Men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks – the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their readings. In scrapbooks, 19th-century readers spoke back to the media. African Americans and women’s rights activists collected, concentrated, and critiqued accounts from a press that they did not control to create “unwritten histories” in books they wrote with scissors. In this session, participants will explore how men and women created their own democratic archives, especially during the battle for suffrage. Participants are invited to bring scrapbooks 50 years old or older, to examine and discuss.
Ellen Gruber Garvey, Ph.D.
Professor of English, New Jersey City University
Ellen Gruber Garvey is the author of two prize-winning books, The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture (Oxford U P), and Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford UP, 2013). She has written for CNN, The Washington Post, New York Times Disunion blog, Slate, The Forward, and The Root. She recently retired as Professor of English at New Jersey City University. She talks about women and bicycling on Facebook, and blogs about scrapbooks.
PROGRAMS BY THIS SCHOLAR