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Civil War

Online Discussions of Revolutionary Theater and Civil War Statuary

Here are a couple of online historical events coming up this week.

The Massachusetts Historical Society hosts the next session of the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar on Tuesday, 6 October. Prof. Heather S. Nathans of Tufts University has shared a paper titled “‘Our Turn Next’: Slavery and Freedom on French and American Stages, 1789-99.”

As the French abolitionist movement gathered momentum alongside the Revolution, Parisians could have seen hundreds of theatrical performances on themes related to race and slavery. By contrast, the American stage grappled with the choice to perpetuate a slave system within a democracy. Some performances hinted at slavery’s cruelty, some depicted newly-freed black characters living happily alongside whites, and others proposed returning blacks to the continent as the solution for a dilemma Thomas Jefferson described as holding “a wolf by the ears.” This paper explores the black revolutionary figure on the U.S. and French stages during the last decade of the eighteenth century, as both nations struggled to put their principles of universal freedom into practice.

Jeffrey Ravel of M.I.T. will comment on the paper, and then attendees can submit questions through by chat or video.

This seminar is scheduled to run from 5:15 to 6:30 P.M. Attendees must register in advance. This event is free, but to get a P.D.F. of Prof. Nathans’s paper and others in the series I recommend the $25 subscription.

On Wednesday, 7 October, Historic New England will host an online talk titled “Monuments, Memory, and Racial Justice” by Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders.

Historically, African American engagement with Civil War legacy has spiked during broad social movements and periods of civil unrest. The calls to remove Confederate monuments in the wake of the 2015 massacre at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., therefore cannot be viewed simply as a reaction to that one specific incident. They were a product of the broader, ongoing Black Lives Matter movement that was founded in 2013, which has longstanding ties to local anti-monument organizing. Conversations about local history and public commemoration beyond the Civil War are increasingly becoming part of community-wide goals toward racial justice and antiracism.

Dr. Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an Assistant Professor of African American History at the University of Dayton. Her online talk will cover the historical legacy of Civil War monuments and why the current movement centered on racial justice has spread to conflicts over historical memory and the commemorative landscape all across the nation.

This event costs $15, less for Historic New England members. Register here.

(The picture above shows the burning of Boston’s first theater on Federal Street in 1798, only five years after its controversial opening. It had become so popular that it was rebuilt by the end of the year and remained a landmark for decades.)

Phishing Threats, Mary Speed (Jones) Mercer, Protests Support, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 11, 2020


PR Newswire: Cofense Launches Free Resource Center and Searchable Database Highlighting the Latest Phishing Attacks that Bypass Email Security Technologies . “Cofense®, the global leader in intelligent phishing defense solutions, today launched a comprehensive resource center and easy-to-use Real Phishing Threats searchable database to help organizations see the phishing threats that slip past their secure email gateways (SEG).”

State Archives of North Carolina: New NCDC Addition: Mary Speed (Jones) Mercer Papers. “In support of the She Changed the World initiative, the North Carolina Digital Collections has a new addition to our collections now available for viewing. The Mary Speed (Jones) Mercer Papers are digitized and can be found in the Civil War digital collection.”

Brooklyn Paper: Brooklyn Arts Organizations Open Their Spaces To Protesters. “Brooklyn theater and cultural institutions have started opening their buildings and offering snacks, water, and other resources to protesters marching around the borough decrying the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer…. An online database called Open Your Lobby has logged and promoted many of these efforts, with maps and spreadsheets detailing what organizations are offering and at what times on what days. The group provides regular updates tailored to where protests are happening across the country.”


Tech & Learning: 4 Best Free and Easy Audio Recording Tools for Google Slides. “You see, even though we can now add audio to a Google slideshow, there isn’t a simple built-in recording button. Instead you need to record the audio separately with another program, then save it to Drive, and then add it to a slide. So that brings up the big question: What are some easy ways to record audio? When using my Windows PC, I can use a free program such as Audacity. Students often will be using Chromebooks, so we need some web-based options. We are going to take a look at four excellent, free options for recording audio right in your web browser, and then how to add that audio to Google Slides.”

ZDNet: Best free video streaming services in 2020: Crackle, IMDb TV, Pluto TV, and more. “There are currently 11 good free services to try, and good old-fashioned over-the-air (OTA) antenna TV. Yes, you do have to put up with commercials on all of these — and there’s not a DVR features to be seen — but they are free. With so many selections to choose from, I can guarantee you’ll find something to watch that won’t hurt your pocketbook by even a single penny.”


CNN: Scientists backed by Zuckerberg’s foundation urge him to change stance on Trump posts. “More than 140 scientists who have received funding and support from Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic organization wrote to the Facebook CEO Saturday expressing concern about how he handled President Donald Trump’s posts on the platform.”

Bangkok Post: Shuttered Zoom accounts raise China free speech fears. “Several Zoom meetings involving Chinese users were ‘disrupted’, the video messaging app acknowledged Thursday, after activists in the United States and Hong Kong revealed discussions on the platform of Beijing’s deadly Tiananmen crackdown had been closed down.”


BetaNews: Protocol flaws leave 5G and other mobile networks open to vulnerabilities. “Vulnerabilities affecting mobile and 5G networks are putting industrial equipment, smart homes, and city infrastructure at risk according to a new report. Produced by Positive Technologies, this is the fourth in a series of reports on the greatest threats and vulnerabilities in the mobile ecosystem. It highlights the cyber security risks to networks that originate with the GTP protocol — which is used to transmit user data and control traffic on 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.”


MilitarySpot: ‘Digital Twins’ to Enable 3D Printing on Battlefield. “The Army wants to make three-dimensional models of all its replacement parts available online so that Soldiers deployed downrange will eventually be able to 3D print them, said its top acquisition official.”

EurekAlert: Online romance scams: A modern form of fraud. “Over the last 20 years, the rapid development of digital communication technology has given rise to new forms of social interaction on social media. Digital communication technologies can overcome physical, social and psychological barriers in building romantic relationships. Around 1400, dating sites/chats have been created over the last decade in North America alone. Solely in the UK, 23% of Internet users have met someone online with whom they had a romantic relationship for a certain period and that even 6% of married couples met through the web.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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