Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Smith College
April 25-26, 2008 -
See the complete schedule of events.
A number of faculty and curators from local colleges and universities
participated in the Sylvia
Plath 75th Year Symposium at the University of Oxford, 25-27
of October, 2007. Smith was represented by Karen Kukil, Associate
Curator of Special Collections, Cornelia Pearsall, Associate Professor
of English Language and Literature, Marcia Brown Stern '54, Judith
Kroll '64, and Aubrey Menard '08.
As a component of her special studies project in the spring of
'08, Aubrey Menard organized a two-day version of the Oxford conference
at Smith College. Kukil, Pearsall, and Menard invited local scholars
to share their papers with students and the public.
All events were free and open to the public. See the schedule
of events. Also, see information about parking.
The conference was made possible through the generous support
of these sponsors. For more information,
please see contacts.
| The Oxford Conference brought
speakers from all over the world together, allowing scholars to
share new discoveries and discuss upcoming projects pertaining to
Plath. The Smith College conference expanded this dialogue to include
students and admirers of Plath’s poetry, allowing a greater
community to learn more about the poet and current scholarship surrounding
her work. This conference was unique in that it hosted several of
Plath’s friends who each read a letter they received from
Plath and reflected upon it, sharing their insight with the audience.
Through the combination of talks from both scholars and friends,
conference participants had the opportunity to consider Plath both
academically and personally, celebrating the 75th birthday of one
of Smith College’s great alumnae.
Schedule of Events
All events were free and open
to the public.
|Friday, April 25, 2008 - Mortimer Rare
Book Room, Neilson Library, 3rd floor
Reading of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel - Participants will sign up
to read a poem upon arrival. We welcome anyone to join us to read
a poem from the Ariel collection.
|Saturday, April 26, 2008
- Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Plath, Women, and Motherhood - Helen
Sylvia Plath’s Women
and Poetry - Karen
V. Kukil, Associate Curator of Special Collections at Smith
College, editor of the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath and
coauthor of exhibition catalog “No Other Appetite”:
Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry.
Sylvia Plath’s Entrance into the Matrilineal Cycle - Aubrey
Menard, Smith College Class of 2008.
Libretto and Imagination:
On Writing "Sylvia and the Moon" - Annie
Finch, Poet and director of the Stonecoast MFA program at
the University of Southern Maine.
||Coffee and Tea Break
|11:30 am-1 pm
Plath and Hughes - Ellen
Doré Watson, Moderator
"The endless gladitorial
event": Who was Hughes as Plath's editor? - Susan
Van Dyne, Professor of the Study of Women and Gender at Smith
College and author of Revising Life: Sylvia Plath’s Ariel
and Concealment in Ted Hughes’s Howls and Whispers - Lynda
K. Bundtzen, Herbert H. Lehman Professor English at Williams
College and author of The Other Ariel and Mourning Eurydice: Ted
Hughes as Orpheus in Birthday Letters.
The Dead Mother Complex
between Plath and Hughes - Dianne
Hunter, Professor of English at Trinity College.
Plath and Hughes Redivivus:
'Venus in the Seventh.' - Heather
Clark, Assistant Professor of English at Marlboro College.
Plath in Context - Luke
the Sea Bequeath?”: Plath’s Mythical Massachusetts - Richard
J. Larschan, Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts
in North Dartmouth and producer of two educational videos about
'I Should be Loving This':
Sylvia Plath’s "The Perfect Place" and The Bell
Jar - Peter K.
Steinberg, Recently completed a masters degree in library
science at Simmons College, webmaster of two Plath-related sites,
and author of Sylvia Plath.
Sylvia Plath, Race, and
White Womanhood - Dorothy
Wang, Assistant Professor of American Studies at Williams
and Tea Break
Plath on War and Politics - Judith
Plath and Global Politics - Patrick O'Connor,
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
“Wars, wars, wars”:
Plath’s Martial Arts - Cornelia
Pearsall, Associate Professor of English at Smith College
and author of Tennyson’s Rapture.
Plath’s German - Langdon
Hammer, Chair of the English Department at Yale University
and contributor to Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the
Visual (Oxford University Press, 2007).
||Dinner for speakers and guests at the
Smith College Alumnae House
Evening Panel -
moderated by Susan Van Dyne
Introductory remarks by Carol
People who knew and corresponded
with Sylvia Plath will each read a letter and comment on its significance,
followed by questions from the audience. Panelists will include:
Brown Stern ’54, Smith Roommate and Friend of Sylvia
Elinor Friedman Klein
’56, Friend of Sylvia Plath
Judith Kroll '64,
Acquaintance of Aurelia Plath and Others
Philip McCurdy, Former Boyfriend
of Sylvia Plath
Aubrey Menard '08
Karen Kukil, Associate Curator,
Mortimer Rare Book Room
Cornelia Pearsall, Associate Professor
of English Language and Literature
This symposium is made possible
through the generous support of:
The Smith College Endowed Lecture
The Smith College Alumnae Association
The Ruth Mortimer Rare Book Fund
Friends of the Smith College Library
The Program for the Study of Women and Gender
The Department of English Language and Literature
The Smith College Poetry Center
On Saturday all the Smith College
campus lots are open parking. The Dickinson Lot is next to Neilson Library
and there is a parking garage on West Street near Forbes Library. There
are also parking lots down by the Ainsworth Gym. You can park in any
white-lined space on April 26. See the campus