While things have quieted down on campus since mid-May, our work has been steadily increasing to prepare for many exciting upcoming events.
We will be participating in the Harriet Beecher Stowe Society’s conference at Bowdoin College from June 23-26.
You can view the draft schedule of events to read more about the panels and events that will take place over the four days of the conference. Jennifer Tuttle, the MWWC faculty director, will chair a panel on Stowe and Maine, and I will be chairing a panel on Stowe and the Archives. There are some powerhouse Stowe scholars participating, so if you have a love of Stowe, this conference will be worth your time and money. In addition to academic panels, there will be several performances, one of which is a dramatic adaptation of Stowe’s Lady Byron Vindicated by Portland playwright Carolyn Gage. Speak Fully the One Awful Word promises to be powerful. While most of the conference happens at Bowdoin College, the Stowe and the Archives panel will happen on the Portland campus of UNE, with lunch and a tour of the Maine Women Writers Collection. I hope you will join us at the conference.
Some other events we are planning for the coming year are still in the works, but I hope you will check back for details on each of these. The coming academic year is going to bring many wonderful things.
In September (perhaps on the 20th?), we will once again be hosting an open house following the presentation of the Deborah Morton Awards at UNE. This year, one of our collection authors–Donna M. Loring–will be honored with the Morton Award. We hope to be unveiling the finding aid for the completed Donna Loring papers, as well as a featured writer exhibit page to highlight Donna’s rich collection.
In honor of Fanny Fern’s 200th birthday (her 200th birthday is July 9, 2011), we will host a reading of Fern’s work, and a small birthday celebration, complete with a cake. We will post details about this event when we have finalized a date.
In October, we have three events–our annual Donna M. Loring Lecture, a book launch for Add Verb Productions’ Out and Allied Anthology, and “Private Writing, Public Form: from journal to book,” a book arts workshop cosponsored by the Kate Cheney Chappell ’83 Center for Book Arts at University of Southern Maine.
The Donna M. Loring Lecture will feature Esther Attean, Denise Yarmal Altvater, and Martha Proulx, who will speak about their work on the Truth and Reconciliation process that seeks to address the damage done to the Wabanaki communities and Wabanaki children in Maine by the foster care system. Indian Country Today published a good article about the recent Declaration of Intent to Create a Maine/Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Process signed by Altvater, Chiefs of the Wabanaki Nations, and Governor Paul LePage. This is a very hopeful sign, and will engage a much-needed healing process for the many people who were harmed irrevocably by the criminally negligent state foster care system. The Donna M. Loring Lecture will take place on the Biddeford campus of UNE at noon on either Tuesday, October 4, Thursday, October 6, or Tuesday, October 11. We are finalizing the date and will post full details soon.
Our book launch to celebrate the work of Add Verb Productions’ Out and Allied Project will take place in mid-October, date TBA. In the meantime, go to their official book launch at Longfellow Books on Wednesday, June 15 from 7-9pm. Or, if you are at Pride on the 18th, check out their table!
Finally, to round out October, we will present a two-day book arts workshop entitled “Private Writing, Public Form: from journal to book,” which will take place on Saturday, October 29 at the Maine Women Writers Collection and Sunday, October 30 at University of Southern Maine’s Wishcamper Center. I will co-teach the workshop with New Hampshire bookbinder, poet, and artist Marnie Cobbs. Please see the UNE calendar for all the details.
And if that isn’t enough for you, we are hosting our triennial academic conference from March 30-31, 2012. The conference will serve as the MWWC academic conference and the Maine Women’s Studies Consortium conference for 2012. Our theme is “Identity, Memory, Testimony,” which encompasses both our academic and literary mission at the collection. We are very excited to announce that Jennifer Finney Boylan has agreed to be our keynote speaker. We will issue a call for papers in the early fall.
Certainly, there will be more events to announce, but that should whet your appetite for the year to come. For now, we are sneaking out when we can to enjoy the warm Maine air and the sea breezes when they come our way. Happy Summer!