The Twelfth Blount Postal History Symposium: Political Systems, Postal Administrations, and the Mail

Hosted by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum on Zoom
December 8 – 9, 2022 from 9:45 am – 5:30 pm ET (Session times below)

Co-sponsored by the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library

In countries around the world, postal administrations and their missions, practices, and regulations serve as reflections and agents of state goals and ideals. Like the administrations, be they privatized, quasi or fully governmental, these ideals and goals can vary widely. In all cases, they shape the relationship that citizens, subjects, or residents have to the mail and the post office, including their expectations and decisions on how and when to use them. By sending and receiving mail or by using other offered services, individuals participate in communities or networks - familial, commercial, social, or other. Moreover, the acts of using and engaging - even the potential for these - with postal services may simultaneously reinforce and challenge the postal administration and its political foundations.

Symposium Panelist Bios


Thursday, December 8

9:45 – 10:00 am Welcome
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Session One - The Varying Purposes of Stamp Messaging
  Moderator: Elizabeth Brown
  K. Andrea Rusnock
Postal Politics: Soviet Stamps of World War II
  Laura Goldblatt and Richard Handler
The Eagle, the Rocket and the Moon: U. S. Postal Iconography at the End of History
  A. M. LaVey
Politico-Philatelic Semiosis in Russia’s 2014 Crimea Issues
  Discussant: William Moskoff
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 3:00 pm Session Two - Postal Networks and the Flow of Information
  Moderator: Susan Smith
  Rocio Moreno Cabanillas
The Reform Postal Systems in the Process of Structuring and Construction of Imperial States in the 18th Century
  Perola Goldfeder
’Gathering Vassals Around the Throne’: The Political Economy of Postal Communications in 19th Century Brazil
  Francesco Morriello
From Three Months to Three Seconds: The Evolution of Mail Delivery from the Renaissance to the Present Day
  Discussant: Richard Morel
3:00 – 3:15 pm Coffee
3:15 – 5:15 pm Session Three - The Postal Service in American Life
  Moderator: Jenny Lynch
  Rebecca Brenner Graham
Why the U. S. Ended Sunday Mail in 1912
  Alison Bazylinski
Rethinking Postal Politics: The National Association of Letter Carriers Ladies’ Auxiliary, 1905-1925
  Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris
Big Mail: From Public Good to Private Profit
  Discussant: Lynn Heidelbaugh

Friday, December 9

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Session Four - Regimes in Flux: Their Impact on Postal Operations and Stamp Design
  Moderator: Scott Tiffney
  Roger Santala
Lion or Eagle: Sovereignty, A Postal Authority, and the Mails. Finland 1890-1918
  Earl Toops
Regime Change in Vietnam: Issues of the Provisional Revolutionary Government and Restoration of Postal Services in the Defeated South
  Discussant: James Grayson
12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 pm Session Five - Stamp Iconography in Fascist Regimes
  Moderator: Sheila Brennan
  Daniel Piazza
The ‘Fascist Style’ in Italian Philately, 1922 – 1941
  Zachary Agatstein
‘Hitler’s Mundane Messengers’: The Banal Nationalism of Third Reich Postage Stamps
  Guillermo Navarro Oltra
Historical Figures on the Postage Stamps of Franco’s Spain: The Catholic Monarchs
  Discussant: Stanley Brunn
3:30 – 4:00 pm Closing Remarks

Postal Museum sunburst logo

Research Library logo

American Philatelic Society logo