Etta enjoys taking ideas beyond the university classroom. Whether speaking at a public venue in Missouri, a library in Tuscany, or on the streets of Rome, the subjects she considers are tailored to a group’s interests. She organizes workshops, educational trips, and talks for adults that build from topics she writes and teaches about. Past custom-designed trips for adults have focused on alternative communities and religious practices, American Protestant pilgrims, and American writers abroad. Recent talks, listed below, center on utopian foodways in literature and culture and her new book, Engaging Italy: American Women’s Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks.

Contact Etta to organize a small group trip, a workshop or talk.

Upcoming Events

Mr. Kate Cromo: News Correspondent Anne Hampton Brewster in Rome, 1869-1890

January 19, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm CST
This presentation, part of the Library Company of Philadelphia's Fireside Chat Series, focuses on Philadelphian...
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Past Events

Let’s Talk Books! Engaging Italy: American Women’s Utopian Visions

November 18 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CST

This virtual presentation on Engaging Italy is part of Professor Lynn Domina's series, Let's Talk Books at Northern Michigan University. A Q & A will follow the presentation. The presentation was recorded for later viewing. It is available here.

Author Interview with Biographers International Organization (BIO)

October 16 @ 4:00 pm - October 19 @ 5:00 pm CDT

This interview on the writing of Engaging Italy: American Women's Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks is part of the BIO podcast series.

Anne Hampton Brewster’s St. Martin’s Summer

October 11 @ 8:00 am CDT

This podcast episode of Lost Ladies of Lit with Amy Helmes and Kim Askew focuses on an 1866 novel, St. Martin's Summer, written by Philadelphian and expat author Anne Hampton Brewster.  The autobiographical novel, set primarily in Naples, Italy, sets the stage for Brewster's later career in Rome. Listen wherever you get your podcasts!

The (Happier) Therapist Who Writes

October 4 @ 6:00 am - 7:00 am CDT

A conversation with Reconceive podcast hosts Dr. Deborah Cox and Tracy Maxfield, on writing as a therapeutic practice. Numerous studies point to regular writing as a way to improve our health and well-being. Given burnout in healthcare professionals, writing offers an affordable way to move stress and emotion onto the page, clearing our minds for more creative and enjoyable work. In this episode, Deborah and Tracy interview author, professor, and writing coach, Dr. Etta Madden, about the practice of regular writing for healing and apply the writing concepts to helping professionals.

What’s New in Foodtopia?

October 1 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am CDT
Canterbury, NH United States

This presentation is a review of Margot Anne Kelley's Foodtopia: Communities in Pursuit of Peace, Love & Homegrown Food, published by Godine Press (2022). My review places Foodtopia within the larger context of eating in utopian and intentional communities (see Eating in Eden and the special issue of Utopian Studies). The presentation will be about 20 minutes, as part of a panel of book reviews on other topics.

Registration for the Communal Studies Association conference at Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury, NH, is required. See more about the annual conference here.

Revising Daisy Miller: The Story of Miss Jones

September 7 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CDT

This online talk, drawn from Engaging Italy: American Women's Utopian Visions and Transnational Networks, will focus on Emily Bliss Gould, founder and fundraiser for an industrial school and orphanage in Rome.  The audience will be an online group--mostly academics--that focuses on "transatlantic" women writers. See the Transatlantic Literary Women website for more information about connecting.

A woman in black dress and hat sits with young boy in her lap and girl at her side

Emily Bliss Gould (1825-1875) with Venetian Bartoli children, from Italo-American Schools at Rome [1874], New-York Historical Society.

Engaging Italy: American Women’s Utopian Visions

April 22 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am CDT

This overview of my book with the same title is part of a research presentation series at Missouri State University. The presentations are streamed via Zoom. The link will be provided here a few days before the event. You may also contact me to receive the link.

Utopian Visions of Food

April 21 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am CDT

Part of this year's Missouri Humanities Symposium, Sustenance and Sustainability, at Drury University. I will provide an historical overview of utopian foodways. The talk highlights dreams individuals and communities have shared about food. From dreams of Edenic abundance to the contemporary explosion of urban gardens, people through the centuries have centered their lives upon desires to eat better. What "better" means varies from person to person and group to group: having plenty, having healthy habits, eating with others, or eating less.

