Profs make books

Faculty and students gathered in the lobby of the Maureen Forrester Hall Mar. 21 for readings and conversation about recent books by professors.

Put on by the English and Film Studies department and supported by the dean of arts and the VP: academic, the Celebration of Authors event takes place twice annually. This week, works by Maria DiCenzo, Leslie O’Dell, Russell Kilbourn, Eleanor Ty and a joint contribution from Robin Waugh and James Weldon were honoured.

Each author introduced their work and read a short excerpt for the audience, with DiCenzo taking the podium after an introduction from department chair Weldon.

Speaking to The Cord, DiCenzo explained that the subject of her new book Feminist Media History: Suffrage, Periodicals and the Public Sphere was “kind of an accidental find.”

After researching suffrage newspapers, she came to the realization that “they were quite fascinating objects of study in themselves.” She told the crowd that the “provocative and courageous voices” she came across in her research really inspired her work, now underway for ten years.

Up next, film professor Kilbourn briefly discussed Cinema, Memory, Modernity: The Representation of Memory from the Art Film to Transnational Cinema. He jokingly explained that he came to the topic of his book because his own memory is “so lousy.”

O’Dell described her book The Charismatic Chameleon as “a product of laboratory research I did into the phenomenology of acting.”

The excerpt she read discussed the contradictions and combination of what she calls chameleon and charismatic approaches to acting. She summarized the work, stating that it is “generally on the psychology of acting and the psychology of creativity.”

Following O’Dell, Ty briefed the audience on her latest publication Unfastened:  Globality and Asian North American Narratives, which examines both public and private levels of globality. She shared anecdotes and provided insight on the ways globalization has pushed immigrants to find new spaces and identities that also allow for empowerment.

Closing out the readings, Waugh and Weldon discussed their book The Hero Recovered: Essays on Medieval Heroism in Honour of George Clark — a tribute to the Queen’s University professor who taught both authors.

Their work examines the medieval hero across a wide range of authors and genres, from Tolkien to children’s literature.

Speaking of the authors involved in Monday’s event, Weldon remarked that having professors that are active researchers provides Laurier students with the best possible education.

O’Dell summed up the event, saying, “it’s fun for us and it’s a way of honouring each other’s work and inviting our students to come and see what we do.”