American Literature as a Public Space

American Literature
as a Public Space
March 30, 2015
CALS seeks to encourage, and to
provide a vital forum for, new ways of
reading and thinking about American
literature. Consistent with that emphasis,
this symposium brings together five
invited participants with Penn State
students, faculty, and the public at
large to celebrate the many innovative
ways individuals, museums, centers,
foundations, libraries, blog sites, and
other spaces are engaging readers,
drawing them together, and making
American literature an important public
Panelists on the first two sessions will
deliver twenty-minute remarks suggesting
how the sites that they are affiliated with
relate to the symposium topic. The final
session will be in roundtable format and
features five presenters who will offer
seven-minute statements on sites that
encourage the reading of American
literature beyond the walls of the
university. The goal for this symposium
is twofold: to celebrate ongoing efforts
to situate American literature as an
important part of civic life and to imagine
other ways to position the reading,
writing, and study of American literature
in public spaces going forward.
PA N E L O N E : 1 0 : 0 0 - 1 1 : 4 5 A . M .
American Literature as Public Space
Joseph Coulson, Author and President, The Great Books Foundation
Maggie Dietz, Poet, Assistant Professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Lowell,
and Director, The Favorite Poem Project
Malcolm E. O’Hagan, Founder and President, The American Writers Museum
PA N E L T W O : 1 : 3 0 - 3 : 0 0 P. M .
The Public Spaces of American Literature
Ellis Avery, Author, Assistant Professor of Poetry, Columbia University, and Contributing
Editor, Public Books
Paul Lai, Intermittent Librarian, Hennepin County and Ramsey County Libraries (MN),
Adjunct Instructor, Information and Media Studies, Minneapolis Community & Technical
College, and Co-Editor, Asian American Literature Fans
Susan Russell, Associate Professor of Theatre, Pennsylvania State University Laureate,
2014-2015, and Founder, Cultural Conversations
C L O S I N G R O U N D TA B L E : 3 : 0 0 - 4 : 0 0 P. M .
American Literary Publics
Elaine Meder-Wilgus, Owner, Webster’s Bookstore Cafe
William Brockman, Humanities Librarian
Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Professor of English and Women’s Studies
Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor of English
Jonathan Eburne, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Contact Sean Goudie ([email protected]), symposium organizer and
Director of the Center for American Literary Studies.
This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is an equal
opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment
opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and
other protected groups. Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities
to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of
accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact
Tacee Sechler at 814-863-2179, [email protected] in advance of your participation or visit.
U.Ed. LBA 15-263 MPC132771
“Portable reading room” image by The Uni Project: