12th Annual Sweet Soul Supper

This post was written by Margaret Fuller Society member and contributing author Michael Schrimper, who also provided the photos from the event.

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MIT’s Morss Hall, decorated for the event

On the evening of Thursday, June 15, the President of the Margaret Fuller Society, Phyllis Cole, was joined by three society members, Leslie Eckel, Megan Marshall, and Michael Schrimper, for the Twelfth Annual Sweet Soul Supper, held to benefit the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House of Cambridge. The event took place at MIT’s Morss Hall, featured live music, a silent auction, and a buffet.

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Phyllis Cole introduces Ellen Semonoff, winner of the Inaugural Margaret Fuller Women’s Leadership Award. Since the evening was packed with awards and speeches, Cole shared only one Margaret Fuller quote with the audience during her introduction, “If you ask me what offices [women] may fill, I reply–any….Let them be sea-captains, if you will.” Cole then pointed out that Ellen Semonoff hasn’t been a sea-captain, but instead a leader in responding to the needs of others–a vocation in fact closer to Margaret Fuller’s heart.
Halfway through the event, Phyllis Cole presented Ellen Semonoff with the Inaugural Margaret Fuller Women’s Leadership Award, for Semonoff’s lifelong contributions to the public. Semonoff has been Cambridge’s Assistant City Manager for Human Services; she leads a staff of 600 in providing child care, family support, youth programs, workforce development, adult basic education, recreation, fuel and nutrition assistance, homeless programs, and services to the elderly and disabled. She started her career as a lawyer in Washington, working as an assistant to Joseph Califano in Heath, Education, and Welfare and a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Semonoff was selected by the Margaret Fuller House for her contributions, and the House asked Cole to present the award in honor of Fuller, whose advocacy of women’s leadership they were also recognizing. Following Cole’s introduction, Semonoff received a standing ovation from the whole house.

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From left to right: Leslie Eckel, Michael Schrimper, Phyllis Cole, and Megan Marshall smile for a photo after enjoying a buffet of soul food. Dishes served include stuffed chicken breasts, roast beef, macaroni and cheese, and fried plantains. The silent auction featured a chance to bid on ice-cream-making sessions at a popular Cambridge ice cream shop and a session with a personal trainer at a Cambridge fitness center, among other items.

Michael Schrimper teaches in the Writing, Literature & Publishing department at Emerson College in Boston.

Margaret Fuller Transnational Archive

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A textual map of Fuller’s writings in the Tribune

The Margaret Fuller Transnational Archive is a digital humanities project housed in Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks (NULabTMN). The aim of the project is to digitally map networks of publication involving Margaret Fuller and the circles of European and American political and cultural figures, including Horace Greeley, and Giuseppe Mazzini and Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso with whom she came into contact during the years 1846-1850, when she lived in Europe.

Between 1846 and 1850, Margaret Fuller was a foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune, based at different times in Italy, France and England. The archive collects all of Fuller’s Tribune correspondence written between August 1846 and January 1850, as well as the Tribune Correspondence of Christina di Belgiojoso from 1850 and 1851. Browse the archive here.

Using Neatline exhibits, the creators have been able to spatially and temporally visualize both Margaret Fuller’s and Cristina Belgiojoso’s travels and writing. The textual and geographic maps demonstrate broader trajectories of writing to highlighting specific texts in conjunction with contemporary social and political events. View the travel and writing maps here.

Many thanks to Sonia Di Loreto, William Bond, and Sarah Payne for presenting this work at the ALA 2017 Conference.

Project Team & Advisory Board

Sonia Di Loreto, Università di Torino (Italy)

Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University

Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University

Molly O’Hagan Hardy, Director of Digital and Book History Initiatives, AAS

William Bond, PhD student, Norheastern University

Sarah Payne, PhD student, Northeastern University

Leslie Eckel, Suffolk University

Noelle A. Baker, independent scholar

Mark Your Calendar for MLA – January 4-7, 2018

Margaret Fuller Society members will be at the MLA 2018 Convention in New York City on January 4-7. The society is sponsoring the panel “Margaret Fuller: New Critical Approaches,” organized and chaired by Executive Secretary Jeffrey Steele.

“Critique as Affect in Margaret Fuller’s Transcendentalist Writings”
by Mark Russell Gallagher

“The Trouble with Gender for Margaret Fuller”
by Christina Katopodis

“Haunting Affect in Fuller and Thoreau”
by Katie Simon

These papers take innovative approaches to Margaret Fuller and gender fluidity, queer theory, environmental criticism, affect and public feeling, transnational mobility, critical race studies, new feminist materialism, and new aesthetics.

The presidential theme this year is States of Insecurity. Sessions will be held in the New York Hilton Midtown, the Sheraton New York Times Square, and the New York Marriott Marquis. Click here for more information.

Featured photo courtesy of Christina Katopodis.