Noted historian Ann D. Gordon, editor of the Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at Rutgers University, will discuss "Knowing Susan B. Anthony: The Stories We Tell of a Life" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus. Her talk, part of the Verne Moore Lecture series, is free and open to the public.
Gordon will discuss what has happened to accounts of Anthony's life in the century since the suffragist's death, examining formal biographies as well the stories told when her name is used for other than biographical purposes, such as placement on a dollar coin.
"Susan B. Anthony's story is a hard story to tell; her work was ephemeral: talking, traveling, meeting, and embodying a cause," said Gordon. "Moreover, she was a single woman whose personal life is elusive. After 20 years of collecting, reading, and editing Susan B. Anthony's papers, I have a great fondness for her and many opinions about what we can and cannot learn about her life."
The Stanton and Anthony Papers Project includes copies of periodicals, newspapers, diaries, journals, correspondence, coverage of lectures and meetings, and miscellaneous documents relating to the work of Stanton and Anthony on women's rights. Gordon, who is also a research professor of history at Rutgers, has written numerous articles on women's history and biography. Her essay "Taking Possession of the Country" appears in the companion volume to the documentary by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes, Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony, for which she was interviewed and also served as program consultant.
The Verne Moore Lectures are sponsored by the Department of History and have been funded by a gift from University alumnus Verne Moore, Class of 1950, since 1996. For more information, call (585) 275-2052.
Gordon's talk also is the keynote address for the conference "Susan B. Anthony and the Struggle for Equal Rights," which is being held at the University March 30 to April 1. Dedicated to Anthony, her work, and her contemporaries, the conference is bringing together women's history scholars to re-examine her role and influence in history. Anthony died 100 years ago, on March 13, 1906.