One of the principal authorities on the writing of poet E. J. Pratt and how oral traditions influence literature will deliver Memorial University’s 2006 Pratt Lecture on Friday, Nov. 17.
Dr. Susan Gingell, a professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan since 1977, will explore the “noise” in Canadian literature during this public lecture, titled Towards an Aesthetic of Noise: Writing the Oral in the Canadian Context.
“A central question I’m seeking to answer is why some writers introduce voices that may seem loud, uncultivated, or even vulgar,” explained Dr. Gingell, who has published widely on eminent Newfoundland poet E. J. Pratt and is a leading Canadian scholar on the oral nature of Canadian writing.
Such writing, said Dr. Gingell, often seems at odds with the popular conception of poetry as a refined and cultivated form. “Pratt’s often rollicking soundscapes and representation of regional and working class vernaculars, and his fondness for invective make his work exemplary of noisy literature.”
Dr. Gingell challenges our standard conceptions of identity, nation and literature through this exploration of the local and vernacular. Newfoundland literature, she noted, rooted as it is in a sometimes garrulous and often irreverent oral tradition, is an ideal medium for this consideration of self through noise and performance.
Dr. Gingell will deliver the Pratt Lecture on Friday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. in the Reid Theatre, Arts & Administration Building, Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. Free parking will be available in Lot 15.
Dr. Susan Gingell – Pratt Lecturer 2006
Dr. Susan Gingell is a professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan, where she has taught since 1977. She has a long-standing connection to Newfoundland and its literature, being one of the principal authorities on the writing of poet E. J. Pratt. Dr. Gingell has edited two volumes of the series of The Complete Works of E. J. Pratt, and has published widely on the eminent Newfoundland poet.
Dr. Gingell’s scholarly work is broad-ranging. She has published on Commonwealth literature, decolonization and postcolonialism, aboriginal writing, orality and literature, and Canadian poetry.
Most recently, Dr. Gingell edited a special issue of Essays on Canadian Writing: Textualizing Orature and Orality. She is currently writing a book tentatively titled Talk that Walks on the Page: Textualized Orature and Orality in Canada.
Dr. Gingell’s writing and research challenge conceptions of identity, nation and literature. Her work is deeply invested in evolving notions of education and the relationships between the classroom, the individual and society. Poetry and textuality, she observes, play critical roles in senses of self and nation.
In addition to her research and writing, Dr. Gingell has developed a reputation of being a passionate and devoted educator. In 1994 she received the Master Teacher Award from the University of Saskatchewan. She has been instrumental in establishing the Women’s and Gender Studies program at her university, and has been a consistent contributor to the Women’s Studies Research Unit.