For nearly 200 years, American newspapers have chronicled the evolution of the eve of All Saints Day from religious observance into night of devilish doings. Articles brim with accounts of prayers and prognostications, banshees and bar hopping, parties and property damage, tasty confections and rumors of hidden pins, poison and razor blades. Depending on perspective, the darkening days of late autumn represent either a time of fear and dread or a chance for fun and frivolity.
Suppose there were an information source from which you could learn practically everything about how the world’s 191 countries operate? What makes these global citizens tick? Why do they do what they do?
Why, for instance, did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait in the first place? And why did some military experts and historians compare that invasion to Hitler’s conquest of Czechoslovakia in 1938? How did the 1994 civil war in Rwanda result in the massacre of half a million people? What forces keep the Middle East in perpetual turmoil?
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the initial uprising that would lead to the independence of Mexico from Spain. 2010 is also the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution of 1910, which overthrew President Porfirio Diaz. Both revolutions lasted around a decade.
The 1810 uprising is traditionally thought to have begun on September 16. This article published on December 20, 1810 in Boston’s Independent Chronicle shows how early news of the uprising was presented in the United States. It’s short and to the point.
On February 23, 1811, Baltimore’s Federal Gazette contained this translation of an article from the November 20, 1810 issue of the Spanish-language Mexico Gazette. The original article is a first-person account by Brigadier Don Felix Calleja of his actions in the field against the insurgents. Everything traveled slowly then, not just news. Publishers had no fear of reprinting materials from wherever they could get them.
Panel Chair: Chris Phillips, Lafayette College
Scholarly interest in early American religions has greatly expanded in recent years across a variety of disciplines. This panel is intended to generate discussion about how ideas about doing research on religious topics has changed, and how scholars can best use archives, both digital and physical, many of which are only newly available. The chair invites one-page proposals for 10-minute talks (not formal papers) from any field, including interdisciplinary studies.
Possible questions may include:
• What is a religious artifact?
• What can we know from what we find in the archive?
• How do issues of access (cataloging, access costs, research funding, etc.) inform or limit research in these areas?
• What might the future relationship between digital and physical collections look like?
• Do digital forms of research and delivery offer new paradigms for understanding religions?
• How do contemporary notions of religiosity and secularity affect work on early American religion?
• How do we deal with “gaps” in the archive?
• What new paradigms or metaphors, beyond recovery, reconstruction, etc., might we use in studying this topic, especially in the context of women, children, and ethnic minorities?
• What are the possibilities for studying the place of orality in American religions? How do we bring the study of religion to our students?
Please send proposals to Chris Phillips, Assistant Professor of English, Lafayette College (email@example.com) by September 20, 2010.