Location: Kusler-Cox Auditorium, Rundel Memorial Building
The Making of an American Scholar: Lewis Henry Morgan and his Collaborators
January 19th 1:00 – 2:30pm
Kusler-Cox Auditorium, Rundel Memorial Building, 3rd floor
Rochester Public Library, 115 South Avenue
Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was not only a distinguished Rochester attorney and businessman, but also an internationally known scholar who effectively established the fields of anthropology and archeology in the United States. Morgan did not do this single-handedly; all of his major scholarly contributions relied upon or led to collaborative relationships with a wide range of people. This presentation looks at three different research collaborations in which Morgan engaged: with Ely S. Parker and Caroline G. Parker, members of a prominent Tonawanda Seneca family; with members of The Club, a literary fraternity that Morgan co-founded; and, posthumously, with members of the socialist labor movement who found inspiration in Morgan’s work. The presentation complements the current exhibit Remembering Lewis Henry Morgan at the Rochester Public Library, the design and research for which were provided in part by the three presenters.
Presented by Robert J. Foster, Anna Remus, and Samuel Schacht
Sponsored by the Local History & Genealogy Division. Call 585-428-8370 for more information.
How can an object both connect us with the past and inspire the present? Explore this question as you discover the intricate beadwork created by eight contemporary Onondawaga (Seneca) artists side-by-side with the art of their ancestors from the 1930s from the WPA Indian Arts Project, as well as examples from the 1850s from the RMSC’s Lewis Henry Morgan Collection. Among the examples of beadwork are pieces by Caroline Parker Mount Pleasant, the great aunt of one of RMSC’s early museum directors, Arthur C. Parker.
The Lewis Henry Morgan Collection at RMSC is the largest one assembled by the pioneer ethnographer that exists today. Morgan bequeathed Native American ladles, gorgets, cornhusk dolls, moccasins, war clubs, archaeological artifacts, and much more to the University of Rochester as part of his estate. In 1970, the University of Rochester donated nearly 200 objects to RMSC after lending the Morgan Collection to the Museum for several decades.
Now, on the occasion of Lewis Henry Morgan’s 200th birthday year, RMSC is part of a communitywide collaboration to remember and critically appreciate Morgan’s legacy, organized by the University of Rochester with support from the Humanities Project.
Start date: December 1, 2018 - End date: March 9, 2019
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
“The most eminent man in authorship and reputation that Rochester had ever claimed.” Champion of women’s education. Internationally respected scientist. Successful lawyer and elected legislator. Generous businessman. These accolades are not for Douglass, Anthony, Ward, Seward, or Eastman: they all describe the achievements of Lewis Henry Morgan.
2018 is the bicentennial of the birth of Morgan (d. 1881), a founding figure in anthropology and archaeology who served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In his will, Morgan bequeathed to the University of Rochester his library and papers and directed that his estate be used to fund the creation of a women’s college. Working with Martin B. Anderson, the University’s first president, Morgan founded and led “The Club,” a men’s literary society that brought together many of Rochester’s leading intellectuals and professionals and continues to this day.
As a partner in the Humanities Project Lewis Henry Morgan at 200: A Critical Appreciation, the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation (RBSCP) has collaborated with Professor Robert Foster to support student research and exhibitions that examine the legacy of Lewis Henry Morgan, stating, “Morgan’s bicentennial is an occasion to look back on the themes of his work–from dispossession of Native peoples to social inequality and concentration of wealth in the U.S.– and connect them to the world in which we now live.”
Components of the project include: partnerships with community organizations; a lecture and film series; a research colloquium; and an innovative website offering digital resources for students, scholars, and the public at large. The current exhibition in RBSCP will be on display until March 9, 2019, with companion displays at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, and at the Rochester Museum and Science Center.
Location: Kusler Cox Auditorium, Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
Beyond the “Mere Property Career”: Lewis Henry Morgan, the Human Mind, and the American Experiment in the Age of Donald Trump
Monday, November 19th, 6.30-8.30pm
Kusler Cox Auditorium
Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY
In observance of Lewis Henry Morgan’s bicentennial year, Daniel Noah Moses considers Morgan’s scholarship as a quiet form of social criticism. Morgan was dissatisfied by what he considered to be the overemphasis around him on the pursuit of “gain.” In his mature years, during what has become known as The Gilded Age, he was concerned about the growing concentration of resources and power in the United States, and the implication of such trends for the prospects of self-government and human flourishing. In his ambivalence, he converted nostalgia into an undercover radicalism based on his grasp of an unfolding human narrative and the assumptions at the foundation of his work: because what was is no longer, what is cannot remain the same. He dedicated himself to exploring what holds societies together and how societies change. Looking to the future, he envisioned a “revival, in higher form of the liberty, equality, and fraternity” of ancient societies. Morgan embodies tension within the American experiment, along with a critique that is uncomfortably relevant now, in 2018, and very much worth talking about.
