Beyond Mortal Vision: Harriet Wilson

FRI, MAR 18, 2005 (1:20:30)

P. Gabrielle Foreman, associate professor of English and American studies at Occidental College; and Reginald H. Pitts, an historical researcher and genealogical consultant, offer groundbreaking information about Harriet Wilson from their Introduction to the 2005 Penguin Classics edition of Wilson’s 1859 Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of A Free Black. Wilson was thought to have disappeared from the historical record not long after her novel was published. However, through their scholarly research work, Foreman and Pitts have learned that Wilson lived for almost 40 more years.

+ BIO: P. Gabrielle Foreman

P. Gabrielle Foreman is a literary historian and specialist on race and nineteenth-century reform movements. She is the author of dozens of articles and reviews, the editor or author of several books and has served on the editorial and consulting boards of some of the leading journals in American literature. Her most recent publications include Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century (forthcoming) and Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (Penguin Classics 2005) in which she and her co-editor “picked up one of the coldest trails in nineteenth-century African American studies” by uncovering the last forty years in the life of one of the most important early black women writers.

+ BIO: Reginald H. Pitts

Reginald H. Pitts is a professional historical researcher and genealogist. Pitts performs primary source historical and genealogical research services for a host of international, national and local individual clients and institutions. He is co-editor of the Penguin 2005 edition of Our Nig by Harriet Wilson.

Harvard Du Bois Institute
Abolitionist Series