Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wild Adventure and Science in the Old West, Talk March 7

Chestertown, MD, February 28, 2006 — Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience presents author Robert Wilson on "The Explorer King: Adventure, Science, and the Great Diamond Hoax," which will be delivered on Tuesday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum. All are invited.

Wilson's lecture will based on his compelling biography of Clarence King, a scientist-explorer whose mountain-scaling, desert-crossing, river-fording, blizzard-surviving adventures helped create the new West of the nineteenth century. A sort of Howard Hughes of the 1800s, Clarence King in his youth was an icon of the new America: a man of both action and intellect, who combined science and adventure with romanticism and charm. The Explorer King vividly depicts King's amazing feats and also uncovers the reasons for the shocking decline he suffered after his days on the American frontier.

The Yale-educated King went west in 1863 at age 21 as a geologist-explorer. During the next decade he scaled the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada, published a popular book now considered a classic of adventure literature, initiated a groundbreaking land survey of the American West, and ultimately uncovered one of the greatest frauds of the century—the Great Diamond Hoax, a discovery that made him an international celebrity at a time when they were few and far between.

Through King's own rollicking tales, some true, some embroidered, of scaling previously unclimbed mountain peaks, of surviving a monster blizzard near Yosemite, of escaping ambush and capture by Indians, of being chased on horseback for two days by angry bandits, Robert Wilson offers a powerful combination of adventure, history, and nature writing. He also provides the bigger picture of the West at this time, showing the ways in which the terrain of the western United States was measured and charted and mastered, and how science, politics, and business began to intersect and influence one another during this era. Ultimately, King himself would come to symbolize the collision of science and business, possibly the source of his downfall.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Lit House Celebrates the Arrival of Its New Penguin Classics Library, Hosts Harper's Wyatt Mason on "The Library and the Writer," March 8

Chestertown, MD, February 27, 2006 — In celebration of the arrival of the new 1,300-volume Penguin Classics Library at the Rose O'Neill Literary House, Washington College presents Wyatt Mason, contributing editor to Harper's Magazine, on "The Library and the Writer," Wednesday, March 8, 2006, at 4 p.m. in the Literary House. The event is free an open to all. Reception and shelving party to follow.

Mason's writing appears in The New Yorker, New York Times, New Republic, London Review of Books, The Nation, Slate.com, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor. He has translated the complete works of Arthur Rimbaud, published in three volumes by the Modern Library, and is the recipient of the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Nona Balakian Citation for excellence in reviewing. He is currently at work on translations of Dante and Montaigne, a study of 20th century American fiction, and a novel.

After 21 years, the O'Neill Literary House bookshelves will be refreshed through the addition of the Penguin Classics Library, a vast array of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry—ancient and modern—based on definitive texts and translations.

"Penguin has revitalized their line of classic literature in paperback with head-turning new cover designs and fresh introductions by some of the brightest authors from around the world," says Ben Anastas, Interim Director of the O'Neill Literary House. "What better way to revitalize the Lit House than to make the entire Penguin Classic Library available to our students. Normally I don't like to speak for the departed but I think Sophie Kerr would not only approve, but also be proud."

Anastas notes that the library will be regulated by an honor system. "This is a gift to the entire College through the personal donations of many individuals. Alumna Mary Wood donated nearly a third of the money to pay for the collection. We hope that all will use this wonderful gift and preserve it for others to use as well."

The Penguin Classics purchase and reception are made possible by the O'Neill Literary House, the Sophie Kerr Committee, Mary Wood, the Writers' Union, the Friends of the O'Neill Literary House, and donations from the Washington College community.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Stringing Us Along: The Colorado Quartet in Concert, March 7

Chestertown, MD, February 25, 2006 — The Washington College Concert Series welcomes the accomplished Colorado String Quartet to the College's Tawes Theatre, Daniel Z. Gibson Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, March 7, at 8 p.m. Single tickets can be purchased at the door, $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth 18 and under.

Recognized as one of the finest string quartets on the international scene, the award-winning Colorado Quartet is noted for its musical integrity, impassioned playing, and lyrical finesse. The Quartet's inspiring style combines a deep scholarly knowledge of the quartet literature with energy, passion and a focus on fine details. The Quartet regularly performs the complete Beethoven Quartets, most recently in Berlin, making them the first female quartet to have performed the Beethoven cycle in both North America and in Europe.

