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OI Coffeehouse Applications

Sunday June 20

We are excited to open a new round of the OI Coffeehouse. Tables will begin meeting the week of April 26, 2021, and continue meeting for the following eight weeks.

The application period for seats for this round is now closed. We hope you apply for future sessions of the OI Coffeehouse.


The Tables

Mobility, Emplacement, and Homelands
With Denise Bossy (University of North Florida) and Max Edelson (University of Virginia)

Mondays 2:30-4:00 pm

This coffee table will be a place to consider different forms of movement and settlement across the spaces of vast early America. We are especially interested in fostering cross-disciplinary dialogues and welcome scholars working on Indigenous, African, or colonial settler communities. Through readings and chats we will explore different constructs and methodologies – shatter zone, diaspora, emplacement, cartography and the spatial turn, colonial settlement, among others – while also providing space for scholars to think together and share their own work.

The Disaffected and the American Revolution
With Rebecca Brannon (James Madison University)

Mondays 10:30 am-12:00 pm

The American Revolution was a minority project—one that the majority of people living in British North America did not want.  How can we write the history of the era of the American Revolution in the light of the incredible diversity of ideas and actions captured by the study of dissenters, pacifists, disaffected, Loyalists, prisoners, enslaved people, and Native Americans before, during, and after the American Revolution?  Join this table and get support in our quest to write the Revolution in all its complexity.

Slavery, Law, and Power in early America and the British Empire
With Holly Brewer (University of Maryland)

Thursdays 1:00-3:00 pm

This table will focus on connections between slavery, law, and power in early America and the British empire – that is, on connections between what we might call structural racism and larger structures of power (including imperial structures) in the differential growth of slavery in colonies primarily in the British empire. It assumes that enslaved people are also, on some level, political actors, even though less powerful. Scholars who study other empires/colonial spaces, who want to engage in comparative conversation, are welcome. We also encourage scholars interested in documentary editing and digital humanities to apply. Participants will be encouraged to share their work, and potentially to contribute edited documents to a beta website (supported by the NHPRC) that will launch in November 2021 (with authorial credit).

Race, Images, Objects, and Identity in #VastEarlyAmerica
With Cynthia Chin (The Washington Library) and Philippe Halbert (Yale University)

Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 pm

Come join us to hone and expand your understanding of #VastEarlyAmerica through images and objects, which often bear witness to the lives and identities not always featured in the traditional archival record. This table will support scholars of all levels wishing to engage with objects and a wide spectrum of related methodological approaches by encouraging object-focused discussions of race and identity in early America 1450-1830, including North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. We welcome everyone — no prior experience or work in material culture is required to participate!

Women and Gender in Early America
With Sara Damiano (Texas State University)

Fridays 11:00 am-1:00 pm

This table will connect researchers working within the expansive fields of women’s and gender history. It welcomes scholars studying Black, Native, and European-descended women, as well as those studying the histories of masculinity and femininity. The group will offer space for writing, informal conversation, and workshopping of short excerpts from works-in-progress.

From Dissertation to Manuscript: De-Mystifying the Process (and Doing It!)
With Alexi Garrett (Institute for Thomas Paine Studies, Iona College) and Robert Colby (Christopher Newport University)

Tuesdays 9:00-10:30 am

As graduate students finish their studies, they confront an assumption that they will immediately publish their dissertation as a book. But they often face this next stage armed only with limited, vague, dated, or even contradictory advice. This table is for anyone who wants to learn about and advance in the dissertation-to-book process: end-stage grad students, early career scholars, independent historians who want to pick up their dissertation again after the odd fifteen years, those with editors, those without, and more. Together, we will seek to demystify this process. We will discuss how and why the dissertation is different from the book; consider diss-to-book timelines; examine writing a book proposal/pitching your work; finding an editor; determining the best “fit” with a press; and understanding what types of changes editors want to see in the final product. We will also conduct manuscript workshops for participants. While we will work with participants to see how this group will most benefit them, we envision a mix of guest speakers (including editors and recently-published authors) and participants sharing their personal experiences and advice, as well as workshopping works-in-progress.

Putting the Latin America into Vast Early America
With Catherine Tracy Goode (The Americas Research Network)

Thursdays 12:00-2:00 pm

This is a table for anyone working on the Portuguese and Spanish occupied regions of the Americas. Take the opportunity to write with scholars who work on regions as diverse as the northern borderlands of Mexico and the U.S. southwest, through the Caribbean and south to the Rio de la Plata, including Indigenous, African and African-descended, Asian, mestiza, and European historical actors. Join us to share your work and have dedicated writing time on early modern Latin America. Independent scholars, contingent faculty, and graduate students are encouraged to participate!

The Dutch Atlantic World
With Deborah Hamer (Gotham Blog for New York City History) and Jared Hardesty (Western Washington University)

Wednesdays 12:00-1:30 pm

This table will be a supportive place to share works in progress that deal with the Dutch Atlantic in its broadest sense. We welcome participants who focus on any aspect of the Dutch experience in the Atlantic world as well as those who study interimperial or intercultural entanglements that involve the Dutch.  Building connections across imperial historiographies will be a central part of this table’s goals.

History Happened Here
With Erin Holmes (University of Missouri) and Kristina Poznan (Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation)

Wednesdays, 12:30-2:00 pm

This table will explore methods and opportunities for site-based teaching and research in early American history, including how to create and manage opportunities/spaces/occasions for student research and digital and public engagement. The table will be hosted by two public historians who got their start at W&M’s National Institute of American History and Democracy. We will explore topics including historic sites as primary sources, the benefits of various types of sites (not only museums and historic homes but also less-visited sites like cemeteries), archaeology and architecture for history education, why physical field trips are worth the hassle (and how to pull it off), digital alternatives and supplements to field trips, critical assessment of historic sites through writing reviews, and involving students in site advocacy and preservation. Particular attention will be paid to the opportunities at historic sites to tell diverse, inclusive histories, how to tell those stories even when the site does not, and how to turn silences into teachable moments. Guests from various historic sites will join us to share their expertise and perspectives. Individuals from all aspects of history education are encouraged to apply, from secondary teachers to university instructors to museum professionals and beyond. Those interested in undergraduate education through public history are especially encouraged to apply.

Archives Based Open Data Projects in Early America
With Kyle Roberts (American Philosophical Society) and Molly Hardy (Independent Scholar)

Mondays 6:00-7:30 pm

 Open Data initiatives – such as the ones at the Magazine of Early American Datasets, American Antiquarian Society, and the American Philosophical Society – have transformed valuable data in hard-to-re-use analog formats into easier-to-analyze tabular data. The goal of such initiatives is not only to produce datasets, but also to encourage their use in scholarship and teaching. This table brings together DH practitioners, scholars working in libraries and academia, and educators to explore the data sets that have been produced and to discuss ethical, practical, technical, professional, and intellectual opportunities and obstacles they present. Meetings each week will be divided between work time, sharing scholarship, and discussion.

Writing for Review
Rachel Wheeler (Indiana University-Purdue University) and Kate Carté (Southern Methodist University)

Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 pm

Join our table to work on the least talked about, most despised, and yet most important kind of academic writing: writing for annual reviews, promotion and tenure. We invite scholars to join us for company, solidarity, and constructive feedback while working on the all important candidate statement as well as the mundane secretarial tasks of assembling a dossier.

Just Write
Host TBA

Fridays 12:30-2:30 pm

Join our table for company and accountability as you … just write. We check in at the beginning of the session, state our goals for that day’s meeting, and get to work. At the end of the session we report back. The Just Write table proved very helpful to participants in the last round and we are eager to resume it.


Sunday, June 20

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