Arthur Meyers on the Open Forum Lecture Movement
Russell Library (Middletown, CT) Director Arthur Meyers will discuss his book Democracy in the Making: The Open Forum Lecture Movement as part 5 of “The Cosmology of Conversation.” “The Cosmology of Conversation” is a series on the history of the salon. Starting in 1908, a remarkable direction in community learning, the Open Forum lecture movement, spread across the country. While not strictly salons, these lectures, followed by questions and debate, can arguably be seen as a 20th century American evolution of the form. Join us for a consideration of the ideas, ideals, history, and legacy of this movement.
Event is free and open to the public.
Arthur Meyers’ Book Description: In 1908, a remarkable direction in community learning began in Boston and spread across the country, becoming the Open Forum lecture movement. These locally planned, trans-denominational lectures, followed by periods for questions, were characterized as “the striking of mind upon mind.” This study recovers the movement and shows what can be applied to our time. George W. Coleman brought a deep commitment to free speech in developing the Forum and Mary Caroline Crawford was essential in implementing it. Understanding this initiative broadens our awareness of personal and community courage and democratic planning. We can regain this informed, reflective, respectful approach, and achieve an America “to be” – a democracy in the making.
Sponsor: Yankee Travel and a friend of the Athenaeum who wishes to remain anonymous
About Salons at the Athenaeum: Engage in lively conversation with exciting presenters from the worlds of art, literature, science, history, music, theater, and philosophy. Meet friends from the membership and introduce guests to the Athenaeum.
Salons are free and open to the public and take place Friday evenings from 5 to 7pm during the fall, late winter, and spring (see current season’s dates here). Start your weekend at the Athenaeum! Stop by after work on Friday, on your way to dinner or the theater. We’ll be expecting you!