Massachusetts Historical Society


2024 Conference: Conrad E. Wright Research Conference on Citizenship

The Conrad E. Wright Conference series was endowed by The Honorable Levin H. Campbell in honor of Conrad Edick Wright, former Director of Research and Sibley Editor.


July 11-13, 2024



The centennial of both the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 and Immigration Act of 1924 offers an opportunity to explore the intersection of two subjects that have not always been considered alongside each other. However, as both scholars of Native American and U.S. immigration history grapple with the legacies of settler colonialism in their respective fields, the links between the aforementioned pieces of legislation come into clearer focus. Recent scholarship points out that the “peopling” of the United States not only occurred through the forces of international migration, but also reflects the incorporation of Indigenous peoples, forced or enslaved migrants from Africa and elsewhere, and the movement of borders that turned people into newcomers regardless of whether or not they actually moved. The degree to which those groups were included or excluded from citizenship, cultural “membership,” or even the right to remain in the nation has however varied widely. This conference will bring together scholars to explore the broad themes associated with citizenship and other variations of national belonging reflected in both the pieces of landmark legislation featured here.

The conference and workshop will take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society and Suffolk University in Boston on 11-13 July 2024. The panels and presentations will take place on 11-12 July with the teacher workshop on 13 July.

Conference Steering Committee



Thursday, July 11
Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston

Registration/Reception, Dowse Library

Keynote Panel, Red Room

Friday, July 12
Suffolk University, Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont Street, Boston

Panel 1, Room 285

Commenter: Samantha Seeley

Panel 2, Room 295

Commenter: Lila Teeters


Panel 3, Room 285

Commenter: TBD

Panel 4, Room 295


Panel 5, Room 285

Commenter: Maria K. John

Panel 6, Room 295

Commenter: Brenden Rensink


Panel 7, Room 295

Commenter: Marcia Zug

Saturday, July 13
Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston

Teacher Workshop

K-12 Teacher Workshop

As an organization that operates within academia and the public history arena, the Massachusetts Historical Society both champions important scholarship and supports vital public history initiatives like professional development for K-12 instruction. This conference will serve both constituencies—scholars and K-12 educators—by providing a platform to consider how the classroom serves as a key site of historical representation. Teachers will be invited to attend the traditional academic sessions, and scholars in turn will be invited to participate in a concluding teacher workshop at the end of the conference. We encourage participation from scholars who are eager to engage with and learn from K-12 educators, as well as teachers who are looking to incorporate the latest scholarship into the classroom.

2023 Conference: Empire and its Discontent, 1763-1773

December 1-2, 2023




The David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society intend to host a conference on the theme “Empire and Its Discontent” at the Massachusetts Historical Society on December 1 and 2, 2023. This conference is part of a series of interdisciplinary and international meetings designed to re-examine the origins, course and consequences of the American Revolution. Our 2023 meetings mark the 260th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years’ War and the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. We intend to use this gathering to examine the British empire at its moment of great triumph, in 1763, with its enemies defeated and its control spreading from India to the Mississippi; and again at 1773, with its control beginning to slip away in North America as a radical mobilization began against imperial power.


There is no fee, but registration is required. To attend, please email Assistant Director of Research Cassie Cloutier ( to be added to the registration list. Please also note which days you wish to attend and any dietary restrictions you may have.

There is limited space for Day 1 of the conference and we are currently at capacity for Day 2 of the conference. If you would like to be placed on the waitlist, please e-mail Cassie Cloutier ( If space becomes available, we will contact the names on the list on Thursday, November 30.


Friday, December 1


Panel 1: Imperial Administration

Moderator: Frank Cogliano, University of Edinburgh


Opening Reception


Opening Keynote: Could the Empire Have Been Saved?

Moderator: Brendan McConville, Boston University

Saturday, December 2




Panel 2: Global Margins and Peripheries

Moderator: Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire




Panel 3: Fringes and Frontiers

Moderator: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College




Panel 4: Commerce, Culture, and its Discontent

Moderator: Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware




Wrap up / Spilling the tea with:

Moderator: Patrick Spero, George Washington Presidential Library, Mt. Vernon

Conference Publications

Since its first conference volume on American Unitarianism, issued in 1989, the MHS has made the scholarship developed through its conferences widely and permanently available to the field.

The MHS publication series Studies in American History and Culture comprises many of these volumes. More recently, MHS conference volumes published by other presses have given our conference scholarship an even wider reach. Peruse these essay collections.

Past Conferences

Learn more about past conferences here.

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