'Imaginary Vista's' lecture series begins Feb. 19

February 11, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Department of English and the Center for American Literary Studies will welcome Donald Pease, Avalon professor of humanities and professor of English at Dartmouth College, to campus for his talk "Antigone's Kin: From Abu Ghraib to Barack Obama" at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in 124 Sparks Building on the University Park campus of Penn State.

Pease's talk is part of the annual lecture series "Imaginary Vistas," dedicated to exploring the social, historical, and literary potential of "imagination" in America. From the moment in 1630 when John Winthrop, fleeing religious persecution in the Old World, declared Boston a "city on the hill" to Martin Luther King's 1962 speech envisioning a nation without racial segregation and beyond, the United States has been a land of inventive and often audacious visionaries. The series celebrates and continues this tradition by bringing to Penn State the most innovative critics of America's imaginative literature.

This spring, three speakers will cover topics ranging from the "radical democracy" of 18th-century town commons to Abu Ghraib and Barack Obama's presidency, expanding the scope of literary imagination beyond traditional disciplinary and national borders. The Spring 2009 speakers will feature Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), Dana Nelson (Vanderbilt University) at 3:30 p.m. March 19, and Anna Brickhouse (University of Virginia) at 3:30 p.m. April 9. All the talks will take place in 124 Sparks Building.

In addition, the morning after their lecture, each speaker will share some of their work-in-progress with all interested graduate students. These workshops will give the speakers and students the opportunity to continue the conversations begun in the afternoon lectures and to engage with the critic in the midst of the writing process.

Donald E. Pease, who will deliver the fourth lecture in the Imaginary Vistas series, has long been a guiding force in the field of American literary studies. He has written and edited numerous books and articles on the literature and culture of the United States, more recently on its hemispheric and imperialist dimensions and on the future of American literary study. In his role as editor of the New Americanist series at Duke University Press he continues to bring out the best scholarship of new generations of literary critics.

Pease's work-in-progress is available in advance of the workshop on Friday, Feb. 20, in the Grucci room For a copy of the paper, e-mail Brian Neff, bcn121@psu.edu, or Eric Norton, ejn141@psu.edu. There will be a brief preface of coffee, bagels, and conversation starting at 9:30 a.m., with the workshop lasting from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more details, go to the English department's Website at http://english.la.psu.edu or contact Chris Castiglia at cxc67@psu.edu.

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Last Updated January 09, 2015