Sept. 29, 2010
Dr. Susan Belasco, professor of English and women’s and gender studies and chair of the English department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will give a lecture about author Harriet Beecher Stowe at Morningside College at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in the UPS Auditorium in Lincoln Center, 3627 Peters Ave.
This event is free and open to the public.
“Susan Belasco is one of the foremost experts on Harriet Beecher Stowe in the country,” said Dr. Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English at Morningside College. “We are thrilled to have her come to our campus to talk with us about Stowe's life and work.”
Stowe wrote the blockbuster novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a book that put a human face on slavery less than a decade before the Civil War broke out.
“‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ was absolutely a catalyst for the Civil War,” Belasco said. “Whether or not Harriet Beecher Stowe caused the war could be debatable, but certainly the novel had a very powerful emotional effect on both Northerners and Southerners in 1852 when it was published.”
Belasco said the novel was important in its time, and as we approach Stowe’s 200th birthday next year, it still has a relevant message for readers.
“‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ touches on issues of race and class that we still struggle with today,” she said. “I do believe that we are doomed to repeat history if we don’t understand it, and this is a very important part of American cultural history for all citizens.”
Belasco has taught American literature and writing since 1974, and she has authored or edited numerous books and articles. Last year she published a book called “Stowe in Her Own Time,” which is a collection of articles, journal entries, recollections and poems about Stowe – many from famous writers. She is co-editor of “The Bedford Anthology of American Literature,” which is used at 100 colleges and universities across the country. She also is the editor of “Walt Whitman’s Periodical Poetry” for the Walt Whitman Archive.