Nina Baym, emerita, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, will discuss the genesis, research and organizational structure of her latest book, which recovers the names and works of hundreds of women who wrote about the American West during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In pursuing her research she mined literary and cultural histories, anthologies, scholarly essays, catalogs, advertisements and on-line resources to debunk critical assumptions that women did not publish about the West as much as they did about other regions. What she discovered was a substantial body of nearly 650 books of al kinds by more than 300 writers; these works showed women making lives for themselves in the West, how they represented the diverse region, and how they represented themselves.
Nina Baym is a professor emeritus of English at the UI-Urbana Champaign. The general editor of the Norton Anthology of American Literature, she has written several books on 19th century women writers, beginning with Women's Fiction: Guide to Novels by and about Women in America, 1820-70.
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