2016 Spring

The NEHA Spring 2016 Conference was held at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

CONFERENCE PROGRAM – last updated 4/22/16

Download final program PDF

Sessions were held on the first and second floors of the Axinn Center for Literary and Cultural Studies (AXN) in Starr Library.


First Morning Sessions, 8:30-10:00

8:30 Session 1: Crime and Community along the United States Northern Borderland (AXN 103)
Chair and Comment: Jacqueline Carr, University of Vermont

“From Borderland to Borderedland: Crime and Consequence in Rural Quebec, 1775”
Daniel S. Soucier, University of Maine, Orono
“Creating Imagined Communities in the Post-Revolutionary Northeastern Borderlands”
John Davis Morton, Boston College

8:30 Session 2: Bostonian Transformers of the Financial and Physical Landscape (AXN 104)
Chair and Comment: Clifford Putney, Bentley University

“The Boston Trustee: William Minot, Benjamin Franklin, and the Development of Philanthropy and Asset Management in Nineteenth-Century America”
Adam Rutledge, Brandeis University
“’The Great Reservoir’: Frederick P. Stearns and the Boston Metropolitan Water Supply, 1885-1905”
Jeffrey Egan, University of Connecticut

8:30 Session 3: Abigail Stoneman: Colonial Woman Entrepreneur (AXN 105)
Chair and Comment: Amy Feely Morsman, Middlebury College

“Abigail Stoneman: Eighteenth-Century Entrepreneurial Prowess”
Breanne Messier and Sarah Gomes, Roger William University*

8:30 Session 4: Remaking the Human and Defending the Family in the Early Twentieth Century (AXN 109)
Chair and Comment: Melanie Gustafson, University of Vermont

“Progressive Reformer Faux Pas” Eugenics in Turn-of-the-Century Connecticut”
Allison Norrie, Southern Connecticut State University
“The War at Home to Defend ‘the Home’: Gender, the Family, and Anti-Radicalism in the 1910s”
Adam Quinn, University of Vermont

8:30 Session 5: Race Matters (AXN 219)
Chair and Comment: Jessica Parr, University of New Hampshire at Manchester

“From Cleopatra to the ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’: Investigating Race in the Ancient World”
Erik Jensen, Salem State University
“The Language of Difference: Former Slaves in Maine”
Candace Kanes, Independent Scholar

8:30 Session 6: The Culture Wars, the Environment, and Their Literatures as History (AXN 220)
Chair and Comment: Troy Paddock, Southern Connecticut State University

“A Humanistic Philosophy or More Sophisticated Pursuits?: The Pre-History of the Canon Wars”
Elizabeth Kalbfleisch, Southern Connecticut State University
“Reconsidering Religious Activism during the ‘Secular Sixties’”
Patrick Lacroix, University of New Hampshire
“Thoreau, Wilderness and Maine: The Emergence of an Environmental Icon”
Richard W. Judd, University of Maine, Orono

8:30 Session 7: Strategies for Repression and Survival in a Cold War World (AXN 232)
Chair and Comment: Denise Youngblood, University of Vermont

“The Inception of International Adoption, 1948-1955”
Soojib Chung, Boston University School of Theology
“Censorship, the BBC, and the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’”
Robert Savage, Boston College

Break for Book Exhibit and Refreshments, 10:00-10:30 – AXN Winter Garden

Second Morning Sessions, 10:30-12:00

10:30 Session 8: Safeguarding the Traveler (AXN 103)
Chair and Comment: Elizabeth De Wolfe, University of New England

“The American Seamen’s Friend Society: Elevating the Plight of Nineteenth-Century American Mariners”
Claire Phelan, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
“The Travelers’ Aid Society in New York City, 1907-1916”
Eric Cimino, Molloy College

10:30 Session 9: Religion and Literature in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century United States and Great Britain (AXN 104)
Chair and Comment: Cheryl Boots, Boston University

“Minister, Physician, Loyalist: The Experience of Reverend John Sayre during the American Revolution”
Kieran O’Keefe, University of Vermont
“Editing Literature and Building a Church: Whitwell Elwin, a Maverick Victorian”
Philip Mosley, Pennsylvania State University
“’An Apostleship of the Pen’: Fr. Isaac Hecker and the Creation of the Catholic Publication Society, 1865-1870”
Erin Bartram, University of Hartford

10:30 Session 10: Hybridized Cultures of Trade and Faith in Colonial and Post-Colonial New England (AXN 105)
Chair and Comment: Susan Ouellette, Saint Michael’s College

“Trading Horses in the Eighteenth Century: Rhode Island and the Atlantic World”
Charlotte Carrington-Farmer, Roger Williams University
“The Lure of Prize Money and the Problem of Neutrality: French Privateers in New England’s Ports”
Edward J. Martin, Endicott College
“Preserving the Faith: the French Canadian Parishes of Worcester, Massachusetts”
Zachary Washburn, Worcester State University

