The Washington and Lee Department of English will present the 2007 Shannon-Clark Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. The lecture will be given by Trudier Harris, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The title of Harris' talk is "The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African-American Writers and the South." The talk is free and open to the public.
Harris has lectured and published widely in her specialty areas of African American literature and folklore. In addition to giving talks throughout the United States, she has lectured in Jamaica, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Northern Ireland and Poland.
Her books include Black Women in the Fiction of James Baldwin; Fiction and Folklore: The Novels of Toni Morrison; Saints, Sinners, Saviors: Strong Black Women in African American Literature; and South of Tradition: Essays on African American Literature. She has published articles and book reviews in journals including Callaloo, Black American Literature Forum and the Southern Humanities Review. She has edited and co-edited volumes and books, including co-editing three volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series on African-American writers and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology.
The Ohio State University presented her with its first annual Award of Distinction for the College of Humanities in 1994. Among her other awards, she won the UNC System Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching and the John Hurt Fisher Award of the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English (SAADE) for the outstanding contributions she has made to the field of English scholarship.
Harris received her B.A. from Stillman College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
The Shannon-Clark Lectures, established by a gift from a Washington and Lee alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous, honor the memories of Edgar Finley Shannon, chairman of Washington and Lee's Department of English from 1914 until his death in 1938, and Harriet Mabel Fishburn Clark, a grandmother of the donor and a woman vitally interested in liberal education.