The New England Biography Seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society is a forum for writers and readers alike to engage in an ongoing discussion about the historical, literary, and methodological questions that make biography a challenging and rewarding undertaking. By providing an opportunity for those interested in the craft of biography to convene and converse, the seminar aspires to create a community that will support biographical works in progress and serve as a seedbed for future projects.
Click here to see the 2012-13 Schedule.
3 November 2011 was the inaugural session:
Michael Burlingame, Dean Grodzins, and Tony Horwitz
Sowing and Reaping: Biography and the Civil War: Theodore Parker, John Brown, Abraham Lincoln
Carol Bundy, Moderator
The opening session, featuring Michael Burlingame, Dean Grodzins, and Tony Horwitz and moderated by Carol Bundy, will address the rewards and challenges of looking at this historical moment from a biographical perspective.
Michael Burlingame is the acclaimed author of the two-volume Abraham Lincoln: A Life, which won the 2010 Lincoln Prize, and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln, as well as several edited volumes of Lincoln primary source material. Burlingame splits his time between the University of Illinois at Springfield and the University of Connecticut at New London.
Dean Grodzins is a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the author of American Heretic: Theodore Parker and Transcendentalism. His current book-in-progress is A Civil War in Boston: Runaway Slaves and the Crisis of the Union.
Tony Horwitz is the author of Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War. A Pulitzer prize winning journalist and former New Yorker staff writer, his Confederates in the Attic was a New York Times Best Seller.
Moderator: Carol Bundy is the author of The Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr. She is now working on a book tentatively called McClellan in Boston: The Dark Underbelly of Boston’s War for Emancipation.