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New Directions in American Philanthropy conference

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Sheffield Hallam University - City Campus

Howard Street

Sheffield

S1 1WB

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New Directions in American Philanthropy: A two-day workshop
Sheffield Hallam University
14-15 September 2017

Meaning, literally, “love of all mankind”, the historian Lawrence J. Friedman has framed philanthropy as ‘a collective form of charitable giving.’ In the nearly two centuries since Alexis De Tocqueville’s observation that the United States is a ‘nation of joiners,’ volunteerism and philanthropy have played a significant role in America’s domestic and international history. For some, such as the scholar Olivier Zunz, philanthropy is ‘part of the American progressive tradition.’ Yet despite good intentions, the history of American philanthropy is not without controversy. Indeed, the political scientist Inderjeet Parmar, acknowledging that ‘it is difficult to believe that philanthropy…could possibly be malignant,’ has argued that it has not always been either an effective tool or a force for positive change.

The purpose of this workshop is to engage in this debate concerning the positive and negative aspects of American philanthropy. It is hoped that the research presented will both challenge and further our understanding of the role of charity and philanthropy in American history. From small Church groups and missionary efforts to secular organisations and multi-million dollar foundations, research papers covering any aspect of the history of philanthropy in America will be encouraged.

PROVISIONAL PROGRAMME

THURSDAY

11:00-11:15 - Registration

11:15-12:45 - Controversy and contemporary philanthropy

Chair: TBC

Molly Geidel (Manchester): Constructing Deserving Debtors in the Age of the Selfie

Josh Gulam (Liverpool Hope): George Clooney, Nespresso Activist

James West (Birmingham): “What Message Does it Send to Students?” Bill Cosby, Historically Black Colleges and the Limits of Black Philanthropy

12:45-1:30 - Lunch

1:30-3:00 - Philanthropy in the 1960s

Chair: TBC

Amanda Niedfeldt (Minnesota): Ford in Berlin: The Ford Foundation’s funding of cultural activities in Berlin, 1962-1965

Karen Patricia Heath (Oxford): The Feds and the Foundations: Funding Artistic Radicals in the Age of Dissent

Imran Choudhury (City London): Title TBC

3:00-3:15 - Break

3:15-4:45 - Philanthropy and the nation state in the 19th century

Chair: TBC

Rachel Williams (Hull): Heaping coals of fire on the enemy’s head: the political uses of Christian benevolence in the Civil War

Elizabeth Harmon (Michigan): Public and Private: The Smithsonian Institution and American Philanthropy

Lucius Wedge (Akron): Misguided Philanthropy and Nation Building in the Civil War South

5:30-7:00 – Public Keynote Lecture: Professor Inderjeet Parmar (City London): Foundations of America’s Empire: How Elite Networks Dominate American Power at Home and Abroad

FRIDAY

9:00-10:30 – Critiquing Progressive-era Philanthropy

Chair: TBC

Miguel Hernandez (Exeter): Klanishness and American Fraternalism: Examining Charity and Philanthropy within the 1920s Ku Klux Klan

Margaret Nettesheim Hoffman (Marquette): “A Menace to the National Welfare”: The Final Report of the United States Commission on Industrial Relations & the Progressive Era Critique of American Philanthropic Foundations

Katie Myerscough (Manchester): From Clubs to Committees: The Politics of Respectability and Race in African American Women’s Social Services

10:30-10:40 - Break

10:40-12:10 – Near East Relief

Chair: TBC

Becky Jinks (Royal Holloway): Contests and collaborations in the field: Near East Relief’s workers in the 1920s

Scott Libson (Independent): ‘Ministry of Helpfulness’: Near East Relief and Protestant Secularism, 1915-1930

Ben Offiler (Sheffield Hallam): Title TBC

12:10-12:50 - Lunch

12:50-1:50- Religion and Philanthropy at home and abroad

Chair: TBC

Philip Byers (Notre Dame): The Lilly Endowment & American Religion

Emma Long (University of East Anglia): Philanthropy as Exchange: American Missionaries and the International Religious Liberty Debate

1:50-2:00 - Break

2:00-3:30 - Transatlantic Philanthropy

Chair: Katharina Rietzler (Sussex)

Bridget Bennett (Leeds): Philanthropy and the Unquiet Library

Nick Cleaver (University of East Anglia): “a dream nobler than most realities”: Andrew Carnegie’s Appeal for Anglo-American Unity, 1893-1899

Michael McGuire (Boston): A Tale of Two Charities: Moderate American Philanthropies and European Policies in the Great War Era

3:30-4:45 - Keynote Roundtable

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Sheffield Hallam University - City Campus

Howard Street

Sheffield

S1 1WB

United Kingdom

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