Entel to explore slave narratives in Coe presentation

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2015-03-13 07:41:20 - General

Scholar and author Rebecca Entel will explore passages of "troubled literacy" in a Coe College presentation entitled "The Value of that Bit of Paper - The Trope of Troubled Literacy in Slave Narratives." The lecture will be held on Wednesday, March 25, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Some of the most famous moments in antebellum slave narratives are those that describe slaves' paths to learning to read and write. Literary scholars and historians have understandably celebrated the relationship between literacy and emancipation. Slave narratives also contain many moments, however, in which reading and writing are more ambiguous acts.

In this talk, Entel will explore passages of "troubled literacy," which she defines as moments in which literacy signals something other than freedom. These moments, in which literacy is characterized as complicated and troubling, arise in the most well-known slave narratives, such as "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" and "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," as well as lesser-known texts such as William Grime's "Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave."

Entel is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Cornell College, where she teaches courses in American literature, multicultural literature and creative writing. She also directs the Center for the Literary Arts. Her scholarly work about the literature of the Civil War has been published in such journals as American Periodicals, and her short story, "Above the Ghetto," appeared in Tiferet Journal. Another story, "Perfect Companion," which appeared in Cleaver Magazine, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a top honor for work published by small presses. Entel is a member of the Writers Workspace in Chicago, and she is currently writing a novel.

For more information, visit coe.edu or call 399-8581.