Daniel Noah Moses is the Director of Educator Programs at Seeds of Peace. After eleven years in Jerusalem, in 2017, he moved to Philadelphia. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, where he wrote his dissertation about Morgan, later published as a book, The Promise of Progress: The Life and Work of Lewis Henry Morgan (2009).
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Seeds of Peace as an organization.
Marx and Morgan at 200: Reassessing Socialist Feminism and the Intersections of Gender and Class for Today
Monday, November 5th 3.30pm-5.30pm
Humanities Center Conference Room D
Rush Rhees Library
755 Library Road, Rochester
The 200th anniversary of the birth of both Lewis Henry Morgan and Karl Marx furnishes an opportunity to reassess the legacy of their anthropological and theoretical work on gender and the family. Many socialist-feminists critically appropriated their work in the 1970s and 1980s, but what relevance does this work have for the twenty-first century? This presentation will take a critical look at Morgan and Marx’s works on gender and the family as well as that of Friedrich Engels and later socialist feminists in order to identify potentially useful tools for understanding gender relations in the contemporary world.
Heather A. Brown is an Assistant Professor at Westfield State University (Massachusetts) and is the author of Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study.
Discussant: Joel Burges, University of Rochester (English and Visual & Cultural Studies)
What is a Polity?
Subversive Archaism and the Bureaucratic Nation-State
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Wegmans Hall, Room 1400
250 Hutchison Road
Michael Herzfeld, Ernest E. Monrad Professor of the Social Sciences
Deparment of Anthropology, Havard University
Herzfeld’s lectures will primarily draw on his fieldwork in Greece and Thailand (and secondarily on his Italian work). In this project, he attempts to move beyond conventional notions of “resistance,” “traditionalism,” and “tribalism,” to understand how and why earlier substrates of political organization – many of them much older than the European-inspired territorial nation-state and associated ideas of national culture – reappear at critical moments and shape the forms taken by acts of protest and collective self-assertion. To achieve this goal, he accords the concept of “polity” a more central role than it has previously enjoyed in anthropology, using it to encompass both the bureaucratic nation-state and certain communities that challenge the state’s standing as the ultimate source of cultural identity. In particular, he shows that sometime surprisingly conservative and nationalistic communities represent the greatest threat to the state’s legitimacy. These communities deploy what he calls “subversive archaism” to question the legitimacy of the bureaucratic nation-state – often, however, with calamitous consequences that in their sheer overkill reveal the state’s fear of these minuscule communities’ potentially huge moral authority.
Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) was a distinguished Rochester attorney and businessman who served two terms in the New York State Legislature. He was also an internationally known scholar who corresponded with Charles Darwin, influenced Karl Marx, and established the fields of anthropology and archaeology in the United States. In 1931, a Democrat and Chronicle article hailed Morgan as “Rochester’s most distinguished man of science.” Today, however, Morgan is hardly remembered in the city that he once called home. In observance of the bicentennial of Morgan’s birth, we aim to share his story with a new generation of Rochesterians.
Location: Mt. Hope Cemetery, North Gate, 791 Mt. Hope Avenue
Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery and the University of Rochester Department of Anthropology present:
Lewis Henry Morgan and the “Pundit Club”
Saturday, September 29 at 2pm
Mount Hope Cemetery
North Gate – Opposite Robinson Drive
791 Mt. Hope Avenue
This walking tour will be led by six veteran Mount Hope Cemetery tour guides. In addition, Dr. Robert Foster, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester, will be on hand to highlight the research of his students on several prominent figures in Rochester’s history who were members of the literary club that Morgan co-founded in 1854.
Location: VISTA Collaboratory, Carlson Library, University of Rochester
Beaver Diasporas: Thinking with Lewis Henry Morgan
Friday, April 27, 2018
VISTA Collaboratory, Carlson Library
Computer Studies Building
160 Trustee Road
A Multimedia Presentation:
Laura Ogden, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth College
Christy Gast, Video Artist and Sculptor
Lewis Henry Morgan was interested in how the architecture of beaver worlds, such as their dams, lodges, and burrows, embody the social relations of beaver kinship systems. In this presentation, anthropologist Laura Ogden and artist Christy Gast build from Morgan’s work to explore how beaver worlds in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, embody other forms of social relations, particularly those associated with colonialism and empire. This multimedia presentation stems from collaborative ethnographic research in Tierra del Fuego, as well as experiments with ethnographic film production.