Immigrant Pasts & Afro-Futures: The LCP Spring Seminars Series

Author and Annual Dinner Speaker Stephen Fried

This spring the Library Company is expanding our seminar series! Similar to our previous offerings, both seminars will be led by experts in their fields, provide participants with hands-on access to our collections, and include dinner in the Logan Room. That’s right: we’re letting you—nay, inviting you—to drink in the library. Perhaps most enticing, tuition now starts as low as $200 for shareholders and $250 for the general public.

Dr. Walter Greason (Monmouth University) will lead our flagship, four-evening seminar, “Designing Afrofuturism: Imagining Black Futures through Art, History, and Literature.” If you’ve seen Black Panther you’ve already had your first foray into the burgeoning field of Afrofuturism. As the creator of the #WakandaSyllabus, Walter will trace the origins of Afrofuturism using the Library Company’s prodigious African American History collections. Participants will even have an opportunity to meet other leaders in the field, including Rasheedah Phillips (creator of the AfroFuturist Affair) and Julian C. Chambliss (Michigan State University). I personally couldn’t be more excited about this seminar, which dovetails with our upcoming exhibition From Negro Pasts to Afro-Futures: Black Creative Re-Imaginings. Our journey begins later this month, with the first session scheduled for Thursday, January 24. Sign-up today while there’s still room!

Later this spring, we’ll welcome Dr. Carla J. Mulford (Pennsylvania State University), who will lead our first single-session seminar on a topic as urgent today as the subject is formative to our history: “Benjamin Franklin and Immigration.” Carla is one of the leading scholars on Franklin, and I, for one, cannot wait to learn how Franklin’s thinking about immigration evolved as he transitioned from a colonial leader in Philadelphia to a citizen of the world. Given that there’s almost too much material for one evening, we’ve extended this session to three hours to accommodate Carla’s expertise, your hands-access to collection materials, and our conversation over dinner. “Benjamin Franklin and Immigration” is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, but you can sign-up today to secure your spot in what is already shaping up to be a very popular seminar.

I encourage you to visit our Seminars page for more information about both offerings, though you’re also welcome to contact me directly with any questions or requests at or 215-546-3181, ext. 119. I look forward to seeing you in the Library!

Dr. Will Fenton

Director of Scholarly Innovation