Recharting Penn's Woods: The Early American Mid-Atlantic (July 18-21, 2015 Chicago IL)

full name / name of organization: 
Society of Early Americanists/Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
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Since the 1939 publication of Perry Miller's classic The New England Mind early Americanists have acknowledged the fundamental role New English Puritanism played in the subsequent development of American culture. Scholars like Edmund Morgan, Sacvan Bercovitch, Andrew Delbanco and many others have placed New England at the center of the development of American identity. Yet in the past generation other scholars have broadened an understanding of regionalism in the construction of American nation-hood, with many focusing on the polyglot, multiethnic and religiously non-conformist colonies of New York, New Jersey, and especially Pennsylvania. This panel planned for the Society of Early Americanists and the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture joint conference scheduled for July 18-21, 2015 and to be held in Chicago Illinois asks for papers that help to recontextualize the central role that the middle colonies held in the future development of American culture. How did the Mid-Atlantic contribute to later understandings of religious pluralism and multiculturalism? Potential topics could include Mid-Atlantic religious culture, including discussions of the Society of Friends, Moravians, German pietism, Dutch Reformed churches, Anabaptists including the Brethren as well as the Amish and Mennonites, as well as smaller sects including the Ephrata colonists and the Society of the Women in the Wilderness, and general religious culture from the first to the second Great Awakenings. Other papers could examine the history of European colonialism in the Mid-Atlantic from the English, Dutch, and Swedish, as well as interactions with native populations including the Lenape and the Iroquois, racial conflicts such as those involving the Paxton Boys or Pontiac's siege on Fort Pitt, German Pennsylvanians, Huguenot immigration to Pennsylvania and Delaware, Presbyterian immigration on the western frontier, linguistic diversity in the Mid-Atlantic, military history including the Seven Years War and the Revolutionary War, as well as Mid-Atlantic writers including Benjamin Franklin, Charles Brockden Brown, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Benjamin Banneker, and Francis Daniel Pastorius among others. Please send a 300 word abstract and a one-page CV to Ed Simon of Lehigh University ( by September 10, 2014. CVs must include mailing and email addresses as well as phone numbers. Participants will be informed of acceptance within a week, if the panel has been accepted participants will be informed sometime after September 15.