Off the Record: Telling Lives of People Hidden in Plain Sight

A Conference for Massachusetts History Organizations

logoPresented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, the Joseph P. Healey Library and the Public History Track at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Monday, June 6, 2011

9:00am – 4:00pm
Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester

The 2011 Massachusetts history conference takes as its theme historical programming (exhibits, tours, talks, websites, etc) featuring people who are not usually present in the collections of local history organizations: slaves, free Blacks, Native Americans, women (and men) who did not toe the line in some way, itinerants, recent immigrants, the poor, disabled, and ill.

Visit the Mass History Commons wiki, a companion site where you can interact with other attendees, participate in eRideShare for the conference, sign up for space in the Mass Commons room, and later find the presentations from the various sessions.

Registration Fees (includes morning refreshments & buffet lunch, vegetarian option available)
Registrations cannot be refunded; however you may send another person in your place.
Online Registration | Mail-in Registration Form (pdf)
$65 Standard Fee per person
$45 Student Fee (include copy of student ID with registration or bring ID to event if registering online)
$55 Per person for 3+ registrants from same organization at the same time; online registration not available for discounted rate)
9-9:30am Registration & Continental Breakfast
9-4:00pm Mass History Commons
9:30-9:45am Welcome

Bay State Legacy Award Presentation
Peter and Jane Benes


Elise Lemire, SUNY Purchase College
Rack Focus: Bringing Northern Slavery Into View

ELISE LEMIRE is Professor of Literature at SUNY Purchase. She is the author of Black Walden: Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts (2009), a finalist for the 2010 Massachusetts Book Award, and “Miscegenation”: Making Race in America (2002), both published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Lemire’s scholarship has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Her current projects include Peace Vets, the story of the 1971 protest march that traced Paul Revere’s route in reverse. Organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the march resulted in the largest arrest in Massachusetts history.

10:45-11am Break
Concurrent Sessions A
  1. Roundtable: Righting the Record on Slavery and its Aftermath in Massachusetts
  2. Bringing Minority History into Plain Sight
  3. Unsung Heroes: Reclaiming Stories of Accomplishment

Lunch Buffet (vegetarian option available)

Mass History Commendation Presentation
State Representative Byron Rushing

1:15-4pm Skills Workshop: Research for Every Town
Concurrent Sessions B
  1. Tackling Tough Topics
  2. In Sickness and in Health: The Social Invisibility of the Poor and Ill
  3. Containing Multitudes: Exhibits about Groups
2:30-2:45pm Break
Concurrent Sessions C
  1. Touring off the Beaten Track
  2. For Richer and For Poorer: Taking Care of the Poor in Massachusetts
  3. Always Here: (Re-) Discovering Servants and Native Americans

Award Recipients:

Peter and Jane Montague Benes are synonymous with the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife. As founders of this more than 30-year series of conferences and publications, they have helped professional and avocational historians alike explore an extraordinary range of subjects in the everyday life, work, and culture of the Commonwealth and the region. In dozens of co-edited volumes, and publications from the 1977 Masks of Orthodoxy to the forthcoming Meetinghouses of Early New England, the breadth and depth of Peter and Jane’s contributions to Massachusetts History are unequalled.

The Honorable Byron Rushing (D, Roxbury) is a historian by avocation. He was President of the Boston Museum of African American History, and has donated time and insights to, among other projects, a Mass Humanities discussion series, reenactment of a historic Civil Rights march, and public readings of Frederick Douglass’ Fourth of July address. He is author and chief sponsor of bill H01746, which, if passed, would require all companies doing business with the Commonwealth to disclose (and therefore research) their participation in the historic slave trade.