Participate in American Studies Conference
Several members of the
Trinity faculty took part in the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American
Studies Association, which was held in Hartford, October 16-19.
Hosted by the Hartford Resources Committee and the New England
American Studies Association (NEASA), the theme of the conference was
Violence and Belonging.
Todd Vogel, visiting
assistant professor of American Studies, was part of a panel
discussion that focused on the use of artifacts and houses to
illuminate literature and how literature can help to increase
understanding of the physical environments in which it was produced.
The workshop, “American Studies in a Connecticut Yankee’s Court:
Bringing Material Culture Studies and Literary Studies Together,” was
held at the Mark Twain House. Vogel sits on the council of the NEASA
and is co-chair of the Hartford Resources Committee.
Director of Women’s
Studies and Professor of History Joan Hedrick took part in a workshop
entitled, “Nook Farm: An American 19th Century Literary Community.”
The three-hour session at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center called
attention to this almost forgotten Victorian community of literary and
political figures who helped to shape America’s literature and social
history. Hedrick is the author of a 1995 Pulitzer prize-winning
biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The writers Stowe and Mark Twain
were among the notable residents of Hartford’s Nook Farm community.
Among the highlights
of the weekend was “Documenting Wealth, Poverty and Race in Hartford:
The Hartford Studies Documentary Film Project.” The session,
organized by the Trinity-based Hartford Studies Project, included a
screening of film footage shot in Hartford in the summer of 1969 by
filmmakers from the Film Board of Canada and UCLA, working with local
Black Panthers, community activists, and residents to document “wealth
and poverty.” The footage depicts community organizing activities
city’s neighborhoods, schools, and streets in the era of urban renewal
as well as interviews conducted between 2000 and 2003.
The screening was
followed by a lively panel and audience discussion session that
included Assistant Professor of History Luis Figueroa; Associate
Professor of History and Hartford Studies Project Director Susan
Pennybacker; and filmmaker, writer, and curator W. Frank Mitchell, who
teaches American Studies in Trinity’s graduate program. The session
was moderated by Tony Hall, director of the Trinidad Global Learning
Site, and included graduate student Diane Smith and alumni Joan Jacobs
’99, Stephen McFarland ’00, and Thomas G. Smith M’98.
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