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Eye of the Expert: Troubled Histories

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Registration is requested
Members $35

Eye of the Expert: Troubled Histories

​Join Dani Crickman, Maria Daniels, and Adam Derington for a conversation about how we read the past, illuminated with selections from the Athenaeum's special collections. We will begin by exploring the French colonial allegories of the Babar books—enduring children’s classics that have drawn charges of racism and imperialism. From there, we’ll turn to an 1839 political caricature of John Quincy Adams introducing a Haitian diplomat to a group of abolitionist Massachusetts women, more direct in its troubling messages of misogyny, racism, and fear. Last, we will travel to the home front during World War II, where posters and magazine covers propagandized women’s roles as workers, girlfriends, wives, and mothers in both subtle and overt ways.

Dani Crickman is children's and young adult services librarian at the Boston Athenaeum, where she has worked since completing her MA in children's literature and MLS at Simmons College in 2016. She is also a children's literature instructor at Showa Boston Institute and bookseller at The Children's Book Shop. She holds a BA in English literature and women's studies from Skidmore College and has worked in academic, public, and school libraries.

Maria Daniels, director of communications and patron services, has worked for Boston-area nonprofits including a trailblazing digital library, the Perseus Project at Harvard and Tufts. In nine years as WGBH’s director of new media for American Experience, she created online libraries for 90 PBS history programs, including Eyes on the Prize and The Presidents. Trained as a historian (BA, Brown University) and photographer (MFA, Museum School), she has served as staff photographer on excavations at Sardis and Gordion, and taught at the Boston Architectural College.

Adam Derington currently serves as the education intern at the Athenaeum. Hailing from Michigan where he received a BA in political science from Oakland University, Adam is expecting a MA in history from the University of Massachusetts Boston in May 2019. Since arriving, Adam has had the pleasure of working as a public historian and learning much from his colleagues and peers. His primary research interest is in American political culture and how museums and historic sites impact popular memory.

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The BA's virtual events are not routinely captioned. To request real-time captions for this event, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 no fewer than four business days prior to the event.