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The Transatlantic Lecture Tour: Essayisms Reading Group

Monday 26 October 2020, 5.00PM

This week, we will consider questions of embodiment, performance and peripheral speakers on the transatlantic lecture tour. How do we conceive of the ‘voiced essay’ (Wright 2020) or the essay as lecture? How did the axes of race, gender and disability affect the writings and speeches of nineteenth-century essayists? Who was given the privilege to share their essays in a public forum and whose works were necessarily circumscribed to print and print alone? 
We will be discussing:
  • Harriet Martineau - Sections VI-VII from Society in America (1837) and ‘Cut My Tongue Out…’, an account of Martineau’s 1835 speech in Adams, Performing Authorship in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Lecture Tour (2014).
  • Sarah Parker Remond - a selection of essays (c. 1859-66) collected in New Daughters of Africa (2019) and Ain’t I A Woman: Penguin Great Ideas (2020).
  • Frederick Douglass ‘Lecture on Santo Domingo’ (c. 1873) in Bernier and Taylor (eds.), If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection (2018) - please note that this essay is preceded by an introduction and facsimiles of the manuscript.
You can access the readings via this shared google folder. If you don’t have a York institutional email address please contact Ella Barker ( for access. 

Please register your attendance via the Zoom link



Location: Online via Zoom

Admission: All welcome!