Hands-On Tour: Herman Melville

Date / Time

  • August 1, 2019
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

With a warm heart for human nature, a cold eye for the human condition, and prose that would awe a Biblical prophet, Herman Melville was too good for his time. Join us for an odyssey through the Rosenbach’s mighty Melville collection. We’ll chart our course toward the source of Melville’s greatness through original editions of his novels and handwritten letters. “It is not down in any map,” says Moby-Dick’s Ishmael, “true places never are.”

Course: Philadelphia Gothic

Date / Time

  • February 9, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • March 9, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 13, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 11, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 8, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In this course, we’ll explore the works of authors, Charles Brockden Brown, Robert Montgomery Bird, George Lippard, Edgar Allan Poe, and Frank Webb — and see how they were inspired to look beneath the veneer of American democracy and expose our deepest fears.

Poets of Fireside and Hearthside: Whittier and Dunbar

Date / Time

  • February 17, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join us for an afternoon of reading together about race in America with an introduction to John Greenleaf Whittier and another American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose parents had been slaves. We’ll enjoy hot apple cider and other refreshments, read selections from poems by these two authors, view rare editions of the authors’ works, and talk about what the poets have to say to modern America.

Hands-On Tour: Herman Melville

Date / Time

  • March 29, 2019
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

With a warm heart for human nature, a cold eye for the human condition, and prose that would awe a Biblical prophet, Herman Melville was too good for his time. Join us for an odyssey through the Rosenbach’s mighty Melville collection. We’ll chart our course toward the source of Melville’s greatness through original editions of his novels and handwritten letters. “It is not down in any map,” says Moby-Dick’s Ishmael, “true places never are.”

Course: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

Date / Time

  • February 21, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • March 21, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • April 18, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • May 9, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

In this course we will read the essential poems from the Whitman and Dickinson canons in modern editions of their work, while also exploring online archives that reproduce their poems as they originally appeared. We will contextualize these poems in their cultural and biographical contexts, while also experiencing them as aesthetic objects in their own right.

Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Party at the Rosenbach

Date / Time

  • February 27, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

“Oak & Ivy”: Celebrating the legacy of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), known affectionately and notoriously for writing in both conventional English as well as African American vernacular. Oak and Ivy, his first collection of poems, was published in 1893 and is part of the Rosenbach’s collection.

Course: Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (SOLD OUT)

Date / Time

  • February 7, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • March 7, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • April 4, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 2, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

Sign up today for this course on Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady. Some have called The Portrait of a Lady Henry James’s best novel. The plot corrects what James saw as a great flaw in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, in which an optimistic and energetic young woman enters into a marriage that turns out to be a disaster, and then, fortunately for that heroine, the husband dies. But James is interested in more than finding a happy marriage for his heroine. In examining the difference between Americans and Europeans the book moves on to deeper questions.

Course: Melville: Beyond Moby-Dick POSTPONED

Date / Time

  • February 24, 2019
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • March 24, 2019
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • April 28, 2019
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • May 19, 2019
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

This four-week course won’t be anything close to a comprehensive survey of Melville’s writings. Yet by setting aside his behemoth, Moby-Dick, we will acquire depth into key texts that help us gain perspective on his career and, even more importantly, insight into his arguments about politics, power, self-deception, and modernity.

Theatrecraft: The Hedgerow’s Moby-Dick

Date / Time

  • March 5, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Director Kittson O’Neill works with members of the cast to explore a scene from their new production of Moby-Dick. Music, movement, and the magic of found objects are all essential to this very theatrical exploration of one of the greatest stories ever told.

Have a Spooktacular Halloween at The Rosenbach

We at The Rosenbach have some seriously spine-tingling tales in our collection, from Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula to first editions of Polidori’s The Vampyre and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. What better place to celebrate the spookiest time of year than at the home of these and other horrific — and horrifically inspiring — literary treasures? …