Utopia, New Jersey: Travels in the Nearest Eden and "Life Here has many Attractions and Advantages"

Event Details
  Utopia, New Jersey: Travels in the Nearest Eden and "Life here has many attractions and advantages:" The North American Phalanx, a Utopian Community in 19th Century New Jersey
  March 21, 2013 6:00 PM
  March 21, 2013 7:00 PM
  Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall
Utophttp://alumniconnections.com/olc/filelib/MNT/email/Library/Career%20Events/Nj%20Series/Veit.jpgia, New Jersey: Travels in the Nearest Eden and "Life here has many attractions and advantages:" The North American Phalanx, a Utopian Community in 19th Century New Jersey, Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6-7 p.m., Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall, Montclair State University. 

Presenters (respectively): Perdita Buchan, freelance writer, and Richard Veit, Professor of Anthropology, Monmouth University, New Jersey.  This presentation will examine nineteenth- and twentieth-century New Jersey as a state of hope, dreams, and utopian experiments for many kinds of people, including industrialists, intellectuals, artists, and reformers of all stripes.

A year-long series of presentations will explore the role of New Jersey and/or places within it as a source of inspiration for the interdisciplinary humanities (drama, literature, music, painting), past and present, as well as for experiments in living. In so doing, they will show both how our concept and lived experience of "Jersey" -- as, indeed, of any place -- are reciprocally modified by artistic representations of it, as well as how the "local" can become exemplary of the "universal."  
In most people's minds, New Jersey is probably first and foremost associable with traffic congestion and malls, but arranged under the themes of "Dramatizing Jersey," "Writing Jersey," "Singing Jersey," "Living Jersey," and "Painting Jersey," this series will provide perspectives from a distinguished group of analysts about the ways in which the the state has been celebrated -- as both geographical reality (country, city, shore) as well as emotional concept -- by both "high" culture and popular culture in media as varied as literature, music, art, and tv drama!

This program was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Perdita Buchan, a free lance writer, graduated from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) with a BA in English.  She has worked in publishing in New York and London and held a fellowship in creative writing from The Bunting (now Radcliffe) Institute of Harvard University.  She has published two novels.  Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Ladies' Home Journal, Fiction Network, House Beautiful, The New York Times, Harvard Magazine and New Jersey Monthly, among other publications.   Her book Utopia, New Jersey was a 2008  New Jersey Council For The Humanties honor book. 

Richard Veit, Ph. D., Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Monmouth University, is the author of the award-winning book Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State (2002), and co-author of New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape (2008) and New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (2012), all published by Rutgers University Press.  His research interests include the archaeology of Native-Americans in the colonial period, Dutch-American farmsteads, early American gravemarkers, and early American industries. He is currently studying Joseph Bonaparte’s New Jersey estate, Point Breeze, and planning a study of the North American Phalanx.