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2011-2012 Events

2011-2012 saw a continuation of the CALS Spring Symposium series, along with a successful community read of Mark Zusak's The Book Thief.

Editing America:
The Second Annual CALS Spring Symposium

March 29-30, 2012

Six invited participants working in various time periods and areas of American literary history joined Penn State faculty, students, and the public at large in a discussion of what “editing” and “archiving” American literature and culture means, has meant, and might mean going forward for scholars and readers alike.






"Grim Reaper" Writing Contest:

Sponsored by Centre County Reads, with the Support of the Center for American Literary Studies.

The "Grim Reaper" Writing Contest was held as a part of the 2012 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, a novel set during World War II and narrated from the point of view of Death.







"Young Adult" Literature?

A Panel Discussion
February 21, 2012, 4 PM, Foster Auditorium

Panelists from the academic and publishing worlds will puzzle over the sometimes porous boundaries between "adult" and "young adult" literature categories, commenting on Markus Zusak's The Book Thief as a test case. Set during the Holocaust, Zusak's popular novel has been marketed around the world as "adult fiction" but as "young adult literature" in the United States. Following opening statements, the panelists will invite questions from the audience.







Provoking, Invoking History:

Interdisciplinary Encounters among History, Fiction, and Visual Art
November 5, 2011, Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art.

The symposium paired invited historians, art historians, and English studies scholars in three sessions, each of which focused on a designated historical novels. The panelists were asked to respond to the novels in a way that would bring forward the current sense of distinctions--or the lack of distinctions--between history and fiction, and between non-aesthetic and aesthetic representations of the world.