Carla Peterson

Professor emerita in the Department of English, University of Maryland, Carla Peterson has enjoyed a truly distinguished career studying nineteenth-century African American literature, history, and culture, having published many highly regarded articles. Her books, “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North, 1830-1880 (1995) and Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City (2011), remain influential, the latter having been awarded the 2011 prize for the best book on New York History by the New York Society Library. Indeed, she has been the recipient of several notable fellowships, including the Guggenheim Foundation, Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Peterson has furthered the reach of this influence by addressing nonacademic audiences, in several ways, having also appeared on PBS, NBC, and C-Span. She has also been a contributor to the New York Times’ Disunion Project and consultant for various museums. She has also lectured all over the world, including Haiti, Japan, Argentina, Mexico, and Germany. Peterson’s talk today is drawn today from her new project, “All Things are Becoming New”: Taste and the Making of African American Modernity in Antebellum New York and Philadelphia.

Posted in Past Presenters