Massachusetts Historical Society Seminars

The Society's six seminar series offer an excellent chance to meet accomplished scholars and authors. Join us to explore topics in-depth in a conversational setting, and help to shape works-in-progress. The stimulating and convivial atmosphere of these late afternoon sessions continues during the reception that follows each program. Session formats vary and include roundtables and panel conversations. However, with the exception of the New England Biography Seminar, most sessions revolve around the discussion of pre-circulated papers: after remarks from the presenters and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. Most programs take place at the Society, and all are welcome.

The Six Series

Boston Seminar on African-American History*

The Boston Seminar on African-American History is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of African-American history from the colonial era to the present day. This series offers programs that intersect with multiple fields and engage scholars working in various disciplines. Co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Boston Seminar on African-American History, $25* Subscribe

Boston-Area Seminar on Early American History*

The Boston-Area Seminar on Early American History provides a forum for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of North American history and culture from the first European colonization to the early republic. Programs are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Boston-Area Early American History Seminar, $25* Subscribe

Boston Seminar on Environmental History*

The Boston Seminar on Environmental History is an occasion for scholars as well as interested members of the public to discuss aspects of American environmental history from prehistory to the present day. Presenters come from a variety of disciplines including history, urban planning, and environmental management.

Boston Environmental History Seminar, $25* Subscribe

Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture*

The Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture provides a setting for local scholars as well as members of the general public to discuss all aspects of American culture, immigration, and urban history from the nineteenth century to the present day. Programs may address multiple historical subfields and are not confined to Massachusetts topics.

Modern American Society and Culture, $25* Subscribe

Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality

The Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality invites scholars and students to meet periodically and discuss new research. Sessions may consider any aspect of the history of women, gender, and sexuality without chronological limitations. A collaboration of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America and the Massachusetts Historical Society, the seminar meets at the facilities of the two sponsors.

Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality, $20 Subscribe

New England Biography Seminar

The New England Biography Seminar is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. Leading authors of the genre will offer their insights and inspiration. This seminar features roundtable discussions rather than focusing on pre-circulated papers.

New England Biography Seminar, $20 Subscribe

*Your $25 subscription to any one of these four seminar series gives you access to the papers presented in all four series.

How to Attend

RSVP required. Drop in on one or more individual sessions, or become a more active participant by subscribing to a series. Seminar series carry an optional modest subscription fee that helps support the series and provides advance access to any pre-circulated materials. Attendance is free and open to all!

To RSVP: Email seminars@masshist.org or phone 617-646-0579. Please give your name, the name of the seminar you will attend, and the names of your guests. Questions? Phone the MHS Research Coordinator at 617-646-0577 or email seminars@masshist.org.

Are you interested in presenting?

Each winter, seminar organizers issue a Call for Proposals in order to fill a limited number of session slots in several of the seminar series. The annual deadline is 15 March for the sessions that will take place in the following academic year. If you would like to receive the CFP and are not on our mailing list, email seminars@masshist.org.

Upcoming Events

Breaking the Banks: Representations & Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866–1966

16Jan 6:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Matthew McKenzie weaves together the industrial, cultural, political, and ecological history of New England’s fisheries through the story of how the Boston haddock ...

African American History Seminar

Race, Empire, and the Erasure of African Identities in Harvard’s “National Skulls”

17Jan 5:15PM 2019

In 1847, John Collins Warren gave his anatomical collection to the Harvard medical school, including a collection of “national skulls.” This paper analyzes ...

History of Women and Gender Seminar

How to Be an American Housewife: American Red Cross “Bride Schools” in Japan in the Cold War Era

22Jan 5:30PM 2019
Location: Massachusetts Historical Society

In 1951, the American Red Cross in Japan began offering “schools for brides,” to prepare Japanese women married to American servicemen for successful entry ...

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