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Virginia Festival of the Book Features Many From Arts & Sciences

Mar 05, 2016 |

The 22nd annual Virginia Festival of the Book opens next week on March 16 and will feature five days of author readings and panel discussions as part of an event that has become the largest community-based book event in the mid-Atlantic region.  As in previous years, Arts & Sciences faculty will be featured prominently in a series of Festival events this year, both as authors of featured works and as moderators of panel discussions.

A chronological list of Virginia Festival of the Book events featuring A&S faculty is included below. With the exception of a few ticketed events, as noted, all Festival programs are open to the public and free of charge.

Tuesday, March 15

Claudrena Harold, History: An associate professor in the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and the Corcoran Department of History who teaches Black Studies, African American history, and U.S. Labor history, Harold is moderating a discussion with incoming UVA School of Law Dean Risa Goluboff about her new book, Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s.

6-7:30 pm - Jefferson School African American Heritage Center


Wednesday, March 16

Hanadi Al-Samman, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages: The author of Anxiety of Erasure: Trauma Authorship, and the Diaspora in Arab Women’s Writings, Al-Samman is participating in a panel discussion exploring writing tropes entitled, “Literature: Arab Women’s Writing in Diaspora and African American Themes.”

2-3:30 pm - Wednesday, March 16, UVA Bookstore


Edward Lengel, Papers of George Washington: The author of First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His—and the Nation’s—Prosperity, joins Philip Levy (George Washington Written Upon the Land), and Tony Williams (coauthor, Washington & Hamilton) to discuss their latest research and new perspectives on George Washington in a panel titled, “Washington: Entrepreneur, Child of Nature, and Master Planner.”

2-3:30 pm - Wednesday, March 16, City Council Chambers


Christa Robbins, Art : An assistant professor of 20th- and 21st-century art history and advisory editor for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Robbins co-moderates a conversation with Nato Thompson (Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century) about his work with the arts organization Creative Time as well as the role of the arts in political engagement and activism.

4-6 pm - Wednesday, March 16, UVA Minor Hall 125


Thursday, March 17

Jeffery Renard Allen, Creative Writing: The author of five books, including the novel Song of the Shank, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, Allen is participating in a panel discussion entitled “Historic Fiction: Complex and Compelling.”

10-11:30 am - Thursday, March 17, Central JMRL Library


Susan Fraiman, English: The author of the forthcoming book X-treme Domesticity: A Vindication of Homemaking, is moderating a discussion with authors Dolores Flamiano (Women, Workers, and Race in LIFE Magazine) and Daphne Spain (Constructive Feminism) on their research and writing about the roles of gender and race in the professional world.

10-11:30 am - Thursday, March 17, UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


Corinne Field, Women, Gender & Sexuality: The author of The Struggle for Equal Adulthood: Gender, Race, Age, and the Fight for Citizenship in Antebellum America and co-editor of Age in America: Colonial Era to the Present, Field discusses her work in the new essay collection, Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women, with editors Farah Griffin and Diane Savage. Moderated by Deborah McDowell, the Alice Griffin Professor of Literary Studies and the director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies.

12-1:30 pm - Thursday, March 17, UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


George Gilliam, History: An adjunct instructor and historian of the 19th-century South, Gilliam is moderating “The Civil War, Experienced” panel with historians Will Kurtz (Excommunicated from the Union), James Robertson (A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary), and Brent Tarter (Daydreams and Nightmares) as they discuss their Civil War histories, which closely examine the war’s impact on tolerance for religious minorities, the daily life of a Confederate War Department clerk, and the impact of secession on a Virginia family.

2-3:30 pm - Thursday, March 17, UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


Paul Guest, English: Author of the memoir One More Theory about Happiness and a Guggenheim Fellow and Whiting Award winner, Guest is moderating the “Navigating Intolerant Worlds and Unimaginable Loss” panel with authors Sarah Bannan (Weightless), John Benditt (The Boatmaker), and Bill Clegg (Did You Ever Have a Family) as they discuss their emotionally charged stories of self discovery that follow their protagonists’ journeys through the unexpected courses of their lives.

2-3:30 pm - Thursday, March 17, Central JMRL Library


Stephen Macko, Environmental Sciences: Moderating the “Our Imperiled World  and the Tenacity of a Tiny Bird” discussion with Deborah Cramer, author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey. The recipient of the  2016 SELC Reed Award in Environmental Writing, Cramer chronicles in her book the extraordinary migration of a tiny sandpiper from the tip of South America to the icy Arctic.

4-5:30 pm - Thursday, March 17, UVA Clark Hall 108


Michael F. Suarez, Rare Book School/English: Nominated to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, Suarez will discuss the criminal levels of low-literacy in the United States and their social and economic cost in his illustrated lecture, “Literacy in America: Crisis and Hope.”

