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Smith's 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 States.

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.


5/1/07   By Eric Sean Weld
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