About the Conference

How does war end and who ends it? Over three days, this conference will bring together an international group of scholars to share new research that investigates these historical processes, privileging the visual and material to find new answers.

Taking the broad canvas of the Atlantic World between 1651 and 1865, this conference will explore the processes that exist between treaty-making and memory-making, interrogating the messy, uncoordinated ways in which individuals, communities, nations, and empires come to terms with the meanings of war and the promises of peace.

We invite you to join us and engage in wide-ranging conversations on the history of coming to terms and explore with us the methodologies we use to teach and research this vital area of scholarly research.

The program will include a series of three panels with pre-circulated papers that will be available to registered attendees. You must register for the conference to access the papers.

On Thursday, November 8, we will welcome four distinguished scholars: Dr. Christian Ayne Crouch (Bard College), Professor François Furstenberg (Johns Hopkins University), Professor Beverly Lemire (University of Alberta), and Professor Alexander Nemerov (Stanford University) for our opening plenary, “Boundaries and Crossings.” They will open proceedings with a dialogue about the assumptions and methodological habits that we use to create the analytical categories of war and peace and point to new opportunities for understanding war through the visual and material.

The next day, November 9, we will take you to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, the nation’s premier center for the study of American material culture. There we will hold our first panel and be introduced to a range of objects by Winterthur’s experts. These objects will act as prompts to spark a broad group discussion—led by Dr. Catharine Dann Roeber (Winterthur) and Dr. Anna Marley (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts)—on the place of material culture in the study of war’s end. Please note that when you register to attend the conference you will also have the opportunity reserve yourself a place on the bus that will transport participants between the McNeil Center and Winterthur. We regret that if you have not properly registered we will not be able to provide you with transportation.

On the final day of the conference, November 10, we will reconvene at the McNeil Center. In addition to the remaining paper panels, we will host a special roundtable on teaching “war” with material and visual culture. This session—led by Dr. Amanda Moniz (National Museum of American History) and Dr. Philip Mead (Museum of the American Revolution)—will focus on partnerships we can create when we work with museums and draw on curatorial expertise to collaboratively advance scholarship.

For the closing keynote address we are delighted to welcome Professor Leora Auslander (University of Chicago) who will speak to us on “Things and Images as Witnesses and Weapons of War.”

We hope you can join us and we look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia in November 2018.

Zara Anishanslin and Joanna Cohen
Co-chairs, Program Committee

If you have questions about this event, please contact the McNeil Center.