Enjoy the Concord Museum's virtual forums!
Concord Museum Forums are a series of public programs designed to foster dialogue on a diverse range of historical, contemporary, and cultural topics that resonate with Concord’s history.
Due precuations around COVID-19, the Forums - previously held in the Museum's Churchill and Janet Franklin Lyceum - have been moved to a online format for summer and fall 2020.
Below we have listed books to complement each presentation. Books may be ordered online for pick up in the Bookshop, curbside pick-up, or shipping via Media Mail.
Concord and the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage Virtual Forum
August 11, 2020 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM
Join historian, Sandra Petrulionis, author of To Set This World Right: The Anti-Slavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord, in a conversation about the women in Concord who led the quest for universal suffrage as the nation marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.
Sandra Harbert Petrulionis is Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Penn State University, Altoona, and the author of To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord. She has also directed NEH Summer Institutes in Concord on “Transcendentalism and Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller.”
Laura Walls on the Women of the Thoreau Family
August 20, 2020 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM
As we mark the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, historian Laura Dassow Walls will discuss Henry David Thoreau’s mother, sisters, and aunts based on her book, Thoreau: A Life which the late Robert Richardson described as “the best all-around biography of Thoreau ever written.”
Laura Dassow Walls is a Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and author of Henry David Thoreau: A Life (Chicago University Press, 2017). This book, the first full-length, comprehensive biography of Thoreau in a generation, draws on extensive new research and the full range of Thoreau’s published and unpublished writings to present Thoreau as vigorously alive in all his quirks and contradictions—fully embedded in his place and time, yet speaking powerfully to the problems and perils of today.
Nicholas Basbanes on Longfellow
August 25, 2020 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM
Nicholas Basbanes will discuss his new biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Cross of Snow, which the Wall Street Journal describes as a “superbly sympathetic” volume of “19th century America’s most popular and approachable poet.” An early handwritten manuscript of Longfellow’s poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere is currently on display at the Museum!
Nicholas A. Basbanes is the author of ten critically acclaimed works of cultural history. In 2016, he was awarded a Public Scholar research fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities, his second NEH grant, for work on Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Knopf, 2020), which is receiving acclaimed reviews from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Washington Post.
Kerri Greenidge, Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
Tuesday, September 22
Christine DeLucia, Memory Lands
Wednesday, October 7
Lizabeth Cohen, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age
Monday, October 19
Fred Logevall, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956
Tuesday, October 27
On July 1, Tom Putnam (Edward W. Kane Executive Director of the Concord Museum) was joined in conversation with Nina Zannieri (Executive Director of the Paul Revere Memorial Association in Boston) and Robert Shimp (Research and Adult Program Director for the Paul Revere Memorial Association)
The book we feature for this program is David Hackett Fischer's Paul Revere's Ride:
Paul Revere's midnight ride looms as an almost mythical event in American history--yet it has been largely ignored by scholars and left to patriotic writers and debunkers. Now one of the foremost American historians offers the first serious look at the events of the night of April 18, 1775 - what led up to it, what really happened, and what followed - uncovering a truth far more remarkable than the myths of tradition.
A Conversation with E. Dolores Johnson
July 21, 2020 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously observed, “All history is biography.” As our nation continues to explore historical schisms centered on race, we’ll look at these questions in the context of one mixed-race family.
In her new book, Say I’m Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love, E. Dolores Johnson, the daughter of an interracial couple, tells the story of her parents’ decision to flee Indianapolis and its strict anti-miscegenation laws in the 1940s to secretly marry and raise their daughter in upstate New York. Later as she researched her father’s black genealogy, she unearthed the remarkable story of her mother’s 36-year old secret that defined their family.
E. Dolores Johnson was born in Buffalo, NY. She earned degrees from Howard University and Harvard Graduate School of Business. After a career in tech, she took an MFA equivalent course to learn creative writing. Johnson is a published essayist focused on inter-racialism.
Transcendentalists and the Struggle for Social Justice
July 28, 2020 7:00 PM — 8:00 PM
John Buehrens, former President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, in conversation with Phyllis Cole, Professor Emerita, Penn State University, will discuss the radical social activism of Boston-based Transcendentalists including Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, James Freeman Clarke, and Caroline Healey Dall who, among others, fought to lay the groundwork for democratic and progressive religion in America.
John Buehrens is past president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (1993 to 2001) and is Minister Emeritus of First Parish in Needham (where he served from 2002 to 2012). He is one of the leading voices in Unitarian Universalism, having authored several previous books, including A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and Understanding the Bible: An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers and Religious Liberals. He has served congregations in Tennessee, Texas, New York City (All Souls) and prior to his recent retirement, San Francisco.
Phyllis Cole is Professor Emerita of English, Women’s Studies and American Studies at Penn State University. Dr. Cole’s fields of specialization include American Transcendentalism and nineteenth-century American women writers. Still a productive scholar in retirement, she is a past President of the national Ralph Waldo Emerson Society and of the Margaret Fuller Society.