2015 CEAH Fellowship in the
Arts and Humanities
"Imaging the Prairie, Then and Now"
Closing Lecture and Exhibit Tour
April 26, 2015
2pm -4pm Brunnier Art Museum
Matthew Wynn Sivils, English
Walt Whitman called the prairie “America’s characteristic landscape.” Since Whitman’s day the actual prairie ecosystem has suffered greatly from shortsighted exploitation. Nevertheless, this landscape has left an indelible mark upon the nation’s larger cultural identity, a mark that remains with us to this day. Exploring the origins of this imagined prairie in a selection of key works of early American literature, Professor Sivils will discuss how the prairie landscape functioned as a challenge to European-American conceptions of the land, while it at the same time became a defining emblem of the American experience. This event will be held at the Brunnier Art Museum’s exhibit of Iowa artist Ellen Wagener’s landscapes, and following the presentation a tour of Wagener’s work will be provided by Museum staff.
The CEAH Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities distinguishes a well-established ISU scholar who has recently completed a major scholarly project. Fellows present their research to the ISU community in public lectures and a short series of colloquia and forums. Sivils will offer a series of four events during the spring semester of 2015.