Sunday, January 9, 2011

WMU Writing Center to Organize two Events during MLK Celebrations

On January 20, the Writing Center will offer a panel discussion of three books and two films based on two of the books to provide background for a February 17 book circle.

Writing Center Director Kim Ballard informs:
"At the January 20 talk we'll determine readers who can borrow copies of Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone, so they can participate in a February 17 book circle.  The Writing Center is also happy to work with any classes interested in focusing assignments around these two events.

Whose Dreams? Cultural Narratives in Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, and Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone; January 20, 2 to 4 p.m., Brown and Gold Room, Bernhard Center; Kim Ballard, Carly Fricano, Marcus Johnson, Laura Citino, Owen Horton

In our initial event, a panel discussion, we will first consider the cultural narratives of white and African-American relationships introduced through two popular American books that became movies, Thomas Dixon’s The Clansman (1905), which Dixon revised into a screenplay for D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915), and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind (1939).  We will share passages from the books, clips from the videos of the two movies, and film of civil rights struggles to review a history of these texts and a history of the cultural narratives depicted in the texts. Next, to contrast the degrading historical narratives offered in those texts, we will consider how Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone (2001) revised the earlier racial narratives while echoing them and highlighting the human and historical damage they caused.

Book Circle: Whose Dreams? A Discussion of Alice Randall's The Wind's Done Gone (2001); February 17, 2 to 4 p.m., Writing Center, 1343 Ellsworth Hall; Carly Fricano, Laura Citino, Marcus Johnson, Owen Horton

At our panel talk and through other media available for free to the Western Michigan University community (Western Today, Western Herald, etc.), we will invite interested audience members to further their own experience with Randall’s book and our ideas in a book circle.  We will share copies of the book with student participants who agree to read the book and to participate in a book circle by discussing their thoughts about the book as well as the ideas we explored in our panel presentation. We will also encourage faculty and staff members to read the book and to participate in our book circle.

No comments: