The American Lyceum: I rise to speak because I am not a slave. Boston: 3-21to24-13
The title of this panel quotes Abbey Kelly Foster, who without benefit of patrons, sponsors, or the anti-slavery movement, fought her way throughout the American Lyceum circuit of the mid-nineteenth century, speaking in the halls of New England to articulate her perspective on national issues, particularly slavery. While the American Lyceum is known as the precursor to today's community colleges, having featured such great orators as Emerson, Thoreau, Frederick Douglass and Edward Everett, far less is known about the women who contributed to the lyceum. From its inception in 1828 through its decline and disappearance after WWI, the American lyceum forged a public educated through general lectures into a democratic audience. Not yet recognized as a voting part of that audience, and without the rights and privileges of adult men, nonetheless, women infused the lyceum lectures with their presence, both on and off the lecture platform. This panel seeks to bring forth the work of women who took part in the lectures of the lyceum, both individually and in conversation with the men. We will also consider the troubled relationship between many women and the anti-slavery societies. All women lecturers associated with the lyceum movement will be considered, with special attention given to papers dealing with the following: Abbey Kelly Foster, Sarah and/or Angelina Grimke, Lidian Emerson, Helen Thoreau, Lucy Stone, Anna Dickinson, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Sarah Parker Remond, and Sara Jane Clarke Lippincott (a.k.a. Grace Greenwood). Wordfile proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org, by September 30.