Friday, April 11, 2014

Tweets From OAH Session on the American Enlightenment

Here are my tweets.  This was an interesting panel. I will try to write a blog post on it soon. Stay tuned.

Read from the bottom in order to see the Tweets in chronological order.  For more about the panel click here.  For responses, retweets, live links, and favorites check out #oah2014 or @johnfea1

  1. Joyce Chaplin shocked that people teach the Enlightenment in their classes. Wow.
  2. Discussion on teaching the Enlightenment in America. I once gave this a shot.
  3. Dallett Hemphill from floor: After listening to this panel she doesn't see anything really new about the state of the field.
  4. Chaplin says no one wins prizes writing intellectual history. Ouch. Tell that to George Marsden or Louis Menand.
  5. Torre: The "natural" speaks to American Enlightenment in the way "sociability" and "virtue" speak to the Scottish Enlightenment.
  6. Jose Torre: Perhaps "the natural" might be a way to focus the Enlightenment in America. Natural rights, natural science, etc...
  7. Chaplin: Any new synthetic work of the Enlightenment in America must talk a lot about slavery."
  8. Question from floor: Scottish Enlightenment driven by pursuit of virtue and sociability. What about in America?
  9. Jose Torre: Even 18th century skeptics draw their epistemology from some kind of benevolent God. He is right.
  10. Question from floor: What about Enlightenment and religion? What about church and state and state's bills of rights?
  11. Meranze: A lot of two-way movement between colonies/U.S. and Europe. Not just European Enlightenment in America
  12. Chaplin: "Transatlantic" is a good start, but what about the influence of the non-western world on the Enlightenment?
  13. Jose Torre: When did "the nation" start to be used as a category to define an Enlightenment narrative?
  14. Waldstreicher: Enlightenment as transatlantic gets us around the Revolution, but at same time it is used to define the Revolution
  15. Waldstreicher wants to bring discussion back to the transatlantic nature of the Enlightenment. Role of transmission is key here.
  16. Debate between Meranze and Opal on the brutality of slavery. Not sure how it is connected to this broader discussion.
  17. Opal: Enlightenment should be a category, but agrees with Chaplin that is could be attached to environment--swamps.
  18. Chaplin: Need to connect Enlightenment to environmental history.
  19. makes a passionate defense of the Enlightenment as a useful construct
  20. David Waldstreicher making a connection between historians and literary critics in the way they handle the Enlightenment
  21. No local Enlightenment? Jaffe, Landsman, Opal? I hope Jason will speak up and say something here.
  22. Jose Torre: Enlightenment is always defined as positive in nature. I tried to argue that this was not the case for PV Fithian
  23. Jason Opal: The Enlightenment is about making life less miserable.
  24. Meranze: May focused on Christianity in his 1976 book because the Enlightenment was always understood in Europe as secular.
  25. Meranze is defending Henry May against critics who call it a top-down work of intellectual history.
  26. Henry May was just mentioned by Joyce Finally. @oah2014
  27. Joyce Chaplin: Most early Americanists think the Enlightenment has to be treated as "top-down" history. They are out of touch.
  28. This session is 20 minutes in and no one has mentioned Henry May yet. How can this be?
  29. Sitting next to Ben Carp. Told me about a new piece on Enlightenment by John Dixon forthcoming.
  30. Meranze: Not sure we need a new book on Enlightenment, but do need one on the Revolution. What?
  31. Knott: Early Americanists doing best work on social world of Enlightenment, but do not seem interested in high Enlightenment.
  32. Sarah Knott says we need a big book on the American Enlightenment. I wonder if this is because Henry May has been so successful.
  33. Zagarri asks: Are American historians hostile to the category of the Enlightenment?
  34. Rosemarie Zagarri is introducing the panel on the Trans-Atlantic Enlightenment. She is going to run a free-wheeling Q&A