Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife 2016: New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture

June 24, 2016 - June 26, 2016 | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Deerfield Community Center

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New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture is a three-day conference of nineteen lectures on the maritime history of New England and adjacent areas of New York and Canada from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Focusing on how the region remembered its maritime past, the weekend begins with a keynote address by the historian W. Jeffrey Bolster on the pivotal role that Gloucester, Massachusetts, played in the memory of its fishing industry. It continues with individual topics such as chart making, the keeping of ship logs, and ship-design technologies. Later sessions address subjects such as whaling, slaving, privateering, and maritime family life; the rise of marine societies and efforts to preserve old ships; and the growth of maritime antiques businesses. The conference concludes with minorities’ experience of seafaring and maritime laboring and the material culture of sailors’ (and diplomatic) dress.  An optional workshop presented on Friday afternoon will examine the history of celestial navigation including a detailed exploration of the sextant, and Mystic Seaport’s digital resources used in genealogical and maritime-related research.

The Seminar is designed for educators, historians, collectors, independent scholars, librarians, preservationists, and museum curators, as well as students and the general public. A selected and edited transcript of this conference will appear as the 2016 Annual Proceedings of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, to be issued about two years after the conference. Past Seminar Proceedings and publications by program speakers will be available at the conference.

The forty-first annual meeting in the Dublin Seminar series, New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture will take place at Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, Massachusetts. The lecture program will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening and will continue until approximately noon on Sunday. Lunch and dinner will be provided on Saturday, June 25; coffee and doughnuts will be served each morning.  Housing is available at group rates at local hotels.      

View the complete schedule and registration information.

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