Emma Jones Lapsansky
Special Collections : Magill Library
Current Professional/Research Interests:
Family and community life, ante-bellum cities; architecture, material
culture and community planning; religion and popular culture in nineteenth-century
America; Quaker history; the American West; historical interpretation
for popular audiences.
Public Lectures and workshops: Army Corps of Engineers, Brandywine Museum,
Cliveden National Historic Site, Fraunces Tavern, Museum, Mercer Museum,
University of Pennsylvania, West Chester University, Smithsonian Institution,
other colleges, universities, historical societies, museums, senior citizens'
groups, radio and television interviews.
Consultant: Afroamerican Historical and Cultural Museum, Atwater-Kent
Museum, Chester County Historical Society, Historic Philadelphia, Inc.,
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Commission, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Philadelphia Maritime Museum,
Please Touch Museum for Children, Bucknell University Department of History.
Grants Application Reviewer: American Council of Learned Societies,
Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, Historical Society
of Pennsylvania, Library Company of Philadelphia, National Endowment for
Community Service: 1992-95 Advisory Committee Friends Council
on Education, 1986- Pemberton Grant Subcommittee Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
of Friends, 1986-95 School Oversight Committee Lansdowne Friends School,
1978-96 Board of Trustees Friends Central School
- Ph.D., American Civilization, University of Pennsylvania, 1975
(Concentration in American Social History and Material Culture,
with Anthony N. B. Garvan)
- M.A., American Civilization, University of Pennsylvania, 1969
- B.A., American History, University of Pennsylvania, 1968
- Rare Book School, Columbia University, Summer, 1991
- Summer Institute, Winterthur Museum, 1969
- College of Information Studies, Drexel University, 1996
Recent Professional Experience
- January 2011-Visiting Professor of History, Haverford College
- July 2010-Professor of History Emeritus
- July 1995-2010 Professor of History and Curator, Special Collections, Haverford College
- July 1990 Assoc Professor of History and Curator, Special Collections Haverford College
- Spring, 1990 Visiting Lecturer, History Department, Princeton University
- 1988-95 Adjunct Professor, African American Studies University of Pennsylvania
- 1973-90 Asst/then Assoc Professor, History (Assoc Dean, 1984-86),Temple University
Recent Publications, Presentations, Professional
Monographs and edited volumes:
- "Back to Africa? Benjamin Coates and Colonization, 1851-69" with with
Margaret Hope Bacon ( Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005; pb 2008).
- Quaker Aesthetics: Reflections on a Quaker Ethic in American Design
and Consumption, 1720-1920. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003,
edited with Anne A. Verplanck.
- Neighborhoods in Transition: William Penn's Dream and Urban Reality.
(Garland Press, 1994)
- African American Lives, Struggle for Freedom, with Clayborne Carson
and Gary B. Nash (Addison-Wesley-Longman, 2005;2009); United States
History, with Peter B. Levy, Randy Roberts, Alan Taylor (Pearson-Prentice
Hall secondary school division, 2006;2010)
- "Making it Home:" The Black Presence in Pennsylvania.(Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission, 1990; 2nd edition, 2001)
- "Benjamin Coates and Africa in the Quaker Dream of Redemption," in K.K.
Prah,ed, Back to Africa; Diaspora Returnees, their Communities and the
Ideologies for Return (18th - 21st Century), Center for Advanced Studies of
African Society, 2012.
- "Identity, Spirituality, and Organization: the Episcopal Church in Early
Pennsylvania," in David Contosta, ed, This Far by Faith,. Pennsylvania
State University Press, 2012.
- " 'A Revolution in her own time': Philadelphia's Friendship Cooperative
Housing, Inc.", in Festschrift of H. Larry Ingle. (2011)
- "Plainness and Simplicity", forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Quaker
Studies, Ben Pink Dandelion and Stephen Angell, eds.
