News & Notes

Mar. 29: Women of Letters lecture and archives showcase

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An Afternoon in Celebration of Women’s History Month


Grace King, William W. King Papers, Mss. 1282

Join us at 12:30 pm in Special Collections in the Hill Memorial Library Lecture Hall on Tuesday, March 29, for “Women of Letters,” an afternoon exploring female literary figures and letters by and between women.

Dr. Miki Pfeffer, author of Southern Ladies and Suffragists: Julia Ward Howe and Women’s Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair (University Press of Mississippi), will present “Affectionately, Sis: Intimate letters of Grace King.” New Orleans novelist and historian Grace King (1852-1932) was a keen observer and savvy commentator of her time and place. Focusing mainly on King’s 1866-1892 letters found in Special Collections, Pfeffer will discuss how the letters show a young southern woman yearning to escape her constricted life by following her ambition to write, and her developing confidence as her first stories are published. She will also explore King’s family life and the effect it had on her career. In addition to reading from pertinent letters, Pfeffer will read passages, add illuminating personal details, and identify language patterns, insider identities, and political leanings found in King’s correspondence.

Following this presentation, from 1:30-3:30, Special Collections will host an Afternoon in the Archives in the McIlhenny Room. Centered on the theme “Women of Letters,” selections on view will include papers of female Louisiana authors, including Grace King, Sidonie de la Houssaye, Leona Queyrouze Barel, and early editions of early modern women authors. In a more literal interpretation of the theme, examples of letters by and correspondence between women from a variety of times, places, and circumstances will also be shown, offering an opportunity to explore a diversity of women’s experiences and their letters as a genre.

Afternoon in the Archives is an informal series of monthly showcases designed to give participants opportunities to explore various aspects of history and culture while learning more about Special Collections’ exciting historical resources.  Library staff will be on hand to talk about the collections and how they can be part of teaching, learning, and research.

The event is free and open to the public, and attendees are welcome to attend one or both events.

For additional information, contact Curator of Manuscripts Tara Laver,

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