Release Date: September 1, 2011
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Libraries will continue its series of programs designed to reintroduce audiences to author Louisa May Alcott with two events in September.
The first event will include a film screening of the documentary "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women" and selected readings from a biography about Alcott at 2 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo.
The event will include Civil War re-enactors from the 155th New York Voluntary Infantry Reenactment Regiment, as well as a discussion led by Stacy Hubbard, associate professor of English at UB and an expert on 19th and 20th century American literature and culture.
A literary roundtable discussion about Alcott and her contemporaries, and their views on issues such as slavery, abolition and the Civil War, will be held at noon on Sept. 20 in 306 Clemens Hall on the UB North Campus. Hubbard will be joined by Cristanne Miller, professor, chair and Edward H. Butler Chair in the UB Department of English, and UB graduate students Prentiss Clark and Mike Hurst.
Both programs are sponsored by the American Library Association Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities to encourage a deeper look into the historical and cultural context that inspired Alcott's work and reexamine the author's place in American literary and cultural history. UB's Lockwood Library is one of 30 libraries nationwide to be awarded NEH grant funding to support programs that explore Alcott's life and literary significance.
Alcott (1832-88) is best known for her novel "Little Women," but also was deeply involved in the Transcendentalist and Abolitionist movements, and served as a Civil War army nurse. A New Englander, her literary body of work includes thrillers, fairy tales, Gothic novels and works of domestic realism, as well as her young adult novels.
"We are excited to explore these little-known works, which provide a unique look at Alcott and her perspective on American history," notes UB Humanities Librarian Laura Taddeo. "Our programs will provide fresh insights about Alcott and a new understanding of American culture during her lifetime. Those unfamiliar with Alcott will realize that she is indeed a literary icon."
In conjunction with the Sept. 17 and Sept. 20 programs, the UB Libraries will mount an exhibition that will include first editions of Alcott's work as well as letters, manuscripts and examples of her less-well-known fiction. The exhibit will be unveiled in mid-September in Lockwood Memorial Library.