2014-2015 Weekly Convocations

The weekly convocation series is a shared campus experience that brings students, faculty, and staff together for one hour for a lecture or presentation from specialists in a variety of disciplines.  The goal of the convocation series is to stimulate thought and conversation on a wide range of subjects. Convocations are open to the public and free of charge.

Feb 22

Convocation: Siri Hustvedt

Author explains how personal experience and memory become transformed into narrative.

Friday, February 22nd, 2013
10:50 – 11:50 am / Skinner Chapel
Hustvedt Convocation

Minnesota-born writer Siri Hustvedt is the author of a book of poetry, five novels, two books of essays, and a work of non-fiction.  Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.  She also lectures and publishes regularly on the intersections among philosophy, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience. Hustvedt’s works repeatedly pose questions about the nature of identity, selfhood and perception. In The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves, an interdisciplinary account of her own seizure disorder, Hustvedt states her need to view her symptom not “through a single window” but “from all angles.”  These multiple perspectives do not resolve themselves into a single view but rather create an atmosphere of ambiguity and flux.  Hustvedt presents the reader with characters whose minds are inseparable from their bodies and their environments, and whose sense of self is situated on the threshold between the conscious and unconscious.  Her characters often suffer traumatic events that disrupt the rhythms of their lives and lead to disorientation and a discontinuity of their identities.  In her convocation presentation, Hustvedt will focus on the source of creativity, and the role of the self in the production of fiction.  “The secret to creativity,” she writes, “lies not in the so-called higher cognitive processes, but in dreamlike reconfigurations... that take place unconsciously.”  With brief readings from her own creative work to illustrate this idea, Hustvedt will explain how personal experience and memory become transformed into narrative.  The title of her presentation is “Reflections on Creativity: Memory, Imagination, Narrative and the Self.”

Sponsored by College Relations. Contact: Kerry Raadt, College Relations, x4308