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AU professor to discuss authentic relationship to the natural world
10/26/10

Melissa Ryan, associate professor of English at Alfred University, will present “Enjoyment, Enwildment, Emplacement: In Search of an Authentic Relationship to The Natural World” on Thursday, Nov. 4, during AU’s Bergren Forum at 12:10 p.m., in Powell Campus Center’s Nevins Theatre. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Ryan will be talking about how writers have sought and sought to represent a sense of place. The Forum will explore what we hope to find in nature as well as some of the anxious questions this deep need produces, including: Am I sentimentalizing? colonizing? Insufficiently biocentric? Trying too hard, or not hard enough? Capable of letting go, or holding on?

Ryan earned a master of arts degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Her academic interests include 19- and 20-century American literature, American women writers, modernism, Native American literature, the novel, and writer Willa Cather.

Ryan’s past publications include “At Home in America: John Fante and the Imaginative American Self” in Studies in American Fiction and “The Enclosure of America: Civilization and Confinement in Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!” in American Literature. She is also a recipient of the Kruson Award for Excellence in Teaching from Alfred University in 2005 and member of Phi Beta Kappa .

The Bergren Forum, sponsored by the Alfred University Division of Human Studies, meets Thursdays during each academic semester at the University. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch; coffee and tea will be available.