Current Interest: New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism

March-April 2010

The National Heritage Museum/Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library is sponsoring a symposium titled, “New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism.” The latest research on American fraternalism, from the past to the present day will be presented. Many outstanding scholars on the subject are featured speakers.

The day will open with 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. 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.

Six scholars from the United States, Canada, and Britain will fill the day’s program:
• Damien Amblard, doctoral student, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, “French Counter-Enlightenment Intellectuals and American Antimasonry: A Transatlantic Approach, 1789-1800”
• 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, “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”
• Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan – Flint, “Brothers of a Vow: Secret Fraternal Orders in Antebellum Virginia”
• Kristofer Allerfeldt, Exeter University, “Nationalism, Masons, Klansmen and Kansas in the 1920s”

Funded in part by the Supreme Council, NMJ, there is a registration fee of $50. For more information contact Claudia Roche at croche@monh.org or call at (781) 861–6559, ext. 4142. Registration deadline is March 24, 2010.