OI Coffeehouse

Announcing the fall 2021 “Tables”

September 20, 2021

We are pleased to announce the following tables for fall 2021.

Requests for seats will be accepted through Friday, October 1, 2021. Each seat costs $35.


Tables will be announced Monday, October 11, 2021.

The coffeehouse will open for business the week of October 18, 2021 and continue as follows:

  • October 18
  • October 25
  • November 1
  • November 8
  • November 15
  • [pause for Thanksgiving break]
  • November 29
  • December 7
  • December 14


Disability History and Historical Thinking in the Vast Early Americas

Laurel Daen (Univ. Notre Dame) and Stefanie Hunt-Kennedy (Univ. of New Brunswick)

Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 AM

This table gathers together scholars interested in the history of disability—as a concept, category, and lived experience—in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America from the pre-Columbian period to the early nineteenth century. We welcome people in any stage of research on these or related topics as well as those who simply want to learn more. Based on the preferences of our tablemates, we may hold this space for writing, conversation, or sharing works in progress. Most of all, we are excited to connect with one another and support research in this growing field. 

What’s new in Vast Early American environmental history?

Mary S. Draper (Midwestern State Univ.), Jacqueline C. Reynoso (California State Univ. Channel Islands), and Erin B. Kramer (Trinity Univ.)

Thursdays 2:00-3:30 PM

This coffeehouse will bring together scholars working on environmental history, broadly conceived. The field has expanded and transformed over the past two decades to encompass spatial and climate histories, environmental racism, the roles of non-human actors, and so much more. In this table, we will take stock of these developments and discuss how to apply these methodologies to our own research. Join us for seminar-style discussions of common readings as well as workshops for works-in-progress. We welcome all scholars, from those who are beginning new projects related to environmental history to those who are already well-established in the field. 

Archival Fragments, Experimental Modes—continued (This table is closed to further applications.)

Sara E. Johnson (Univ. of California, San Diego) and Sarah Knott (Indiana Univ.)

Fridays Noon-2:00 PM

First convened in February 2021, this table brings together scholars interested in exploring the methods and forms in which we write when confronted by the limits of the archive. As scholars of vast early America, we can draw particular inspiration from women’s, indigenous and enslaved histories. We are also inspired by recent developments in scholarly modes from across the Humanities. These might include critical fabulation; the history of the present; what Maggie Nelson calls “presencing” (in which the writer is present in the text); or other styles, methods, and genres brought by group members.

Stuff in Vast Early America

Morgan McCullough (Omohundro Institute)

Tuesdays 3:00-4:40 PM

If objects get your analytical brain whirling, this coffeehouse table is for you. This table will explore the field of material culture. As a group we will set a schedule for friendly and supportive discussions of published scholarship, object studies, and works in progress.  This table will create a space to improve how we think and write about stuff in vast early America.

Connecting North America and Australasia in an Imperial Age, 1750-1850

Annemarie McLaren (Univ. of Notre Dame, Australia) and Kate Fullagar (Australian Catholic Univ.)

Thursdays 7:00-8:30 PM

We welcome scholars engaged in the connections between North America and the Australasian world zone during the age of escalating imperialism, 1750-1850. Histories of North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific during this critical era still tend to look inwards or at most to their nearest region. We seek to develop emerging interests in the connections between northern American and southern Pacific sites in order to define more clearly the global imperial context shaping each zone. Topics may include connections in the modes of Indigenous resistance; in the meanings of ‘chieftainship’; in the experience of imperial governors; in understandings of revolutionary settlerism; in the forms of material diplomacy (especially medallions and breastplates); in legal arrangements regarding sovereignty (treaties or the lack thereof); or in types of artistic practice (notably portraiture).  Our foremost goal is to work towards a Special Issue on this topic, possibly a co-publication between an American and Australian journal. We also encourage, though, any scholar trying to complete a piece on a related topic. Our meetings will involve a combination of reading recent published work, discussing works-in-progress, and outlining a potential Special Issue.