April 15, 2015 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Jessie Ball duPont Library, Torian room
Sewanee The University Of The South
178 Georgia Avenue, Sewanee, TN 37383

Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children’s Literature, opened at the Jessie Ball duPont Library at the University of the South on Monday, April 6. The community is invited to a public discussion of the exhibit by visiting lecturer Ellen Handler Spitz on Wednesday, April 15 at 4:30 in the Torian Room.

Handler Spitz states: “Children are gifted with fertile imaginations; in their books, they take mental adventures and readily embrace and inhabit characters of wide-ranging variety—persons of long ago and faraway and of all ages as well as animals, mythical creatures, even inanimate objects (as Hans Christian Anderson was wont to explore). But every child also needs to have his or her own locality, physical self, place, and history reflected back from time to time in the pages of a book.  This reflection builds a special kind of confidence and reinforces the sense of identity: who one is and where one comes from; it fosters a sense of pride in local place and local communal history. In this informal talk, I shall start by explaining my own psychological ways of reading and interpreting children’s books and then speak about several of the marvelous Appalachian children’s books featured in the current exhibit at Sewanee.

My background is in art history, philosophy, literature and psychoanalysis, and I have written children’s book reviews for ‘The New Republic’ and ‘The New York Times’ and published three books on children’s aesthetic lives:  ‘Inside Picture Books,’ ‘The Brightening Glance: Imagination and Childhood,’ and ‘Illuminating Childhood.’  I teach a regular seminar called Cultures of Childhood at the University of Maryland (UMBC), where I am Honors College Professor.”

The exhibit will be in Sewanee through September 15 and is jointly sponsored by the library, The Collaborative for Southern Appalachian & Place Based Studies and the Office of Community Engagement.

Here is a link to Sewanee Today’s announcement: http://www.sewanee.edu/newstoday/events/?view=fulltext&month=04&day=09&year=2015&id=d.en.41982&timestamp=1429133400&