"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Thursday, January 03, 2019

Dr. William Moore's 2018 Sandkey Lecture Now Online



The Grand Lodge of AF&AM of Canada in the Province of Ontario has a unique relationship with the part of the academic world that studies our fraternity. The annual Dr. Charles A. Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies at Brock University, St. Catharines is presented each year through a unique partnership with the Grand Lodge. Since 2010, the Sankey Lecture has presented significant academic scholars who specialize in Freemasonry or fraternalism, and in recent years, these have been recorded and made available online HERE.


William D. Moore
The 2018 Sankey Lecture was presented by Dr. William D. Moore on Sunday September 9, 2018, and was entitled Catechism, Spectacle, Burlesque: American Fraternal Ritual Performance, 1733-1933. The complete lecture has just been made available online HERE.


Dr. Moore is the Director of the American and New England Studies Program, and Associate Professor of American Material Culture, Department of History of Art and Architecture at Boston University in Massachusetts. Professor Moore teaches courses on American material culture and vernacular landscapes. He is the author of the excellent book, Masonic Temples: Freemasonry, Ritual Architecture, and Masculine Archetypes (2006). He also co-edited (with Mark Tabbert) the outstanding collection of indispensable essays, Secret Societies in America: Foundational Studies of Fraternalism (2011). Any library about fraternalism needs copies of both.

Dr. Charles Sankey, for whom the lecture series is named, served as Chancellor of Brock University from 1969 to 1974. A renowned Masonic scholar, he was active in all the concordant bodies of Masonry including the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, the Royal Order of Scotland, and Royal Arch Masons. His extensive collection of rare Masonic books and papers is in the Special Collections of the James Gibson Library at Brock, providing a rich resource for research scholars and students — the Masonic collection in the James A. Gibson Library, and the online collection of Proceedings of Grand Lodge from 1855 to 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for bring this to my attention. I watched it, and enjoyed it. He is a very smart guy, as I have gleaned from meeting him a few times at Conferences. I found the talk fascinating, as his strength is in marshalling very interesting details. But as to his categories, I think they are very problematic. He seems to be drawn to rather overpowering historical categories, which, somewhat ironically force him into historical incoherences. On a basic level, with two of them, Spectacle and Burlesque they pose a more fundamental incoherence even. For how can one portray Spectacle and Burlesque, which are hermeneutically and just practically, very public phenomena by their very societal nature, as profoundly descriptive of an environment which is essentially entirely closed and initiatory?? Of course, one can see elements and influences of such public entertainment categories in the material culture. But if it all is from an environment whose chief characteristic is closed initiatory meaning, whatever one would say it were for sake of argument, it would have to have, at the very least a quite different meaning in the context of closed initiatory frameworks. He seems to grapple with this conundrum little or cursorily in his thought, and so I think it makes his analysis quite incomplete. Still, I think the Craft is lucky to have a guy with such a powerful mind for details studying it.

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