Teachers invited to summer institute on Wallace Stegner

nefeeder's picture

Idaho teachers of all grades and disciplines are invited to apply to attend the Idaho Humanities Council’s 2017 week-long summer institute exploring the theme “Wallace Stegner and the Consciousness of Place,” July 16-21, on the campus of Boise State University. Successful applicants will receive lodging and meals, texts and the opportunity for optional college credit. Community college teachers also are eligible to apply. The deadline for online applications is April 1, 2017.

Teachers will receive institute texts, including Stegner’s memoir of his youth, Wolf Willow, his novel The Angle of Repose, a collection of his essays and an electronic compilation of other pertinent primary and secondary readings. In addition to attending daily lectures and discussions, teachers will attend special evening presentations, view films and share ways of teaching Stegner’s works in the classroom.

Often referred to in his time as the Dean of Western Writers, Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) was a prolific novelist, memoirist, historian, journalist, biographer, teacher and environmental activist whose work explored the American West. He once described the American West as the “native home of hope,” even as he persistently exposed the rough edges of its contested terrain. Stegner ushered in a new era of western literature and history in the latter half of the twentieth century, disrupting both popular myths and academic traditions and prompting new considerations of what it means to live well in the arid West.

Stegner founded the now-famous creative writing program at Stanford University in 1946, championed the writing of minority voices and was the recipient of numerous awards including the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Institute scholars will analyze how Stegner’s work proposes new western identities and responsibilities. Participants will examine the relevance of his legacy to contemporary regional literature, conservation policies and even popular culture. Scholars will consider what kinds of aesthetics and ethics are advanced by Stegner’s work, how they describe a distinctly western consciousness and how we think about stories of place, the environment, social justice and politics in the West today. Participants will explore a variety of Stegner’s writings and examine his teaching and activism.

Scholar presenters so far include Tara Penry, Professor of English, Boise State University, Jennifer Emery Davidson, Director of The Community Library in Ketchum and current Chair of the Idaho Humanities Council, Matthew Stewart, doctoral candidate in environmental history at Syracuse University, Richard Etulain, history professor emeritus, University of New Mexico, and others.

Teachers traveling more than 250 miles one way may be eligible for a modest travel stipend on request.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet