FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 

Library is open for regular research from 8:30am to 2:00pm

2:00-3:15pm—JCB Seminar Sessions I (The John Carter Brown Library )

  • Teleologies of Atlantic History: The Age of Revolutions ~ Map Room
    Session leaders: Marcela Echeverri (Yale University) and Malick Ghachem (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
    This seminar aims to review the most current historical and conceptual debates about the Age of Revolutions, and to reflect on the challenges of making it a field of truly Atlantic proportions. We will explore the most significant transformations in the Age of Revolutions historiography in the past decades as a consequence of the inclusion of the Haitian and Iberian Revolutions in the repertoire of revolutionary movements. (More Information + Readings)
  • Old and New Worlds of the Book ~ Harold Brown Room
    Session leaders: César Manrique (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Ken Ward (John Carter Brown Library)
    Studies in bibliography have always been concerned with the book as a material object. While Critical Bibliography was once a required course for students of literature, and occasionally of history, with the rise of post-modernism, it has all but disappeared from the curriculum. Recently, however, with the rise in studies of material culture, there has been a renewed interest in the study of the book as a physical artifact, one that bears meaning beyond the words on the page. The articles for this session discuss the role and importance of critical bibliography for the study of history and literature, and the changing nature of library environments with the advance of digitization. (More Information + Readings)
  • African Festivals in the Americas  ~ Alice E. Adams Conference Room
    Session leadersLinda Sturtz (Beloit College) and Lisa Voigt (Ohio State University)
    When Africans and African-descended people in the Americas celebrated festivals, they drew on comparable traditions while also adapting them to new settings. In this session we will focus on three recent articles that address the festive practices of Africans and Afro-descendants in different linguistic regions of the Americas (New Orleans, the English-speaking Caribbean, Brazil). (More Information + Readings)

3:15-3:45pm—Coffee on the Terrace (weather permitting)

3:45-5:00pm—JCB Seminar Sessions II (The John Carter Brown Library )

  • From Atlantic to Global Connections: Scale and History ~ Harold Brown Room
    Session leaders: Wil Verhoeven (Brown University) and Luiz Felipe de Alencastro (Escola de Economia de São Paulo)
    Atlantic history is generally surveyed through the prism of the North Atlantic. Yet the South Atlantic had a distinct historical pattern through the Sailing Age. Nautical guides called the southern part of the Atlantic the “Ethiopic Ocean.” In fact, the South Atlantic World leads to a more diversified and perhaps more conclusive Atlantic history. “We are all Atlanticists now,” David Armitage observed in 2002, adding that “no field seems to have taken an Atlantic perspective with more seriousness and enthusiasm than history.” Claims and definitions aside, “Atlantic history” in practice rarely offers a bi- let alone multi-directional perspective. And how often in “Atlantic history” are we talking about transnational issues in a comparative setting, or about national issues in an international context? And to what extent does “Atlantic history” involve multi-lingual, as well as cross- or interdisciplinary approaches? In fact, “Atlantic history” has never really delivered on its promise to transform national history. (More Information + Readings)
  • Mapping Ethnography and Science in the Early Americas ~ Map Room
    Session leaders: Surekha Davies (Western Connecticut State University) and Domingo Ledezma (Wheaton College)
    How did the ethnographic and scientific content of European maps of the early Americas work? By what methods can we analyze maps in order to understand the reasons and ramifications behind mapmakers’ choices of what to include and the ways in which their audiences would have interpreted these maps? In this seminar we shall approach these questions through the set readings. First, we shall discuss ways of thinking about the visual rhetoric and epistemologies of maps containing ethnographic information. Then, we shall explore the ways in which the particular training and purposes of the Jesuits informed their cartography of South America. (More Information + Readings)
  • Contraband! ~ Conference Room
    Session leadersErnst Pijning (Minot State University) and Linda Rupert (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
    A lively discussion of  how historians have conceptualized smuggling in the early modern period and what avenues remain ripe for future research. We are particularly interested in exploring contraband’s relationship with geographies of empire (real and imagined), political economy, the legal and political construction of empire, and colonial socio-cultural exchanges.(More Information + Readings)

4:30-5:30pm—Sneak Peak at new acquisitions from 2014-15 ( MacMillan Reading Room)

