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Simons Lecture: Serena Zabin on the Boston Massacre

Published: February 26th, 2016

Category: Feature, History Department News, Recent News

The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Serena Zabin of Carleton College will deliver the History Department’s annual Gary C. and Eleanor G. Simons Lecture in American History at 5:30 pm on Thursday, 31 March 2016 in Room 100 in Smathers Library Room 100.

Professor Zabin is a historian of early America and the early modern Atlantic world. She has involved a number of students in her research on Boston, especially in the creation of an interactive digital map of revolutionary Boston. Her research has been supported by numerous outside fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the American Council of Learned Societies.  Professor Zabin’s first monograph, Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in British New York, and its related volume for the classroom, The New York Conspiracy Trials of 1741 use a suspected slave conspiracy in New York City to show the ways that commerce undermined the simple divisions of black and white or enslaved and free that are often associated with early America.

In this talk, entitled “The Boston Massacre: An Intimate History,” Professor Zabin will tell the story of ordinary families in an extraordinary moment. When British troops – and the families that always accompanied eighteenth-century armies – came to Boston in 1768, British politicians hoped their presence would intimidate Bostonians. Instead, soldiers and their wives put down roots, extended their families, and became inhabitants of Boston. When some soldiers shot unarmed civilians in the street seventeen months later, the rupture that followed was personal as well as political. The Boston Massacre became a clash not of strangers but of neighbors who knew each other all too well.

This talk is free and open to the public.

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