CLST Director Ron Zboray Publishes Essay on Women Attending International-Themed Public Lectures in Early 19th-C. New England

CLST Director Ron Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray have published their essay "Women Thinking: The International Popular Lecture and Its Audience in Antebellum New England," in The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth-Century America, ed. Tom F. Wright (Amherst" University of Massachuestts Press, 2013). Based on 2,000 manuscript diaries, letters, commonplace books, and account ledgers, authored by nearly 450 ordinary New England women living between 1828 and 1861, the essay demonstrates that because women’s interest in lectures encompassed the international, it complicated their understanding of “universal” gender roles, sharpened their awareness of world-wide political events, augmented their knowledge of world history, honed their rhetorical skills, and amplified a sense of the cosmopolitan they developed by traveling and reading books by international authors and about other parts of the world. It sometimes inspired them to reflect upon the state of the nation and their civic roles within it.