Date and Time: Wednesday, May 1, 5:00-6:30 PM
Free and Open to the Public
"In Search of Eliza Fenwick (1766-1840): Or, the Trials and Tribulations of Writing a Life"
The National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and the Department of English & Comparative Literature are proud to co-sponsor Professor Lissa Paul's lecture on Eliza Fenwick.
Paul's lecture concerns her latest book project, which she originally intended to be a standard biographical “life” of Eliza Fenwick (1766-1840), what one might call a literary biography. However, over the course of her research and writing, Paul realized that a Possession-like narrative, something that entwines Fenwick's life story with Paul's own search for that life, provided the better structure.
As Fenwick’s story is an adventure story, an immigrant’s story, a mother’s story, a writer’s story, and the story of an abolitionist slave-holder, its narrative structure is fraught, especially as there are missing pieces and complicated ethical questions to negotiate. Paul's talk is an attempt to navigate the Scylla and Charybdis of writing Eliza’s life. It is a public lecture, for students, faculty, and our community.