WEAS MINI-Conference OCTOBER 30-31

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Please join us for our first ever Washington Early American Seminar MINI-CONFERENCE

Friday, October 30 - Saturday October 31 


Join us for one session of the six, or for several, or even for all. Note we have long breaks between each session.  The format will consist of short presentations (no more than 10 minutes each) from the presenters followed by questions from the audience. There are no pre-circulated papers--but please do read the abstracts (link below).  


Conference Program https://blog.umd.edu/weas/conference/

Zoom link 
Register in advance for these sessions:

*See Abstracts Here


Friday, October 30

Running Away, Seeking Refuge: Enslaved People’s Movement Under Inspection (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST)

James McKay (University of Edinburgh) – “Gone towards Carolina”: Refugees from Slavery in Occupied Charleston, 1780-1782

Evan Turiano (The Graduate Center, CUNY) – Fugitive Slaves, Legal Rights, and the First Abolition

Anna O. Law (CUNY Brooklyn College) – The Migration and Importation Clause’s Scope: Defining the Freedom of Movement at the Founding


Oceans Away and the Town Down the Road: Movement and Trade in the Wider Atlantic World (1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST)

Yiyun Huang (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville) – John Adams and China: Globalizing Early America

Tim Betz (Lehigh University) – “We Demand Flamingos”: Contextualizing Collecting in the Spanish Empire

Katie Labor (University of Maryland – College Park) – Private Homes, Publick Houses: Travelers and Domestic Privacy in 18th Century America


Islands of Creations: The Caribbean In Early America (3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST)

Nicholas Crawford (Washington University in St. Louis) – Petitioning Slavery: Legal Marronage in the British Caribbean, 1816-1823

Kimberly Takahata (Columbia University) – Indigenous Refusal and Natural History in Suriname

Elise A. Mitchell (New York University) – Freedom in the Flesh: Smallpox Inoculation and Embodied Kinship in the Atlantic World


Saturday, October 31


Building Values & Ideals: Culture in the Early Americas (11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST)

Lindsay Keiter (Penn State Altoona) – “From the ‘Matrimonial Lottery’ to the ‘Marriage Market’”

Janine Yorimoto Boldt (American Philosophical Society) – The Portrait of “Conotocaurious;” or, George Washington Reconsidered

Lauren Michalak (University of Maryland – College Park) – Looking Towards London: The Gordon Riots as Reaffirmation of the Patriot Cause

Emily Gowen (Boston University) – Steady Sellers and Common Readers in the 19th Century U.S.


Imagined Difference: Race in the Atlantic World (1:30 p.m – 3:00 p.m. EST)

Aston Gonzalez (Salisbury University) – The Science and Creativity of Revolutionary Black Genius

Sophie Hess (University of Maryland – College Park) – Hollow Ground: Alienation and Environment in Benjamin Banneker’s Maryland

Geneva Smith (Princeton University) – Accounting for Slave Courts

Mairin Odle (University of Alabama) – “Cruell and fantasticall inventions”: English Ideas of Body Modification in the Atlantic World


A Religious Nation: Faith and Government in Early America (3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST)

Timothy Grieve-Carlson (Rice University) – The Subtle Domination of the Soul: Quaker Governance and the Origins of the Carceral State

Rebecca Brenner Graham (American University) – Saturday Observers and the Sunday Mail Controversy of the Early Republic

Matthew Fischer (University of Maryland – College Park) – Reclaiming the Past: Slave Names, Religion, and Afro-Caribbean Identity



Holly, Rick, Chris & Clare, with special thanks to Derek Litvak. 


Richard Bell
Professor of History

University of Maryland, College Park

Author of the new book, Stolen