Keynotes of Change

Keynotes of Change

A free lecture series on exploring and interpreting underrepresented histories

In lieu of CLHO's regular in-person Annual Conference, and in line with our priorities for 2021, this year the League will be offering a four-part virtual lecture series focused on interpreting several different strands of underrepresented history: Indigenous, Latino, African-American, and LGBTQ. Bringing in expert speakers from Connecticut, New England, and beyond, we hope to foster and encourage new approaches to telling Connecticut stories at museums and historic sites across the state—in ways that help history organizations breathe new life into their research, interpretation, and programming; broaden their audiences to better reflect Connecticut's diverse communities; and remain relevant in times of change.

Why we're doing this

This lecture series represents one of many steps we are taking to make CLHO a more diverse and inclusive organization: in terms of the work we do and how we do it, the way we are structured, and the makeup of both our leadership and our membership. By diversifying the programs we at CLHO offer, and by providing resources for our members and constituents, we intend to support and enhance the Connecticut history community's larger journey toward greater diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion—ourselves included.

Free access for all

Thanks to the support of our sponsors, and funds provided to CLHO by the Greater Hartford Area Historic Houses and Museums (GHAHHM) when it dissolved, CLHO is pleased to offer the entire Keynotes of Change series free of charge to all who wish to attend. You may also choose to provide a $5 donation to the League when you register, to support CLHO's ability to offer high-quality programming to our community at a low cost. All talks will be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel afterwards.

Keynotes of Change is sponsored by Connecticut Explored and made possible with ongoing support from Connecticut Humanities.

Connecticut Explored: Connecticut history, one good story after another. CTHumanities

Indigenizing Historical Narratives

Chris Newell, Abbe Museum

Wednesday, June 2, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom


Non-Native understandings of the history of Connecticut are often centered around colonial narratives beginning with the establishment of colonies in the 17th century. This results in pedagogies of history that contribute to erasure of Indigenous populations in the region for over 12,000 years prior to European colonization and continue the process. By re-incorporating the narratives of Native populations back into the narrative of history and social studies we create a mutually beneficial environment that is inclusive of the living Native populations of modern day Connecticut providing a clearer picture of its creation and existence. This talk will focus on entry points for these conversations and helpful tips on the proper use of language and vocabulary when incorporating them into content.

Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) is Executive Director and Sr. Partner to Wabanaki Nations for the Abbe Museum in Moneskatik (Bar Harbor, ME). He was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He is a longtime member of the Mystic River singers, an internationally acclaimed and award winning intertribal pow wow drum group based out of Connecticut. He served for six years as the Education Supervisor for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. Out of the museum, Chris and his museum colleagues co-founded the Akomawt Educational Initiative as a response to observations of the public school system and the lack of representation of Native history and social studies. Chris combines his music and education disciplines together and often makes presentations that educate, but also entertain. In 2019 and 2020, he was honored by the New England Museum Association with Excellence Awards. He is a current board member for the New England Museum Association, the Tides Institute, a member of the Maine Arts Commission and the New England Foundation for the Arts Advisory Council.

Golden Key Sponsor: The History Press/Arcadia Publishing

The History Press     Arcadia Publishing

Latinos: The Not so New Kids on the Block

Juan David Coronado, Central Connecticut State University

Wednesday, June 9, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom


Often over simplified, American history has often ignored the rich and diverse ethnic enclaves that have made significant contributions to the making of the U.S. The Latino experience has often gone unnoticed and often Latinos have been treated as a permanent immigrant group. This talk will place Latinos in proper historical context and relate their importance to the U.S.

Juan David Coronado is assistant professor of Latino and Public History at Central Connecticut State University. He earned a Ph.D. in twentieth century U.S. history at Texas Tech University in 2013. A social historian, Dr. Coronado’s research interests include the Latino military experience, Chicana/o history, oral history, public history, sports history, and Latina/o history with an emphasis on class and gender. Dr. Coronado offers courses on Latina/o/x History, U.S. History, Public and Oral History. He also teaches courses in Latino Studies. His award-winning book, "I'm Not Gonna Die in this Damn Place”: Manliness, Identity, and Survival of the Mexican American Vietnam Prisoner of War (2018), lies at the intersection of Mexican American, military, oral and U.S. history while also furthering dialogue on gender. He is currently the Past Co-President of the Southwest Oral History Association. Juan David is a native of the Río Grande Valley of South Texas.

Friend of CLHO Sponsors: Northeast Document Conservation Center, Capture Visual Marketing

NEDCC: Northeast Document Conservation Center     Capture Visual Marketing

Northern Slavery and the Preservation of Memory

Kyera Singleton, Royall House and Slave Quarters

Wednesday, June 16, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom


About the talk: As this country has reckoned with dueling pandemics, Covid-19 and systemic racism, many conversations about racial injustice and social justice have dominated the minds of millions of people. In this talk, Kyera Singleton, who is the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters, will discuss how and why former sites of slavery, as places of history, memory, and education, are crucial to reckoning with our current moment and imagining a more just world.

About the Royall House and Slave Quarters: In the eighteenth century, the Royall House and Slave Quarters was home to the largest slaveholding family in Massachusetts and the enslaved Black women, men, and children who made their lavish way of life possible. Today, the Royall House and Slave Quarters is a museum whose architecture, household items, archaeological artifacts, and public programs bear witness to intertwined stories of wealth and bondage and contestations of freedom in Massachusetts.

Kiera SingletonKyera Singleton is the Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters. She is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in the Department of American Culture. For the 2021–2022 academic year, she is an American Democracy Fellow in the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. Before joining the Warren Center as an American Democracy Fellow, she held prestigious academic fellowships from the Beinecke Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emory University’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). From 2018 through 2019, Kyera served as the Humanity in Action Policy Fellow for the ACLU of Georgia, focusing on mass incarceration, reproductive justice, and voting rights. She created the ACLU-GA’s first podcast series "Examining Justice" in order to highlight the voices of both community activists and policy makers in the fight for racial, gender, and transformative justice. As a public history scholar, Kyera recently served as an advisor on the Boston Art Commission’s Recontextualization Subcommittee for the bronze Emancipation Group Statue. She is also a member of the Board of Public Humanities Fellows at Brown University, which brings together a collection of museum leaders from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Golden Key Sponsor: Fallon & Wilkinson

Fallon & Wilkinson, LLC: Conservation of Furniture and Decorative Arts

Interrogating the Silence: Sharing the LGBTQ Past with Visitors

Susan Ferentinos

Wednesday, June 23, 2:00–3:00 p.m. via Zoom


Engaging with the history of sexual and gender variance not only reveals new aspects of the past, but also challenges our understanding of historical narratives we think we already know. This talk will explore the benefits of interrogating the silence surrounding non-normative sexual and gender expressions and offer examples of particularly innovative ways historical organizations have engaged with these stories.

Susan Ferentinos, PhD, is a public history researcher, writer, and consultant specializing in the history of gender and sexuality. She is the author of Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, which won the 2016 Book Award from the National Council on Public History. Dr. Ferentinos served as a contributor to the National Historic Landmarks theme study on LGBTQ history and recently completed a historic context study on LGBTQ History for the state of Maryland (2020). Among her other projects, she is currently at work on a historic resource study for the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in New York.

Friend of CLHO Sponsor: Capture Visual Marketing

Capture Visual Marketing

Connecticut League of Museums
Central Connecticut State UniversityDepartment of History
1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2674

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