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American literature and sustainability topic of talk

Oct. 25, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A discussion about an art exhibit on literature and sustainability is the focal point of an event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in Room 3025 of Brown Hall at Western Michigan University.

Photo of Dr. Christoph Irmscher, Indiana University.Dr. Christoph Irmscher, professor of English at Indiana University, will give the lecture "Straw Leaves, Table Bugs, and Birch-Bark Poems: Sustainability in American Literary Culture" as part of the Department of English's Scholarly Speakers Series. The event is free and open to the public.

Irmscher will discuss an art exhibit on literature and sustainability that he curated this fall at Indiana's Lilly Library. His visit to the WMU campus is co-sponsored by WMU's Environmental Studies Program.

Irmscher teaches and writes about 19th-century American and Canadian literature and culture, and he has a particular interest in ecocriticism. His published books include "The Poetics of Natural History: From John Bartram to William James," published in 1999; a 1999 edition of the writings of John James Audubon; "Longfellow Redux," published in 2008; and the anthology "A Keener Perception: Ecocritical Studies in American Art History, published in 2009 and co-edited with Alan Braddock. He recently completed a book about the 19th-century anti-Darwinist Louis Agassiz, which also seeks to understand the beginnings of graduate instruction in this country.

He has worked extensively with public institutions, the National Park Service, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Maine Historical Society, and Harvard University's Houghton Library, where he guest-curated the recent Bicentennial Longfellow exhibit.

For more information, contact Dr. Anthony Ellis, Department of English at anthony.ellis@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2606.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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