Due to the corona pandemic measures, the Leiden-Mayflower400 conference will be held online.
Four Nations Commemoration, 1620-2020: The Pilgrims and the Politics of Memory
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America. Of the one hundred English “Pilgrims” undertaking the 1620 voyage, fifty hailed from Leiden, the Netherlands, where they had lived as religious refugees since 1609. The Mayflower voyage and the foundation of Plymouth Colony have become linked with origin narratives of the United States, which ignore not only the Pilgrims’ almost twelve-year sojourn in Leiden and the larger Atlantic networks in which they were operating, but also, more importantly, the continuing impact of colonialism on indigenous societies and cultures.
While a century ago, as a recent exhibition at Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Mass., has shown, the tercentenary of the founding of Plymouth in 1920 was, “unabashedly, a celebration of America’s founding,” such a blithely nationalist narrative no longer is acceptable in an age in which we have become increasingly aware of the need to find more inclusive ways to memorialize “difficult” histories in all their historical, ideological, and ethical complexities.
The international Leiden Mayflower 400 conference will take place online on August 26-28, 2020. More than thirty international scholars from Europe and the U.S. will participate. Because of the different times zones of the participants, the sessions will be held from 15:00 (3 pm) to 21:00 (9pm) Leiden time, with breaks. The keynote lecture by Prof. Francis Bremer and the two round tables will be open (online) to the public (after registration).
Tentative Program (Leiden Local Time)
Opening: virtual welcome to Leiden
Parallel Panels 1 + 2
1. Colonial‐Indigenous Interactions: Wampanoag and Haudenosaunee
James Ring Adams (National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian), What They Should Have Known
Iris Plessius (RU Nijmegen), Resisting the Dutch: Interactions between the Haudenosaunee and the Dutch Commissioners of Indian Affairs 1696-1755
Eileen Speijer (Sorbonne), The Dutch colonists and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
2. Law and covenantal religion in Puritan New England
Scott Douglas Gerber (Ohio Northern U / Brown), Law and Religion in Plymouth Colony
Nan Goodman (CU Boulder), From the "Northern Parts of Virginia" to "Cape-Cod": Legal Pluraritis and the Synonymic Manipulation of Jurisdiction in the Mayflower Compact
Sarah Hall (York U), Covenants, obligation and regulation in early New England Puritan communities.