Elizabeth Fergusson and the American Salon

Please join us for a nontraditional panel on 3/2 at 3:15 pm about Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson. This panel seeks to recover, clarify, and expand our current scholarship about Fergusson; recovery, however, is not the sole objective. We also hope to discuss the vital role she had in establishing a uniquely American salon culture and fostering its writing practices. While English coteries shared ideas and creative works, Fergusson’s had a uniquely political dimension. This panel will consider how Fergusson’s manuscript commonplace books and letters, which scholars have rightly described as analogous to the salons she hosted, constitute material embodiments of the mixed social sphere of early America and provide significant insights in the role handwritten publication played in its culture. The ideas and manuscripts that she and her participants constructed transcended the private space of Graeme Park, and our papers explore the ripple effect of the literary and “political sociability” created there.

 

This panel will be held as a “salon about salons.” In addition to providing short position papers, panelists will curate a selection of Fergusson’s manuscripts and distribute that selection to audience members, who will then participate in a dialogue about the panelists’ papers, Fergusson’s print culture, and the primary source manuscripts featured on the panel. If you would like to read the primary sources ahead of time, these materials are located here. You can also access them by going to kacytillman.com and selecting “SEA Conference 2017.”

 

Thank you,

 

Chair: Lisa Logan, University of Central Florida

 

Chiara Cillerai, St. John’s University, “Cosmopolitanism and Nostalgia in Elizabeth Fergusson’s

Commonplace Books”

 

Kacy Tillman, University of Tampa, “Elizabeth Fergusson’s Hyperlinked Salon”

 

Rodney Mader, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, “ ‘The Deserted Wife,’ A PostScript

to the Salon”

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