Phi Beta Kappa lecturer to discuss women’s work

January 29, 2008

McDaniel College’s 2008 Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar, Harvard Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, will present the lecture “A Woman and a Cow: Celebrating a Renaissance in History” at 8 p.m. Feb. 11 in McDaniel Lounge.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410-857-2294.

Beginning with an illustration from a 13th-century English bestiary, the illustrated lecture will explore seven centuries of women’s work, a journey made possible by the remarkable flowering in scholarship that followed the feminist movement of the 1970s.

“People not only make history by what they do, but by what they choose to remember,” writes Ulrich, who studies early American social history, women’s history and material culture.

Ulrich was recently appointed Harvard’s 300th Anniversary University Professor. Prior to joining its faculty in 1995, she taught at the University of New Hampshire for 15 years.

She is the author of “Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750,” “A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812” (Pulitzer Prize for history), “The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Making of an American Myth,” and “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.”

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest undergraduate honors organization in the U.S. The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available each year twelve or more distinguished scholars who visit 100 colleges and universities with chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.  They spend two days on each campus, meeting informally with students and faculty members, taking part in classroom discussions, and giving a public lecture open to the entire academic community.  The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the visiting scholars and the resident faculty and students.  Now entering its 52nd year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 542 Scholars on 4,552 two-day visits since it was established in 1956.

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society.  It has chapters at 276 colleges and universities, and over 600,000 members.