The Historical Society of Pennsylvania will present its first annual Balch Symposium, "Strangers in the Land of Strangers: Defining American in Times of Conflict," Monday, April 22, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, in honor of Dr. John Tenhula and his decade of leadership at The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies. Presentations by seven noted scholars will explore how times of trouble have stretched and challenged meanings of “American,” and strained principles of democracy and freedom for the diverse population of the United States. A related exhibit with the same title opens Thursday, April 18, and will be on view at 1300 Locust St. through October 2002. Admission to the symposium is free. To reserve a seat at the symposium call 215-732-6200 ext. 412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Admission to the exhibit only, throughout its run, is $1.
The first three presentations of the symposium will consider fundamental conflicts and founding ideas. John Smolenski, from the University of California at Davis, will discuss how a violent 1763 uprising against Indians by frontiersmen in western Pennsylvania resulted in the exclusion of Indian cultures and peoples from the white civic community. Lori Ginzberg, from Pennsylvania State University, will question how ordinary women could claim citizenship in 19th-century New York. Robert Dunne, of Central Connecticut State University, will trace the origins of nativist groups in the 1840s and their conflicts with Irish Catholic immigrants.
Three afternoon presentations will examine patriotism and ethnicity in a more contemporary context. Katharine Jones, a sociologist at Philadelphia University, will talk about the continuing impact of American “anglophilia” on immigrant from England and elsewhere. Gary Okihiro, a historian from Columbia University, will explore the United States’ 20th-century wars in Asia spurred Asian-Americans at home to defend both themselves and democratic principles. Matthew Lyons, an independent scholar and staff member at the Historical Society, will examine the conflicting responses of right-wing populist movements to historical and contemporary calls for patriotic unity.
The symposium will conclude with a special presentation and discussion led by John Tenhula, currently president of International House in Philadelphia, and former president of The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies. Dr. Tenhula, guest of honor at the symposium, will present his reflections, entitled, “Hospitality and Hostility: the Two American Traditions,” and invite the audience to explore the issues raised by this and other presentations for our vision of the past, present, and future.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, including The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, documents, preserves and shares the histories and cultures of the diverse communities in the Greater Philadelphia region, across Pennsylvania, and throughout the nation. The Society brings together people and documents to explore and interpret history, enriching the lives of the individuals and communities drawn to the stories of the United States and its people. The merger of the Balch Institute into the Society was approved by Orphans’ Court in December 2001 and is now being implemented.
Historical Society of Pennsylania
1300 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 732-6200 ext. 246
Fax: (215) 732-2680 Email: email@example.com Visit the website at http://www.hsp.org
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