Inheritance and the 19th Century

Roundtable Discussion: Inheritance and the 19th Century

Saturday, May 8, 2:15-3:45pm

Nineteenth-century writers and thinkers evoked inheritance in response to evolving notions of property, marriage, land, and citizenship throughout the long American nineteenth century. This roundtable brings together six alumni of the Cornell Nineteenth-Century Americanist Group whose works illuminate the complex relationships within nineteenth-century activism and an expansive understanding of the era's writers and readers. They will take up questions like: What do nineteenth-century activists, writers, and thinkers do with the theoretical traditions and material circumstances they inherit? As scholars connected to the histories of Cornell University and Ithaca, New York, how do we make sense of the nineteenth century’s role in our own thinking? How do these questions of inheritance make plain the connections between the long nineteenth century, our contemporary moment, and our imagined futures?


Panel Participants:

  • Alex Black (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
  • Jill Spivey Caddell (University of Kent)
  • Brigitte Fielder (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Melissa Gniadek (University of Toronto)
  • Jonathan Senchyne (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Xine Yao (University College London)


  • Shirley Samuels and Philippa Chun (Cornell University)