Trinity 2022 Term Card

This term, OxEARS returns to Oxford! We’ll be holding our first two seminars exclusively online, but from 6th Week, as we welcome Oxford historian Mark Power Smith to present on his forthcoming book, we will begin to transition to hybrid seminars. We hope this will offer the best of both worlds. Our friends from around the UK and across the Atlantic will still be able to join us for presentations and discussions, while, at the same time, we can begin to rebuild our UK-based community of Revolutionary-through-Civil War historians with in-person meetings at the Rothermere American Institute. Whether you’re joining online or in the flesh, we look forward to seeing new faces and familiar ones for this term’s terrific presentations.

As always, OxEARS meets at 4pm London time every other Wednesday in term time. For those who can join us in person for our seminars in 6th Week and 8th Week, we will meet in the downstairs seminar room at the Rothermere American Institute on South Parks Road, next door to Mansfield College and a few doors down from Rhodes House.


Week 2: Wednesday 4th May, 4pm BST (ONLINE)

Lauren Michalak (Maryland), ‘”These Surely are not the People who ought to have absolute authority over Us”: The Gordon Riots as Reaffirmation of the Patriot Cause’


Week 4: Wednesday 18th May, 4pm BST (ONLINE)

Grant Kleiser (Columbia), ‘”To Have America a Free Port”: Free Ports and United States Independence, 1776-1784’


Week 6: Wednesday 1st June, 4pm BST (HYBRID)

Mark Power Smith (Oxford), book talk: Young America: The Transformation of Nationalism before the Civil War (Charlottesville, 2022)


Week 8: Wednesday 15th June, 4pm BST (HYBRID)

Gautham Rao (American University), ‘The American Civil War: The Enslavers’ State Endures’


The seminar is open to scholars at all institutions and career stages who are interested in U.S. history. To join our mailing list and to request copies of pre-circulated papers and Zoom links, please email the convenor, Dr Grace Mallon, at grace.mallon@rai.ox.ac.uk.

Hilary 2022 Term Card

Another year, another term, another COVID variant. As omicron drives case numbers to new heights and we all continue to try to stay away from one another as much as possible, we hope you’ll join us (virtually) in Oxford this Hilary Term to learn more about the latest research into the history of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, and to talk with our expert speakers and audience members about key topics like race, gender, citizenship, violence, and diplomacy. Here’s this term’s lineup:

Week 2: Wednesday 26th January 2022, 4pm GMT

Anna O. Law (Brooklyn College), ‘The Roots of American Citizenship’


Week 4: Wednesday 9th February 2022, 4pm GMT

Nora Lessersohn (UCL), ‘The Sultan of New York: Armenian-American Diplomacy in the Era of the Eastern Question’


Week 6: Wednesday 23rd February 2022, 4pm GMT

Kevin Vrevich (Wesleyan), ‘United “Affrican Brethren:” Black Nationalism and Racial Solidarity in Early Republican New England’


Week 8: Wednesday 9th March 2022, 4pm GMT

Erin Shearer (Reading/Cardiff), ‘ “She took the whip frum him an’ give him a snake beatin’:” Enslaved Women, Counter-Whippings, and Revenge in the Antebellum South’


OxEARS meets every other Wednesday in term time at 4pm GMT (11am Eastern, 10am Central, 9am Mountain, 8am Pacific). The seminar is open to scholars at all institutions and career stages who are interested in U.S. history. To join our mailing list and to request copies of pre-circulated papers and Zoom links, please email Grace Mallon at grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk.

Michaelmas 2021 Term Card

The Oxford Early American Republic Seminar is back this November for a fourth academic year of seminars exploring the history and culture of the United States between independence and the Civil War. One of the special contributions OxEARS makes is to provide a welcoming space for junior scholars to workshop their research as they complete their dissertations and start out on the road to publication, and we hope you will join us online this Michaelmas Term as we hear from three up-and-coming scholars writing on a diverse range of times, places, and subjects. In Week 4, we kick off the year with a paper from Connie Thomas (Queen Mary, University of London) on early contests over U.S. citizenship during the Longchamps Affairs, 1784-1786. On Wednesday 17th November, we showcase some rising Oxford talent with Joshua Waechter‘s paper, ‘How to Draft a Constitution: Methods of Proceeding at State Conventions, 1818-1821.’ Finally, our first speaker from continental Europe, Matteo Rossi, joins us from Turin on December 1st to present his work on the history of economic thought and free labour ideology in the antebellum United States.

