• Hughes to present Morrison, Twain at UWA

    Posted: April 14, 2011

    Author: Betsy Compton

    LIVINGSTON, Ala.— The University of West Alabama Honors Program will host Dr. Elaine Hughes for a presentation entitled “Morrison and Twain: The Black and White of It” Thursday, April 21, at 5 p.m. in Brock Y Hall.

    For 35 years, Hughes served as professor of American literature at the University of Montevallo, with a specialty in contemporary literature. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Southern literature and in Alabama literature. She has delivered more than 200 lectures to varied audiences, ranging from high school honors students to retirees in UAB's New Horizons.

    In the presentation, Hughes will explore the writings of Mark Twain and Toni Morrison and the authors’ portrayal of great truths underlying their cultures' espoused attitudes and beliefs.

    “I hope to put before an audience those questions about ourselves that we have difficulty confronting: our beliefs, our prejudices, our fears. Through examination of works by two major American writers—writing during tumultuous times in our country—we can understand those elements in our society that shape us and perhaps seek a better understanding of ourselves,” Hughes explains.

    “Racism was at the root of the problems resulting from slavery, and it remains today at the root of many of our social problems. Literature can provide the vehicle by which each of us, and thus our society, can make that painful journey to self understanding,” she continues.

    Hughes is the 1998 recipient of the Carnegie Foundation CASE Professor of the Year Award for Alabama and the 2007 recipient of the Eugene Current-Garcia Distinguished Scholar Award.

    The Montevallo professor emerita’s visit to UWA is part of Alabama Humanities Foundation’s “Road Scholars” program. Hughes has been an active member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation since 1978 and chaired the board of directors from 2004 to 2006.

    There will be an Honors Round Table discussion of the newly published, expurgated edition of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn following the presentation. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

    For more information, contact Dr. Lesa C. Shaul at lcc@uwa.edu or 205-652-3634. 
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