Alfred University News

Riley Lecture to review work of Alfred University alumna, author Elizabeth C. Wright

Emily E. VanDette
Emily E. VanDette

Alfred University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 pm, will host a Zoom lecture by Emily E. VanDette, professor of English  at SUNY Fredonia, on the work of Alfred University alumna Elizabeth C. Wright, the first woman in the United States to publish a book-length treatise on nature, Lichen Tufts: From the Alleghenies.


Alfred University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 pm, will host a Zoom lecture by Emily E. VanDette, professor of English at SUNY Fredonia, on the work of Alfred University alumna Elizabeth C. Wright, the first woman in the United States to publish a book-length treatise on nature, Lichen Tufts: From the Alleghenies.

Wright, an 1855 graduate of Alfred University, carried the progressive influence of her Alfred University education into her work as a botanist, teacher, abolitionist, temperance lecturer, and women’s rights activist and suffragist. Her book Lichen Tufts, published in 1860, extends the Transcendentalist appreciation for nature to the Allegheny Mountains wilderness; her involvement in the major intellectual currents of her time establish a context of radical politics and philosophical enquiry surrounding Lichen Tufts.

VanDette’s Zoom lecture, part of the WGST Riley Lecture Series, will showcase the fascinating life story of this important author and Alfred University alumna. VanDette is in the process of re-publishing Lichen Tufts, and the new edition will include an afterword by University Archivist Laurie Lounsberry Meehan.

To listen and watch VanDette’s lecture on Zoom, use this link.  

Meeting ID: 934 4358 6973

Passcode: 317821