Scholar to speak on ‘Mockingbird'

Published 6:47 am Monday, September 8, 2008

By Staff
Alabama Humanities Foundation Road Scholar Nancy Anderson will present “To Kill a Mockingbird: Successes and Myths” on Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. in the Atmore Public Library meeting room.
Due to limited seating, those hoping to attend the event must call the library in advance. Reservations may be made through Dorothy McGhee or Becky Angeles at (251) 368-5234.
In her presentation, Anderson explores Harper Lee's “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Published in 1960, this powerful novel continues to enjoy phenomenal success internationally, as evidenced by sales figures, editions, translations, an award-winning movie, dramatic productions, and other indicators.
Despite these successes, according to Anderson, myths about the novel - some serious and some humorous - abound.
A detailed discussion of some of the myths underscores the subtlety, the complexity, the richness, and the honesty of this enduring Alabama classic. The recent success of the movie Capote featuring “Harper Lee,” the new (unauthorized) biography, and the first publication by Harper Lee in more than 20 years have created new interests in To Kill a Mockingbird.
A Mississippi native, Nancy Grisham Anderson completed her undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) at Millsaps College and her graduate work in English at the University of Virginia.
After teaching at Millsaps and in high schools in Germany and the U.S., Anderson joined the English faculty at Auburn University Montgomery, where she is currently an associate professor of English and director of Actions Build Community: The AUM-Taulbert Initiative.
Anderson served as director of composition at AUM for 17 years and has taught all levels of writing courses, from developmental composition through a graduate research and writing course.
She also teaches American literature surveys and Southern literature classes and has published works about Lella Warren, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, Mary Ward Brown, Harper Lee, Clifton Taulbert, and Richard Marius. She has received both the William J. Calvert and James Woodall awards from the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama and been named a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at AUM. In May of 2006 she received the Eugene Current-Garcia Award as Alabama's Distinguished Scholar.
As director of Actions Build Community, Nancy conducts weekly writing workshops for children in Montgomery's housing communities and coordinates a Make-a-Difference Day project entitled “Reading Makes a Life-long Difference, which was recognized as one of the top ten programs in the nation in 2004.
The Alabama Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which the AHF is the state affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. The AHF is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the humanities throughout the state of Alabama and, to that end, conducts its own statewide programs and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to nonprofit organizations for humanities projects. One of these programs, AHF Road Scholars, sends scholars all over the state to give presentations on various topics to civic groups and organizations. For more information on this or other AHF programs, please call (205) 558-3980.

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