Rutgers Scholar to Speak on Edgar Allan Poe

News item published on: 2015-10-13 13:57:20

University Libraries at Southern Miss will host a talk on Edgar Allan Poe by Rutgers University professor Dr. Meredith McGill on October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Cook Library Art Gallery. The talk, “Caught Reading: Sensation and Absorption in Poe’s Tales,” explores how Poe famously instructed would-be writers to think first and foremost about the reader, to begin not by hashing out character or plot details, but by considering what effect a tale might produce in its reader. Dr. McGill will examine key passages in a range of Poe’s tales that illustrate Poe’s thoughts about and experiments with the experience of reading.

Meredith L McGill is an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, and she is the author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1837-1853 (2003) a study of nineteenth-century American resistance to tight control over intellectual property. She has edited two collections of essays: Taking Liberties with the Author (2013), which explores the persistence of the author as a shaping force in literary criticism, and The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange (2008). Her survey of "The Poetry of Slavery" from the 17th century to the present day is forthcoming in the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of American Slavery (2016).

This lecture is one of many events hosted by University Libraries as part of the Big Read grant to support innovative reading programs designed to encourage people to read, discuss, and celebrate Poe’s writings. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Big Read activities are a result of collaboration between University Libraries, the College of Arts & Letters, and the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County. This event is free and open to the public. Contact Jennifer Brannock at  or 601.266.4347 or Sarah Mangrum at or 601.266.4251 with questions. For more information about upcoming events, visit