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Charlotte Gordon Awarded NEH Grant

Charlotte Gordon Awarded NEH Grant
Charlotte Gordon, Distinguished Professor of English at Endicott, has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the research and writing of a group biography on four women reformers.
By: Madison Schulman

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced $41.3 million in grants for 280 humanities projects nationwide. NEH Public Scholars grants, which support popular nonfiction books in the humanities, will enable the publication of 28 new titles.

Charlotte Gordon, Distinguished Professor of English at Endicott, is among the awardees for the 2024–25 academic year and will research and write a group biography about four women reformers titled The Talk Circuit: Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and the Fight for Freedom.

“I am excited and honored to have won an NEH Public Scholars award,” said Gordon. “It validates my sense that these women are important and that this book needs to be written. I think everyone needs to hear their story and understand how brave and idealistic these women were.”

The book covers the years 1840 through 1911 and reaches back to the childhood of all four women and points to their futures and legacies. While these women seem to have little in common, what unites the group is their dedication to fighting for the rights of women, Gordon noted.

“While other reformers used their talent to write pamphlets or organize conventions, these women advanced their causes with their feet as well as their voices, demonstrating that women were not only able to speak eloquently and persuasively—even if you hated their message—but also strong enough to endure the exigencies of travel, along with a belligerent, sometimes violent public,” said Gordon.

Gordon, a well-known author, is additionally one of the leading experts on Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley. Her book, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, won the National Book Critics Circle award in 2016. Her latest book, Mary Shelley: A Very Short Introduction, debuted in 2022.

The professor, who has been at Endicott since 2006, teaches courses in literary history, including Early American Literature and Justice and Injustice in American Literature. She serves as the director of the Tadler Center for the Humanities.