Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pratt Lecture 2006

It occurs to me that I haven't been the best documenter of things here of late ... In particular, I've never posted pictures of any of my friends and colleagues, or for that matter of much to do with work or play here in town. Well, here's a fusion of the two: work AND play, in the form of the 2006 Pratt* Lecture. As a member of the organizing committee, I was very pleased at it's success this year.

This annual lecture, sponsored by the English Department, features a prominent artist, writer or scholar; past lectures have been delivered by Ursula Le Guin, Linda Hutcheon, Seamus Heaney, Northrop Frye, David Lodge, Stan Dragland (to name a few). This year, we were fortunate enough to have Susan Gingell, a scholar of Canadian poetry and poetics at the University of Saskatchewan, who last night delivered a wonderful lecture titled "Towards a Poetics of Noise: Writing the Oral in the Canadian Context."

First the lecture, then the reception, and then the obligatory migration to the Duke of Duckworth for pints. Very very fun night.

First pictured: my friend and colleague Andrew Loman (19th Century American Lit), also on the committee, given the task of being the AV geek for Susan's powerpoint.

Susan at the lectern.
At the reception: Nancy Pedri (Lit Theory, World Lit), Don Nichol (18th Century, Textual Crit), and Don's wife Mary Walsh. Yes, THE Mary Walsh, Marg Delahunty herself of This Hour Has 22 Minutes fame.
I somehow managed to cajole some of my students** into coming to the lecture. Below, Rebecca, Rex and Jonny.
Duncan, Alana, Jill, Lauren, and Alex.
The woman of the hour, Dr. Susan Gingell, and my good friend Danine Farquharson (Contemporary Irish Lit, Lit Theory).
I'm with Stupid. Andrew and I are the Batman and Robin of American Literature in this department. Guess who's Robin? (Hint: I'm pointing at him).

Wow, that is a bad picture of me.

Nancy again with the incomparable Noreen Golfman (Canadian Lit, Film Studies ... oh, and in her spare time she's the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies).

*A NOTE FOR MAINLANDERS: The Pratt Family is Newfoundland's most accomplished and distinguished clan of artists, writers, and general raconteurs. E.J. Pratt (for whom the lecture is named) was a highly-regarded poet (they named a library after him at U of T); Christopher Pratt is a remarkable painter, whose works many consider cold and clinical, but I am quite taken with them.

**To clarify: Rex, Alana, and Alex are not my students, but friends of my students who apparently have an interest in the aesthetics of noise or the oral tradition. This means it's very likely I'm spelling Alana's name incorrectly (sorry). Though she and Alex did ask me what I was teaching next semester, I suspect they were just being polite.


Lesley said...

You met Mary Walsh? I'm so jealous. Although, the jealousy would have been much larger had she been in her Xena costume and hunting down people to embarass on tv at the lecture....sigh....sounds like fun though!

Iceman said...

It took the sea a thousand years,
A thousand years to trace,
The granite features of this cliff
In crag and scarp and base.
It took the sea an hour one night,
An hour of storm to place,
The sculpture of these granite seams
Upon a womans face.
E.J.Pratt- Erosion, 1931.

Lesley said...

Also, my sister's name is Alana, and that's how we spell it. With all the different ways to spell it, I can understand your fear it's spelled wrong. Let's hope she understands. Good effort though, most people spell my sister's name as Alannah or Allannah etc.

Lisey said...

Too funny not to comment, Danine Farquharson was the English prof everyone wanted and Noreen Golfman the one everyone tried to avoid, circa 1994-95. I eneded up with a geeky looking guy, I can't even remember now, Nolan maybe?!?! Oh what it is to be a MUN Alum... Keep blogging!

Rattling Books said...

I was hoping you were going to talk about the lecture as I couldn't make it but very curious to hear it discussed.

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Annie said...


Came across this while searching for something. Anything really. Just searching. As I am wont to do. As a member of the illustrious Pratt family I must protest. Some of us are just plain foke.


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