Annual Irma Morter Lecture
“Fullness of Being: Margaret Fuller & Transcendental ‘Self-Dependence’”
Sunday, October 9
Join us to welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Megan Marshall, author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.
Ms. Marshal will review the life of Margaret Fuller, a passionate and outspoken, adventurous Unitarian woman of the early– to mid–19th century. Margaret Fuller was Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, an early advocate of the Transcendental Movement, a New York Tribune journalist and “on the ground” war correspondent as well as a champion for women’s equality. As front-page columnist for the New York Tribune, Ms. Fuller wrote impassioned articles about the plight of the urban poor.
According to the Poetry Foundation, “(Sarah) Margaret Fuller was one of the most prominent literary women of the 19th century, and is sometimes thought of as America’s first feminist. . . . Fuller applied many of Emerson’s Transcendental ideas to women in a series of open discussions. These conversations, which included some of the finest minds of the day, pioneered the idea that women could argue philosophy on par with men.”
Her life reflects the times during which the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee was founded in 1842. In looking at Fuller’s life, Ms. Marshall will provide a context for why a small but active group would seek to create an outpost of Unitarian progressivism in frontier Milwaukee.
Megan Marshall is Charles Wesley Emerson College Professor at Emerson College in Boston, where she teaches nonfiction writing in the MFA program. Marshall received the Pulitzer Prize for her biography, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life. She also authored The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism (2005), receiving the American Historical Society’s Francis Parkman Prize.
This lecture is made possible by the Irma Morter Lecture Fund. The event is free and open to the public.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.