“A Lyceum Diaspora: Hilary Teage and a Liberian Civic Identity”

— Bjørn F. Stillion Southard

“Bjørn F. Stillion Southard explores the deliberative practices of the Liberia Lyceum and the work of Hilary Teage, a speaker, writer, and editor in 1840s Monrovia who encouraged fellow settler-colonists to develop a black Liberian civic identity. Stillion Southard uses Teage’s voice to show how print, performance, and deliberation in Liberia drew on the norms and ideals of lecture culture in the United States, while adapting and ultimately transforming those norms and ideals for the settler-colonists’ geographic and political context. The Liberia Lyceum and the work of Hilary Teage show how people and places are as important as practices and purposes in understanding the life of the mind and its histories” (pp. 17).

Selected Bibliography on African American Rhetorical Practice and the Lyceum Diaspora

Earp, Charles A. “The Role of Education in the Maryland Colonization Movement.” Journal of Negro History 26, no. 3 (1941): 365-88.

Gates, Henry Louis. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Harris, Robert L. “Charleston’s Free Afro-American Elite: The Brown Fellowship Society and the Humane Brotherhood.” South Carolina Historical Magazine 82, no. 4 (1981): 289-310.

Logan, Shirley W. Liberating Language: Sites of Rhetorical Education in Nineteenth-Century Black America. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008.

McHenry, Elizabeth. Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African-American Literary Societies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

Porter, Dorothy B. “The Organized Educational Activities of Negro Literary Societies, 1828-1846.” Journal of Negro Education 5, no. 4 (1936): 555-76.

Relevant People

Josiah Holbrook 

Hilary Teage