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Activists Repurpose Media: 19th Century American Scrapbooks - Lecture on Nov. 12

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11/3/2015

Announcing the third annual lecture in a series on “Ink and Electricity: Advancing Liberal Learning in the Digital Age,” sponsored by the Wayne D. McMurray Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Monmouth University.

Ellen Gruber Garvey, Professor of English at New Jersey City University, winner of the American Archivists' Waldo Gifford Leland Award and the Institute for Humanities Research Transdisciplinary Book Award for Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (2013), and winner of the Delong prize on the History of the Book for The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture (1996), will deliver a talk titled Activists Repurpose Media: 19th Century American Scrapbooks at Monmouth University on Thursday, November 12, 2015, from 6 - 7 p.m. in historic Wilson Hall, Room 104. Refreshments will be available from 5:30 p.m., and the event is free and open to the public.

Activists Repurpose Media: 19th Century American Scrapbooks is the third lecture in an annual series which features scholars of book and print history speaking on topics about "Ink and Electricity: Advancing Liberal Learning in the Digital Age." This series is sponsored by the Wayne D. McMurray Endowed Chair in the Humanities.

Dr. Garvey will address how men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks – the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Mark Twain to Frederick Douglass to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, people cut out and pasted down their reading. They devised ways of articulating opinions and compiling data without writing a word.

Scrapbooks let activists who didn’t own the press engage with media. Women’s rights activists documented their pioneering activities in scrapbooks and experimented with how to present their political work to varied audiences. African Americans created scrapbooks to hold communal history. In hundreds of volumes, only a few years after Emancipation, black people asserted that they owned news and culture and passed along their critical, oppositional reading of newspapers. Join us to learn how nineteenth-century African American and women's rights activists reveal in their scrapbooks their personal, passionate, often critical, and always dynamic relationship to media.

Dr. Ellen Gruber Garvey has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the American Antiquarian Society, and held the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair in American Literature in the Netherlands. She recently taught for a semester in Paris as an invited Visiting Professor at the Université Paris 8/Vincennes-St. Denis. She is Professor of English and Gender and Women's Studies at New Jersey City University, where she co-edits the journal Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.