Tuesday, October 23, 2007
OU alum, WMU professor to lecture on Jane AddamsKatherine Joslin, professor of English at Western Michigan University and a 1970 graduate of Oakland University, will present a lecture, “Jane Addams: A Female Revolutionary,” on Monday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Joslin is the author of the acclaimed biography “Jane Addams, A Writer’s Life.”
Jane Addams’s early books, including “The Spirit of Youth” and “The City Streets” (1909), call for radical thinking about the nature of urban life in the United States. Her autobiography, “Twenty Years at Hull-House” (1910) has become a literary classic. Accused of treason for her pacifism during the First World War, she defended herself in “Women at The Hague” (1915) and “Peace and Bread in Time of War” (1922).
Joslin, a renowned Addams scholar, considers the literary nature of Addams’s sociopolitical writing and focuses on Addams as a writer with a “moral imagination.” "Legacy" reviewer Grace Farrell, of Butler University, applauds Joslin’s biography as a groundbreaking work in regaining for Addams “a well-deserved reputation as an important literary figure: we must now reread her.”
Joslin’s visit is sponsored by the Department of English and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Celebrating Liberal Arts committee. This year’s Celebrating Liberal Arts theme is “Revolution.”
After reading Addams’s "Newer Ideals of Peace," William James wrote, "Yours is a deeply original mind, and all so quiet and harmless! Yet revolutionary in the extreme.”
Joslin notes that “A revolutionary sometimes speaks in a quiet, seemingly harmless voice, one that has the authority to question and even profoundly to change the way we think of society.”
Associate Professor of English Gladys Cardiff, who organized the lecture, adds, “We think it is important to associate the idea of revolution with the radical courage of Addams’s peaceful activism and have scheduled this event close to Remembrance Day."
On Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the OC’s Oakland Room, Joslin will remain on campus to spend time with OU students for a reading of “Jane Addams, A Writer’s Life.” A Q&A session will follow the reading. Tuesday’s event will be of interested to students of biography, American literature, creative writing, women’s studies, history and sociology, among other topics.For more information on Katherine Joslin’s visit to OU, call OU’s Department of English at (248) 370-2251.