This presentation draws from Eating in Eden: Food and American Utopias as well as my "Food" essay in The Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literatures (2022).

The talk is free and open to the public. Registration is requested (required for streaming the presentation).

A Conversation with Margaret Sullivan, author of Fragments of a Mobile Life

February 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST

A Virtual Author Event with Margaret Sullivan in conversation with Dr. Etta Madden (Missouri State University) and Dr. John Schmalzbauer (Missouri State University), exploring topics such as cultural literacy, diplomacy abroad, identity as related to gender, place, and profession, and Ozarks history. The event celebrates Sullivan's memoir, FRAGMENTS FROM A MOBILE LIFE. This event is also sponsored by the Department of English at Missouri State University.

Read more about Sullivan and the event at the Pagination Bookshop website.

The event may be accessed through this Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84817934870

Sororal Sadness and Hope: Transatlantic Letters of Public and Private Loss

November 6, 2021 @ 2:15 pm - 3:30 pm CDT

This talk focuses on letters Caroline Crane Marsh and her sister Lucy exchanged during the Civil War, when Caroline lived in Italy and Lucy witnessed the ravages of family, friends, and strangers near her St. Louis, Missouri, home.

It's part of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference in Baltimore. The presentation will be streamed, but audience members must be registered for the conference to receive the link.

American women in Italy

November 2, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm CDT
Springfield, MO

Private event

Controversies of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option

October 1, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm CDT

This virtual presentation will comment on Rod Dreher’s bestselling book, The Benedict Option (2017), as it connects to traditions of communal life and utopian visions.

As part of a panel at the Communal Studies Association (CSA) annual conference, the presentation will be accessible to those who have registered for the conference.

Negotiating Networks, Not Friendships, in 19th-Century Rome

September 22, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm CDT

As part of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers panel, "Networking, 19th-Century Style: Preserving and Analyzing American Women's Networks." I will discuss Anne Hampton Brewster, Emily Bliss Gould, and Caroline Crane Marsh in Rome. These three women did not consider themselves good friends, although they remained neighborly during their time in Italy.

Here's the link for registering for this FREE event.

 

 

Talk on Caroline Crane Marsh’s Visions of Mission and Travels

July 10, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
Boston, MA

This presentation at the American Literature Association Conference will juxtapose the writings and travels of black itinerant preacher Rebecca Cox Jackson (1795-1871) and white translator and poet Caroline Crane Marsh (1819-1901) with brief references to Transcendentalist Margaret Fuller’s writings and travels. Jackson’s dream visions (1830s-50s) and Marsh’s publications demonstrate the ways in which writing empowered both women, in spite of their cultural positions in the antebellum US.

Roundtable on Transatlantic Women’s Letter Writing of the 19th and early 20th century

April 1, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm CDT

Published and Private Letters of foreign correspondent in Rome, Anne Hampton Brewster.

British American Studies Association [Virtual] Conference.

History in the Margins

March 31, 2021

An interview with author Pamela Toler, History in the Margins, and her women’s history month blog

American Women in Italy – Cancelled due to COVID

November 1, 2020

Talk in Springfield, MO

Science Fiction, Dystopia, And How it Relates to Real Life

October 22, 2020

On this episode of STEM Spots, Dr. Cornelison sits down with Assistant Department Head of the English Department at Missouri State University, Dr. Etta Madden, to discuss science fiction, dystopian literature, and the relevance of those books during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reactions to quarantine and epidemics in Rome

April 1, 2020

The Library Company of Philadelphia’s “Fireside Chats.” Anne Hampton Brewster’s reactions to quarantine and epidemics in Rome. Stream the recording on YouTube or  listen to the podcast.

Talking About Women’s History: Three Questions and an Answer.

March 30, 2020

An interview with  author Pamela Toler, History in the Margins, and her women’s history month blog, “Talking About Women’s History: Three Questions and an Answer.”