In the heart of the Adirondacks is the Town of Newcomb, population about 500. The town was developed as a lumbering and mining community – today tourism and forest and wood products are the dominate way locals make a living. As a result the Essex County town is one of the Adirondacks’ poorer communities ($32,639 median income in 2000). [Read more…] about Teddy Roosevelt and The Adirondack Forest Preserve
The Planning Committee of the Eighth Underground Railroad (UGR) History Conference is soliciting brief proposals for presentations, panels, and workshops that address the theme “The Underground Railroad, Its Legacies, and Our Communities.” Proposals should be made for a 60-minute workshop session, for a poster session or exhibition, or for a cultural/artistic activity.
According to the announcement, conference organizers “ask that all proposals allow for significant audience interaction. And, while we urge that proposals focus on the conference theme, we also invite proposals on other important topics concerning Underground Railroad history. See the full call for proposals pdf here.
The Eighth Annual UGR History Conference will be held at College Park, Union College, Schenectady, NY, on February 27-28, 2009. It is sponsored by the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc.
For more information, consult the web site at http://www.ugrworkshop.com/
Proposals should be submitted to the planning committee by September 30, 2008 by mail at URHPCR, PO Box 10851, Albany NY 12201 or via e-mail at urhpcr [AT] localnet [DOT] com
The American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting in Rochester beginning September 9th is geared toward “history professionals, historical sites, historical societies, history museums, military museums, libraries, presidential sites, students, suppliers, and more.”
According to their website:
This is your chance to share your passion, ideas, and knowledge with over 800 of your peers in the field of state and local history. You’ll have an opportunity to learn from over 80 sessions and 17 pre-meeting workshops that directly relate to the latest issues and trends that you face. And, you’ll also have an opportunity to have fun while you explore Rochester’s amazing history through the evening events and tours.
Although apparently they’re keeping the costs of the conference pretty quiet (good luck finding it on the website), you can apparently register here.
Stealing an idea from the Civil War blog TOCWOC, I thought I’d periodically post the ten best-selling books about New York history from Amazon. I took the liberty to separate the wheat from the chaff.
3. Tom Buk-Swienty, The Other Half: The Life of Jacob Riis and the World of Immigrant America
6. John F. Kasson, Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century
7. Mark Kurlansky, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell
8. David McCullough, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
10. Thurston Moore and Byron Coley, No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York 1976-1980
As part of the quadricentennial of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Lake Champlain, Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont is hosting an international academic symposium on July 2-5, 2009. Scholars from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are invited to participate.
The theme, “When the French Were Here,” invites the broadest possible consideration of Samuel de Champlain’s achievements, his life, and of his world as a cultural, social and ideological context. [Read more…] about Call For Papers: When The French Were Here
One of New York’s museum leading lights, Tammis Groft, was recently mentioned over at Suzanne Fischer’s Public Historian blog in a post calling for more blogging about museum and history advocacy:
Among AAM’s projects is museum advocacy on a national level. Recently, they sent Tammis K. Groft, deputy director of collections and exhibits at the Albany Institute of History and Art [above], to Washington as a “citizen-lobbyist” to speak to a committee about the importance of NEH Preservation and Access Grants. She wrote a few blog posts on the subject on the AAM’s advocacy blog. PAG grants are a major way museums of all sizes fund collections stewardship projects, and the funding for the program is slated to be cut by 50% next year. Contact your elected officials to advocate for NEH conservation programs!
The Humanities Advocacy Network is also a great resource for humanities advocacy, including preservation and history programs. You can sign up to get action alerts and email your representatives from the page.
I’d love to see more blogging from AAM or other organizations on museum and history advocacy issues. The wrangling over appropriations can be very opaque, and a human voice really helps to clarify issues and make advocacy work seem much more possible for small museum professionals and those without much lobbying practice. (My occasional posts about Minnesota cultural legislation don’t cut it.)
The blog Ephemeral New York is taking note of the Edgar Allan Poe house museum in The Bronx, which is closing in the spring for year long renovations:
“In 1846, Edgar Allan Poe, his wife (and cousin) Virginia, and his mother-in-law moved from Manhattan to a little wooden house built in 1812 in The Bronx’s rural Fordham neighborhood. The isolated, modest home, which rented for just $100 a year, must have suited Poe well; he wrote “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells” there.
But his time in the house would be short. Virginia succumbed to tuberculosis in 1847. Poe died in 1849 in Baltimore.”
According to the blog, in 1905, the New York State Legislature set aside preservation funs, and in 1910 the house was moved to Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. New York City is a perfect location for a memorial to Edgar Allan Poe – he loved the city, any city.
