Lockport ahead: Speaking at the History Center of Niagara, Thurs May 19

So excited to be giving my first talk on scrapbooks for the Public Scholars in the Humanities program of the New York State Council for the Humanities, which has 31 scholars giving talks around the state. I have been completely wowed by those I met at our workshops last summer — Richard Heyl de Ortiz, who speaks about the foster care system, Sally Roesch Wagner, who speaks on the 19c women’s rights movement, and the cartoonist Robert Sikoryak who graciously shlepped to my university in Jersey City to give a brilliant presentation on the history of cartoons/graphic novels, and two dozen more. Just looking at the list of speakers again is inspiring. If you’re in NY State, your organization can invite one! Or more!

scrapbook page with calling and trade cardsTomorrow I head upstate to speak about scrapbooks at the History Center of Niagara, hard by the Erie Canal, with stops in Glen Falls along the way. I hope people respond to the invitation to bring their scrapbooks (50 years old or more — the scrapbooks, not the people). I’ll bring some of mine, too. And yes, I’ll talk about how people without much power — African Americans, women’s rights advocates — used scrapbooks to speak back to the media.

Thursday, May 19, 7 pm. Niagara County Historical Society215 Niagara Street, Lockport, NY 14094. Looking forward to seeing you!

 

Impertinent Questions in Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities

July/August issue of Humanities with scrapbook interview.

July/August issue of Humanities with scrapbook interview.

In case you’re not a regular reader of Humanities, the magazine that the National Endowment for the Humanities puts out, I thought you might enjoy the interview Steve Moyers did with me on scrapbooks, in the Impertinent Questions column. Read it, and you’ll be able to answer the question, Who was Mr. Scrapbook?

I missed being in the issue with Anna Deveare Smith on the cover by two issues, but there are also articles on Studs Terkel and Willa Cather. Such company! Time to subscribe!

Scrapbook talk DC May 23, 3:30

Writing with ScissorsWashington, DC was such productive rummaging ground for my research for Writing with Scissors. I am grateful that the Library of Congress saved the scrapbooks of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Clara Barton, and Anna E. Dickinson, among others, and that Howard University’s Moorland Spingarn Collection preserved some of William Dorsey’s that didn’t end up at Cheyney University, one of John Wesley Cromwell’s, and the extraordinary collection that Joseph W. H. Cathcart passed along to Cromwell. So glad to be heading speaking about these and other scrapbooks in DC at the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies, Friday May 23, 3:30, at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, 500 17th St. NW, Washington, DC, RCR Room, Main Atrium. (Yes, that’s the same address as the Corcoran Gallery — plan your afternoon accordingly!)

 

Evanston history in scrapbooks

Could this photo of Frances Willard show her making scrapbooks?

Could this photo of Frances Willard show her making scrapbooks? (Frances Willard House Museum)

As I was putting together my talk for the Northwestern University exhibit on scrapbooks coming up Wednesday, November 13, 4 pm, I realized that two of the women whose scrapbooks I’d written about had lived in Evanston. Women’s rights activist, writer, and speaker Elizabeth Boynton Harbert,and Women’s Christian Temperance Union leader Frances Willard were both great makers and users of strategic scrapbooks,  so of course I’ll talk about them. I’m hoping to get in to see the Frances Willard House, but so far haven’t heard back from the volunteers there.  I’ll be speaking as well on Nov 14, at 12:30 — a somewhat different talk.

Busy week! Speaking Thursday May 23 at the American Antiquarian Society

The amazing American Antiquarian Society in Worcester MA has some great scrapbooks, including Lewis Tappan’s abolitionist scrapbook, containing an early version of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl that an unidentified newspaper had picked up from the NY Tribune from 1853, among their other extraordinary holdings. I’m grateful to have had a month there to delve into their holdings. Looking forward to being there, speaking, and seeing the congenial and helpful people who work there. (Good thing I got my grades in.)

Speaking at AAS

March 27 talk at Massachusetts Historical Society

leatherbee

From Mrs. Albert T. Leatherbee’s Anti-Suffrage scrapbook

Some of the extraordinary scrapbooks I worked with at the Massachusetts Historical Society will be on display there for my talk March 27, 6 pm (come early for wine and cheese). The lively (I’m told) talk, with lots of pictures, is on 19th Century Activists and Their Scrapbooks. Writing with Scissors talk at MHS — sign in to let them know you’re coming.

Reviewed in New York Review of Books

Gumby scrapbook page of Frederick Douglass

A page about Frederick Douglass from the scrapbooks of L. S. Alexander Gumby – Columbia Univ. Libraries

Christopher Benfey’s review in the New York Review of Books blog of Writing with Scissors, “Scrapbook Nation,” makes great connections between scrapbooks and the writings of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. He reproduces some of the Dickinson writings on scraps of paper in the Amherst College archives that I had the chance to see this fall, with Karen Sanchez-Eppler’s class. Gorgeous and tantalizing. I’m so thrilled to have this brilliant and beautiful writer enjoying my book! (And I’m inspired to catch up on his other reviews – enjoyable reading.)

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2013/feb/20/scrapbook-nation/