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Grant number like: BI-50044-06

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Northeastern University (Boston, MA 02115-5005)
Richard A. Katula (Project Director: March 2006 to September 2008)

Landmarks of American History for Community Colleges, WTP
Education Programs

[Grant products]

$110,000 (approved)
$109,998 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2006 – 9/30/2007

The American Lyceum and Public Culture: The Oratory of Idealism, Opportunity, and Abolition in the 19th Century

Two one-week workshops for fifty community college faculty to examine the American Lyceum movement and the rhetoric of major nineteenth century orators.

The American Lyceum began in 1828. Organized by Josiah Holbrook, its goal was the spread of practical knowledge to the millions of Americans in the cities and small towns that dotted the landscape. Lyceum was one of a number of such public forums that arose during the age of Jacksonian Democracy to provide Americans with a medium through which they could come to understand the new world in which they were living. The journey of the Lyceum Movement from a purely informational society to one that became engaged in the political struggles of its day is symbollic of this entire period when Americans began to discover the peculiar character of this new nation, but also to confront its demon: slavery. The workshop proposed here will introduce participants to the Lyceum through a study of its history and key texts that formed its content, and two key places (Concord and Sturbridge, MA) where Lyceum organizers transformed the movement from informational to philosophical to political.