WMU News

Katherine Joslin discusses her work on Jane Addams

Sept. 7, 2005

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University professor who has written a biography on social reformer and peace activist Jane Addams will speak about her work at WMU and in Chicago at a museum honoring Addams.

Dr. Katherine Joslin, a WMU professor of English and American Studies, will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, Sept. 8, as part of the Department of English's Scholarly Speakers Series. In her presentation, "Writing a Writer's Life," she will talk about literary biography and read from her book. The event is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m. on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower.

Joslin also will speak on Friday, Sept. 16, at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois, 800 S. Halsted St. The event celebrates Joslin's book and includes a reading from 4 to 5 p.m. and a reception from 5 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Details are available at www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/joslin.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Joslin will talk to the group Young Chicago Authors about Addams and the relationship between writing and social justice. The event is being sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and Public Square, an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues. They have invited Joslin to be their keynote speaker for the year.

Joslin's book, "Jane Addams, a Writer's Life," presents the famous pacifist and social activist as a literary figure. Published by the University of Illinois Press, the book was released last October. It gives an expansive, revealing and refreshing reexamination of the renowned reformer as an imaginative writer.

Addams is best known for her groundbreaking social work at Hull-House, her efforts toward progressive political and social reform and her commitment to pacifism, which won her the Nobel Peace Prize. Joslin examines Addams' rejection of scholarly writing in favor of a synthesis of fictional and analytical prose. In the March 2005 issue of Choice magazine, reviewer E.R. Baer wrote: "Joslin was scrupulous in her archival research, and her prose is lively and eminently readable."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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