Of the millions of women stolen from Africa and sold into slavery in colonial America, only two are remembered as poets. One of these, Lucy Terry Prince, was celebrated by her white and black contemporaries as the “sable mother” of the American Republic. Her poetry challenges us to re-think how we tell the story of American literature and to re-think how we tell the story of Vermont.
A graduate of UVM’s College of Arts and Sciences, Professor Mary Louise Kete earned her PhD from Harvard University before returning to Vermont to join the faculty of the English department. Whether recovering the disregarded literature of women, blacks and other non-elites, or reconsidering the work of familiar authors such as Emerson or Whitman, she seeks to bridge the gap between cultural history and literary theory. Her publications include Sentimental Collaborations: Mourning and Middle-class Identity in 19th Century America, Women’s Worlds: Women’s Writing World Wide and Lydia Sigourney: Critical Essays and Cultural Views as well as articles on Henry David Thoreau, Elizabeth Oakes-Smith, Phillis Wheatley, Whitman and others. Her current book examines the way that early and antebellum American authors thought about representation. Kete lives with her husband (also a UVM alum) in Charlotte.
Third Thursday programs are free & open to everyone.