The Initiated Eye: Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, D.C.
New to the Collection: The Ancient Order of Good Fellows

National Heritage Museum Announces Program for April Symposium

Checkerboard for symposium National Heritage Museum Symposium

Friday, April 9, 2010
New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism
Lexington, Massachusetts

This symposium seeks to present the newest research on American fraternal groups from the past through the present day.  By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members.  The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture.

A keynote paper by Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida, and author of Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, will open the day.   Titled “Worlds of Brothers,” Harland-Jacobs’ paper will survey and assess the scholarship on American fraternalism and Freemasonry.  Drawing on examples from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s, she will demonstrate that applying world history methodologies pays great dividends for our understanding of fraternalism as a historical phenomenon.  Harland-Jacobs will conclude with some thoughts on how global perspectives can benefit contemporary American brotherhoods.

Six scholars from the United States, Canada, and Britain will fill the day’s program:
• Damien Amblard, doctoral student, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, “French Counter-Enlightenment Intellectuals and American Antimasonry: A Transatlantic Approach, 1789-1800”
• Hannah M. Lane, Assistant Professor, Mount Allison University, “Freemasonry and Identity/ies in 19th-Century New Brunswick and Eastern Maine”
• Nicholas Bell, Curator, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, “An Ark of the New Republic”
• David Bjelajac, Professor of Art History, George Washington University, “Freemasonry, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and the Fraternal Ethos of American Art”
• Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan – Flint, “Brothers of a Vow: Secret Fraternal Orders in Antebellum Virginia”
• Kristofer Allerfeldt, Exeter University, “Nationalism, Masons, Klansmen and Kansas in the 1920s”

The symposium is funded in part by the Supreme Council, 33°, N. M. J., U.S.A. Registration is $50 ($45 for museum members) and includes morning refreshments, lunch and a closing reception.  To register, complete the Registration Form (which can be downloaded at the National Heritage Museum website) and fax to 781-861-9846 or mail to Claudia Roche, National Heritage Museum, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421; registration deadline is MARCH 24, 2010.  For more information, contact Claudia Roche at croche[at] or 781-861-6559, x 4142. 

A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at Staybridge Suites, 11 Old Concord Road, Burlington, MA, at the discounted rate of $99/studio suite and $109/one-bedroom suite (taxes not included).  To make a reservation, please call 781-221-2233 and mention the National Heritage Museum Symposium.  DEADLINE for the discounted rate is MARCH 8, 2010.  Limited shuttlebus service will be available between the hotel and the Museum.

Masonic Checkerboard, ca. 1890, National Heritage Museum, Special Acquisitions Fund, 91.033.  Photograph by David Bohl.


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