Conference Schedule

Thursday, September 24, 2009

McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.  Registration and Refreshments

5:15 – 5:30 p.m. Welcome and Introductory Comments

Daniel K. Richter, Richard S. Dunn Director, McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Panel 1: Tremblings

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Chair: Philip Mead, Harvard University

Jonathan Hancock, Dartmouth College
“‘God is angry about this’: Cherokees, Missionaries, and the Meanings of the New Madrid Earthquakes, 1811-1812”

John Legrid, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
“Society, Politics, and Control of the Unknown: Natural Hazards and the Creation of Disasters in Early America”

Neal Polhemus, College of Charleston
“‘Nothing but Death before my Eyes’: Mending Broken Spirits and Repairing Defensive Walls in Colonial Charles Town”

Andrew Wehrman, Northwestern University
“‘James the Suttonite’ and the Politics of Medicine in Revolutionary Salem, Massachusetts”

Optional dinner to follow at Sitar, 60 S. 38th St, Philadelphia
(Between Chestnut St. and Sansom St.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St.

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.  Coffee and Bagels

Panel 2:  Puritan Angst

8:45 – 10:45 a.m.  Chair: Amy Paeth, University of Pennsylvania

Glenda Goodman, Harvard University
“Singing Psalms and Fearful Sounds in 1670s Massachusetts”

Samantha Cohen, University of California, Irvine
“The Problem of ‘Credit’: Doctrinal Anxieties in Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative”

Christopher Moses, Princeton University
“Witches, War and Worries about Money in 1690s Massachusetts”

Strother E. Roberts, Northwestern University
“Turpentine and Tragedy: A Case of Violent Resource Competition in the Colonial Connecticut Valley”

Panel 3: Riches and Ruin

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Chair: Elena Schneider, Princeton University
Stephen Hague, University of Oxford
“Wanting Capacity, Lacking Patience: Filial Duty and the Desire for Success in the British Atlantic World”

Brenna Shae O’Rourke, Temple University
“Mary Lum Girard’s ‘Discontent of Mind’: Madness, Merchants, and Marriage in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic”

Tawny Paul, University of Edinburgh
“Fear, Desire and the Business Strategies of Artisans and Tradesman in Colonial Philadelphia”

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Lunch (on own)

Panel 4: Deviance and Deceit

2:00 – 3:30 p.m  Chair: Joshua Ratner, University of Pennsylvania

Daniel Johnson, State University of New York, Binghamton
“Culture, Crime, and the Urban Experience in Eighteenth-Century New York and Philadelphia”

Jessica Lowe, Princeton University
“Rules of Engagement: Adjudicating the Fair Fight in Early National Virginia”

Samantha Seeley, New York University
“’The Schoolmaster of Experience’: Trust, Deception, and Credulity in the Early American Republic”

MCEAS Seminar

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Bryan Waterman, New York University
“Coquetry and Correspondence in Revolutionary-Era Connecticut: Elizabeth Whitman’s Letters to Joel Barlow”

Professor Waterman’s paper will be pre-circulated to conference participants and should be read by all who attend. To obtain access to the paper contact

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  Reception

Saturday, September 26, 2009

McNeil Center for Early American Studies, 3355 Woodland Walk

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.  Coffee and Bagels

Panel 5: Contesting Empires

8:45 – 10:45 a.m.  Chair:  Marcia Nichols, University of South Carolina

James Coltrain, Northwestern University
“Anxious Defenders: Fort Architecture and Imperial Identity in the Atlantic World”

Adrian Finucane, Harvard University
“Anglo-Spanish Caribbean Interconnections, 1713-1739”

Heidi Scott Giusto, Duke University
“‘Enemies Foreign and Domestic’: Fear and Anxiety in Colonial South Carolina During the Era of the War of Jenkins’ Ear”

Karen Sherry, University of Delaware
“A Rebus Dialogue between Britain and America: The Problematics of Representation in the Colonial World”

Panel 6: Spectacular Bodies

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Chair: Megan Walsh, Temple University

Susan Brandt, Temple University
“Pennsylvania Hospital’s Eighteenth Century Anatomical Casts”

Christian DuComb, Brown University
“Performances of Fear and Desire in the Meschianza and Slaves in Algiers”

Mairin Odle, New York University,
“‘On the Management of the Scalped Head:’ Bodily Evidence of Encounter and Survival”

12:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Lunch (on own)

Panel 7: Freedom and Unfreedom

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.   Chair: Paul Conrad, University of Texas at Austin

Bronwen Everill, King’s College London
“Colonization by Any Other Name: Emigration, Manifest Destiny, and African American Identity in the Early Republic”

Maria C. Thomas, University of Virginia
“Funny Creole Women: Madam Sarah Kemble Knight and the Humorous Journey Toward America”

Tsione Wolde-Michael, Harvard University
“Weavings of an Intimate Nature: Love, Desire, and Violence in 19th Century American Slavery”

Keynote Address

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.   Clare Lyons, University of Maryland College Park

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  Reception


All panels are free and open to the public. For more information or to register,
call MCEAS at 215-898-9251 or email