I'm excited to share this extended interview I did with my friend, Tamara Rose, host of the Concord Days video series about all things related to Concord, Massachusetts!
Tammy is a historian, podcaster, playwright, moderator of our Transcendentalist Facebook discussion group, and general promoter of all things related to bringing together an international community of readers and scholars interested in Transcendentalism and its many networks. Here is her website: https://www.transcendentalconcord.com/
The plan was to just have a conversation about 19th c. women's rights within Transcendentalist reform circles (the subject of my very first book, Woman Thinking)- which we did - but it grew into so much more!
I am so honored and truly thankful to Tammy for this unique opportunity to record my intellectual journey as a historian to date. This video interview ended up being such a personal gift to ME in allowing me a place to reflect on my alternative academic career path, from my start in grad school, to the early years of juggling research & writing & motherhood, to how I came to write each and every one of my book projects, which I had never really talked about before. Thanks, Tammy!
I don't know if many of you will be interested in watching an entire hour of me talking, ha (give me a platform & I have no trouble filling time)! But maybe you can pretend it's a podcast & just listen to it! I hope it's of interest if you want to hear me talk about how I approach women's history, gender history, feminism, abolitionism & women's rights, and a range of 19th c. writers and ideas.
Here's a breakdown if you're interested in skipping to specific topics:
Intro How I got interested in the history of feminism in college
3:00 How finding Georgiana Bruce Kirby in Santa Cruz led to an interest in the Transcendentalists in Massachusetts
5:00 On motherhood & intellectual work
7:00 The Transcendentalist reform project and women's rights - role of Margaret Fuller
11:00 Education of women & access to the professions in the 19th century
13:45 Julia Ward Howe & The Hermaphrodite - on sex, gender, & sexuality in 19th c. literature
19:00 What did Transcendentalist women want? Legal rights v. the right to self-development
20:50 Worcester 1850 first National Women's Rights Convention
26:00 Historical connection between abolitionism / Black civil rights & feminism - from Seneca Falls to Worcester - from 1860s to 1960s
29:00 The Una women's rights newspaper & Paulina Wright Davis
32:00 Women's rights & Black civil rights after the Civil War
36:20 Split in women's movement after Black men granted the vote with 15th Amendment in 1870
38:00 Post-Civil War path of Transcendentalist women in Massachusetts
41:10 My books about Transcendentalism - defining myself as a scholar of the movement
44:00 Making Ralph Waldo Emerson accessible & becoming an Emersonian
47:30 Writing Women's Roles in the 19th Century & my career path as an independent scholar, writer, & editor
53:30 My new projects - novel on photographer Clover Adams & her connection to Transcendentalism - ending with reflections on history v. historical fiction & how we tell stories about the past!