Congratulations to our Lydia Maria Child Social Justice Award winners and nominees!

The Lydia Maria Child Society is proud to announce the winners of its second social justice awards, a project designed to acknowledge and encourage students, scholars, and professionals whose work furthers Lydia Maria Child’s passionate commitment to social progress. This year’s selection committee for these awards was deeply inspired by the number, range, and outstanding quality of the applications and nominations we received. In an era of social and political upheaval, we are heartened by the dedication to justice and equity these awards highlight in scholarship, service, and classrooms across the country. We wish we had the means to recognize all of our tremendously deserving applicants/nominees, and we’re particularly pleased to announce the winners in each of our three award categories.

The winner in our high school and undergraduate student category is Alma Stott of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Alma is a Geography and Environmental and Sustainability Studies major and visual artist who was nominated after she chose to respond to the discomfort of the many minority students at her school in the wake of the 2016 election by creating a series of wood-block posters with messages like “Ningún ser humano es illegal. No human being is illegal. Choose your words carefully” and “Muslim students, you are so loved and valued.” Alma distributed these messages of solidarity around her campus and community, in coffee shops and classrooms, to friends and strangers, asking others to please “put them on your fridge or mail them to your grandmother.”

Our graduate student winner is Kristin Lacey, a third-year English Ph.D. student at Boston University. Kristin writes and teaches about the figure of the madwoman in literature, examining how cultural and gendered expectations impact mental states. She has also organized conferences on Higher Ed in the Era of #MeToo and workshops on transgender inclusion in higher education, and she has been instrumental in her grad student union’s gender equity working group, where she’s campaigned for all-gender rest-rooms and increased sexual assault prevention training on campus.

Finally, our winner in the professor and independent scholar category is Dr. Katy Ryan of West Virginia University. Katy has written and taught extensively on American literature of imprisonment and the death penalty, and she is the founder and director of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, which, since its inception in 2004, has distributed over 13,000 books to prisoners in her region. This project emerged directly from a graduate seminar Katy taught, and many of her former students are still active in the program years later, testifying to Katy’s clear ability to inspire. Katy also volunteers to edit the prisoner-written newsletter of a prison in Illinois.

We extend our most heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to our three winners as well as the rest of our applicants/nominees: Meredith Eliassen, Robert Fanuzzi, Heather Humann, Rebecca Kling, Debra Rosenthal, Randi Lynn Tanglen, Monica Urban, Lindsay Vreeland, and Madeleine Wilkinson. We look forward to sharing more about these extraordinary individuals in future postings. We hope reading about their scholarship and activism inspires you, as it has us, to continue to approach our teaching and academic work in ways that strive to make the world a better and more just place.

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2018 Lydia Maria Child Social Justice Awards

Call for Nominations:

In keeping with our society’s goal of honoring and continuing Lydia Maria Child’s vision of and work toward social justice, the Lydia Maria Child Society is pleased to offer three awards recognizing scholarship, pedagogy, creative work, and/or activism that furthers social change: one for faculty, independent scholars, and other professionals; one for scholars/artists/activists at the graduate level; and one for high school and undergraduate students.  Child routinely wrote on behalf of the marginalized, emerging as a passionate advocate for slaves, Native Americans, prisoners, prostitutes, and even animals, among a host of others.  Our society aims to recognize academic writing, pedagogical endeavors, creative projects, and social outreach that, like Child’s work, speaks to pressing social causes and/or foregrounds the voices of (oftentimes neglected) authors who have worked to produce socially conscious writing.  Winners will receive a monetary award of $100 and may be featured in our society’s newsletter or other programming.

To apply for any of the three awards or to nominate a colleague or student, please send to lydiamariachildsociety@gmail.com by April 15 a letter detailing the ways in which your own or your nominee’s work engages with current social justice concerns, with “Social justice award” as the subject line of your email.  You are also welcome, though not required, to include a writing sample that demonstrates this engagement.  These samples may take the form of essays (or essay excerpts), course syllabi, or descriptions of projects that explore the intersections between American literature/history and social justice outside the academic classroom.  Applications should be sent as Word documents and should not exceed 15 pages.  While we will be happy to receive submissions that consider Child directly, Child need not be included in order for projects to be eligible; we welcome projects on a variety of authors, genres, periods, and/or concerns.

Winners will be recognized at the upcoming American Literature Association conference in San Francisco (May 2018), though they need not be present at the conference in order to be eligible for the award.  To read about past winners, visit https://lydiamariachildsociety.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/social-justice-award-winners/.  We look forward to reading your submissions.

