Transatlantic Meditations: Three talks on the Mutual Cultural Influence of English and American Societies through the 19th century


Salem1 Wednesday 22nd June 2005

Unwelcome Publicity: The Persecution of "Dangerous Women" in 17th-century Old and New England

Were the Salem Witch trials an American anomaly?

With the rebirth of transatlantic studies in America, scholars of so-called Early American literature have begun to call attention to the continuities and discontinuities involving the leap across the proverbial pond.

This talk offers not an explanation for the trials, but an exploration of possible precursors to this event, such as the lives and trials of Anne Askew and Anne Hutchinson.



Wednesday 6th July 2005

Weapons of Mass Production: The Impact of Old World Texts and Narratives on New World Settlers

What makes a text 'American'?

While location may be the obvious answer in the contemporary world, the origins of the form have been hotly contested amongst British and American scholars of the eighteenth century.

Recently, it has been argued that the sentimental female protagonist of the Early 'English' novel was a contribution of the 'American' captivity narrative.

This talk seeks to question the notion of origins altogether.



Wednesday 20th July 2005

Equality Control: The Contribution of English Women to the American Women's Movement in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Has the liberation of women been steadily progressing throughout history?

The purpose of this final talk is twofold: it first seeks to demonstrate that history in terms of women's rights has not been necessarily and continually progressive.

Second, it seeks to bring together the histories of women's liberation in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century as they influenced one another.