September 29 -
October 1, 2011


McNeil Center for
Early American Studies,

Conference Schedule

For Twitter users, we have set up a hashtag for this conference, #mceasstories. We will be live-tweeting certain panels, and encourage other conference attendees to do the same. If you have questions, please contact Rachel Herrmann at

Thursday, 29th September, 2011

4.30pm – 5.15pm Registration
5.15pm – 5.30pm Welcome and Introductory Comments
  Daniel K. Richter, Richard S. Dunn Director, McNeil Center for Early American Studies
5.30pm – 7.30pm PANEL 1:
  Courthouse Dramas
  Chair: Dael Norwood, Princeton University
  Sara Damiano, Johns Hopkins University, "Authority and Vulnerability: Narrating Debt Litigation in 18th-Century New England"
  Robert Lee, University of California–Berkeley, "Resurveying Yazoo: The Yazoo Sales and the Policy Origins of Indian Removal in Georgia"
  Emily Levitt, Cornell University, "Indian Guest, White Host: Time-Depth and Narrative in Early Federal Indian Law"
  Sarah Levine-Gronningsater, University of Chicago, "Storytelling and the Law: New York's Black Children in the Era of Gradual Emancipation"


Friday, 30th September, 2011

8.30am – 9.15am Coffee & Bagels
9.15am – 10.45am PANEL 2:
  Mapping Freedoms
  Chair: Glenda Goodman, Harvard University
  Amanda Stuckey, The College of William & Mary, "National and Narrative Rupture in the Francophone World of Victor Sejour"
  Patricia Lott, Northwestern University, "'Till it Begins to be Put into Practice': 19th-Century Black Performance and Culture and the Politics of Reiteration"
  Rita Williams, University of Delaware, "Telling a Transnational Story: Maria Gowen Brooks's Idomen, or, the Vale of Yumuri"
11.00am – 12.30pm PANEL 3:
  Fightin' Words
  Chair: Seth Perry, University of Chicago
  Christopher Sawula, Emory University, "'A Stain which Ages Cannot Wash Out': Mobocracy, Authority, and the Ursuline Convent Burning of 1834"
  Christopher Bouton, University of Delaware, "Delivered over to the tender mercies of the Mob: The Destruction of Pennsylvania Hall and Abolitionist Constructions of Memory"
  Amy Torbert, University of Delaware, "Selling the 'New American Suit': Tar and Feathers in Popular Prints, 1772-1842"
12.30pm – 2.00pm Lunch (on your own)
2.00pm – 3.30pm PANEL 4:
  Authoring Gender
  Chair: Aaron Tobiason, University of Maryland
  Michael Blaakman, Yale University, "Martha Bradstreet and the 'Dastardly Conspiracy': One Woman's Struggle for Property and Honor in the Early Republic"
  Jessica Conrad, University of Delaware, "Picturing Black Hawk"
  Kristin Condotta, Tulane University, "'May God protect my dear, dear Husband': Lady Nugent and the Power of Written Femininity"
4.00pm – 6.00pm McNeil Center Seminar
  Hester Blum, Pennsylvania State University, "Polar Imprints: News from the Ends of the Earth."
  Professor Blum's paper will be pre-circulated to conference participants and should be read by all who attend. To obtain access to the paper contact
6.00pm – 7.00 pm Reception


Saturday, 1st October, 2011

8.30am – 9.15am Coffee & Bagels
9.15am – 10.45am PANEL 5:
  Doctored Tales
  Chair: Sari Altschuler, City University of New York
  Cameron Strang, University of Texas at Austin, "Native American Storytelling and Scientific Authority in the 18th-Century Florida Borderlands"
  Nicholas Junkerman, University of California–Berkeley, "The (Miraculous?) Cure of Thankfull Fish"
  Sarah Schuetze, University of Kentucky, "Medical Memoir/Medical Memory: Narrating a Profession through Memoir"
11.00am – 12.15pm PANEL 6:
  Writing in the Margins
  Chair: Rachel Herrmann, University of Texas at Austin
  Neal Dugre, Northwestern University, "Narrating Commonwealth: Anglo-Indian Conflict and the Politics of Print"
  Ashley Elizabeth Smith, Cornell University, "Contested Space, Contested History: Place-Making and Conflict at Norridgewock Village"
  Dave Beyreis, University of Oklahoma, "Mobs, Martyrs, and Memories: Telling Stories about the 'Bloodless Conquest' of New Mexico, 1846-1847"
12.30pm – 2.00pm: Lunch (on your own)
2.00pm – 3.30pm PANEL 7:
  Structures of Stories
  Chair: Mark Mattes, University of Iowa
  Catherine Walsh, University of Delaware, "War Stories: Storytelling, Authority, and Age in American Genre Paintings"
  Tom Koenigs, Yale University, "Stories about the Power of Stories: The Political Metafictions of the Early Republic"
  Matthew Kruer, University of Pennsylvania, "Conspiracy Theory and Narrative Construction During Bacon's Rebellion"
4.00pm – 5.30pm Keynote Address
  Jill Lepore, Harvard University
5.30pm – 6.30pm Reception