This is part of the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival. Purchase a Festival Concurrent Sessions Pass to attend this event.
Hillary Clinton recently touted her presidential nomination as a fulfillment of the promise of Seneca Falls—shorthand for the first women’s rights meeting held in the U.S., in 1848, in Seneca Falls, NY. Today there is a national historical park there, further enshrining this moment as the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the US. But how did this event, over legions of other possible events, become so elevated? And why does it matter? Because it does matter, deeply, to how we imagine and pursue rights agendas in the present. Come hear this new, provocative work about where the story of Seneca Falls comes from-it only becomes commonplace some 50 years after the actual event--and about why we must reposition it in our collective imaginations.
Tetrault’s book, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898, recently won the Organization of American Historian’s women’s history book award, for best and most original contribution to the field.
Lisa Tetrault is a Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University. She specializes in the history of U.S. women and gender—focusing on the nineteenth-century, the history of social movements (particularly feminism), narrativity, and the politics of memory. Dr. Tetrault has received long-term fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Newberry Library, and the Smithsonian Institution. The American Historical Association and the Library of Congress awarded her the 2007 J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship, then given for the most promising book by a young historian. She has also received funding from the Huntington Library, the Schlesinger Library, the Sophia Smith Collection, and many others.