Submitted by Marisa Kelly, Provost
Please join me on Thursday, May 1st for the final Faculty Colloquium of the academic year.
Dr. Vivian Bruce Conger, Associate Professor and Robert Ryan Professor in the Humanities, Department of History, will be presenting “Sally Franklin Bache: Learning from the Past or Charting a New Course?”
Professor Conger received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1994. Her research interests include American Colonial and Revolutionary History and Women’s History.
The discussion will focus on how the Franklin women experienced the Revolution in different ways. Deborah (the mother of 22-year-old Sally, an unmarried woman living at home) wrote her husband about turning their house into a fortress during a raid on it in the midst of the Stamp Act crisis. After a brief flurry of letters about this incident in which both Benjamin and Deborah ignored its political implications for her, neither wrote to one another about it again. Twelve years later the Franklin/Bache house came under attack when the British occupied Philadelphia and Sally Bache was forced to flee. While these two Franklin women lived parallel lives, their lives were also vastly different. Not only was the revolution they experienced at different phases, they were different ages and at different life cycle points when events interrupted their lives. The elder Franklin bore her trauma without assuming the mantle of patriot. The trauma the younger Franklin bore politicized her—and turned her into an active patriot, a leader of the Ladies Association of Philadelphia. How did the contingencies of time and demographics determine women's revolutionary activities? Did Sally Franklin Bache step into her mother's shoes or did she redefine a woman's political role—or both? Did Sally learn from watching her mother? Did gender roles change in a relatively short time? How far outside the household realm did she step? Answering these questions reveals a more nuanced picture of the American Revolution in women's lives.
The IC Faculty Colloquium, launched in 2012, is a monthly event designed to provide a forum for faculty to share with one another their scholarly and creative work. This is a chance for people across department and school lines to learn more about the exciting pursuits of their colleagues and to engage with one another as members of a common learning community.
The Colloquium will take place from 5:00p.m.-6:30p.m. in the Clark Lounge of the Campus Center. We will enjoy wine, appetizers, an outstanding presentation, and excellent conversation. The first half-hour will be a social time during which we will hear a live music performance from School of Music faculty member Nathan Hess (pianist).
I look forward to seeing you there.
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