Washington Early American Seminar Series

Free and open to all, the Washington Early American Seminar Series brings senior scholars, junior faculty, and advanced graduate students to College Park to discuss their work in progress. The seminar is composed of graduate students and faculty from the University of Maryland and a host of other area institutions and is convened by Professors Rick Bell, Christopher BonnerHolly BrewerClare Lyons, and Whit Ridgway.

The seminar meets at regular intervals throughout the academic year on Fridays at 4pm in Taliaferro Hall 2110.  Papers (typically 30-40 pages) are pre-circulated among seminar participants seven days in advance of each meeting. The ninety-minute workshop is followed by dinner with the presenter at a local restaurant.

To join the seminar email list or to apply to present a work in progress in future cycles, please contact Prof. Rick Bell (rjbell@umd.edu) or Prof. Holly Brewer (hbrewer@umd.edu).


Schedule of Events, 2018-2019

Fall 2018:

September 28: 4pm, TLF 2110. Benjamin Carp (Brooklyn College): “'The New York City Fire of 1776: Black Arsonists and Accusers." Respondent: Holly Hynson (Maryland)

October 12: 4pm, TLF 2110. Margaret Gilliken (Winthrop University): “'Reduced from a State of Affluence to Straitened Circumstances:' How St. Dominguan Refugees Reversed Their Dire Circumstances." Respondent: Lauren Michalak (Maryland)

November 16: 4pm. Special Location: 328 Phillips Hall, George Washington University (801 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052). Scott Heerman (University of Miami): “Freedom as a Problem of State Power: The Case of the U.S. North, 1760-1820." Respondent: Nathan Wuertenberg (George Washington)

December 7: 4pm, TLF 2110. Katrina Ponti (University of Rochester): “A Spy on the Wall: John Gardiner Jr. and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Atlantic World." Respondent: Roger Bailey (Maryland)

Spring 2019:

February 8: 4pm, TLF 2110. Chris Blakley (McNeil Center): “Sinews of the Slave Trade: Exchanging Animals in West Africa." Respondent: Sophie Hess (Maryland)

March 8: 4pm, TLF 2110. Chris Bonner (University of Maryland): “Capital and Antislavery: Moses Grandy's Pursuit of Freedom." Respondent: Robert Levine (Maryland)

April 12: 4pm, TLF 2110. Jenifer Egloff (New York University): “Trust in Numbers: Early Modern Atlantic Merchants and Mariners." Respondents: JP Fetherston and Jessica Leeper (Maryland)

May 3: 4pm. Special Location: Fred W. Smith Library at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Alyssa Penick (University of Michigan): “All Roads Lead to Disestablishment?: Comparing the Separation of Church and State in Maryland and Virginia in the Early Republic." Co-sponsored by the Fred W. Smith Lirary at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Respondent: Matt Fischer (Maryland)


Other DC-area seminars of interest to scholars of Early American history include:

The Slavery, Memory and African Diasporas Seminar hosted by Howard University

The Early Modern Global History Seminar hosted by Georgetown University

The 19th-Century U.S. History Workshop hosted by Georgetown University