begins with an account of sailing a small boat through New York Harbor on 11 September 2001 and then travels back in time to the opening of the American West in the 19th century; the abolitionist movement and the Civil War; the American Revolution and the birth of the United States; and culminates with John Winthrop's account of setting sail for New England in 1630. The exhibition opens on 10 June.

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                          Brown Bag "Leaving their callings": Retirement in the Early Republic 1 February 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrea Gray, George Mason University and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation

                          This project looks at elderly men in the early national period who voluntarily left their public careers—including prominent politicians as well as those in fields such as commerce, law, and medicine—and permanently returned to domestic life. By examining their motives, how they spent their retired years, and the impression they made on their fellow Americans, we gain important insights into the relationships between aging, work and public service, gender, and republican civic virtue.

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                          MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 4 February 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                          The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                          While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                          Early American History Seminar The Coromantee War in Jamaica: Charting the Course of an Atlantic Slave Revolt 7 February 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Vincent Brown, Harvard University Comment: Malick Ghachem, MIT

                          Drawn from Brown’s current book project, this essay will discuss African diasporic warfare in the Americas. It puts the Jamaican Revolt of 1760-61 in the context of a dramatic series of 17th- and 18th-century revolts and conspiracies that were staged by enslaved Africans from the Gold Coast, known widely as “Coromantees."

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                          Public Program Collecting the World at War, 1919-1946 8 February 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Kenneth Rendell, Museum of World War II

                          Kenneth Rendell, a noted collector and dealer of historical documents and artifacts, has amassed the most comprehensive collection of material related to World War II anywhere. This collection is open to the public through the Museum of World War II, a research and educational institution devoted to preserving and exhibiting the reality of the war. With over 7,000 artifacts on display and more than 500,000 documents and photographs in the research archives, it is a remarkable resource. Rendell will discuss the challenges he’s faced in the past 58 years of collecting, globally, the most cataclysmic event of modern times.

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                          Building Closed MHS Closed 9 February 2017.Thursday, all day

                          Due to inclement weather, the MHS library and galleries will be closed on Thursday, February 9.

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                          Building Closed MHS Closed 10 February 2017.Friday, all day

                          Due to inclement weather, the MHS library and galleries will be closed on Friday, February 10.

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                          Building Closed MHS Closed 13 February 2017.Monday, all day

                          Due to inclement weather the MHS library and galleries will be closed on Monday, 13 February 2016.

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                          Public Program, Author Talk Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution Through Painters' Eyes 16 February 2017.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Paul Staiti, Mount Holyoke College

                          The lives of the five great American artists of the Revolutionary period--Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart--were every bit as eventful as those of the Founders with whom they continually interacted. Living in a time of breathtaking change, each in his own way came to grips with the history being made by turning to brushes and canvases. The stories of these five artists open a fresh window on the Revolutionary era, making more human the figures we have long honored as our Founders, and deepening our understanding of the whirlwind out of which the United States emerged.

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                          MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 18 February 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                          The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                          While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                          Building Closed Presidents' Day 20 February 2017.Monday, all day

                          The Society is CLOSED for President's Day

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                          Environmental History Seminar Postponed:
                          Harvest for War: Fruits, Nuts, Imperialism, and Gas Mask Manufacture in the United States During World War I
                          21 February 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Gerard Fitzgerald, George Mason University Comment: Nicoletta Gullace, University of New Hampshire

                          This session has been POSTPONED to Tuesday, May 9, at 5:15 PM.

                          Part of a larger book length study, this essay examines the use of seemingly exotic foodstuffs and industrial waste in the form of fruit pits for the manufacture of a high-density carbon filter critical for defense against chemical weapons. It involves not only environmental and military history but also the history of science and biology. The essay includes analysis of transportation networks within the context of 19th-century US imperialism, especially from a resource allocation perspective.

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                          Teacher Workshop Women in the Era of the American Revolution Please RSVP   registration required 22 February 2017 to 23 February 2017 Registration fee: $40 (free for students)

                          Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Women were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and they functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. We will explore the daily lives of these revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses. The program fee includes a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts.

                          This program is open to K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and 2 graduate credits (for an additional fee).

                          Please email education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557 for more information or to register.

                          Image: The Female Review: or, Memoirs of an American Young Lady ...  Frontispiece including an engraved portrait of Deborah Sampson. Dedham, [MA]: printed by Nathaniel and Benjamin Heaton, 1797.

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                          Brown Bag Constructing American Belatedness: The Archives of American Artists in Late Nineteenth-Century Paris this event is free 22 February 2017.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Emily C. Burns, Auburn University

                          Thousands of US artists traveled to Paris between 1865 and 1914, at various stages of their careers and for various lengths of time. This project culls archival materials to understand  how American culture collectively became defined through international mobility as belated and innocent.

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                          Public Program MIT: History and Architecture Please RSVP   registration required 22 February 2017.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Douglass Shand-Tucci

                           

                           

                           

                          This talk arises out of a two part guide -- a history of MIT and a series of walking tours of its present campus on the Charles River Basin -- which has been called "Boston's Central Park" -- the first result of "The Gods of Copley Square," a multi-year project and Shand-Tucci's next book, the subject of which is the Boston Brahmin Ascendancy. A high-point of that ascendancy was the development of Copley Square in 1860-1915 as a great New World Acropolis of Faith and Learning, Arts and Sciences, the cornerstone of which was MIT, founded as a notable scientific university, a companion Brahmin school to modern Harvard. This talk focuses on the way the schools, now universally ranked among the top five seats of higher learning in the world, reflected Boston 19th century Unitarian tradition and framed its Brahmin Ascendancy.

