Discourse & Process is a new online companion series to our 2020 Summer Lectures (which is postponed until further notice). Moderated by Julie Scelfo, past Lecture Series presenter and author of The Women Who Made New York, this series will give the authors an opportunity to discuss elements of the writing and research process.
This online program will be streamed live via Zoom.
While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie—letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters’ language—but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her.
And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers’s life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers’s childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers’s days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees how McCullers’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself.
“Shapland’s book is the kind of state-of-the-form reckoning that makes one wish there were more like it.” – New York Times
Jenn Shapland is a writer living in New Mexico. Her nonfiction has been published in O, the Oprah Magazine, Tin House, Outside online, The Lifted Brow, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. Her essay “Finders, Keepers” won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and she was awarded the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism for “Thirteen Ways of Moving to the Desert” and “Field Report: El Paso + Juárez.” She has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
Julie Scelfo is a journalist, author and justice advocate who helps people discover the forces that help shape human thinking. Previously, Scelfo was a staff writer for The New York Times, and a Correspondent at Newsweek where she covered breaking news. Scelfo is the author of The Women Who Made New York, a collection of intersectional biographies that reveal how it was women — and not just men — who built one of the world’s greatest cities.
Scelfo earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in Media Ecology from New York University. She lives in New York City, is a frequent public speaker and has made numerous appearances on television, radio and podcasts.
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Discourse & Process Chats Schedule
June 8 – Eve Kahn, author of Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Forgotten Impressionist Mary Rogers Williams
June 15 – Katherine Smyth, author of All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf
June 22 – Donna Rifkind, author of The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood
June 29 – Jenn Shapland, author of My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir
July 6 – Kerri Greenidge, author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter
July 13 – Kimberly Hamlin, author of Free Thinker: Sex, Suffrage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener
July 20 – Michael Gorra author of The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War
July 27 – Nick Basbanes, author of Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, email@example.com, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.