The Written Word

The Written Word

American Diaries
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.
Ellen Furman

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

The Joy of Writing: An Author’s Odyssey
Join Penn State Abington faculty and staff member Frank D. Quattrone as he shares his insights into "The Joy of Writing: An Author's Odyssey."
His anecdotes and writing samples — from the heights and depths of adolescent journals, to wild and wonderful interviews with celebrities, chefs, and child actors, to the lengthy process of birthing a full-length book and then bringing it to the reading public — will illuminate the writing process and entertain guests. Along the way, Frank will encourage the audience to participate in the creative process by composing a haiku within five minutes.
Frank D. Quattrone

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.
Bryan Polk

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