Plath Curator to Speak in Oxford Series
Karen Kukil, associate
curator of special collections, will speak at the University
of Oxford’s Rothermere American
Institute on Thursday, May 3, in advance of the institute’s
upcoming 75th anniversary symposium on Sylvia Plath.
Kukil, editor of the collection The Unabridged Journals
of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962, published in 2000, will
speak on “Sylvia Plath’s Women and Poetry” in
a special lecture amid a series of spring events at the
Rothermere Institute. Kukil curated the collection in the
Mortimer Rare Book Room of Plath’s papers – among
the facility’s most popular – which include
successive drafts of Plath’s Ariel poems
and drafts of her novel The Bell Jar.
With frequent allusions
to Plath’s poems, Kukil’s
talk profiles Plath’s life from her senior year at
Smith in 1955, in which she entered the Glascock Poetry Contest
at Mount Holyoke College, and following her travels to Cambridge
to study at Newnham College. Kukil also illustrates numerous
coincidences among Plath’s fictional characters and
the succession of her own life.
Plath was an undergraduate at Smith from 1950 to 1955 and
an instructor in the English department from 1957 to 1958.
The Rothermere American Institute, located at the University
of Oxford, was opened in 2001 by former U.S. President Bill
Clinton as an international center for interdisciplinary
study of the history, culture and politics of the United
In presenting at the spring series, Kukil joins Don Doyle,
University of South Carolina; Will Kaufman, University of
Central Lancashire; Ngaire Woods, University College Oxford;
Anne Krueger, Johns Hopkins University; and Avner Offer,
All Souls College.