Megan Marshall to deliver 2012 Harding Lecture September 27

Award-winning biographer Megan Marshall will deliver the 2012 Walter Harding Lecture at SUNY Geneseo on September 27 at 4 p.m. in the College Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (2005), which won the Society of American Historians’ 2006 Francis Parkman Prize. On the Society’s website, Patricia Cline Cohen, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, observes that “Marshall brilliantly succeeds in bringing to life the complex sisters, each maneuvering to make her mark in a world just on the verge of a dawning feminism.  Marshall restores their place in the history of Transcendentalism, and, thanks to unusually rich primary sources she has uncovered, she presents a seamless, almost filmic narrative of actions, interior thoughts, even gestures and meaningful silences.  this is a rare feat in biographies, most especially biographies of antebellum women.”

Marshall’s reviews and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, and The Boston Review. Her latest book, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, will be published in March, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

At Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, Marshall holds the position of Writing, Literature and Publishing Assistant Professor. In 2012, the Emerson College Graduate Student Association named her Outstanding Faculty Member.

The annual Harding Lecture at SUNY Geneseo honors the life and legacy of SUNY Distinguished University Professor Walter Harding, who taught in the Geneseo English department from 1956 to 1982 and was, in his time, the world’s foremost authority on the life and work of Henry David Thoreau.

Megan Marshall’s 2012 Harding Lecture, which will focus on Elizabeth Peabody and Margaret Fuller, is titled “Biography as Intellectual History: Two Lives of the Mind.”


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