Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed October 15, 1997
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

New scholarship on old history

`Rhode Island Reconsidered' will challenge perceptions of state's history

"Rhode Island Reconsidered," Nov. 14-15, a conference hosted by The John Nicholas Brown Center, will bring together more than 40 scholars and historians for nine sessions exploring how recent scholarship has challenged common perceptions of Rhode Island's history.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University will host a two-day conference, "Rhode Island Reconsidered," Nov. 14-15, with sessions at various locations on campus. Opening remarks begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in Sayles Hall. Albert T. Klyberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, will give the keynote address entitled, "Considering Rhode Island: What Can the Matter Be?"

During the nine sessions comprising the conference, more than 40 scholars and historians will explore how recent scholarship has challenged common perceptions of Rhode Island's place in regional and national history. The conference is funded in part by the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities and is part of the Center's ongoing series of public programs. Admission is free and the public is welcome, but pre-registration is necessary. To register, call (401) 272-0357 by Oct. 31.

The John Nicholas Brown Center

The Center, established by the Brown family and now part of Brown University, is dedicated to advancing scholarship in all fields of American studies. Headquartered in the National Historic Landmark Nightingale-Brown House, the Center supports a number of educational programs including fellowships for visiting scholars and the monthly "American Seminar" series.

Session topics, moderators and papers: "Rhode Island Reconsidered"

Friday, Nov. 14

Filling the Gap:
Reconstructing the Lives of Marginalized People from Early Rhode Island Records

Moderator: Daniel Snydacker, Newport Historical Society

Twice Buried in Obscurity: Poor and Female in Early Rhode Island
by Ruth Wallis Herndon, University of Toledo

Who Was Stepney?
Strategies of Reading African American Lives in Documents Authored by Whites

by Joanne Pope Melish, Brown University

Narragansett Indians and the Hidden Histories of Scalloptown, East Greenwich
by Russell G. Handsman, University of Rhode Island

Locating Newport's Marginal Jews, 1677-1790
by Holly Snyder, Brandeis University

Comment: Richard Stattler, Rhode Island Historical Society Library, and Gwenn Stearn, Rhode Island State Archives

With Industry and Alacrity:
An Archaeology of Institutional Life in Nineteenth-Century Rhode Island

Moderator: James C. Garman, The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.

`Enough to Eat is Good Enough': Foodways at the Smithfield Town Farm and Asylum
by Brent Handley, The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.

Provisioning the Poor: Ceramics from the Smithfield Town Farm and Asylum
by Paul A. Russo, The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.

Working `The Criminal Class': Institutional Labor in Rhode Island, 1835-1877
by James C. Garman, The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.

Comment: Stephen Mrozowski, University of Massachusetts-Boston

Gender and Atlantic Culture in Early Rhode Island, 1650-1800
Moderator: Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University

Region, Refinement, and Gender in Eighteenth-Century Rhode Island
by Donna DeFabio Curtin, Brown University

Gender and Rhode Island's Legal Culture
by Catherine Osborne DeCesare, Providence College

Comment: Elaine Forman Crane, Fordham University

Reconstructing the Lives of Nineteenth-Century Rhode Island Women
Moderator: William G. Shade, Lehigh University

Abolitionists Were Female: Searching for the Elusive Rank and File
by Deborah Bingham Van Broekhoven, Ohio Wesleyan University

`An Ornament and Honor to Their Sex?': Rhode Island Women Reconsidered
by Jane Lancaster, Brown University

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends: Re-creating the Biographies of Elizabeth Buffum Chace and Lillie Chace Wyman as a Collaborative Effort
by Elizabeth C. Stevens, The Papers of Jane Addams

Comment: The audience

Citizens, Soldiers, Freedmen: Provocation, Prejudice, and Paternalism in Rhode Island, 1830-1870
Moderator: William D. Metz, University of Rhode Island

Temperance Valley: Social Norms, Benevolent Reform, and the Creation of an Industrial Village in Rural Southern Rhode Island, 1830-1850
by Kris VanDenBossche, University of Delaware

Within the Ramparts of Localism: Town Government and the Civil War Draft in Portsmouth and Foster, Rhode Island
by William M. Ferraro, Southern Illinois University

The Rhode Island Association for Freedmen and the Migration of Former Slaves to Rhode Island, 1865-1868
by Carol Faulkner, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Comment: J. Matthew Gallman, Loyola College

Saturday, Nov. 15

Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Policy in Nineteenth-Century Rhode Island
Moderator: Mari Jo Buhle, Brown University

Reproductive Policy in Nineteenth-Century Rhode Island
by Simone M. Caron, Wake Forest University

The Murder of Sarah M. Cornell: Religious Revivalism, Factory Work and Abortion in 1830s America
by Marion J. Coffey, Brown University

Comment: Esther Katz, New York University

Twentieth-Century Reform: Class, Gender, and Professionalism
Moderator: Susan Porter Benson, University of Connecticut

The Women and Work of Federal Hill House: Professionalization and the National Settlement Movement
by Julie Des Jardins, Brown University

Irrepressible: Women, Work, and Benevolence in Providence, Rhode Island, 1860-1936
by Kathryn Manson Tomasek, Wheaton College

Comment: Susan Porter Benson, University of Connecticut

New Perspectives on Religion in Twentieth-Century Providence
Moderator: Joyce M. Botelho, John Nicholas Brown Center

Putting Religion in Providence in a Comparative Framework
by Jan Shipps, Polis Center, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Faith and Work: Catholicism, Class, and Community in Providence, 1900-1930
by Eve Sterne, Duke University

Comment: Fr. Robert Hayman, Providence College

Performing Citizenship in Antebellum Rhode Island
Moderator: Mary S. Bilder, Harvard University/Boston College Law School

The Dangerousness of Dorr: Popular Sovereignty Asserted and Reassessed
by Jacob Katz Cogan, Yale Law School

Hard Scrabble: Race, Class, and Sex Panic
by John Wood Sweet, The Catholic University of America

Comment: Ann M. Little, University of Dayton