In 2010-2011, the Margaret Fuller Bicentennial offered the Conversations Series, modeled after the "Conversations" that Margaret Fuller offered for women (and later men) in Boston in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Each focused on a different aspect of Fuller’s thinking and took place in a venue connected with her.
Time for conversation followed the presentations. The goal of the series was to engage people in thinking about how the issues that concerned this trailblazing woman relate to our lives today. The traveling display, “Why Margaret Fuller Matters,” was available for viewing at most of the Conversations.
These programs were supported in part by grants from Mass Humanities and the Fund for Unitarian Universalism.
Saturday, May 15, 2010, 2 PM. “Why Margaret Fuller Matters to Young Women Today” at Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, where Fuller was born, with Laurie Crumpacker, Professor of History and Department Chair, Simmons College. Co-sponsored by Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House and the Cambridge Women’s Heritage Project.
Sunday, May 16, 2010, 2 PM. "Margaret Fuller in Groton: Shaping a Life, Framing a Mind" at First Parish Church, Unitarian Universalist, Groton, which is co-sponsoring the event. Panel discussion with Marcia Synnott, Professor of History, University of South Carolina; the Rev. Dr. Dorothy Emerson, co-chair, Margaret Fuller Bicentennial; and Fritz Fleischmann, Professor of English, Babson College.
Saturday, June 19, 2010, 6:30 PM. “Portraying Fuller and Friends on Stage” at The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist. Gala Reception and Conversation, preceding a performance of the play “The Margaret Ghost.” Conversation with playwright Carole Braverman, director Elizabeth Hunter, and Andrea Humez, who portrays Fuller in the play. $25 ticket includes the Gala, Conversation, and the play. Co-sponsored by Theatre@First.
Sunday, July 18, 2010, 1 PM. “A Celebration of the Life of Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli” at Mount Auburn Cemetery Bigelow Chapel. Reception, Memorial Service, and Wreath-Laying, with appearances by Jessa Piaia as Margaret Fuller, Wendell Refior as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rob Velella as James Freeman Clarke, Dorothy Emerson as Elizabeth Peabody, Richard Smith as Henry David Thoreau, and Deborah Goss as Julia Ward Howe. Co-sponsored by Friends of Mount Auburn. July 19 is the anniversary of Fuller’s death.
Thursday, August 19, 7 PM. “Margaret Fuller and Edgar Allan Poe: A Conversation” at the Old Manse, in Concord, with Jessa Piaia as Fuller and Rob Velella as Poe. Co-sponsored by the Old Manse. $5 admission.
Thursday, October 21, 2010, 7:30 PM. “Margaret Fuller in Italy” at First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Concord. Lecture and slideshow presented by the Rev. Jenny Rankin, based on her travels to Rome to research Margaret Fuller’s experiences in Italy and retrace her steps. Co-sponsored by First Parish and the Transcendentalist Council of First Parish.
Sunday, November 7, 2010, 3 PM. “The Radicalization of Margaret Fuller” at Arlington Street Church, Boston. “'Clouded by Secret Sin': Margaret Fuller and the Darker Side of Woman in the Nineteenth Century;” with John Matteson, Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and Pulitzer Prize winning author of Eden's Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father; “Margaret Fuller and 1848: Forging a United Radical Tradition” with Daniel McKanan, Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity at Harvard Divinity School and author of a forthcoming 200 year history of religion and radical politics in the United States, which includes Margaret Fuller’s friendship with Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini; Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie, Moderator. Co-sponsored by Arlington Street Church.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 12 Noon. “‘My own path leads a different course’: Margaret Fuller and her Boston Conversations” at the Boston Athenaeum, with Megan Marshall, Assistant Professor at Emerson College, and author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism.
Co-sponsored by the Boston Athenaeum.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 6 PM. “What Margaret Fuller Did for Feminism” at Max & Dylan’s Restaurant, 13 West Street, Boston, former site of the Peabody Book Room where Fuller held her Conversations. Keynote speaker is Phyllis Cole, Professor at Penn State, Brandywine, and author of Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism. Opening remarks by Megan Marshall, Assistant Professor at Emerson College, with an appearance by Jessa Piaia portraying Margaret Fuller, a slide show by Lynn Hyde “Preservation of the Peabody Book Room,” and a review of the 18-month Bicentennial by Dorothy Emerson. Dinner tickets, $50.