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2021: Material Culture Studies and Early American History

December 10 & 11, 2021                
Convener: Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware


Robin Derby, UCLA
“The Mysterious Mana of Palo de Cruz: Taino Botanical Legacies on Hispaniola.”

Pablo Gomez, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Accounting for Armazones: The Arithmetic of Bodies and Commercial Goods in the Early Modern Atlantic”

Glenda Goodman, University of Pennsylvania

“Elegant Instruments of Imperial Influence: Joseph Brant’s Barrel Organ at Grand River”

Amanda Herbert, Durham University

“Faux and Artificial Foods in the Material Cultures of Britain and the Early Americas”

Susan Kern, Independent scholar

“’Of General use to the improvement of natural philosophy’: New Material from an Old Place”

Jane Mangan, Davidson College

“Dwelling, Room, Object: Telescopic Views on Material Culture and Colonial Identity in the Urban Andes”

Whitney Martinko, Villanova University

“Mr. Peale’s Corporation: The Valuation of Museum Objects in the Early United States”

Benjamin Schmidt, University of Washington

“Decorative Colonialism: Coconuts and the Dutch Atlantic”

Peter Mancall, University of Southern California

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Chair: Nicholas Popper, William and Mary Quarterly


2020: Material Culture Studies and Early American History

Rescheduled due to difficulties posed by Covid-19.


2019: Archaeology, History, and the Problem of ‘Early America’

May 10 & 11, 2019                 
Convener: Robin Beck, University of Michigan


Emerson Baker, Salem State University
“Forgotten Frontier: Material Life in Early Northern New England”

Juliana Barr, Duke University

“The Bison Mask vs. the Woman in Blue: Archaeology and History in a New Mexico Pueblo”

Denise Bossy, University of North Florida

“The Yamasee Indians: Forging a Confederacy”

Robert Cook, The Ohio State University

“The Midwest U.S. and the Cultures without Affiliation”

Alejandra Dubcovsky, University of California, Riverside

“Gender, Archeology, and History in a Small Southern Town”

Carrie Heitman, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

“Being Present with the Past when the Past is Still Present”

Julie Reed, Pennsylvania State University

“Kituwah: ‘A Cherokee-centered pedagogy’”

Gregory Waselkov, University of South Alabama

“The Cosmological Basis of Redstick Revitalization”

Peter Mancall, University of Southern California

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Nicholas Popper, William and Mary Quarterly


2018: Archives-based Digital Projects in Early America

May 18 & 19, 2018                  
Convener: Molly O’Hagan Hardy, American Antiquarian Society
Molly O’Hagan Hardy, “Archives-Based Digital Projects in Early America,” William & Mary Quarterly, 76, no. 3 (July 2019): 451–76.


Hannah Alpert-Abrams, University of Texas, Austin

“First Books Project”

Arthur Burns, King’s College London

“Georgian Papers Programme”

Erica Cavanaugh, University of Virginia

“George Washington Financial Papers”

Paul Grant-Costa and Tobias Glaza, Yale University

“Yale Indian Papers Project”

Steve Hackel, University of California, Riverside

“Early California Population Project”

Sharon Leon, Michigan State University

“Enslaved Persons Owned (and Sold) by Md. Province Jesuits”

Lindsay Van Tine, University of Pennsylvania

“The Early Novels Database”

Peter C. Mancall, Early Modern Studies Institute

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Nicholas Popper, William and Mary Quarterly
Karin Wulf, Omohundro Institute


2017: Early American Environmental Histories

May 19 & 20, 2017                
Convener: James Rice, Tufts University
James D. Rice, “Early American Environmental Histories,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 75, no.3 (July 2018): 401–32.


Thomas Andrews, University of Colorado at Boulder
“Beyond the Only: Native Americans, Dogs, and Domestication in Late-Medieval North America”

Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College

“Cold Fire: Climate and the Shape of Early Native Resistance in the East”

Joseph Hall, Bates College

“The Politics of Place in Wabanaki Land Sales, 1639-1672”

Robert Morrissey, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

“Newcomers: Humans and non-Humans in the Tallgrass Prairie Borderlands”

Andrea Pappas, Santa Clara University

“Embroidering the Landscape: Eighteenth-Century Pastoral Needlework – An Environmental History Perspective”

Christopher Parsons, Northeastern University

“Locating Canada: Ecography and Empire in French North America”

Cynthia Radding, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“Environmental History and the Production of Indigenous Landscapes in the Northern Borderlands of Mesoamerica”

Anya Zilberstein, Concordia University

“‘The Feathered Tribe’: Flight Paths for Birds and Other Migrants”

Peter C. Mancall, Early Modern Studies Institute

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Brett Rushforth, William and Mary Quarterly

2016: Religions in the Early Americas

May 12 – 14, 2016                 
Convener: Catherine Brekus, Harvard Divinity School
Catherine A. Brekus, “Contested Words: History, America, Religion,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 75, no. 1 (January 2018): 3–36.