The Boston of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth in 1809 was one of the world’s wealthiest international trading ports and one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation. It was also a city of squalor and vice, with a grim and ghastly underworld. It was a fitting start for Poe, whose mother and father (both actors) died when he was young. He came to be a master of the macabre weaving elaborate short stories into a shroud of mystery and death and launching a number of new American pop culture phenomenons.
Poe was a man of the new American city, having lived in the five largest cities in America during his lifetime. His first published work – Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827) – was credited only to “a Bostonian,” but as a young boy he was taken from his native city to Richmond, Virginia, and in his short life he also lived in Charleston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City and the world’s largest city – London.
Poe was a sport, a libertine, as familiar with gambling, hard drinking, and womanizing, as he was with his many literary pursuits. Known to frequent Oyster cellars, brothels, casinos, and other dens of inequity, his literary work reflects the characters he met in his own life, the scoundrels, the bawdy women, and those on the margins of society – he delighted in showing local police unsympathetically in his writing.
Poe was also the first well-known writer in America to try and earn a living through writing alone. As a result, he suffered financially throughout his career until the day he was found on the streets of Baltimore, delirious and “in great distress… in need of immediate assistance” according to the man who found him. At the time of his death, newspapers reported Poe died of “congestion of the brain” or “cerebral inflammation”, common euphemisms for death from a disreputable cause like alcoholism. Thanks to a disparaging, and now long forgotten literary rival, Poe’s death at 40 remains a mystery – in the end he was the personification of a genre he is credited with inventing.
Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is the first true detective story. The Dupin character established a number of literary devices that inspired the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot – the brilliant detective, his personal friend serving as narrator, and the final revelation offered before the reasoning is explained. But beyond inventing the detective mystery, Poe is best known as a master of the physiological horror story. The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Raven are disturbing and unsettling works that have found their way into popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. Poe’s writing influenced the creation of science fiction (he often mentioned emerging technologies, such as those in The Balloon-Hoax), and the areas of esoteric cosmology and cryptography. He continues to influence Goth pop culture.
Poe’s most recurring themes deal with death, its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, premature burial, reanimation of the dead, and mourning. But outside horror, Poe also wrote burlesque, satires, humor tales, and hoaxes often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity – he wrote for the emerging mass market by including popular cultural phenomena like phrenology and physiognomy. He was also a literary critic, and a newspaper and magazine editor.
The New Netherland Institute has announced its 31st Rensselaerswijck Seminar, “Neighbors in the New World: New Netherland and New France,” a one-day conference to be held on Saturday, September 13, 2008, in the Kenneth B. Clark Auditorium of the Cultural Education Center at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
The theme is the relationship between the Dutch and French in 17th-century North America. Major attention will focus on interactions of these European powers and their respective Indian allies. The following speakers will explore various aspects of this relationship, including direct and indirect contacts between these two European trading powers both in Europe and in the New World:
James Bradley, ArchLink, Boston, MA
“In Between Worlds: New Netherland and New France at Mid Century”
José António Brandão, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
“An Unreasonable Offer: Iroquois Policy towards their Huron and Mahican Neighbors”
Willem Frijhoff, Free University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
“Jesuits, Calvinists, and Natives: Attitudes, Agency, and Encounters in the Early Christian Missions in the North.”
Joyce Goodfriend, University of Denver, CO
Introduction and presentation of the Hendricks Manuscript Award
Conrad Heidenreich, York University, Ontario, Canada
“The Skirmish with the Mohawk on Lake Champlain: was Champlain a ‘trigger-happy thug’ or ‘just following orders?’”
The conference program and registration information can be found online [pdf].
The New Netherland Institute is the friends group of the New Netherland Project, which, according to their website:
Was established under the sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York. Its primary objective is to complete the transcription, translation, and publication of all Dutch documents in New York repositories relating to the seventeenth-century colony of New Netherland. This unique resource has already proven invaluable to scholars in a wide variety of disciplines. It also serves to enhance awareness of the major Dutch contributions to America over the centuries and the strong connections between the two nations. The Project is supported by the New York State Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the New Netherland Institute.
The New Netherland Institute (formerly Friends of New Netherland) seeks to increase public awareness of the work of the New Netherland Project and supports the Project through fund raising. The Institute assists authors of scholarly and popular material; disseminates information to educators, researchers, historians, curators, genealogists, and anthropologists; develops collaborations with academic institutions and other organizations interested in early American history; provides learning opportunities, such as internships, as well as research and consulting services pertaining to New Netherland; and sponsors activities related to the work of the New Netherland Project.