Peek inside the diaries of some of our country’s most famous writers and a few of the not-so-well-known authors. Discover their most intimate thoughts and secrets. Gather insights into techniques for keeping your own diary as a vehicle for learning more about yourself and, perhaps, for leaving a legacy of memories for your family and friends.
Dr. Linda Miller
Children’s Literature as Inclusion and Revolution
Grab some milk and cookies and your favorite blankie. Then get ready to review an array of contemporary children’s books whose themes and messages would shock Dick, Jane, and Spot. Learn about the ways today’s juvenile books address traditional themes as well as modern social issues and problems. In addition, discover techniques for turning “couch potato kids” into avid readers and thinkers.
Darwin and the Novel
Darwin’s writings have created some of the greatest, most enduring controversies of all time periods. Despite the efforts of many powerful and highly vocal groups, his scientific theories continue to garner support and have crossed over into the realm of works of fiction. Examine some of his writings to learn the ways in which they address issues of adaptation, survival, and natural and sexual selection. Also consider the outcomes and ramifications of the debates his beliefs have engendered.
Dr. William Mistichelli
Home-Grown Modernists: Authors Linked to Southeastern Pennsylvania
Become acquainted with local writers who revolutionized literature in the early twentieth century. Discover connections Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and others had with Southeastern Pennsylvania and the influence our area had upon their art.
Telling All of It (Or Only Some of It)
One need not be famous or wealthy to have interesting stories to share. Consider writing your autobiography as a means of sharing memories with friends and family members. Getting started on a major writing project can seem overwhelming, but a few helpful techniques and some guidance will simplify the process. This presentation includes a lecture and hands-on writing activities.
The Lost Generation on the French Riviera
Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Archibald and Ada MacLeish, Dorothy Parker, and other literary and artistic luminaries were all on the Riviera in the 1920s. Drawing upon original photographs, Dr. Miller’s presentation illustrates the ways in which the lives and art of this “lost generation” embodied the inventiveness of the Jazz Age and examines the tragedies which followed in the wake of the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Learn also about the influence these individuals continue to exert upon contemporary observers and reflectors of our society and culture.
Dr. Linda Miller
The Medieval Image of the Hero in the Harry Potter Novels
This revelation of the medieval influences on J.K. Rowling’s works illustrates the ways in which that colorful time period flavors her novels. These medieval manifestations are keys to understanding the messages that Rowling’s texts have for mature readers. Among her themes are methods for coping with our modern, technologically-obsessed world.
The Politics and Literature of the Irish
One need not dress in green or collect shamrocks to appreciate the joy and originality inherent in Irish literature. The works of O’Casey, Shaw, Lady Gregory, and Yeats at the beginning of the twentieth century and contemporary writers such as Colm Toibin, Seamus Heaney, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, and Eavan Boland have inspired readers across generations and national borders. Delve into the outstanding examples of drama, poetry, and fiction created by authors from this land of rebellion, religion, and great writing in a presentation designed for high school, college, and adult audiences.
Dr. Tramble Turner
Thomas Hardy and Modernism
Thomas Hardy was a visionary whose poetry and fiction anticipated issues and practices that have become the staple of modern literature. Especially significant in his works are the loss of faith in traditional values and beliefs, and the problems these doubts cause individuals searching for meaning in their lives. Examine Hardy’s most outstanding works, including some which have been made into contemporary films.
Dr. William Mistichelli