                          Shand-Tucci's recent publication, MIT: The Campus Guide, will be available for purchase.

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                          History of Women and Gender Seminar Conversation: Sexuality of History, History of Sexuality Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          23 February 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Radcliffe, Fay House, Sheerr Room, 10 Garden St. in Cambridge Sue Lanser, Brandeis University, and Jim Downs, Connecticut College Moderator: Jen Manion, Amherst College

                          Please join us for a conversation with the authors of two important new books in the history of sexuality.  This wide-ranging discussion will explore the relationship between lesbian and gay male histories, literary and historical methods, representation and political mobilization of people and communities. We will explore the following questions: How do such vastly different works advance the ongoing project of queer historicism and/or LGBTQ history and to what end? What scholarly fields and trends have enabled and inspired this new work? Who is the audience for LGBTQ history and queer scholarship, the LGBTQ community or the academy? How do we make theoretical insights legible and relevant to the community? How do we articulate the urgency to make the history of sexuality and LGBTQ communities central part of curricula, graduate training, and our professional organizations?" - Please note that there are no precirculated essays for this session.

                          Sue Lanser is author of The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565-1830 (Chicago, 2014) which explores the ways in which a historically specific interest in lesbians intersected with and stimulated systemic concerns that would seem to have little to do with sexuality. Departing from the prevailing trend of queer reading whereby scholars ferret out hidden content in “closeted” texts, Lanser situates overtly erotic representations within wider spheres of interest. In so doing, she demonstrates that just as one can understand sexuality by studying the past, so too can one understand the past by studying sexuality. Jim Downs is author of Stand by Me (Basic, 2016) which rewrites the history of gay life in the 1970s, arguing that the decade was about much more than sex and marching in the streets. Drawing on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells moving, revelatory stories of gay people who stood together—as friends, fellow believers, and colleagues—to create a sense of community among people who felt alienated from mainstream American life.

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                          Teacher Workshop Abraham Lincoln & Emancipation Please RSVP   registration required 25 February 2017.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM

                          “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races….”  Abraham Lincoln, 1858

                          Investigate Abraham Lincoln’s evolving thoughts on social and political equality for African Americans. How do we reconcile Lincoln’s words from his September 18, 1858, debate with Stephen A. Douglas with the man who signed the Emancipation Proclamation? Together MHS staff, participants will discuss Lincoln’s grounds for opposing slavery and his thoughts on colonization, abolition, and gradual emancipation. Using primary sources from the Society’s collection, participants can debate Lincoln’s rationale for singing the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as public reaction to the edict. We will be joined by Kevin M .Levin, author of Civil War Memory.

                          This program is open to K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 PDPs and 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

                          Please email education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557 for more information or to register.

                          Image: By the President of the United States: A Proclamation. [Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation]. Washington, D.C.: 1862.

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                          MHS Tour Canceled:
                          The History and Collections of the MHS
                          this event is free 25 February 2017.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                          The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                          While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                          Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: Mapping New England - a visual story Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 25 February 2017.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Peter Drummey, Stephen T. Riley Librarian

                          The first English explorers to reach the northeastern corner of the New World were left with a conundrum: how to explain the new land to people who had never - and probably would never - see it? John Smith wrote his extravagantly promotional A Description of New England (1616) and William Wood New Englands Prospect (1634). But nothing succeeded in reaching a broad public like a picture.

                          Join MHS librarian Peter Drummey in investigating the world of early New England maps: how they were created; what they included and what they omitted; the images their creators choose and the messages they conveyed. Were early maps designed to encourage emigrants, or aids to navigation? Did they chart colonial-Native American conflict or paint an idyllic garden scene? Find out how these non-textual artifacts communicated the world of 17th-century New England.

                          NOTE: This meeting is a discussion, not a lecture. Come prepared to examine maps, raise questions, and make your points! No expertise required, just a willingness to engage with primary material, talk to fellow attendees, and enjoy yourself.

                          Map above selection from: 

                          A map of New-England : being the first that ever was here cut, and done by the best pattern that could be had, which being in some places defective, it made the other less exact: Yet doth it sufficiently show the situation of the country & conveniently well the distances of places.

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                          Public Program, Author Talk Self-Evident Truths: Contesting Equal Rights from the Revolution to the Civil War Please RSVP   registration required 27 February 2017.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Richard Brown, University of Connecticut

                          Despite our country’s founding statement that “all men are created equal,” the early Republic struggled with social inequality. While people paid homage to the ideal of equal rights, this ideal came up against entrenched social and political practices. Brown will discuss how the ideal was tested in struggles over race and ethnicity, religious freedom, gender and social class, voting rights and citizenship. He shows how high principles fared in criminal trials and divorce cases when minorities, women, and people from different social classes faced judgment. This book offers a much-needed exploration of the ways revolutionary political ideas penetrated popular thinking and everyday practice.

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                          Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Vietnamese Political Prisoners and the Politics of Family, 1975-1996 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          28 February 2017.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Amanda C. Demmer, University of New Hampshire Comment: Arissa Oh, Boston College

                          This project dispels the myths that American involvement in Vietnam ended abruptly after the fall of Saigon and that U.S. servicemen listed as prisoner of war/missing in action were the only exception to American disengagement. It explores the American response to Hanoi's incarceration of Vietnamese political prisoners in so-called “reeducation” camps, whose last prisoner was not released until 1992. More specifically, it argues that Vietnamese Americans successfully made the prisoners' release and resettlement a major objective of U.S. foreign policy.

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                            Key to event colors:
                          • MHS Tours
                          • Seminars
                          • Public Programs
                          • Brown Bags
                          • Special Events