2017 Program & Featured events

The full  2017 Researching New York Conference  program is now  available available to   view or download. .   The program includes more than 30 panels, workshops, and featured events. Just added-  Digital Tools for Public Historians,  a free workshop with conference registration (advance sign up requested) and Saturday workshops with continuing education credits  and one-day registration  for K-12 teachers.

Friday November 17 Lunch Keynote (require conference registration) .   Susanah Romney, New York University.  Women and the Dutch Colony:  What New Netherland Can Teach us about Intimate Networks and the Colonization of North America.    Between 1624 and 1664, a Dutch colony grew along the mid-Atlantic coast. All throughout what later became New York, Dutch newcomers, native residents, and enslaved Africans wove a series of intimate networks that reached from the West India Company slave house on Manhattan, to the Haudenosaunee longhouses along the Mohawk River, to the inns and alleys of maritime Amsterdam.  Women from all these cultures played an essential role in establishing these connections, even though they remained excluded from formal channels of power and weren’t able to participate in colonial government. By understanding the role of women in these powerful intimate networks, we can develop a new idea of how colonization first began to transform the landscape of North America.

These featured events of the annual Researching New York Conference noted below represent our commitment to public history and community engagement.  They are  free and open to the public as well as conference attendess. We invite everyone to attend!.

Thursday, November 16  7:30 PM  Page Hall,  UAlbany Downtown Campus  —  The Gargoyle Hunters. John Freeman Gill, The New York Times contributor, is the author of the debut novel The Gargoyle Hunters (2017), a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers Pick.” A deeply emotional story of a father and son and the obsession that drives their relationship, the novel solves the mystery of a brazen and seemingly impossible architectural heist. Gill, an expert on historical architecture, writes “Edifice Complex,” a monthly column in Avenue that explores the biographies of historic New York City buildings and their occupants. Cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute as part of the Visiting Writers Series..   Book Signing to follow. .

Friday, November 17, 4:00 PM New York State Museum.   Votes for Women: History and Memory of Women’s Suffrage in New York State,  A panel discussion featuring the contributors to the catalog accompanying the recent opening of the suffrage exhibit at the New York State Museum. Book Signing to Follow.

Friday November 17, 7:30 PM New York State Museum.   Aleda or The Flight of the Suff Birdwomen.   On Staten Island in 1916 pilot Leda Richberg-Hornsby and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) attempted a unique women’s suffrage demonstration.  Piloting a bi-plane with a cargo of votes-for-women petitions, and a huge banner reading “Women want liberty too,” Leda set out to fly over New York Harbor, “bombing” President Woodrow Wilson with petitions as he attended a national celebration at the Statue of Liberty. The elaborate plan was a fiasco as gale force winds necessitated a crash-landing in a Staten Island swamp (with no casualties!) – yet the attempt stands as a testimony to the courage, inventiveness, and dramatic flair of these women in their struggle for suffrage.

The noted Musicians of Ma’alwyck will premiere Aleda in June 2018. The Researching New York Conference is delighted to offer the first public performance of substantial scenes from this  newly commissioned work, along with a discussion of the history of this event, the research informing the production, and the process of translating history to performance. The performance will also include songs of suffrage as well.  A one-act chamber opera in three scenes. Music and libretto by Max Caplan; commissioned and produced by Musicians of Ma’alwyck, Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, Director

Saturday November 18,  1 PM New York State Museum.   “ ‘O Emily, How Could You?’ ”  and  Burden of the Ballot.   “I have just been reading your letter over and am taken aback to see what I had taken for Suffrage Society is Anti-Suffrage Society—O Emily, how could you? How could you go four years through Smith, and take psychology and sociology courses galore… and then turn around and go and be recording secretary for the Anti-Suffrage Society?  ”    On October 14, 1915, Dorry Scribner wrote these words to her one-time college roommate, Emily Rankin.    How could a woman, indeed, an educated woman, oppose her own enfranchisement? Why did Emily cast her lot with the anti- suffragists—even serving as the Recording Secretary for the Albany chapter of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage? What motivated Emily’s anti-suffrage stance?

In discussion and performance Deborah Emmons-Andarawis, Curator at Historic Cherry Hill and writer director Krysta  Dennis, Siena College Theatre faculty, draw on photographs, letters, diaries, artifacts, and more from the collections at Historic Cherry Hill, to richly document Emily’s life and illuminate the larger forces that helped shape her opinions—examining  Emily’s early life as a  Van Rensselaer descendent, her education, the influences of progressive womanhood,  her place in  Albany’s elite society, and the larger socio- political climate of the time.