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Virtual Material Matters: It’s in the Details

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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 program will be offered on ZOOM and advance online registration will be required. The complete lineup of presentations and online registration will be set by November 1, 2021.

Sessions include: 

A Colonial Ceres: John Singleton Copley’s Mrs. Ezekiel Goldthwait—According to Roman mythology, the goddess Ceres affected life-sustaining transformations, albeit often beneath the soil and hidden from sight; under her jurisdiction, seeds decayed, germinated, and created a 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.

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 the 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.

Event Details

Scheduled For:

January 22, 2022 @ 10:00am12:30pm


Included with General Admission ticket.



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