Commencement addresses, [ca. 1857-1879].


Commencement addresses, [ca. 1857-1879].

The collection contains two commencement addresses delivered at southern women's colleges on two different dates. Based on references made in the texts, the first (27-page) address was probably written between 1856 and 1860, the second (15 pages) between 1865 and 1879. It is possible that the works were composed by the same author and delivered at the same institution. Both speeches point out that the graduates' formal education was intended to train their minds to be more "masculine." However, the writer notes that as women, especially as Southern women, the graduates must assert their future mental endeavors in support of their work within the private sphere of the home (as caregivers and as the guardians of moral order), rather than use their accomplishments as the basis for public work--since the public sphere is rightfully dominated by men. The writer affirms these sex-roles differences as natural, divinely inspired, and culturally supported, although he outlines the work that nineteenth-century feminists are doing to challenge this acceptance. The writer discusses the following topics in support of his argument: Madame de Stael̈; Florence Nightengale; Joan of Arc; Lady Jane Grey; the 1855 epidemic of yellow fever in Norfolk, Virginia; and scientific advances in astronomy and geology.

2 items.

Related Entities

There are 4 Entities related to this resource.

Nightingale, Florence, 1820-1910 (person)

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), nursing pioneer and reformer, is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. Born in Florence, Italy, she dedicated her life to the care of the sick and war wounded. In 1844, she began to visit hospitals; in 1850, she spent some time with the nursing Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul in Alexandria and a year later studied at the institute for Protestant deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany. In 1854, she organized a unit of 38 nurses for service in the Crimean War. I...

Grey, Jane, Lady, 1537-1554 (person)

Lady Jane Grey was an English noblewoman and de facto Queen of England and Ireland from 10 July until 19 July 1553. She was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII through his younger daughter Mary, and was a first cousin once removed of Edward VI. In May 1553, she married Lord Guildford Dudley. In June 1553, Edward VI wrote his will, nominating Jane and her male heirs as successors to the Crown because Jane was a committed Protestant and would support the reformed Church of England. After Edwar...

Joan, of Arc, Saint, 1412-1431 (person)

Staël, Madame de (Anne-Louise-Germaine), 1766-1817 (person)

Staël wrote plays, fiction, essays, novels, and criticism. Her life and works are grounded in the transformations of a Europe in revolution. She was heavily involved in European politics from 1786 to her death in 1817, and her art reflects her concerns. She published her novel, Delphine, in 1802, and an English translation appeared in 1803. During a period of exile from France, she visited London, 1813-1814. From the description of Madame de Staël letters, ca. 1813. (Pennsylvania S...