Trinity 2019 Termcard: Methodology in Focus

As warmer weather (we hope) approaches, OxEARS will be closing out the academic year with a longer and more diverse seminar series than ever before. Our weekly Trinity Term sessions will explore the early American republic through a wide variety of methodological lenses, taking in religious, environmental, and intellectual history. Other speakers will discuss the period from the perspective of enslaved African Americans seeking freedom, and of native peoples threatened with removal. Moving across disciplinary boundaries, we will be hearing for the first time from scholars working in literary criticism and the digital humanities. We are delighted to be welcoming graduate students and early career researchers from a range of institutions across the United Kingdom and the United States.

All of our seminars take place on Wednesdays at 5pm – we meet in the downstairs seminar room at the Rothermere American Institute on South Parks Road in Oxford. Some papers will be pre-circulated: if you would like to receive a copy in advance, contact or to be added to our mailing list.

Week 1: Wednesday 1 May

Catherine Treesh (Yale), ‘Nova Scotia and the American Revolution’

Catherine Treesh is a doctoral candidate in History at Yale University, focusing on political culture and institutions in eighteenth-century America. Her dissertation, “Creating a Continental Community: Committees of Correspondence and the American Revolution,” explores the committees that British North Americans used to resist imperial policy in the 1760s and 1770s.

Week 2: Wednesday 8 May

Claire Arcenas (Montana), ‘When Theory Fails in Practice: Learning from Locke’s Mistakes in Early America’

Claire Arcenas is Assistant Professor of American History at the University of Montana, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute in 2019. At present, she is at work on a book about the changing influence of the English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) on American intellectual life over the last three hundred years.

Week 3: Wednesday 15 May

Lindsey K. Walters (Cambridge), ‘The Environmental Thought of Runaways from Slavery’

Lindsey K. Walters is a second-year PhD candidate in American History at the University of Cambridge. Her dissertation is a social and intellectual history of enslaved people’s environmental thinking in the antebellum South.

Week 4: Wednesday 22 May

Michael Breidenbach (Ave Maria), ‘Sovereign Jealousies: The Quebec Act, the Declaration of Independence, and Immigration in the New Republic’

Michael Breidenbach is a Visiting Scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Assistant Professor of History at Ave Maria University. His book manuscript, The Pope’s Republic: Liberties and Loyalties in Early America, is a history of religious liberty and church-state relations in early America.

Week 5: Wednesday 29 May

Jane Dinwoodie (Cambridge), ‘Camouflage Tactics and Indian Non-Removal in the American South’

Jane Dinwoodie is a Research Fellow in American History at Jesus College, Cambridge University. Her current book project centres on Indian removal and the thousands of people that successfully avoided it.

Week 6: Wednesday 5 June

Olga Akroyd (Kent), ‘Saints, Spies, Celibates: The Erotic Ambiguity of the Revolutionary Hero’

Olga Akroyd is a final-year PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Kent, working towards a thesis on the representation of the exceptionalist discourse in the novels of Herman Melville and F. Dostoevsky.

Week 7: Wednesday 12 June

Nicholas Cole (Oxford), ‘The Quill Project and Mythbusting the Constitutional Convention’

Nicholas Cole is a Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, and Director of the Quill Project, a digital project exploring the creation of constitutions, treaties, and legislation throughout history. 

Week 8: Wednesday 19 June

Book talk: Tristan Stubbs, Masters of Violence: The Plantation Overseers of Eighteenth-Century Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia (University of South Carolina Press, 2018)


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