Yesterday afternoon in the Fireside Lounge, dozens of students gathered to hear Associate Professor of English Caroline Woidat speak about Thanksgiving. This was the second mini-lecture in the series Celebrate Literature, presented by Sigma Tau Delta (the English Honor Society). The first was Professor Tom Greenfield’s mini-lecture on Oscar Wilde.
With the holiday break in sight, many students were eager to hear the truth about the holiday beyond the traditions. Dr. Woidat’s expertise on Native American literature was evident in her keen understanding of the history and (lack of) literature of Thanksgiving. Many learned surprising new facts, for example, that there are only two paragraphs of literature from the time that even hint at the traditions we accept as Thanksgiving customs.
Dr. Woidat expertly translated the complicated histories into a mini-lecture that was both informative and enjoyable. The next mini-lecture in the series will be “Occupy Christmas: Dickens and His Carol, Then and Now” by Professor Paul Schacht, Thursday, December 1, 2:30 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge in the Union.