[In Progress] Emily Dickinson in the Garden with Travis Foster | In-Person Course

Date / Time

  • April 15, 2023
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 29, 2023
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 13, 2023
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 3, 2023
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States


  • Tuition for this course is $200. 10% off for Rosenbach members and the Delancey Society. Not a member? Learn more.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 18 years of age or older.
  • Please check your spam folder for your email confirmation. If you have questions, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on March 2, for members on March 9, and for the general public on March 16.



Lately, it’s hard not to bump into Emily Dickinson. She pops up the TV we stream and the lyrics of our most popular music. Many of these modern-day Emily’s usefully revise the longstanding image we’ve received of a spinster poetess writing day after day in a lonely attic room, instead providing us with a queer Dickinson, a social Dickinson, an environmentalist Dickinson, and a feminist Dickinson. In this class, we’ll assess these contemporary suggestions, while also trying to navigate those of Dickinson’s thinking, writing, and imagining that cannot be summed through contemporary categorization. We will study Dickinson’s biography, her letters, and her historical context. Above all, though, we’ll devote careful, slow attention to her poems, thinking together about how their form and content collaborate to present us with something that to this day remains strikingly—breathtakingly—Dickinson’s own.  

Weather permitting, this course will meet in the newly renovated garden behind the historic Rosenbach home. Also included (in an indoor presentation) will be opportunities to view the Emily Dickinson books and manuscripts in the Rosenbach’s collections.  

Emily Dickinson syllabus

About the instructor  

Travis Foster is Associate Professor of English and Academic Director Gender and Women’s studies at Villanova University. He is the author of Genre and White Supremacy in the Postemancipation United States (Oxford University Press, 2019) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Literature and the Body (2022). He has published articles on, among other topics, Edith Wharton, Sarah Orne Jewett, F. O. Matthiessen, effeminate men, and campus novels. He lives in West Philly.