Popular Knowledge, Public Stage:
Cultures of Lecturing and Learning in the Long Nineteenth Century

September 24–26, 2015 • Alexandria Lyceum, Alexandria Virginia

This conference will bring together scholars from various disciplines, including English, history, communication studies, and American studies, to consider how popular, public interactions shaped the character of knowledge in the long nineteenth century (roughly 1790–1910).

The turbulence of these decades transformed the way people lived, worked, played, and communicated. It also transformed the way people thought and learned together—in lecture halls, periodicals, education forums, civic spaces, social movement organizations, and more. In such contexts, speakers and listeners, writers and readers drew upon available cultural resources to shape their identities, to advance collective undertakings, and to interact with the larger society.

This conference is dedicated to exploring the interplay of individuals, groups, publics, cultures, ideas, and discursive spaces as the world lurched forward in modernity.