Margaret Atwood Visits for Spring Symposium
Literary legend Margaret Atwood is slated to be the keynote speaker during the next Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium March 31, 2011.
Margaret Atwood is a giant of modern literature who has anticipated, explored, satirized -- and even changed -- the popular preoccupations of our time. The Booker Prize-winning author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin, Atwood is the rare writer whose work is adored by the public, acclaimed by the critics, and studied on university campuses around the world. Though her subject matter varies, the precision crafting of her language -- she is also a renowned poet -- gives her body of work a sensibility entirely its own.
Based out of Toronto, Atwood has written over forty classic books, which have been translated into over thirty languages. Her novels include Alias Grace, Life Before Man, Oryx and Crake and 2008's Moral Disorder. Her major awards include The Giller and The Governor General's Award (Canada); The Booker Prize (UK); The Dashiell Hammett Award (United States); and the Le Chevalier dans l'Ordre de Arts et Les Lettres (France).
The Emerson-Wier Legacy
The liberal arts symposium series is funded in part by the Jack Wier, Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Fund for Faculty Development, the Gladys Anderson Emerson Fund for Interdisciplinary Learning and Research.
A 1945 Oklahoma College for Women alumna, Nance Wier maintains that “teachers, not buildings,” promote effective learning. In 2005, she established the Jack Wier, Jr. and Nance Foules Wier Faculty Enhancement Endowment that provides funds to encourage faculty research and learning opportunities, such as the Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium.
Her most notable achievement in science may have been to isolate Vitamin E, but nutrition expert Gladys Anderson Emerson is better known at her alma mater as a global ambassador for the liberal arts. Dr. Emerson earned two degrees at the Oklahoma College for Women in 1925 — one a bachelor of arts in history and English, and the other a bachelor of science in physics and chemistry. She then gained a master of arts degree in history and economics at Stanford University. She went from there to the University of California for her doctorate. Dr. Emerson was the American Chemical Society’s 1952 recipient of the Garvan Medal, an annual award recognizing distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists. During a professional career that spanned 50 years, Dr. Emerson lectured and conducted research at some of the most prominent facilities in the United States. Her articles — more than 100 of them — appeared in leading research journals throughout the world. Upon her death in 1984, she left a bequest to USAO for interdisciplinary learning opportunities and research.