Call for papers: American Freemasonry

The National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts (USA) announces a call for papers for its first biannual symposium, 'New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism', to be held on Friday, April 9, 2010 at the Museum.
The National Heritage Museum is an American history museum founded and supported by Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the US. As the repository of the largest collection of American Masonic and fraternal objects, books and manuscripts in the United States, the Museum aims to foster new research on American fraternalism and to encourage the use of its scholarly resources.

The symposium seeks to present the newest research on American fraternal groups from the past through the present day. By 1900, over 250 American fraternal groups existed, numbering six million members. The study of their activities and influence in the United States, past and present, offers the potential for new interpretations of American society and culture. Diverse perspectives on this topic are sought; proposals are invited from a broad range of research areas or any combination of disciplines, and may forcus on any time periods. Possible topics include:

• Comparative studies of American fraternalism and European or other international forms of fraternalism
• Prince Hall Freemasonry and other African-American fraternal groups
• Ethnically- and religiously-based fraternal groups
• Fraternal groups for women or teens
• Role of fraternal groups in social movements
• The material culture of Freemasonry and fraternalism
• Anti-Masonry and anti-fraternal movements, issues and groups
• Fraternal symbolism and ritual
• The expression of Freemasonry and fraternalism through art, music, and literature
• Approaches to Freemasonry – from disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transnational perspectives; the historiography and methodology of the study of American fraternalism

Proposals for papers of 30 minutes are welcomed. These should include an abstract (max. 400 words), c.v. (max. 2 pages), affiliation and full contact details of the speaker. Deadline for submissions is August 15, 2009. Contact address: mrs. Aimee E. Newell, Senior Curator of Collections, National Heritage Museum, anewell@monh.org.

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