The Specter of Peace: Rethinking Violence and Power in the Colonial Atlantic
Tuesday, September 25
6:00pm: Lecture with Historian Michael Goode
Reception to follow at Nomad Roman I 1305 Locust Street
20% of the proceeds will be donated back to the Library Company
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, an era defined by slavery, warfare, and European colonization, peace hardly seems relevant. Yet peace – or more precisely, histories of peacemaking – was everywhere. Historian Michael Goode shows how peace in the colonial Americas was not just an absence of war, but a complex and contested process of violence negotiation through which European, indigenous, African peoples asserted their notions of “right ordering,” even if the desired endpoint was never fully reached. Drawing upon a wide range of archival sources at the Library Company, Goode describes peace as a specter, haunting histories of colonialism, which have largely engaged with questions of peacemaking without being explicitly aware of it.
Thank you to Nomad Roman
The Birth of the American Political Cartoon, 1754 – 1776
Wednesday, September 26
This collection review will excavate the broadsides, engravings, political cartoons, caricatures, and propaganda that transformed early American politics. Canvasing the African Americana and Political Cartoon Collections, these materials offer a glimpse at a political culture that makes today’s exchanges appear positively demure by contrast.
William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Culture: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the Visual Culture Program
Friday, October 5
8:00am – 4:30pm
Sponsored by the Visual Culture Program
In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Visual Culture Program, William Birch and the Complexities of American Visual Cultureexplores the visual, cultural, and social themes elicited from the work of Philadelphia artist William Birch (1755-1834). The one-day symposium in collaboration with William Birch, Ingenious Artist: His Life, His Philadelphia Views, and His Legacy aims to promote broad discussions on the continual resonance in American visual culture of the work of this premier enamel miniaturist, aspiring gentleman, and artist of the first American viewbooks.
This is not surprising. The Akin-Kneass invoice provides an informative glimpse into the collaborative nature of the “mechanical arts” in the first decade of the 1800s when artistic evidence is often rare. This talk will use this important document as a means to explore the engravers active in in early 19th- century Philadelphia and how they were trained, their working practices, and the artistic networks they forged.
Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware
The Birch Network and Diaspora
William Birch, Painter-Architect
William L. Coleman, Newark Museum
Rendering the American Landscape: William Birch, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and the British Watercolor Diaspora
Julia A. Sienkewicz, Roanoke College
The Urban Aesthetic in Popular Art
What William Birch Left Out: The Visual Culture of Disability in Early America
Nicole Belolan, Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
James Kidder’s Market: Urban Views and the Art of Commerce
Whitney Martinko, Villanova University
Nicolino Calyo’s Wider View: Landscapes of Innovation
Rebecca Szantyr, Brown University
Novelty in Graphic Art: Horizontoriums, Miniature Photos, and Grangerizing
Distorting Views of Philadelphia: Shifting Perspectives in “A Curious Horizontorium”
Laura Turner Igoe, Barnes Foundation
Tiny Mysteries: Decoding 19th-Century Microscopic Photographs from Philadelphia’s Langenheim Brothers
Daniel Seth Kraus and Byron Wolfe, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Taking a Page from Tuckerman’s Book of the Artists: Nineteenth-Century Print Media and the Grangerization of American Art History
Erin Pauwels, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Elizabeth Milroy, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University
Women and Photography: “More Work for the Ladies”
Wednesday, October 19
As both professional and amateur photographers, women played a role in photography from its very earliest days. Drawing on the Library Company’s strong photography collection and related material, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about nearly a century of female photographers and see examples of their work ranging from an early 1850s daguerreotype to photographic portraits coming out of a West Philadelphia studio in the first few decades of the 20th century.
The First Gay American Novel: A Forgotten Book by Sarah Orne Jewett
Tuesday, October 16
Sponsored by the Program in Women’s History
6:00pm: Talk by Dr. Don James Brown, Assistant Professor of 19th-Century American Literature at the University of Tulsa
What was the first gay American novel? The popularity of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, and Hanya Yanagihara’s recent sensation A Little Life indicate the deep personal connection people feel with LGBT fiction. In this talk, Dr. Brown will make the case that A Marsh Island (1885), the little-known novel by the Maine-based writer Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), should be considered the first novel in the genre.
Graphic Materials: Early American Political Cartoons and Propaganda
October 23 / November 8 / November 20 / December 4
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Led by Dr. Will Fenton, “Graphic Material” will excavate the broadsides, engravings, political cartoons, caricatures, and propaganda that transformed early American politics. Canvasing the African Americana, John A. McAllister, and Political Cartoon Collections, Fenton will offer participants hands-on access to the Library Company’s vaunted visual culture materials. “Graphic Material” promises to be a welcome companion to election-year politicking—a glimpse at a political culture that makes today’s exchanges appear positively demure by contrast. Each session includes dinner in the Library’s Logan Room, which features a selection of our historic collections.
About the Seminar Leader:
Dr. Will Fenton is the Director of Scholarly Innovation at the Library Company and Creative Director of Redrawing History: Indigenous Perspectives on Colonial America, a newly commissioned graphic novel and exhibition that will re-contextualize 18th-century historic events from the perspective of indigenous communities funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Fenton specializes in early American literature and the digital humanities and is the editor of an award-winning digital humanities project, Digital Paxton, and the author of numerous academic and public articles. To learn more about his research, visit digitalpaxton.org.
Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged!
To pay by check contact Colleen Gill, Development and Membership Coordinator, at email@example.com or 215-546-3181, ext. 136. For more information about the seminar series, contact Will Fenton, Director of Scholarly Innovation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-546-3181, ext. 119.
Reception: Lincoln Memorial
Dinner: Meade Room
Join us for the Library Company’s 287th Annual Dinner on Thursday, November 15, 2018, featuring Stephen Fried, an award-winning investigative journalist, best-selling author and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Fried will be reading from his newly-published biography of Benjamin Rush, Rush: Revolution, Madness, and Benjamin Rush, the Visionary Doctor Who Became a Founding Father.
If you are interested in becoming an Annual Dinner Sponsor, please contact the Chief Development Officer, Raechel Hammer at email@example.com or 215-546-3181. To see a full list of the 287th Annual Dinner Sponsors go to librarycompany.org/287th-annual-dinner.