Science, Stage, & Spectacle in Antebellum Philadelphia

Science, Stage, & Spectacle in Antebellum Philadelphia

On Thursday, January 23, 2020, Dance historian Lynn Brooks will join LancasterHistory to discuss the political, scientific, and danced representations of the body in antebellum Philadelphia. For event details and how to register, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Lynn Brooks

Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, Philadelphia, like the rest of the United States, was forging a distinct cultural profile. Philadelphians increasingly scrutinized the human body, its form, meaning, and expressivity. Dance historian Lynn Brooks will discuss the intricate braiding of political, scientific, and danced representations of the body, with focus on blackface minstrelsy and ballet in antebellum Philadelphia.

Lynn Matluck Brooks founded the Dance Program at Franklin & Marshall College in 1984. A Certified Movement Analyst and dance historian, she has authored several books and many articles on the history of dance in Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Brooks’s research on dance as woven into the social, political, and intellectual contexts of its time, has been funded by grants from the Fulbright/Hays Program, National Endowment for the Humanities, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Brooks has edited Dance Research Journal and Dance Chronicle, and writes and edits for Philadelphia’s


A casual reception will begin at 4pm on Thursday, January 23 at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Ave., Lancaster. The main presentation will begin at 4:30pm in Ryder Hall.

The program is free and open to the public but requires advance registration to guarantee a seat at the presentation. Register online by clicking “Get Tickets” below or by calling (717) 392-4633. Questions and accessibility requests may be directed to or (717) 392-4633. Ticketholders should bring a paper printout of their tickets or be able to display their tickets on a cellphone or other internet-enabled device to check-in to the lecture.

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Lecture Reception

January 23, 2020 Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Avenue 4pm Reception | 4:30pm Main Presentation FREE | Registration Required To Guarantee Seat