10:30 Session 11: The Rise of United States Anti-Federalism in the Nineteenth Century (AXN 109)
Chair and Comment: Amy Feely Morsman, Middlebury College

“’To Make War With Our Own Citizens’: The Embargo of 1817 and the Rejection of Federal Authority in the Northern Borderland”
Phillip K. Moore, University of Connecticut
“States’ Rights in the Confederacy: The Case of the Confederate Supreme Court”
Richard Allen Gerber, Southern Connecticut State University
“Conscience in the State House: Anti-Gallows Reform and the Politicization of Morality”
Ian Campbell, Brandeis University

10:30 Session 12: Probing for a National Identity in Twentieth-Century Germany (AXN 219)
Chair and Comment: Rebecca Bennette, Middlebury College

“Religious Language in German Political Catholicism”
Martin Menke, Rivier University
“Festival Déjà vu? Recasting Nordic Identity in 1950s Lübeck”
Erika Briesacher, Worcester State University
“Rolf Brandt, German into Nazi: A Literary Case Study”
Troy Paddock, Southern Connecticut State University

10:30 Session 13: Race and Challenges to Educational Reform in Virginia and Massachusetts (AXN 220)
Chair and Comment: Candace Kanes, Independent Scholar

“Massive Resistance Revisited: Race and School Closure in Warren County, Virginia, 1958-1962”
Tona Hangen, Worcester State University
“’Her credentials lie with the people’: Black Power, School Reform and Mental Health in Boston, 1974-1980”
Tess Bundy, Merrimack College

10:30 Session 14: History as Informed by the Arts (AXN 232)
Chair and Comment: Melanie Murphy, Emmanuel College

“Inside Out: Carrie Stettheimer’s Dollhouse and the Public Display of Private Space in Early Twentieth-Century New York”
Heather Hole, Simmons College
“’Shostakovich and the Jews?’: Music, Memory and Soviet Jewish Identity after World War II”
Rebecca Mitchell, Middlebury College

LUNCHEON and BUSINESS MEETING, 12:15 – 1:35 – Atwater Dining Hall

Afternoon Session, 1:45 – 3:15

1:45 Session 15: Labor, Race and Identity in Modern Central America (AXN 103)
Chair and Comment: Kathryn Dungy, Saint Michael’s College

“’A Veritable Pittsburgh of Smoke’: Coal Energy, Race and Environment in the Construction of the Panama Canal”
Jordan Coulombe, University of New Hampshire
“The Indian Question at Liberty’s Limits: Guatemala, 1944”
Heather A. Vrana, Southern Connecticut State University

1:45 Session 16: Women’s Progress into the Progressive Era (AXN 104)
Chair and Comment: Holly Allen, Middlebury College

“A Generation Removed: The Continuation and Transformation of the Hopedale Sewing Circle”
Linda Hixon, Worcester State University
“Bestowing Benevolence and Shaping Citizens: Women’s Entry into the Progressive Era’s Political Sphere”
Mia Michael, Boston College
“’Fine Gray Eyes Discern Many a Truth’… and a Few Lies: Madeleine Pollard, Self-Presentation, and a Summer at Bread Loaf”
Elizabeth De Wolfe, University of New England

1:45 Session 17: Jacksonianism in Practice and Theory (AXN 105)
Chair and Comment: William B. Hart, Middlebury College

“Andrew Jackson’s Bequest and the Politics of Courage, 1918-1857”
Robert E. Cray, Montclair State University
“Bridging a Class Divide: Landed and Landless White Households in Antebellum Virginia”
John Zaborney, University of Maine at Presque Isle
“The Fruits of Labor: Exploitation and Injustice in Jacksonian Political Thought”
Alex Zakaras, University of Vermont

1:45 Session 18: Russian Reform, Aesthetics, and Women Under Siege in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (AXN 219)
Chair and Comment: Rebecca Mitchell, Middlebury College

“The Rise of the Counterpublics: The ‘Khozhdeniia v narod’ and the ‘Volunteer’ Mass Movements in Russia in the 1870s”
Mikhail Rekun, Northeastern University
“Rejecting the Avant-Garde and Anticipating the Vanguard: The Development of a Marxist Aesthetic in the Second International”
David Sockol, Drew University
“The Pyschological Life of Women in the Siege of Leningrad: Emotions, Motivation and Mental Disorders”
Ron MacNeil, University of Vermont

1:45 Session 19: Of Guns, Civil Order and Public Space (AXN 220)
Chair and Comment: George Dameron, Saint Michael’s College

“Demons, Devils and Diabolical Devices: The Conceptualization of Firearms in Medieval Western Europe, ca. 1300-1500”
Robert Holmes, Villanova University
“’All persons are prohibited from discharging fire-arms in the Cemetery’: Public Behavior in the Rural Cemetery”
Joy Giguere, Pennsylvania State University York
“Parks and Recreation (Or Not): A Study of Two Northampton, Massachusetts, Parks”
Robert E. Weir, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

* Indicates undergraduate paper or session