'Writing the South' Concludes the University of Virginia Art Museum's 'Forming American Identities: Southern Legacy Colloquia' Series

March 14, 2008

March 14, 2008 — The University of Virginia Art Museum concludes its yearlong series, "Forming American Identities: Southern Legacy Colloquia," with "Writing the South" on Friday, March 28, beginning at 4 p.m. in the museum. The series explores themes generated by the museum's special exhibitions on what it is that makes us American, and the roots of our Southern legacy.

"Writing the South" will bring together writers and scholars Lisa Spaar, Deborah McDowell and Casey Clabough to read and discuss selections by Southern writers who have influenced their own work. They will then discuss the place these influential authors hold in the overall Southern literary landscape.

Poet Lisa Spaar, associate professor of English in U.Va.'s creative writing program and author of "Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems," "Glass Town" and "Blue Venus," will discuss such contemporary poets as Pulitzer Prize winner Claudia Emerson and Forrest Gander, recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award.

Deborah McDowell, the Alice Griffin Professor of English Literature at U.Va., is author of the critically acclaimed "Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin" and of various scholarly texts, including "The Changing Same: Studies in Fiction by Black American Women," co-editor (with Arnold Rampersand) of "Slavery and the Literary Imagination" and an editor of the recently published "Norton Anthology of African-American Literature." McDowell will talk about William Faulkner's "Go Down Moses."

Casey Clabough, author of "The Warrior's Path: Reflections Along an Ancient Route" and a number of scholarly books and essays on Southern and Appalachian writers, will focus on 20th-century Southern writers James Dickey, Fred Chappell, George Garrett and Gayl Jones. Clabough is English graduate director at Lynchburg College and literature editor of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities' "Encyclopedia Virginia."

"Writing in the South" is presented in conjunction with the museum's exhibit, "Landscape of Slavery: The Plantation in American Art," on view through April 20. 

The University of Virginia Art Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call (434) 924-3592 or visit the museum Web site, www.virginia.edu/artmuseum.