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The launch of an idea

September 15, 2017

On Thursday, Hawthorne-Longfellow Library hosted the first in a series of humanities-focused faculty book launches.

Throughout the course of the year, six professors will introduce their newly published works, in a format intended to spark conversations. The topics that their books cover range from sexual education in the 19th century to ancient Latin poetry. The events are open to the public and will include readings and question and answer sessions, as well as more formal lectures.

“It’s celebrating Bowdoin authors,” said Humanities and Media Librarian Carmen Greenlee. “And it’s a time when we can get together, not only [to] celebrate them, but [to] hear more about their work.”

Professor of Education Chuck Dorn began the book talk series on Thursday, speaking about his book on the common good in US higher education. On November 2, Professor of Dance Emeritus June Vail will present her biography of Gertrude Hitz Burton, a female sexual education pioneer with historic ties to Bowdoin.

“Lots of boundaries are broken down when [people] get together to discuss an issue,” said Greenlee.

According to Greenlee, the series represents an effort to make faculty work more accessible to students, as well as to the surrounding community.

“Even though it’s a small community, things can be pretty insular,” said Greenlee. “Maybe someone took a class from somebody but they’re not really a major. She would never know about [the professor’s] scholarship. This is another form of [outreach].”


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