WMU Home > About WMU > WMU News

WMU News

Jane Addams talk launches ethics lecture series

Sept. 29, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A presentation on social activist Jane Addams will kick off the Western Michigan University Center for the Study of Ethics in Society fall lecture series.

The talk will feature Dr. Katherine Joslin, WMU professor of English and author of the literary biography "Jane Addams, A Writer's Life," which was published in 2004 by the University of Illinois Press. Her presentation, titled "Why Read Jane Addams in the 21st Century?" is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in Room 204 of the Bernhard Center and is free and open to the public.

Joslin will explore the enduring legacy of perhaps the best-known female in America 100 years ago. As a young woman, Addams made a radical move in 1889 into one of Chicago's poorest neighborhoods, where she and Ellen Gates Starr founded Hull House, a settlement that drew intellectuals and artists into dialogue with immigrant laborers about the critical ethical dilemmas of the day.

Later vilified for her pacifism during World War I, she was vindicated in 1931 when she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Joslin will link Addams' ethical thinking to her literary style and show how her imagination created a moral landscape we all recognize in the 21st century.

Joslin earned her doctorate at Northwestern University, specializing in American literature and intellectual history. She also has written "Edith Wharton" and co-edited "Wretched Exotic: Essays on Edith Wharton in Europe" and "American Feminism: Key Source Documents, 1848-1920." Her essays consider the writings of Addams and Wharton as well as Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf and Emile Zola. She is now working on two books: one, together with WMU Professor Daneen Wardrop, on reading fashion in the works of Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton and the other on Theodore Roosevelt as a writer.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400