 

 

CFP: LMCS at ALA San Francisco

Deadlines extended:
 

CFP:  Lydia Maria Child Society

American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco, CA
24 – 27 May 2018 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, 5 Embarcadero
(URL: americanliteratureassociation.org/ala-conferences/ala-annual-conference/)

The Lydia Maria Child Society welcomes proposals for a roundtable and for an open-topic panel at the annual American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco, CA, at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

 Social Justice Pedagogy Roundtable

The Lydia Maria Child Society seeks participants for a roundtable on pedagogy, social justice, and American literature. Considering contemporary social justice concerns ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy to persistent gender inequities and xenophobia made all too apparent by the 2016 presidential election and the resulting anti-woman and anti-immigrant policies, the Child Society feels strongly that many of the issues for which Child fought so passionately remain deeply relevant today. To honor her lifelong commitment to both education and writing as ways to attain social change, we ask that our selected panelists prepare brief presentations on how they address the above issues and/or others within the literature classroom, before engaging in what we hope will be a fruitful and wide-ranging open discussion on social justice pedagogies and American literature. What texts and social issues have proved particularly pertinent to your students’ lived experiences of activism, marginalization, etc.? How do you productively draw parallels between the concerns of the literary works you teach and those we are facing in the world outside the classroom? What specific lesson plans, textual pairings/groupings, and/or other pedagogical approaches might you recommend to colleagues striving to make their syllabi and classrooms more socially conscious and engaged?

Please send 200-word abstracts of your proposed presentation, as Word documents, to lydiamariachildsociety@gmail.com by January 25, 2018.  Note that while we, of course, welcome proposals that engage with Child’s work, Child need not be included for your proposal to be considered.

Open-Topic Panel on Child

The Lydia Maria Child Society values sharing ideas about Lydia Maria Child and her work, particularly the work that has spoken the most to you.  We therefore welcome for our open-topic panel proposals that engage with any aspect of Child’s personal or professional life and endeavors.  Possible topics include:

·       Child and food/cooking

·       Child and animals

·       Child and the Civil War

·       Child and radical democracy/activism

·       Child and politics, especially in relation to current issues

·       Child’s journalism and editorship

·       Child and education

·       Child and the arts (theater, music, visual arts, etc.)

·       Child’s influence on her contemporaries

·       Child’s influence on later writers

·       Child in the K – 12 classroom, continuing education, and beyond

·       Child in the community (local, state, national, international)

Please send 250-word abstracts and a brief CV, as Word documents, to lydiamariachildsociety@gmail.com and to sburr@nmu.edu by January 25, 2018.

Lydia Maria Child in Legacy

The LMCS is delighted to be featured in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers 34.1 (2017)!
 
Forum
Envisioning America’s Future: Lydia Maria Child and Social Justice
 
The Lydia Maria Child Society was founded in 2015, and the occasion brought together a group of distinguished scholars, including Carolyn L. Karcher, Karen L. Kilcup, Hildegard Hoeller, Bruce Mills, Robert Fanuzzi, and Dana D. Nelson, who shared their thoughts on the author’s social engagements. This Forum, guest edited by Sarah Olivier, provides a deepened continuation of that discussion in order to further reflect on the goals of a new author society that seeks to foster the pursuit of social justice and inclusive excellence. Contributors highlight the relevancy of Child’s literary endeavors to our twenty-first century world, covering topics such as racial injustice, religious intolerance, mass incarceration, immigration, environmental rights, gender equality, and new abolition movements. They unpack the radical models of citizenship that Child imagined in envisioning America’s potential future as a multiracial egalitarian republic. This forum demonstrates the extent to which Child deserves further recognition and examination within multiple facets of American studies, while illuminating the pedagogical possibilities that teaching Child in the classroom presents. Child’s work illustrates that literary history is an embodiment of the ongoing processes that comprise American culture and society. The study and teaching of her work, then, can help us to inspire critical engagement with current social issues, thereby pointing to the importance of humanities disciplines.
 
This issue of Legacy is available at https://legacywomenwriters.org/ and also on Project Muse (https://muse.jhu.edu/).

 

LMCS in Medford

During the recent American Literature Association conference, members of the Lydia Maria Child Society toured Child’s birthplace, Medford.

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Lydia Francis headstone, photo by Tracey Daniels-Lerberg

We visited a number of important cites, including  the historic graveyard where her grandparents were buried.

