Roundtable A Retrospective on the Scholarship of Richard L. Bushman

AHA Session 165
Mormon History Association 2
American Society of Church History 23
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Room 304 (Hynes Convention Center)
Grant Underwood, Brigham Young University
Catherine Kelly, University of Oklahoma , Laurie Maffly-Kipp, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , Harry S. Stout, Yale University and Gordon S. Wood, Brown University
Richard L. Bushman, Claremont Graduate University

Session Abstract

In 2011 Columbia's Gouverneur Morris Professor of History Emeritus, Richard Bushman, celebrates his 80th birthday. For more than forty years, Bushman has been a prominent player in the historical profession. Beginning with his From Puritan to Yankee that won the Bancroft Prize in 1967 to his 2005 multiple prize-winner Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman has produced a series of seminal works that continue to impact the discipline. The focus in this session will be on his four major works—From Puritan to Yankee (Harvard, 1967); King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, 1985); The Refinement of America (Knopf, 1992); and Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (Knopf, 2005). Four leading historians in the fields touched on in Bushman's works will discuss the impact of his scholarship on the relevant historiography. Harry Stout will discuss From Puritan to Yankiee. Gordon Wood will probe King and People in Provincial Massachusetts. Catherine Kelly will engage The Refinement of America. And Laurie Maffly-Kipp will assess the contribution of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. While some element of celebration will be both inevitable and appropriate, the primary purpose of the session is to provide a serious exploration of Bushman's scholarship. Bushman himself will be the commentator and will respond to what this blue-ribbon panel says about his work. He will also offer his own retrospective ruminations about his scholarship. Bushman's teaching years in Boston, his scholarly attention to New England, and the 2011 AHA theme “History, Society, and the Sacred” combine to make next year’s AHA meeting an ideal venue for this milestone retrospective.

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