Wiggins Lecture by Eric Gardner

Lectures and Performances Wiggins
Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 7:00pm

“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.

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