Friday, November 6, 2009

Scholar Explores Emerson, Photography in Rose O'Neill Literary House Talk

CHESTERTOWN – Sean Meehan, Assistant Professor of English at Washington College, will present “‘This is a Fragment of Me’: Emerson and the Poetics of Metonymy” at the Rose O’Neill Literary House on Tuesday, November 17, at 4 p.m.

Dr. Meehan began his scholarly focus on the American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson with a dissertation on photography in 19th-century American autobiography, completed at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Meehan recently published a book based on that dissertation, Mediating American Autobiography: Photography in Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, and Whitman. His upcoming lecture on Emerson and metonymy is part of his current work-in-progress, a study of Emerson’s engagement with the practice and theory of education and an exploration of Emersonian ways of learning both from the past and for the future.

Dr. Meehan was awarded the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association Fellowship for 2005-2006 from Houghton Library, Harvard University. He published an article based on research he did at Houghton in Emerson Society Papers (2006), “Living Learning: Lessons from Emerson’s School.”

In addition to teaching the courses “Emerson and Whitman” and “American Environmental Writing,” Dr. Meehan teaches “Literature and Composition” and is the Director of Writing for Washington College.

Dr. Meehan’s presentation is part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House’s recently relaunched “Tea and Talk” series, which highlights the work of authors and scholars on the faculty and staff of Washington College.

The series will continue in Spring 2010 with presentations by Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies Christine Wade, Assistant Professor of Drama Michele Volansky, and Vassar College Professor Emeritus of History (and Washington College Trustee) Benjamin Kohl.

Admission to “‘This is a Fragment of Me’: Emerson and the Poetics of Metonymy” is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7899 or visit

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