Valley Forge Park Alliance 2020-2021 Virtual Speaker Series

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 7:00am - Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 8:00am

First Tuesday of each month 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tuesday, October 6th
Martha S. Jones: Vanguard: How Black Women Overcame Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

Born in Central Harlem, Martha S. Jones has worked as a writer, historian, cultural commentator, and public-interest lawyer. 

Jones worked out of community-based law offices for nearly a decade before earning her Ph.D. in History. Since that time, she has taught history, law, and African American studies at the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University. 

For her academic and social justice work, Jones has received numerous fellowships and broad support from many distinguished institutions.

November 10th
Mike Cecere: General Peter Muhlenberg: A Virginia Officer of the Continental Line

Michael Cecere is a high school history teacher, avid Revolutionary War reenactor, and prolific author on Virginia during the American Revolution.

Author of a dozen books and numerous articles, Cecere travels around the country delivering talks on the American Revolution. His scholarship has deepened our understanding of the Southern campaigns of the war—particularly during the 1781 British invasion of the Chesapeake Virginia region.

December 1st
Elizabeth Fenn: Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82

Elizabeth Fenn is Distinguished Professor of Early American and Native American History at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Fenn famously traded her auto mechanic career for academia, and her Ph.D. dissertation formed the basis for Pox Americana. In 2015, she won the Pulitzer Prize or her study on Mandan Indian history from 1100 to 1845: Encounters at the Heart of the World (Hill & Wang, 2014).

Fenn’s ongoing research explores Indigenous history of the early American West.

January 5th
Kathleen Brown: "Foul Bodies": Cleanliness in Early America; Sanitization and Social Strife in the Continental Army

Kathleen Brown is the David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She has earned recognition and numerous awards for her studies of gender and race in early America and the Atlantic World.

Her second book, Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (Yale, 2009), received the Society of the History of the Early American Republic Book Prize, and the Organization of American Historians’ Lawrence Levine Book Prize for cultural history.

February 2nd
Todd Braisted: Continentals, Loyalists, and all Between: Washington's Army and the Raising of the Loyalist Provincial Corps at Philadelphia, 1777-1778

Todd Braisted is the preeminent scholar of Loyalist Studies during the American Revolution. Since 1979, he has amassed and transcribed over 40,000 pages of Loyalist-related material from archives around the world (many of them published on his website: The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies).

A Fellow in the Company of Military Historians, Braisted has authored numerous books and journal articles. His groundbreaking work covers many aspects of Loyalist provincial regiments, military infrastructure and campaigns throughout North America.

March 2nd
David S. Jones, M.D.: Rationalizing Epidemics: Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality

A doctor of psychiatry, David Jones teaches history, medical ethics, and social medicine at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.

While teaching at MIT, Jones directed the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine from 2004 to 2008—organizing a series of conferences exploring issues of race, science, and technology.

Jones’s current research explores Cold-War medical ethics and historical decision-making across different cultures, for cardiac surgery, human subjects research, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections.

April 6th
Carolyn Roberts: "African American Contributions to Medicine in 18th-Century Colonial America"

An award-winning educator, Carolyn Roberts specializing in the History of Medicine, and she holds a joint appointment in the departments of History/History of Science and Medicine and African American Studies at Yale University.

Her research interests concern Early Modern medicine and overlapping themes of race and slavery, natural history and botany, and African indigenous knowledge in the Atlantic world—illuminating case studies to question crises of race and health in the present day.

Roberts is currently working on book project, entitled: To Heal and To Harm: Medicine, Knowledge, and Power in the Atlantic Slave Trade—a full-length study of the History of Medicine in the British slave trade.

May 4th
Steven Elliott, Ph.D.: Surviving the Winters: Housing George Washington's Army and the American Revolution

Steven Elliott is an award-winning author, lecturer and educator, holding a Ph.D. in American Military History from Temple University. Through his work as a Park Guide at Morristown National Historical Park, Elliott became interested in the problem of military shelter and its impact on the conduct of Washington’s army during the War of American Independence.

He currently teaches courses on national, local, and military history at Rutgers University-Newark. Elliott’s book, Surviving the Winters: Housing George Washington’s Army and the American Revolution (University of Oklahoma Press) is slated for publication in early 2021.

June 1st
Brendon Burns: "Researching your Revolutionary War ancestor and proving their service at Valley Forge"

Brendon Burns is a team leader and staff genealogist with the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR).

Burns has extensive experience as a freelance genealogist, and his expertise includes historical knowledge of the American Revolution, types of patriotic services, and identifying their military service records.

Burns’s professional work includes review of applications for prospective and current members of the DAR society.

Event Type: 
Guest Speaker
Event Type: 
Educational Events