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Ernest-Freeberg-2Ernest Freeberg, Distinguished Professor of Humanities at UT, will present “The Age of Edison: How the Electric Light Created Modern America” on March 3 in the Conversations and Cocktails series.

The event will be from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Orangery, 5412 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, and is open to the public.

The Conversations and Cocktails series is a partnership between the UT Humanities Center and the Orangery. The series gives the public a chance to learn about and discuss history while enjoying Orangery favorites. The discussions are free, but for those choosing to dine, reservations are required. To reserve a table, call the Orangery at 865-588-2964.

Freeberg will talk about how electric light has shaped the modern world. Tracing the evolution of the light bulb from Thomas Edison’s laboratory into the streets and homes of Americans, he will show that this modern world of electric light actually had many inventors. These inventors were men and women who adapted light to change the way we work, shop, sleep, and play.

Freeberg’s talk is drawn from his book The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America, which was recognized as one of the 2014 outstanding academic titles by the American Library Association.

Freeberg is the head of the Department of History and the author of three award-winning books on American history. His teaching and research interests center on the cultural and intellectual history of the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Other Conversations and Cocktails talks will be held this semester:

  •  April 7—Aleydis Van de Moortel, Lindsay Young Associate Professor in Classics and archaeologist: “Conversations with Ancients.”
  •  May 5—Katherine Hodges-Kluck, doctoral student in history: “Lionheart’s Crusade.”


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,