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John Brown, Slavery, and the Legacies of Revolutionary Violence in Our Own Time:
A Conference Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Harpers Ferry Raid

Oct 29-31, 2009
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

Conference Video

Friday, October 30

Keynote Address
    W. Fitzhugh Brundage, John Brown: The Stone in the Historian's Shoe

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

John Brown: A Problem in Biography

  • David Reynolds, How I Wrote John Brown, Abolitionist: A Cultural Biography
  • Evan Carton, The Word and the Life: John Brown as Reader
  • Robert Blakeslee Gilpin, The Wind and the Whirlwind: Can Biography Explain John Brown?
  • Louis A. DeCaro Jr., The Old Man and the "DuBoisian Century"? Meditation and Speculation on the Direction of John Brown Biography in the 21st Century
  • Moderator: David W. Blight

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

John Brown and the Arts

  • Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, John Brown Embodied: An Afterlife in American Visual Culture
  • Franny Nudelman, John Brown, Martin Luther King, and the Art of "Creative Suffering"
  • Kirke Mechem, John Brown: The Opera
  • Robert Stepto, John Brown in the Visual Art of Hovenden, Lawrence and Pippin
  • Moderator: David W. Blight

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31

John Brown and the Legacies of Violence
  • Beverly Gage, Was John Brown a Terrorist?
  • David Rapoport, Mob Violence
  • Kay Wright Lewis, Considerations on the Rhetoric of Race War in the Antebellum South and John Brown
  • Caleb Smith, John Brown, Justice, and the Public Sphere
  • Moderator: David W. Blight

Part One
Part Two
John Brown and Abolitionism

  • John Stauffer, 'I'll be John Browned': Abolition in the Southern Imagination
  • Richard Blackett, John Brown and the Tradition of Attacking Slavery at the Source
  • W. Caleb McDaniel, William Lloyd Garrison, Nonviolent Abolitionists, and John Brown
  • Wendy Hamand Venet, John Brown, Female Abolitionists, and Rights for Women: A Mixed Legacy
  • Moderator: David W. Blight

Part One
Part Two
Concluding Roundtable: John Brown: A Problem for Our Own Time

  • Russell Banks
  • Tony Horwitz
  • Moderator: David W. Blight

Part One