Dr. Jim Plath is professor of English at Illinois Wesleyan University and co-founder and president of The John Updike Society. His essays on Updike have appeared in numerous critical anthologies, including Critical Insights: John Updike (Salem Press, 2011). His current project is a collaboration called Native Son: John Updike’s Pennsylvania Interviews, which will be published by Lehigh University Press. In 2004 he won his university’s highest award for teaching, scholarship, and campus service.
Plath will discuss whether John Updike is a writer whose work will endure. According to Plath, much of that depends upon how he’s taught, at what levels he’s taught, and, most importantly, if he’s taught. Updike is a complex writer whose work can be read in the context of any number of allusions to pop culture, books, art, American presidents, and U.S. history. The challenge, says Plath, especially at the high school level, is to find ways to introduce his most famous character Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom in ways that are audience-appropriate.
Visit Plath's blog: blogs.iwu.edu/johnupdikesociety
This event is part of the 2012 Literary Festival.