Adrian Chastain Weimer, Providence College

“Rumors and the Religious Imagination in the Early Restoration”

Mairi Cowan, University of Toronto, Mississauga

“‘Black-Robed Demonology,’ a Chapter from Demons in New France and the Spiritual Anxieties of Early Canada”

Katharine Gerbner, University of Minnesota

“Christian Slavery: Protestant Missions and Slave Conversion in the Atlantic World”

Janet Moore Lindman, Rowan University

“Religious Gendering in Early Transatlantic Protestantism”

Erik Seeman, University at Buffalo

“‘Conversation with the Departed’: Talking Gravestones and the Materiality of Speaking with the Dead in New England”

Owen Stanwood, Boston College

“Dreams of Silk and Wine: Religion, Agriculture, and the Huguenot Migration to Colonial America”

Mark Valeri, Washington University in St. Louis

“Religions of the World and Conversion in the Eighteenth Century”

Rachel Wheeler, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

“Whose Story is American Religion? The Parallel Lives of Daniel Boone and Joshua, the

Peter C. Mancall, USC

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Brett Rushforth, William and Mary Quarterly

2015: Early American Legal Histories

May 29 & 30, 2015                
Convener: Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania


Saul Cornell, Fordham University
“The Reception of the Statute of Northampton in Early America: Regionalism and the Evolution of
Common Law Constitutionalism”

Helen Dewar, University of Toronto

“Disputing New France: Metropolitan Authorities and Colonial Jurisdictions”

Alexandre Dubé, Washington University in St. Louis

“A Thousand Leagues from the Sun: The Birth of French Colonial Administration”

Michael Goode, Utah Valley University

“‘The Eyes of Many Are On Us:’ The Struggle for Gospel Order in Quaker Pennsylvania”

Bruce H. Mann, Harvard Law School

“The Past, Present, and Future of Early American Legal History”

Honor Sachs, Western Carolina University

“Slaves and Lawyers: Freedom Suits and Legal Representation in Revolutionary and Early National Virginia”

Jennifer Spear, Simon Fraser University and Kathleen Brown, University of Pennsylvania

“Partus sequitur ventrem vs. nullius filius: Rethinking the Development of Slave Law in the Atlantic World”

Christine Walker, Texas Tech University

“‘Till Death Do Us Part:’ Marriage, Inheritance, and the Rise of Equity Law in Colonial Jamaica”

Craig Yirush, University of California, Los Angeles

“‘Since We Came out of this Ground’: Indigenous Legal Norms in the Eighteenth-Century Ohio Valley”

Peter C. Mancall, Early Modern Studies Institute

Joshua Piker, William and Mary Quarterly
Brett Rushforth, William and Mary Quarterly

2014: Age of Revolutions

May 30 & 31, 2014                 
Convener: Sarah Knott, Indiana University
Sarah Knott, “Narrating the Age of Revolution,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 73, no. 1 (January 2016): 3–36.


Kate Carté Engel, Southern Methodist University
“‘The Cause of True Religion’: International Protestantism and the American Revolution”

Marcela Echeverri, Yale University

“Royalism and Revolution in Popayán, 1809–1819”

Bronwen Everill, King’s College, London

“Moral Revolutions in the African Atlantic”

Julia Gaffield, Jane Kamensky, and Susan S. Lanser, Brandeis University

“What We Saw at the Revolutions: A Field Report”

Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, University of Southern California

“Seafarers and the Navigation of Citizenship in the 1790s”

Janet Polasky, University of New Hampshire

“Revolutionary Cosmopolitans in Small Spaces, 1776–1789”

Edward Rugemer, Yale University

“Resistance and the Politicization of Black Slavery during the American Revolution”

Ashli White, University of Miami

“Terrible Amusements”

Natale Zappia, Whittier College

“Revolutions in the Grass: Politics and Food Systems in Continental North America, 1763–1848”

Peter C. Mancall, Early Modern Studies Institute

Brett Rushforth, William and Mary Quarterly
Eric Slauter, William and Mary Quarterly

2013: Before 1607

May 24 & 25, 2013                
Convener: Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University
Karen Ordahl Kupperman, “Before 1607,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 72, no. 1 (January 2015): 3–24.


Christopher Bilodeau, Dickinson College
“French and English Imperial Styles in Colonial Maine, 1604-1608”

Peter Cook, University of Victoria

“The Invention of American Kingship in Sixteenth-Century Europe”

Surekha Davies, Western Connecticut State University

“Knowlege Transfer and Invention: Representations of the Virginia Algonquians, 1585-1624”

Robbie Ethridge, University of Mississippi

“The Native South at the Time of Contact”

Sophie Lemercier-Goddard, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

“Writing the Nation: Voyages in Search of the Northwest Passage, 1576-1583”

Robert Morrissey, University of Illinois

“Illinois Ethnogenesis: Native Power in the Borderlands before 1607”

Mark Peterson, University of California, Berkeley

“City Thinking in the Early Modern Atlantic World”

Daniel K. Richter, University of Pennsylvania

“State-Forms, Chief Forms, and Transformations”

Molly Warsh, University of Pittsburgh

“Subjects and Objects in Flux, 1555-1600”

Christopher Grasso, William and Mary Quarterly

Peter C. Mancall, USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute
Karin Wulf, William and Mary Quarterly

2012: Early American Biographies

May 25 & 26, 2012
Convener: Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard Law School
Annette Gordon-Reed, “Writing Early American Lives as Biography,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 71, no. 4 (October 2014): 491–516.


