Materializing Race: An “Unconference” on Objects and Identity in #VastEarlyAmerica

Event time: 
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Online () See map
Event description: 

In a commitment to fostering nuanced interpretations of early American objects and meaningful dialogue on historical constructions of race and their legacies, we are pleased to offer series of virtual “unconferences” on the intersections of identity and material culture in #VastEarlyAmerica. These open sessions seek to promote a diverse cross-section of scholarship energized by Dr. Karin Wulf’s call for broader, more inclusive histories of early America

The beauty of material culture is that it often takes non-verbal forms, in the process bearing witness to the lives and experiences of those absent from or written out of traditional archival records. As a participant-driven, virtual conference, we are committed to recovering those stories through object-centered scholarship and interdisciplinary discussion. 

We invite you to join us for one or both days of our inaugural unconference, with a schedule below. This two-day event features four lightning round-style panels representing a variety of geographies and cultures across the Americas between roughly 1560 and 1830. Presentations will each last ten minutes, followed by a moderated discussion and time for questions.

Panel 3 [Dis]Possession and Personhood
“Creole Conversation Pieces: Philip Wickstead in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica,” Chloe Northrop, Tarrant County College
“A Seraglio in Connecticut: Race, Slavery, and Feminine Virtue in New England Schoolgirl Art,” Emily Wells, the College of William and Mary
“The Bag my Kunsi Made: ‘Settlement,’ Indigeneity, and the Narrative Erasure of Slavery in Wisconsin’s History,” Kai Pyle, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
“Colonizing Taste: A Mesoamerican Staple in Casta and Contemporary Art,” Sheila Scoville, Florida State University
“What the Sub-Floor Pit Holds: Musical Instruments as a Missing Artifact in the Archaeological Record,” Luke J. Pecoraro, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
“A Colony in Birch Bark: Exploring the Indigenous Materialities of Elizabeth Simcoe’s Picturesque Landscapes,” Mairead Horton

Panel 4 Revolution and Sovereignty
“Spirit Bottles,” Jeremy Dennis, Shinnecock Indian Nation, New York, and On This Site: Indigenous Long Island
“ Forging Freedom: Enslaved African Americans at James Hunter’s Iron Works,” Kate Gruber, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
“Representations of Race and Identity in Jonathas Granville’s Portrait,” Bethânia Santos Pereira, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
“The Myth of the Tignon and the Invention of New Orleans,” Jonathan M. Square, Harvard University
“Ultima Ratio: Confronting the Power of Haitian Artillery in Northern New York”Matthew Keagle, Fort Ticonderoga

This event is hosted by: MATERIALIZING RACE -