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LMCS Members touring Medford, photo by Tracey Daniels-Lerberg

Thanks to Boston University’s Kyna Hamill, who is also a volunteer with the Medford Historical Society, for a wonderful guided tour of the city and the society’s LMC holdings (more on this later.)

LMCS Activities in Boston

Lydia Maria Child Society Activities during ALA 2017

We welcome you to the ALA in Boston and hope that you’ll be able to take part in one or more of our activities!

Friday, May 26:  Walking tour of Medford, MA, and Medford Historical Society and Museum

Dr. Kyna Hamill, of the School of Theatre at Boston University, will be leading us on a 45-minute walking tour of Medford, beginning at Medford Square, that will focus on significant Lydia Maria Child sites.  This walk will end at the Medford Historical Society and Museum (MHSM), where we will see artifacts such as an 1826 portrait of Child and Child’s “Floral Souvenir” scrapbook.  Lunch in Medford will round off the tour.  http://www.medfordhistorical.org/

Gather in Medford at 10am at Medford Square in front of the doughnut shop at 35 Riverside Avenue, where the 95 bus from Sullivan will drop off the Westin group.  Kyna will meet us here.

Travel from the Westin:  Those who would like to go in a group from the Westin to Medford using public transportation (subway and bus) can meet in the hotel.  The round-trip cost will be approximately $10.  We will meet in Westin’s lobby by 9am and leave immediately.

The tour will be “easy walking,” which comfortable footwear may enhance.  You may wish to bring rain gear and/or sunscreen.  Unfortunately, the MHSM is not wheelchair accessible.  We are happy to arrange for the Child artifacts to be brought to Medford’s Public Library, which is two blocks from the MHSM, if such accommodations are requested.

Sadly, the LMCS cannot provide financial assistance.

Please e-mail Sandy Burr at sburr@nmu.edu by Midnight on Monday, May 20, to sign up for the trip.  We’ll use the total number to plan on a head count and to make lunch reservations in Medford.  Please include your need for wheelchair accessibility and your plan to either meet us in the Westin lobby or at Medford Square, 35 Riverside Avenue.

Saturday, May 27:  Panels and Business Meeting

8:10am to 9:30am

Session 14-D   Social Justice Pedagogy Roundtable

Organized by the Lydia Maria Child Society

Moderator: Sandra Burr, Northern Michigan University

  1. Jacqueline Emery and Carol Quirke, SUNY College at Old Westbury
  2. Marlowe Daly-Galeano, Lewis-Clark State College
  3. Philip Kadish, Hunter College, City University of New York
  4. Tracey-Lynn Daniels-Lerberg, University of Texas at Arlington
  5. Lucy Sirianni, University of California at Berkeley
  6. Sarah Olivier, University of Denver

9:40am to 11am

Session 15-D   Limning the Possibilities of Lydia Maria Child

Organized by the Lydia Maria Child Society

Chair: Sarah Olivier, University of Denver

  1. “‘Invisible Danger’: Lydia Maria Child and Writing Race in Mammoth Cave,” Emma Newcombe, Boston University
  2. “‘Nothing But a Tiger’: Portraits of Lydia Maria Child,” Kyna Hamill, Boston University
  3. “Dialogic Spiritualism in Child and Poe: Philothea and the Cosmology of ‘Eureka,'” Adam C. Bradford, Florida Atlantic University

2:10pm to 3:30pm

Session 18-M   Business Meeting: Lydia Maria Child Society

Join us in Boston

Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA 2017

The Westin Copley Place, Boston

May 25 – 28

Dear Members and Friends,

The ALA has posted the 2017 draft program on its conference website, so we thought you’d like to see the particulars about the three LMCS events currently in that program.  Please note that these events all take place on Saturday, May 27.

We’re working on an excursion to Medford to visit some Lydia Maria Child sites on Friday, May 26.  Once we’ve worked out the details, we’ll update you via this list-serv.  We’re on a roll!

Saturday, May 27

8:10am to 9:30am

Session 14-D   Social Justice Pedagogy Roundtable

Organized by the Lydia Maria Child Society

Moderator: Sandra Burr, Northern Michigan University

  1. Jacqueline Emery and Carol Quirke, SUNY College at Old Westbury
  2. Marlowe Daly-Galeano, Lewis-Clark State College
  3. Philip Kadish, Hunter College, City University of New York
  4. Tracey-Lynn Daniels-Lerberg, University of Texas at Arlington
  5. Lucy Sirianni, University of California at Berkeley
  6. Sarah Olivier, University of Denver

