The New England Biography Seminar is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. By providing an opportunity for those interested in the craft of biography to convene and converse, the seminar creates a community that will support biographical works in progress and help inspire future projects.


Leading authors of the genre will offer their insights and inspiration in a setting designed to generate conversation between panelists and the audience. This seminar will feature roundtable discussions rather than focus on pre-circulated papers or formal remarks. Plan to make new acquaintances and continue the conversation by joining us for the wine and cheese reception that follows each program.

 

We invite you to support this ongoing series as a subscriber. Subscribers help to underwrite the cost of planning and presenting this free series, including the wine and cheese reception that follows each program.

 

There will be two sessions in the 2017-2018 series. Download, print, and circulate the calendar of this year's sessions here!

Join us for an in-depth exploration of the latest scholarship. Subscribe

 

Schedule

October

Biography Seminar Chasing Your Subject: Traveling Biographers, Traveling Subjects 19 October 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Paul Fisher, Wellesley College; Charlotte Gordon, Endicott College; Sue Quinn, author Moderator: Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of ...

What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of their subjects? Is travel a necessary component to writing biography? And what challenges does a traveling subject present to a biographer? This panel will include Paul Fisher, who has traveled extensively to research his work in progress, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent, His Patrons, and Sexuality in the Art World of the Belle Epoque; Charlotte Gordon, whose latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, also took her all over Europe; and Sue Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady and earlier biographies of Marie Curie and Karen Horney, who has pursued her subjects from Hyde Park to Warsaw and Tokyo.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579

More
March
Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects 22 March 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is ...

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

More
More events
Biography Seminar Chasing Your Subject: Traveling Biographers, Traveling Subjects 19 October 2017.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Paul Fisher, Wellesley College; Charlotte Gordon, Endicott College; Sue Quinn, author Moderator: Carol Bundy, Civil War biographer

What do biographers learn when they travel to distant parts and foreign countries in pursuit of their subjects? Is travel a necessary component to writing biography? And what challenges does a traveling subject present to a biographer? This panel will include Paul Fisher, who has traveled extensively to research his work in progress, The Grand Affair: John Singer Sargent, His Patrons, and Sexuality in the Art World of the Belle Epoque; Charlotte Gordon, whose latest book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, also took her all over Europe; and Sue Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady and earlier biographies of Marie Curie and Karen Horney, who has pursued her subjects from Hyde Park to Warsaw and Tokyo.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579

close
Biography Seminar “No Ideas But in Things”: Writing Lives from Objects Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. 22 March 2018.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Amherst College; Susan Ware, Independent Scholar Moderator: Natalie Dykstra, Hope College

Often a biographer confronts silences in the record of her subject, when part of the life story is not documented with words. Mute sources—objects in the subject’s archive—can pose a challenge for interpretation, but also offer rich opportunities. How can biographers read objects as eloquent sources?

Panelists include Deborah Lutz, whose book The Brontë Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects is a biography of the sisters centered on the humble objects they owned. Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports, is using artifacts from the Schlesinger Library’s collections in her group biography of suffrage activists. Karen Sanchez-Eppler is writing In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past, viewing children’s lives from material things. Natalie Dykstra, author of Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life, will moderate.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close