The second lecture in our series on American life and culture: “Inventing a Southern Self: Reading Letters, Telling Stories and Writing History,” a talk by Dr. Rebecca Fraser, from the School of American Studies, UEA is happening TONIGHT, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
In September 1853 Sarah Hicks Williams, born and raised in New York State, honeymooned in Montreal following her wedding to Benjamin F. Williams, a physician and slaveholder in Greene County, North Carolina. The letters she sent back home to her mother and father in New Hartford from Clifton Grove, her husband’s plantation, reveal the complexities and confusions of Sarah’s search for a southern self conforming to particular gender ideals of southern ladyhood and the expectations that came with the role of plantation mistress. This paper is not so much about Sarah’s life-story but the processes of writing history through reading letters, the means through which we understand and articulate a person’s life story through the letters that they wrote and whether just “telling their story” can and should be regarded as “history”.
Admission is free, but space is limited. Please contact the Memorial Library at 01603 774747 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.