2023 Schewe Lecture: Obour Tanner’s Archive; or, How to Remember Your (Famous) Friend, Phillis Wheatley

The CHPDC is collaborating with the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries to host Dr. Tara A. Bynum from the University of Iowa to give this year’s Annual Schewe Lecture. The event will take place on Thursday October 19th from 4:30-5:30pm at the Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium. Dr. Bynum will discuss the archive of correspondence between the Phillis Wheatley and her friend Obour Tanner, two eighteenth-century women born in Africa and enslaved in colonial New England who maintained their friendship through letters.

In her recent book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America (University of Illinois Press), Bynum studies how “Wheatley’s letters [to Tanner] … reveal a friendship that asks us to consider what pleasure and friendship might look like to two enslaved women in New England.”

The Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries annually host the Schewe Lecture to promote the study and appreciation of the printed word with funds endowed for that purpose by Douglas Schewe.