Hall Center For The Humanities


Ellen Gruber Garvey
Ellen Gruber Garvey
Professor of English, New Jersey City University

"Writing with Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance"
Special Events

Mon., Oct. 15, 2012, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Co-sponsored by the Departments of English and American Studies, and the Hall Center
Location: Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union

Men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading. New Jersey City University Professor of English Ellen Gruber Garvey will reveal a previously unexplored layer of American popular culture, where the proliferating cheap press touched the lives of activists and mourning parents, and all who yearned for a place in history. She argues that people have long had a strong personal relationship to media. Like newspaper editors who enthusiastically "scissorized" and reprinted attractive items from other newspapers, scrapbook makers passed their reading along to family and community.

Garvey's book on American magazines, The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, about how advertising became an ordinary and accepted part of American media, won the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing's prize for the best book of 1996 on the history of the book. She has written and lectured in Europe and the U.S. on scrapbooks and on women's bicycling, as well as on magazines, billboards, women editors, and stories about slave ships. She is past President of the New York Metro American Studies Association and the Research Society for American Periodicals, whose website she created. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC, and at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society and has held the Fulbright Walt Whitman Distinguished Lecturing Chair in American Literature in the Netherlands.

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