“Who Painted the Lion?” Talking Back in/as Literature

Date: 2 December 2022
Time: 5:00 pm CST
Location: Manhattan Public Library, 629 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502
Presented by: The Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the Wife of Bath boldly questions the validity of female gender expectations by asking, “Who painted the lion, tell me who?” She ultimately concludes that men are the ones who construct ideals of female passivity and submissiveness. Taking its title from the Wife of Bath’s query, this symposium explores how we can recover the lives and labors of underrepresented people in print culture.

The symposium, which is free and in person, will take place at the Manhattan Public Library, 629 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

Two keynote speakers will address and model how we can give a voice to people usually excluded from our grand cultural narratives:

Dr. E. Haven Hawley, Chair of Special & Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida, will speak about “Attending to Their Voices: Researching Women’s Work in Print Culture.” Her keynote will recover the labors and voices of women by looking at historic printing practices, especially those of cheap imprints.

Meghan Lutrell, an undergraduate student at Kansas State University who researches the history of deaf education in Kansas, will speak about “The Silenced Silent: Recovering Clara Holmgren’s Life and Early Kansas Deaf Pedagogy.” Her talk will trace the life of an early female student at the Kansas School for the Deaf who barely left any archival record.

In addition, undergraduate students from Kansas State University’s English Department will participate in roundtable discussions exploring how to recover marginalized people and materials. The students will present short model close readings from their final research papers.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free in-person event, which is organized by the Literature Track at Kansas State University. Please direct any questions to english@ksu.edu.

Thank you to Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography and Kansas State University’s Department of English, Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies, and Primary Texts Certificate Program for their generous support.