Flyer announcing Dr. Susan Egenolf visit

Friday February 16 3:30-5:00 pm “The Wedgwoods, their Laborers, Reciprocity and Subventions towards Romanticism” presented by Dr. Susan Egenolf Associate Professor of English Texas A&M University at the ABL

In the later part of the 18th century, the progressive potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood constructed literal and figurative communities to bind his Etruria workers to him, relying heavily, and mostly successfully, on the obligations of reciprocity. In the face of food shortages in 1783, however, his workers rioted. This talk will explore Wedgwood’s published responses to the riots and demonstrate that he employed the rhetoric of nationalism and of the moral tale to effectively regain control of his laborers. This talk will also show how Wedgwood’s sons, as beneficiaries of the vast profits earned by these laborers, funded the intellectual labors of authors central to the Romantic period.