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Conversations from the Cullman Center: The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lectures in American Civilization and Government: HIDDEN, THE HISTORY OF SECRECY
The Joanna Jackson Goldman Memorial Lecture on American Civilization and Government
Part One: Mystery
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7-8 pm
Beginning with the story of an Invisible Lady who visited New York City in 1804, Jill Lepore considers the strange history of the relationship between the unseen and the unknown. In this first of two illustrated lectures that range from the mysteries of the medieval church to the privacy settings on Facebook, Lepore argues that what was once mysterious became secret and, finally, private.
Part Two: Privacy
Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 7-8 pm
In her second illustrated lecture, Lepore considers a paradox of contemporary culture in which the only thing more cherished than privacy is publicity. Tracing the origins of privacy to the early modern practice of keeping common-place books, Lepore chronicles the history of hermits, recluses, and invisible men, from H.G. Wells to Ralph Ellison to people who post on Instagram.
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University, where she chairs the department of History and Literature Program. She is the author of several books, including The Name of War, which won the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, and the Phi Beta Kappa Society Award; New York Burning, which won the Anisfield-Wolf Award for best non-fiction book on race and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; The Whites of Their Eyes, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death; and The Story of America: Essays on Origins.
With Jane Kamensky, she founded the magazine Common-place, a publication that explores and exchanges ideas about early American history and culture. Lepore’s essays and reviews appear frequently in The New York Times¸ The Times Literary Supplement, The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Journal of American History, American Scholar, and American Quarterly.