University Scholar Series: Jennifer Rycenga

University Scholar Series: Jennifer Rycenga


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lntersectional Pilgrims in Canterbury: The Story of America's First Female Academy for African-American Women

Jennifer Rycenga is a Professor of Comparative Religious Studies in the Humanities Department at San Jose State University. Rycenga is finishing a comprehensive cultural biography of white Abolitionist educator Prudence Crandall (1803-1890). This talk will share the context and success of the Canterbury Female Academy, highlighting its place in both Black history and women's history. One story comes from Canterbury, Connecticut in the early 1830s, where Black and white, women and men, young and old, worked together to offer an advanced formal education for Black women. The teacher was a white woman, Prudence Crandall, who welcomed high-school-aged students from free Black families in the northeast. While the school was subject to constant racist vigilante and legal violence, the education and learning there were genuine. Many of the students went on to be leaders Qulia Williams Garnet), political activists (Sarah Harris Fayerweather, Mary Elizabeth Miles Bibb), and teachers (Mary Harris, Miranda Glasko) in the antebellum and post-Civil War eras. Rycenga's areas of interest include Abolition history, women's religious history, feminist theories of music, and theoretical issues concerning philosophies of immanence and panentheism.

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university scholar series, abolition history, women's religious history, Canterbury Female Academy


History of Gender | History of Religion | United States History | Women's History

University Scholar Series: Jennifer Rycenga