Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article is about lectures and the lyceum movement. The lecture form has a long history that antedated the advent of a coherent network of public speaking. In its initial phase, the lyceum movement stressed the importance of mutual instruction and random lectures. Many early lecturers were local residents, commonly clergymen or lawyers, speaking before audiences in their own towns or villages. The article states that although New England remained a stronghold of the lyceum movement, settlers moved into Ohio, the old Western Reserve, where expanding literacy rates supported both the extension of the public lecture and new periodicals such as the Western Messenger, admired by many Transcendentalists. Theodore Parker and Emerson were much in favor of the lecture form. Emerson even noted that the “orator is the most American of Americans”.

Keywords: lyceum movement, lecture form, public lecture, antebellum, orator

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.