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Key words: 'Fervent Feminists' (this phrase)
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Community College Humanities Association (Newark, NJ 07102)
Sterling Delano (project director)
Diane Whitley-Bogard (co-project director)
BI-50139-11
Concord, Massachusetts: Fervent Feminists, Utopian Dreamers, and Social Reform in the Age of Emerson and Thoreau

To support: Two one-week Landmarks workshops for fifty community college faculty members to study Concord's central role in American nineteenth-century thought and social reform.

"Concord, Massachusetts: Feminists, Utopians, and Social Reform in the Age of Emerson and Thoreau" consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for fifty community college faculty members on Concord's central role in American nineteenth-century thought and social reform. The program focuses on historic sites and primary sources in Concord, Massachusetts, an intellectual center of nineteenth-century America. The project shows that as much as the Transcendentalists advanced utopian ideals, they also engaged in concrete programs of social reform, namely the abolition of slavery and advancement of women. Private tours of the sites associated with Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Louisa May Alcott include the Concord Museum, the Emerson home, Walden Pond, the First Parish Church, the Concord School of Philosophy, and the utopian communities of Brook Farm and Fruitlands. Sessions led by five leading scholars elucidate recent research. Robert Gross, author of The Minutemen and Their World, addresses Concord's central role in the period. Phyllis Cole and Sandra Petrulionis discuss the advancement of women and their active role in abolitionism. Participants read Cole's Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism and Petrulionis's To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau's Concord. Sterling Delano, project director and author of Brook Farm: The Dark Side of Utopia, examines Transcendentalist utopian communities. John Matteson, who wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, discusses educational reform. The schedule includes time for research in the Concord Free Public Library, which holds materials on Transcendentalism and antebellum social reform that can be found at no other location.

[Grant products]
Project fields: U.S. History
Program: Landmarks of American History for Community Colleges, WTP
Division: Education Programs
Total amount awarded: $151,200
Grant period: 10/1/2011 – 12/31/2013

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