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OI Coffeehouse Applications

Monday September 6

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

The application period for seats for this round has closed. Please come back to apply for our next round.


The Tables

Reconsidering Credit Debt and Early National Life, 1700-1840s
With Elbra David

Mondays, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

This table will focus on the connections between Americans’ lived experience with debt and credit in the aftermath of the American Revolution. From Alice Hanson Jones’s study of probates to historian Claire Priest’s work on credit in early America and international policy (2020), historians continue to apply fresh new methodologies to the economy of credit and debt. The panel welcomes scholars focused on any aspect of debt and credit including institutions (i.e., banking and mercantile law), slavery, and markets that lay beyond the borders of the United States during the seventeenth- to nineteenth- centuries. Scholars who study other empires/colonial spaces, as well as Digital Humanities scholars who want to engage in comparative conversation are welcome. The goal is to bring practitioners together to discuss both the opportunities and obstacles of individual work.  Meetings will be divided between writing time and discussion with possible guest speakers for interested participants.

Dusting off the Puritans
With Annie Powell

Mondays, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This coffeehouse table will take one of the most traditional topics in early American history Puritan New England and reconsider it in light of new scholarship, frameworks, and methods. Scholars of all levels with a variety of interests in fields related to seventeenth century “Puritan” New England (theology, race, gender, political economy, environmentalism, settler colonialism, etc.) will be welcomed as we look to find new methods to approach this subject. The coffeehouse table will provide a collaborative space to discuss recent literature, share pieces of our own works-in-progress, and talk more generally about the process of “re-discovering” a well-worn topic.

Thinking Around Treaties
With Charles Prior

Tuesdays, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This table aims to begin a conversation about treaties, as part of a wider project to re-assess their place as historical documents that are also living agreements. Early American history still in search of an analytical framework that balances settler colonialism and Indigenous power, is Continental in scope, connects the local to the international, and illuminates the web of interactions that defined common worlds. Treaties between Indigenous sovereigns and colonial / imperial governments have the potential to provide that framework. Standard studies (Jones, Calloway, Glover) present treaties as mechanisms of imperial domination or as part of the legal architecture of ‘perfect’ settler jurisdiction. Each approach closes off opportunities to move beyond treaties as events and to situate them as part of processes that shaped and constrained power. This took a variety of forms: the regulation of movement, commerce, and alliance; the definition of territoriality; processes of state-formation; the development of commensurate languages and norms of international relations; the articulation of Indigenous epistemologies and cultural expressions of sovereignty through kinship, gender, and place. This table will provide a space to address these issues through shared reading, collaborative discussion, and shared work.

The Non-Human in Human History
With Strother Roberts and Whitney Barlow Robles

Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This table will explore the role that the non-human has played In human history. For decades, environmental historians have argued that the physical landscape is more than merely the stage upon which humans enact history and that nature whether flora, fauna, weather, etc. has an agency all its own. But writing histories that effectively re-center nonhuman agency can be a challenging endeavor. Historians are, after all, only human, so how can we expand our critical imaginations to, for example, think like a river (as Donald Worster once urged)? This table will consider such methodological questions through the discussion of shared readings and by providing a space to workshop works-in progress.

Foodways and Food Cultures in Early America
With Rachel Winchcombe

Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This table will connect researchers working on foodways and food cultures in early America (broadly defined). The group will support scholars at all levels of their career, and will welcome scholars studying Indigenous, Black, and European communities and their food cultures. The table aims to foster crossdisciplinary collaboration by exploring foodways from historical, archaeological, and anthropological perspectives. Participants will be invited to discuss a range of readings, both thematic and methodological, and to consider how different disciplinary approaches can help radially shift our understanding of colonial expansion, Indigenous and Black resistance, and imperial identities and their connection to complex and capacious trans-national food systems and cultures.

Just Write
Host TBA

Fridays, 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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.


Monday, September 6

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