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Uncommon Sense


By oieahc · July 12, 2017

Welcome the 2017 Scholars' Workshop

fellowships 5 min read

The 2017 Scholars’ Workshop has convened in Williamsburg. Thanks to the Lapidus Initiative, six scholars are braving the heat to work on book and article projects with the OI’s editorial staff.

Zack Dorner is a lecturer in history at Stanford University. He is working on a chapter from his book project on the globalization of British medicines in the long eighteenth century. The chapter considers how settlements dependent on unfree labor came to account for the majority of medicine exports from London. Examples from EIC settlements in South Asia, exporters in London, and Caribbean plantations connect labor conditions and populations of unfree migrants to trends in British medicine supply at a time of expanding empire and changing ideas about bodies, disease, and treatment.

Kara French is assistant professor of history and director of gender and sexuality studies at Salisbury University. She is revising the first chapter in of her book manuscript, Against Sex: Identities of Sexual Restraint in Early America. Her research concerns how Shakers, Catholic priests and nuns, and the followers of Sylvester Graham de-naturalized the assumed naturalness of sex within marriage during the early nineteenth century.

Kate Johnston is an assistant professor of history at Beloit College. Her manuscript examines race, health, and the environment in British Atlantic plantation societies during the eighteenth century. At the Scholars’ Workshop, Kate is revising her first chapter, which focuses on the rhetoric and experience of climate in the seventeenth-century Caribbean, and the transition to an enslaved labor force.

While at the Omohundro Kate Mulry, assistant professor of history at California State University in Bakersfield, is working on an article entitled, “‘They Will Mix and Interchange their Colours’: Inoculating Sap and Blood in the Eighteenth-Century Anglo Atlantic.” This article tackles several interconnected concepts linking the natural, medical and racial history of the eighteenth century Atlantic World. It examines debates among authors of gardening texts, farmers, Native Americans, physicians, colonial officials, and members of the Royal Society about how qualities and traits were inherited or transmitted from one plant to another and inherited across generations. At stake in debates about the mechanisms and modes of the transmission of color in plant bodies, such as blue-kernelled corn in fields on Martha’s Vineyard and yellow-striped jasmine flowers in elite gardens in London, were explanations for analogous processes of transmission in human bodies.

Tamika Nunley, assistant professor of history at Oberlin College, is working on a chapter titled, “Federal City: Slavery, Geography and the Makings of a National Capital” for her book manuscript about enslaved and free black women and geography in Washington, D.C.

Noel Smyth, lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, is working on revising the second chapter of his book project into a potential journal article. The article examines the aftermath of a war between the French and Natchez in colonial Louisiana in 1731 in which the French enslaved hundreds of Natchez and shipped them to Saint Domingue. Noel analyzes the trace records of Natchez slaves in Saint Domingue and place the history of Natchez displacement and enslavement in larger Atlantic World histories. The chapter comes out of his larger book project on the Natchez that focuses on how they survived as a diasporic people in disparate locations across the southeast and the Atlantic World.


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