Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Vast Early America Lecture

The Omohundro Institute is a proud member of the William & Mary community.

Several OI staff members are also professors at William & Mary, and each year graduate students in the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History and the American Studies program join the OI as part of the editoral apprentice program. The annual colloquia series, Council and WMQ Prize lectures, and Williamsburg-centered conferences all are designed with the William & Mary campus community in mind.

In conjunction with the Departments of History and English at William & Mary, as well as the Africana Studies and American Studies programs, the Omohundro Institute established a new annual lecture series, the Vast Early America Lecture in 2016.

The series features an OI author whose work has strong cross-disciplinary appeal to scholars of history, literature, gender and sexuality, race and identity, and cultural studies. While created with the William & Mary student and faculty community in mind, the lecture is open to all.

The first Vast Early America Lecture took place on September 19, 2016. Miles P. Grier, Assistant Professor of English, Queens College, City University of New York, gave a talk titled “Inkface: or, Learning to Read Racial Character in the English Atlantic.” Professor Grier’s talk blended aspects of the history of slavery, tattooing, stage cosmetics, and the properties of inks and dyes—as they bear on day-to-day life in England’s Atlantic empire.