Collegiate Literary Societies in Nineteenth-Century Lexington
The victory parade that followed the 1896 oratorical contest in the streets of Lexington served as a manifestation of one of the student group's oldest traditions. Even before the war, public parading and its attributed merriment and notoriety serves as a departure point for analyzing the development of these societies, particularly in one of Lexington's most prominent collegiate institutions. Honor and status were appropriated to the participants of this type of cultural performance, and these events were viewed as “cultural performances” in antebellum America. This chapter attempts to explore the various features and the proliferation of collegiate literary societies in Lexington during the nineteenth century.
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