Sarah Winter

Fellow’s Talk: Nicole Breault on Boston Policing, 1768–1775

Poster for Nicole Breault's Talk. Image of hand written archival documents, constables reports from 1768. Beside the image the text reads "Times is Not Now as they Have Been": Contests over the Power to Police in Boston, 1768-1775. Draper Dissertation Fellow Nicole Breault with a response by Sarah Willen. Live. Online. Registration Required. October 14, 2020, 4:00 pm.

“Times is Not Now as They Have Been”: Contests over the Power to Police in Boston, 1768–1775

Nicole Breault (Ph.D. Candidate, History)

with a response by Sarah Winter (Professor of English)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 4:00pm (Online—Register here)


In the fall and winter of 1768, the arrival of four regiments in Boston sparked questions over jurisdiction in the town. Exchanges between watchmen and officers and soldiers threatened the authority of local institutions and quickly escalated to violence. This talk considers a series of violent and verbal altercations between Boston’s town watch and members of the King’s forces, framing the encounters as a dialogue over the power to police. Centered on the reports, complaints, and depositions written by the town watch, it asks how night constables and watchmen used these incidents to negotiate jurisdictional gray areas in the first months of occupation and to participate in a larger contest of empire.

Nicole Breault is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of History. Her research interests are in early American legal and social history with an emphasis on urban governance, institutions, gender, and space. She earned a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research has been awarded fellowships at the Massachusetts Historical Society, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, the Boston Athenæum, and the Huntington Library, as well as a Littleton-Griswold Grant by the American Historical Association. Currently, Nicole is the Draper Dissertation Fellow at the UConn Humanities Institute working on her dissertation “The Night Watch of Boston: Law and Governance in Eighteenth-Century British America.”

Sarah Winter is Professor of English and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut, Storrs and Director of the Research Program on Humanitarianism at the UConn Human Rights Institute. An interdisciplinary scholar of British literature of the long nineteenth century and the history of the modern disciplines, she has published most recently a co-edited collection, From Political Economy to Economics through Nineteenth-Century Literature: Reclaiming the Social (2019). Her previous books are The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens (2010) and  Freud and the Institution of Psychoanalytic Knowledge (1999). Her articles have appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies,  NOVEL, and  Representations, and she has contributed chapters to a wide range of edited collections on law and literature, the history of legal and political thought, and human rights and literature.

Registration is required for the event.

If you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact us at or by phone (860) 486-9057.

Announcing the 2020–21 UConn Faculty Fellows

The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute (UCHI) is proud to announce its incoming class of UConn faculty fellows. The Class of 2020–21 will consist of seven faculty who embody the creative drive and energy of the arts and humanities scholarship at the University of Connecticut. More information about each fellow, including their biographical information, will be provided at a later date:



Elizabeth Athens sitting against a background of flowers

Elizabeth Athens


Department of Art & Art History

Project Title: Figuring a World: William Bartram’s Natural History

Amanda Crawford headshot

Amanda Crawford


Department of Journalism

Project Title: The Sky is Crying: the Sandy Hook Shooting and the Battle for Truth

Melanie Newport headshot

Melanie Newport


Department of History

Project Title: This is My Jail:  Reform and Mass Incarceration in Chicago and Cook County

Helen Rozwadowski headshot

Helen Rozwadowski


Department of History - Avery Point

Project Title: Science as Frontier: History Hidden in Plain Sight

Sara Silverstein headshot

Sara Silverstein


Department of History & Human Rights Institute

Project Title: Toward Global Health: A History of International Collaboration

Scott Wallace headshot

Scott Wallace


Department of Journalism

Project Title: The Bleeding Frontier: Indigenous Warriors in the Battle for the Amazon and Planet Earth

Sarah Winter headshot

Sarah Winter


Department of English

Project Title: The Right to a Remedy: Habeas Corpus, Empire, and Human Rights Narratives