Lectures

Below you will find upcoming lectures and events from the Albany Institute of History and Art

LECTURE Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History

16+: Sunday, September 29 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Guest speaker is Dr. Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland

Albany has Hamilton-mania! Everyone’s talking about the Tony-winning musical and many of us have the triple-platinum cast album playing on repeat. Its crafty lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story have even rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton: the Musical puts center stage. In this talk Dr. Bell explores this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show-business. We’ll learn what this amazing musical gets right and gets wrong about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United Sates and about why all that matters. We will examine some of the choices Hamilton’s creators made to simplify, dramatize, and humanize the complicated events and stories on which the show is based. We will also talk about Hamilton’s cultural impact: what does its runaway success reveal about the stories we tell each other about who we are and about the nation we made?    

Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Rick has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the 2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. Rick has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Rick is the author of two books, one about the history of suicide in America, the other, which is due out in October 2019 is about kidnapping and slavery in the early United States. It’s title is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their  Astonishing Odyssey Home.

  • Albany Institute Members- Free
  • Siena Students and Faculty- Free (use Member Rate at checkout)
  • General Public- $10.00

Seating is limited and registration is required. 

This lecture is being held in Roger Bacon Hall (Key Auditorium) at Siena College

Sponsored by Siena College's McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution

PUBLIC PROGRAM Schuyler Social: Afternoon Tea

General: Saturday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Culinary Historian and Independent Scholar Lavada Nahon will discuss discuss the importance of the Afternoon Tea in the 18th century. A tasting of period delights will accompany the talk.

A fashionable time in the late afternoon, tea allowed social graces and status a place to shine. For members of the upper class, like the Schuyler sisters, the possibilities of how this time was spent spans from family time to a grand occasion with music, dancing, cards, and more. In any case, the tastes, equipage, and of course the tea, would be the best colonial society had to offer. Lavada Nahon will present on the colonial tradition of the afternoon gathering called “Tea” with visual examples from the mid-Atlantic region. Participants will enjoy a tasting of period delights, created from the receipt collection of the Van Rensselaer family including, cookies, tarts, cakes, and tea.

$15.00 members, $20.00 non-members. Space is limited to 60 people. Registration is required.

LECTURE: The Power of Objects in 18th Century British America

General: Sunday, October 6 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Guest speaker is Dr. Jennifer Van Horn, Assistant Professor of Art History and History, University of Delaware

Over the course of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Americans purchased an unprecedented number and array of goods. In this talk Dr. Van Horn willinvestigate these diverse artifacts—from portraits and city views to gravestones, dressing furniture, and prosthetic devices—to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire.

  • Included with museum admission

LECTURE Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early Republic

General: Sunday, October 27 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Guest speaker is Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History and Politics, Marymount University

The question of whether friendships between men and women are possible was embedded in and debated as far back as the birth of the American nation. Many of the nation’s founding fathers had female friends but popular rhetoric held that these relationships were fraught with social danger, if not impossible. In this talk Good explore friendships between men and women which were quite common at a time when personal relationships were deeply political.

  • Included with museum admission