Pressing Issues Syracuse University Press Newsletter Fall 2015
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New Books for
Spring 2016

Preserving Our History

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Fall 2015 Newsletter
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Preserving our History
Jennifer A. Williamson is director of Gender Mainstreaming and Women’s Empowerment at ACDI/VOCA, a global development organization. She is the author of Twentieth-Century Sentimentalism: Narrative Appropriation in American Literature. The Rev. Jermain Wesley Loguen was a prominent abolitionist and a pioneering figure in Syracuse history. Popularly known as the "Underground Railroad King" for his extraordinary efforts on behalf of fugitive slaves, Loguen established his home on East Genesee Street as the central "depot" of the Underground Railroad. The Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman: A Narrative of Real Life was first published in 1859 in Syracuse. The narrative recounts Loguen’s early life in slavery, his escape to the North, and his successful career as a minister and abolitionist in New York and Canada. Given the text’s third-person narration and novelistic style, scholars have long debated its authorship. In this edition, Williamson uncovers new research to support Loguen as the author, providing essential biographical information and buttressing the significance of his life and writing. Few of Loguen’s handwritten letters still exist, but a small number of them are housed in the Gerrit Smith and Chapman Family Papers of the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library. In our efforts to extend the university’s mission of promoting scholarship, SU Press is also actively engaged in preserving the history of our region. Rev. J. W. Loguen, as a Slave and as a Freeman Forthcoming Spring 2016 "An excellent edition of a fascinating narrative . . . This text will be of interest to anyone at all interested in nineteenth-century African American literary, cultural, and intellectual history."
—John Ernest, University of Delaware