On October 13–14, the Center for the Study of Guns and Society (CSGS) at Wesleyan University, hosted its second-annual fall conference, “Current Perspectives on the History of Guns and Society.”
The event convened historians, museum curators, legal scholars, journalists, filmmakers, and other subject-matter experts for panel discussions, a film screening, and other sessions exploring guns in society from a range of historical perspectives, including the ever-expanding role of history in America’s contemporary gun discourse.
Fifteen eminent historians presented on their work on a variety of topics related to guns in U.S. history from the colonial era to the present. Topics included the role of religious identity in shaping individual relationships with firearms; the markets and manufacture of 19th century small arms; myths and realities of guns and westward expansion; and historical record of guns in 19th and 20th century U.S. history and law, among others. There was also a screening of the 2023 film Good Guy with a Gun.
“Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Guns and Society is doing unique and vital work to enrich our national conversation on firearms. The Center’s annual conference connects experts from a huge range of backgrounds so we can learn from one another,” said Brian DeLay, the Preston Hotchkis Chair in the History of the United States in UC Berkeley’s History Department.