“To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats" - 12/8 The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar at the MHS

Katy Morris's picture

“To Make Her Own Bargains with Boats": Gender, Labor, and Freedom in the Western Steamboat World

Authors: Alisha Hines, Wake Forest University
Comment: Tiya Miles, Harvard University

Tuesday 8 December
5:15 PM

Virtual Event - hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society


Free and enslaved Black women have been rendered nearly invisible in the historical and popular imagination of the antebellum steamboat world. This essay examines how enslaved and free Black women negotiated power and place in this environment that was fraught with danger, but also brimming with opportunity. Hines argues that Black women who were unmoored from plantation landscapes by way of the western rivers trouble prevailing tropes of gendered mobility and immobility that pervade scholarship on slavery in the United States.

The History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar invites you to join the conversation on Tuesday 8 December at 5:15 PM. The seminar brings together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop pre-circulated papers. After brief remarks from the authors and an assigned commentator, the discussion is opened to the floor. All are encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback on the circulated essays, and discuss the topic at hand. Our sessions are free and open to everyone. Register above to attend, and you will receive a confirmation message with instructions for attending the virtual session. Please check your junk mail if you do not see this message, or contact the MHS for assistance.

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Questions? Email seminars@masshist.org.