5:30-6:30pm— One Hundred Years Since Winship: Speaking to the Past and Future of the JCB – A lecture by Director and Librarian Neil Safier (MacMillan Reading Room)

6:30-8:00pm— Reception in the MacMillan Reading Room


9:30-11:00am—Plenary Roundtable I (Salomon 101, Brown University)

  • Environmental History: Discourses and Disasters
    • Tatiana Seijas (Miami University) *Organizer
    • Anya Zilberstein (Concordia University) *Organizer
    • Heidi Scott (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
    • Mark Molesky (Seton Hall University University)
    • Christopher Pastore (University at Albany, SUNY)

This roundtable will bring together leading scholars to discuss ideas of nature and environmental history from both intellectual and material perspectives. As one of the Library’s pilot programming initiatives in the coming years, it will be an opportunity to discuss new approaches to a topic of tremendous potential at the JCB.

11:00-11:30am—Coffee Break

11:30-12:30pm—JCBx Talks (Salomon 101, Brown University)

  • Speakers include:
    • Matthew Restall (Penn State University), “Encounter”
    •  Gordon Wood (Brown University), “Disinterestedness”
    •  Kathryn Burns (UNC-Chapel Hill), “Resgate”
    •  Sarah Newman (Brown University), “Maya Trash”

12:30-2:00pm—Lunch (Kasper Multipurpose Room, Brown University)

2:00-3:30pm—Plenary Roundtable II (Salomon 101, Brown University)

  • Revisionist Historiographies: Indigenous History meets the Columbian Encounter (in honor of former Board of Governor member R. David Parsons)
    •  David Boruchoff (McGill University) *Organizer
    • David Tavárez (Vassar College) *Organizer
    • Scott Manning Stevens (Syracuse University)
    • Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University)
    • Nancy E. van Deusen (Queen’s University)
    • Mark Z. Christensen (Assumption College)

Focusing on the earliest period addressed by the JCB’s collection, this roundtable seeks to enhance our understanding of the history of early European contact with the New World in light of recent research on indigenous peoples and cultures, with special attention to emerging paradigms. The speakers address how the initial phases of European-Amerindian contact were conceived or recast at key moments during the past five centuries from both Amerindian and European perspectives, and address the recent historiography of sources produced by, about, or in collaboration with indigenous authors.

3:30-4:00pm—Coffee Break

4:00-5:30pm—Plenary Roundtable III (Salomon 101, Brown University)

  • The  Rich Conceptual Universe of Norman Fiering’s John Carter Brown Library: A Round Table Discussion. 
    ChairJack P. Greene (Johns Hopkins University), The Expansion of Europe

    • Edward Gray ( Florida State University), The Encounter
    • Kenneth Mills (University of Toronto/University of Michigan), Indigeneity
    • Marcy Norton (George Washington University), Hemispheric and Transimperial Perspectives
    • James Sidbury (Rice University), Diasporas, Migrations, and the Formation of New Societies
    • Elizabeth Mancke (University of New Brunswick), Extended Empire and State Competition
    • Joyce Chaplin (Harvard University), Global Commerce and Navigation
    • David Geggus (University of Florida), Formation of New American States

Focusing on the scholarly career of Director and Librarian Emeritus Norman Fiering, this roundtable will examine the challenges and opportunities of supporting research through publishing and exhibiting historical materials, one of the hallmarks of Norman’s long and much-admired career.

5:30-7:00pmCocktails and hors d’oeuvres beneath the big tent on the Main Green

7:00-9:00pmDinner (honoring Norman Fiering) and Party on the Main Green

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015

10:00am-12:00pm—Jamboree Brunch (Smith-Buonanno, Brown University)

12:00pm-2:00pm—Film Screening and Q&A with filmmaker Marcus Rediker (Smith-Buonanno 106, Brown University)

        • Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels by Marcus Rediker

This documentary by Tony Buba is based on Marcus Rediker’s The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (Viking-Penguin, 2012). It chronicles a trip to Sierra Leone in 2013 to visit the home villages of the people who seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, to interview elders about local memory of the case, and to search for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where their cruel transatlantic voyage began. Professor Rediker will introduce the film and take questions afterwards. (