Ohio Seminar Schedule

Ohio Seminar in Early American History and Culture 2017-18 Schedule 

This year the Ohio Seminar will be offering seminars in its traditional format, and in association with the Modern American Program and the Center for Historical Research Program in “Revolutions.”   We welcome all faculty and students with an interest in early American studies, and also in the broader interest in wider comparative topics that this working group is developing.   Graduate students in Early American History are strongly urged to attend.

Joint Early and Modern American Seminar:
Sept. 1: Staunton Lynd, Attorney, Independent Scholar
"Unresolved Issues in 'People's History.'"
168 Dulles Hall, Department of History, Ohio State, 230 Annie and John Glenn Way

The “Joint Early and Modern American Seminar” is a new initiative: an occasional combined meeting of the American history seminars when the presentation is of consequence to the entire American field.

Ohio Seminar in Early American History:
Oct 27: Jason Phillips, University of West Virginia
"John Brown's Pikes: Assembling the Future in Antebellum America"
3:00-4:30PM            168 Dulles Hall

Center for Historical Research and the Ohio Seminar in Early American History:
Nov. 3: Robert Parkinson, Binghamton University:
"Making 'the cause' common: Race and Nation in the American Revolution"
3:00-4:30PM            168 Dulles Hall

Ohio Seminar in Early American History:
Feb. 23: Christina Snyder, Penn State University:
"Slavery after the Civil War: The Slow Death and Many Afterlives of Bondage"​
3:00-4:30PM            168 Dulles Hall

Abstract: Recent scholarship has uncovered slavery in surprising places: colonial Santa Fe, Ivy League campuses, St. Louis trading houses, Montreal kitchens, Cherokee plantations. This emerging historiography demonstrates that slavery was neither monolithic nor safely quarantined in the South; rather, colonialism brought disparate, ever-changing slaveries into contact with one another. In this new project, I argue that the Civil War was not the end of American slavery, but rather a major turning point leading to slavery’s decline in North America. In extending its postbellum empire, the United States claimed moral authority by fashioning itself as a liberator and civilizer, while fostering a range of near-slaveries. Indigenous slave trades persisted in the Southwest and Alaska, while California’s gold rush resulted in a population boom as well as a plurality of slaveries, including, until the 1880s, the legal debt bondage of Native Americans. Even as federal authorities attempted to eradicate some of these practices, the United States tolerated and even embraced other forms of bondage, including indentured servitude, orphan binding, and carceral labor. Slavery after the Civil War offers new vantage points on U.S. imperialism as well as slavery’s geography, periodization, development, and legacy. This talk will focus specifically on the relations between Mormon settlers and Indigenous peoples of the Great Basin, exploring how and why settlers sought to incorporate Native youth into their households as servants and/or foster children. 

The Ohio Seminar in Early American History presents a mini-conference:

The Fiscal-Military State Under Fire: Rethinking Military State Formation, 1713-1775
April 6, 3:00-5:00PM
168 Dulles Hall

Sarah Kinkel, Ohio University
The Royal Navy and Imperial State-Building in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic

William P. Tatum III,  Dutchess County (N.Y.) Historian
'Within the Narrow Limets of a German Government:' The Legal-Military State in the British Empire, 1713-1775

Chris Otter, Ohio State University  

Short papers by both presenters will be available for the seminar participants around March 28. 

Sarah Kinkel offers this abstract of her paper, “The Royal Navy and Imperial State-Building in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic”:

Eighteenth-century Britain has been offered as the exemplar of the fiscal-military state, but a better term might be “fiscal-naval state”: early modern navies required vast capital investments and long-term planning in ways that armies did not.  The Royal Navy was not only the single largest organization of people and resources in the British Empire—it was also at the heart of debates within the Anglo-imperial world over the right of the state to regulate civilian lives.  After the Seven Years’ War, sea officers and their ships took on an increasingly prominent role in enforcing economic, social, and political order on the imperial periphery.  The navy became the foundation of a concerted attempt to extend the reach of the British state into the empire.

Will Tatum offers this abstract of his paper:  “'Within the Narrow Limets of a German Government:' The Legal-Military State in the British Empire, 1713-1775”

Since the publication of John Brewer’s Sinews of Power, the fiscal-military state has played a disproportionate role in explaining the army’s impact on British state formation during the eighteenth century. The construct fails to account for other factors first raised by scholarship on the Military Revolution, particularly the struggle for civilian control over the military. The heated debates over the form, function, and development of military justice, in both Parliament and within the army, constituted a hitherto unrecognized proving ground for the Whig vision of state formation. The resulting legal-military state, the body of law and procedure that secured the civil-military relationship, offers new perspectives on the army’s role in state formation and its place within the larger imperial framework.

The seminar will be followed with pizza and conversation at John Brooke and Sara Balderston’s, 1097 Wyandotte Road, Grandview, TBA.