Due to the ongoing pandemic – and, more importantly, our desire to include scholars from around the world in our discussions – this year’s seminars will be held online via Zoom. All events take place on Wednesdays at 4pm London time, which is usually one hour behind France and Italy, five hours ahead of New York, six hours ahead of Chicago, and eight hours ahead of San Francisco. (Please note that daylight saving time ends on Sunday 31st October in the UK and on Sunday 7th November in the United States, so there will only be a 4-hour time difference between London and New York on Wednesday 3rd November.) We welcome all scholars who are interested in the early American republic, whatever their career stage. Zoom links for every session and pre-circulated papers will go out via our mailing list a few days before. If you are not yet on the mailing list and would like to be, please email Grace Mallon (she/her) at grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk.


Week 4: Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 4pm GMT

Connie Thomas (QMUL), ‘”The Common Cause:” Contesting Early American Citizenship in the Longchamps Affairs, 1784-1786’ (pre-circulated paper)


Week 6: Wednesday 17th November 2021, 4pm GMT

Joshua Waechter (Oxford), ‘How to Draft a Constitution: Methods of Proceeding at State Conventions, 1818-1821’


Week 8: Wednesday 1st December 2021, 4pm GMT

Matteo Rossi (Turin), ‘Henry Carey, the Philadelphia Working Class, and the Origins of Free Labour (1835-1840)’ (pre-circulated paper)

Call for Papers 2021-22

Moving OxEARS into an online format in the spring of 2020 had its drawbacks. It was a wrench to know that we could not meet in person, talk further about papers over an informal drink after the seminar, or show visitors around our home city of Oxford. As it turned out, though, our year of online seminars also brought unexpected advantages that in many ways made up for the extra screen time. The move to Zoom allowed us to invite speakers and attract audiences who might never have been able to join us under different circumstances. Not only did the remote format facilitate greater engagement with the scholarly community in the United States, but it also made it easier for historians in different parts of the United Kingdom to learn about each other’s work. Despite the huge setbacks of the pandemic year, OxEARS 2020-21 provided twelve fun and intellectually fruitful seminars, and a bigger audience than ever before.

As we approach the 2021-22 academic year, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis has not abated, and the safety of meeting in person may continue to vary across time and place as we struggle to control the variants. For this reason, OxEARS will continue in an online format for the coming academic year, with the option of a hybrid format where speakers would prefer it and where circumstances permit. Since travel is no longer a barrier, we will be able to welcome scholars from around the world to participate in the seminar.

We invite scholars whose work is on the early American republic – loosely defined as the period 1776-1861 – to submit proposals to present at this year’s seminar series. The seminar has no specific focus beyond this chronological bracket, and we would be glad to hear from historians, economic historians, art historians, literary scholars, political scientists, and practitioners in a variety of other academic fields. The specific mission of OxEARS is to provide a platform for graduate students and early career researchers, so we especially welcome submissions from scholars who find themselves between the milestones of beginning postgraduate study and publishing a first book. We have also, on occasion, accepted proposals from more senior academics.

The conversation around racial justice in the historical profession, the academy, and society at large is not a new conversation, but it is one that many of us had been tuning out until recently, especially in privileged institutions like the University of Oxford. In an email sent out to subscribers in June 2020, we at OxEARS recognized our poor record on racial diversity among speakers, and in the last year, we have begun to put in the work necessary to make the seminar a more welcoming space for scholars of colour. We are committed to sharing our platform with members of underrepresented groups, including women and nonbinary people, LGBTQ individuals, and people of colour. We strongly encourage members of those groups to submit proposals.

Submissions should consist of a paper title, a 250-word abstract of the proposed paper, and a 100-word bio. We are open both to pre-circulated chapters and to conference-style presentations – proposals should indicate which format the presenter would prefer. Presenters should bear in mind that OxEARS meets on Wednesdays at 4pm GMT/BST (usually 11am EST/EDT). The available speaking slots for 2021-22 are:

  • October 20
  • November 3
  • November 17
  • December 1
  • February 9
  • May 18
  • June 1
  • June 15

Presenters should indicate which slot(s) might work for them.

The deadline for proposals will be Monday 6 September 2021 at 5pm BST. Submissions should be emailed to grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk. Anyone who submits a proposal will be notified within two weeks as to whether their proposal has been accepted.

Week 2: Justene Hill Edwards Book Talk

For our first event of Trinity Term 2021, we are excited to welcome Professor Justene Hill Edwards of the University of Virginia. Professor Edwards will be talking about her new book with Columbia University Press, Unfree Markets: The Slaves’ Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina.

The book talk will take place on Zoom at 4.30pm BST (London Time) on Wednesday 5th May 2021.

Email grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk to join our mailing list and get the Zoom link.