Plotzfest is Amazing!

Yesterday’s Plotzfest was a huge success. More than 100 people came out to hear our six wonderful speakers–Carolyn Betensky, Richard Flynn, Margaret Higgonet, Uli Knoepflmacher, John Plotz, and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan–and celebrate Prof. Judith Plotz’s long and productive career.

We heard papers about the “happy” and “unhappy in Victorian literature (Betensky), Randall Jarrell’s work for children, “The Bat-Poet” (Flynn), movable books and three-dimensional reading in the late 19th century (Higgonet), the relationship between a young Rudyard Kipling and an older Robert Browning (Knoepflmacher), the idea of semi-detachment in Victorian painting and literature (Plotz), and representations of ethical citizenship in contemporary Indian fiction (Sunder Rajan).

Here are some photos of the day:

John Plotz and Richard Flynn are ready for their PowerPoint presentations!

PhD students Erin Vander Wall (left), who designed the amazing conference programs, and EGSA president Amber Cobb Vasquez.

Carolyn Betensky, formerly a professor at GW and now a member of the English Department at the University of Rhode Island, with her new book, Feeling for the Poor: Bourgeois Compassion, Social Action, and the Victorian Novel (University of Virginia, 2010).

Prof. Plotz and her husband Dr. Paul Plotz listen to the papers.

From left: Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, Margaret Higgonet, Uli Knoepflmacher.

Papers elicited lively question-and-answer sessions.

After the afternoon panel, Prof. Plotz talks about her career. The period of the late 1960s/early 1970s was, relatively speaking, an auspicious time: opportunities were opening up for female academics; students were as passionate about literature as they were about social justice; GWU fostered a community of engaged, caring scholars.

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