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Recovering Forgotten Books

Join us February 15 at 7pm at 101 Archer!

Join OCH as we host a double book launch, featuring TU’s own Don James McLaughlin and Stephanie Peebles Tavera of Texas A&M.

McLaughlin recently edited and wrote the introduction for a new edition of Sarah Orne Jewett’s A Marsh Island. The press release gives a brief overview of the novel: “[w]ritten a few years into Jewett’s decades-long companionship with Annie Fields, A Marsh Island echoes Jewett’s determination to split time between her family home in Maine and Fields’s place on Charles Street in Boston. The novel follows the adventures of Dale, a Manhattanite landscape painter in the Great Marsh of northeastern Massachusetts and envisions the latter region’s saltmarsh as a figure for dynamic selfhood: the ever-shifting boundaries between land and sea a model for valuing both individuality and a porous openness to the gifts of others.”

McLaughlin’s research focuses on late 18th and 19th century literary movements in the Americas, the queer past, histories of medicine and psychiatry, disability narratives, and the history of emotions. He has published on the queer past, the history of medicine, progressive print cultures, and disability theory in American Literature, Literature and Medicine, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, the New Republic, Common-place: The Journal of Early American LifePublic Books, and Legacies, the magazine of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as well as the 2022 Cambridge volume American Literature in Transition, 1770-1828, edited by Hunt Howell and Greta LaFleur.

Peebles Tavera’s new book, (P)rescription Narratives, studies nineteenth-century fiction and storytelling as a medicinal practice. A description of the work reads, “[t]he woman-authored medical fiction of Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Francis Ellen Watkins Harper, among others, exposes the limitations of social construction and materiality in conversations about the female body since subject formation relies upon multiple force relations that shape and are shaped by one another in ongoing processes that do not stop even in our efforts to interpret cultural artifacts. These multiple failures – to censor, to resist, to interpret – open up a space for negotiating how we engage the world with greater empathy.”

Her broader research and teaching interests include the fields of American literature and culture, women’s and gender studies and feminist theory, disability studies, affect theory, medical humanities, utopian studies, and environmental studies.

To launch the books, McLaughlin and Peebles Tavera will discuss the contours of their respective projects. They will also expand the discussion to cover the medical humanities, disability, feminist and queer kinship in literature, and the recovery of narratives forgotten in the wake of mainstream canon formations.

A reception with wine and cheese will follow the event. For more information, follow us on social media.