The Colorado Quartet is Quartet-in-Residence at Bard College, where Quartet members teach private lessons, coach chamber ensembles, and present courses on the Literature of the String Quartet. The ensemble was Quartet-in-Residence at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has held artist residencies at The New School in Philadelphia, Swarthmore, Skidmore, and Amherst Colleges. Their critically acclaimed recordings of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and contemporary composers can be found on Parnassus, Mode, and Albany Records.

For ticket information and a 2005-2006 season brochure, call 410-778-7839. Individual tax-deductible patron memberships begin at $75.00. Contributing patron memberships begin at $150.00, supporting at $250.00 and sustaining at $500.00. All membership packages include two tickets, and all donations over the price of the tickets are tax-deductible.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Dissing the Master: "Signifying" from Frederick Douglass to Spike Lee, Tea & Talk February 28

Chestertown, MD, February 24, 2006 — In celebration of Black History Month, the Rose O'Neill Literary House Tea & Talk Series presents Richard DeProspo, Professor of English, on "Dissing the Master: 'Signifying' from Frederick Douglass to Spike Lee," Tuesday, February 28. Join us for tea at 4 p.m. and talk at 4:30 p.m. in the O'Neill Literary House. All are invited.

Prof. DeProspo will read and discuss his paper first delivered February 16 at the annual National Association of African-American Studies Conference in Baton Rouge.

"My essay tries to combine the African-American tradition of 'signifying'—the creative one-upsmanship practiced by tricksters, which has been traced by African-American scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. back to African folk tales—with theories of literary influence devised by such contemporary theorists as Harold Bloom, Julia Kristeva, and Michael Rifaterre."

African-American writers discussed in the essay include Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Alex Haley, and Sanyika Shakur. Prof. DeProspo will also discuss Spike Lee's 1994 film Malcolm X.

The Rose O'Neill Tea & Talk Series showcases the research, writing, and talent of Washington College's faculty and is held in the College's O'Neill Literary House. Established in 1985, the Literary House was acquired and refurbished through a gift of alumna Betty Casey, Class of 1947, and her late husband Eugene, and named in memory of his late mother, Rose O'Neill Casey. Now in its 21st year, the O'Neill Literary House reflects the eclectic spirit of Washington College's creative writing and academic culture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman on Stage at Washington College, March 2, 3 and 4

Chestertown, MD, February 23, 2006 — Washington College's Drama Department presents Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, directed by Professor Jason Rubin with a senior thesis design by Heather Holiday, March 2, 3, and 4, at 8 p.m. in the College's Tawes theater. Tickets are $3.00 for students and seniors and $5.00 for general admission. No reservations are required and the public is invited to attend. For show and ticket information, call 410-778-7835 or e-mail drama_tickets@washcoll.edu.

Bringing the talents of Washington College professors and students together on stage for the first time in 15 years, Death of a Salesman features Professor Tim Maloney as the legendary Willy Loman, an aging salesman who is starting to lose his grip on reality. Lecturer of drama, Polly Kuulei Sommerfeld, stars as Willy's wife Linda, and seniors Chas Libretto and Greg Schaefer play Willy's two sons, Biff and Happy. The elaborate and remarkable set of platforms, designed by senior Heather Holiday, expresses the distinction between Willy's notion of the present versus his travel into flashback and fantasy.

A hallmark in the canon of American literature, Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Drama in 1949 and continues to be admired by audiences worldwide. Director Jason Rubin selected the play as a tribute to Miller, who died last February of heart failure.

"Death of a Salesman asks the vital questions, " says Rubin. "How successful am I? Who am I? What happened to the American dream? It shows how everyday we put ourselves on the line, and this message touches home with many people."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Through a Glass Darkly: Sam Lipsyte Reads from His Fiction, February 23

Chestertown, MD, February 20, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee presents a reading by acclaimed fictionist Sam Lipsyte, Thursday, February 23, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the College's Miller Library.

The event is free and all are invited to attend.

The author of three books—Venus Drive, The Subject Steve, and Homeland—Lipsyte has received several awards for his sharp, incisive fiction that cuts to the heart of darkness in contemporary life. His collection of short stories, Venus Drive, was selected as one of the top 25 books of the year by The Village Voice Literary Supplement. Homeland, his latest novel, received the first annual Believer Book Award and was recognized as one of the New York Times Notable Books of 2005.

