The Zborays Publish with Public Address Scholars in Volume on the Lyceum

Ronald J. Zboray, Professor of Communication and Director for the Program in Cultural Studies, and Mary Saracino Zboray, Visiting Scholar in the Department of Communication have recently published an essay, “Women Thinking: The International Popular Lecture in Antebellum New England and Its Audience,” in a volume edited by Tom F. Wright, The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth-Century America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013).  The volume, which explores the international and intercultural dimensions of the lyceum and public lecture movement in the United States, contains the work of other Public Address scholars including Angela Ray, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, and Paul Stob, Department of Communication Studies, Vanderbilt University.  The Zborays’ contribution revises scholarship on the antebellum lyceum that positions it within androcentric conceptions, such “Jacksonian democracy,” the “Common man,” and “self-culture,” by highlighting the large body of disfranchised women who audited lyceum lectures between 1830 and 1861, but who have been generally overlooked.  At the same time, the Zborays demonstrate the extent to which the lyceum, redolent with lectures by international speakers or on intercultural topics, engendered in women a means for envisioning world citizenship, informing a sense ethical responsibilities and obligations to people from other parts of the world, and inspiring relativist ways of thinking.   

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