(January 25, 2014) The McNeese State University Department of English and Foreign Languages will host two free events the first week of February – a lecture by Dr. Paul Allen Miller, vice provost and director of international programs at the University of South Carolina, and a reading by award-winning poet Joy Harjo.
Miller will present “Teaching Literature, Teaching Commitment: The Public Intellectual We Need” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Stokes Auditorium of Hardtner Hall as part of the annual Joe and Lydia Cash Endowed Lecture Series in Literature and Culture.
Miller, also the Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics and Comparative Literatures, is an internationally known expert in Latin poetry, Plato, the receptions of the classical tradition and literary theory. He is the author of several books, has published numerous articles and has edited or co-edited 13 volumes of essays on literary theory, gender studies and topics in classics.
The Cash Lecture Series was established in 2010 by Dr. Joe Cash, former chair of the English and Foreign Languages Department for 23 years, and his wife, Lydia, a retired Calcasieu Parish teacher.
Harjo will present a reading of her work at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, in Stokes Auditorium, which is sponsored by the McNeese Master of Fine Arts Visiting Writer Series. A native of Tulsa, Okla., Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. She currently is a professor of American Indian Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
One of Harjo’s books of poetry, “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky,” received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award.” She was also awarded the American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for her book, “In Mad Love and War.” She describes her journey to becoming a poet in her memoir, “Crazy Brave,” which won the 2013 PEN Center USA Literary Prize for Creative Nonfiction.
Other honors include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also an award-winning musician and performs in her own one-woman show, “Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light.”
Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.