"Lipsyte captures flashes of his characters' addled humanity and smashes a window into their hopelessness . . . It's fascinating to read a writer who can bring you so efficiently to such uncomfortable places," wrote James Hannaham in The Village Voice. Gary Shteyngart observed regarding Lipsyte, "when he turns that gaze inwards I start to understand how we got to be where we are today, as a country and as a people."

Lipsyte was born in New York City in 1968 and grew up in New Jersey. He is a former senior editor of Feed, and the former frontman for the noise rock band, Dungbeetle. His writing has appeared in Open City, New York Times Book Review, Slate, The Quarterly, Mother Jones, Nerve, Spin, and the Minus Times.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Friday, February 17, 2006

So You Want to be a Journalist? James and Mollie Dickenson Offer the inside Scoop, February 24

Chestertown, MD, February 17, 2006 — Looking for the inside scoop? Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee and Rose O'Neill Literary House present "Careers in Journalism," a lecture by James R. Dickenson from The Washington Post and Mollie M. Dickenson, a freelance journalist and author of THUMBS UP: The Life and Courageous Comeback of White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, Friday, February 24, at 4 p.m. at the Rose O'Neill Literary House. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

For almost thirty years, James R. Dickenson served as a political reporter, editor, and columnist for The Washington Post, The Washington Star, The National Observer, andUnited Press International. Covering every presidential campaign from 1964 to 1968, he also reported on monumental events, including the Watergate scandal, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and the war in Vietnam. A media consultant to the Library of Congress and its Open World Russian Leadership Program, he is the author of We Few: The Marine Corps 400 in the War Against Japan and Home On The Range: A Century On the High Plains,nominated for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

As a freelance writer on politics and economics, Mollie M. Dickenson has reported for The Washington Star, The Washington Post, Salon.com, TomPaine.com, Consortiumnews.com, and Worth magazine. She has also hosted her own radio talk show and has been a featured panelist on the political talk show Battleline on the Radio America network. Recently, Dickenson published THUMBS UP: The Life and Courageous Comeback of White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, offering a complete and striking portrait of the former press secretary.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Finalists Selected for the $50,000 George Washington Book Prize

Authors Focus on Washington's Military Career, Franklin's Diplomacy, and Britain's Stakes

Chestertown, MD, February 15, 2006 — Out of a field of nearly 50 books on America's founding era published during 2005, three finalists have been named today for the 2006 George Washington Book Prize. At $50,000, it is the nation's largest book prize for early American history. Presented by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon, the prize was launched in 2005 to recognize published works contributing to a greater understanding of the life and career of George Washington and/or the founding era.

This year's finalists are General George Washington: A Military Life by Edward Lengel (Random House), A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America by Stacy Schiff (Henry Holt), and Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783 by Stanley Weintraub (Free Press). The winner of last year's prize—the inaugural award—was Ron Chernow for Alexander Hamilton.

Finalists were selected by a jury of distinguished scholars of early American history, including Carol Berkin of Baruch College, Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute, and Gordon Wood of Brown University.

"In each work selected, the jury saw refreshing perspectives on our nation's founding era," said historian Ted Widmer, director of Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the prize. "Although only one book will be selected for the award, all are worthy of special attention."

At $50,000, the George Washington Book Prize is one of the largest non-fiction prizes in the United States. (The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award both award $10,000 to recipients.) The winner will be announced during ceremonies on Tuesday, May 23, 2006, at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia.

The annual prize is administered by Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, launched in 2001 as an innovative forum for new scholarship about American history, culture, and politics. Washington College, located in colonial Chestertown, Md., was founded in 1782 and was the only institution of higher learning that the first president patronized during his lifetime, donating not only funds but also his name to the institution.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. Increasingly national and international in scope, the Institute targets audiences ranging from students to scholars to the general public. It creates history-centered schools and academic research centers, organizes seminars and enrichment programs for educators, partners with school districts to implement Teaching American History grants, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, and sponsors lectures by eminent historians. The Institute also funds awards including the Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and George Washington Book Prizes and offers fellowships for scholars to work in history archives, including the Gilder Lehrman Collection.

The oldest national preservation organization in America, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association has owned and managed the home of George Washington for nearly 150 years, opening its doors annually to approximately one million people. The George Washington Book Prize is an important component in the Association's educational outreach program, which engages millions of teachers and students throughout the nation.