- "At the End an Abolitionist?" in Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better
World, Page Talbot, ed. (Yale University Press, 2005)
- Pennsylvania 1800-1850 in Pennsylvania: A People's History,
Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003;
- "New Eyes for Invisibles" in Quaker-Minority Relations,"
Quaker History, (90:1, Spring, 2001);
- Entries in Billy G. Smith, ed. Encyclopedia of Colonial America
(2003); entries in Margery Post Abbott, et al, Historical Dictionary
of Quakerism (2002); Encyclopedia of Violence, (2001); Encyclopedia
of Contemporary Culture, (2001)
- The World the Agitators Made: The Counterculture of Agitation
in Urban Philadelphia," in The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women's
Political Culture in Antebellum America, Jean Fagan Yellin and John
C. Van Horne, eds. (1994).
- 'Discipline to the Mind:' The Banneker Institute of Philadelphia,
1854-1872," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,
- "Feminism and Freedom: Black Women's Strategies in Nineteenth-Century
Philadelphia," Pennsylvania of Magazine of History and Biography,
Book Reviews in: Journal of American History, Journal of
the Early Republic, Journal of Southern History, Quaker History, Pennsylvania
Magazine of History and Biography; Enterprise and Society (2000, 2002),
Quaker Studies(2002); Women's Review of Books (2001, 2002).
Recent Invited Lectures and Appearances
- Forgotten Alternatives, Remembering Possibilities, 1750 and 2050,"
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Conference on Pennsylvania
Black History, 2002.
- "Early Philadelphia: Chaos and Character," Cliveden National
Historic Site Winter Institute, 2002.
- "Free Produce, Free People: The Climate of Reform in Antebellum
Philadelphia," Drexel University, 2002.
- "ThePhiladelphia Cope Family and Nineteenth-Century Reform,"
Awbury Arboretum, 2001.
- "Visualizing a World of Innocence: Quaker Leaders and their Lives,"
Pendle Hill, 2001.
- "Spiritual Wellness in College," Guilford College, 2001.
- "From Friendly Persuasion to Murder Among Friends: Quakers in
the Eyes of 'World's People'," Chester Quarter, Philadelphia Yearly
Meeting of Religious Society of Friends, 2001.
- "Confronting Spirituality: Religion and Diversity in Modern America,"
Germantown Friends School, 2001
- "Rethinking Feminism, Freedom, and Community", Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission Black History Conference, 2001.
- "Memory and History," Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums,
Radio appearances in PBS documentary, WHYY Radio on Delaware Valley
African American history (2000);
- "Africans in America" PBS-WGBH series. 1998.
- "Rebecca Lukens: Woman of Iron: America's First Industrialist", Nightingale
Productions (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting), 1999.
Selected Recent Professional Activities
- 2011-Consultant, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
- 2011-National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Panel
- 2010-2011 Consultant, Atwater-Kent Museum
- 2009-2010 Consultant, History of Philadelphia Film
- 2009-2010 Member Organization of American Historians Committee on the Status
- 2006/2010 Reader for College Board US History Advanced Placement Examination
- 2008-2010 Consultant and teacher-trainer, Teaching American History, Susquehanna
(PA) Area School District
- 2004-2007 Review Panels for National Endowment for the Humanities
- 2006-2012 College Board Redesign Commission for Advanced Placement in US History
- 2003-present Board of Trustees, Library Company of Philadelphia
- 2002-2003 Consultant Tri-State Heritage Tours; and Women's Rights National
- 2000-2003 Executive Committee, Organization of American Historians
- 2004-Participant in Organization of American Historians Site Review for
Independence National Historical Park
- 2002-2005 Consultant, "Teaching American History in the Schools, School District
- 1997-2000 Advisor, Pennsylvania Humanities Council: "Raising Our Sites" project
for updating museum exhibitions to better include women and minorities.
- 1996 Director, NEH Summer Institute, "Religion and Diversity in American Society"
- 1995-97 Chair, Organization of American Historians, Committee on the Status of
Women in the Historical Profession
- 1992-Editorial Board, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
- 1990-Board of Directors, Friends' Historical Association
- 1990-Publications Review Committee Pendle Hill Pamphlets
- 1980-ongoing Consultant to Public History institutions, e.g., Philadelphia African
American Museum, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, Historical Society of
Pennsylvania, Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Valentine
Museum (Richmond, VA), Seneca Falls National Historic Site