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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism Symposium 4/9 in Lexington, MA

On April 9, 2010, the National Heritage Museum, in Lexington, Massachusetts, will hold a symposium, "New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism."

The 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:

* Ami Pflugran-Jackisch, Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan - Flint, "Brothers of a Vow: Secret Fraternal Orders in Antebellum Virginia"

* 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"

* Kristofer Allerfeldt, Exeter University, "Nationalism, Masons, Klansmen and Kansas in the 1920s"

* Adam G. Kendall, Henry W. Coil Library and Museum, "Klad in White Hoods and Aprons: American Fraternal Identities, Freemasonry, and the Ku Klux Klan in California, 1921-1928"

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 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@monh.org or 781-861-6559, x 4142.

Registration deadline draws near! Register by March 24, 2010. Visit the Museum's website, www.nationalheritagemuseum.org, for a printable registration form.

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