Disrupting Narratives

Part I of Thinking Together consists of four chapters. Part I “directly challenges common stories told by scholars about popular learning in the long nineteenth century, calling into question assumptions about where learning occurred and what functions it performed. Contributors ask what happened to the lyceum during the Civil War, when and why women began giving commercial lectures, whether the antebellum lecture hall was thoroughly an Anglo-Saxon, bourgeois phenomenon, and who was mimicking whom in performances saturated with racial—and racist—assumptions. In keeping with their emphasis on the generation of new historical and conceptual models, each of the chapters in part I surveys multiple individuals and groups” (p. 15).

The chapters in Part I are:

1. The Portable Lyceum in the Civil War, by Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray

2. Women’s Entrepreneurial Lecturing in the Early National Period, by Granville Ganter

3. Mobilizing Irish America in the Antebellum Lecture Hall, by Tom F. Wright

4. Authentic Imitation or Perverse Original? Learning About Race from America’s Popular Platforms, by Kirt H. Wilson and Kaitlyn G. Patia