Annual Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture in Hudson River Valley History to Be Held on May 13 in Virtual Presentation

Marist Cunneen Hackett Lecture Peter Betjemann

This event will explore racial violence and slavery as depicted in 19th-century literature and paintings set in the region.


April 27, 2021—The Hudson River Valley Institute (HRVI) at Marist College will hold its annual Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture on Thursday, May 13, 7:00 pm, in a virtual presentation. This event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Dr. Peter Betjemann, Director of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University, will deliver the lecture, “The Unrestful Valley: Literary Painting and Violence in Antebellum New York.” In this presentation, Betjemann will explore racial violence and the history of enslavement in early nineteenth-century literature and literary paintings set in the Hudson River Valley. The lecture, derived from Betjemann’s book-in-progress on race and narrative painting, will analyze several short stories by Washington Irving and poetry by William Cullen Bryant alongside paintings by John Quidor, Thomas Cole, Asher Durand, and other nineteenth-century artists.

Betjemann has been widely published on issues of literature, craft, and design. His scholarly work has appeared in Word and Image, American Literary Realism, and The Journal of Design History.

“We think that examining all aspects of history is crucial,” said HRVI Executive Director James M. Johnson. “In our work to study and to interpret the history of the region, we look to art and literature to help inform us on social interactions and relationships. Dr. Betjemann’s work will shine a light on life in the Hudson River Valley of the 1800s and how it impacted the art produced here.”

The Charlotte Cunneen-Hackett Lecture Series was established in 2001 to advance appreciation of the rich heritage of the Hudson River Valley and to promote the history of the Region. This event is online only. To register, visit:

About the Hudson River Valley Institute

The Hudson River Valley Institute (HRVI) is a Center of Excellence at Marist College that studies and promotes the history of the Hudson River Valley. The Institute provides information about the region’s culture, economy, environment, and educational resources through, public programming, and The Hudson River Valley Review. This biannual peer-reviewed journal covers all aspects of regional history. The Hudson River Valley Institute is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment Humanities. Visit HRVI on Facebook at

Asset Publisher