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Spring 2003

Mowers' Tree logo

Cather as Cultural Icon

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln
and the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial
and Educational Foundation present

The International
Cather Seminar 2003

May 28 - June 2
Bread Loaf Campus

Middlebury College, Ripton, Vermont

Image of Willa Cather at Bread Loaf, Vermont, 1922.

The 9th International Seminar on Willa Cather will address questions of Cather as cultural icon. This focus acknowledges that Cather has been elevated from marginal to canonical status, and with this "elevation" has come an outpouring of work related to her-biographies, criticism, personal essays, adaptations to film, theatre, opera, and radio. This outpouring invites us to engage in conversations about art and culture. How is a writer inscribed into a culture? What are the implications of celebrity or iconic status? As a writer fiercely protective of the privacy necessary to work, Cather provides a forum to consider what we expect of art and artists today. Critical considerations enter the conversation: what are the responsibilities of readers, teachers, scholars, performers, and filmmakers to the work and its creator?

Bread Loaf, the oldest writer's conference in America, offers an ideal site for our focus on Cather as Cultural Icon, for Bread Loaf has become a cultural icon in its own right. Cather, who taught at Bread Loaf in July of 1922, was among a group of writers who suggested that the campus be used for an annual writers' conference.

Major Lecture
Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate of the United States (1997-2000), is poetry editor of the online journal Slate and a contributor to the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. He teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.

Seminar Faculty
Marilee Lindemann, Mark Madigan, Richard Millington, John J. Murphy, Tom Quirk, Guy Reynolds, Ann Romines, Susan J. Rosowski, Merrill Maguire Skaggs, Janis P. Stout, John N. Swift, Robert Thacker, Steven Trout, and Joseph Urgo.

Musical Performaces
David Porter and Ariel Bybee.

"O Miss Cather, when we gather For your talks so wise and clear Now you're going we're all hoping You'll come back another year."

a song performed by Bread Loaf students in July of 1922

Registration Form and other information can be found on the website