Clare has taught marketing for over 30 years at UMASS Lowell, and she and her husband have lived in Concord for more than 30 years as well. Little Women is Clare’s favorite book, and she owns an original set of the Madame Alexander Little Women doll collection.
Cathlin teaches in and serves as Head of the Liberal Studies department, preparing pre-service teachers. She first read Little Women at the age of 11, and has since read every single thing Alcott ever wrote. Her research focus has been on Alcott’s juvenile fiction, both the novels and short story volumes. Cathlin has an extensive Alcott collection, including a few first editions, which she is not afraid to read, as books that are loved should be read.
Gabrielle was born in London and had known that she wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She graduated with a BA degree from London University at the age of 22 and has made her living as a journalist ever since. In 1980, Gabrielle moved to Los Angeles for a six-month stint and never left. She writes about show business for a variety of periodicals and is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but is also a novelist. The Little Women Letters is her fifth work (the first published in both Britain and the States) after Holy Mother, Faulty Ground, All Done With Mirrors, and The Girl In The Photograph. She and her husband, Los Angeles-born computer specialist Owen Bjornstad, are both Corporators of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House.
Lisa teaches writing and literature, including American Literature courses, at a Herkimer County Community College in upstate New York. She is also a PhD candidate in Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is working on her dissertation, The Vocational Novel: A Woman Writer’s Aspirations Beyond the Domestic Sphere. Lisa’s research focuses on 19th Century women writers and the vocational novel, with an additional expertise in transatlantic literary history. She explores both British and American writers and their fictional representations of women’s vocational aspirations as they appear in 19th Century women’s literature published in Britain and the United States between 1850 and 1900.
For the past decade, Anne has taught undergraduate courses on American history, American government, and American constitutional law and due process. Although the Alcotts are no longer a part of her everyday research, their spirit remains with her, and influences her educational approaches and teaching methods; and she never fails to mention Louisa to her students when discussing abolitionism, women’s right to vote, or a more sustainable lifestyle. In the past few years, Anne has also embarked on a Master’s Degree in art history, and is gradually specializing in 19th and early 20th Century US collectors and the science of connoisseurship, with a possible career change in mind. She lives in suburban Paris, but has made the Boston area her home away from home for the past 20 years.
Lauren is the co-editor of The Forgotten Alcott: Essays on the Artistic Legacy and Literary Life of May Alcott Nieriker (2022). She is currently at work, with Monika Elbert, on Expanding the Canon: Essays on the Secondary Works of Louisa May Alcott (working title). Lauren has presented and lectured on Alcott and Thoreau in the Four States area of Texarkana, TX, and also in Paris, France and Lancaster, United Kingdom.
Kristi is an independent interdisciplinary scholar specializing in Concord’s 19th Century literary circle. As a public history and museums and archives professional, she is proud to have worked with all of Concord’s literary-historical sites, including as a Historical Interpreter at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. Kristi received her PhD as well as a Museum Studies Certificate from Boston University, and is currently researching a biography of the Alcott sisters. She is honored to have contributed a chapter to The Forgotten Alcott: Essays on the Artistic Legacy and Literary Life of May Alcott Nieriker (2021), and to be a returning Presenter for the Summer Conversational Series.
John’s first book, Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his first book. He has an AB in History from Princeton University and a PhD in English from Columbia University, holds a JD from Harvard, and practiced as a litigation attorney in California and North Carolina. John’s The Lives of Margaret Fuller (2012) received the Ann M. Sperber Prize for Best Biography, while his The Annotated Little Women (2015) reached #1 on Amazon’s list of best-selling works of children’s literary criticism. John’s work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Harvard Theological Review, New England Quarterly, Nineteenth-Century Prose, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, and other publications. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, former Fellow and Deputy Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, and received the Distinguished Faculty Award of the John Jay College Alumni Association as well as Columbia’s Dean’s Award for Distinguished Achievement by a PhD Alumnus. John’s most recent book, A Worse Place Than Hell - How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation (2020) includes a chapter on Louisa May Alcott. He will be both a Panelist for the Opening Session of this year's Series, as well as our Special Guest for our final session.
Julie received her Doctorate in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and is a longtime writing instructor at both Berkeley’s Fall Program for First Semester and De Anza College. She has been fascinated and inspired for over 50 years by Louisa May Alcott, who has long been one of her strongest role models as a writer, feminist, and thinker.
On the job as producer of audiovisual and interactive programs for educational entities, Mark has learned directly from many of the world’s greatest minds at science centers, art museums, and cultural institutions. Re-telling the stories of these leading experts for a general audience using words, images, and interaction, he approaches many of life’s most curious and complicated topics from an integrative perspective. Mark’s design work has appeared at the American Jazz Museum, PBS, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and Scientific American magazine, among others.
Author of To Set This World Right: The Antislavery Movement in Thoreau’s Concord, Sandy was editor of Thoreau In His Own Time and Thoreau’s Journal 8: 1854, and co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism and More Day to Dawn: Thoreau’s Walden for the 21st Century. She has also published on Herman Melville, Louisa May Alcott, and other American writers and reformers. Sandy’s current research includes a cultural biography of 19th Century activist and author Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and, with Noelle A. Baker, The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition, an NEH-supported project. In addition, Sandy serves as Director of the NEH Summer Institute on “Transcendentalism and Reform in the Age of Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller.”
Krissie is a writer and academic working in the fields of American literature and childhood. Her first book, Louisa May Alcott and the Textual Child, was published in March of 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan, while her second, Reading the Salem Witch Child, was published in December of 2020. Krissie’s writings on Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and the Transcendentalists have regularly been published, and she is currently planning her third book -- a new biography of Louisa, her family, and her circle.