2022 Fall Lecture Series
Art, Scholarship, Stewardship, and CommunityThe Longfellow Fall Lecture Series takes place annually and is free and open to the public. Each talk features scholarly, poetic, or artistic work that broadens the context in which we understand the site's history.
As we mark the 50th anniversary of Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, this year's series explores the site's connections to art, scholarship, stewardship, and community. Join us!
October 13, 6:30-8:00 PM | Our History: Poetry & the Personal Past
Toni Bee and Special GuestsJoin us for Our History: Poetry & the Personal Past, hosted by former Cambridge Poet Populist Toni Bee. This event features short poetry readings by local poets Chad Parenteau, Justice, Jean Dany Joachim, and Heather Nelson, as well as opportunities for the audience to create their own poetry. Poets and audience members will reflect on how the past shapes our individuality and connects us with others.
October 20, 6:00-7:00 PM | Not Just Roommates: Queer Historic Preservation
Danielle Bennett and Ken TurinoQueer and trans history can be found everywhere across the country and going back in time beyond the country's founding. But excavating those stories and sharing them with the public has been largely a 21st century project with lots of work left to be done. Join us for a conversation with Ken Turino and Friends of the Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters Paterson Research Fellow Danielle Bennett to learn more about the past, present, and future of LGBTQ+ historic preservation work.
Join Longfellow House staff at 5:00 PM for a tour of the home's queer history! Tour space is limited to 8 people; sign up using the event registration link.
October 27, 6:00-7:30 PM | HERE LIES DARBY VASSALL: Rendering the obscured and concealed history of slavery at Christ Church Cambridge
Nicole PiepenbrinkPresented in partnership with Christ Church Cambridge
Nicole Piepenbrink, recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s 2022 Design Studies Thesis Prize, will discuss her award-winning HERE LIES DARBY VASSALL project on October 27. Piepenbrink’s work examines the perceived invisibility of slavery in New England through the lens of Christ Church, the final resting place of Darby Vassall. The inaccessible, largely unknown Vassall Tomb in the basement of Christ Church is shared with the public via a looped video projection telling the story of this church’s collusion with, dependency on, and profit from the slave trade that provided economic foundations for the establishment and growth not only of this church, but also of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New England.
Vassall, with his family, was enslaved at 105 Brattle Street as an infant and became a prominent local abolitionist as a free adult. This program will conclude with a 10-minute walk to Christ Church to view the installation.
Join Longfellow House staff at 5:00 PM for a tour on the history of slavery & freedom at 105 Brattle Street. Tour space is limited to 8 people; sign up using the event registration link.
November 3, 6:00-7:00 PM | Charles Longfellow's Japanese Photographs: Collecting, Cataloging, and Digitizing
David Daly and Kate Hanson PlassJoin Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters Curator David Daly and Archivist Kate Hanson Plass for a conversation on Charles Longfellow’s extensive collection of photographs from his travels in 1870s Japan, the context in which they were created and collected, and the recent digitization process that makes many of these unique photographs available to the public.
November 10, 6:00-7:00 PM | Researchers Roundtable: New Scholarship from the Longfellow Archives (Virtual event)
Jacqueline Musacchio, PhD; Kaila Schwartz; Troy Smith, PhD
Three scholars will share results of their recent research in the site’s archival collections.
November 17, 6:00-7:00 PM | Unearthing the Past at Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
Before Henry Wadsworth Longfellow moved into the yellow house on Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA, it was already historic, having served as the home and headquarters for General George Washington in 1775-1776. In anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, the NPS Northeast Archeological Resources Program conducted archeological excavations in front of the home. Excavations in 2022 uncovered elements from an 18th century formal garden and the foundation of an early colonial house. This presentation will discuss the results of the excavations and the unique combination of technology, methodology, and outreach that were used to address research questions, and share the project with the public.
December 1, 6:00-7:00 PM | The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family
Kerri K. Greenidge, PhDPresented in partnership with the Royall House & Slave Quarters and Boston African American National Historic Site
The series concludes with a talk by Dr. Kerri Greenidge (Tufts University), discussing her newly released The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family, cited by the New York Times as one of “15 Works of Nonfiction to Read This Fall.” Sarah and Angelina Grimke—the Grimke sisters—are revered figures in American history, famous for rejecting their privileged lives on a plantation in South Carolina to become firebrand activists in the North. Yet, retellings of their epic story have long obscured their Black relatives. In The Grimkes, award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge presents a parallel corrective narrative, shifting the focus from the white abolitionist sisters to the Black Grimkes and deepening our understanding of the long struggle for racial and gender equality. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.
Join Longfellow House staff at 5:00 PM for a tour on the history of abolition in connection with 105 Brattle Street. Tour space is limited to 8 people; sign up using the event registration link.
Recorded Past Lectures
2021Fanny Longfellow's "Etheral Baby" and Her Moment in the History of Medicine, Tegan Kehoe in conversation with Kate Hanson Plass
The Queer History of Dracula, Ranger Meaghan Michel with The History Project
Disability at Home in Early America, Nicole Belolan, PhD
Flesh and Fantasy: The Body in Early Japanese Photography, David Odo, DPhil
Last updated: September 25, 2022