A Big Read event, celebrating the Philadelphia Work of Edgar Allan Poe through October and November 2015
Location: Free Library of Philadelphia, Room 405
This engaging panel will discuss the important, but overlooked, issues of race in Poe’s work and 1830s Philadelphia. Dr. Liliane Weissberg, University of Pennsylvania professor and editor of Romancing the Shadow: Race and Poe, and Don Scott, local historian and assistant professor of English at the College, will moderate this controversial conversation. Nobel-prize winning author Toni Morrison once remarked that there was no early American writer more important than Poe in shaping the concept of “American Africanism.” While his stories do not seem to overtly negotiate race in early America, Poe does cast a “shadow of Blackness” over the white American literary imagination, and he lived in Philadelphia at a time of race riots and the burning of Abolition Hall.