Dr. Lori Leavell, a 2000 Ouachita Baptist University graduate and currently an assistant professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, will return to Ouachita on Friday, Feb. 8, to present her research about 18th century American print culture and to share personal reflections about earning a doctorate in English.
Leavell’s first talk, which will begin at 2 p.m., is titled “What Archives Reveal about Antebellum White Readerships of African American Texts.” Her second presentation will start at 4 p.m. and is titled, “Considerations for Pursuing Graduate Study in English.” Both presentations will be held in Lile Hall, room 200.
The extensive research Leavell will draw on for her first talk focuses specifically on interactions between people and literature during the antebellum period, addressing such questions as: Who read what? How did it affect them? Which books were banned and why? How was literature in the South regulated for political and cultural reasons? How did new mass production technologies before the Civil War spread ideas found in the antebellum period?
“The second talk will be more about how you can get into a good grad school, how you can thrive,” said Dr. Doug Sonheim, the Clarence and Bennie Sue Anthony Professor of Bible and Humanities at Ouachita and chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages. “And she really did thrive, so she knows what she’s talking about.”
Describing Leavell’s continuing education as a process of discovery, Sonheim said her passion for the field of English led her to pursue both master’s degree and doctorate. Her address on the issue will advise students about applying for, entering, financing and succeeding in grad school.
Leavell earned her Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Arkansas and her Ph.D. in English from Emory University. This is her fifth presentation at Ouachita and one of many prestigious presentations shehas made across the nation. The Library Company of Philadelphia, the Northeast Modern Language Association and Emory University have all invited Leavell to present research within the last three years. She has also spoken at national conferences in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
She has designed and taught writing and composition courses, as well as courses in African, African American, American and World literature. Leavell has held teaching assistantships at Emory University and Karolinen Gymnasium in Frankenthal, Germany. She has been published in the Southern Literary Journal, A Journal of the American Renaissance and the Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. Her most recent honor, in the summer of 2012, was the Lillian Gary Taylor Visiting Fellowship in American Literature sponsored by the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture at the University of Virginia Library.
For more information, contact Dr. Doug Sonheim at email@example.com or (870) 245-5554.
By Rachel Gregory