"Teaching Updike" with Jim Plath
Dr. Jim Plath is professor of English at Illinois Wesleyan University and co-founder and president of The John Updike Society. His essays on Updike have appeared in numerous critical anthologies, including Critical Insights: John Updike (Salem Press, 2011). His current project is a collaboration called Native Son: John Updike’s Pennsylvania Interviews, which will be published by Lehigh University Press. In 2004 he won his university’s highest award for teaching, scholarship, and campus service.
Plath will discuss whether John Updike is a writer whose work will endure. According to Plath, much of that depends upon how he’s taught, at what levels he’s taught, and, most importantly, if he’s taught. Updike is a complex writer whose work can be read in the context of any number of allusions to pop culture, books, art, American presidents, and U.S. history. The challenge, says Plath, especially at the high school level, is to find ways to introduce his most famous character Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom in ways that are audience-appropriate.
Visit Plath's blog: blogs.iwu.edu/johnupdikesociety
This event is part of the 2012 Literary Festival.
End Date: 10/8/2012 7:00 pm
Location: McGlinn Conference Center
- History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
- Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
- Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
- Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
- Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
- Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
- Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
- Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.