DeGraaf Lecture to Examine School, Professional
Life and Personal
Posted March 27, 2003
HOLLAND -- Professor Jane Tompkins of the
University of Illinois at Chicago will present the 2003
DeGraaf Lecture at Hope College on Thursday, April 3, at
3:30 p.m. in the Maas Center conference room.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Her topic will be "School as School: Professional
Life as an Opportunity for Personal Growth."
In addition to many scholarly articles and
reviews, Tompkins is author of "Sensational Designs: The
Cultural World of American Fiction 1790-1860" (1985), and a
book on Western books and movies: "West of Everything: The
Inner Life of Westerns" (1992). She also edited the
influential collection "Reader-Response Criticism: From
Formalism to Post-Structuralism" (1980).
Her literary studies have always focused on
involvement of the whole person in the activity of reading.
In recent years, her emphasis has expanded to an interest in
Her most recent book, "A Life in School: What the
Teacher Learned" (1996), is both a memoir and a critique of
higher education in the United States. It tells how her
inner life was transformed as, in writing the book, she
relived the school days of her childhood and reflected on
how they molded her as a person, but also on how school was
in many ways a fearful and stultifying place. The book also
describes her efforts, in recent years, to find ways to
bring emotion, imagination, spirituality, and respect for
the body's needs, as well as reason and the intellect, into
Tompkins, a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, earned
her Ph.D. from Yale University. She taught at Temple
University and Duke University before moving to her current
position as professor of English and education at the
University of Illinois at Chicago.
The Clarence DeGraaf Lectureship was established
in 1988 by the family of Dr. Clarence DeGraaf in memory of
his service on the faculty of Hope College. DeGraaf taught
in the department of English at Hope for 44 years, until his
retirement in 1972, and served as department chairman for 25
of those years.
The Maas Center is located on Columbia Avenue at