Marathon Read to hold virtual 12-hour reading in celebration of women's activism

October 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — On Thursday, Oct. 22, Marathon Read will celebrate the work of female writers and activists to expand political, social, and economic equality for women with a 12-hour virtual reading. This year’s theme is “Voices of Power in Women’s Activism” and joins the College of the Liberal Arts in marking the 100-year anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Featured readings will include the work of Kate Chopin, Joy Harjo, Rebecca Solnit, Audre Lorde, Julie Otsuka, Sojourner Truth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others.   

Texts for the event represent influential voices in important moments of activism and powerful narratives of women’s equality. Marathon Read will begin with the reading of the 19th and 24th amendments to the U.S. Constitution and include Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech advocating for women’s rights, Audre Lorde’s speech “The Uses of Anger,” and essays from Rebecca Solnit. 

The ninth edition of the annual event will be held on Zoom for the first times so that the reading is safe for all participants. It will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 10 p.m. While the event is free, registration is required. Visit to find more information and to register. Participants can also sign up on the site to read for 10 minutes during the event. Given the virtual format of this year’s event, Marathon Read will be open to all Penn State campuses, alumni and community members.   

The event is sponsored by the Department of English and the Center for American Literary Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts. 

For the second time, the College of the Liberal Arts has chosen a theme around which it has planned courses, lectures, presentations and events. Continuing through the 2020–21 academic year, the college’s theme is "Moments of Change: A Century of Women’s Activism," which was inspired by the centennial of the adoption of the 19th Amendment. To learn more about the theme, to see more upcoming events, to find educational resources, and more, visit


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Last Updated April 15, 2021