For more information, visit gwprize.washcoll.edu.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Can Our Nation's Laws Protect Our Kids? History and Challenges to Policies for Children, Talk March 1

Chestertown, MD, February 9, 2006 — Washington College's Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series presents "Can We Protect Our Kids? History and the Persistent Challenges of American Policies for Children," a talk by Michael C. Grossberg, the Sally M. Reahard Professor of History at Indiana University, Wednesday, March 1, at 5:00 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

A professor of history and law—and co-director of the Indiana University Center on Law, Society, and Culture—Grossberg specializes in the intersection of law and family in American society. His lecture will examine the history of child protection laws in the United States since the 1870s, assessing issues such as child labor, juvenile justice, social reform, disabilities, and child abuse.

Grossberg is the author of numerous books and articles on legal and social change. His 1985 book,Governing the Hearth, Law and the Family in Nineteenth-Century America, received the American Historical Association's Littleton-Griswold Prize in the History of Law and Society. Additionally, he publishedA Judgment for Solomon: The d'Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America in 1996 and co-edited the volume American Public Life and the Historical Imagination in 2003. He is currently co-editing the Cambridge History of Law in the United States.

An active force in public policy research, Grossberg is currently leading a project to devise guidelines for genetic testing in child custody cases. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Newberry Library, and the American Bar Foundation, and has been a Fellow at the National Humanities Center.

The talk is sponsored by the Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series, established in 1989 to honor the memory of the history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The series brings distinguished historians to campus each year to lecture and to spend time with students in emulation of Goodfellow's vibrant teaching style.

College Honors Community and Campus Service at Annual Washington's Birthday Convocation, February 18

Chestertown, MD, February 9, 2006 — Washington College's annual George Washington's Birthday Convocation will honor those who have dedicated their lives to community and to campus service and leadership with the presentation of the first annual President's Medals and Distinguished Service Awards, Saturday, February 18, at 2 p.m., in the College's Tawes Theatre.

The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

In appreciation of individuals and organizations whose contributions enhance the quality of life in Chestertown and Kent County through service, volunteerism, and personal sacrifice, President Baird Tipson will award the inaugural President's Medals to Ruth Briscoe, Professor James Siemen, Nancy Dick, the Kent Family Center, and the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Department.

Tipson will also recognize exceptional performance, leadership, and service by employees of Washington College through the President's Distinguished Service Awards to be presented this year to Louis Saunders, Building and Grounds Department; Laura Johnstone Wilson, the College's Director of Campus Events; and Dr. Joachim Scholz, Provost and Dean of the College.

During the ceremonies, the College will also present former Washington College dean Dr. Barbara Mowat—now Chair and Director of Academic Programs of the Folger Institute in Washington, DC—with an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Dr. Mowat was instrumental in securing a gift of nearly 1,000 books on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture for the College's Miller Library collection from former Folger Library head Dr. Werner Gundersheimer.

Alumnus Chuck Waesche, Class of 1953, will receive the Alumni Service Award, given annually to an alumnus who has given outstanding and continued support to the College through personal involvement on leadership committees, association with the student body and engagement of fellow alumni, and a selfless commitment of time and talent to enhance the welfare of the College.

There will be a reception in the lobby of Tawes Theatre immediately following the conclusion of the day's ceremonies.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Honest to Abe: Dr. Striner Reads from His New Book on Lincoln's Struggle to End Slavery, February 15

Chestertown, MD, February 7, 2006 — Should we remember Abraham Lincoln as "The Great Emancipator" with an ingrained vision of justice and human equality? Or, as a compromising politician who held the common racist ideas of his era and who pragmatically—and reluctantly—chose to free the slaves?

Richard Striner, Professor of History at Washington College, challenges recent theories of Lincoln's "passive abolitionism" and will discuss his research and read from his new book,Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery, Wednesday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge.

The free event is sponsored by Washington College's Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and open to the community. Reception and book signing to follow.

While recent scholarship has tended to focus on Lincoln's contradictions and dualities, Striner sees instead a moral genius utilizing a shrewd logic to manipulate the political and social forces of his day to achieve a larger vision of justice and equality in the United States.

According to Striner, if you examine the speeches that Lincoln made in the 1850s, you will have no doubt of his passion to end slavery. These speeches illuminate the anger, vehemence, and sheer brilliance of candidate Lincoln, who worked up crowds with charismatic fervor as he gathered a national following. But if he felt so passionately about abolition, why did he wait so long to release the Emancipation Proclamation?

