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4 April 2007
Friends of Houston Cole Library
Presents Nancy Grisham Anderson
"To Kill a Mockingbird: Successes and Myths"

Nancy Grisham Anderson

Please join us Thursday, April 12, 2007, 2:00 p.m., 11th floor Houston Cole Library, as Nancy Grisham Anderson presents “To Kill a Mockingbird:  Successes and Myths.”  This presentation is part of the Alabama Humanities Foundation 2007-2008 Road Scholars’ speaker program.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, is a powerful novel that 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, 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.

Professor Anderson, Associate Professor of English at AUM and Director of Actions Build Community (the AUM-Taulbert Initiative), is well known for her research in the literature of Alabama. On May 6, 2006, she and her scholarly work were honored at the Alabama Writers’ Symposium in Monroeville as she received the 2006 Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Distinction in Literary Scholarship.

Professor Anderson has edited books by Lella Warren, a best-selling Alabama writer from the 1930s-1950s, letters by Judson College teacher Kay White Schad from the 1930s and ‘40s, and previously unpublished manuscripts by Richard Marius, another Southern writer.

In scholarly and popular venues, she has published many articles and reviews on writers from Alabama and elsewhere in the South. Professor Anderson met Harper Lee in 1983 when they both appeared on the Alabama History and Heritage Festival in Eufaula, and their paths have continued to cross since that first meeting.

Professor Anderson is equally well known for innovative courses at AUM and for creating literacy programs in some of Montgomery’s poorest neighborhoods. Among her more recent courses is the one titled “Perspectives on Alabama’s Black Belt,” a multidisciplinary course for AUM students; it has also been modified into an Alabama Humanities Foundation SUPER institute for high school teachers.

A Mississippi native, Professor Anderson completed her undergraduate degree (magna cum laude) at Millsaps College (Jackson, MS) and her graduate work in English at the University of Virginia.  After teaching at Millsaps and in high schools in Germany and the United States, Anderson joined the English faculty at Auburn University Montgomery.

Professor 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 (ACETA) and been named a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at AUM. 

One of AUM’s first three Distinguished Teaching Fellows, Anderson has served as president of ACETA and as chair of the Alabama Humanities Foundation Board of Directors. She is married to Richard Anderson, Huntingdon College English Professor Emeritus.

For more information about the Alabama Humanities Foundation 2007-2008 Road Scholars’ speaker program and other foundation programs, see column in the Winter humanities newsletter.

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