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Smith Women to Help Honor Sylvia Plath's 75th

Oxford University will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the birth of Sylvia Plath ’55 with a symposium this week featuring presentations by several scholars from the Smith community.

Karen Kukil, associate curator of special collections in the Smith College libraries and an expert on Plath, will speak on “Sylvia Plath’s Women and Poetry” and will participate as part of a panel on Plath-related archives. Kukil, editor of the collection The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962, has presented talks on Plath at Oxford previously, most recently in May.

Cornelia Pearsall, associate professor of English language and literature, will give a presentation with Aubrey Menard ’08. Menard, a student assistant in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, will also team with Pearsall and Kukil in the spring for a special studies project on Plath.

Meanwhile, an exhibition of small press editions of Plath’s writing will be on display at the Bodleian Library, Oxford’s main research library, at which Smith alumna Sarah Thomas ’70 recently became the librarian.

The conference, which runs from Oct. 25 through 29, coincides with the publication by Oxford University Press of Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual, by Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley. The book, which displays many of Plath’s drawings and paintings for the first time, reassesses the poet as a visual artist.

With a series of performances, readings, paper presentations, film and dance, the conference explores the relationships between different forms of art and demonstrates several aspects of Plath’s work.

Plath was an undergraduate at Smith from 1950 to 1955 and an instructor in the English department from 1957 to 1958.

Click here for further information on the Sylvia Plath symposium at Oxford.

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