Dr. Rebecca Hall in conversation with Courtney Maum

Beyond the Writing of Fiction Series

February 24, 2022

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Join us in February to celebrate Black History Month and the story of Wake with Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts tells her that enslaved women took a back seat. But she feels the need to look deeper. Her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan.

She finds women warriors everywhere.

Using in-depth archival research and the measured use of historical imagination, Dr. Hall brings to life the women who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage and the women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York.

As an author of multiple books in different genres, the writer and book coach Courtney Maum is thrilled to host guests from across the literary stratosphere on The Mount's new monthly "Beyond the Writing of Fiction" craft series. From self-published authors to screenwriters, mystery writers and memoir writers and many other kinds, the breadth and diversity of the interviewees will celebrate Edith Wharton's own affection for various forms of writing while focusing on the elusive but essential tool of craft.


The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, info@edithwharton.org, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.

Beyond the Writing of Fiction has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

  • Free online program.
  • Monthly discussion--October 2021 through June 2022.
  • In March, Annabel Abbs discusses her book Windswept and walking the paths of trailblazing women.
  • April is poetry month; Arda Collins, a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, joins us!
Dr. Rebecca Hall
Author Website

Dr. Rebecca Hall is a scholar, activist and educator, who writes and speaks on the history of race, gender, law and resistance, as well as on climate justice and intersectional feminist theory.  Her recent highly-acclaimed graphic novel, Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts, weaves history and memoir that focuses on slave revolts in the Middle Passage and in New York City and her own quest to uncover this unwritten history. Wake went viral when it started as a Kickstarter campaign, earning coverage in Hyperallergic and Bustle. Dr. Hall has spoken about her work and Wake to eager audiences at the National Antiracism Teach In, the Schomburg Center’s Black Comic Book Festival and at Black Gotham’s “Nerdy Thursdays” at the New York Historical Society. Wake was selected as Steph Curry’s June Literati Book Club Pick. An Indie Bestseller, Wake has also received glowing reviews from The New York Times, NPR, and The Guardian, calling the graphic novel “stunning,” “powerful,” and “a must-read.”

As a lawyer representing low-income tenants and homeless families for eight years, Rebecca bore witness to how her clients’ race, class and gender deformed the possibilities of their receiving justice through the legal system. On a quest for a deeper understanding of these structures, she pursued a PhD in history at UC Santa Cruz. Her areas of research include the legal history of slavery and the slave trade, African American women’s history, and current legacies of slavery.  Rebecca has taught at U.C. Santa Cruz, Berkeley Law, UC Berkeley’s history department and at the University of Utah.

Courtney Maum
Author Website

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine’s top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection), the popular guidebook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, and the forthcoming memoir, The Year of the Horses. A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, Courtney’s writing has been widely published in such outlets as the New York Times, and O, the Oprah Magazine, and her short story This is Not Your Fault was turned into an Audible Original at Amazon. Courtney is the founder of the artist residency, The Cabins and she privately coaches writers on how to preserve the mystery and joy of the creative process in a culture that wants artists to become brands. You can sign up for her newsletter at CourtneyMaum.com

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.