Peter Way to explore gender's role in Britain’s 18th-century American empire

Social historian Dr. Peter Way will give a talk today (Oct. 17) on “Engendering War: Military Masculinities and the Making of Britain’s 18th-Century American Empire.”

In his 1:30 p.m. presentation in 201A Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Way will explore the questions of why, until very recently, soldiering has been an almost exclusively male profession, how gender conventions of the 18th-century civil society affected the military world, and the ways in which soldiers absorb and contest the dominant gender models supplied by popular culture and formalized by their commanding officers.

Way, history, is a fellow this year at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS). His research and teaching interests lie in the history of working people of North America and within the Atlantic world from the late colonial period into the 20th century. His book, Workers and the Digging of the North American Canals, 1780-1860, published by Cambridge University Press in 1993, won the 1993 Frederick Jackson Turner Prize awarded by the Organization of American Historians.

He is now at work on a monograph titled Artisans of War: Common Soldiers and the Making of Britain’s American Empire in the Seven-Year War, which seeks to place the war in the context of merchant capital and the imperial state.

Way’s talk is sponsored by ICS with support from the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, call 2-0585.

October 17, 2005