"Global Fraternalism: Canadian Freemasons, the British Empire, and the World" - Dr. Jessica Harland-Jacobs

Published on 25 May 2012

This lecture opens with a call for using broad categories of analysis, including empire and world, in our studies of fraternalism and Canadian history. Doing so allows us to appreciate the extent and impact of Freemasonry, especially the significant role it played in the history of globalization and empire building. The lecture is divided into three parts: first, a general discussion of globalization and its relationship to imperialism; second, an examination of Freemasonry's contribution to the history of globalization in the period between the 1730s and the 1820s; and third, an exploration of several aspects of Freemasons, engagement with the British Empire during the modern period. While adopting a macro-level perspective, the talk uses examples from Canadian masonic history, particularly Upper Canada, to illustrate its central claims and to demonstrate the complex ways fraternal organizations operate at the intersection of the local and the global.

Speaker: Jessica Harland-Jacobs is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. After an international upbringing, she attended Cornell University, where she received her BA in history in 1992. She received her MA and PhD (2000) from Duke University, where she studied British, Imperial, and Canadian history and historical geography. Her first book, Builders of Empire: Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2007. She has published articles in The Journal of British Studies, The Geographical Review and Atlantic Studies, and a new article will appear in the forthcoming volume of the Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism.


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