Fairfield University English department presents Trinity College professor for inaugural lecture in Literary Criticism series

Fairfield University English department presents Trinity College professor for inaugural lecture in Literary Criticism series

Image: PLauter Paul Lauter, Ph.D., Allan K & Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of Literature at Trinity College in Hartford, will deliver a free lecture entitled "Should We Be Reading Jack London?" on Thursday, April 20, at 8 p.m. in the Multimedia Room of Fairfield University's DiMenna-Nyselius Library. The lecture was rescheduled from an earlier date.

Dr. Lauter will address what of London's writing is or has been included in anthologies and why, as well as issues of democracy, agency, and the role of political art. His presentation is the inaugural lecture in the Fairfield University English Department Series in Literary Criticism, to be held each spring. The series is co-sponsored by the English Department, the American Studies Program, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. Designed to engage undergraduates to reconsider a writer whom they might have already read, the lecture should stimulate broad discussion on a variety of topics, including how we define a literary tradition and why some literary works become canonical and others do not.

Dr. Lauter has combined an interest in social activism with a desire to redefine the American literary tradition as more representative of a diverse society. As a young teacher in the 1950s at Dartmouth College, he became involved in the Civil Rights movement when he saw connections between the call for non-violent protest and the direct action proposed in Henry David Thoreau's "Walden."

"I started to get involved in the Civil Rights movement, and it was Thoreau the activist, the advocate of nonviolent direct action, who really spoke to me," Dr. Lauter said in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education. "He was 'theorizing' the questions I was concerned with, as people say nowadays."

In addition to his interest in social activism, Dr. Lauter is committed to developing a multi-cultural curriculum. He is one of the founding members of the Feminist Press, which has republished many neglected women writers, and Radical Teacher, a magazine that discusses the theory and practice of teaching from a socialist, feminist and anti-racist perspective. A widely published author on literature and culture, Dr. Lauter has published many groundbreaking articles and is the general editor of a major multi-cultural anthology, "The Heath Anthology of American Literature." His most recent books include "From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park: Culture, Activism, and America Studies" (Duke, 2001), and "Literature, Class, and Culture: An Anthology" (with Ann Fitzgerald, Longman, 2001).

Posted On: 04-11-2006 10:04 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 229