Date & Location
Time: 3:30 PM to 4:45 PM
Location: Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, 3011 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT
Pictures vs. Words? Public History, Tolerance, and the Challenge of Jacob Riis: A Lecture by Dr. Edward O’Donnell
Through his pioneering use of photography and muckraking prose (most especially in How the Other Half Lives, 1890), Jacob Riis earned fame as a humanitarian in the classic Progressive Era mold. Yet in recent years some revisionist scholars have denounced Riis as an unreconstructed racist who merely posed as a benevolent reformer. Riis's words and photos provides the public historian with an extraordinary opportunity to delve into the complex questions of assimilation and Americanization, labor exploitation, cultural diversity, social control, and middle-class fear that lie at the heart of the American immigration narrative.
Edward O’Donnell, Ph.D. is a professional historian, author, speaker, teacher and podcaster. He earned his Ph.D. in American History from Columbia University. He is an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.
O’Donnell is the author of several books, including: Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age America (2015); Visions of America: A History of the United States (co-author, 2012); and 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History (2002).