Lectures and Performances


Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m.
Twelfth Annual Robert C. Baron Lecture
Eric Foner

Eric Foner is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University.


Previous Lectures and Performances

Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m.
“Re-envisioning Black ‘Book History’: The Case of AME Church Print”
James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture
by Eric Gardner

This year’s James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture will be delivered by Eric Gardner on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. In this lecture, Professor Gardner will ask how careful consideration of nineteenth-century African American experiences can and should reshape our discussions of early Black print. His talk will draw on diverse print material that was produced by, for, or via the African Methodist Episcopal Church between 1840 and 1870. He will focus especially on how and why diverse African Americans came to, conceived of, and used print, with emphasis on the ways such exploration challenges dominant senses of terms like “writer,” “editor,” “reader,” and especially “print,” “history,” and “American culture.”

Professor Gardner is professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University is the author of Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture (2015) and the award-winning Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature (2009). He has also edited or co-edited three books, as well as a recent special issue of the journal American Periodicals focused on Black periodical studies.

The annual Wiggins Lecture is named for James Russell Wiggins (1903–2000), chairman of the Society from 1970 to 1977. He was editor of the Washington Post and, until his death at the age of ninety-six, editor of the Ellsworth (Maine) American. Wiggins also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1968.


Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m.
“Ballads from Boston: Music from the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballad Collection"
with David and Ginger Hildebrand

David and Ginger Hildebrand will feature the music of the Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballad Collection. This concert will serve to launch an enhanced version of the digital project Isaiah Thomas Broadside Ballads Project: Verses in Vogue with the Vulgar that will feature audio recordings of some of the ballads.

David and Ginger specialize in researching, recording, and performing early American music. Their most recent focus was on the War of 1812 and the bicentennial of "The Star-Spangled Banner." They present concerts and educational programs throughout the country for museums, universities, and historical organizations. They have consulted for and provided soundtrack materials for numerous documentaries, including the PBS series Liberty!--the American Revolution, Rediscovering George Washington, and Anthem. David and Ginger have issued seven full-length recordings, including CD/music book sets focused on George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. In 1999 they founded The Colonial Music Institute. Ginger holds an M.M. from the Peabody Conservatory; David's M.A. is from George Washington University and his Ph.D. from Catholic University. David is also an author for the Johns Hopkins University Press, and they both teach privately in addition to performing widely.

Photo: White House Historical Association, Matthew Paul D'Agostino


Tuesday, May 3, 6-8 p.m.
9th Annual Adopt-a-Book

The American Antiquarian Society will hold its ninth annual Adopt-a-Book fundraiser at Antiquarian Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. This event will feature books, newspapers, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera and prints up for "adoption." Support of this program aids the Society’s curators as they pursue new acquisitions for the collection.

Support of this program aids the Society’s curators as they pursue new acquisitions for the collection. This listing of objects below includes material from each curatorial area. When you find an image/volume you like in the catalog below, click on it to read a description and follow the link at the bottom to adopt.


Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m.
“The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems”
with Paul Lewis, Harrison Kent, and Alexandra Mitropoulos

This presentation by Professor Paul Lewis from Boston College and some of his students showcases a newly released anthology of early American poetry that originally appeared in early newspapers and periodicals, including Isaiah Thomas’s Massachusetts Spy. The anthology is the result of a three-year project in which small groups of undergraduates at Boston College reviewed about 4,500 poems published in fifty-nine literary magazines.


Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m.
“George Washington’s Journey”
by T.H. Breen
Cosponsored by the Franklin M. Loew Lecture Series at Becker College

Historian and AAS member T. H. Breen (elected 1994) will return to Antiquarian Hall on May 19 to discuss his latest book, George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation (2016), which explores a 1789 trip to all thirteen states made by the first president to fulfill the goals of the American Revolution. This journey aimed to bring the new federal government to the people and it transformed American political culture.

T.H. Breen is the William Smith Mason Professor of American History at Northwestern University Emeritus and a James Marsh Professor at Large at the University of Vermont.


Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m.
“Valiant Ambition”
by Nathaniel Philbrick

AAS member Nathaniel Philbrick (elected 2002) comes back to Antiquarian Hall to discuss his forthcoming book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution (May 2016). This work details the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold. It is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation.



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