The Eleventh Annual “Material Matters: It’s in the Details” conference takes place online on January 22, 2022. This conference is on material culture spanning 1609-1815.
This conference is only available online through Fort Ticonderoga’s Center for Digital History, streaming through Zoom Webinars. A laptop, tablet, or smartphone is required to participate in the conference.
Advanced registration is required. You can register online by selecting the “Register Now” button below or by printing out the Brochure PDF, completing the registration form, and returning it by mail to the address provided in the brochure. You must be registered by noon on January 21st to participate.
Participants will receive a Zoom link three days before the conference by email (a reminder link will be sent the morning of the conference as well).
Participants are invited to ask questions of each presenter using the “Q&A” button in Zoom.
Program Schedule (subject to change)
10:00 am Welcome
10:15-10:45 am Springerle Moulds as Edible Testimonies of Military Experience—This presentation dwells on the representation of military experience on the springerle moulds from the 18th century onwards, both in Europe and in the United States, with a special focus on military outfits and military ceremonies. Cezara Bobeica defended her Ph.D. dissertation in January 2021 at the University of Strasbourg, France. Her interest lies in the iconography and the symbolism of the Renaissance with a particular interest in emblematics. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant and is pursuing her research on foodways and material culture in migration in collaboration with the German Cultural Centre in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
11:00-11:30 am A Colonial Ceres: John Singleton Copley’s Mrs. Ezekiel Goldthwait—According to Roman mythology, the goddess Ceres effected life-sustaining transformations, albeit often beneath the soil and hidden from sight; under her jurisdiction, seeds decayed, germinated, and created new life. This presentation proposes that Copley’s 1771 portrait of Mrs. Ezekiel Goldthwait, the wife of an elite New England merchant, depicts a sitter who has metamorphosed into a colonial Ceres, exuding visual characteristics of abundance, pastoralism, and cyclic continuity. A former high-school Latin teacher, Deborah Fisher recently received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Penn State University. She serves full-time in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as a Logistics Officer.
11:30 am-12:00 pm Lunch Break
12:00-12:45 pm KEYNOTE: Letters of a Canadian Woman: Material Culture and Identity in the Writings of Madame Bégon, 1748-1753—Sister, wife, mother, and aunt to a succession of French colonial military officers and civilian officials, Madame Bégon (1696-1755) of Montreal and later Rochefort is best known for the voluminous correspondence she maintained with her son-in-law in New Orleans between 1748 and 1753. Drawing from her trans-Atlantic letters and a cross-section of contemporary images and objects, this talk will address themes including self-fashioning, cross-cultural entanglement, and the struggle for empire in North America. Philippe Halbert is a Ph.D. candidate in history of art at Yale University and the 2021-2022 Barra Dissertation Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
1:00-1:30pm Secrets and Surprises from Fort Ticonderoga’s Textile Collection—Fort Ticonderoga is known for many things, but one of its great secrets is the extensive, and diverse collection of textiles. Primarily military dress, the collection nevertheless has an interesting range of 18th– and 19th-century textiles, many of which are being cataloged and studied for the first time. Join Fort Ticonderoga’s curator Dr. Matthew Keagle to explore some of the hidden surprises and interesting construction details in this fascinating collection.