Academic Proposals, Presentations, Research

SHEAR 2013 Paper, “Spaces of Reform: Transatlantic Quakerism, the ‘Insane,’ and Publicizing Humanitarian Advocacy”

Society for Historians of the Early American Republic banner, courtesy

Take a cue from Mark Cheathem (who I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to meet while in St. Louis, but who posted his paper in advance of the conference), I thought I’d post the paper that I presented during the Sunday Morning session entitled, “Illness and the Institution: The Relationship between Health and Reform Asylums.”

(Have a look at the entire program, which had a number of terrific sessions that I really enjoyed and from which I learned a lot).

Now, I wasn’t as expeditious as Mark was at getting my paper out to the world in advance of its grand unveiling bright and early Sunday morning, which I’ll attribute to a case of “last-minute-fine-tuning/revision-itis” – a really nasty scourge. In any event, I really enjoyed getting the chance to share my research in this type of venue and get good feedback and questions from the audience. Moreover, the mix of senior scholars and graduate students at the conference was really nice and I was great to talk with and get feedback from experts in my topic about potential sources, further questions to consider, and directions to take.

Kathryn Tomasek of Wheaton College live-tweeted our session and I was interesting to go back and see her take on my paper and major points. She also had a number of good follow-up questions and suggestions for me after our session, which I greatly appreciated. (P.S. Sorry I wasn’t able to embed the image of her tweets directly into this post; unfortunately, I was foiled by the technical sophistication of Storify, which has a pretty cool interface, but doesn’t play nice with WordPress shortcodes. Sigh.)

Thanks again to Jamalin Harp for putting our session together, to James Watkinson for presiding, and John Murray for commenting and providing such useful synthesis and critiques.