Thursday, October 9 was the English Undergraduate Association’s first event of the semester (well, second if you count the Indoor Picnic). As Kenton mentioned in the last post, it was led by Linda Macri and Gerald Maa (Vivianne Salgado was, unfortunately, unable to make it) and revolved around the (related, unrelated, hyperbolic, polemic…) topics of War and Literature.
It was an absolute delight, and Linda Macri and Gerald Maa were two incredibly articulate and well-versed people. It’s difficult to encapsulate the entire conversation, because so much was discussed and it was all so interesting. I was particularly intrigued by the small tangent on Ursula K. LeGuin’s Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. It’s interesting to think of the art of storytelling as a gendered idea. LeGuin is a big shot in the world of science fiction, so she is no doubt aware of the gender bias against female science fiction writers (not to mention the bias against science fiction as “literature” in general). From what little I’ve read of the idea, it seems that LeGuin takes a bit of a swipe against male narratives, saying they’re less interested in human narratives and more interested in events and “action.”
Some very interesting topics of thought that came up from the discussion:
- Can you think of a “comedic” war story that is not anti-war?
- How often do women write epic battle stories? Is there something to be said about the gendering of narrative that women reflect more on internal rather than external struggles?
- Why are people interested in war and it’s relationship to literature, anyways?
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Hey all, I hope you had a good weekend! I know the semester is heating up for most people, exams and essays are starting to bear down on us in panic inducing numbers. But, if you can find the time there is going to be a great event put on by the English Undergraduate Association this Thursday at 5pm in room 1111 Susquehanna. You may have seen the fliers floating around Susquehanna, they are the ones with the big picture of a Nazi book burning titled “BOOKS, What are they good for! Absolutely nothing?”
Anyways, the event is part of our “Why Study Lit?” series and it is going to be a casual panel discussion featuring professors Linda Macri, Vivian Salgado and Gerald Maa. The panel is going to focus on discovering the relevancy of the representation of war in literature. As in, what effect, if any, does literature have on shaping our culture’s perspective on war? And does the resulting change effect policy? And if so, how?
- Professor Linda Macri is teaching a course this semester on war and the graphic novel. Examining how war is represented in comics and graphic novels will bring a unique dynamic to the panel. She also has a strong background in rhetoric as it pertains to fiction.
- Professor Vivianne Salgado is a native of Chile, and studied fiction for four years with Pia Barros at Ergo Sum, one of the most prolific literary workshops during Pinochet’s dictatorship. She is also the assistant director of the Jiminez-Porter Writer’s House.
- Gerald Maa is a graduate student at the University of Maryland who also teaches poetry and has received many awards for his creative writing. Maa has also developed a cult following of students who think he’s the best thing since sliced bread. Perhaps you should come and find out why!
There will be food and drinks. The details, once again, are Thursday, October 9th at 5PM in room 1111 Susquehanna.
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