Lenore G. Tawney/TSA Keynote Address
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “An Orphaned Sewing Machine”
Friday, October 21st, 6pm at The Lucas Theatre
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is the 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University. In Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007) she explained why history became such a rallying point in the modern women’s movement. Good Wives (1982) explicated the complex and sometimes contradictory roles of colonial American women. A Midwife’s Tale (1990), which explored the diary of Martha Moore Ballard, an eighteenth-century Maine midwife, won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1991 and was later featured in a PBS documentary of the same name. In The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001) she used fourteen domestic items, including a linen tablecloth and an unfinished stocking, to challenge conventional accounts of textile production in early America. At Harvard, Professor Ulrich teaches courses on American social history and on the use of museum collections as historical sources. Her co-authored work, Tangible Things: Making History Through Objects (2015), describes an unusual exhibit she created with Ivan Gaskell, Sara Schechner, Sarah Anne Carter, and the photographer Samantha van Gerbig as part of a general education course introducing students to Harvard’s diverse collections. Her latest book, A House Full of Females: Mormon Diaries, 1835-1870 will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in January 2017.