The Center for the Study of Guns and Society hosts an annual conference in the fall. Scholars, museum curators, and students from around the country gather for two days of discussions on a wide range of historical topics related to firearms.

The Fall 2023 conference will be held on the Wesleyan University campus on October 13–14, 2023. Details and registration will be forthcoming.

See below for the Fall 2022 conference agenda and speakers. See photos of the event, and read more about it in The Wesleyan Connection.

Friday, October 14, 2022

11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Conference Registration
Fayerweather, 1st floor

Noon–1 p.m. Welcome Lunch
Fayerweather, Beckham Hall, 2nd floor

1:15 p.m. Welcome Remarks
Olin Library, Smith Reading Room
Nicole Stanton (Wesleyan University)
Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan University)

1:30–2:30 p.m. Session 1: Museums and Firearms History
Olin Library, Smith Reading Room
Moderator: Leah Glaser (Central Connecticut State University)
Alex MacKenzie (Springfield Armory National Historic Site, Springfield, Massachusetts)
Amy Glowacki (Coltsville National Historic Park, Hartford, Connecticut)
Danny Michael (Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming)
Jackie Loveland (John Moses Browning House, Ogden, Utah)

2:30–2:45 p.m. Break

2:45–3:30 p.m. Session 2: Guns in Visual, Design and Material Culture
Olin Library, Smith Reading Room
Moderator: Jesse Nasta (Wesleyan University)
Suzy Taraba (Wesleyan University)
“Artists Fight Back: Exhibiting Violence in Society”
Glenn LaVertu (Parsons, The New School for Design)
“They Come Alive: The Design and Philosophy of the Gun”
Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan University)
“The Interlocked Histories of Photography and Guns in Nineteenth-Century New England and the Atlantic World”

3:30–4 p.m. Session 3: Student Research Presentations
Olin Library, Lobby
Moderator: Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan University)
Carlotta Gidal ’23
Latonya Smith ’24
Alex Trufinescu ’23
Lucia Voges ’23
Emma Tuhabonye ’23

4–4:30 p.m. Break and Walk to Beckham Hall

4:30–6 p.m. Headliner Event: “A Conversation on History, Race, and Guns in America”
Fayerweather, Beckham Hall, 2nd floor
Moderator: Richard Galant (CNN Opinion)
Karen Attiah (Washington Post)
Kathleen Belew (Northwestern University)
Darrell A.H. Miller (Duke University School of Law)

Saturday, October 15, 2022

8:45–9 a.m. Continental breakfast, coffee and registration
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor

9–10:30 a.m. Session 5: Guns in Colonial and Antebellum America
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor
Moderator: Crystal Feimster (Yale University)
David J. Silverman (George Washington University)
“The First American Gun Crisis”
Kevin Sweeney (Amherst College)
“Guns in the Cultures of Eighteenth-Century America”
Saul Cornell (Fordham University)
“Abolitionism, Armed Self-Defense, and Firearms Regulation in Antebellum America”

10:30–10:45 a.m. Break

10:45–11:15 a.m. Session 6: Quantifying Arms Lethality in Historical Perspectives
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor
Discussant: Peter Rutland (Wesleyan University)
Presenter: Christopher A. Lawrence (The Dupuy Institute)
“Evolution of Weapons and Warfare”

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Session 7: Nineteenth-Century Contexts of Gun Rights & Regulations
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor
Moderator: Roberto Saba (Wesleyan University)
Jonathan Obert (Amherst College)
“The Economic Origins of American Gun Rights”
Tracy L. Barnett (University of Georgia)
“Men and Their Guns: The Culture of Self-Deputized Manhood in the South, 1850–1877”

12:30–1:30 p.m. Lunch
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons lounge area, 3rd floor

1:30–3 p.m. Session 8: God and Guns: Faith and Firearms in American History
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor
Moderator: Joseph Slaughter (Wesleyan University)
Katherine Carté (Southern Methodist University)
“Religion, Guns, and Violence in Revolutionary America”
Michael J. McVicar (Florida State University)
“White Conservative Evangelicals and Firearms in the Late Twentieth Century”
Jenny Wiley Legath (Princeton University)
“‘This House Protected by the Good Lord and a Gun’: Remarks on the Recent History of Guns and Religion in the U.S.”

3–3:15 p.m. Coffee Break
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor

3:15–4:45 p.m. Session 9: Historical Perspectives on Guns in Contemporary Society
Usdan University Center, Daniel Family Commons, 3rd floor
Moderator: Sean McCann (Wesleyan University)
Demetrius L. Eudell
“Carceral Connecticut Project: The History of Race, Violence, and Capitalism in the Connecticut River Valley”
Joshua Aiken (Yale University)
“The Social Life of Gun Control: Handguns, Violence, & Disorders in the 1960s & 70s”
Brennan Gardner Rivas (Texas Christian University)
“Military Disarmament and the Role of Reconstruction Historiography after Bruen”

4:45–5 p.m. Conference Wrap-Up
Moderators: Jennifer Tucker, Joseph Slaughter

5 p.m. Refreshments