The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife

dubsemlogo-101x137.gifThe Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife is a continuing series of conferences, exhibitions, and publications whose purpose is to explore everyday life, work, and culture in New England’s past. Founded on the premise that traditional lore and material folk culture are rapidly disappearing in New England, the series focuses attention on emerging areas of folk studies, regional and local history, cultural geography, historical archaeology, and vernacular and antiquarian studies. Conferences are held in June or July of each year with concurrent exhibitions at participating museums and art galleries. Dublin Seminar conferences are sponsored by Historic Deerfield.

Topics are announced at the conference of the preceding year. Selected and edited transcripts of papers presented at Dublin Seminar conferences are published each year as the Annual Proceedings. Catalogues of exhibitions accompanying Dublin Seminar conferences are published separately. Named after the town of Dublin, New Hampshire, where the series started in 1976, the conference has met at Deerfield, Massachusetts, since 1989; Historic Deerfield began its sponsorship after 2008.

View a list of past Dublin Seminar topics.


2016 Topic Announcement and Call for Papers:

New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture

The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife (founded 1976) is pleased to announce the subject of its forty-first conference, New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture, to be held in Deerfield June 24-26, 2016.

The Seminar is now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, and workshops on the maritime history of New England and adjacent areas of New York and Canada from the seventeenth through the early twentieth century. The topic explores how the region remembered its maritime past. Proposals are sought for papers on shipbuilding, fishing and whaling, maritime art and literature, the coastal trade, prize-taking and piracy, shore leave, and charitable associations such as seamen's aid societies. Other subjects might include inland ports and rivers, the global trade, underwater archeology, maritime ecologies and sustenance, food, speech, work songs, maritime laborers at sea and in shore-side industries, the sea’s appeal to rural people and vacationers, and clothing (sailors’ slops, for example). The conference is also interested in maritime law, the command structure, and the appeal of maritime life to people of diverse origins such as Cape Verdeans, escaped slaves, and Native Americans. We are also interested in papers on the evolution of maritime heritage, including the histories of maritime museums as well as maritime antiques in New England historical collections. 

The Seminar encourages papers that reflect original research, especially those based on primary or underused resources such as material culture, letters and diaries, vital records, federal and state censuses, naturalization records, as well as newspapers, portraits, prints and photographs, business and banking records, recollections, and autobiographies.

New England at Sea: Maritime Memory and Material Culture will consist of approximately seventeen lectures of twenty minutes each, with related tours and workshops. Professional development points will be available for public school teachers. Selected papers will appear as the 2016 Annual Proceedings of the DublinSeminar to be published about eighteen months after the conference.

To submit a paper proposal for this conference, please submit a one-page prospectus that cites sources and a one-page vita or biography by January 10, 2016. Email proposals sent as attachments are encouraged; please follow up with a hard copy.

Please send proposals to:

Peter Benes, Director
The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
Historic Deerfield, P.O. Box 321, Deerfield, MA  01342
E-mail: dublinseminar@historic-deerfield.org


Publications for Sale:

Seminar Proceedings, exhibition catalogues, and occasional publications generated by conferences held from 1976 through 2007 are available for purchase through Historic Deerfield's Museum Gift Shop and Bookstore.  View available publications.

For more information:
Peter Benes, Director
The Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife
Historic Deerfield, P.O. Box 321, Deerfield, MA  01342
E-mail: dublinseminar@historic-deerfield.org
Phone: 978-369-7382