9:40am to 11am

Session 15-D   Limning the Possibilities of Lydia Maria Child

Organized by the Lydia Maria Child Society

Chair: Sarah Olivier, University of Denver

  1. “‘Invisible Danger’: Lydia Maria Child and Writing Race in Mammoth Cave,” Emma Newcombe, Boston University
  2. “Cookbook Morality: Child vs. Corporate Cookbooks,” Linda Civitello, Independent Scholar
  3. “‘Nothing But a Tiger’: Portraits of Lydia Maria Child,” Kyna Hamill, Boston University
  4. “Dialogic Spiritualism in Child and Poe: Philothea and the Cosmology of ‘Eureka,’” Adam C. Bradford, Florida Atlantic University

2:10pm to 3:30pm

Session 18-M   Business Meeting: Lydia Maria Child Society

Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA

Call for Papers:

Lydia Maria Child Society at ALA 2017, Boston, MA, 25 – 28 May 2017

The Lydia Maria Child Society welcomes proposals for a roundtable and for an open-topic panel to be held at the annual American Literature Association Conference in Boston, MA, between 25 and 28 May 2017 at The Westin Copley Place (URL: americanliteratureassociation.org/ala-conferences/ala-annual-conference/).

The Lydia Maria Child Society seeks participants for a roundtable on pedagogy, social justice, and nineteenth-century American literature.  Considering contemporary social justice concerns ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy to the persistent gender inequities made all too apparent in the 2016 presidential election, the Child Society feels strongly that many of the issues for which Child fought so passionately remain deeply relevant today.  To honor her lifelong commitment to both education and writing as ways to attain social change, we will ask that our selected panelists prepare brief presentations on how they address the above issues and/or others within the literature classroom, before engaging in what we hope will be a fruitful and wide-ranging open discussion on social justice pedagogies and nineteenth-century American literature.  What nineteenth-century texts and social issues have proved particularly pertinent to your students’ lived experiences of activism, marginalization, etc.? How do you productively draw parallels between the concerns of the nineteenth century and those we are facing today? What specific lesson plans, textual pairings/groupings, and/or other pedagogical approaches might you recommend to colleagues striving to make their syllabi and classrooms more socially conscious and engaged?

Please send 200-word abstracts of your proposed presentation, as Word documents, to lydiamariachildsociety@gmail.com by January 10, 2017.  Note that while we of course welcome proposals that engage with Child’s work, Child need not be included for your proposal to be considered.

The Lydia Maria Child Society values sharing ideas about Lydia Maria Child and her work, particularly the work that has spoken the most to you as a reader, a writer, a student, an instructor, a parent, and/or an individual.  We therefore welcome proposals for our open-topic panel that engage with any aspect of Child’s work.  What aspects of Child’s life and writing have motivated you to self-reflect?  To explore specific genres of reading and/or writing?  To change the way(s) you perceive social responsibility?  To engage actively in social reform at home, at work, in the classroom, or in the community?  To create and/or overhaul a course?  To share in other personal and/or professional contexts the specific elements or traits that make you passionate about Child’s work?  Please share your ideas with us!

Please send 250-word abstracts and a brief CV, as Word documents, to lydiamariachildsociety@gmail.com by January 10, 2017.

Two Roads in Medford

Lydia Maria Child is still making news!

This fall, the Medford Historical Society & Museum will be featuring an original play entitled “Letters to Medford: A Play About the Future According to the Past” from Sept. 29-October 8, 2016 featuring Lydia Maria Child as a character.  This original play is produced by Two Roads Performance Projects.

Letters to Medford is inspired by a “Letter to Future Medford 2055” that historian, Charles Brooks, wrote in his History of Medford in 1855. In his letter, he described his vision for Medford over the course of 200 years. History and the present collide in this production when Charles Brooks, Lydia Maria Child, and Lucy Osgood confront the archivist who wants to protect their history and meet Medford teens who remain anxious about what the future will mean for them.

The Medford Historical Society & Museum holds many of Child’s artifacts (pocket watch, bible, doll bed, quilts) as well as an original unpublished manuscript we call the “Flower Book” that includes original poetry, drawings and scrapbook pieces. It was a gift to Mary (Mrs George Luther) Stearns in 1855 from “Aunt Maria.” Mrs. Stearns donated it to MHS in 1900.

Another unique object housed at MHSM is the earliest portrait of Child painted by Francis Alexander. Unfortunately, the painting was destroyed when someone attempted to restore it in the 1950s. The story of this painting is featured in the play.

Tickets for the show are now on sale at www.tworoads.org

$15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.

Location: Medford Historical Society & Museum, 10 Governors Avenue