Susan Glaspell Presentation in Chicago Loop on Wednesday 9/28/05

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Professor Linda Ben-Zvi will read from her new biography of Susan Glaspell (Susan Glaspell: Her Life & Times) at the Chicago Loop's new University Center on Weds PM 9/28/05. This presentation will be hosted by The Theatre School of DePaul University with additional sponsorship from Columbia College Chicago and Roosevelt University, as well as support from the American Association of University Women, the Chicago Area Women's History Conference, & the Illinois Woman's Press Association. See http://www.films42.com/witaswan/sept-05.asp for complete information.

Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University, is coming to Chicago on Wednesday September 28th to read from her new book SUSAN GLASPELL: Her Life and Times. This 2-hour evening program will be presented at the new University Center, located at the corner of State & Congress (across from the Harold Washington Library Center) from 7 to 9 PM. Admission is free, and open to all interested members of the general public.

In her June 30th article on Professor Ben-Zvi’s new book, New York Times critic Dinitia Smith wrote:

“Susan Glaspell was the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. She was a founder of the Provincetown Players and is credited with discovering Eugene O'Neill. Her novels were best sellers. So why is she practically unknown in 2005?”

But Glaspell is far from “unknown” here in the Midwest where her work is a curricular staple on many campuses. Nor is her work “unknown” to the many supporters of WITASWAN who have attended one of our screenings of A JURY OF HER PEERS (the Academy Award-nominated film based on Glaspell’s best know story).

Although Glaspell is typically referred to as “an Iowa writer,” most Midwesterners think of Davenport, her hometown, as one of the “Quad Cities” which sit squarely on the Iowa/Illinois border. Therefore, not surprisingly, Chicago plays a considerable role in her biography, beginning in 1903 when she enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Several of her early short stories are set in Chicago, as are several of her novels including The Glory of the Conquered, The Visioning, and Norma Ashe. Between 1936 and1938, she was the head of the Midwest Playwrights' Bureau of the Federal Theater Project, responsible for initiating and supporting many plays staged here during this period. She also wrote several of her later books while living in Chicago near her brother, who resided here.

Journalist, novelist, playwright, and arts administrator, Glaspell created intrepid female characters, and, according to Professor Ben-Zvi, she “launched an indigenous American drama that addressed pressing topics such as women's suffrage, birth control, female sexuality, marriage equality, socialism, and pacifism.”

Linda Ben-Zvi is Professor of Theatre Studies at Tel Aviv University and Professor Emerita of English and Theatre at Colorado State University.

She received her B.A. in English and Philosophy from Boston University, her M.A. in English from New York University, and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Oklahoma. She has also received fellowships from the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the Newberry Library. In addition to Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times, Professor Ben-Zvi is also the author of Drawing on Beckett: Portraits, Performances, and Cultural Contexts, Susan Glaspell : Essays on Her Theater and Fiction, Theater in Israel, and Women in Beckett: Performance and Critical Perspectives.

Come meet Professor Ben-Zvi on 9/28/05, and find out more about Susan Glaspell, the remarkable woman considered a role model for the ages by educated women in the Midwest and around the world.

See http://www.films42.com/witaswan/sept-05.asp for complete information.

Jan Lisa Huttner is the managing editor of FILMS FOR TWO: The Online Guide for Busy Couples (http://www.films42.com). She has given presentations all across Illinois on Sally Heckel’s 1980 film adaptation of A JURY OF HER PEERS.

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