Debility, Impairment, and Settler Colonialism in the Antebellum United States

Friday Seminar
Elaine LaFay, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Nov 3, 2023 at - | Location: Rutgers University-Camden, West ABC Conference Room, Lower Level of the Campus Center, 326 Penn Street, Camden, NJ/Zoom

Elaine LaFay

Elaine LaFay is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is a historian of climate and the body, specializing in the nineteenth century United States. Her current research seeks to understand the entanglements between climatology, health, and imperialism. 

LaFay received her Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in History with highest honors from the University of Michigan.


The McNeil Center sponsors a seminar that meets on Friday afternoons approximately twice a month between September and May, with the paper for each session circulated in advance. Over two hundred people attend at least once a year, with an average attendance of 40 to 50 at meetings held at various sites in the Delaware Valley. While most of the regular attendees are graduate students and faculty from institutions in the Philadelphia area, participants come from as far afield as Long Island, New York City, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington. 

The McNeil Center will utilize a hybrid format for seminars in which participants may gather together at the McNeil Center building (or occasionally at an MCEAS Consortium institution host in the Philadelphia area) or attend via Zoom. For regular updates about our seminars, please join our mailing list. Please email us at mceas@sas.upenn.edu with any questions.


Getting to Rutgers University-Camden

Parking Instructions

(1) Sign up for parking: For those driving to the seminar, please register for a one-day parking permit ($5) at this link: https://ipo.rutgers.edu/dots/online-visitor-permits

(2) Select a parking lot: Once you’ve gotten your permit, you may park in Lots C1, C2, C3, C14, City Lot 15, or City Lot 16.  We recommend using Lot C2. You can enter this address in your navigation system:

Rutgers University-Camden 
Lot #C2
310 N 5th St
Camden, NJ 08102

(3) Walk from the C2 parking lot to the Campus Center

Once you park in Lot C2, it is a 3-minute walk to the Campus Center at 326 Penn Street. As you walk up Penn Street through campus, the Ben Franklin bridge will be on your right. The main entrance to the Campus Center will be on your left. The West ABC Conference Room is on the lower level of Campus Center.  

Public Transportation from Philadelphia using PATCO

(1) Get off PATCO at City Hall Station, Camden (the first stop in NJ after you cross the bridge).

(2) Walk to 326 Penn Street: First walk north on N 5th Street 2 blocks. You should walk under a large windowed bridge. Then turn left on Penn Street onto campus; Walk 2 blocks along Penn Street. The Ben Franklin bridge should be on your right. The main entrance to the Campus Center will be on your left. The West ABC Conference Room is on the lower level of Campus Center.