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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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Imagining the Southwest

Evening Program

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Code: 1H0465A

The American Southwest occupies a central place in the country’s literary imagination. A region in which multiple cultures meet and sometimes clash, and where evidence of ancient peoples informs the landscape, the Southwest intrigued writers even before its incorporation into the nation as distinct states.

Since the early twentieth century, many American writers have represented the Southwest as a place of re-invention and relaxation. They’ve portrayed it as an Eden-like space of great beauty, often imbuing the landscape with religious overtones and a sense of sacredness. Simultaneously, other writers have portrayed the area as dangerous and violent, a place where physical strength and bravery are tested.

Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer in the English department at Georgetown University, in spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling novels that reflect this mixed tradition in their rich and varied portraits of the Southwest and the people who inhabit it.

Participants should read the the featured book ahead. Sherry and cookies are available for refreshment.


Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (1977)

Follow the trials of Tayo, the mixed-race protagonist who returns to Laguna Pueblo after surviving Japanese prison camp during World War II.

If you are interested in additional sessions to this course, please click here.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)