K.E. Daft and Hannah Marcum Wells, Central College alumnae, joined Josh Dolezal, professor of English, in presenting at the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar. “Unsettling Cather: Differences + Dislocations” was held June 17-21 at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.
Daft presented “A Sociological and Literary Examination of Willa Cather’s Fraught Relationship with Czech Culture.” A 2019 Central graduate from Clive, Iowa, Daft’s recent projects also included an honors thesis on cryptography and Masonic symbolism in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” as well as creative work on innovative poetic form.
Wells, originally from Blockton, Iowa, presented “‘Keen Senses Do Not Make a Poet’: Cather’s Respectful Rebellion Against Whitman in ‘O Pioneers!’” Wells graduated from Central in 2018 and is a Ph.D. student in English specializing in early American literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
Dolezal’s presentation was titled “‘Lost By a Song’: The Neuroscience of Epiphany in ‘Lucy Gayheart.’” Dolezal teaches American literature, medical humanities and creative writing at Central. His memoir, “Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging” (2014), was short-listed for the William Saroyan Prize.
Photo above: Josh Dolezal, professor of English, is joined by Central College alumnae K.E. Daft and Hannah Marcum Wells at the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar.