UNTAMED: Women and the Law

Special Symposium at Jamestown Settlement
September 13 & 14, 2019

Since the 17th century, there have been laws created to suppress women’s voices. On September 13 & 14 at Jamestown Settlement, “UNTAMED: Women and the Law” will examine some of those laws, as well as the women who have turned the law to their own advantage from the 1600s to modern day. In addition to keynote speakers, expert lecturers and a special program giving voice to tenacious women throughout the timeline of women’s rights, this two-day symposium features more than 20 legal and museum professionals, scholars and historians who will present their academic papers on a range of topics related to the history of women in America through the lens of the law.

“UNTAMED” begins on Friday, September 13, with a keynote address by Dr. Terri Snyder, professor of American studies at the University of California, Fullerton and author of Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia, whose research focuses on the history of gender, race and the law in English North America. The morning continues with the start of speaker sessions as graduate students, scholars and public history practitioners from across 10 states present their research on subjects from the evolution of laws governing women and marriage, family, education, work, healthcare, civil rights and politics to the intersection of gender with identity categories of race, class, sexuality, age and ability.

The day culminates with a lecture by historian Carson O. Hudson, Jr., a leading authority on early Virginia witchcraft trials and their legal precedents and author of These Detestable Slaves of the Devil, who will provide historical context in preparation for that evening’s premiere of “Season of the Witch,” an immersive theatrical experience in the re-created James Fort based on testimonies taken in 1626 regarding charges of witchcraft against Jane Wright.

On Saturday, September 14, the day begins with “Touchstones on the Road to Woman Suffrage,” featuring dramatic readings from Abigail Adams to Alice Paul, echoing the voices of women across history who fought to expand their rights. The symposium continues with concurrent speaker sessions and ends with a closing keynote, “We the Whole People: Women and the Constitution,” presented by constitutional scholar, journalist and award-winning author Linda R. Monk, J.D. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she twice received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for media about the law, and has conducted seminars for such groups as the Pentagon, National Archives, Fulbright Scholars and the Smithsonian Institution.

Ducking chair featured in “TENACITY” special exhibition.

Throughout the two days, attendees will have the opportunity to tour “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” connecting women’s issues of the 17th century and their relevance today. The special exhibition is a legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration, marking the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today, including the recruitment of English women in significant numbers to Jamestown and the arrival of the first recorded African women to English North America. “TENACITY” explores these little-known, captivating personal stories of the real English, Powhatan and African women in the early Virginia colony using artifacts, images and primary sources – some on display in America for the first time. 


Tickets to Attend

Registration and a separate ticket is required to attend this special symposium. Tickets to this event are $95 and include admission to all symposium keynotes, concurrent sessions, box lunch, coffee breaks, Friday evening “Season of the Witch” premiere and admission to Jamestown Settlement. Tickets can be purchased online here, by calling (757) 253-5110 or (757) 253-5112 or stopping by Visitor Services at Jamestown Settlement.

A special group rate for attendees of “UNTAMED” is available at the Wyndham Garden Williamsburg on or before August 23. To book your stay, call 757-253-6444.


Symposium Presentations

Dr. Jacqueline Beatty, York College of Pennsylvania
“The Right to Divorce: How the American Revolution Changed Women’s Understanding of Marital Law”

Sharece Blakney, Independent Scholar        
“Invisible Saviors: Free Black Women and the Activism of Slave Manumission, 1820-1860”

Marcella Clinard, Texas Women’s University (PhD Candidate)
“Reproductive Oppression of Women through Islamophobic Law”

Jacqueline Delisle, Esquire, Brown, Brown, & Young / Bel Air, Maryland
“Neither Enslaved nor Free, Women Bound through Articles of Indenture, Contract or Poverty: Voluntary and Involuntary Apprenticeships in the Trades of Colonial America and England 1600’s -1790’s”

Dr. Pam Douglas and Janice Canaday, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
“Mary Aggie: The Juxtaposition Between Untamed Action and 21st C. Perceptions”

Dr. Hannah Dudley-Shotwell, Honors Faculty Scholar, Longwood University
“Circumventing the Law: How Women Control Their Bodies When Abortion is Unavailable”

Lauren Feldman, Johns Hopkins University (PhD Student)
“The Case of Elizabeth Ross: Debating the Marriage Contract in Early Republican New York and the United States”

Signe Fourmy, J.D., University of Texas at Austin (PhD Candidate)
“Guilty of the Offence Wherewith She Stands Charged: Enslaved Women Prosecuted for Infanticide in Antebellum Virginia”

Dr. Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College
“Seduced by the Instigation of the Devil: Female Murderers in the Early Republic”

