Join us for an OI Author Conversation with Kate Carté and Julia Gaffield.
How can we best understand the connections between religion, war, and political upheaval in the Age of Revolution? Explorations into the intersection of politics and religion are often framed in terms of the impact of political upheaval on religious faith and practice. Seen this way, religion figures as a barometer of political and social change. Yet specific denominations were fundamental components of systems that structured relationships within and between nations and empires. Woven into structures of politics and diplomacy at the highest levels, they could serve as expressions of national aspiration and as agents of political change. To understand religion’s role in Age of Revolution, we need to explore the formal connections between religious institutions on the one hand and political and diplomatic processes on the other.
Please join Kate Carté and Julia Gaffield for a discussion about the complex role of religion in the Age of Revolution. Kate Carté is the author of Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History (2021), which situates British Protestantism as part of a complex, transatlantic system that bound religion to imperial politics until it was ruptured by the war for American independence. Julia Gaffield, the author of Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World (2015), is currently writing a book about Haiti’s efforts to leverage its diplomatic relationship with the Catholic Church in order to secure a place among the nineteenth century’s “family of nations.”
Kate Carté (PhD, University of Wisconsin) is an associate professor of History at Southern Methodist University. She is the author of Religion and Profit: Moravians in Early America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), and she has published articles in venues including Church History, the William and Mary Quarterly, Common-place, and Early American Studies. She has received fellowships from the ACLS, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the American Philosophical Society, and the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her new book, Religion and the American Revolution: An Imperial History (UNC Press for the OI, 2021), chronicles how that pivotal conflict transformed both protestant institutions and the relationship between church and state.
Julia Gaffield is an associate professor of History at Georgia State University. She received her PhD in History from Duke University and her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her first book, Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015 and won the 2016 Mary Alice and Frederick Boucher Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society. Gaffield published an article in the American Historical Review in 2020 called “The Racialization of International Law after the Haitian Revolution: The Holy See and National Sovereignty.” She is currently writing a biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines and a history of the Catholic Church in Haiti in the 19th century.
Join historians Brandon R. Byrd and Laurent Dubois for an OI-sponsored session of the National History Center’s Washington History Seminar. Usually convened in person at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, the event will take place online.
OI Executive Director Karin Wulf moderates a discussion of Brandon Byrd’s The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti on Monday, March 1, at 4:00 pm EST.
Brandon R. Byrd is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Black intellectual and social history, with a special focus on Black internationalism. He earned a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently teaches history at Vanderbilt University. His favorite books include Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2007) and Edwidge Danticat, Brother I’m Dying (2007).
Laurent Dubois is the Democracy Initiative Professor in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, and Co-Director of the Democracy Initiative. He has written about the Age of Revolution in the Caribbean, with Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004) and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (2004), which won four book prizes including the Frederick Douglass Prize. His 2012 Haiti: The Aftershocks of History was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His work on the cultural history of music, The Banjo: America’s African Instrument (2016), was supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Humanities Fellowship, and a Mellon New Directions Fellowship. He is currently beginning work on a history of the French Atlantic.
A joint venture of the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the History and Public Policy Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Washington History Seminar meets each week, January to May and September to December. The Washington History Seminar aims to facilitate understanding of contemporary affairs in light of historical knowledge of all times and all places and from a variety of perspectives.
OI Colloquium with Julia Gaffield
Julia Gaffield is an associate professor of History at Georgia State University. She received her PhD from Duke University. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Professor Gaffield’s first book, Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015 and won the 2016 Mary Alice and Frederick Boucher Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society. It was positively reviewed in fifteen academic journals, including the American Historical Review and The William and Mary Quarterly.
She is currently working on two book projects: the first, tentatively entitled, Jean-Jacques Dessalines: Freedom or Death, is a biography of the Haitian founding father (under contract with Yale University Press). The second, tentatively entitled, The Abandoned Faithful: Race and International Law in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution, shows how Haiti’s state-sanctioned claim to Roman Catholicism after 1804 had local and global implications that helped reshape the dominant understanding of international law (under contract with the Omohundro Institute).
About OI Colloquia
The OI’s Colloquium Series is an ongoing seminar for scholars to present their work in progress for graduate students and colleagues. Advanced registration is required. All participants read the pre-circulated paper and prepare to engage in generous and generative feedback.
When we meet in person we are limited by the size of the OI’s conference room; online we limit registration to 40 (a typical size for the colloquium). No recordings are made of the discussions and no tweeting or posting on other social media platforms during the event is permitted in order to encourage this intellectual community of trusted exchange.
copies of the colloquium paper are available one week in advance.
Contact Beverly Smith to receive your copy.