Public Programs

Upcoming virtual programs that expand on themes covered in the “I Am an American!” digital exhibition.

The Long Arc of Survival: A Virtual Discussion Group on Alice Dunbar-Nelson

February 9 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Join Women In Transition and The Rosenbach for a discussion about surviving and thriving after intimate partner violence, with a focus on the Philadelphia-area author and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson, who lived from 1875 to 1935.  Monet Timmons and Jesse Erickson, curators of the digital exhibition “I Am an American!”: The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson, will give an overview of Dunbar-Nelson’s survival of intimate partner violence, and her many achievements as an activist, educator, and writer.  Blanche Brown of Women In Transition will lead a discussion of some of Dunbar-Nelson’s short stories.  No advance preparation is required to participate in this discussion group, but registrants are invited to read three stories by Alice Dunbar-Nelson: “Tony’s Wife,” “Little Miss Sophie,” and “The Goodness of St. Rocque.”  These are all short stories featured in Dunbar-Nelson’s 1899 collection The Goodness of St. Rocque and deal with women’s relationships with men and the self. They are available for free here. Register

Radical Self-care in an Era of Activism: A Virtual Salon Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance

February 11 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Join chef Jena Harris and Professor Pysche Williams-Forson for an evening of selfcare grounded in the salon-style traditions of the Harlem Renaissance. Chef Jena will use accessible ingredients in a live demonstration and welcome participants to make and enjoy sustaining food and drink using recipes shared in advance. Throughout the event, we will discuss and learn more from Professor Williams-Forson about how the contributions of authors, artists, and activists to American art and politics have built movements which center radical selflove. This free, interactive program is a collaboration with The Rosenbach’s digital exhibition I Am an American!”: The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson and the Free Library’s Making Her Mark exhibition—both of which highlight the life and legacy of Alice DunbarNelson. Are you local to Philadelphia and interested in receiving free ingredients to make the recipes Chef Jena will present as part of the program?  Check out Chef Jena’s distribution schedule and receive additional updates via @bunnyhopphl on Instagram. (Please wear a mask. Supplies are limited; first come, first served.) Register

Virtual Course | Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Reading from Inside the Archive

Four Thursday sessions beginning on February 11 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson is an important, yet understudied, author and activist whose life and legacy is the focus of The Rosenbach’s virtual exhibition “I Am an American!” Her writing is accessible and lovely even without any knowledge of the author herself, but as you dive into her personal history and guiding forces you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of her work as it speaks to modern times. We’ll aim to do exactly that in this course led by Jesse R. Erickson, Coordinator of Special Collections at the University Delaware and co-curator of “I Am an American!” Together we’ll dig into a treasure trove of archival materials including family scrapbooks and personal letters that will elevate your understanding of this remarkable author and her place in history. Register.

A New Film Inspired by Alice Dunbar-Nelson and an Exclusive Offer from BalletX

Four Thursday sessions beginning on February 11 | 6:30-8:30 p.m.

BalletX invites members of The Rosenbach community to enjoy a 10% discount to BalletX Beyond, the company’s new virtual subscription service that supports the arts in Philadelphia. Sign up by January 20 to watch three new short films, including choreographer Francesca Harper’s THAW, inspired by Alice Dunbar-Nelson and  “I Am an American.” Sign up today and use coupon code: ROSENBACH21Offer valid through 01/31/2021.

“I Am An American!” Curator Talk with Monet Timmons

Program aired on October 28.

Rosenbach members are invited to a special conversation with Monet Timmons, co-curator of “I Am an American!”: The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson. Timmons, a doctoral student and African American Public Humanities Fellow in the Department of English at the University of Delaware, will offer her reflections on Alice Dunbar-Nelson’s political, social, and literary work, and consider what lessons her life holds for Americans today.

Seeing Alice Dunbar-Nelson with 2020 Vision

(Re)interpreting a Civil Rights Activist During an Election Year
Program aired July 3, 2020.

Co-curators of “I Am an American!” The Authorship and Activism of Alice Dunbar-Nelson Monet Timmons and Jesse Erickson join us for a behind-the-scenes peek into the exhibition development process and get to know this under-studied local activist, journalist, novelist, educator, poet, and much more.

About the Rosenbach

The Rosenbach creates programs and exhibitions inspired by a collection of nearly 400,000 rare books, manuscripts, and fine and decorative arts objects, including some of the best-known literary and historical objects in the world. The Rosenbach’s programs – from Reading Courses to literary cocktail parties – serve people from around the corner and around the globe.

At The Rosenbach we foster inquiry, learning, and creative thought by engaging audiences in programs, exhibitions, and research inspired by our collections. In December 2013, The Rosenbach became affiliated with the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, bringing together two of the world’s preeminent collections of rare books, manuscripts, Americana and art. The combined holdings of The Rosenbach and the Free Library of Philadelphia inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year.

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