Panoramic ocean views, crashing waves, and the perfect amount of sea breeze on one side and stunning, century-old, Gilded Age mansions on the other. Step into history at Ochre Court, one of the Newport cottages where no expense was spared in their decoration including the enormous facades and even more lavish interiors.  

Join us for our first in-person Dartmouth on Location at the historic Ochre Court on the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island. Enjoy the history and great views with fellow Dartmouth alumni, family, and friends.

James Dobson, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing and Director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College, will explore self-improvement and the literary culture during the Gilded Age. After the presentation, enjoy the reception and explore Ochre Court with a self-guided tour.

By the turn of the twentieth century, Newport was well established as a social scene and stage for self-making. Before she became a novelist and a gifted observer of social relations and the inner lives of Americans, Edith Wharton was a critic of contemporary interior design including “Land’s End,” her own recently purchased Newport summer cottage. In 1897 she published The Decoration of Houses with her collaborator Ogden Codman Jr. to provide directives and advice for modern living and especially ways of blending the past with the present—the core problems she would later take up in novels like The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. A few years later fellow writer Henry James undertook a return trip from England to the United States to understand how this same modernization process had changed the country during his twenty-year absence. The American Scene, his travelogue of this trip, documents his return visit to Newport, the ghosts of the Old Town, those members of Thorstein Veblen’s recently named leisure class taking their rest cures, and the rise of cottage culture. Joining James and Wharton were many more diverse people—expanding well beyond The Four Hundred—who came to Gilded-Age Newport to participate in fad exercises and activities, to build new careers as builders, sailors, and instructors to the summer crowd, and to reimagine themselves in this historic seaside town.


  • 6:00 p.m. Registration and Welcome reception serving hearty hors d'oeuvres and drinks
  • 7:00 p.m. Presentation with James Dobson
  • 8:00 p.m. Reception with a strolling buffet and drinks
  • 10:00 p.m. Event Concludes


  • Tickets: $65
  • Classes 2021-2011: $35
  • Children (Ages 17 & Under): $35


Ochre Court
Salve Regina University
100 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, Rhode Island 02840


James E. Dobson is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing and Director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Critical Digital Humanities: The Search for a Methodology (Illinois, 2019) and Modernity and Autobiography in Nineteenth-Century America (Palgrave, 2017) and the co-author of Moonbit (punctum books, 2019). He is a specialist in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century American literature and digital cultural studies and regularly teaches courses in these areas.


For a list of available accommodations, visit the Newport Chamber of Commerce.

We will adhere to Salve Regina University's Covid-19 safety protocols noted below.

  • Salve Regina’s campus visitor and event protocols for the summer months have been updated in accordance with state guidelines for Rhode Island. Effective immediately, all visitors and vendors for admissions, weddings, special events, or other summer operations who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors.
  • Unvaccinated guests are asked to comply honorably with the state guidelines and remain masked. Unvaccinated guests from states on Rhode Island’s travel advisory will be screened prior to or upon entry to Salve Regina buildings and must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken after arrival or within 72 hours before arrival.