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Monday, April 08, 2013 - OU's Kathleen Pfeiffer to perform at Art X Detroit
By Katie Land, news editor


For author and Oakland University English Department Chair Dr. Kathleen Pfeiffer, literature is but one form of expression. The 2012 Kresge Fellowship in Literary Arts winner is now delving into the realms of dance and visual art with her new interdisciplinary performance piece for Art X Detroit.

From April 10-14, Art X Detroit: Kresge Arts Experience will take over the city with a variety of free dance and musical performances, literary readings, workshops, panel discussions, public art and special exhibitions – all created by the 2011-12 Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows.

“The Kresge Fellowship has fundamentally redefined how I think about myself as a writer, as someone committed to creative practice,” Dr. Pfeiffer said.

“The professional development activities that have been made available to me this past year have been enormously rewarding and instructive -- and the friendship and support of my cohort of fellows has provided a lot of support.”

Dr. Pfeiffer will present, “Snapshots,” an artistic and narrative-driven collaboration with Oakland faculty members Andrea Eis, associate professor of English, Thayer Jonutz, assistant professor of dance, and Ali Woerner, assistant professor of dance. Together, they will present a literary reading that incorporates original dance choreography before a backdrop of visual art.

The performance will feature readings from Dr. Pfeiffer’s work-in-progress memoir about step-motherhood, which deals with moments of connection, loss, and deep understanding.

“Some of these are experiences that all parents go through, because they involve the intimacy of a parent-child relationship - and I think those are the moments that Ali and Thayer really connected with as parents themselves,” Dr. Pfeiffer explained. “But I do think that step-parents have a much more fragile and vulnerable relationship to the children in their lives, and I try to examine the experience of vulnerability and loss that is unique to my experience as a stepmother.”

The performance will take place from 7:30-9 p.m. on Friday, April 12, at the Detroit Institute of Arts – Kresge Court. For more information about Art X Detroit events and performances, view the schedule

Additionally, Dr. Pfeiffer will host the “Snapshots Memoir Writing Workshop,” using the metaphor of the snapshot as a writing strategy for memoir. The workshop will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, in Room W217 of the Walter B. Ford II Building on the College for Creative Studies campus. Click here to register.

Dr. Pfeiffer is the author of two books, “Brother Mine: The Correspondence of Jean Toomer and Waldo Frank,” and “Race Passing and American Individualism.” She has also produced numerous critical essays, book introductions, and other academic work. To learn more about Dr. Pfeiffer’s work, visit her Kresge Artist page or view her website at kathywrites.com.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 265 academic degree programs. To learn more about programs, events, and achievements at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.