Cathleene Hellier, College of William and Mary (PhD Candidate)
“Elizabeth Morris: The Disjunction between the Law and Social Support in 18th-century Virginia”

Jenifer Ishee Hoffman, Mississippi State University (PhD Student)
“Repercussions of the Married Women’s Property Act: A Review of 19th-century American Notarial Oaths Designed to Protect Women from their Husbands”

Dr. Catherine Kerrison, Villanova University
“Claiming Freedom: Black Female Agency and the Law in Post-Revolutionary”

Dr. Justina Licata, UNCG History Department
“The Norplant Litigation Boom: How Class Action Lawyers Impacted the Contraceptive Device’s Fate”

Dr. Allison Madar, University of Oregon
“Laboring Women, Race and the Legal Perpetuation of Unfreedom in Early Virginia”

Dr. Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University
“Slavery, Maternal Descent and the Law in the British Atlantic World”

Dr. Kim Nielsen, University of Toledo
“She has Not Felt Safe to Live in the Home with Him: Judicial Decisions, Household Violence and the 19-century Divorces of Dr. Anna B. Ott”

Kristin Olbertson, Alma College J.D. PhD
“She Goes in Fear of Her Life: Women’s Testimony in Domestic Abuse Cases in 18th-century Massachusetts”

Dr. Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, University of Toledo
“They Must Wait Until My Death: Mary Willing Byrd and Debt Litigation in Post-Revolutionary Virginia”

Katharine Pittman, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
“Martha Washington: First Lady of Law”

Emily Sackett, University of Corcoran (PhD Candidate)
“Women Wanted: Colonial South Carolina’s Female Land Warrantees and the Proprietary Vision of Settlement”

Dr. Holly White, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
“She was Old Enough: Negotiating the Legal Significance of Age and Gender in Early 19th-century America”


September 13 • 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & 7:30 – 9 p.m.

8:30 a.m.
Check-In at the Group Arrivals Atrium

9 a.m.
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Terri Snyder, professor of American studies at the University of California, Fullerton and author of Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia, whose research focuses on the history of gender, race and the law in British North America.

10:15 a.m.
30-Minute Break

10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Speaker Sessions and Tours of “TENACITY”

12:15 p.m.
Boxed Lunch

1:30 p.m.
Concurrent Speaker Sessions and Tours of “TENACITY”

3:15 p.m.
Lecture by historian Carson O. Hudson, Jr., a leading authority on early Virginia witchcraft trials and their legal precedents and author of These Detestable Slaves of the Devil.

4:15 p.m.
Book Signings with Dr. Terri Snyder & Carson O. Hudson, Jr.

7:30 p.m.
Performance of “Season of the Witch,” an immersive theatrical experience in the re-created James Fort based on testimonies taken in 1626 regarding charges of witchcraft against Jane Wright.

September 14 • 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

9 a.m.
“Touchstones on the Road to Woman Suffrage” featuring dramatic readings from Abigail Adams to Alice Paul, echoing the voices of women across history who fought to expand their rights.

10:15 a.m.
30-Minute Break

10:45 a.m.
Concurrent Speaker Sessions and Tours of “TENACITY”

12:15 p.m.
Boxed Lunch

1:30 p.m.
Concurrent Speaker Sessions and Tours of “TENACITY”

Concluding Keynote
“We the Whole People: Women and the Constitution” presented by constitutional scholar, journalist and award-winning author Linda R. Monk, J.D. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she twice received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for media about the law, and has conducted seminars for such groups as the Pentagon, National Archives, Fulbright Scholars and the Smithsonian Institution.

 


About Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg and features expansive exhibition galleries and films that connect visitors with the lives of the Powhatan, English and west central African cultures that converged at 17th-century Jamestown, and historical interpretation in outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and colonial fort. Jamestown Settlement is a stage for special exhibitions, events and programs in conjunction with the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, honoring the 400th anniversary of key historical events in Virginia in 1619. The “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” special exhibition, a legacy project of the 2019 Commemoration, explores captivating and little-known stories of Powhatan Indian, English and African women in 17th-century Virginia, and will be accompanied this year by more than a dozen public lectures, special events and performances.

Registration and a separate ticket is required to attend this special symposium. Tickets to this event are $95 and include admission to all symposium keynotes, concurrent sessions, box lunch, coffee breaks and Friday evening “Season of the Witch” premier and admission to Jamestown Settlement. Tickets can be purchased online here, by calling (757) 253-5110 or (757) 253-5112 or stopping by Visitor Services at Jamestown Settlement.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), museum admission is $17.50 for adults, $8.25 for ages 6-12, and free for children under 6. Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive free admission with proof of residency. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.