Memories of 'NEH Situating Democratic Writers in Western New York 2019'



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The participants brought a remarkable variety of perspectives and types of scholarly expertise to the seminar. Here, the group gathers for the final time at a closing reception at the A. D. White house at Cornell. We have learned so much from each other!



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At the opening reception sponsored by the English Department at Cornell University we were just beginning to have the exchange of ideas that would unfold over the next two weeks.



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Another picture from the opening reception where the discussion concerned how to reach across the nineteenth century from the perspectives of France, Russia, and the United States.



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We were very fortunate to have Nancy Green, a senior curator at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, present an exhibition of women artists who comment on the history of the U.S. Here we viewed a quilt by Faith Ringold, and, in the background, a cut out book by Kara Walker.



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A special treat was a lecture by Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, a professor of Transnational Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, who spoke on the ways that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy viewed territory in what we now think of as western New York.



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We had a day-long excursion to Seneca Falls, the Harriet Tubman house, and the William Seward House. Here is a senior curator at the William Seward House deeply immersed in explaining its history.



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During a specially-arranged visit to the holdings of the Kroch library, Lance Heidig, the Reference and Instruction librarian, eagerly expands on the holdings about Abraham Lincoln and Civil War culture.



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We had a visit from our NEH program officer Rebecca Boggs, who was quite interested in the Civil War scrapbooks kept by Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell University.



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In these scrapbooks, vivid colors show the uniform of the Zouaves, Civil War soldiers who modeled themselves on French troops in North Africa, an example of the international focus that we included in the conversation about nineteenth-century New York State.



The two-week seminar was held June 16-28, 2019.


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Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this seminar do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

View of the Erie Canal by John William Hill (1829)