P.T. Barnum- Grandfather of Comic-Con?!
On Sunday, November 17th at 2:00 PM, Betsy Golden Kellem will give a talk at the museum on “P.T. Barnum- Grandfather of Comic-Con?!”.
About the talk, Betsy writes, “At the height of his circus fame in 1889, Barnum joined other writers and entertainers to address a packed house in Brooklyn for a new sort of gathering: one of the world’s first fan conventions. Golden Hours, a popular “story paper” full of adventure stories for young readers, had prepared a jam-packed evening of entertainment for its fans, and children were treated to hours of performance from musicians, Civil War veterans, ventriloquists and caricaturists, with the schedule running until nearly midnight. The keynote speaker was no less than circus mogul P.T. Barnum, who at 79 years old could still leave a crowd hanging on his every word. Looking at Barnum’s participation in and impact on popular entertainment and fan culture, we’ll explore the question: did P.T. Barnum create Comic-Con? (He just might have.)”
About Betsy: Betsy Golden Kellem is an attorney and historian, and in both of these roles she explores how people consume, regulate and enjoy mass media. She currently serves as marketing and intellectual property counsel for a Fortune 10 health & retail company. As a historian, Betsy believes things that appear inconsequential, administrative or just plain weird speak to truth & verity in everyday life: issues of fraud, deception, self-interest, individual rights and the centuries-long, uniquely American dance between belief and truth. Where we’re headed as a society is often a direct product of what we enjoy, what we question, and where we’re spending our recreational time and energy. Her history writing has been featured in outlets including the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Smithsonian and Atlas Obscura. She is the founder of the history blog Drinks With Dead People, and has taught courses at Yale University and the University of Connecticut School of Law. A member of the Board of Directors here at the Barnum Museum, she is currently at work on a book about P.T. Barnum and his role in creating modern popular culture.