Rachel Cleves, University of Victoria, British Columbia
“‘Miss Bryant was the Man’: A Female Husband in Early America”

Steven W. Hackel, University of California Riverside

“The Many Worlds of Father Junipero Serra, California’s Founding Father”

Jenny Hale Pulsipher, Brigham Young University

“A Seventeenth-Century Indian in King Charles’ Court: The Atlantic Worlds of John Wompas”

Martha S. Jones, University of Michigan

“Popote: A Life History of Slavery, Law, and the Haitian Diaspora”

Gregory Nobles, Georgia Tech

“Audubon’s Origins: A Sketchy Self-Portrait in Black and White”

Michael Oberg, State University of New York, Geneseo

“Eleazer Williams and the War of 1812”

Catherine O’Donnell, Arizona State University

“A Saint, I Tell You: Elizabeth Seton’s Oft-Told, Untold Life”

Joshua Piker, University of Oklahoma

“‘Called by us the Acorn Whistler’: Biography, Microhistory, and the Ragged Edge of the Historical Record”

James H. Sweet, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“African Lives, Atlantic Biography: The Individual, the Group, and Non-Western Subjectivities”

Christopher Grasso, William and Mary Quarterly
Peter C. Mancall, USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute
Karin Wulf, William and Mary Quarterly

2011: Women in Early America

May 26 – 28, 2011
Convener: Terri L. Synder, California State University, Fullerton
Terri L. Snyder, “Refiguring Women in Early American History,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 69, no. 3 (July 2012): 421–50.


Sharon Block, University of California, Irvine
“Bodies of Women: Deconstructing Women’s Physical Appearance in Colonial Print”

Lisa Forman Cody, Claremont McKenna College

“The Other ‘Glorious Cause’: Adultery, Divorce, and the Quest for Female Independence in the
Revolutionary Atlantic World”

Ellen Hartigan-O’Connor, University of California, Davis

“Women, Auctions, and Economic Power in Early America”

Sarah Knott, Indiana University

“Witnessing Women in an Age of Revolutions”

Jen Manion, Connecticut College

“Against Marriage: Desire, Dependency, and the Family in Early American Punishment”

Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University

“Lady Frances Berkeley and Grace Crosby: Aristocratic Women and the Changing Political Culture of Early Anglo-America”

Sarah Pearsall, Oxford Brookes University

“Beyond One Man and One Woman: A History of Early American Polygamy”

Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin

“’For Sale A Young Negro Woman’: Auctions, Breeding, and Enslaved Women in Early America”

Susanah Shaw Romney, The Huntington Library

“Intimate Ground: Women, Intimacy, and Claims to Space in the Early Modern Dutch Empire”

Susan Sleeper-Smith, Michigan State University

“Agrarian Landscapes: Indian Women and the Making of an Indian World in the Great Lakes”

Kirsten Sword, Indiana University

“Wives not Slaves: Marriage and the Invention of the Modern Order”

Peter Mancall, USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute

Karin Wulf, William and Mary Quarterly


2010: Grounded Histories: Land, Landscape, and Environment in Early North America

May 28 & 29, 2010
Convener: Karen Halttunen
Karen Halttunen, “Grounded Histories: Land and Landscape in Early America,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 68, no. 4 (October 2011): 513–32.

2009: Territorial Crossings: Histories and Historiographies of the Early Americas

May 21 & 22, 2009
Convener: Eric Hinderaker and Rebecca Horn
Eric Hinderaker and Rebecca Horn, “Territorial Crossings: Histories and Historiographies of the Early Americas,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 67, no. 3 (July 2010): 395–432.

2008: Writing Early American History

May 21 & 22, 2008
Convener: Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton
Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton, “The Problem of Authority in the Writing of Early American History,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 66, no. 3 (July 2009): 467–94.

2007: The Cultural History of Eighteenth-Century America

May 17 & 18, 2007
Convener: Michael Meranze
Michael Meranze, “Culture and Governance: Reflections on the Cultural History of Eighteenth-Century British America,” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 65, no. 4 (October 2008): 713–44.

2006: The Seventeenth Century

May 19 & 20, 2006
Convener: Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson, “Inventive Localism in the Seventeenth Century,” William & Mary Quarterly 3rd series, 64, no 3. (July 2007), 523–48.