Faculty Colloquium Series: Larry Reynolds

“Visions and Revisions of Race: Joseph Jenkins Roberts and the editing of Journal of an African Cruiser

Tuesday, 11 October 2016, 4-5 p.m.
Glasscock Center Library, 311 Glasscock Building
The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at glasscock@tamu.edu.

larry-photo-for-glasscock-2016Larry Reynolds | Distinguished Professor, Department of English, Texas A&M University

Larry J. Reynolds, University Distinguished Professor and Thomas Franklin Mayo Professor of Liberal Arts, joined the A&M English Department in 1974. His area of specialization is nineteenth-century American literature, especially the American Renaissance, which features works by Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and Margaret Fuller. Reynolds’ research includes nine books and has been credited with initiating the transnational approach to his field. His most recent books are Righteous Violence: Revolution, Slavery, and the American Renaissance. (University of Georgia Press, 2011) and Devils and Rebels: The Making of Hawthorne’s Damned Politics (University of Michigan Press, 2008, 2010).

This paper, which is a work in progress, examines the contributions that the Governor of Liberia, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, made in 1846 to a book co-authored by Nathaniel Hawthorne and his friend Horatio Bridge, who was a Purser on Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s African Squadron charged with patrolling the west coast of Africa to help suppress the slave trade. Bridge and Hawthorne published a first edition of the book in 1845, but Bridge returned to Africa in 1846 and asked Roberts to help him make corrections and additions for an expanded second edition, which he did. The second edition was never published, but the materials Bridge collected exist in the Special Collections at the Bowdoin College Library. As Professor Reynolds argues in this essay, an examination of Roberts’ diplomatic critique of the Bridge-Hawthorne book provides a rare opportunity to see a transatlantic social text being created. The process features a self-taught American-African trying to educate two white Bowdoin College graduates living across the Atlantic about race and race relations in his country and theirs.

The Faculty Colloquium offers faculty an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with colleagues from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The Glasscock Center extends a warm invitation to faculty and students to join in a discussion of Professor Reynolds’ work-in-progress. The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at glasscock@tamu.edu. To join the Center’s listserv and receive regular notices of colloquia and other events, please register at http://listserv.tamu.edu/archives/chr-l.html.