Event: Twelfth Blount Postal History Symposium: Political Systems, Postal Administrations, and the Mail (8-9 Dec)

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Twelfth Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium:

Political Systems, Postal Administrations, and the Mail

Hosted by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

and co-sponsored by the American Philatelic Research Library and the American Philatelic Society

December 8 and 9 on Zoom

Registration is free but required. Register here

In countries around the world, postal administrations and their missions, practices, and regulations serve as reflections and agents of state goals and ideals. Like the administrations, be they privatized, quasi or fully governmental, these ideals and goals can vary widely. In all cases, they shape the relationship that citizens, subjects, or residents have to the mail and the post office, including their expectations and decisions on how and when to use them. By sending and receiving mail or by using other offered services, individuals participate in communities or networks - familial, commercial, social, or other. Moreover, the acts of using and engaging - even the potential for these - with postal services may simultaneously reinforce and challenge the postal administration and its political foundations.

Schedule (Eastern time). Schedule is subject to change.

Thursday, December 8

9:30 – 10:00 am                         Welcome

10:00 am – 12:00 pm                Session One - The Varying Purposes of Stamp Messaging

Moderator: Elizabeth Brown

K. Andrea Rusnock. Postal Politics: Soviet Stamps of World War II

Laura Goldblatt and Richard Handler. The Eagle, the Rocket and the Moon: U. S. Postal Iconography at the End of History

A. M. LaVey. Politico-Philatelic Semiosis in Russia’s 2014 Crimea Issues

Discussant: William Moskoff

12:00 – 1:00 pm                          Lunch break

1:00 – 3:00 pm                            Session Two - Postal Networks and the Flow of Information

Moderator: Susan Smith

Rocio Moreno Cabanillas. The Reform Postal Systems in the Process of Structuring and Construction of Imperial States in the 18th Century

Perola Goldfeder. ‘Gathering Vassals Around the Throne’: The Political Economy of Postal Communications in 19th Century Brazil             

Francesco Morriello. From Three Months to Three Seconds: The Evolution of Mail Delivery from the Renaissance to the Present Day

Discussant: Richard Morel

3:00 – 3:15 pm                            Break

3:15 – 5:15 pm                            Session Three - The Postal Service in American Life

Moderator: Jennifer Lynch

Rebecca Brenner Graham. Why the U. S. Ended Sunday Mail in 1912

Alison Bazylinski. Rethinking Postal Politics: The National Association of Letter Carriers Ladies’ Auxiliary, 1905-1925

Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris. Big Mail: From Public Good to Private Profit

Discussant: Lynn Heidelbaugh

Friday, December 9

10:30 am – 12:00 pm                Session Four - Regimes in Flux: Their Impact on Postal Operations and Stamp Design

Moderator: Scott Tiffney

Roger Santala. Lion or Eagle: Sovereignty, A Postal Authority, and the Mails. Finland 1890-1918

Earl Toops. Regime Change in Vietnam: Issues of the Provisional Revolutionary Government and Restoration of Postal Services in the Defeated South

Discussant: James Grayson

12:00 – 1:30 pm                       Lunch break

1:30 – 3:30 pm                         Session Five - Stamp Iconography in Fascist Regimes

Moderator: Sheila Brennan

Daniel Piazza. The ‘Fascist Style’ in Italian Philately, 1922 – 1941

Zachary Agatstein. ‘Hitler’s Mundane Messengers’: The Banal Nationalism of Third Reich Postage Stamps

Guillermo Navarro Oltra. Historical Figures on the Postage Stamps of Franco’s Spain: The Catholic Monarchs

Discussant: Stanley Brunn

3:30 – 4:00 pm                       Closing Remarks


Contact Info: 

Dr. Susan Smith

Winton M. Blount Research Chair

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Contact Email: 
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