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A Distinguished Scholar Seminar featuring Linda Wagner-Martin

March 2, 2013

The American Dream has long been the subject of great American novels. Indeed, our very notions of wealth and prosperity have been defined by the novel, as in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with its ironic and iconic description of the haves and have-nots. Later writers employed the novel as an avenue of criticism or a call for reflection and change, as in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath or Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. More recent novelists have taken their characters from the world of work, as does Barbara Kingsolver in Flight Behavior, which roots the American dream firmly in financial considerations. Join distinguished scholar Linda Wagner-Martin for this seminar to examine the works of four American authors who have taken money and morality as their subject, and explore with us their role in shaping and critiquing the American dream.


Linda Wagner-Martin is Frank Borden Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature Emerita. Her books include The Modern American Novel, The Mid-Century American Novel, Telling Women’s Lives: The New Biography, Sylvia Plath: A Biography, and “Favored Strangers”: Gertrude Stein and Her Family. As editor, she has published The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States, Ernest Hemingway: Seven Decades of Criticism, and an edition of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.



F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ironic Great Gatsby (1925)

John Steinbeck and the Risks of Picturing Poverty (1939)

Toni Morrison’s Ohio Blues (1970)

Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior (2012): Global Change

Time and Cost

9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Saturday, March 2, 2013. The tuition is $125 ($110 by January 30). Tuition for teachers is $62.50 ($55 by January 30). 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The optional lunch is $15.00.

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.