Sunday, April 18, 2010
Scores of scholars and their supporters descended on the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library in Lexington, Massachusetts last Friday to take part in the institution’s first academic symposium. Titled “New Perspectives on American Freemasonry and Fraternalism,” the event attracted students of Freemasonry from across the nation and abroad, seven of whom were selected to present papers: Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida; Hannah M. Lane, Assistant Professor of History at Mount Allison University; Nicholas Bell, Curator at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; David Bjelajac, Professor of Art History at George Washington University; Ami Pflugrad-Jackisch, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Flint; Kristofer Allerfeldt of Exeter University; and Adam Kendall, of the Grand Lodge of California’s Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
The subjects broached by the lecturers varied from how best to analyze Masonic history to the socio-economic significance of lodge membership in the nineteenth century, to the works of Masons in the fine arts, to American Masonry’s struggles against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. Approximately sixty scholars and other supporters of Masonic education made this inaugural event a great success. It may become a bi-annual tradition.
From left: Adam Kendall, Collections Manager at the Grand Lodge of California’s Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry; Kristofer Allerfeldt of Exeter University; and John L. Palmer, Editor of Knight Templar magazine. Both Kendall and Allerfeldt presented papers on American Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, outlining the struggles of the grand lodges of California and Kansas to resist Klan infiltration of the Craft, and to contain the KKK within society at large.
Steven C. Bullock of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and author of Revolutionary Brotherhood, and Dr. Andreas Onnerfors, Director of the University of Sheffield's Centre for Research into Freemasonry were among the scholars in attendance.