Fairfield University's Humanities Institute promotes lecture on literacy and social change



L FlowerAs part of Fairfield University's "Global Citizenship" initiative, Linda Flower, professor of rhetoric at Carnegie-Mellon University and co-founder of the Community Literacy Center in Pittsburg, Pa., will present a lecture titled "Authorship, Agency, and Global Citizenship," on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Aloysius P. Kelley, S. J. Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by a grant from the university's Humanities Institute, the presentation is an innovative community and university partnership designed to promote social change. Betsy Bowen, an English professor at Fairfield, who is organizing the event said, "We invited Dr. Flower because her work at the Community Literacy Center in Pittsburg offers a powerful model of culturally-sensitive activism that enables members of the university and community participants to develop skills needed to claim power in their lives."

For nearly four decades, Flower has been one of the leading proponents of cognitive research in the area of writing. Flower's talk, based on her book "Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement," explores intercultural collaboration that highlights local knowledge and the importance of engaging in difficult dialogues. "We believe that Fairfield's commitment to service learning and community engagement will be enriched and stimulated by Dr. Flower's visit," said Bowen.

A 2009 recipient of the Rhetoric Society of America Book Award, Flower is the author of six books, and has put her own research in cognitive rhetoric and problem solving to good use by mentoring teenage writers in urban areas where it might make a real difference. The award is given each year to the best work in rhetorical study.

Flower received her bachelor's degree in English and French from Simpson College and her doctorate degree from Rutgers University in 1972. She is a frequent guest on college campuses across the country.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 16, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 206