Emily Auerbach, a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will deliver an address at NIU at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2, in the Cavan Auditorium of Gabel Hall.
Her speech, titled “The Power of Literature to Change Lives: The UW Odyssey Project,” will highlight some Auerbach’s experiences in the UW-Madison’s Odyssey program. The event is free and open to the public.
Auerbach has been involved with the UW Odyssey project since its launch eight years ago. Through it she has experienced the change in many socioeconomic disadvantaged individuals who might otherwise have been unable to further their education. The UW Odyssey program offers exposure to the humanities to such individuals.
Saturday’s address is being given as part of the Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media, an annual conference put on by NIU’s Department of English. Auerbach’s talk will wrap up a weekend of shared scholarship among many with varying interests across the humanities.
Auerbach has received numerous awards for both her teaching and her outreach programs. She is the co-host of a radio program that interviews distinguished faculty from the University of Wisconsin, Madison about issues of history and current affairs.
She also helped create the “Courage to Write” radio program, and has created many written guides on the works and lives of women writers. The accessibility of these programs complement her other objectives in bringing the humanities to people facing socioeconomic barriers to learning.
An accomplished scholar, she has given numerous keynote addresses and has published articles and books in literary criticism.
In 2001, Auerbach directed a festival for the UW Center for the Humanities entitled “Jane Austen in the 21st Century,” which 4,000 people attended. She has written Searching for Jane Austen (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004) and Maestros, Dilettantes, and Philistines: The Musician in the Victorian Novel (Peter Lang, 1989).