"Lincoln was driven by an ethical sense, but he was also driven by a Machiavellian understanding of politics," he says. "He was a genius at orchestrating power. Indeed, his strategic sense could lead him to some compromises with the truth, but these compromises were always ethical in intent. Lincoln was never a shortsighted idealist. Quite to the contrary. He would readily juxtapose truth and calculated deception if it served a higher good."

As Striner points out, politics is the art of the possible, and Lincoln was a consummate politician, a shrewd manipulator who cloaked his visionary ethics in the more pragmatic garb of the coalition-builder. He was at bottom a Machiavellian prince for a democratic age. When secession began, Lincoln used the battle cry of saving the Union to build a power base, one that would eventually break the slave-holding states forever.

Striner argues that Lincoln was a rare man indeed: a fervent idealist and a crafty politician with a remarkable gift for strategy. It was the harmonious blend of these two qualities that made Lincoln's role in ending slavery so fundamental. According to Striner, Father Abraham challenges the conventional views of Lincoln in a number of ways. It challenges the notion of Lincoln as a "moderate" by demonstrating the strategic dynamism of his program. It puts the "unionism" of Lincoln in better perspective by showing how his fight to save the Union was always contingent on the ultimate phase-out of slavery. It also challenges the claim that Lincoln was a racist. To the contrary, Striner suggests, Lincoln's goal was to hold white supremacy at bay while he reduced the power of the slave states.

Ultimately for Striner, Lincoln's presidency is a case study in the problems of democratic leadership. By perfectionist standards, Lincoln's leadership was problematical, but he argues that Lincoln's willingness to balance lesser evils with greater good led to a moral success of even greater magnitude.

Striner has taught history at Washington College since 1988 and is a Senior Writer with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission. His academic study and research have focused on the history of ideas, using this field to delve into subjects as diverse as the evolution of conservative and liberal ideology to the poetry of Alexander Pope, from the symbolism of Art Deco architecture to the problem of ethics in the field of historic preservation. His writings on history, politics, economics, and historic preservation have been published by outlets as diverse as William & Mary Quarterly, Smithsonian Institution Press, and The Washington Post. Striner's interest in the concept and arts of moral leadership in democracy led him to the subject of Lincoln. His next book project is a study of the long-forgotten modes of statecraft that passed from Lincoln to both of the Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin.

Friday, February 3, 2006

Sustaining a Writing Career and Sustainable Energy: A Talk by WC Alumna Susan Luster '72, February 20

Chestertown, MD, February 3, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee and theOffice of Career Development presents "Careers in Writing Every Day," a lecture by Susan Luster '72, Monday, February 20, at 10:30 a.m., in the Rose O'Neill Literary House. The event is free and open to the public, and Washington College students are encouraged to attend.

While Luster always longed to be a poet or a novelist, she will address the realities of her writing career spent promoting renewable energy and environmentally sound buildings and lifestyles. From writing press releases and fundraising letters to editing technical reports and manuals, she will discuss the use of basic writing skills to support the field of sustainable energy.

"With a liberal arts degree, I found a topic with which I was passionate and applied my skills to advance that field," Luster says. "I created a career using my skills in writing and editing, with a purpose beyond just making a living: to spread the word about solar energy."

Currently a studio potter near Raleigh, North Carolina, Luster worked the field of environmentally-friendly, sustainable energy advocacy for more than twenty years. Former chair and past executive director of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, she also served as a senior project manager and communications specialist for the North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation. She recently concluded 10 years of service on the board of the American Solar Energy Society and four years of service on the North Carolina Conservation Network Board of Directors. She opened her own business, Susisolar Clayworks, in 2001, creating hand-thrown pottery with botanical themes.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Summerset Review Editor Joseph Levens Discusses Online Literary Journals, February 20

Chestertown, MD, February 1, 2006 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr Lecture Series presents "Online Literary Journals," a lecture by Joseph Levens, editor of The Summerset Review, Monday, February 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. The event is free and open to the public.

What are online literary journals? How do they compare to literary journals in print? What is the status and future of the literary online community? As editor of The Summerset Review,an online quarterly journal of literary fiction and essays, Levens will share his expertise and answer these questions and many more about the often-elusive world of literary life on the web.

A recipient of grants from the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), The Summerset Review was launched in 2002 to showcase contemporary short fiction and essays.

Levens lives in Smithtown, New York, and teaches fiction and essay writing at Hofstra University. In addition to his work with The Summerset Review, he has published his own fiction in Other Voices, AGNI, Swink, New Orleans Review, and other literary journals.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to the College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor" and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.