ONLINE SEMINAR
February 13 | The Room Where It Happens: Hamilton and Its Historical Sources

$350.00

Don’t you want to be in the “Room Where It Happens”? This seminar invites you take an in-depth look at the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical, by means of its robust primary sources, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s libretto, Ron Chernow’s bestselling biography Alexander Hamilton, and historical documents mentioned in the musical, such as the Federalist Papers, The Reynolds Pamphlet, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and others. Together, we will follow the footsteps of the “immigrant, bastard, son of a whore” Alexander Hamilton as he makes his way into the colonies via New York, falls in love, takes a major role in shaping a new nation, and involves himself in circumstances that lead to his death in the duel with Aaron Burr.

Through Alexander Hamilton’s dramatic relationships with many of the country’s founding figures, including George Washington, Aaron Burr, Eliza and Angelica Schuyler, and Thomas Jefferson, we are able to get a sense of the paradoxes and conflicts that gave birth to the United States as well as the contributions that were made by immigrants, women, and a host of others.

Each session will begin with a listening/viewing of a song from the musical, as a way to launch the discussion into the material and questions they raise. Our aim is to achieve a greater appreciation of the artfulness of the Broadway musical, as well as the life, work and times of Alexander Hamilton.

How: In advance of the seminar’s first meeting, participants should listen to/watch the musical in its entirety, and read Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Other readings will be assigned to read as we go (e.g., selections from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense,  Hamilton and Madison’s Federalist Papers, and other writings).

When: Six weekly sessions on Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, starting February 13, 2021

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$350 plus 13% HST (approx. US$273 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom; you will receive instructions on how to join upon registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All seminar payments are nonrefundable. If you are interested in applying your Toronto Pursuits 2020 deposit to this seminar, please contact us.

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Description

LEADER

David Saussy holds a BA and an MA from St John’s College (Santa Fe), and is a founding member and president of Symposium Great Books Institute. He has been leading adult seminars on great books for 14 years.

FILM and BOOKS

Hamilton (film of production at Richard Rogers Theatre)
(Walt Disney Studios, 2020)
Available via Disney+ subscription

Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
(Atlantic Records, 2015)
Available from a large variety of online and in-store retailers

Hamilton: The Revolution, by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (libretto)
(Grand Central Publishing, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1455539741 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1455567539 (ebook)

Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow
(Penguin, 2005)
ISBN-13: 978-0143034759
Please be sure to obtain this edition

The Hamilton Papers: Historic Documents Referenced in the Broadway Musical (vols. 1 and 2)
(CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017)
ISBN-13 for vol. 1: 978-1982032821
ISBN-13 for vol. 2: 978-1982033682

Note that these documents in The Hamilton Papers are also available free in the public domain. See the Notes on Materials on this page for more details.

We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson or Indigo

Don’t you want to be in the “Room Where It Happens”? This seminar invites you take an in-depth look at the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical, by means of its robust primary sources, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s libretto, Ron Chernow’s bestselling biography Alexander Hamilton, and historical documents mentioned in the musical, such as the Federalist Papers, The Reynolds Pamphlet, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, and others. Together, we will follow the footsteps of the “immigrant, bastard, son of a whore” Alexander Hamilton as he makes his way into the colonies via New York, falls in love, takes a major role in shaping a new nation, and involves himself in circumstances that lead to his death in the duel with Aaron Burr.

Through Alexander Hamilton’s dramatic relationships with many of the country’s founding figures, including George Washington, Aaron Burr, Eliza and Angelica Schuyler, and Thomas Jefferson, we are able to get a sense of the paradoxes and conflicts that gave birth to the United States as well as the contributions that were made by immigrants, women, and a host of others. Each session will begin with a listening/viewing of a song from the musical, as a way to launch the discussion into the material and questions they raise. Our aim is to achieve a greater appreciation of the artfulness of the Broadway musical, as well as the life, work and times of Alexander Hamilton.

Notes on Materials
We ask all participants to watch or listen to the musical in its entirety before the seminar start date. We strongly encourage participants to access the film version, available on Disney+ in the US and Canada via a subscription to that service for USD 6.99 or CAD 8.99 a month. You can sign up for just a month. If you don’t have a subscription or getting one is not an option for you, you can listen to the original Broadway recording on CD; this is available from a wide range of online and in-store retailers.

The primary sources for the seminar are collected in The Hamilton Papers books listed to the left, but are also in the public domain and available through the National Archives, the Library of Congress and other sites. For access to e-texts to read online or print out, see the list below.

The Hurricane Letter
The Farmer Refuted
The Federalist Papers
The Reynolds Pamphlet
Hamilton–Burr duel correspondences
“Best of wives best of women” letter
Free Thoughts of the Proceedings of the Continental Congress
Common Sense
Declaration of Independence
Valley Forge letter
“Cold in my professions” letter
Letters between Alexander Hamilton and Angelica Church
Reynolds letters
Proclamation of Neutrality
Washington’s Farewell Address
John Adams Diss
Statement on the impending duel with Aaron Burr

You can also many resources related to the musical at Genius.

“I’ve been reading “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine.
So men say I’m intense or I’m insane.
You want a revolution? I want a revelation!”
—Angelica, in the song “The Schuyler Sisters”, from Hamilton

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

 

 

Additional information

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Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit