Kathy presented the 2014 Oakland University President’s Colloquium titled “The Biographer’s Dilemma” on October 14.
Many readers are drawn to biographies because they offer a promise of truth – a factual, real life story, uncomplicated by the multiplicity of possible meanings that appear in fiction or poetry. Yet biographers often disagree, asserting instead that fact itself is a culturally relative construction. What is one to do with conflicting evidence, such as when a subject writes two letters on the same day expressing completely opposite opinions? What about gossip? What if a literary executor demands editorial control over the biographer’s work, threatening to refuse permission to quote from the estate unless certain facts are kept out of the book? By drawing on examples from controversial biographies, this presentation will examine the hidden problems of biography, questioning whether ethical or social responsibility does, or ought to, inform the biographer’s task.
The 2014 MLA Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois included a roundtable discussion of Modernist Studies and the Harlem Renaissance on Friday, January 10, 2014. Kathy participated in the discussion, which was organized and moderated by Adam McKible of John Jay College, City University of New York, and included such distinguished scholars as Houston A. Baker, Vanderbilt Univ.; Suzanne Wintsch Churchill, Davidson Coll.; Barbara Clare Foley, Rutgers University, Newark; George B. Hutchinson, Cornell University; and Cherene Monique Sherrard-Johnson, University of Wisconsin, Madison. The roundtable highlighted a special issue of the journal Modernism/Modernity examining Harlem Renaissance studies in relation to the New Modernism. Kathy’s contribution is here.
Art X Detroit : Kresge Arts Experience is a five-day multidisciplinary celebration that will exclusively present newly commissioned works created by the Kresge Eminent Artists and Artists Fellows. Kathy participated in two events:
Friday, April 12, 2013
A collaborative, interdisciplinary performance, “Snapshots” features a literary reading by Kresge Artist Fellow Kathleen Pfeiffer, together with original dance choreographed and performed Thayer Jonutz and Ali Woerner. The set will employ images from Andrea Eis’s Marginalia series, art that explores the intersection of image and text as a creative meditation on the relationship between past and present. A reception will follow the event, allowing the audience an opportunity for conversation with the performers.
Snapshots: Memoir Writing Workshop
Saturday, April 13, 2013
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
College for Creative Studies
Employing the “Snapshots” motif as a strategy for creative writing, Kathleen Pfeiffer will lead a memoir writing workshop for interested participants age 18 and older. While free and open to the public, this event will be limited to the first 15 who register. For further information, please send an inquiry through the Contact page.