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2010-2011 Events

CALS sponsored its first annual Spring symposium in 2011, along with the Centre County Read/CALS Community Read and discussions of queer regionalism, memoir, and the relationship between Democracy and literature.

Crisis? What Crisis? Whose Crisis?:
The 1st Annual CALS Spring Symposium
April 21 & 22, 2011, Foster Auditorium at Pattee and Paterno Library.

Three especially prominent scholars of American literary and cultural studies--Christopher Newfield, Cary Nelson, and Sarah Banet-Weiser--joined Penn State faculty, graduate students, and the public at large in envisioning new ways of understanding the role of the liberal arts in the university and their mission in the wider public at a time of crisis.







Outlandish: Life, Love, and Sex in the U. S. from the Viewpoint of Queer Regionalism
March 18 & 19, 2011, 118 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center; Palmer Museum of Art; 121 Sparks Building.

Scholars studying sexuality have broadened the sexual horizon, geographically and methodologically. Queer regionalism has been a notable result. It opens scholarship about sexuality and gender to new paradigms and new cultural forms. Queer regionalism initiates discussions about how distance from urban life, especially from bi-coastal metropolitan centers, influences intergenerational, inter-class, and inter-racial eroticism; formation and transmission of sexual customs; intersections of commodified queer culture with regional practices; and sexual life in regard to identity and class categories.





"Family" Writing Contest
Part of the 2011 Centre County Reads Series
Deadline: February 15, 2011.

The book chosen for the 2011 CALS/Centre County Reads Community Read was Jeannette Walls's "true life" novel Half Broke Horses.


Memoir, Fiction, and the Romance of the Real: A Discussion with Visiting Professor Elizabeth Kadetsky
Part of the 2011 Centre County Reads Series
February 22, 2011, 4 PM, 124 Sparks Building.

Professor Kadetsky discussed how she manages the boundary between memoir and fiction, commented on author Jeannette Walls' work, and invited questions from the audience.








Democracy and Literature: An Open Question
February 17 & 18, 2011
Foster Auditorium at Pattee and Paterno Library

Few believe, as Percy Shelley once did, that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. But might there be other relationships between poetry and the legislature, between democracy and literature? In this symposium, some of the leading young scholars in the fields of twentieth-century American literature and rhetoric offered answers to these questions. In what ways has the state been the sponsors of, censors of, or critics of literary production in the United States? How has literature and, more broadly, literacy shaped citizenship and the practice of democracy, both in the United States and abroad?