Abstract of the 2012 Presidential Address

AHA Staff, November 2011

Many forms of history have gone global in the last few years. New studies have shown us how plants and populations, organic stimulants and religious revelations have moved around the world. In his presidential address entitled "The Republic of Letters in the American Colonies: Francis Daniel Pastorius Makes a Notebook," scheduled to be delivered on Friday, January 6, 2012, AHA President Anthony T. Grafton will examine the ways in which some of the most central, and apparently local, traditions, methods and artifacts of European humanist scholarship were transplanted to the new world. Francis Daniel Pastorius was an eminently practical man, whose work as notary and politician played a central part in the creation of Germantown. He also co-authored the first great American protest against African American slavery. In addition to his open eyes and practical skills, he brought with him from Germany a particular approach to knowledge and a special way of using books, which took shape in European academies, and he remained strikingly faithful to these traditional habits of mind and pen throughout his life. Depicting the humanist at work, Grafton shows that the traditions of humanism were surprisingly adaptable to new needs and a new world

Immediately following the Presidential Address, the AHA invites all registrants to a reception for 2011 president Anthony Grafton in the Sheraton's Chicago Ballroom X, from 10:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. The Presidential Reception is sponsored by the History Channel.