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Louis Seize, Roi des Français, Restaurateur de la Liberté, engraved by Charles-Clément Bervic, after Callet, 1790. Purchase 1939 [W-767]

Hear from University of Miami professor Ashli White, author of Revolutionary Things: Material Culture and Politics in the Late Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World. 

Dr. White's new book examines how objects associated with the American, French, and Haitian revolutions drew diverse people throughout the Atlantic world into debates over revolutionary ideals. She explores the power of material things and visual images to express the fervor and fear of the revolutionary era.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have their books signed.


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About the Book

Historian Ashli White explores the circulation of material culture during the American, French, and Haitian revolutions, arguing that in the late eighteenth century, radical ideals were contested through objects as well as in texts. She considers how revolutionary things, as they moved throughout the Atlantic, brought people into contact with these transformative political movements in visceral, multiple, and provocative ways.
Focusing on a range of objects—ceramics and furniture, garments and accessories, prints, maps, and public amusements—White shows how material culture held political meaning for diverse populations. Enslaved and free, women and men, poor and elite—all turned to things as a means to realize their varied and sometimes competing visions of revolutionary change.


About the Author

Ashli White is associate professor of history at the University of Miami where she specializes in early American history, with particular attention to the connections between North America and the Atlantic World. To date, most of her research has concentrated on the political, social, and cultural history of the age of revolutions. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia, an MA from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is the author of Encountering Revolution: Haiti and the Making of the Early Republic (Johns Hopkins UP, 2010), which explores the far-reaching impact of the Haitian Revolution on the early United States. 

Dr. White was the associate curator and co-author of the catalog for Antillean Visions, a 2018 exhibition at the Lowe Art Museum that charted over 500 years of Caribbean maps.

Sponsored By The Ford Motor Company Fund

Mount Vernon has enjoyed a very special relationship with the Ford Motor Company dating back more than 90 years. We are grateful for their generous support and we applaud their abiding respect for American heritage.

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