4-5:30 pm - UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


Andrew O’Shaughnessy,  History: The vice president of Monticello and the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, OShaughnessy moderates the “Building the Empire State: Political Economy in the Early Republic” discussion with Brian Phillips Murphy (Building the Empire State) on the origins of American capitalism and unelected political entrepreneurs such as Alexander Hamilton.

6-7:30 pm - Thursday, March 17, Monticello Visitors Center


Friday, March 18

Jeb Livingood, Creative Writing Program: The associate director of the program moderates a discussion with MFA alumni Jasmine Bailey (Alexandria), Valerie Brelinski (The Girl Who Slept with God), and Cecilia Llompart (The Wingless) as they read from their latest work.

12-1:30 pm - Friday, March 18, UVA Bookstore


Mark Edmundson, English: The author of last year’s Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals, Edmundson joins fellow writers Matt Burriesci (Dead White Guys: A Father, His Daughter, and the Great Books of the Western World) and Michael Pearson (Reading Life: On Books, Memory, and Travel) in a discussion of the classics, ideals, and how stories lead us into and through our world.

12-1:30 pm - Friday, March 18, UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


Christin Taylor, Asst. Director of Transition Program:  A lecturer with interests in student development, African American literature, race, class and gender studies, Taylor is moderating the “African American Medicine in Washington D.C.: Healing the Capital During the Civil War” discussion with Heather Butts, author of the 2014 book of the same title.

12-1:30 pm - Friday, March 18, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center


Willis Jenkins, Religious Studies: The author of The Future of Ethics: Sustainability, Social Justice, and Religious Creativity and Ecologies of Grace: Environmental Ethics and Christian Theology, Jenkins is moderating the “Environmental Thought: Resources, Law and Politics” discussion with authors Ron Bailey (The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century), Jonathan Cannon (Environment in the Balance: The Green Movement and the Supreme Court), and Jedediah Purdy (After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene).

2-3:30 pm - Friday, March 18, UVA Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections


W. Bradford Wilcox, Sociology: The co-author of Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos, and director of the National Marriage Project, Wilcox participates in a panel discussion titled “Latino and Black Communities: Competition, Love, and Marriage” with author Betina Wilkinson (Partners or Rivals? Power and Latino, Black and White Relations in the 21st Century).

2-3:30 pm - Friday, March 18, UVA Bookstore


Debra Nystrom, Creative Writing: The author of Night Sky Frequencies, Bad River Road, Torn Sky, and A Quarter Turn, Nystrom is moderating the “Poetry: Rivers and Roads” discussion with poets Chard deNiord (Interstate), Sally Keith (River House), and Thorpe Moeckel (Arcadia Road).

4-5:30 pm - Friday, March 18, New Dominion Bookshop


Fernando Operé, Spanish: Director of the UVA in Valencia study abroad program, Operé moderates a discussion with poet Carlos Gomez (Mapa al corazón del hombre) as he reads and discusses his work in Spanish and English.

4-5:30 pm - Friday, March 18, UVA Bookstore


Rita Dove, English: In a celebration of Pulitzer Prize-winning poets, Dove joins Gregory Pardlo and Vijay Seshadri to read and discuss their work. The program is free, but advance tickets are required.

6-7:30 p.m., Friday, March 18, UVA Culbreth Theatre


Sunday, March 20

Dean Dass, Studio Art: Since 1985, Dass has taught drawing, papermaking, printmaking, book arts, and seminars on contemporary art at UVA. In this panel event, Dass is among the artists discussing the art of printmaking.

12-1:30 pm - Virginia Arts of the Book Center


Ira Bashkow, Anthropology, moderates a discussion (“All Who Go Do Not Return”) with author Shulem Deen, who shares his story of growing up a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the United States, exploring outside that world, and eventually leaving.

1-2:30 pm - Sunday, March 20, Central JMRL Library


Sylvia Chong, English: The author of The Oriental Obscene: Violence and Racial Fantasies in the Vietnam Era,  Chong moderates a discussion with novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the award-winning novel, The Sympathizer and the nonfiction exploration of the Vietnam War, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, and Vietnam.

1-2:30 pm - Sunday, March 20, UVA Bookstore


Stephen Cushman, Rita Dove, Paul Guest, Debra Nystrom, Lisa Russ Spaar, Charles Wright: These members of the Department of English and its Creative Writing Program are among the poets reading from their work and reflecting on Thomas Jefferson and Monticello in this national book launch for Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson.

3-4:30 pm - Sunday, March 20, Monticello Visitors Center, The Woodland Pavilion